And now we’ll be reeling from that fall finale until the series returns!
For a midseason finale, New Amsterdam Season 4 Episode 10 delivered. It was an emotionally-wrought installment that was blessedly Veronica Fuentes free and dangled a couple of cliffhangers. There’s still no “joy” to be found, but what else is new?
Max and Helen have left the building, while the rest of our favorite relationships are enduring some complications, to say the least.
We still haven’t forgiven New Amsterdam for the mass firing of many of our favorite supporting characters, yet the hour had the audacity to place Walsh in peril, too.
Can we please have a moment of peace?
Max and Helen’s impending departure from New Amsterdam has felt as if it’s been in the works for a lifetime, so it wasn’t surprising when the pair were airport-bound, only to get wrapped up in the hospital’s latest crisis.
The KPC superbug infection was enough to leave viewers on edge as much as the medical staff. After everything the globe endured with COVID-19, one can imagine that any hint of an outbreak will send healthcare providers, in particular, in a frenzy.
No one wants to relive the tragedies, uncertainty, and loss of the pandemic. Introducing this superbug in the aftermath of something as catastrophic and life-altering as that is an excellent way of showcasing how the pandemic has changed how we respond to things moving forward.
It was no way that either Max or Helen would bail on the hospital after the alerts of those nine Code Blues. And with nine fatalities and counting, the urgent nature of this superbug was a perfect catalyst for the type of tension and intensity you’d expect in a finale of some sort.
Lauren: So you’re telling me the strongest anti-bacterial the CDC has won’t even work?
Simon: Doesn’t even make a dent.
It made you consider the extent of what they were dealing with under Veronica’s regime, where cost efficiency affects healthcare quality, the staff is gone, and there’s no one to lead the charge anymore.
Floyd took point on the ordeal before Max and Helen stepped up, which may indicate what things could look like in their absence. Everyone here works so well that they know how to step up in a crisis and achieve results.
It’s doubtful Veronica would’ve delivered on any of that if she were there instead of in Chicago. There’s something to be said about her trying to run the hospital from elsewhere, unlike Max.
No, Veronica would’ve been in the way or a total hindrance, focused on the optics rather than resolving the superbug issue before it continued to take the lives of so many.
While Max came through with his out-of-the-box thinking, working with the baby-faced Simon from the CDC to develop a treatment plan, it was Helen who stood out most with her effortless leadership and delegation.
She spearheaded the investigation into the bug’s transmission, and with the help of the residents, found the point of interest.
No one else would’ve spent time trying to boost residents’ morale, let alone listened to them discussing Walsh long enough to make the connection that the ice machine was the culprit. And that discovery broke the case.
But Max’s unique approach to problem-solving is always a highlight of this series, and his dynamic with Simon proved effective. The Crispr suggestion was as sound as they come, but would anyone else have thought about testing ditched antibiotics for a solution?
The superbug was resistant to everything they had, and their options got reduced to finding out what was spreading it, stopping that from happening, and waiting for anyone else infected to die.
But it seemed risky and potentially unethical or something akin to that for them to use drugs that got pulled off the market.
Their saving grace would cause renal failure in the patients, but Simon proposed that they could nip that in the bud by treating the remaining living patients with dialysis along with the treatment.
And bless Walsh’s heart, he was the one who volunteered to be the guinea pig. Placing someone we’re familiar with in peril raised the stakes and emotion for this case.
Helen: What happened?
Max: We just had nine Code Blues at the same time.
Helen: How is that possible?
Fortunately, he survived the ordeal, but it was nerve-wracking, and your heart went out to Lauren during this as she was battling the situation with Leyla, still missing Casey, and Walsh clinging to his life.
Is Leyla and Lauren’s fallout angsty as heck? Yes, but as emotionally distressing as it was, it was also worthwhile and narratively satisfying to have this out in the open so that they work through all of this.
And there’s no doubt they’ll do that eventually, but for now, I’m basking in the angst of it all.
