New Amsterdam Season 4 Episode 17 Review: Unfinished Business

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Where to even begin with this?! It was a hell of an installment.

If you weren’t emotionally wrung out and fatigued after New Amsterdam Season 4 Episode 17, congratulations on being made of stronger stock. It felt like they threw everything imaginable at us nonstop for 40-something minutes, and there was barely a chance to catch our breath.

The hour put us through the wringer, and they amped up the drama to new heights and delivered on some moments we wanted, but at what costs, ‘Dam Fanatics? At what costs?

Buckle your seatbelts, as this may be a snarky one, and unpopular opinions abound for some factions of the fandom but digress, I shall.

Finally, we got to the bottom of what happened to some of our beloved doctors.

As cognizant as many of us are about the shift in perception of doctors and healthcare workers from the beginning of the pandemic versus now, it was still downright cringeworthy that predictably, the source of the drama was an anti-vax, COVID conspiracy theorist who hated doctors and was angry about his business.

They veered into the preposterous with the heavy-handed social justice statement at the center of this exhaustingly dramatic and stressful ordeal.

Suppose this man was so furious that he was one of the lucky survivors, and his business suffered for it. Why in bloody hell would he poison a bunch of doctors when it would inevitably trace back to him and his establishment, leading him to get arrested and lose his business for good?

Heaven knows many folks aren’t working with anything that resembles logic these days, but it was painful all the same that he confessed to an angry Wilder and got carted away like a villain in a Scooby-Doo episode.

Wilder: When did everything change?
Karen: What?
Wilder: You remember the parades celebrating healthcare workers, spontaneous walks around the city every night and now the hospital is full of unvaccinated people in the halls who hate us. We’ve become the enemy for trying to help.
Karen: I know.
Wilder: I used to wear my scrubs home from work. Now, I put on my regular clothes. I don’t want people to know I’m a doctor because I’m afraid I’ll be attacked. How can I have hope in a world like this?
Karen: Sorry, kid. But you’re the hope. It’s just you. That’s all you got.

Fortunately, Wilder, as she’s wan to do, brought heart, sympathy, and delicious vulnerability to the situation when she confided in Karen and Ben that she didn’t understand how everyone hailed them as heroes over a year ago threw parades for them. Now she’s terrified of getting attacked on the street if she wears her scrubs.

Frank evoked such raw vulnerability, confusion, and pain during that one scene. The message about how we’re treating healthcare workers now would’ve sufficed and hit the emotional mark with that sole scene alone.

Karen’s words to her were powerful and moving. Wilder is the hope and the change. It’s the type of inspirational and saccharine result you expect and love about this series.

And when they followed it up with Wilder changing into scrubs and walking home, concussion protocol be damned, it was a moment of her reclaiming some power. It would’ve been simple and effective enough right there.

We could’ve learned that the mysterious person who came to her apartment via the dating app, something they never followed up on, was the person who had this reaction to doctors. That portion of the arc could’ve been isolated without them striking so hard at their social justice agenda for the hour.

Wilder came out of this okay, and that’s a relief, even though things were fuzzy. Surprisingly, everyone survived this ordeal despite them milking the potential for death for all that it was worth for most of the hour.

We learned that Trevor showed up at another hospital and was fine. But Mia was another person who was hanging on by a thread. Somehow, she went a whole day lying on the pavement under a pier somewhere, and no one noticed her or stole her bike.

I’m not even sure how Floyd was the one to track her down in the first place, but it was one of a zillion things that we had to overlook for the sake of the plot. And she had one of the worst reactions to the shots.

Floyd pulled off a hell of a save with Mia when it appeared she could be a goner. As one of the team’s newest members, her position made her more expendable, so, surprisingly, she survived.

Floyd’s plan to trigger her allergies with meds she can’t take to get her heart rate and such up only to shock her and get her going again was ingenious despite the doubts of his colleagues.

Floyd is quick on his feet and a damn fine doctor, which is why we’re four seasons into this series, and it remains puzzling why they don’t know what the hell to do with his character.

What was the point of this polyamory baby plot from Satan himself? It’s been the most irritating storyline in a season full of them!

I genuinely do not understand why Floyd’s love life is such a contrived disaster. Every season, you say Floyd deserves better than this, and that doesn’t change.

Floyd’s entire arc this season was one colossal waste of time. They could’ve spent his arc with him mentoring that young doctor who disappeared into the abyss instead.

We learn that Floyd is the child’s father, but despite that, he’s willing to let Lyn relocate with Claude with the promise that they’ll tell the kid about him one day.

Pardon my French, but what the F*CK is that?! The Floyd we’ve come to know wouldn’t accept this in any capacity. It feels so out of character for him — but so does Floyd’s participation in a romance with a married woman who had no fundamental understanding of what polyamory actually means.

The only thing worst than them wasting our time with this terrible storyline is how it ended. And God help us all; I hope it’s finished for good!

But if we speculate here, despite his love for Lyn, it’s starting to feel like Floyd has a connection with Mia. Not only does this mean that they’re potentially setting up another romance storyline for Floyd, but we’re coming full circle in an uncomfy manner.

