New Amsterdam – Your Turn
Welcome back Dam Fam! It has been a long wait to see how everyone faired in that ambulance crash that closed out season 1. The writers didn’t take it easy on us emotionally (as usual) but they did interweave two timelines masterfully to engage us all through the entire episode. We get a flashback to remind us of the dire circumstances at the end of season one. Let’s get into the New Amsterdam Season 2 premiere…
We open three months later in their apartment with Max and Georgia hearing Luna cry. “Your turn” she says to Max. a heartwarming musical moment commences and then it’s off to work. With Luna strapped to his chest Max proceeds through the hospital. Reynolds catches his attention. “How can we help?” Apparently, Luna is part of the helping team now too. Let’s get into our issues for the doctors.
How can we help
Reynolds is concerned that patients are administered pain treatment more on race than actual pain and wants a provision added to the Patient Bill of Rights.
Iggy has a population of trans patients who have been denied any healthcare based “conscience laws”. He proposes a fund to shoulder the costs of providing care for these patients. Problem solver Max suggests a fundraiser art show with the art created by the patients. Next…
Vijay is concerned about the loss of expertise when the doctors over 60 retire. Max plays the other side that doctors past their prime may skip in skills and abilities and proposes new mentorship programs to keep the expertise and reduce patient risk. Did Max just suggest Vijay should retire?
How is Max
We see Max talking with Dr. Valentina Castro, an oncologist sitting in Helen’s office. She discusses how well the targeted therapy is working on Max and banters about the word “cured” as a possible outcome soon. With a new baby, those are words that Max desperately wants to believe. Dr. Castro shares the news with Max and tells him though she knows he misses Helen; she knows that Dr. Sharpe would tell him he won the cancer lottery.
In the ED
As Max enters the ED, we expect to see Bloom, but instead encounter Dr. Candelario. Max freezes and we flashback to the day of the accident. Iggy takes Luna for an examination, Max finds Georgia, Bloom rolls by on a gurney in the care of Reynolds and the only one yet unaccounted is Helen Sharpe. Dr. Kapur orders CT scans of both George and Max and the flurry of activity buzzes in the background.
Max and Vijay are sill searching for Helen when Casey rolls a sheet covered gurney in. “It’s one of our own”. *Audience holds their collective breath* When Vijay pulls the sheet back, he reveals one of the firefighters who died on impact. Casey now wears the necklace of his fallen friend.
Helen comes in on a stretcher with a dislocated shoulder in a c-collar. Bloom is coding in the trauma room. This is is, we have our answer, right? Bloom dies. Not so fast…
Back in the present day, Max meets Alma, a diabetic who has been rationing her insulin due to costs. Dr. Candelario reports that Alms is the eighth diabetic this week. Alma’s story is not uncommon. Insulin costs $21 per vial when she was diagnosed. Today, it costs $250 per vial. She can’t afford to live.
Here’s Max’s plan: terminate the insulin contract with the pharmaceutical company and make their own insulin. It’s in the vein of Max’s typical crazy, but heroic approach, but can he execute it? Max is making room for the new lab. Chairwoman Brantley comes to visit Max after receiving an earful from the pharmaceutical company. Brantley isn’t backing down but Max usually doesn’t either. So given that she won’t let him manufacture insulin at the hospital and he can’t control prices from the pharmaceutical company, how will Max help?
He’ll throw a press conference and send a truck to Canada to get insulin. Chairwoman Brantley is beside herself trying to manage the pressures of the business of running a hospital and a game changer like her Medical Director, Max. How long do we think she will last? My bet is that she can take all Max can dish out.
Iggy has a crazy schedule and is feeling guilty because Martin is home with sick kids, head lice and nobody to watch them so he can see his patients. Before he walks back in the hospital, Iggy sees a homeless person in desperate need of shoes. So, he walks through the halls of the Dam in his Tweety Bird socks. Iggy is determined to handle his busy day and make it home by 7:00 to put the kids to bed. In his own words, “nothing is impossible”. Iggy Frome going home on time? I’m not sure I’d take that bet.