The tension between the two wasn’t insurmountable throughout the installment, even after Leyla shared that she knew Lauren essentially bought her spot there.
Leyla: How much?
Lauren: Ninety-thousand dollars. Leyla, I did this for you! For us.
And as frustrating as this situation is, you understand where both women are coming from to a degree.
Lauren knew that whether it was xenophobia, sexism, racism, elitism, or some subconscious combination of them all, the chairperson dismissed Leyla’s experience and excellent resume the second he saw she came from some unknown hospital in Pakistan.
And in addition to Lauren wanting her girlfriend to stay in New York with her, she wanted Leyla to have a fighting chance and resented the dismissal.
For Lauren, she stops at nothing to do whatever she needs for the person she loves, and in many ways, that’s an admirable quality. But it has a way of backfiring too.
On the one hand, how can you not love her and Leyla’s love? It’s the happiest we’ve seen Lauren ever, but there is some merit to the implication that she’s made Leyla her new addiction.
We’ve seen it crop up often, and it’s something even Lauren has wondered about on occasion. Right now, it feels as if Lauren loves so hard that it hurts.
And Leyla is feeling incredibly hurt right now. Interestingly enough, a consistent blindspot for Lauren that has come up before with Floyd, Casey, and Leyla is her perspective of things from a non-ethnic minority who comes from wealth.
It creeps into some of her interactions in fascinating and often frustrating ways, and her relationship with Leyla is an example of that. For Lauren, spending money on Leyla as she does is a sign of her love.
But for Leyla, she finally expressed how Lauren’s actions and behavior feel from her position, particularly as a woman of color. It feels like a trap like Lauren is either pulling a “White Savior” move or buying her.
Lauren doesn’t see how her actions could make Leyla feel like a charity case or as if Lauren has staked a claim on or owns her in some way.
Because Lauren comes from money, she never grasps how and why people are prideful when it comes to it or how it affects how others live their lives.
The very nature of how their relationship began placed Lauren in a more powerful position with all of the control. While unwittingly, Lauren has impeded Leyla’s agency most of the time.
Leyla: You lied to me! I asked you if this residency was on the level, and you said yes. You said it was all me.
Lauren: It was all you, okay? You earned it! I just made sure everyone knew it, and if I hadn’t, you’d be halfway across the country. You’d be gone. It’d be over. Leyla, I would write a million-dollar check to keep us together.
Leyla: So you got a deal.
Lauen: That’s not what I meant.
Leyla: It’s the only honest thing you said.
Leyla: You bought me clothes, food, and I went along with it and that’s on me. But the one thing that I thought I had earned was paid for like everything else. You didn’t do this for us. You did this for yourself.
Lauren: I love you.
Leyla: No, you don’t. You tried to own me. You bought me. That’s not love.
The one thing Leyla had certainty in is that her skills alone earned her a spot at New Amsterdam, so it has to be this slap in the face to know that wasn’t the case either. Lauren’s donation did the trick.
And again, as a WOC and an immigrant, Leyla inherently operates in a place of constantly having to prove herself and her abilities as it is. The good old working twice as hard to achieve half of the respect.
Leyla is damn good at her job; she’s excellent and outshines her fellow residents. We all know that she shouldn’t even be in a residency program, and yet, no matter what she does and how she’s proven herself capable, it still hangs over her head that she didn’t “earn” her spot.
Leyla has already struggled to connect with fellow residents who regarded her as some kept woman who slept her way into the program.
Leyla: How much did you spend?
Lauren: That’s the best part. Zero dollars. It was a gift from Max.
Leyla: No, how much did you spend to buy my residency?
Lauren: Where did you hear that?
Leyla: Answer the question. How big was your bribe?
Lauren: I didn’t bribe. I didn’t bribe anyone. I didn’t. All I did was try to make a donation.
Leyla: A donation that happened to get your girlfriend a non-existent residency at New Amsterdam?
