New Amsterdam returned with a suspenseful, heartfelt hour that proved why the series earned its additional three-season pick-up.
If you're still basking in the incredible news, and one can't think of a series more deserving of this accomplishment, then New Amsterdam Season 2 Episode 10 was a cherry on top.
It was a climactic hour, engaging and full of sentiment which put enough energy and time into unspooling the complex layers of some of its shining dynamics throughout the season as on the harrowing hospital takeover.
It's something about an event which compels characters to spend time together under highly stressful situations that brings about some of the best developments.
It's a familiar tactic, and one the series has resorted to more than once lest we forget some of the best developments that resulted from the snowstorm during New Amsterdam Season 1 Episode 16.
It was the case with each storyline throughout the hour, all varying on a scale of heartwrenching to heartwarming. Meanwhile, it was all set to a backdrop of inmates attempting to execute a witness, providing the most suspense on the series to date.
In the immediate aftermath of Helen's demotion, as expected, Max was not handling the news well at all. He damn near jumped hurdles rushing to Helen's office to discuss the news and proclaim how he intended to rectify the situation.
Max, God bless him, is always so passionate, righteous, and outraged when things of this nature happen, and it's gratifying to have someone rally to your defense in that way, but he also has an issue with making things about himself.
Max: If Brantley doesn't reinstate you immediately, then she can demote me too.
Helen: Max, I don't need you to fix this. I don't need you to threaten people. I just need some time to think.
Max: What is there to think about?
Helen: What am I still doing here?
He didn't know how to respond to Helen's resignation about the situation, and you could see the panic in his eyes when she expressed that maybe New Amsterdam wasn't the place for her.
Helen's reservations about remaining at New Amsterdam are true to her character. She's experienced a lot during her time spent juggling patients, helping run the hospital, and being her best friend's solace.
In the aftermath of the accident, she's been grappling with some personal things that haven't come up to the surface much, but present themselves in subtle ways like her wondering if she wants to remain at the hospital.
Helen has sacrificed a lot for New Amsterdam. She made the shift to practice more rather than spend most of her time with public appearances and fundraising, and it has left her emotionally wrought.
Max: OK, listen to me, by the end of the week, you're going to have everything back, okay? Your department. Deputy medical director. In the meantime, there's your patients, the committees. We still need you here, okay? I-I need you here.
Helen: And what about what I need? Because I don't think I can find it at New Amsterdam.
Max: So what are you ... you're going to leave?
Helen: I'm looking for a reason to stay. And right now, I can't find one.
She's not a character who takes enough time for herself, and it's fascinating to have her as the other half of Max because of how similar and different they are.
In some ways, she's no less self-sacrificing. You get the feeling it's her patients who compel her to stay on, but it's also this inexplicable hold -- a loyalty she has to Max that for better and worse traps her.
She was trying to think of a reason to stay at New Amsterdam; more specifically, she needed a reason that wasn't solely him. Regardless of how you choose to interpret it, he's always her reason. Even now, he's still her primary reason. At least that's what their final moment implied.
But she also needed to hear him acknowledge how reliant he was on her. Their friendship is beautiful, but it's not without its issues. For his part, Max takes her and her presence for granted, and he does make their relationship about him.
Max: Helen, please don't do this
Helen: Do you trust me? It's all about trust if we don't have that, then I truly don't belong here.
It's not deliberate, but it happens all the same, and Helen has struggled with that often. Their bond is one of control, both of them vying for it in their partnership and afraid of relinquishing it -- both of them seemingly lacking it with each other.
They always end up working closely with one another when the tension between them is thick, and they have to work through some issues.
It often highlights their problem areas, but it also showcases why they make a fantastic team.
Helen was the first to pick up what was happening when she was helping Dominique, and they both spent their time trying to come up with the best possible solution to protect everyone in the hospital and neutralize the threat of Jackie and the others.
Helen: Do you trust me?
Max: With my life.
Max is self-sacrificing and unafraid of putting himself in harm's way to protect the others. He's impulsive too, and Helen is more inclined to think things through and take the least risky approach.
His solution would've gotten Jackie out of the hospital but would've endangered others, and Helen's result was the best in hindsight. Jackie opened the door, surrounded by law enforcement with their guns drawn was enough to make you sigh in relief.
