In this week’s episode of NBC‘s New Amsterdam ‘A Seat at the Table,’ Max (Ryan Eggold) gets back to work and starts going “full chemo.” Juggling everything will not be as easy as he hoped, but it doesn’t get in the way of his problem-solving – though the episode does put members of the Dam Fam in compromising situations. Trust is broken, lines are crossed, treatments fail, reluctant support is given, and breakthroughs are made. It’s all in another week’s work at the dam.
Once again, we wonder how Max can be based on a real person because he comes off like a superhero. He takes his chemo treatment to go, making it like his side-kick. Day One is manageable. He’s breezing through the halls in full-fledged damage control mode. This week, he focuses on trying to save the hospital a ton of money.
Bloom (Janet Montgomery) alerts Max when an ER frequent flier comes in for the 100th time. Andy is homeless and really likes New Amsterdam. Over the course of one year, the hospital spent 1.4 million dollars caring for him. *What?!?* Each member of the team has sound reason for the expensive tests they repeatedly perform. Max prescribes the only treatment he needs: a home.
After he’s set up with an apartment – on Dean’s (Ron Rifkin) dime – he still winds up in the ER again. He really likes New Amsterdam. Being there makes him happy. He knows the hospital inside and out, so Max gives him a job there. Pretty sweet deal all around!
Despite his greatest efforts, Max is still human. He feels the side effects – nausea, lethargy, pain, etc. Fortunately, he’s thinking ahead and asks Sharpe (Freema Agyeman) to be his deputy. It takes her awhile to come around, but she eventually agrees to take on the extra responsibility.
Max needs all the help he can get, especially since revealing vulnerability is difficult for him. He wants to be strong for his family – at home and work. I’m really glad he joins the other chemo patients at the end of the week. They’ll be a great support system for him.
Reynolds’ (Jocko Sims) grows concerned when a reporter wants to expose a troubling secret from his past. Max has his back and doesn’t push to know details. As long as Reynolds is still an excellent doctor, his mugshot doesn’t matter. Evie (Margot Bingham) offers advice from two different perspectives, however. As his lawyer, he can follow Max’s suggestion to “go full chemo.” As his girlfriend, she encourages him to own his past and be honest instead of hiding in shame. This way, he can serve as an even better role model for his nephew.
Reynolds tells the reporter the whole story. He was in an impressive professional position at Yale and safely celebrating Obama’s election win. On his way back to work, a cop pulls him over – for no reason. He insists that Reynolds resisted arrest and that’s why he’s haunted by a mugshot. The reporter can print the whole story or just acknowledge the fact that he’s a great doctor without using a degrading angle to diminish his accomplishments.
Iggy (Tyler Labine) has a heartbreaking case: Tony (Jake Ryan Lozano) is a talented young artist with horrifying delusions. He hallucinates a vicious wolf repeatedly attacking him. They’ve tried all sorts of meds, but the poor guy can’t shake these visions. His father Hector (Teddy Cañez) is by his side every step of the way. He asks Iggy to try brain surgery to see if that will help. He’s willing to lose a part of his boy in order to give Tony peace of mind he desperately needs.
Unfortunately, the procedure doesn’t work. Tony has another terrifying vision at the hospital. Iggy recommends the one treatment they haven’t tried – changing Tony’s environment. Maybe if Iggy and Hector stop trying to fix him, then he’ll be able to heal on his own. Tony is game to try living at a co-op.
Hector and Tony have such a sweet relationship. I hope we see how his story turns out because this one really got to me. The look on Iggy’s face – he felt so helpless when his efforts didn’t work.
Vijay (Anupam Kher) is in trouble with his son Rohan (Vandit Bhatt)… and he doesn’t even realize it. We had a hunch that loaning Ella (Dierdre Friel) that much money would bite him in the butt somehow. Vijay and Rohan have a rocky relationship and are very slowly reconciling, but they just experienced a setback.
We understand why Vijay doesn’t want to give his son money. He’s in recovery and can’t be trusted to spend the money on what he says he wants it for – but Vijay went about it the wrong way. He could have supportively financed Rohan’s demo instead of refusing to give him the money outright.
Naturally, Rohan is upset when he hears about Vijay’s generosity towards Ella. Hanging out with her is going to be tricky business. I’m scared to see how this all plays out. Hopefully, Vijay will realize what’s going on before more feelings get hurt. Iggy usually helps him see the light. They need some bro-time soon.
Sharpe and Bloom
These ladies are in a tough spot. Sharpe’s protective instincts are at play: she’s looking out for Bloom and wants to help. Again, I don’t blame her for snooping through Bloom’s bag after a sudden shift in withdrawal symptoms. We knew she’d get caught, but what’s even worse is that we don’t know if Bloom is still using or not.
Bloom is playing a dangerous game – if she is still using. Even if she isn’t using, we worry about her methods to get clean quick. She’s a doctor and should know better than to go “cold turkey” while trying to run an ER. She takes too many risks and luck won’t always be on her side.
This cast brings their A-game in every episode, with so many moving performances! Next week, the chemo hits Max even harder. He’s in for tough times ahead, but thankfully he has Georgia (Lisa O’Hare) and the Dam Fam there to help him out.
New Amsterdam airs Tuesdays at 10 p.m. EST on NBC.