She’s proved herself countless times, but now she knows that Lauren paid $90K to keep her in New York City, and there are too many layers to that for it ever to be written off as a romantic gesture.
Lauren’s intentions were selfish, well-intended in some ways, but selfish, and her level of aloofness about the ramifications of her actions make this a polarizing, complex situation depending on what perspective you come from regarding it.
Interestingly, their argument only proves Leyla’s point and encapsulates her frustrations well when you consider that there’s no space for her to process what happened because Lauren has become her entire life.
She lives and works with Lauren. Every facet of her life right now is Lauren. And that goes back to her not having as much agency within their relationship. She feels like she’s trapped in a cage, regardless of Lauren’s intention.
It gives credence to how Leyla would feel like Lauren owned her in some way. It was such a brutal final scene between the two, but Kalaiselvan and Montgomery killed it. Their emotions were palpable.
But hopefully, this is the breakdown before the breakthrough for this pairing.
Of course, are we supposed to anticipate more trouble ahead for Iggy and Martin?
Iggy was hilariously caught off guard by how forward Trevor was. Hell, I felt the same way as a viewer and am no less awkward during those types of exchanges.
But Trevor’s comment had Iggy floating on Cloud Nine throughout the day, despite his gut-wrenching trial of getting two parents to accept that their son died.
I cannot imagine finding out that my loved one, let alone a child, abruptly died in a hospital due to some freakish bacterial infection he probably got from putting ice in his beverage.
And the longer it took for the parents to believe the news, the more it hurt when they did. The Tik-Tok prank theory hit hard. And Kalen’s father punching Iggy out was an unexpected outburst that, surprisingly, no one addressed again.
It’s customary for parents to blame each other, and Iggy navigated the situation relatively well, given his previous hesitation about seeing patients again.
And goodness, Iggy gives some of the best monologues on the series. His words to the parents as we had a montage of the others were gorgeous, heartfelt, and poignant. And Shallows by Daughter playing in the background only made it better.
Iggy: I guess the biggest question I have off the bat is you come from private institutions, do you foresee any problems working in a public hospital system like New Amsterdam?
Trevor: The only problem I see is getting any work done while staring into those amazing blue eyes of yours.
But yeah, he requires some help, and he told Martin that Trevor was the only decent candidate he saw thus far.
Martin noted the inappropriate compliment, and for him, it was reason to write Trevor off. He seemed to assume that Iggy wouldn’t entertain hiring him, so it’ll be a doozy when he learns that Iggy did.
Iggy went ahead and offered him the job anyway, and it makes you wonder if it was more ego than anything else. Iggy got wrapped up in this hot guy finding him attractive, and he didn’t consider that someone in their line of work shouldn’t say something that inappropriate in the most inopportune time.
It’s a definite red flag. It wasn’t an innocent comment; it was legitimate, unmistakable flirting. And no sensible person does that in the middle of a professional interview or a job.
With Iggy’s self-esteem issues and body dysmorphia, I wonder if this is a potential storyline that will blossom into Iggy seeking gratification from this man feeding his ego and sense of worth.
Because the scariest part about pinning that significance on another’s person’s words is that it works overtime when they’re critical and negative.
At the risk of pissing someone off by not delving into every facet or character, what is there to say about this Floyd situation?
Does anyone out there enjoy it at all? Inquiring minds want to know, so hit the comments, please!
The situation with Floyd and this married couple keeps getting messier by the second. Lyn likely doesn’t believe that Floyd had anything to do with Claude’s firing, but what about Claude?
Claude is probably the most intriguing element of this triad, but he’s left out way too often for my liking. He and Floyd appeared to make amends, but now he’s lost his job.
And if that isn’t bad enough, Lyn is pregnant, and I’m assuming it’s with Floyd’s baby.
It’s like we keep hoping they’ll climb out of this storyline, but the series only doubles down on it more.
