New Amsterdam Season 2 Episode 8 Review: What the Heart Wants

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What an incredibly heavy hour. 

If you made it through New Amsterdam Season 2 Episode 8 without feeling the full weight of the topics explored, then you're stronger than most.

We were promised a piercing, heavy, and emotional hour, and "What the Heart Wants" delivered.

Saying Goodbye - Tall - New Amsterdam Season 2 Episode 8

Max's grief has weighed heavily on the series since New Amsterdam Season 2 Episode 1. Up until now, his pain kept him in limbo.

Max was existing -- suspended in time and going through the motions trying to carry on with his day.

Afterhours were for hiding away in his apartment with Luna and the ghost of Georgia. He held onto her -- clung to her like a tether to his old life.

All Alone - Tall  - New Amsterdam Season 2 Episode 8

It was all he had left -- his memories of her, and as long as he could hold onto them and shut everyone else out, he didn't have to face reality where she no longer existed.

It was tragic, disturbing, concerning, and frustrating, too.

This is goodbye.

Ghost Georgia

Grief is messy, ugly, and non-linear. It's debilitating and even nonsensical.

Max has been all over the place for months and the entire first half of the season.

Quiet Time - Tall  - New Amsterdam Season 2 Episode 7

He wouldn't let any of the people closest to him "in," and he didn't want to do it. If he opened up, he would have to face the truth that Georgia was gone, and he wasn't ready for that.

Max confiding and empathizing with Gabriela was one of the most compelling moments of the hour.

He didn't share with his friends about Ghost Georgia. He didn't want to hear their concerns about seeing visions of her and clinging to them.

My worry for you, Gabby, is that you will never say goodbye to Sophie if you never say hello.


Max didn't want to hear them tell him that his way of grieving was unhealthy or push him into something he wasn't ready to do.

The Quiet Moments - Tall  - New Amsterdam Season 2 Episode 3

As painful as it was to witness, Max's grieving process was his, and he could only do things at his pace in his way.

No one could take the steps toward healing but him. It was evident Max would be letting go of Georgia by the end of the hour based on her appearance at the top of it.

Max: I thought you left.
Ghost Georgia: I thought you wanted me to.

Max was terrified Georgia had left him when she didn't appear. She knew (which meant his subconscious knew) it was time for Max to let her go.

Gabriela's case was the final step toward Max reaching his decision. He found some healing in being able to guide her through her grief.

The loss of Sophia has to be one of the top saddest moments of the series. The shot of Max telling Gabby the truth about her baby was stunning.

Bearing Bad News

No one wanted to be the one to tell her the news, and Max had to be the one to share it while everyone was still crowded around Gabby's bed looking somber.

We didn't need to hear his words to feel the impact of them. It was the best use of silence, and the visual was remarkable.

What I'm about to say is going to be impossible to hear.


Despite the case hitting too close to home, Max remained at Gabby's side. He wanted her to grieve the way she needed to without other people interfering.

He wanted to give her the support she needed, but others couldn't understand.

A New Normal - Tall  - New Amsterdam Season 2 Episode 1

It was the first time I heard about the special bassinets for stillborn babies. By the end of the hour, the way it helped Gabby was undeniable.

However, before, it seemed like one more thing to make her loss crueler than it already was. It was bad enough she had to deliver Sophia.

My worry for you, Gabby, is that you will never say goodbye to Sophie if you never say hello.


I cannot imagine delivering a stillborn baby like that. It's hard to find the words to describe how devastating that is for the mother.

Then they wanted her to hold Sophia and say goodbye? It was too much for one person to bear.

A New Way - Tall - New Amsterdam Season 1 Episode 20

Max, later on, explained that he wanted her to get the closure she needed. He didn't want her to miss out on something that would put her at ease down the ride.

He was afraid that Gabby didn't get to say hello to Sophia, let alone goodbye, and that she needed to do both to cope.

He parked himself outside of her room to make sure no one else would bother her, and how he went above and beyond for her was enough to move you to tears.

Iggy: Since the day you've been back I've been running interference with you. Give Max his space, He'll open up when he's ready.
Max: I don't want to open up.
Iggy: Yeah, I see that. We all see that, but it's the only way to get better.
Max: I don't want to get better. If I get better, I have to let her go. I don't want that.

Max also got to speak to Iggy; it was a long time coming.

Iggy's Effs Up - tall  - New Amsterdam Season 2 Episode 8

Helen has taken the lead in trying to appeal to Max and get him to open up, but Iggy was the most astute.

Iggy was in Max's corner, and he was the one who kept the others at bay and understood Max needed time.

Iggy knew it was time for Max to open up, though. He couldn't heal unless he did. The combination of Max's talk with Iggy and his experience with Gabby prompted him to let Georgia go.

Will you stay with me?


The Ghost Georgia scenes have been a lot of things for different people. They were melancholic, scary, or maybe even annoying, but Max lying on Georgia's lap in unspoken goodbye was a rough scene.

Saying Goodbye - Tall - New Amsterdam Season 2 Episode 8

It was one of the heaviest of the hour. Max knew it was time to let her go, and without her there, it was him, with his face buried into a bed they used to share, missing her.

Helen also juggled a taxing storyline. The opioid crisis is something that has been discussed and dissected. It's affecting many people and something of which we're trying desperately to rectify however we can.

I'm so sorry, Helen. I thought she was on our side.


Helen's patient Shayna had cancer and got hooked because of her pain. Heroin was cheaper than her over-the-counter meds.

Battling Addiction - tall  - New Amsterdam Season 2 Episode 8

How do we live in a country where heroin is cheaper than Percocet? The crisis is because of the type of people who have been affected by it.

