New Amsterdam Season 2 Episode 18 Review: A Matter of Seconds

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It wasn't the finale we expected, but it was one we needed.

While there were a few storylines left up in the air and matters left unresolved, New Amsterdam Season 2 Episode 18 did its best to give us some of the quality we have come to know and love from the series for its unplanned finale of the season.

And the good news is that after a three-season pickup order, we know that there is plenty more of the 'Dam Fam in the future.

Playing Pretend - Tall  - New Amsterdam Season 2 Episode 18

The hour started with a lovely message from Ryan Eggold explaining the decision to cut the pandemic-focused installment out of respect for the CoVid- pandemic. He also extended his love, appreciation, and support to all of those medical staff members and first-responders combatting this.

And then, he introduced us to Daniel Dae Kim, who kicked off the highlight wheel of Dr. Shin. We got a decent idea of what type of person Shin is thanks to a rather amusing intro that showed a man who had an unorthodox way counterproductive to how the staff of New Amsterdam operates.

Shin is quite a character. He comes across a bit self-involved and airy, and it could give someone the impression that he doesn't care about his patients as much as he should.

Cassian and Lauren - New Amsterdam Season 2 Episode 18

But he showed to be innovative and damn great at his job, which is something Helen took notice of when he figured out how to extract shrapnel from a patient in an ambulance utilizing the UV-Lights.

And once he elaborated on what his method of treating patients consisted of, it made sense. Shin knows the importance of self-care.

Self-care saves lives. It might not be the New Amsterdam way, but it's my way. 

Shin

He can't be a surgeon and doctor at the top of his form if he isn't taking care of himself. He's not wrong for that, and it does speak to the type of culture we've fostered where our immediate response to someone who doesn't damn near burn themselves out is that they're not a caring person.

If we're not glorifying busy, then we're assuming it means you're lazy. If we're not doggedly pushing ourselves to and beyond the limit -- self-sacrificing for some greater good, then we're seen as selfish.

Cassian Shin - Tall  - New Amsterdam Season 2 Episode 18

When you consider that, Shin taking time to make sure he was in his best form, and prioritizing and delegating cases in the ER was reasonable.

If a case that didn't require his expertise kept him occupied, then he would miss out on those patients who needed him most. Shin is a lot to adjust to, and he has a different style that doesn't fall in line with the self-sacrificial vibe the other doctors have, but he's an exciting addition.

Lauren: You see anything that interests you today? 
Shin: Um, nope.
Lauren: Always a pleasure, Dr. Shin.

Helen, once she understood him, appreciated him, that's for sure. The two of them must have bonded after spending his first day together. It was something of which Lauren took notice when Helen didn't have the same sarcastic tone when speaking to Shin.

Shin impressed Helen when he did his ambulance surgery, but how Helen figured out what was happening to the patients in the ER impressed him.

Self- Care - Tall  - New Amsterdam Season 2 Episode 18

The irony of pre-filled tubes carrying too much morphine and giving patients drug overdoses was not lost, and it was an incredible save by Helen. I'm still unsure how she associated the wet stain on the surgical tray with overfilled syringes so quickly, but Helen is a badass like that.

She impressed the heck out of Shin too, and by the hour's end, the two of them were walking arm in arm down the street, spending time with each other.

Lauren: Heyyy?!
Helen: I have no idea what you're talking about. 

It seems they've hit it off, and it also sounds as though Helen has taken Shin's advice about self-care to heart. Instead of spending the night buried in paperwork, she sent a quick text to Max that she'd be taking the night off.

Good for Helen, even though this relationship with Shin was sort of dropped upon us out of the blue.

Helen Helps Her Patient  - New Amsterdam Season 2 Episode 18

He could have a positive influence on her, though. His beliefs already crept into her case with Ollie and Lena, who were the most precious married couple on Earth.

Poor Ollie was wearing himself out, taking care of his cancer-stricken wife. Your heart ached for the man when he was falling asleep by her bedside. You knew he felt some guilt overlooking her infection.

He deserved some respite help since Helen was right. He can't be an efficient caretaker if he isn't looking after himself too.

The hour weaved "taking care of the caretaker" throughout the installment well.

Smug Helen  - New Amsterdam Season 2 Episode 16

Helen is a bit of one herself, and she's also a sort of crutch for Max often, so one can't help but wonder how things may play out now that he's done playing pretend with Alice and Helen is involved with Shin.

They tend to lose themselves into each other, so it's like them to not be involved with others at the same time. Max always falls back on Helen, but he won't be as inclined to do so now that she's having a semblance of personal life again.

Max: I like pretending that I'm not still grieving. I like pretending that Luna has a mom. We know we're pretending, but they don't. It's not fair, is it?
Alice: I wish I met you in a few years, then maybe...
Max: I had so much fun when I didn't think I could anymore.
Alice: You should go.
Max: Okay.
Alice: Bye.
Max: Bye.
Alice: Max, I'll see you at the next general manager's convention.