Floyd’s declaration that he can handle complicated and even likes it has nothing on that bombshell revelation by the end. He’s getting his wish because now he, Lyn, and Claude have to figure out what their lives will look like moving forward if/when Lyn carries on with a pregnancy.
I thought about what you said earlier, and I’m glad that you’re up for complicated because I’m pregnant.
Oh, how quickly the messy King falls from grace into his mess.
Before Lyn rocked Floyd’s world with baby news, he was lobbing some biggies at Max.
First, he was the one who told Max that no one gave a damn about his thoughtful gifts when they were still mad that he was leaving. Max’s poor crestfallen expression when everyone shrugged off his presents was priceless.
But then, Floyd ended a hectic day by asking Max when he planned on telling Helen that he wasn’t going. Floyd believed Max would change his mind last minute, and he wasn’t wrong based on his facial expressions.
Max: I’m just trying to do something nice for the people that I love the most in the place that I love the most one last time!
Floyd: Max, I’m gonna level with you. The gift is beyond beautiful.
Floyd: It’s just that the only gift that people want is for you to stay.
Max may have physically headed to the airport with Helen, but he left a part of his heart at New Amsterdam. Deep down, Helen probably knows it, too, so this will no doubt affect their relationship when Max is trying to adapt to life in London.
He’s devoted so much of himself to New Amsterdam, and it has such a strong history for him, losing his wife and his sister, that I don’t know how he functions without it. London may not have the same effect.
And how is Luna getting there? They casually mentioned that Luna was at her grandparents’ house in Connecticut, but does that mean Max is returning to New York once they’ve settled things to bring Luna to London?
And if that’s the case, then who’s to say Max won’t get wrapped up in another New Amsterdam crisis while Helen is in London?
Helen told him to “burden her.” You could see how conflicted Max looked the whole time, but his love for Helen is what’s propelling him forward. And goodness, they’re the sweetest together. Max’s tender kisses and the way that he holds her like she’s cherished and precious will always make me smile.
The scary thing is in wondering if that love will be enough for him when he’s overseas.
Ironically, there were a few moments during the installment when it seemed as if Helen didn’t even care if they were leaving or staying. But then there are other moments when she looks so insistent about this and barely seems to react to leaving the hospital, her patients, or her friends.
She hasn’t struggled with the departure the same way that Max has, and I wonder if we’ll dig into that a bit more or not.
Helen has looked excited about this the whole time, but Max is conflicted, at best. And you get the sense that he’s compelled to prove he can prioritize the woman he loves ahead of work and makes sacrifices, but I don’t know how this will work.
What does New Amsterdam even look like without Max and Helen? And how long does either the hospital or the couple last while they’re apart?
I guess these are the things we can ponder until the series returns.
I’m surprised they made it in that taxi together, and while I’m happy that they’re still happily together and in love without any tension, I’m sad to see them go and wary of what’s to come. How about you?
Can you two look at each other? Right now you are both in shock. You’re both in unimaginable pain. You are angry. You are lost. But that doesn’t mean that this is the end. It doesn’t have to mean that. An event this traumatic can actually bring you closer together because you are the only one who truly knows what the other one is experiencing. You are the only one who knows what the other one is going through. And what comes next is going to be a challenge, absolutely. Things are not going to go back to what they were. They will never be the same, but don’t you dare turn on one another. Instead, turn to each other, lean on each other. You embrace your grief together and above all us, you talk, you really talk to each other. Because that is how you survive this.
And is anyone anticipating a storyline that delves deeper into Max’s past and family life? He mentioned his sister again, and we heard about his parents this season, too. Does that mean something is brewing on the horizon there?
Over to you, ‘Dam Fanatics.
Are you surprised Helen and Max really left? What are your Leyla and Lauren predictions? Is that Floyd news a jaw-dropper? Hit the comments below!
You can watch New Amsterdam online here via TV Fanatic if you want to relive the first half of the season.
Jasmine Blu is a senior staff writer for TV Fanatic. Follow her on Twitter.
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