Helen asked Max to trust her, and there's never a doubt that he does trust her with his life. She's one of the few people he has complete faith in, but it's more so his inability to allow anyone else to do anything.
He didn't want to risk her or anyone else being in harm's way, and his resistance is rooted in his particular brand of saviorism.
He cares about people, but he doesn't always respect their choices. He's often hellbent on saving someone even if it's from themselves. It's well-intended, but it's not how life or relationships work.
Helen: I'm sorry that I put you in danger, but I didn't know what else to do.
Max: It was the only thing to do. It was brave. Selfless smart. It was you, and you deserve to be at a place that sees you. Appreciates you 100 percent, and if that place isn't New Amsterdam, then you should go. You should go. No matter how much I want you to stay... it's not about what I want. And yeah it'll be weird not seeing you every day, and I will miss you, but we live in the same city, right? So we can always get a coffee and eat food together.
Helen: Max, I'm not going anywhere.
Max: You're not? So you just let me do that whole awkward, rambling speech for no reason.
Max: Okay. It's not cool. So, you found a reason to stay.
For her part, Jackie seemed to grapple with some control issues too. She was the one leading the murder plan, but she acknowledged that she was at the mercy of those who pressured her to do it.
Her idea of the world and how everything and everyone has a price was bleak, but then, she wasn't wrong in mentioning how much of a survival instinct -- Darwinistic and primal as it may be -- it takes to last in prison.
Despite everything she and the others had done, the complexities of human emotion, motivations, and actions kept them from being vilified. With Helen's parting glance at Dominique, you felt sympathy for this woman and what might happen to her upon her return to prison.
Helen could find sympathy with others, and even when she can't, she understands her job as a physician is to treat everyone. Castro doesn't comprehend that.
Valentina has failed to come across positive, and it didn't change with this installment. She came across as an opportunistic vulture when she feigned concern about Helen only to slip into how great she'll be in Helen's position.
Her actions confirmed suspicions that she had something to do with getting Helen in trouble. She couldn't wait to discuss making the transition between Helen's leadership and hers easier and enlisting Max's help in doing it.
She's consistently showed a lack of empathy, across the board, for someone who specializes in oncology.
Iggy: I was gathering information so we could discuss it.
Martin: But we never did discuss it. What were you just hoping I wouldn't notice another kid at the breakfast table?
Between her response to Helen's demotion and the inmates, we know the department is not in the best of hands.
The Psychology department is a bit brighter with the likes of Tabitha. Iggy had his doubts about the young woman's abilities, but she was exceptional when she was able to use the Code Silver lockdown to show her capabilities.
The second season has done wonders expanding on Iggy's character, so he's more than the lovable, pure-hearted, seemingly perfect therapist.
And it's something to be grateful for since Tyler Labine is a gift, who has such range you can't help but crave those moments when the depth of Iggy is on full display.
Martin: He looked so happy. He always does when he's helping and volunteering, and that is so beautiful. But I wonder, do I ever make my husband look like that? Am I even capable?
Iggy: Martin, of course you are. Helping people is just a fundamental part of me.
Each of the characters in this series is perfectly imperfect. They all are flawed and real and remain likable and endearing. The second season hasn't shied away from exploring what makes some of them tick -- problem areas they possess, and how they're so achingly, undoubtedly human.
The tension between Iggy and Martin came to a head, and it almost felt intrusive being trapped in the room with them as they hashed out their issues.
Iggy was singularly-focused on adopting another child, and the dispute showed how well he is at handling other people's issues, but how disastrous he is addressing his own.
Martin has asked you to change your behavior, and you love him, right? So maybe it's not that you won't stop; it's that you can't. Why can't you stop, Dr. Frome?Tabitha
Martin rightfully agitated and upset with Iggy, and while typically you want a couple to make moves toward making amends, Martin making Iggy sit in his errors for a bit felt right and necessary.
As Tabitha helped the couple unpack their issues, it all made so much sense for what we know of the characters, and that's perfect storytelling.
Tabitha's suggestion that Iggy made Martin feel as if he wasn't enough had Iggy affronted. However, it was a spot-on observation, and it was the truth.
Martin loves their big, happy family, and he adores Iggy's passion for taking care of others and being a chronic do-gooder, but it left him feeling as though Iggy was filling voids that Martin couldn't give him.
