Does anyone else have dust particles in their eye?
You know a show draws you in when you wish you could reach through the screen multiple times throughout an installment. I'm not saying I would have reenacted that gutwrenching Simba and Mufasa scene from The Lion King, but the temptation was there. Get up, Max! Get up!
If you thought New Amsterdam Season 1 Episode 9 would give you a reprieve from sobbing or what have you, you are likely sitting there in all of your wrongness being wrong and sniffling too.
Every installment feels like it can't get any better or any more emotional, and then another one comes along to top it.
It's like the writers sat in their writer's room that has to include boxes of tissue and maybe a therapy dog, and they asked themselves, "how can we leave 'Dam Fanatics a sopping mess drowning in their feelings before the holiday season? Oh, I know, let's have Max fight to save the woman who has his sister's heart!"
Well, they can pat themselves on the back for that one because the special bond between Max and Sarah was compelling throughout. The entire hour could have revolved around Max and Sarah, and it would have been all the better, which speaks volumes because the installment was fantastic from beginning to end.
At what point did it make you the most emotional? I think peak emotion hit when Max rested his head on Sarah's chest to hear Luna's heartbeat for the last time before she got her heart transplant. This show knows how to play every emotion you can think of and more like a finely tuned piano.
It was another smashing performance by Ryan Eggold. It started when he gave his best argument to persuade Georgia to support his decision to try the precision therapy over chemo. He would have sold me on it too. Chemotherapy doesn't suit him, and dramatics aside, it's not him.
This dynamic between Max, Georgia, and Helen is fun and unusual.
Max's girls are not above ganging up on him for his well-being, which is amusing, but Max is so charming and persuasive that he can get either one of them to cave sometimes. Their group dynamic is well-balanced in that way, and it's amusing too.
Georgia: Enough. Is this what you really want?
Max: She's right. Chemotherapy and radiation, they work. They do the job, but they'll break me no matter how strong I am. I'll lose my hearing, my sight. I'll lose my mind. They don't always come back. I have so many things that I need to do.
Georgia: So let's get in the trial.
Helen: So let's get in the trial.
It also remains interesting when that dynamic extends to life outside of Helen's consultations in her office. Helen and Georgia don't get to interact much outside of that room and without Max, but they each get to interact with Max a great deal on their own.
They didn't have to be actively working together to help guide him through the situation with Sarah. Helen, of course, took the lead in that regard. She was called in because of Sarah's hemophilia, but she was there to support Max the moment she realized Sarah was the recipient of Luna's heart nearly 30 years ago.
As mentioned multiple times, their friendship continues to be a highlight of the series, and the show is well aware of this and knows how to use it. Georgia couldn't be there throughout the day while the doctors treated Sarah, so can you think of anyone else whom Max would listen to and readjust his behavior?
There were many shining moments for Eggold during this installment, but one of the best was when he passionately pled with Floyd to do something to save Sarah's heart.
He could have come across in an unfavorable light with his demands and that air of "I gave you all of these things, now use them," and his callous initial response to Helen when she tried to intervene.
He didn't, however, because you could see a desperate man who felt he had a second chance of saving his sister in some form. As his work wife, Helen is the Max-whisperer. She has this effect on him, and she knows how to get through to him when others can't.
He quickly readjusted his behavior after she soothingly but firmly reminded him that Luna's heart was dying, and Floyd was straightforward with Max; their job was to save Sarah.
Floyd: The stress from Sarah's hemophilia has ravaged her heart.
Max: So unravage it. I gave you a whole cardiothoracic department. Use it. Because we sure as hell aren't going to sit here and --
Helen: Luna's heart is dying. It's gone.
Max: it's my sister's heart. We have to save it.
Floyd: No. We have to save Sarah and the only thing that's going to do that is a new heart because the old one is out of time.
As far as patients go, Sarah was one of the best. It takes a special individual to know that they are facing death and yet spend what could have been her last moments comforting the doctor who has become attached to her.
The bond between donor recipients and the loved ones of the donors is fascinating and explored often, but this was one of the best examples in quite some time. It didn't take long for Sarah to figure out why Max was hovering around and so passionate about her case.
It was selfless of him to attempt to avoid burdening her with that knowledge because he knew it was about her and not about Luna. Sarah was so open and receptive to him though, and she was well-versed in background information about Luna and the Goodwins.