That timing sucks; we could've gotten a double date or something.

The couple mistaking them for a happy family was the beginning of the end for Max and Alice. He loved having this person to commiserate with as a fellow widowed parent while also having fun.

Malice - tall  - New Amsterdam Season 2 Episode 16

But neither of them felt the relationship was ever going to be something serious at this point in their lives, so they didn't think it was fair to their kids to "play house."

And it makes sense. It's also complicated. They both have young children who are missing a parent. The more time the babies spend with this other person, the more inclined they are to see them as that other parent.

You guys are like the perfect family.

Mom

On the one hand, it's nice to feel as if their kids have both parents, but on the other, it has to feel like a betrayal, for lack of other words, to the memory of the parent lost.

They parted ways amicably, and it was nice that Max had a reprieve from his loneliness and grief. His journey toward moving through it will probably be a long one, and this is but a chapter in it.

It seemed the case with young Liam deeply affected him also.

Many Hats - Tall  - New Amsterdam Season 2 Episode 16

It's a total Max move to diagnose a child who bumped into him at a park. Can you imagine how awful those parents would feel discovering their son had Duchenne Muscular Dystrophy down the road without someone as compassionate as Max there for them?

It was hard not to feel awful for Liam's mother, who felt guilty for passing this gene down to her son. The entire case was enough to bring you to tears.

All we can do as parents really I mean is try to pass down the best of ourselves to our kids in the limited time we have.

Max

Max tried so hard to give Liam the best options there were. It was particularly awesome how he handled the doctor of the study. Over the years, he's better at getting past the red tape and getting his way.

But then they gave us that heartbreaking sequence of Liam failing to get up in under ten seconds. He wasn't ready for that study, and the other was not a guarantee that they would have more time with their son or slow down his muscle deterioration.

Helen and Lauren Talk  - New Amsterdam Season 2 Episode 18

It was an impossible choice. You understood both arguments about putting Liam in the Seattle study versus waiting and hoping for something better. They only had one shot at this, after all.

The couple decided to enjoy the time they had with their son now, while hoping for the best was, ugh, another one of those moments that gave you all the feels.

Agnes: Maybe your hand just grazed your leg accidentally.
Kapoor: This woman definitely cupped my buttocks. 

As usual, Kapoor's storyline added levity to the hour, albeit in a bit of creepy way.

Let's be honest; if it was a matter of a male spouse of a patient treating a female doctor that way, the whole tone would be off. It wouldn't feel like a funny storyline at all.

Kapoor's clipboard - tall  - New Amsterdam Season 2 Episode 6

The woman was insatiable, and no one seemed to believe that she could desire Kapoor or be hitting on him.

He had a point about people not viewing you as a sexual being with desires, needs, and wants after a certain age.

Kapoor: Iggy, I need your advice. 
Iggy: Actually, Vijay, I'm going through something big.
Kapoor: I am being sexually propositioned by a patient's wife.
Iggy: My God, everyone has such good comebacks today. 

One of the funniest moments was when he went to Iggy seeking advice. Iggy needed to work through problems of his own, but others' were more pressing every time.

Leave it to Kapoor to bypass Robin's attempt to grab his buttocks again (a hilarious line), and diagnose her with a tumor based on her eyes dilating.

Karen and Kapoor - Tall - New Amsterdam Season 2 Episode 18

Kapoor makes some of the best diagnoses. But then they teased a potential pairing that no one could've saw coming, but may also be intriguing.

Kapoor babbled his way right into getting Karen's phone number and an invitation to go out for drinks. It made up for the fact that Robin was only into Kapoor due to a tumor by showing that someone was still interested in him after all.

Karen: Tough case?
Kapoor: As a woman who has lived a full life, and who is vital and attractive, you will understand how at a certain age, people will stop seeing you as someone with wants, and desires, and passions. We're not invisible. I am sorry, Madam chairwoman, for speaking out of turn
Karen: Goodnight, Dr. Kapoor.

Ironically, that storyline wasn't as clumsy as Iggy's. The show doesn't shy away from tackling many issues, so it wasn't a surprise that a gun rights case would come up in another way.

We don't get to find out anything else about Iggy's unofficial diagnosis of NPD. We don't have any closure on that storyline and how that has affected him, nor did we get an update on his marriage either.

Advocating or Hurting?  - New Amsterdam Season 2 Episode 18

In that sense, Iggy's storyline was a bit unsatisfying on a personal front.

They had him on a case where he had to evaluate Brendan to determine if legally, he was in the right frame of mind to possess a firearm.