How often do your methods to mend hearts end up where Martin has to break them?Tabitha
Martin felt like he was never enough, and as they elaborated on it, you could understand Martin's position. It was especially unfortunate since Iggy's compulsion to be a decent person left Martin feeling like the bad guy all of the time.
He always has to play "the heavy" in their relationship when Iggy gets going on one of his crusades. He's the one who deals with the kids the most, so it does leave things imbalanced.
It was almost reminiscent of a quote from Modern Family Season 3 Episode 9 about dreamers and realists.
There are dreamers, and there are realists in this world. You think the dreamers would find the dreamers, and the realists would find the realists, but more often than not, the opposite is true. See, the dreamers need the realists to keep the dreamers from soaring too close to the sun. And the realists? Well, without the dreamers, they might not ever get off the ground.
Martin and Iggy balance each other out something beautiful, but Iggy for all of his love of Martin also takes his husband for granted and failed to consider his feelings or how he made him feel.
The therapy session was emotional enough with that, but then they utterly broke our hearts as Tabitha wanted to delve into why Iggy feels compelled to help people so much.
We've caught a few sneak-peeks at Iggy's insecurities before but nothing like what he confessed during the impromptu therapy session. If not for my issues I likely need to address in a therapy session of my own, I'd have sobbed my eyes out.
Tabitha: Dr. Frome, what do you think would happen if you stopped helping people?
Iggy: They see ...
Tabitha: Iggy, what would they see?
Iggy: They'd see what a complete loser I am. Just corny, nerdy, fat, worthless nothing.
Martin: Baby --
Iggy: No, Martin. I know it's not healthy. I have this voice in my head, and it's a very loud one, and it's saying that one of these days, you're going to realize that you can do so much better than me. My ability to help people, that's all I have. That's the only thing I like about myself. Without that, I just can't think of a reason why you would keep me around. I can't.
I reached my equivalent of it as Iggy poured his heart out, expressing how worthless he felt when he wasn't helping others. It was challenging processing how someone so great could think so poorly of himself.
He couldn't come up with things he liked about himself outside of that, and it's insane how anyone and everyone else could rattle off a plethora of things without even thinking.
Tabitha told Martin to name three, and the man countered with at least six and would've kept going if not for how distraught he felt over Iggy's vulnerability.
The therapy session between the two was beyond cathartic, and it was a beautiful way of bringing the couple back together and closer than they were before.
Tabitha: Martin, will you tell your husband three things you think are good about him?
Martin: You're kind. You are a wonderful father. And you are beautiful. You're hilarious. You're patient. You're smart. You make friends everywhere you go. Because they see what I see. You shine. You're amazing. You're the love of my life, and my life is so much better than I ever thought it was going to be because of you, Iggy.
Can we wrap Iggy and Martin up and protect them at all costs, please? They're precious!
Tabitha's parting words with Iggy were interesting, though. She mentioned he displayed some signs of Narcissistic Personality Disorder.
Instinctively, you frown at the mere thought of it, but with cursory knowledge on the signs and symptoms of it, you can somewhat understand what brought her to that conclusion.
For someone to diagnose an adult with NPD, they have to display at least five of the following regardless of context:
- A grandiose sense of self-importance
- Preoccupation with fantasies of unlimited success, power, brilliance, beauty, or ideal love
- Belief that one is special and can only be understood by or associate with special people or institutions
- A need for excessive admiration
- A sense of entitlement (to special treatment)
- Exploitation of others
- A lack of empathy
- Envy of others or the belief that one is the object of envy
- Arrogant, haughty behavior or attitudes
Other symptoms include being easily rejected and hurt, not an inability to take criticism, and at some point, a common belief was was that those who have it present as confident when they are in actuality deeply insecure.
While some don't fit the bill for Iggy (he's nothing if not empathetic, and it's not a ruse), Tabitha's observation was enough to make you think about how Iggy presents, particularly after the therapy session.
Of course, the issue with personality disorders is they have to be extremes and excess of common traits.
Zach: Well, this isn't awkward at all.
Lauren: If you drop me ...
Zach: Then you'll probably be in a wheelchair for the rest of your life.
Zach was no sociopath screwing with Lauren to be an ass, but he's an addict, and he fell off the wagon.