It's like the more she learned about him, the less likely she was to take having Luna's heart for granted. She felt like Luna was a part of her, and she worked hard to reassure Max and give him that bond and connection that he lacked in his sister's absence. She gave him something akin to closure that he probably didn't get as a kid when his sister died.
The story about her meeting Max when they were younger was a touching moment. Max didn't recall at first, but she remembered young Max lamenting his sister not being there to teach him how to skip rocks as promised, and she quietly taught him how to do it herself.
Even then, she served as a piece of Luna for Max. She wasn't Luna, and she wasn't trying to be nor could she take his sister's place, but Luna is a part of her, and that part is something Sarah had no problem sharing with Max. She instinctively understood the importance of it. For a one-off character, Sarah was well-developed, intuitive, and kind.
Sarah: I have to tell you, Luna's heart never had the best taste in guys. But it skipped a beat when she met Andy. It's like she picked him out just for me. Me and Luna learned what it felt like to be in love. I have a job where I help people. I've been all over the world. I ran a marathon even though people told me not to. Last year, I won a watermelon eating contest, which is a real thing, and I love them. That's why it's OK. It's time for me to go. Your sister, she gave me a beautiful life.
Max: It's the other way around.
Sarah accepted her impending death. She was OK with it because she knew that she lived her life to the fullest, fell in love, and helped others. She didn't squander her second chance at life, and that was thanks to Luna.
It was beautiful when she shared all of that with Max because she was letting him know that it was OK. If he felt like he was losing Luna for a second time, there was comfort in know that she and Sarah lived a full life this time.
Nevertheless, it was still intense waiting for her to pass those tests. Sarah may have been OK with dying, but I was not. It would have broken my heart if she died, and not just because she had Luna's heart, but because she was a beautiful person whom I cared about within the hour.
Listen to her. Listen. Luna, she did it.Max
Sarah passed the test, lived, and she got her heart transplant, and it was an unexpected happy ending. Of course, the angst came in the form of that cliffhanger when Max keeled over.
Poor Georgia has to be beside herself!
The good news is Max made it into that clinical trial, so maybe they'll be able to treat him when he gets to the hospital. The timing couldn't be more perfect, but Max played it fast and loose with that one.
Since we're looking on the bright side of things, let's talk about Helen and Dr. Hottie. Max can make it to New Amsterdam, Helen and Dr. Hottie can check him out and get him on the proper treatments, monitor him, and still make it to that Lauryn Hill concert before she even walks onstage.
If you're a Lauryn Hill fan or ever been to any of her concerts, you'd understand how accurate that statement is. Anyhow, welcome to the 'Dam, Sendhil Ramamurthy!
It looks like Sendhil's character is set up to be Max's other doctor but also a love interest for Helen, and there are no complaints here. They're both so pretty that angels sang when they shared the screen.
Akash: Dr. Sharpe I have good news and good news. Dr. Goodwin is a candidate for therapy.
Helen: He will be relieved to hear it. What is the other good news?
Akash: I'm on my way to your office.
Helen: You are?
Akash: I have to pick up his cell samples and give you some paperwork.
Helen: I'm sure we can have someone pick it up.
Akash: That's too risky. See, this paperwork includes two tickets to see Lauryn Hill at BAM [SILENCE] Hey if I was off base here, I apologize --
Helen: I'm sorry I was just thinking about what to do with the other ticket.
Akash: Well, I might have a suggestion.
They would have beautiful babies. You know, because Helen wants them and everything.
Dr. Hot Stuff is charismatic, funny, and successful. He and Helen hit it off, and they share some similarities. Let's do this!
Let's not do anything that slanders Iggy's good name. In this fandom, we protect Iggy Frome at all costs!
Iggy was doing his thing being a kickass therapist as usual, but it backfired on him in an ugly way. It was a pity given how excited he was to be taking the case with Shay. He was so happy to help this trans teen, so imagine his surprise when he was labeled a transphobe shortly after and dragged to hell in back on Twitter.
Ah, Twitter drags are the worst. There are too many people frothing at the mouth with itchy fingers dying to tear into someone. Based on the popularity of Shay, Iggy was probably trending an hour after Shay stormed out of that room.
What was refreshing about Shay's case was that his parents were supportive of him being transgender. They supported his transition process, and they even noted how much happier he was now that he was living his life as his authentic self.