Brendan: Do you own a gun? Do you own a gun?
Iggy: That's not... this is not about me.
Brendan: Are you sure about that? Tell me, are you in favor of open- carry? What about the second amendment?
Iggy: Brendan --
Brendan: I'm the one whose house got broken into. I'm the one whose rights are being stripped away, and you sit there and claim to be impartial, but from over here, it sure as hell seems like you're another bleeding heart liberal who made up his mind the second he heard the word gun.

They waded right into the conservative versus liberal waters with this one.

Ironically, right out the gate, Brendan was accusing Iggy of being a judgmental, bleeding heart liberal because of Iggy having the gall to ask him standard questions, but somehow Iggy was gaslit into thinking he was the one pre-judging.

Loitering - Tall  - New Amsterdam Season 2 Episode 12

He never answered Brendan's original question at first, so when he came in and regaled Brendan with his experience with guns, it almost made you wonder if his effort to disarm Brendan by relating to him was genuine.

Not that Iggy lies to his patients or anything, but perhaps it was a result of how the scenes played out.

Iggy: So you lowered the gun.
Brendan: No, I just kept it there. Just trained on her for a second or two. You should have seen her face.
Iggy: Did you ever think about pulling the trigger?
Brendan: No, of course not. I just wanted to scare her. I wanted her to feel like I did for once, powerless.

On the one hand, it was refreshing that they cut to the chase and allowed there to be a space -- a very real space -- for someone to advocate for gun safety while also respecting the second amendment.

The rigidity is a pain in the butt, but Iggy could sit there as a man who owned a gun, and was familiar with and grew up surrounded by them, who also happens to be a liberal who wanted safe gun ownership.

Statement at a Hearing - Tall - New Amsterdam Season 2 Episode 18

I loved that for Iggy. Brendan, however, was a bit cliche, wasn't he?

Iggy, nor anyone else, had to accuse him of being an [insert whatever] conservative, but he jumped to the worst conclusion when Iggy asked him questions.

He was visibly uncomfortable with the concept of therapy and wasn't a fan of it. He kept going on about his rights, and then basically said that his gun is what made him feel powerful. Oh, and he chose to assert that power that he felt his wife took from him, by reminding her that he could hold her life in his hands.

Iggy: Any idea why your wife thinks you're so dangerous?
Brendan: Yeah, because I almost killed her. 

It wasn't about protecting his home from a burglar the second he realized his wife was the person downstairs. It was about asserting dominance, power, and fear in a woman for breaking his heart by still pointing the gun at her face and relishing the fear in her eyes.

I mean, yeah, I get it. Hell, call me a bleeding-heart liberal too, if you want, but it sucked that Iggy was given the space to be more than just stereotypes tacked to the political label, while Brendan wasn't given that same courtesy.

Lauren's Celebration - Tall  - New Amsterdam Season 2 Episode 18

If I'm overthinking or analyzing it, let me know below.

The idea was to make a statement about the scary and concerning laws about gun safety and ownership.

Lauren: It's not my birthday.
Jeanie: Did I get the day wrong? 
Lauren: You got the season wrong.

Iggy conducted his therapy session, he found out some troubling things, and he had reason to be concerned. Red flags went up all over the place.

But as with the law, only two questions mattered. If Brendan didn't pose a threat to himself he was fine. If he didn't pose a threat to others, he was also fine.

Cake Time - Tall  - New Amsterdam Season 2 Episode 18

On paper, he wasn't going to kill himself, and he didn't meet the criteria for someone who would go on a shooting spree, so Brendan got his Glock back.

And now his wife is getting one too to protect herself from her ex-husband in the event he wants to feel powerful again.

The message sent was clear, but the execution and how they chose to reach this point was heavy-handed and more polarizing then it needed to be.

But New Amsterdam always makes an effort.

Managing Death - Tall  - New Amsterdam Season 2 Episode 13

Addition Notes:

  • We're left hanging with Floyd too. It sucks.
  • Jeanie does seem like the type who would try to appeal to Lauren's boyfriend.
  • Also, it's interesting that Lauren was showing some jealousy over her mother's relationship with Casey. Wouldn't that suggest she has some sort of feeling for him? Will Cabloom rise?
  • Her mom getting the wrong season for Lauren's birthday is hilarious, but at least they're on the mend.
  • I wonder how Ella and the baby are doing? We didn't even get a mention.
  • It was understated, but it worked well enough as a finale.

Over to you, 'Dam Fanatics.

Did it work as a finale? How did you feel about Iggy's storyline? What's your first impression of Shin? Hit the comments below.

If you want to relive the season, you can watch New Amsterdam online here via TV Fanatic. 

A Matter of Seconds Review

Editor Rating: 4.4 / 5.0
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User Rating:

Rating: 4.7 / 5.0 (12 Votes)

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

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