New Amsterdam - Domino Effect - Review + POLL By madstvwriter (November 14, 2018, 4:00 am)
WARNING: THIS REVIEW CONTAINS SPOILERS.
I was out of town for several days last week and unfortunately unable to work out time to churn out a review for last week's episode but wow, talk about needing a box of tissues!
MAX & GEORGIA
We jump in right away with Max's impending cancer treatment. Now that Georgia is (finally) aware of his diagnosis, he, Helen, and his wife are able to talk openly about Helen's prescribed course of action. Max realizes that his excuses about wanting to give himself more time as medical director aren't really going to cut it now that Georgia is aware of everything going on. I love the looks Helen and Max exchange here as Georgia asks why he hasn't started preparing for treatment already, "Yes Max, why haven't you?" Helen shoots back. He's no match for these two.
Georgia steps in to tell him she got him an appointment with one of the city's best dental surgeons, he has to have his back molars removed because they're in range of the radiation, but Max can't do it right now. His job, yet again, comes first. Although you really can't blame him given all the work that has gone into this transplant chain. #TeamMax
Max is FINALLY beginning his treatment. Once the domino chain has been rectified and Helen has triple reassured him she'll keep him updated, Max agrees to go get his molar surgery.
Post-surgery Max is stuck on the couch due for a lunch of bone broth and eagerly awaiting news of the surgery. Helen dutifully texted him all night to let him know the surgery was a complete success. "Thanks for never letting us lose hope." Georgia is a tough nurse and won't let him read the rest until after he's had his bone broth. Also, points to New Amsterdam for Georgia having a pregnant belly still and not immediately going back to stick thin post-baby. I appreciate this show and The Gifted both being at least slightly more realistic than most shows in how they portray pregnancies this TV season.
In a rare moment of vulnerability for Max, he writes out a concern (his mouth is too swollen to speak), "what if I can't do this?" But Georgia is there to comfort him. "We'll do this together." Their journey is only now beginning. And we'll get to do it with them, "Piece by piece, until everything falls into place."
An undocumented man and his daughter, Giana, come to get help. Lauren assures them that New Amsterdam will not turn them away despite their status and lack of insurance. Giana is having difficulty breathing. From the expression Lauren makes when she uses her stethoscope, it doesn't look good. She immediately requests that Casey (Alejandro Hernandez) page Reynolds as soon as possible. We can assume there is something wrong with her heart.
It's all hands on deck as New Amsterdam prepares for a domino surgery. We've seen this before on Grey's Anatomy so it will be interesting to see how this show decides to tackle it. With all the moving pieces, overlapping surgeries, and various organ switching, there are a multitude of things that can go wrong.
First up is Aminah Ali (Soraya Kelley), Helen goes to greet her and her parents who are eager to greet the woman who will be donating part of her liver to Aminah. Her name is Tonya and she's in Vijay's capable hands. We learn that she was apprehensive about doing this surgery. Her brother, Matty (Scott Stangland), is in need of an organ transplant himself and she wants to know why he can't get her liver. Unfortunately, she's not a match. Tonya seems a little skittish so I hope she doesn't go running. Especially because if even one person backs out, the domino falls and unbalances the entire surgical procedure for everyone involved, including her own brother. As Vijay explains, it is complicated but also very simple in the end, "everyone lives".
I am really beginning to suspect Tonya is a flight risk! Iggy needs to give her a psych evaluation before she gives her liver away, "part of my liver" she interjects, too quickly for my taste. We learn Iggy had a brother, he died and Tonya asks him if he would have given him an organ to save his life. He hesitates before answering yes. There is obviously some story there I hope we get to uncover later on. But, like I suspected she would, Tonya has backed out of the surgery. I wonder if she's afraid of dying and leaving behind the two girls she was watching videos of on her phone.
Iggy has learned that Tonya is afraid Matty would not make the same sacrifice for her if the tables were turned and therefore Iggy doesn't feel comfortable clearing her for surgery. There sibling relationship is deeply fractured. Vijay notes they are family, it shouldn't matter. Would he do the same for his son? I think he would but he of all people, should know how complicated familial relationships can be. Especially given the amount of time he's spent lurking outside of his son's restaurant. The doctors must work together to fix the chain. In Max's own words, it's a house of cards and if even one person is out, the entire thing crumbles.
