New Amsterdam 4×02 “We’re In This Together” is, indeed, about Sharpwin. But deep down, it’s also about partnership, and even more generally, about teamwork. About the team of people you surround yourself with, the ones who become your people, and of course, about the partner you choose to face this life with. From the outside looking in, those look like monumental choices, but for the team at New Amsterdam there’s nothing more obvious.
Even if Iggy somehow missed the Helen and Max of it all.
These choices don’t mean an absence of fear, no. They just mean making decisions despite that fear and trusting that the person you’re placing your faith in won’t leave you alone out on a ledge. That they won’t let you fall. And Max, the same Max who has always, always tried, but who has never known how to put anyone over the hospital, anyone over his job, finally managed just that.
Which, of course, leaves his friend, his team and the hospital, in a weird place. And though I wasn’t sure how this was going to go after the first episode, I now have the feeling that we will indeed see Max and Helen move to London, that we will see dual storylines for a bit. And somehow, probably by season’s end, we will see this team of people come back together, more like the family they’ve become.
So let’s talk about Sharpwin, Iggy’s projecting and the way this hour deals with the burnout in the medical community as we review New Amsterdam 4×02 “We’re In This Together”:
That Helen confided her fears in Max isn’t a bad thing, in fact, it’s the best thing possible for their relationship. And Helen’s fears …they’re not coming out of nowhere. We tend to get defensive over Max as a character because he’s deep down a really good guy, trying to do good, and he loves so very deeply. We know that, we’ve seen it. But Max is also the same man who was never truly capable of finding a balance with Georgia, to the detriment of his marriage, and someone we haven’t seen put anyone over the hospital during the entire run of New Amsterdam.
His decisions have rarely been selfish – sending Luna away during the worst of the covid surge, for example, that was the smart thing to do. But when Helen is talking to Max about balance, she’s not really worried that he’s going to hand her out to dry willingly, or maliciously. She’s telling him what she needs …a fully committed partner, and by that she doesn’t mean committed to moving, or even to her, but committed to this partnership they’re creating together. To this life they’re going to build, as a unit. And she’s asking if he can indeed be that for her.
Max’s response is clear, and unequivocal. He’s putting it all on the line for Helen, and if someone’s gonna fall of that ledge, it’s gonna be him. But he’s willing to take that fall, for her. Because this is a different Max than the one who made those mistakes with his previous marriage. And love . ..love heals.
That phrase doesn’t just mean heals from grief, and from pain and from the immense burden both Max and Helen have been under, but it can mean something so much bigger. Because it isn’t about Helen healing Max or even Max healing Helen, it’s about making the decision to heal together, no matter what. That’s the greatest thing love can do for you …not fix you, much less make it so someone else can, but instead create the environment where you can heal, and perhaps even help someone else heal as well.
Is this season going to be easy for Max and Helen? Surely not – this show is called New Amsterdam and we all know that means that London cannot be the “happily ever after” they think it will be. But I’m not longer as worried about what this season brings for them as a couple. If they continue to communicate, and face the issues that the world throws at them together, well …the rest, the rest will fall into place, one way or another, and we will enjoy watching, one way or another.
The fact that I continue to find Iggy enjoyable remains a mystery to me, but I do, partly because the show is always very, very good at pointing out Iggy’s flaws. That’s what makes him such an easy character to relate to. In this episode Iggy allows his fears, his own bad decisions, to make him into the worst teacher possible. He isn’t helping his students, even if he’s doling out good advice. He’s making them feel unprepared, when he was supposed to be lifting them up.
Iggy has made mistakes with patients, and we’ve been privy to a lot of them. And Iggy’s students will surely make the same, or different ones. No one is perfect, not even our therapists. But Iggy has to find a way to support and guide that still allows his students to be themselves, and to help. Because the thing about Iggy is that …he has helped much more than he has hurt others. And though right now he may not be able to see it, that’s what can make him a really good teacher, if he stops trying to control everything.
Though maybe he, or Lauren, or anyone should step in and ask Floyd what in the world he’s doing? Lauren, probably, as I’ve truly come to enjoy their friendship and she would, indeed, be the one to say it, just as she was the one to point out that, no matter what, Floyd’s going to come out of this situation hurt. And though I’m really glad this storyline is allowing us to see more of Floyd, and giving Jocko a chance to smile and play a happy guy again, I’m just worried about the fallout, because that’s coming …for sure.
Same goes for Lauren and Leyla and the way Leyla’s spot was secured, but for now …I’m willing to forget that and just, enjoy how amazing they are together, and how much this relationship has made both of them better. We still don’t know that much about Leyla, but we’ve seen her open up right in front of us, and we know enough of Lauren to understand that the light she carries now, that happiness? That hasn’t been easy to come by. And when the fallout comes, well …we will deal. For now? We only celebrate.
We will surely have other things to worry about, as I fear the Max and Helen storyline might end up tying back to something this episode does a really good job of portraying, which is the burnout in the medical community post-covid. We all lived through a nightmare made of fear and isolation, but doctors were on the front lines of a war that most of us didn’t even get to go out into the field of. And they were there not for weeks, or months, but for over a year. They’re tired, they’re emotionally scarred and they want …they want a break. They deserve one.
Except people keep getting sick, covid still hasn’t fully left, and there are no breaks. So, how do we go on? How do they go on? There are no easy answers, but I’m glad New Amsterdam is asking the questions, if nothing more as a reminder for us of the sacrifices made by the people who were putting their lives at risk so we could stay home.
Things I think I think:
- I will take an entire episode like the opening of this episode, I ain’t gonna lie.
- hahahaha Luna’s grandparents, that’s gonna go swimmingly, I bet.
- Casey IS the fandom and the fandom IS Casey.
- But oh, Iggy not seeing it is …probably the best sign that Iggy isn’t paying all the attention he says he is.
- Did Floyd forget he was having an affair or what?
- Max going into this rant about love as he was trying to explain the lack of doctors truly says a lot. Particularly the words he used “put love before” everything else.
- The best reaction to Sharpwin had to be Floyd’s “weren’t they already a thing?”
- See, people in the hospital DID think this.
- The way they all stayed in the ICU and helped? Like, I know it likely wouldn’t have gone so smoothly in real life, but I enjoyed my fantasy.
- Gladys the MVP of the episode.
- I liked Lauren’s solution to Leyla’s problem, though at some point Leyla’s just gonna have to be like, yeah I have this girlfriend, she’s amazing, I’m still here to work, though. I don’t think this is going to solve problems the way they think it is.
Agree? Disagree? What did you think of New Amsterdam 4×02 “We’re In This Together”? Share with us in the comments below!
New Amsterdam airs Tuesdays on NBC.