The Floyd of New Amsterdam Season 1 made a huge deal about his preference for only getting serious with Black women, and that’s why he and Lauren could never be more than casual. They’ve spent the entire series pairing Floyd up with Black women and creating truly absurd predicaments to tear those relationships apart.

If they did all of that only for Floyd to end up with Mia in some, I don’t know, come to Jesus moment for him about his preferences or whatever, I’d be at a loss for words.

Not because he and Mia wouldn’t be an intriguing couple or don’t have nice chemistry, because they really do, but the execution of Floyd’s entire romantic journey is so utterly dissatisfying that this end result would be surreal; it’s laughable.

Of course, Floyd isn’t the only character who has suffered greatly and narratively. Ignatius freaking Frome is UNBEARABLE.

We have officially reached the point where one hopes Martin will divorce Iggy, take the kids, and hell, maybe replace him at New Amsterdam so we can have a psychiatrist with actual sense, morals, decency, and who is likable, too.

It wouldn’t be soon enough if Martin doesn’t kick Iggy out by the next installment. We’ve watched this man support Iggy through it all. He’s the one who takes care of the kids and runs their household while practicing psychiatry too.

A hysterectomy? It’s going to permanently change my future. It’s going to change my personality.

Helen

He’s Iggy’s cheerleader, support, shoulder the cry on, freaking therapist, and everything under the sun. He’s dealt with Iggy’s lying, emotional affairs, that terrible adoption planning behind his back, and Iggy’s PSTD, trauma, self-esteem issues, insecurities, and body dysmorphia.

They’ve dealt with homophobic family members and everything under the freaking sun. All Martin does is be hot, take care of their family and mind his gosh damn business, and Iggy just sucks the life out of this man and takes his marriage for granted at every conceivable turn.

Not only did Iggy lie about Trevor and get caught, but he fixed his lips to gaslight Martin about the emotional cheating he was doing, deflected by bringing up Martin’s attractive friends, and then making himself the victim again but falling back on his self-esteem issues.

Iggy is so damn toxic that maybe there’s some truth to that randomly dropped storyline about him being a narcissist!

It was heartbreaking when the two started fighting, and we saw their kids sitting outside the door, listening and traumatized by the whole ordeal.

And you could feel the shift in everything when they were sitting at that table. It’s no way their marriage survives this. Frankly, Martin and the kids deserve better.

Just throw the whole Iggy away!

Of course, things also packed an emotional punch for the Casey, Lauren, and Leyla portion of the hour.

They’ve played with our hearts too many times with Casey’s life. Can we please leave him alone now?

Fortunately, he survived the accident, but he got mugged, left in an alley, and stabbed.

Casey was another case where you feared he wouldn’t make it out of the hour alive. And it led to some of the most emotional moments between him and Lauren.

She and Leyla made a great team, figuring out how to stop the bleeding in Casey’s neck with caulk. Were they supposed to pull the screwdriver out? It seemed inadvisable!

Casey thought he was knocking on death’s door, but he was willing to go out doing what he’s done this entire series, which is supporting Lauren. Casey is notoriously a sounding board.

It was worrisome when he expressed that he thought he would die, and it didn’t seem as if they’d make it to the hospital in time. It’s a relief that Claude, who I thought got fired(?), could perform surgery on him with some success.

And Casey and Lauren had that sweet moment in the hospital room when she rested her head on his chest and relished that he survived.

But Lauren had a lot on her mind about Leyla, too. It seems we’re back on the Leyren train. It’s good for the ship because Montgomery and Kalaiselvan have such incredible chemistry and bring so much to their respective roles and this relationship.

In that sense, you always root for this pairing, even when the obstacles between them strain their relationship.

But this immigration arc is frustrating, and essentially it’s now used to undo what they did before, absolving Lauren of the very morally questionable thing she did by giving her this chance to redeem herself in a falsely selfless way.

The imbalanced power dynamic between Lauren and Leyla has always been part of their relationship, and there’s no real escaping that.

However, they never had to double down so hard on it either. The series loves to lean heavily into the “white saviorism,” with Max and Lauren leading the pack.

But that’s what routinely makes the way that creeps into Lauren’s romantic relationship with Leyla so irritating and something which the show struggles to get from beneath no matter how appealing the pairing is.

Lauren: Leyla, you need a lawyer.
Leyla: I know. I now, I Know. But–
Lauren: How much do you need?
Leyla: Ten thousand dollars, just for the retainer, and then another 10, 000 a month. I hate to ask you. I don’t know who else.

It was that unspoken thing at the root of their breakup, and the two could’ve easily found their way back to one another after Lauren came to grips with what she did and why it was an issue.

But they’ve undercut the root of that issue by now having Leyla ask Lauren for and be willing to take thousands of dollars from her for an immigration attorney.

Lauren is doing this out of love, and anyone capable of it would do the same for someone they care about here. Lauren would do the same for Casey or others.

But the narrative shifts back to showcasing how Lauren is doing this as a selfless act because she believes that it could mean she’d sacrifice her romantic relationship with Leyla for good after making their dynamic transactional again and wielding more power.