Except... maybe not. Max thinks they can still go through with it even if it means Aminah will be shafted and not receive her liver today. Most of the surgeries can still be completed. This is an obvious moral quandary, does the life of one outweigh that of many? Helen doesn't agree with Max and Vijay and Iggy are also at odds over Tonya's decision to withdrawal. Iggy understands her fear and is empathetic, whereas Vijay is internalizing the predicament and furious with Tonya.
Of course, Iggy being Iggy, he sees through Vijay's anger right away and Vijay doesn't take kindly to being called out about comparing this to his relationship with his son.
Helen has the unfortunate task of asking Aminah's husband to continue with the surgery as he was meant to be part of the donor process but he is adamant about not participating unless his wife is going to be part of it. Without their anchor patient and donor in the chain, everything is already beginning to fall apart and I can't fault them for how they feel. It is a terribly precarious and devastating situation to be in.
Giana's condition means she's going to need a new lung. But due to her and her father's undocumented status, she won't be able to get on the donor list. Her father proposes they test him to see if he could become a donor for her.
Back in the board room, the domino surgery has continued to crumble, without Tariq (Babak Tafti - Aminah's husband) they're losing people left and right. Helen points out that while these are good people, they're not donating out of the goodness of their hearts. Something Max takes longer to understand given his own golden heart status. But until you're in that situation, I think it's impossible to know how you'd react.
When Floyd arrives with the news about Giana's lung, Max's lightbulb goes off. He might have an idea of how to save everyone and get their domino surgery back on track. Diego (Giana's father) is a match for Aminah and if he donates part of his liver to her then everyone wins. If they can get all the other participants to agree then there is no reason everyone's loved ones can't be saved.
Helen approaches Tariq again but he's reached the end of his rope. "We've done enough", he says. I mean dude, I get your frustration but if finding a lung donor for Giana is the way you save Aminah instead of having no shot at all then why not?! Though by the look and interest Aminah's mother shows, I'm assuming she'll be the one to step in and save Giana's life.
Max is doing his best to stall as some of the donors are beginning to get antsy. Also am I the only one who noticed the giant hole in his lab coat? Not sure if that was just a costuming accident, a moment I missed, or meant to show he never changes his coat due to his unwavering dedication but nonetheless found it endearing.
Iggy gives his same psych statement and evaluation to Diego about what he should expect from this surgery. He doesn't care, he is a dedicated father and blames himself for Giana's current state of health. I couldn't help but get emotional as he described their treacherous path from Guatemala.
Poor Giana is crying, she's scared of being alone as her father is meeting with Iggy. Lauren finds her and offers some words of comfort, she doesn't like being alone either and she offers to keep her company until her dad comes back. They bond over the Sandstorm comics and her first crush on a one-eyed meteor beast. I really love seeing Lauren's soft side. I'm reminded of when she went into a potentially contagious patient's room in the first episode. She has a big heart.
Max has some good news for Diego. They don't have a match for Giana. They have 12 and therefore 12 shots at finding a match for a lung donor for her.
It looked like things were looking up but then NOOOO! I literally yelled at the screen as Giana's heart fails and they tell Diego's crestfallen face that she is not strong enough to withstand transplant surgery. COME ON! This poor guy is devastated. They already made us watch a little girl get incurable cancer a few weeks ago can we all get a win here please!?
Just when all hope is lost in regards to the transplant chain, Diego steps up. He's still willing to donate even if Giana won't be able to get her lung. If all those people were willing to fight for his daughter, the least he can do is still participate. Wow, Diego is truly one of the good ones.
Floyd was able to work his magic on Giana's heart enough for her to get her transplant surgery, SHE GOT HER LUNG! Diego wakes up to this amazing news post his own organ donation. So glad these two got a happy ending.
