We can all agree it has been a rough season for the series.
But one thing New Amsterdam Season 4 Episode 13 had going for it because it felt like a classic installment of this show that we know and love.
We didn't have the frivolous drama with Fuentes and Mia. They put that weird thing with Trevor and Iggy to bed, no one even mentioned Floyd's wretched love life, and there was a perfect balance of positively heartrending medical cases and personal arcs and character development with beloved characters.
It still wasn't a perfect installment, and we'll touch on that a bit soon, but overall, it had many of the factors that we've come to love about this series, and it took us on an emotional rollercoaster ride.
The emphasis on the medical cases, specifically the Joseph family battling two fronts with Dion's injuries from the accident and the parents literally dying to find out what was wrong with their daughter, did wonders for Floyd.
He's a character who thrives best when he's deep in the throes of a medical case and shows his passion for what he does and how much he cares about other people. It's often slept on, but he's one of the most devoted doctors of them all.
You can probably recall many cases where his level of investment with a patient, family, or whatever nearly brought you to tears. And those are the moments with Jocko Sims puts in his best work on this series.
The subtle facial expressions and body language he does to convey so much is always wondrous to witness, and that's why it's routinely frustrating when the show wastes him on silly arcs that are a disservice to his character.
He and Lauren always make a hell of a team. Professionally speaking, they're probably the most badass duo of them all when they work together, and they often prove to be the most effective. They had their hands full with this case as they tackled this family from two angles.
Floyd: Leyla came to me this morning for a recommendation.
Lauren: Is she coming back?
Floyd: Honestly, I don't know.
Floyd devoted his time to saving Dion. Arguably, it was the most gruesome the show has gotten with Dion's legs. One glance at them, and you knew he'd be losing those. But the revelation that he had Crush Syndrome and, despite Floyd's best efforts, he was dying and it was enough to reduce anyone to tears.
All this lovely couple tried to do was get their daughter to the hospital before she died as their previous child had. And now, thanks to Lauren and everyone who took time out of their day to research like crazy for her, Tia got a diagnosis and will live, but she won't have a dad.
It's a tragic twist of fate that breaks your heart with the bittersweetness of it all.
They had Floyd in his element with a case like this, and you could see how much it impacted him. He works best here. It also applies to his friendship with Lauren and the slight meddling.
Naturally, Lauren lives for her work.
She went through such impressive measures to save Tia, and it all started with her opting to believe this woman in the first place about her child. It seems like common sense, but way too often, someone in Lauren's position would've dismissed this mom as overdramatic or something else, and Tia would've died.
It was good to see Walsh back on his feet and aiding in the intense research and think tank to determine what was wrong with Tia, and so many others joined in, which was moving.
Lauren got this save for Tia, but she juggled things in her personal life.
Oh, Lauren, she's a bit confused, but she has the spirit.
Oddly enough, she kept up with her calling and attempted to reach out to Leyla despite Leyla's wishes, and even though her intentions were good, there was still a boundary issue. She was shocked to learn that Leyla met with Floyd to discuss the job. I'm assuming from the promotional pictures -- they cut that scene out.
Lauren got her face to face with Leyla, though she had to manipulate the situation to get there.
But at that moment, she got to express how sincere and contrite she was, running down the specific ways she knew she messed up. And instead of attempting to erase her actions, move past them, or even try to seek forgiveness, she stated she wanted to atone for her actions.
Lauren acknowledging her wrongdoing in detail and stating that she intends to atone in itself is her first step at atonement. It shows an understanding of the situation, her actions and that Leyla doesn't owe her forgiveness. It also shows respect toward Leyla and acknowledgment of her agency -- something Lauren lacked before.
Leyla: I told you I don't want to see you, but you continue to call me. You text me. You ambushed me.
Lauren: I know. I know. I upended your life. I violated your trust, your boundaries, I tried to control you with money, and I'm probably going to regret losing you for the rest of my life, but I'm not trying to change it. I'm trying to atone for it. You shouldn't have to leave this spot because of me. Your residency spot is still open.
Leyla: I can't work with you, Lauren.
Lauren: You won't have to. I'm the one who is leaving.
But Lauren's most significant step in atoning is to leave New Amsterdam so Leyla can continue working her residency there. It's doubtful if we'll reach a point where that comes to fruition, but you never know with this show!
I don't foresee a way where Lauren leaves New Amsterdam when we've already lost characters, and Helen and Max are in this weird limbo with London.
We didn't see Leyla expressly agree to Lauren's gesture, and it would seem odd if Leyla would be okay with Lauren giving up her family and home (because that's what New Amsterdam is for her) of many years.
Wilder's storyline intersecting with Iggy's was one of the strongest of the hour. Wilder is a character who continues to work and remains a highlight of the season.
She's often such a cheerful, optimistic woman who makes you smile and brings a lightness to the series, so it was shocking to see her visceral reaction to Iggy over Adam. She was in full protective sister mode, and her personal connection clouded her judgment a bit.
Adam: Do you remember what I said?
Wilder: "It's time for us to let you go."
Adam: And now, it's time to let me go.
Wilder: I just want to help you.
Adam: You have helped me. So much. More than anyone has or ever will. But now... I need to be on my own And so do you.
It was generally pleasing that we learned more about her personal life, background, and past.
She mentioned her brother before when she pondered whether or not she'd take the job, but this time, we got to see him ourselves. Wilder and Adam felt so much like siblings, and all of their scenes were enthralling.
You could tell how close they are, and their mutual love and devotion for and to each other is what caused the most conflict for them. It would've been so easy for them to build this story of resentment or guilt, but they spun it into something beautiful instead.
