‘New Amsterdam’ 1×02 Review: Rituals

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I can’t even start this review without gushing over Ryan Eggold! He is so good as Dr. Max Goodwin, and gives me real Doug Ross (George Clooney on ER) vibes. I’ll admit to being bitter about Eggold’s demise on The Blacklist,but he is being treated so much better on New Amsterdam, though he’ll always be Tom Bond to me. His new catchphrase is pretty good though: “How can I help?”

In the pilot, we only got a little bit of Dr. Helen Sharpe (Freema Agyeman), but she was outstanding this week in “Rituals.” I’m now guilty of shipping Dr. Sharpe and Dr. Goodwin even though he has a complicated marriage and is expecting his first child. But their banter is so good and their chemistry!

Even though The Last Ship is ending, Jocko Sims is already filling that void with his role on this show as the cynical yet fun Dr. Floyd Reynolds. He played Burk on the TNT drama, one of my favorites, so it’s nice to already have a new place to see one of my actors.

Let me break this down further:

Dr. Frome and the over medicated child

Dr. Iggy Frome (Tyler Labine) is faced with a young boy who is on so many meds at age ten, he’s developed insomnia and type 2 diabetes. Frome teams up with Dr. Kapoor (Anupam Kher) to take the boy off all of the drugs. I loved this team up! Dr. Frome is really good for Dr. Kapoor and I see them having a really good friendship as the show goes forward. I also really loved the message from this subplot. Some kids do need a lot of meds to keep them level, but some just need to talk and New Amsterdam is about putting the patient first.

 

Dr. Sharpe and patient care

Last week Dr. Goodwin gave Dr. Sharpe an ultimatum. She had to return to the hospital or not come back at all. Luckily for me, she returned and this week we saw her interact with two cancer patients. I felt my own heart breaking as I watched Sharpe listen to her female patient who’d lost her hair and had that sickly look to her. The woman wished she’d done her nails since she was meeting the real Dr. Helen. Sharpe had to leave the room but later, she painted the woman’s nails and it melted my heart and shot her up to a favorite character position (This was also my runner up for favorite scene).

Sharpe’s other patient, in this episode, was Goodwin (his throat cancer was revealed in the pilot). He doesn’t look like the suffering woman because he’s avoiding his diagnosis giving Sharpe two very different types of people. Their interactions always leave me wanting more even though I like Goodwin’s wife, but I’m not above starting to brainstorm ship names.

Dr. Reynolds and Rituals

Dr. Reynolds is a heart surgeon and his patient, Jozette, needs her literal broken heart repaired. Her family wants to perform a ritual called Gad Ko (they make a cut in her skin and put in blessed herbs) but Reynolds will have none of it. I felt Reynolds side of the story because an open wound in the OR is just asking for a post op infection. However, I also know that religious or cultural beliefs must be respected, and the Gad Ko would protect her from accidents.

I absolutely adored how the show forced Reynolds to allow Jozette’s family to perform their ritual! They couldn’t even move her stretcher without causing her heart to fail, and all the factors brought him around. Reynolds has his own pre-surgery rituals but to him, they’re normal like routine. He’s an in the box (has to have control) character, but I’m really excited to see how that changes, especially with Dr. Bloom (Janet Montgomery) around. The show wants me to ship Bloom and Reynolds, but I’m not sure I’m there yet.

Verdict

My biggest issue last week was that there were too many stories to keep up with. I am happy to report that this was not the case for episode two. New Amsterdam focused on a few subplots to operate around Goodwin and it worked. In fact, it worked really, really well! I love the characters and they way they all challenge each other to be better doctors and people. This show makes me happy and, sometimes, a little fluff in life is not a bad thing.

I enjoy that this show makes me see good in people and that it’s not overly dramatic. The cast works really well together, even in just a second episode. I’m pretty sure New Amsterdam is my favorite of the new Fall shows. It’s filled with heart and, in the world we live in, we could use an hour of heart in our lives. I know I could.

Favorite Scene

I loved the opening of the episode, once again. Watching Ryan Eggold talk to his unborn baby before breaking into song was a real treat. I’ve known he can sing for a while but this is the first time I’ve gotten to enjoy it on a show. His song segued into the real song for a montage of him walking around helping anywhere he can. My favorite was his dance moves trying to get the board to think of good ideas to help him fix the hospital. And then the scene moved back to him singing, slowing it all back down. This scene was so well done and a great way to start the show! I’m going to be heartbroken when his cancer starts to take a toll on him.

Check out next week’s promo! New Amsterdam airs on NBC, Tuesdays at 10/9c.





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