Remember Jemma? The foster girl we've been following from episode one? Well apparently Iggy was able to pull some strings to get Blanca declared an emergency foster contact and an early site visit. Jemma should have a new home within 24 hours. The look on her face is pure joy, until Iggy walks away. I think she might be nervous at the prospect of having a real forever home with someone that will actually take care of her. It's heartbreaking to see this poor girl perhaps doubting herself and considering how early on in the episode it is, I feel as if she may act out or something could happen that will mess things up. I hope not, I want Jemma to be happy.
Like I suspected, Jemma had an episode. The project we saw her working on at the beginning of the episode has been decimated and Iggy is paged down to decide if they need to reconsider her home placement.
Time to confront Jemma and figure out what's going on with her. She's lashing out and having a meltdown but Iggy knows there is something going on beneath the surface. She feels useless and unwanted. Today Blanca wants her, but what if, someday she doesn't? Jemma is terrified of somehow messing something up and winding back up in the foster system. But Iggy tells her that won't happen. Blanca is different and Jemma deserves to be happy and feel safe and secure.
Finally, Jemma finds her home. During the closing montage we see her walk into her room for the first time. Blanca has decorated it with butterflies, unicorns, and a setup enviable by any teen girl. She's overwhelmed with emotion. I wonder if this is the last we'll see of Jemma.
LAUREN & FLOYD
Floyd is riding the highs of dating Evie (Margot Bingham). It seems like things are going well between them ever since Lauren introduced the duo. Except she is yet another person who works in the same building as Floyd and doesn't want people to know they're dating yet. Floyd looks a little dismayed as she walks away from him.
Back over to Lauren and Giana, Lauren is frustrated that Floyd still hasn't shown up. Maybe she's regretting introducing him to Evie? Looks as if he has been MIA for a few days around the hospital. Instead, Doctor Flores is there to explain that Giana has fluid in her lungs and after she has surgery, should be able to breathe easier.
When operating on Giana, Flores confronts Floyd about not responding to Lauren's pages, maybe he should get over whatever is going on between he and Lauren and do his job. Honestly, I mentioned before I'm not warming up to the Lauren x Floyd drama and this isn't helping. It's time to put this pairing to rest for a while and give them other things to focus on. As for the surgery, draining the fluid from her lungs didn't work.
While Giana is being prepped for surgery, Floyd finally talks to Lauren after spending so much time avoiding her. She's fine with him and Evie, she says. She introduced them after all. Floyd is surprised, maybe disappointed, to hear that. Right now Lauren just wants him to save Giana and they can go back to being friends. Though after he walks away, her mask falls. I think Lauren is upset and has real feelings for him, possibly Floyd has them for her too but now isn't the right time for them.
In a gesture of good will, Floyd invites Lauren to lunch with him and Evie but she politely declines, she wants to go home and "chill". There is a lot going on under the surface with these two that I don't see being wrapped up any time soon. Somehow, Lauren's response pushes Floyd to Evie and he walks into her job for a romantic kiss. "See the thing is, I do want to work into work with you." Hm. Overcompensating to try and get over Lauren? Or is Floyd genuinely into Evie?
"Home" for Lauren is an opulent penthouse (I think) at Copley Plaza. Ooh, does Lauren have an affluent family? A powerful parent? Her doorman greets her kindly but notes she hasn't been home in a while. Well now isn't the time either as she decides to head over to Bronx General for an extra shift instead of facing whatever lies behind those ornate doors. What do we think is going on there?
PERFORMER OF THE WEEK: I couldn't find the actor's name, but I had to go with the guy who played Diego. He had so many emotional moments and scenes, my heart broke for him and his daughter. I'm glad they were able to get a good ending this episode.
BEST SCENE: The reveal that all 12 donors are open to getting tested to donate part of their lung to precious Giana. This show always gets to me!
PATIENT OF THE WEEK: Giana. She was such a sweetheart with her comics and bond with Lauren. I was rooting for her the moment she arrived at the beginning of the episode. Glad the doctors of New Amsterdam were able to save her heart and her lung.
QUOTE OF THE WEEK: "I only saved 1 life today. You saved 6."
A NEW EPISODE OF NEW AMSTERDAM PREMIERES TUESDAY, NOV. 20 @ 10:00 PM ET/PT ON NBC.