New Amsterdam 4×10 “Death is the Rule. Life is the Exception” is about choices and consequences. This is a crucial combination. This show has examined both at different times, but in this episode, the show truly focuses on the consequences of each character’s actions, as everyone takes a step forward into a future that looks much better for some than it does for others.
For Max, that future is not just Helen, though it is. That future is putting what Max wants before what other needs. For Helen, on the other hand, that future is a world where she is someone’s priority, someone’s first choice. For Floyd, however, that future is a baby in less-than-ideal circumstances, for Lauren that future is once again being alone, while for Iggy that future is …more drama of the kind the actor that plays him doesn’t like.
Ironically, we see the consequences of Floyd and Lauren’s actions in this episode, and the setup for what looks to be Iggy’s disastrous decisions coming, but for Max and Helen, all is well. No, all is better than well, all is …happy. London awaits, as everyone involved with the show promised us. And tough we in no way, shape or form, believe this is the last those two have seen of New Amsterdam, we’re very, very excited about this part of their journey, together.
YOU TRIED TO OWN ME
It’s hard not to feel for both Leyla and Lauren as the consequences of Lauren’s decision in last year’s season finale finally come knocking. Because, deep down, despite Leyla’s rage, I don’t believe Lauren did this wholly for herself. Yes, I think a big part of her was selfish, she couldn’t think of life without Leyla, she didn’t want to, not when she was finally starting to feel happy and safe …so she acted. But there was also the fact that she genuinely thought Leyla deserved it, and she wanted to give her that.
The problem, of course, is that as much as Lauren sees it as a no-strings-attached situation, there are so many strings. They might be invisible for Lauren, because she’s the one in a position of power, but Leyla, she sees the strings. She feels the weight of all she owes Lauren, and that weight is so heavy it’s almost impossible for her to sort out what else she feels outside of that. And that, coupled with understandable anger is just …too much.
But as hard as it is to fully blame Lauren for this, it’s also downright impossible to blame Leyla for being angry. The relationship between Leyla and Lauren has been anything but equal so far, and honestly, they needed to get this out in the open if their dynamics were ever going to move forward into the place they needed to be at. So much of what they’ve had so far has been, yes, two people suddenly discovering they enjoy being together, but also …one person who owes the other one, well, everything.
Who is Leyla outside of Lauren? What can she do? I don’t know, and neither does she, and I don’t think it’s unfair of her to want to figure that out. It sucks for Lauren, yes, but this isn’t about Lauren. She didn’t do it for herself, she said. She did it for Leyla. And what Leyla needs right now is space. And perhaps, what Lauren needs is …to face this type of heartbreak and realize she can get through it. She is strong enough.
I don’t think this is the end of this couple, not by a long shot, but I do think this is exactly what they need if they are going to become the powerhouse couple we want them and need them to be. From here on out they can build a much stronger relationship, one of equals. And I’m happy to be along for that ride.
FROM IT’S ALREADY COMPLICATED TO IT’S GONNA BE COMPLICATED
Floyd and Iggy seem like two sides of the same coin in New Amsterdam 4×10 “Death is the Rule. Life is the Exception,” Floyd’s complication is already alive and well – ha, literally – while Iggy apparently looked around and went oh, I haven’t done something ill advised to threaten my marriage in a while, how about I do this?
I haven’t been a big fan of this Floyd storyline, to say the least. That’s probably because I really like Floyd, and I wanted better for him. I wanted him to be appreciated for who he was. I wanted a storyline that at least promised some happiness, and this didn’t seem to be it. It still doesn’t seem to be it. But I will admit this is an interesting turn to it that I didn’t quite expect.
Consequences, yes, but is it the type of consequences Floyd is going to hate? I anticipate we still have a big is he the father storyline to go through, not to mention the assumption that the husband is the father even if Floyd is, but I happen to think Floyd would make a great father. That’s one thing I’m sure of. And even if this doesn’t end up being his time, well …perhaps it might lead him to realize what he wants out of life.
Then there’s Iggy, who literally seems to like living on the edge, making bad choices. Life has been too quiet this season, so hey why not make some bad decisions? Of all people Iggy should understand why he shouldn’t do the things he does, and often, he is the one to verbalize why he shouldn’t …and then he does it. And keeps on sticking with the bad decision, even when he knows better. Ironically, this decision is going to affect his marriage, and it’s going to bring his relationship with David to the forefront, even if some people think New Amsterdam isn’t, shouldn’t be that kind of show.
I can’t say I’m looking forward to it. Floyd and Iggy have been two characters I’ve struggled with this season, but if New Amsterdam 4×10 “Death is the Rule. Life is the Exception” is to be believed, one might be trending up and the other one …well, the other one not so much.
There’s so much to say about Sharpwin this episode, starting from the way they work seamlessly together, to they way they both deeply care, in ways that make them put everyone before themselves. That’s why they delay their flight. That’s why they work so hard to solve the problem. That’s why Max considers staying – and I believe he does; he wouldn’t be Max if he didn’t, just as Helen wouldn’t be Helen if she didn’t take the job in London. But I want to focus on the scene at the end, because that scene reaffirms the journey of Sharpwin in season 4, as well as the journey of Max and Helen as separate people.
“Burden me” has always been their thing. Don’t do it alone. I’m here for you. I will help you carry the burden. Burden. Me. Except when Helen says it at the end, Max realizes he doesn’t want to. This isn’t about that. Helen knows his heart, and she knows what she’s thinking, what he’s feeling. She understands his doubts. And he doesn’t want to burden her with what she already knows. Instead, he wants to choose something else. He wants to choose her.
But Max’s choice is more about him than it is about Helen. He’s wanted to choose her for a while, he just finally allowed himself to. And this goes beyond Helen, to the heart of who Max is as a person. He’s someone who thinks that his entire worth is tied into how he can help, and as great as he is at that, that’s not all he is. Or, at least, it shouldn’t be. And the journey of Max in New Amsterdam, from long before his romantic relationship with Helen started, has been about that.
About getting to this point. Not just about choosing Helen, but about choosing his own happiness over others.
His doubts in that moment …they’re not about her. They’re about himself. About the person he can be if he isn’t the guy who fixes everything. About the partner he can be for a woman like Helen. Because Max has failed before at being a good partner for a woman he loves, and the one thing he hasn’t failed at is the thing he’s leaving at New Amsterdam.
But he makes the choice. He takes that leap. Not to burden Helen, but to lift her up. And that’s exactly what we wanted from him.
Perhaps more importantly, it’s what Helene needed. Someone to choose her. We all have our issues, and the reasons for those issues are uniquely personal. For Helen, her biggest thing is this feeling that no matter what, she will never be enough to be someone’s priority. She can be respected, and loved, but will she ever someone’s priority? And that has been her fear with Max, a valid fear, if you ask me, from the beginning.
Could Max truly choose what he wanted and in turn make her a priority? The answer, for a split second, seemed like it was going to be now. And then …it wasn’t. Then it was everything we wanted, everything they wanted. And exactly what this show needed going into hiatus.
Cheers to Sharpwin, and to whatever this show is bringing in the second half of this season. We’re all in.
Agree? Disagree? What did you think of New Amsterdam 4×10 “Death is the Rule. Life is the Exception”?