But we know that it won’t mean they can’t be together again. They love each other, and Leyla sought Lauren’s help this time. So instead, it feels like Leyla humbled herself and submitted to this dynamic, and she’s now okay, and it feels like they missed the ball entirely with what they intended to depict or explore.

Again, they could’ve just avoided this whole thing with Lauren “saving” Leyla in the first place and left them alone.

They’ve set them back to where they were, but this time, Leyla’s okay with it, and I don’t understand the point of introducing any of this without getting to the root of the issue or giving them a shot at standing on equal ground.

It’s always been about more than just Lauren’s money. It’s always been about all of her privileges as a wealthy, white American woman in comparison. Interracial, intercultural, etc., relationships face and work through these issues every day; I don’t get why they can’t just naturally do that with these two.

But again, they knocked their scenes out of the park, and all roads lead to Leyren, so at least there’s that.

And then there’s the Sharpwin of it all!

I’ve never been so thrilled and devastated for this pairing within the same hour.

We do not know why Helen endured the worst of the serum. Everyone else passed out or whatever else, but Lauren managed to have a series of clots all over her body, a prognosis that she needed a hysterectomy, coded, had a stroke, and now she’s battling aphasia.

Do the writers hate Helen and refuse to let her be happy, or do they love Freema’s ability to masterfully portray everything they throw at her so well that they up the ante for fun?

My heart ached for Max as they wheeled her into the hospital. He was lost beyond words, and it messed him up that he could lose another person he loves.

As a man who lost his wife, you can’t ignore the specific pain he would feel over the idea that he found love again, and death would claim it. It’s something he’s endured since he was a child losing his sister.

You can’t imagine Max without Helen at this point in his life. If he lost her, it would destroy him, and Eggold sold that well in every scene.

Helen’s prognosis was utterly terrifying. She required three surgeries, and they all were dangerous. You felt the prospect that she could never make it off that table.

It was stressful. But then, when Helen heard that she would need a hysterectomy too, it brought about all the pain that Helen experienced as a woman who struggled to conceive.

Luna is Helen’s world now, but you knew deep down she still hoped that she and Max could have a child of their own, too.

But none of that would be possible if she got a hysterectomy. Ironically, they jumped at the chance to delve into social justice issues with the anti-vaxxer who hated doctors. They skated by an intriguing opportunity to address the historical significance of doctors suggesting and performing hysterectomies on women of color.

A hysterectomy? It’s going to permanently change my future. It’s going to change my personality.

Helen

Whether it was Indigenous women on reservations or Black and Latina women in urban communities, it’s been a very real and prevalent issue throughout history in this country and still happens frequently.

Helen alluded to it when she vehemently opposed the hysterectomy. Still, they dropped it from there, and it would’ve been interesting if they seized the opportunity, especially if the arc would result in the literal silencing of a Black woman by the end of the hour.

I’m proud of Helen for fighting for herself and against the procedure. She was her best advocate, even though we knew Max and the doctors had the best intentions for her.

And as much as he loved her and was terrified of losing her, he trusted her instincts and went with them. It was a significant moment.

But their absolute best one was when he proposed. Max had it all planned out and put all this thought into how he would deliver this question, but it wouldn’t be New Amsterdam if he didn’t have to propose under dire circumstances.

It was perfect all the same, and the elation you felt over this long-awaited engagement and milestone for this couple was short-lived when Helen’s life was in jeopardy again.

For a season that promised “joy,” it’s been far and few “joyful” moments in between.

We got a Sharpwing engagement, but look at the cost!

At this rate, there’s not a single happy moment this paring has had without something coming to knock the wind out of them immediately after. It’s a rollercoaster ride of emotions, and it’s exhausting.

Somehow, Lyn, who I thought was an OBGYN, ended up doing some heart surgery on Helen, and she had a stressful close call.

But just when it seemed Helen was out of the woodwork, and the two were ready to resume their romantic celebration with the beautiful ring Max had for her, we got whammied again with Helen realizing that she couldn’t speak.

Everyone else has gotten out of this relatively unscathed and will bounce back fine. Helen’s vocal abilities were taken from her, and she has an uphill battle trying to regain that ability.

And there’s always the chance that she will never be the same again after this. It opens the door or many more challenges for her and also their relationship.

I had a whole plan. I had a whole plan to propose to you.

Max

But did they need more challenges? The series barely let them work through the ones they already had!

And why must we continue to perpetuate this narrative that the only way love can be beautiful, engaging, and rewarding is if it’s “earned” through a neverending series of hardships and struggles?

We’ve had Sharpwin battling one another, facing conflict, internal conflict with their respective issues, and outside forces and friction all within one season.

Nevertheless, the performances were fantastic, including the final moments when Helen struggled to speak and slowly realized what was happening to her.

Agyeman has such expressive eyes, and you could see a myriad of emotions coursing through them.

The stroke and aphasia arc is a hell of a curveball, but one thing we can trust in and anticipate is for Freema Agyeman to blow us away with her performance.

Over to you, ‘Dam Fanatics.

Was this installment too much at once? What are your thoughts? Sound off 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.

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