Ryan Eggold made his directorial debut on his series. How do you think he did?
It's always impressive when one of the actors juggles roles both in front of and behind the camera for an installment, and on New Amsterdam Season 2 Episode 14, Eggold pulled it off without a hitch.
After a handful of serious and at times morose installments, it was a welcome reprieve having some of New Amsterdam's trademark humor back in large doses.
The humorous hours are among the best. They counterbalance every installment and contribute to the medley of feels we come to expect from the series.
New Amsterdam has a way of taking something that should be mundane, like Max trying to balance out the budget, and turning it into a fun and informative series of scenes leading up to a satisfying result.
It also manages to delve into topics that not many series on network television know how to address with grace and elegance that isn't instantly offputting.
Helen and Iggy's case addressing the physical and psychological effects of racism is something you never imagine a series having the cajones to take on.
It was pleasantly surprising, and even when they fumble their way through the subject matter, you at least give them the props for being bold enough to go there in the first place.
And Kapoor is quietly the show's embodiment of respecting the past, elders, and simplicity. It's always a joy when Kapoor goes up against the current system and prevails. In a world that insists on moving fast, he's the reminder that there is still space and a necessity for his way of life.
Mother: How does a 13-year-old get a tumor in his brain from stress?
Helen: That's what I would like to find out.
And Iggy's personal issues aside, he's always so earnest and eager to fix the world. He's so hopeful and determined, sometimes just as much and arguably more than Max.
It's something hopeful about Iggy's enthusiasm and passion for his patients. It does gear more toward obsession, but you always know it in your bones and can trust that he would change the world if he could, but he settles at helping his patients one at a time.
Installments that capture all of this and the respective qualities of our favorite doctors are always the strongest.
Kapoor versus D.A.W.N was funny on its own, but it was also so damn real. How many times have you had the misfortune of dealing with some new tech that sets out to make things better and easier? It often turns out to be a pain in the ass.
Of them all, Kapoor has a process, and he rarely deviates. Kapoor's methods work best for him. In all the years that he's practiced medicine, it's what makes him a damn good doctor.
And every time he turns around, something or someone wants to challenge or improve upon his method. If it ain't broke, don't fix it.
What's amusing about all of this is even though Kapoor hates to deviate from how he does things, he's adaptable. He learns how to adjust when he has to, but somehow, his tried methods win out in the end.
D.A.W.N was showing him up, cutting the time he takes to diagnose his patients. It was effective and time-efficient, but it lacked the personal element that Kapoor excels in.
However, Steph's condition was quite the conundrum. D.A.W.N conveniently got silent. And that's where it showed that while the technology is good to a degree, nothing can replace human doctors with experience.
It was fit that the case that stumped D.A.W.N involved a lovely Jewish family who refrains from electricity and technology on the Sabbath.
D.A.W.N couldn't see the young girl breaking rules, and it wouldn't have the foresight to question her about breaking other rules on Sabbath.
It's the only way Kapoor diagnosed that Steph got a tapeworm passed to her by her daughter after she sneaked and ate a hot dog from a vendor.
Kapoor's wins are always satisfying and reaffirming for how he chooses to practice medicine.
And Iggy's cases will always move and inspire you. It has been more than a few studies about the psychological and physiological effects of racism on 'isms on a person. In theory, it makes sense that stress or paranoia can contribute to a person's health.
Iggy: Does anyone else make you feel that way, less than? Diminished?
Cepheus: I'm 13, so everybody.
Yet, in a society where people dismiss such things as someone being too sensitive, no one makes to make those connections. It's one of those things that's out there, but no one chooses to talk about them.
Except, New Amsterdam did. Cephas was sick because of how aware he is of the world around him. He couldn't put a name to what he was feeling and why he was feeling it, but it was there, and his stress and anxiety gave him tumors.
Sadly, his mother tried to shield him from the things she experienced or the bigotry of the world, but it's impossible to do that. You can't shield or protect minority kids from racism; it's not you, it's not you, it's everyone else.
You can't shield or protect women from sexism, or disabled people from ableism, or LGBTQ+ from phobias. It's part of how they experience the world, so it's best to prepare and teach them how to process it.
Even here in this progressive hospital, I have to deal with microaggressions every day. From people who mean well. From people who should know better.Helen
And there's no cure for racism. The show treaded through this lightly by pointing out that racism and how people experience it isn't always a matter of malice.