Adam spent his whole life as the one person in the Wilder family who didn't coddle her or treat her as fragile, and he never once resented her for taking up so much of her family's time and attention as they navigated raising a deaf child. It made Adam such a relatable character.
Unfortunately, he had his first psychotic break when he was away at college, and it was as if the roles got reversed. Wilder didn't bat an eye at helping her brother, and she never saw it as some burden or related it to guilt either, which was refreshing. She saw it as this way she could show him the same generosity and love that he gave her.
But you could understand why Adam felt like a burden and thought he was holding his sister back. His method of breaking away from her was inadvisable, but it led to beautiful talks between Wilder and Iggy and her and her brother.
I loved when he used a fond memory from their past and advice he gave her as a child to encourage her to let him go.
I'd love to see those two together again. The whole storyline was touching.
And Helen's storyline was nothing if not angsty. It was about time they revisited her relationship with her mother, especially since she unlocked a distorted memory and learned the truth about her father.
Even with their strained relationship, it's bizarre that she's been in London for two months, spoke to her mother on the phone, and never once told her that she lives there now. And it speaks to how little the two talk in-depth that Serwa didn't know about Max and Luna.
Serwa is such a toxic woman, and it was downright uncomfortable listening to the way she spoke to Helen. No one deserves that in the least. Fertility is a delicate subject for women, and Serwa sat at that table and pushed at all the spots.
Serwa is abrasive and speaks down on Helen, but she considers Helen too sensitive if she addresses any of it. It's classic gaslighting. And if you factor in how Serwa speaks about Helen's father, assuming that what we know now is the truth, Serwa wants everyone to be as miserable as she is.
It's sad. Yet, nothing prepared me for the scathing words Helen had for her mother when she told the woman to shut up. We rarely see that side of Helen at all, and Freema Agyeman and Jenny Jules sold their performances during those scenes together.
He didn't walk out the door, you drove him away. I remember. Mum, please. Just stop. I remember him begging to stay. I remember him holding me, and I remember you ripping me from his arms while you screamed at him to get out.Helen
Helen has a lot of things to unpack, and one can't even fathom what it's like for her carrying around all that hurt, anger, betrayal, and trauma. Serwa told Helen that her father didn't love or want her and was racist for years. Serwa ensured that Helen would never have a relationship with him.
Her father tried to reach out until the day he died, and Helen refused based on the word of her toxic mother, and now she knows all of this was a lie. She's carrying the hurt and anger at her mother but also the guilt and loss. It's too much for one person to carry all these years without working through it. Helen needs therapy.
Sadly, this is already affecting her relationship with Max. She's lashing out and self-sabotaging right now, and it's not fair to him in the least.
She had to know what could happen if she left Max there with her mother after that blowout. She's in love with a fixer, and he loves her enough to want her to have a relationship with her mother that works.
And in his defense, I don't believe she told him the extent of her mother's lies and this new revelation about her father that has changed the entire way she's viewed her life since she was a child.
All Max knows is that her mother is sick, and one of the reasons they moved to London in the first place was so they could be close to her, and Helen could work on their relationship.
It was unfair of her to get upset with Max for attempting to help her in that way and throwing himself into family matters when he thought they were a family. It sucked when he asked her about that, and she didn't respond.
Helen can't have it both ways. She would've been upset with him if he didn't move to London with her, and she would've felt it meant he couldn't commit to her. But now that he has moved to London, she either assumes that he'll want to go back, or she accuses him of resenting her for the move or holding it over her head.
Helen: Max, I need you to stay out of my family.
Max: Oh, okay. I guess I thought we were a family. Are we? A family?
He's damned if he does and damned if he doesn't here.
Worst of all, this significant fight between the two and all of this angst is unresolved because of the news about Kapoor.
We knew something would bring the two of them back to New Amsterdam, and understandably, a death did the trick. But this was a tough one.
The problem is that we've gotten used to Kapoor's absence for so long, and they gave the character a sendoff that revisiting it feels weird and contrived. And the last thing most fans recall is that he had COVID and almost died.
In fact, many fans probably thought he died back then. It feels weird to have the character recover from a deadly virus offscreen, not mention him at any other point, then abruptly kill him off. Surely there were different ways to bring Max and Helen back to New Amsterdam.
Nevertheless, the two of them reuniting with their friends, or rather family, in the hall of New Amsterdam was the cherry on top of an emotional hour.
- Both Lauren and Leyla were the cutest. I loved their hair during this installment.
- So, why did Ella call Max and Helen before she told Iggy, who was Kapoor's closest friend? And what kind of flight did they jump in where they got to New Amsterdam directly after people in the same city found out about Kapoor?
- Did they drop Luna off at her grandparents house, the daycare, or are there taxi drivers in a pub somewhere babysitting?
- Luna playing football/soccer was the cutest opener!
- What exactly is the point of this Trevor/Iggy thing? I don't know what's weirder: Trevor assuming Iggy was straight and still inappropriately flirting with him in the workplace, him claiming he didn't want to be a homewrecker but still flirting, or Iggy still not acknowledging how inappropriate this is.
I'm not a homewrecker.Trevor [to Iggy]
- So, Max is back at New Amsterdam, and the others still haven't gotten into any good trouble or done anything significant to challenge Fuentes. When exactly is the Resistance resisting?
- I thought The Resident had the worst, creepiest fake baby in existence, but New Amsterdam said, "hold my binky," and threw in cries that sounded like a howling cat, too.
- It was good to see Ella again.
Over to you, 'Dam Fanatics.
What are your thoughts on Wilder's background and brother? How do you feel about the Sharpwin angst? Do you think Lauren is really going to leave New Amsterdam? Hit the comments.
You can watch New Amsterdam online here via TV Fanatic.
Jasmine Blu is a senior staff writer for TV Fanatic. Follow her on Twitter.