New Amsterdam 4×06 “Laughter and Hope and a Sock in the Eye” is an episode about love. The love that makes you feel better, the love that helps you stay afloat, the love that keeps you whole and sometimes, the love that doesn’t. We see different kinds of love this episode, and the decisions people make because of that love, and they range from good to bad, to horrible, with all that’s in between.
Because love is amazing, yes, but as a justification for decisions …it doesn’t make any of the decisions we make better or worse. The decisions are still what they are, love notwithstanding.
Yes, I’m looking at you Floyd. I’m looking, and I’m side-eyeing, and I will probably continue side-eyeing this storyline for as long as its a thing, which sadly seems like it’s going to be a good long while. Jocko Sims deserves better. Floyd Reynolds deserves better. And we, the fans deserve better.
But not all the decisions showcased in this episode are bad. Some, like with Iggy’s patients, are about reclaiming a sense of self. Love is an easy thing to feel and often a hard thing to maintain, because maintaining love is about hard work and about decisions. And sometimes we might make the wrong ones, but everyone deserves a chance to try. That might sometimes mean getting it wrong, and it will certainly mean faltering, and doubting, but there’s nothing sadder than never trying at all.
Then there’s Lauren’s patients, two people who’ve sacrificed everything for each other. And yes, love is sometimes sacrifice, but the message there isn’t that — the message is that, sometimes, love is about making the hard decisions for both, even if those decisions require giving up a bit of control.
Finally, New Amsterdam 4×06 “Laughter and Hope and a Sock in the Eye” is, above all things, about the love Max and Helen have for each other, a love that they’ve already confessed, and a love this show has taken great care to not just show us, but to grow. Sharpwin is, in many ways, a rom-com couple, and yet they’re better than that, they’re a real couple, because they’re not perfect. They don’t have it all figured out. And they don’t always make the right decisions.
Sometimes they keep things from each other that they probably shouldn’t. And, no, I’m not actually defending that, I just understand how hard it is to be in a relationship. You don’t lose your sense of self, or your hang-ups as soon as you decide to love someone. If anything, the things that make you afraid intensify. The more you have to lose the easier it is to fear.
But Max and Helen are not letting those fears, are not letting their own mistakes, be final. Above all things, they’re choosing to try, every day. They’re choosing to trust each other. They’re betting on what they have together, which has always been a partnership of equals.
And that means, yes, that Helen’s gonna be a parent. That means that, perhaps, they might not be hanging of any bridges together for the time being, but that’s okay. Sometimes growing up means you don’t actually want to hang off bridges with people. It means you want to soothe a kid as she wakes up and prepare her lunch. It means you want to be part of family time. It means you want the quiet nights on the couch.
It means you want to be part of something. A unit. A family.
For a few weeks, I’ve been waiting for New Amsterdam to go here. Because the final piece of the puzzle was this, not just Max and Helen as partners, which they’ve been forever, or lovers, which they’ve been for a few episodes, or a committed couple, which they basically started being the second they got together, but as a family. It could be no other way, not with their backstory, not with Max’s family life, and not with the decision they’re making together.
The Sharpwin era has been, perhaps, a bit bumpier than I envisioned, but if the bumps take us her, towards growth, towards facing difficulties together, and towards moving forward, then I’ll take it. We’ll take it.
Things I think I think:
- DOMESTIC SHARPWIN IS ALL I WANTED.
- Would happily accept an entire episode of the two of them and Luna. One of the reasons I hope they do end up in London, at least for a time, is that I want to see those dynamics. I really do.
- Give me Helen and Luna bonding, or give me …wait, no, give me that.
- The way Max describes where the bread goes, I swear to God …it’s all so funny.
- Petty King Max is my aesthetic.
- SAY YES TO EVERYTHING, MAX.
- Like leaving a list was gonna stop him.
- Yes, confessing to your affair is truly the best idea, Floyd. A+ plan.
- Lauren is fun lately. Happiness becomes her. This is, of course, gonna go to hell sooner rather than later, but I’m enjoying it while it lasts.
- “If it’s not impossible, it’s worth the risk.”
- The Sharpwin road has been bumpy, but I truly appreciate the show not dropping their respective issues.
- I especially appreciate when those issues as Helen’s, not just because Freema, but also because …characters like Max get much of a chance in the spotlight.
- Casey is so hot these days.
- “We never thought about things, we just did them”/”Seems like you miss that.”
- The IRONY of Tyler getting THIS storyline. And championing LOVE. The irony.
- I thought we didn’t want this show to be about relationships?
- MAX JUST WANTS TO MAKE HER HAPPY.
- SHE JUST WANTS A PARTNERSHIP.
- PARENT, HE SAID. HELEN AS LUNA’S PARENT.
- I’M IN PERMANENT CAPS LOCK MODE.
- The way she kisses his nose.
- The way he kisses her back.
- The TENDERNESS these two actors bring to a relationship that we already know can be super hot, as well. That’s the superior chemistry, right there.
Agree? Disagree? What did you think of New Amsterdam 4×06 “Laughter and Hope and a Sock in the Eye”? Share with us in the comments below!
New Amsterdam airs Tuesdays at 10/9c on NBC.