One faces daily microaggressions and well-intentions. Helen shared experiences of her own, even at a progressive, diverse place like New Amsterdam.
Iggy was so focused on trying to solve racism as an entity, that he forgot how to circle it around to help his patient. Iggy and Helen work so well together. It's one of the best pairings.
She knows how to bring Iggy down to what's within his control, and she got him to focus on Cephas and solving that first.
Iggy: Why wouldn't the librarian let you take out those books.
Cephas: Because of the color of my skin.
It didn't mean his high-noon standoff with Max and Todd wasn't hilarious, though.
He was doing a decent job until the budget almost cost Gladys her job. Who is Iggy without Gladys?
She's his work wife -- his partner in crime, the yin to his work yang, there's no way in hell he'd function without her. You don't threaten Gladys!
Max's budget antics were amusing. We always get those reminders of how awful his job can be. And Todd's return, despite the circumstances, is a welcomed one.
What we need isn't less programs, but more patients.Max
They have a frenetic, engaging comradeship. They're so vastly different from one another.
They always fall on opposite ends of the political spectrum, but it works, and they have mutual respect for one another. It's refreshing during a time when everything is so frustratingly polarizing and divisive.
The series doesn't ask either of them to bend, and because of the nature of the show, they could easily make Todd out to be some villain worthy of mocking, but they don't.
Max had to cut $2 million in one day to meet payroll for his staff. New Amsterdam has so many vital programs; he couldn't figure out where to begin.
Glad I was at lunch for that one.Todd
But Todd was right there, forcing his hand for the entire hour. For Todd, it was easy. His suggestion was cutting the prenatal program that served undocumented women. It fit with his political beliefs.
Poor Max spent the entire day trying to cut corners and avoid doing too much damage, but each program is like his baby, and he was flipping out.
He also hated that it made him the bad guy. Everyone had a reason for why some program or another had to stay open. Hell, he even managed to piss off Helen when he suggested cutting mammograms for women under 40.
It earned him a well-deserved door slammed in his face. It was funny enough, but Todd's reaction, munching away on his chips with that dry humor of his sold it.
Todd: I threw it away.
Todd: Your budget. I threw it away.
Todd: I knew you'd come up with something.
In the end, Max followed Todd's suggestion, but then he had one of his trademark epiphanies. I don't know how it works out that he could still pay everyone despite adding more programs that might not pay off as quickly as you'd think.
But I don't care. It led to that sweet moment where Todd admitted that he threw the budget away anyway since he knew Max would come up with something.
Todd doesn't have to sacrifice his beliefs and who he is to appreciate Max, and that's cool. Sometimes it's a bit too much when others come around to Max's way of thinking, so he needs to have some pushback.
I still think Max could've met his goal if he got rid of that evil witch Castro. She doesn't care about her patients; she only cares about her trial. We saw that at the end of the hour with Helen's dying patient. Castro is despicable, and she needs to go.
On a personal level, Max felt like he was getting pushed to date Alice. It seems like he thinks he's supposed to be ready to date again, but he's not there yet, and that's OK.
It's more than OK. I was indifferent to Georgia myself, but why the rush to pair him up with someone a few months after her death?
God knows if they paired him up with someone we know in the same manner, people would lose their minds.
Max and Alice's friendship is quaint, though. They can bond over being single parents and widows. He needs a bit of a life outside of New Amsterdam.
Apparently, Floyd needs a life outside of it too. It's almost like Max knew what Floyd was going to say, so he kept avoiding him.
Max: I don't think I can do this.
Alice: I don't think I can do it either.
He even sent him to Mexico with his poorly thought out plan of outsourcing patients to medical facilities out of the country to better serve patients.
It was fine in theory, and there are some advantages. However, in his patient's case, the facility wasn't equipped to deal with any other issues that came up outside of its purview.
And that's dangerous as hell.
But boy did Max end up with a shock of his life when the new doctor called and said she was interested in the opening for the head of cardio. He tried to tell you, Max!
Lauren: So, you win What do you want mom?
Mrs. Bloom: Dinner.
Was anyone else super excited that Gina Gershon appeared in this installment?
She's amazing, and the excitement over her appearance could not be contained.
We know Lauren has a heck of a strained relationship with her mother. It only sucked that we didn't get more of her during this installment.
But, I'm looking forward to more of her.
Over to you, 'Dam Fanatics. What did you think of the hour? 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.