Eventually, people understand that anyone could fall victim to the crisis. It's not something only plaguing unsavory types.

No one is exempt from its reach.

If you'd have told me a year ago that I would turn to heroin for a rare form of cancer, I would have thought you were crazy.


New Amsterdam chose to explore safe sites. It's a risque topic and one I have mixed feelings about myself.

Relentless Helen - tall  - New Amsterdam Season 2 Episode 7

The idea is that the crisis is so bad, the focus should go toward making sure people are shooting up safely then criminalizing them for doing it.

Trying to wean someone off of drugs and help them fight their addiction is hard and a grueling process.

In the meantime, helping people do drugs in a safer environment under monitoring is better than bodies of OD victims piling up.

Max: Do you want to talk to a counselor.
Gabby: No.
Max: You want me to take her away.
Gabby: No. I just want more time.

Helen is a doctor who goes above and beyond for her patients, and we saw that when she braved heroin den to find and stop Shayna from shooting up.

Helen Arrest - tall - New Amsterdam Season 2 Episode 8

Once Helen figured out she couldn't wean her off of drugs yet, she shifted her position to helping Shayna do it responsibly.

It was shocking when Helen took Shayna to an illegal safe site. It makes you wonder what circumstances brought Helen to Omar.

How did they meet and know each other? Is that something she has done before for patients?

Omar: I see you still have no fully embraced the value of what we do here.
Helen: I believe in your intentions.

She doesn't agree with the methods; it's not something she feels comfortable about, but she was willing to do it anyway.

Helen Has a Drink - tall  - New Amsterdam Season 2 Episode 5

She was as conflicted as most people are when it comes to the topic. Do safe sites encourage people to get high or keep abusing drugs?

Don't you need some law and order to keep things structured? Without criminalizing addicts, how do you crack down on the drug epidemic?

Gabby: Am I crazy keeping her close like this when she -- is it healthy? Is it OK?
Max: It's more than OK.

They tested pop-up-tent safe sites where I live, and people were in an uproar.

People get passionate about the topic. It's not legal, so Helen's decision to help her patient led to her getting arrested.

Catty Castro - Tall  - New Amsterdam Season 2 Episode 2

Helen has made some dicey decisions recently. First, it was giving her patient the drugs needed to commit suicide, and now it's this.

Castro got help in the form of Brantley, and now the board has to decide what to do with Helen. Who knows what's at stake and how Castro will move in.

I'm so sorry, Helen. I thought she was on our side.


She was not missed one bit.

Conflicting Opinions - Tall  - New Amsterdam Season 2 Episode 2

Floyd didn't apear to be missing Evie all that much when he spent the day trying to support Lauren through her soldier.

We have heard many things about Lauren's mother, but we haven't met her yet, and she sounds like a hell of a character.

As much as Lauren tried not to get her hopes up hoping for her mother to show up and be a mom like she promised, she did.

Floyd: I thought you didn't want me hanging around.
Lauren: Of course I want you hanging around. You're like my best friend.
Floyd: How much morphine are you on?

She was looking for her mom after surgery, and it was like Lauren was a child all over again.

Standing with Bloom - Tall  - New Amsterdam Season 2 Episode 8

Floyd was there to be supportive friend she needed when her mother flaked on her again.

It was the first substantial screentime the two of them had in ages, and their chemistry is still there.

Meanwhile, Agnes returned again with a hell of a save.

I forgot that measles could lie dormant for years, so Kapoor's patient might have had the vaccination when he arrived in the States, but it did nothing if he had the measles already beforehand.

Agnes' Win - tall  - New Amsterdam Season 2 Episode 8

It was severe enough where he didn't stand a chance of survial until Agnes came up with a treatment that could save him.

Agnes is Kapoor's most prized mentee, and it was nice to have her back.

Ella: I think I figured out what I want. I - I'm keeping the baby.
Kapoor: Really?
Ella: Yeah, really.

Of course, Kapoor was also splitting his time being concerned about Ella. He saw her talking to Iggy, and he was left in limbo not knowing what she wanted to do about the baby.

Ella decides - tall - New Amsterdam Season 2 Episode 8

When she made her decision to keep it and told Kapoor, it was a beautiful moment. The two of them have become an unsual family, of sorts.

She's having that baby, and Kapoor will be right there to support her along the way. It's sweet.

Do you think Martin will come around to another baby?

Kapoor Spies - tall  - New Amsterdam Season 2 Episode 8

Iggy kept putting off telling Martin the truth about going through the adoption process behind his back, and now there's a baby in need of a home waiting for them.

How on earth did Iggy think he could keep that under wraps?

He deserved every bit of Martin's ire when Martin showed up at Iggy's office.

You can't just make decisions like that without your spouse, and Iggy disrespected Martin and Martin's wishes by going behind is back and doing it anyway.

Martin is Pissed  - New Amsterdam Season 2 Episode 8

Martin didn't even know what to say, and you can't blame him.

How will it affect their relationship, and what will they do if Iggy wants another baby and Martin doesn't?

Over to you, 'Dam Fanatics

Were you bawling your eyes out after this episode? Do you think Max let go of Georgia finally?

What were your thoughts on Helen taking her patient to a safe site? What will happen to her when she faces the board? Hit the comments below.

You can watch New Amsterdam online here via TV Fanatic. 


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What the Heart Wants Review

Editor Rating: 4.9 / 5.0
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User Rating:

Rating: 4.9 / 5.0 (15 Votes)

Jasmine Blu is a senior staff writer for TV Fanatic. Follow her on Twitter.

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New Amsterdam Season 2 Episode 8 Quotes

Will you stay with me?


Max: I thought you left.
Ghost Georgia: I thought you wanted me to.