New Amsterdam has made the world stop wondering why it got a three season renewal by delivering one of the most touching, emotional, and painful shows of the season.
I think sometimes we think that we don’t want/need shows that talk about life and death and the things in between. We don’t always want to talk about the end, because it’s hard.
But New Amsterdam isn’t afraid to go where it needs to go. It’s a show that embraces the good and the bad, the beautiful and the ugly, and most of all – it embraces humanity.
The doctors stop at nothing to help their patients, following a shocking realization that prompts a change in the hospital. Meanwhile, Reynolds must make an important decision in his career.
HAVE A HEART
It’s very rare that a TV show has me crying within the first 10 minutes, but this episode broke my heart.
I get that hospitals are a business – trust. I have a chronic illness and spend an insane amount of my time at NYU Langone. But, that being said, it has always saddened me that hospitals dump patients as they are worried about their mortality way.
We see a patient literally left at the front door of New Amsterdam, barely able to breathe, in her hospital gown, and in obvious pain.
We quickly learn that her heart transplant is failing. The other hospital dumped her on the doorstep and told her that it was because New Amsterdam was better equipped.
It’s hard to watch when you know that someone is going to die. It’s hard to watch someone accept that their life is ending and the people all around them look at them as though they are sorry.
The woman with the heart – her daughter comes and she wants to break skulls. She wants her Mom to live.
And that was triggering AF for me, because my Mom is gone. And I would want the same thing.
In the midst of the argument, the daughters water breaks, and the patient is excited that she is going to get to see her grandbaby. Seconds later she has no pulse.
Floyd wants to respect her choices – which involve a DNR. Lauren says that she would change her DNR if she could. They argue and Lauren breaks all sorts of ethics, by bringing her back to life.
I get why Lauren did what she did, but she deserves to be fired for what she did too. There are a million reasons that you should respect peoples choices and Floyd tells her all the reasons why.
The patient does get to see her grand baby before she dies. And after her first look, she closes her eyes and passes.
I am a mess.
I think that life is always about the what if’s and the what could be. But the truth is, we’ll never know all the reasons. We just have to trust that the choices that we make are what is best and that we can live with the consequences. But we also have to remember that others have to live with our consequences too.
A WILL TO LIVE
Max is Max. He’s got this heart that does nothing but give and that’s one of the most beautiful things about him.
After finding out that New Amsterdam has been dumping patients, Max goes to get them. No one is going to pass without having a dignified death on their terms on his watch.
Now, I hate hospitals. I hate them with a passion. But I also think that Max bringing them back to New Amsterdam and finding a plan to be there for them is one of the kindest things in the world.
Here’s the thing about dying – you find all the reasons that you want to live. You look at life differently. And you make others look at life differently.
Max teams the doctors up with a person that is passing away. It’s their job to make each one of them more comfortable.
Each doctor is presented with their own challenges.
Iggy’s patient asks to see his Dad, whom he hasn’t seen in 12 years. This seems right up Iggy’s alley. He’s gonna be able to make a dying wish come true.
What he doesn’t realize is that the patient wants to tell his father that he hates him. I think that sometimes we all feel a sense of hate and it’s fine. It’s normal. But hate doesn’t mean that you don’t love. Do I agree with what happened? No. But do I think that Iggy helping him through at the very end was necessary.
And the way Iggy helped his father recover from the final words – or at the very least learn to deal with them was so important. I think that death is never easy, living with the things we did is never easy.
But I digress.
Max found a floor that wasn’t being used, and hired his patient to be his executive assistant. She’s a tiger – someone that really needed to be productive and make a difference. All too often in life, we think that people who are sick and dying need to rest. But what they need is to live.
See, when you’re faced with the prospect of the prospect of life ending, you remember all the things that you wanted to live for. You look at life a different way.
And Max takes the time to hear what they are saying – WHICH IS SOOOO IMPORTANT.
Dr. Kappor has his own patient, who is closed off emotionally. She wants to die alone, because that’s the way she lived her life. She’s felt invisible and doesn’t want to burden anyone.
He suggests a living wake, and she says no. But then he pushes it and she does have one.
Here’s the thing I love about him – HE LISTENS. Doctors listening is so important. It’s him listening that makes him see she’s not dying. Her symptoms were misdiagnosed.
I mean – that’s a pretty big mistake. He apologizes for putting her in that situation, because LORD SHE SAID SOME STUFF, but she says that it was the best day of her life.
We spend so much of our time holding our feelings in, that when we finally let them out, sometimes it’s an explosion of feelings that we can’t hold in. But it’s freeing and life changing and sometimes makes us remember that we should be living and not just existing.
Death and its prospects changed everyone at New Amsterdam and I am here for it all.
When the chair of the board of directors, Karen Brantley, tells Max that they don’t have the money to pay for this – Max internally freaks. He thought that they had a five million dollar donation, but she informs him that man never follows through.
So Max devises a plan and calls in a bunch of press to put him on the hook. He has him the check in front of the press so he’s on the hook.
Max is always willing to do whatever it takes to get him patients the help they need and I appreciate that about him. It’s inspiring.
And hey, New Amsterdam gets what they need.
I’ll take it.
I’LL TAKE THAT JOB
We all know that Floyd has been trying to figure out if her wants to go to San Francisco. He’s giving up his life and the way that he lives it for the woman that he loves.
Lauren pushes him the edge when she tells him that he doesn’t belong, after he calls her on her bullshit and her breaking all sorts of ethical rules. Lauren was out of line.
But I will say this – I don’t think that Floyd would make such an impulsive decision, especially based on hurt feelings.
MAX & HELEN ARE THE SLOW BURN
Vulnerability can be a gift. It’s a scary gift, but it’s necessary for our evolution.
Max and Helen are finding their way and want to be there for each other. They are the best of friends, but it’s soooo obvious that they both want more.
But for now, each of them have to find their way through their own shit. Max needs to forgive himself and in a way Helen needs to forgive herself. They both need to let themselves off the hook.
At the end of the day, Helen asks Max what he wants when he passes.
Helen: Max, you’ve got to forgive yourself.
Max: I figured if I could prepare everyone else, I could.
Helen: And? What do you want when the time comes?
Max: You don’t have to.
Helen: Well, someone should know.
Max: Luna, by my side. Singing to me, even if I can’t hear it. I want to know that she’s there. How about you?
Max admitted in this episode that he favors Helen. Him admitting it was something I think that he needed to do in order to forgive himself a little and open up his heart.
Max has been through the ringer. His heart hurts. He doesn’t know what there is anymore besides pain.
But little by little he’s letting those walls down and letting Helen in. And that reminds him of what it’s like to be alive.