New Amsterdam 3×05 “Blood, Sweat & Tears” is a struggle of an episode. Not for us, the viewers, but for the characters, who all find themselves having a really hard time in ways that aren’t always familiar, but that feel real to us. For Iggy it’s processing his disease and accepting that he needs help, for Max it’s processing Helen’s new relationship with Cassian, and for Floyd it’s processing his new place in New Amsterdam.
We’ll focus mostly on Max, because New Amsterdam 3×05 “Blood, Sweat & Tears” puts Sharpwin back in the line of sight the only way it could, by focusing on Max’s awkwardness at the notion that Helen is dating Cassian. I say the only way, because we’ve already seen this from the other side, from Helen’s POV, and if this relationship that isn’t a relationship was ever going to actually start on the path towards, you know, actually becoming a relationship at some point, Max’s comfortable existence needed to be shaken a little bit.
By comfortable, of course, I just mean in regards to his relationship with Helen. Max doesn’t have a comfortable life, or an easy life. He’s lost a lot, and he’s sacrificed a lot, and he’s trying, really hard, to change things, to keep things going, to do better. He’s always trying. And he leans on Helen because he knows that she’s always going to be there for him, his safe port in a storm. The problem is that he’s so used to it that he’s started taking her for granted, at least a little bit.
The truth is, yes, Helen will always be there for Max – work wise. And she will always be his friend. But she cannot, she should not be required to be his emotional crutch as he figures out the kind of life he can let himself have post-Georgia. Helen deserves a fully life, one filled with love and new beginnings, and that’s why she must absolutely give this thing with Cassian a try.
It’s not about if it will work on not, or God forbid, about “waking Max up,” it’s about respecting characters enough to understand that they don’t exist to service a ship, and that if a ship is ever – in the future – going to work, those characters, those people, have to go into it with a foundation of putting their own needs first. You love yourself first, and that should be the foundation.
Max cares for Helen, and he respects her, and he had a lot of things he was probably thinking of, and maybe even considering saying in that conversation at the end of the episode. Except now’s not the time. Not unless he’s absolutely sure of what he wants, and is ready to actually go for it. Otherwise, he just needs to sit there, put on his sad face and respect Helen enough to let her take her own journey.
I enjoy New Amsterdam a lot, and though in a lot of shows my enjoyment is tied to a ship, this isn’t one of those shows. I enjoy Max and Helen together, and yes, I want them to get to that place, I want to see them as a couple …but I’m just not sure I necessarily want that right now. It feels like if this show actually takes that step before they’re both ready, we’re just in for a world of pain, and I’d rather not have that.
Their time will come, I believe. This is TV, after all. In the meantime, I still get to enjoy these characters, these storylines, this show that, even on an episode like this one, without any big things happening, still does a great job of keeping me entertained. That’s a rarity on TV.
Check back with me at the end of the season if this storyline is still going nowhere, but for now? I’m good. I can wait for Sharpwin. I’m patient.
Things I think I think:
- I cannot tell you how glad I am that they aren’t just dropping Iggy’s issues with weight, that it wasn’t just a one-and-done-storyline that they bring up every once in a while for two seconds. I didn’t really expect them to, but a part of me was still afraid, and this storyline means too much to me.
- “Not in the technical sense, no.” LOL, Max.
- “I’ve narrowed it down to vampires, or a global pandemic.” HAHAHAHA.
- “I love your enthusiasm, but…” is LITERALLY the Max/Helen relationship.
- Lauren, I love you, and I know you’re trying, but your privilege is showing so badly.
- Max’s FACE when he walks into Helen’s office. His FACE.
- I can write an entire 1K fic off that face. And the way he lost his words afterwards. And the way Helen couldn’t stop looking at the door.
- We’re all trying to like Cassian here, but he isn’t exactly making it easy.
- Max, could you be more awkward?
- The puppies would work on me! As would the food.
- Season 3 Floyd Reynolds might be my favorite Floyd Reynolds.
- “I lie to hide my pain. I do it every day.”
- Have I told you all how much I love Helen Sharpe?
- Did I tear up with Agnes? I teared up with Agnes.
- This long overdue Max/Helen convo was a very good first step. Also, again, Max’s face is A+ angsty face.
Agree? Disagree? What did you think of New Amsterdam 3×05 “Blood, Sweat & Tears”? Share with us in the comments below!
New Amsterdam airs Tuesdays on NBC.