No good could come from one recovering addict placing another in charge of her intake. It was a terrible plan from the beginning.
It took the entire hour of Zach gaslighting the heck out of Lauren before he confessed. She was handling the drug portion of her recovery as responsibly as she could, given the circumstances.
She knew she couldn't take narcotics and perform emergency surgery on the patient they were locked in the room with, and it was that and her willingness to put her health and recovery at risk to save a patient that made Zach feel guilty.
He alienated everyone else in his life. He's lost his family and friends.
Zach: Dr. Bloom, you are actually a very decent human being.
Lauren: Don't tell anyone.
Zach: I, uh, I thought that I could be there for you, but I can't.
Lauren: You were great.
Zach: I took the pill. I took quite a few. I know what I've done is beyond. I know I need help. I've already lost my family and my friends. I can't afford to lose anyone else.
Lauren: When you finish rehab, don't call me. Don't email me. Don't text me. I can't ever see you again. But you know that, right?
He realized he didn't want to lose her either, but he didn't leave her with a choice. He betrayed her, and even if he got himself together again, there's no getting beyond it.
But they can't be together when they're battling addiction, and they're in different stages of their journies.
Somehow, despite his actions, their final scene together was sorrowful.
Meanwhile, the lockdown brought Ella and Kapoor much closer. If any of the other storylines weren't enough to reduce you to tears, the young, pregnant barista's freakout and relief upon realizing her baby was safe did the trick.
I can't feel the baby, Vijay!Ella
Kapoor was such a supportive friend guiding her through her OCD flare up and trying to ease her anxiety. He was so compassionate, understanding, and KAPOOR.
In some moments with this storyline, Kapoor feels too forceful and entitled to Ella's presence. He means well, of course, and he's genuine in his care and concern.
He's a lonely man who is craving family, and Ella is providing him with that, but sometimes he doesn't consider her needs. But Ella is also an enigma.
Sometimes it's hard to tell what she's thinking or what she wants, but when he told her to refocus her energy into imagining the best possible outcome rather than the worse, she envisioned a life in New York.
It's what she desires, which makes Kapoor's offer for her to live with him work better than it would've if he offered it before.
He showed how capable he is helping her through her OCD and her pregnancy. He supported her without infringing on her autonomy.
It was such a beautiful moment they shared when he let her listen to her baby's heartbeat. Damn you, New Amsterdam. Why must you make us feel all the feelings?
Floyd had a nerve-racking experience in the OR when one of the inmates came in to stab the witness repeatedly and stabbed him too.
He was a total boss managing to complete the surgery despite his injury, but when his vision got blurry, and he was on the verge of passing out, it was hard not to want him to step aside.
Duke is still all over the place with winning moments and those that make you roll your eyes. His attempt to chase after the woman who stabbed the witness rather than focusing on the surgery was foolish.
However, he stepped up and helped Floyd through surgery without having to step in despite being unprepared by applying pressure to Floyd's wound. He had his six, and those are the little moments making the mentor/mentee relationship endearing.
It was the least compelling aspect of the hour, and for whatever reason, Floyd has floundered this season. It extends to his relationship with Evie as well.
Evie: Don't scare me like that again.
Floyd: It's all good.I'm right here, baby.
Evie: Life is too short for long-distance. I'm turning down the job in San Francisco.
Floyd: No. San Francisco is sounding really good about now.
It may change now that she's returned from San Francisco, and she wants to stay with him. Although, in his loopy state, he mentioned he wants to go to San Francisco instead.
Yeah, there's nothing much to say about Floyd and Evie. They're on the same page now, maybe. Oddly enough, when she was by his bedside, it seemed as if he was dreaming or hallucinating her due to the drugs.
The conversation they had was real. For now, they want to be together in the same city. It's progress.
Over to you, 'Dam Fanatics!
Are you thrilled about the multi-season pick-up?
What are your thoughts on Helen staying at the hospital after thinking about leaving? Does Max take Helen for granted?
Are you happy Iggy and Martin resolved their issues?
What did you think about their emotional therapy session and Tabitha's observations?
Should Ella move in with Kapoor? Did you guess right about Zach taking the pill? Hit the comments below.
You can watch New Amsterdam online here via TV Fanatic.
Jasmine Blu is a senior staff writer for TV Fanatic. Follow her on Twitter.