It was his request for top surgery that had them putting their foot down and causing tension between them. His father was the most passionate about refusing the surgery. There was still a part of Shay's parents that came across as if they were waiting it out to see if Shay's transition was final, but it didn't come across as negative.
Their biggest gripe was that they didn't want Shay having a big surgery at a young age. Iggy spoke to everyone, and he ran his tests and agreed that since Shay was still growing, he should wait at least a year for the surgery.
That was a fair and professional response that in no way related to feelings about transgender people, but Shay didn't hear the news he wanted to hear nor the news that his followers wanted to hear, so he retaliated by slandering Iggy, which was awful.
I loved the nurse who told Shay that he lost a follower based on his actions. Same, nurse! I also like how Iggy handled the situation.
Iggy: OK. I saw what you wrote about me online. I was surprised. My husband read those tweets, my coworkers, my friends, and if you Google me right now, that is the first thing that pops up. Shay, I'm not here to shame you or yell at you, but I would like you to look at me. Please. Do you really think that I'm anti-trans?
Shay: I knew it would make people upset when I posted it, but I did it anyway.
He casually slipped in that he's married to a man (which made me chuckle because it was rather presumptuous of Shay to assume that Iggy isn't down with all parts of the rainbow), but he didn't yell or anything like that. He reiterated his point, told Shay that he was hurt, and he got to the root of why Shay felt compelled to rush this process.
Iggy is the best, guys.
Lauren needs Iggy in her life. That girl is spiraling out of control. She needs to face the facts and get some help.
The good thing is if she does consider NA or something like that, she has the apologies down. She went on an apology tour the entire hour. She had to apologize to Floyd for causing issues in his new relationship with Evie.
The apology to Evie was the best though, not because Lauren was good at it but because Evie was a total BOSS during that exchange. Evie is straight-up no chaser. She wasn't here for Lauren's bumbling and mumbling and fumbling her way through an apology.
She straight up said she didn't have time for any games, and she demanded Lauren be upfront with her. Time is of the essence, and Evie isn't about wasting her time. You have to respect the heck out of Evie for the way she handled that situation.
It sucks that Lauren is lying, and we know she's lying, and Evie is in the middle of this unappealing 'ship.
Lauren needs help, and Casey can't keep covering for her. If I had to choose one secondary or tertiary character that stands out the most, it's Casey. I love that guy!
Lauren: So once or twice I screw up some red tape.
Casey: It happens all the time, and its been getting worse.
Lauren: No, that can't be right.
Casey: Dr. Bloom, I think you may need help.
Lauren: I'm just tired, OK? Just an RX who needs some sleep.
Casey: Mr. Powell could have died.
Lauren was whining about him "momming" her all of the time, but she needs it. Outside of her profession, she acts like a child who needs looking after.
It makes no sense that Casey is so accustomed to Lauren screwing up that he instinctively covers for her without thinking about it for the sake of the patient. That's scary because what if he's not the one with her at the time?
A lesser experienced nurse would trust their superior, and someone could end up dead. Lauren got so defensive when Casey called her out on all of her slip-ups and told her to get help. She almost killed a man.
At this rate, Casey needs to tell someone. It's for the good of the patients because Lauren isn't receptive to hearing about her faults, and she's still walking around popping Adderall as if they are mints.
I don't know if she's burnt out, or if she has PTSD, or whatever else is going on with her, but she needs to sort herself out before she causes harm to herself or others.
Kapoor and Ella's flirtatious relationship is adorable. Am I the only one waiting for the other shoe to drop?
He gave her the money to help her, but while she was thankful, she also seemed apprehensive. It's nice to hear that he's still working on his relationship with his son though.
I don't know how his son will react if Kapoor goes through with buying him an apartment, but his heart is in the right place.
Over to you 'Dam Fanatics! What did you think of the cases? Did you love Sarah and the connection she had to Luna?
Are you over Lauren and her issues yet? Are you 'shipping Helen with the new doc? What will happen to Max?! Hit the comments below. We have nothing but time to discuss the midseason finale and the season until the show returns from break.
It's the perfect time to catch up on the series. You can watch New Amsterdam online here via TV Fanatic!
Jasmine Blu is a senior staff writer for TV Fanatic. Follow her on Twitter.