Iggy is working on fear with a group of children as part of his busy day. As he tries to help them imagine moving over their fears, he inadvertently becomes a jungle gym for the entire group. He helps a group of trans teens find their voice and feel seen. He even manages to get home just 5 minutes after 7:00. But Martin isn’t exhausted, the kids took care of each other and he and Iggy can share a quiet moment. That’s moment is when Iggy chooses to broach the subject to f adopting another kid.
Floyd Reynolds has his department running but is missing his fiancé. Evie is across the county and will be for another 2 weeks. Will Floyd survive it? He’s got it bad for Evie, but we love to see the successful Cardiothoracic surgeon so happy. On Nottingham’s report, he dismissed an intern from the program.
However, that intern, Michael Duke, is more like Floyd than we knew. He stands in the OR gallery and tells Dr. Reynolds exactly why he should stay and why in the future he will be coming for Reynold’s job. He is smart, skilled and willing to advocate and fight for himself. That’s someone you want on your team. It seems Reynolds recognizes that as well and he reinstates Mr. Duke and offers a mentorship of sorts. We know Floyd will be harder on Michael than others, but that is what you do when you recognize talent that needs to overcome obstacles. That is how tenacity is refined into passion and skill.
Vijay is looking for a way to stay relevant, cutting edge and prove that his age doesn’t mean he should just be a mentor. Outside his specialty he takes on a case of rheumatoid arthritis that hasn’t responded to treatment in two years. He makes quite the guarantee “I will help your rheumatoid arthritis today or I will retire.” (Please let him help, please let him help – I’m not ready to lose his mystery solving skills).
Vijay runs a battery of assessments on his patient and finds nothing. At the end of the day, he discusses life and experience with the patient when she mentions that she stopped going to the dentist years ago. Vijay solves the mystery. An abscessed tooth is impeding her treatment and exacerbating her symptoms. Whew! I’m glad Dr. Kapur doesn’t have to retire, we didn’t even get any scenes with our favorite friendship: Kapur and Iggy.
Dr. Sharpe has been out reporting on the research and the success of Max’s treatment and raising money. This sounds a lot like the Helen we met at the beginning of season 1. After an awkward interaction with Max, we see Helen lose her footing just a bit with Dr. Castro. Past sins (the scope of which we don’t yet know) come back to haunt Sharpe as she asks Castro to return to New Amsterdam. The only way Castro agrees is to be co-chair of Helen’s department. Either that or she walks on New Amsterdam and Max. It looks like Helen now has a department co-chair.
We may have seen Lauren flatline, but we must have forgotten the skilled hands of Dr. Floyd Reynolds. Lauren Bloom returns to the ER to a host of applause. She is using a cane to walk, and recovery is still in progress. Dr. Candelario hands responsibility of the ED back to the Bloom. Bloom is working through the pain with no medication. A scene on the roof tells us it is harder than we know but Helen is there to support Lauren and help in any way she can.
Then who died?
We’ve seen Georgia, Lauren, and Helen. But the promos said one wouldn’t make it. What’s happening? An exhausted Max returns to the apartment with Luna. He falls into bed and we see Georgia lying beside him. Remember in that first scene, when Max said it was always his turn? As it turns out, the Georgia we see is Max’s imagination. After the accident, the CT revealed that Georgia had a brain bleed. Dr. Hartman was unable to save Georgia. Max and Luna carry on, living life and beating the odds, minus one.
First, thanks for hanging in there. These won’t always be this long, but with the time jump it seemed important to catch up with everyone. It looks to me like the cast and crew are still running like a smooth machine. This episode was well crafted. Through the writers gave us the answer very early in the show, it was easy to miss and kept me engaged for the whole episode.
There will be plenty to unpack over the next episodes and ‘m sure the aftereffects hover over them all. I’m most glad that despite what must be a huge hole in his heart, Max is still Max. He wants to help, and he wants to fight for everyone. I think all of the actors brought the core of what we love back, and I couldn’t be more ready for my weekly visits back at the Dam. We’ll see you back here for our next appointment.
Until then, be sure to ask, “How can I help”?
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