New Amsterdam 3×03 “Safe Enough” remains firmly in the after, in the now, in the trying to figure out how to go on living with this pandemic that isn’t yet over, but that now looks like it could be, at least manageable, soon. Because yes, maybe the worst part of it is over, people are starting to get vaccinated, and in general we don’t have to worry about the most vulnerable among us as much as we did at the beginning … but that doesn’t mean we’re out of this. Not by a longshot.
And I’m not even talking just about the disease, the ever-present fear of catching it, of dying, of drowning when we’re so close to the shore. I’m also talking about the mental aspect, about the trying to find normality in a world that might never return to the thing we once knew as normal.
That’s the core of the struggle of New Amsterdam 3×03 “Safe Enough,” and it’s a struggle that feels as personal as anything else this show has done. Max doesn’t think the hospital is safe. Helen doesn’t think anything is safe. And we all understand that. Because things are not safe, not 100%, and it probably won’t be for a while. But even when it is, will it feel safe? Can we ever get back to that feeling?
I’m not sure, and neither are the doctors at New Amsterdam. All they know, all we know is that we can’t stop living. We can’t shut down, and we can’t stop trying, because if we do, we might lose so many other important things …we might lose ourselves, and the people we love. And trying might not be easy, but what else are we going to do? Give up?
So, let’s talk about the issues raised by New Amsterdam 3×03 “Safe Enough,” and let’s try to find the path forward, together.
It always felt like Floyd Reynolds was meant to return to New Amsterdam, or that we were meant to follow him. His story wasn’t over, couldn’t have been over. There was just so much more explore. And since the real pandemic changed so much of the TV landscape, it seems like the answer, for now, is for the show to bring him back, in the only way it could, by making his return about himself, about family.
The pandemic has changed everyone’s priorities, so it seems absolutely on brand that Floyd would decide his place is in New Amsterdam, in New York, near his mother, who needs him. But the fact that he was able to make a decision like that, it also speaks to the relationship he had with Evie, the life he’d been living, and what he was willing to give up.
Because there was never a talk about trying to make it work long-term, there was just …goodbye. Like that was the obvious conclusion. And if saying goodbye is that easy, then saying goodbye is probably the right then, as sad as it might seem.
I’m glad to have Floyd back, I’m not going to lie. I would have followed him to a possible spin-off, but I’d rather he be here to balance things out. It will sure be fun to see his dynamics with Dr. Shin. Max shouldn’t be the only one butting heads with people around here! But all in all, it’s a little bit sad that the show invested so long into a storyline, and a relationship that was so easy to break up, so easy to let go of. It might be a fictional relationship, and not exactly the OTP this show was built around, but that doesn’t make it any less sad.
WE CAN’T STOP LIVING
This episode basically reinforces why Sharpwin works, why the relationship between these two is the emotional center of this show. It isn’t a romantic thing, though of course, it can – and will probably turn into that. It’s about two people who have, in each other, found their other half. The one person who challenges them, the one person who never coddles them, never lies. The one person who makes them see the opposite point of view, makes them consider things they never would have.
You know, that thing we like to call a soulmate.
Max doesn’t listen to anyone. He’s stubborn, and opinionated, and he’s so sure he’s right that he never tries to see anyone else’s point of view. Except Helen’s. Even when he’s angry, even when he disagrees, he always gives her the benefit of the doubt. He always tries to understand her. And he always ends up taking her words into account, because he respects her opinion, he trusts her instincts.
Helen, on the other hand, is all heart. She pretends like she isn’t, she likes to keep her armor up, and with everyone else but Max, it kinda works. She doesn’t let them see her, because she doesn’t trust the people in her life to truly see her, and appreciate her, her words, her thoughts. But she trusts Max, completely, with everything she is. Everything she wants.
I find nothing more romantic than that, even if their relationship is not outwardly romantic yet. There might be (okay, try definitely are) feelings there, but I understand why now might not be the time to test out those waters. I don’t need it to be now, I don’t need them to rush. They are already the most important person in each other’s lives. They are already each other’s better half.
The rest is icing on the cake, and we all love icing, but we’ll eat the cake first, right? The foundation has to be solid or the icing is kind of pointless. And these two are building as solid a foundation as it’s possible to build.
Here’s to that.
Things I think I think
- Max telling Floyd “We’re here for you” kinda gave me the feels.
- The whole bit with Max and Luna’s video was kind of hilarious. Helen, predictably, didn’t lie to him or coddle him. Iggy, on the other hand, backed down quicker than quick.
- How could anyone think Max would actually be good at this PSA?
- “Covid has caused an epidemic of loneliness.” This hits hard because it’s true. We’ve all felt it, up to a point.
- Reynolds is never leaving, right?
- Lauren has never been great at stopping and giving people the benefit of the doubt, but I hope she can learn a lesson about making snap judgments about people.
- Floyd’s mom whole “This is me thrilled” might have been the best moment of the episode.
- Sometimes Max holds Helen on such a pedestal it’s uncomfortable. And yet, when push comes to shove, he always remembers to care more than judge. That’s why we forgive him.
- Dear God, Helen has turned into Max. And I mean this in the best possible way. They’ve made each other better, they’ve helped each other balance.
- “We’ve been living in a dystopian nightmare.”
- Releasing Helen’s meltdown does sound like a Max thing to do, but it’s not a thing Max would do to Helen.
- Can we keep Lauren’s new friend?
- I just want to hug Iggy.
- Okay, so Floyd is staying, no one’s surprised.
What did you think about New Amsterdam 3×03 “Safe Enough”? Share with us in the comments below!