As expected we have reached a point in New Amsterdam where I don’t dislike Max nearly as much as I did when this show started. His edges have been smoothed and his manic energy toned down enough that it finally makes sense why he should be the lead of a medical drama. He’s a lot more sympathetic and now that he’s had time to settle into the hospital he’s a little more chill than before. For now the show is firing on all but one cylinder and the final one will start up only once we lose Georgia who’s name I forgot for fully half the episode.
There’s a couple moving parts in Episode 3 “Every Last Minute.” The first is a man found digging up a grave in the nude. He’s promptly brought into the hospital for a tox screen and a psych evaluation. The next is a rich widow who might want to give her late husband’s money to the hospital so Max has to show her around. The third is an inmate from Rikers who’s suffering pregnancy complications and also worrying that if she has her baby early she won’t get to keep her because her sentence isn’t over.
For an episode that sounds like it’s going to be super overstuffed, every plot point is actually given plenty of time to shine and make the points it needs to make. The one that sticks out the most is the nude gravedigger but even it has a satisfying conclusion.
To start out, we finally meet the Dean of medicine played by Ron Rifkin. He immediately tells Max he’s fired, which is laughable and then explains about the rich widow Mrs. Ryland (Laila Robins). Max agrees to show her around and it goes well for a while until she shames Dr. Helen about her Birkin bag (turns out it was a gift) and then acts pretty racist towards Dr. Floyd’s retinue of black female surgical residents. According to Dr. Floyd women of color are the most overlooked group for surgical residencies and he’s trying to correct that imbalance before he employs other ethnicities and genders.
Along the way we also get some more of the growing pains Dr. Helen is facing while trying to start practicing medicine again. A lesbian couple comes to see her about seeking cancer treatment for one of them and they make a big show about recording her so they can remember everything she says in case they have questions later. And then they have the nerve to get all uppity that she’s been on TV before like it’s going to make her a bad doctor, despite the fact that she said she’s focusing on actual patient care more than being the face of the hospital now.
Meanwhile, my new favorite comedy duo of Dr. Frome and Dr. Kapoor are treating the naked gravedigger Ray. It turns out he’s not high but he does think he’s dead and invisible. They also find out he was injecting himself with embalming fluid because he thinks he’s dead. He keeps claiming that he’s lost his fiance so they think he’s just had a nervous breakdown. Unfortunately he has a brain tumor that’s causing hallucinations and delusions. Fortunately, his fiance is still alive and they can get rid of the tumor and “bring him back to life!”
The final plot is with the inmate from Rikers who Dr. Lauren takes under her wing. She ends up having to deliver her baby earlier due to complications. Max promises her that he’ll do what he can to help her keep her baby until she finishes her sentence in six weeks. However, he hasn’t figured out a way to do that by the time she gives birth and she will not hold the baby. She doesn’t want to get attached if she’ll have to give her up again. This plot ties together nicely with Mrs. Ryland when Max ends up convincing her to donate her husband’s money to Rikers so that pregnant inmates can be with their babies until their release in order to keep them from continuing the cycle of getting raised in the system and sent to prison themselves. The Dean is clearly upset about it, but it happens and the episode has a happy ending.
Even Max gets a relatively happy ending when he both agrees to start treatment with Dr. Helen in three weeks and then convinces Georgia to stay with him in the city instead of going to her parents in Connecticut. Honestly, I’d prefer if she went to Connecticut because she’s boring and they have no chemistry and it’s clear their marriage won’t survive, but if her staying in the city gets her off the show faster then I’m fine with it.
I have a suspicion that Georgia is going to end up dying in childbirth so that Max will have a baby to raise while trying to run the hospital and also getting cancer treatment all at the same time. I hope I’m right and I’d also like to say it’s absolutely nothing wrong with Lisa O’Hare’s performance, it’s just one element too far for me in a show that’s already packed to the gills with plot. If they do keep her around beyond this first season I think it will be a mistake. But for now I’m more on board with this show than I have been so far and it feels like it’s going to stick to that course!
How many clothes do you like to wear when you dig up graves?
If you were a rich widow, how mean would you be about someone else’s Birkin?
How much fun does Kangaroo Care sound like to you?
NOW THAT THE OFFICIAL NEW AMSTERDAM REVIEW IS OUT OF THE WAY, FOLLOW MY STREAM OF CONSCIOUSNESS BULLET POINTS BELOW!
- I feel so weird being on Max’s side but he’s so clearly more concerned about the hospital’s welfare than the Dean and so I have to be on his side.
- OH god…a naked dude digging up a grave…not what I expected.
- What horrible crime is this prisoner going to be in for?
- START CHEMOTHERAPY YOU ASSHOLE!
- Is this how we’re getting rid of the wife who’s name I don’t even remember? To Connecticut?
- How soon is this coffee stand lady going to be integral to the plot.
- I like this rich lady. She seems like she doesn’t take any shit. And she’s certainly going to give the money to this hospital.
- Or she’s a total bitch, shaming another woman for an extravagant purse!
- OH good…Dr. Bloom is taking pills.
- Please let Dr. Frome and Dr. Kapoor be the new buddy comedy of the fall!
- Fucking bold of these bitches to record Helen and then give her shit about being on camera?!
- Spectacular – the rich lady is a racist.
- HAH! The naked gravedigger’s fiance is alive!?
- Ach! He tried to embalm himself!
- I def need more of Dr. Helen and Dr. Lauren
- Damn…Dr. Floyd is still being super hot hiring overlooked women of color for surgical residencies.
- Kangaroo Care is a super adorable idea!!
- The rich lady’s husband is dead you other old rich dude – this is about what she wants now, not what he wants
- Max is a really good doctor and person even though he still won’t get his own cancer treatment.
- Also I don’t know why the Dean is so mad. There are other rich ladies in the world.
- Max needs Helen to be his doctor and I need Max and Helen to bone down and for Georgia to fuck off to Connecticut
- Georgia is going to definitely die in childbirth right so Max has to raise a baby and get chemo and start dating again all at the same time?