New Amsterdam - As Long as it Takes - Review: Cold Springs + POLL By madstvwriter (November 28, 2018, 5:26 pm)
WARNING: THE FOLLOWING REVIEW CONTAINS SPOILERS.
"As Long as it Takes", a fitting title for an episode about persistence. Max is willing to take his chances with experimental clinical trials no matter the wait period, he's also willing to stay up all night to ensure his patient gets the 3 passed PT tests she needs, and in a less positive example, Lauren is still struggling with her pills - leaving Casey to pick up her slack and fix her mistakes.
MAX'S PATH TO TREATMENT
Max, Georgia, and Helen are meeting together to discuss Max's decision to undergo an experimental clinical trial for precision targeted therapy. Helen is still trying to push for chemo and radiation treatments, as they're proven to work, but Max doesn't want that. He feels as if he'll lose his mind to the brutal side effects.
Luckily for him, he has Georgia, who hears him for what he wants and not what she wants for him. "So, let's get in the trial."
Helen, true to her word, seeks a way to get Max into a clinical trial. Enter Sendhil Ramamurthy, who is guest-starring as the doctor in charge of the precision therapy trial. He and Helen have some gently combative back-and-forth, Agyeman truly has chemistry with everyone, and while he doesn't think Max may be a good fit for the trial at first glance, he's willing to look into it.
Good new and good news! Max is a candidate for the trial and Helen has a date with the dashing new doctor. "Sorry I was just thinking of what to do with the extra ticket." Ooh, these two are going to be fun.
FLOYD & LAUREN: PART NINE
Well Floyd isn't happy about Lauren revealing their past relationship to his new-girlfriend Evie. They're really going to drag this plot til the ends of the Earth aren't they?
"You're the one that said we could be friends, this doesn't feel like friends." I guess I don't see what the big deal was. If Floyd wants a good foundation for his burgeoning new relationship he should just be open and honest about his involvement with Lauren, considering he still works with her everyday. His unwillingness to share makes it seem like he still has feelings to hide, no wonder Evie is upset. I mean the way Lauren told her wasn't the best but it's out there now, can't put the genie back in the bottle.
Feeling guilty for how she dropped that bomb last week, Lauren pays Evie a visit at her office to ensure her things are done between she and Floyd. Now, I know TV and therefore, I know this is a case of "famous last words", there's no way things with Floyd and Evie go off without a hitch forever. The pill Lauren pops after she walks away from the "sisterhood of sisters" gathering would say she feels the same.
While Floyd is caught up in Sarah's heart case, Lauren gets a harsh reality check from Casey, whose been covering all of her mistakes and pulling doubles to ensure she doesn't accidentally kill someone. Clearly she's beyond the point of exhaustion and her pills are making things worse. She needs to get professional help and fast before she does something that makes her lose her medical license. Casey can't watch out for her forever, nor should he have to.
Floyd finds Lauren up on the roof, mulling over the horizon and taking another pill. He does nothing more than look at her in concern and Lauren tells him "don't worry, it's not something you have to worry about." Pretty sure it's the exact opposite, Doctor Bloom.
SHAY IN TRANSITION
Today is Iggy's happy day. Today he gets to help talk to a trans teen, Shay, find their voice. At least, he thinks. Turns out Shay doesn't need that kind of help. He's all good with his decision to transition. But his parents have concerns about his desire to get top surgery. Based on Iggy's expression, this wasn't how he anticipated the day going.
Shay's parents seem to mean well, or at least they think they do, they've been accepting of Shay's transition, never objecting to his cosmetic changes or hormone blockers, but now that Shay is considering something as "permanent" as top surgery they're hesitant. It's a permanent decision and they feel Shay isn't ready to make it yet, medically.
It's a tricky issue to navigate, but as Iggy says, Shay's emotions are the more important ones here. I'm glad he gives the order for Shay to undergo medical evaluation.
After a medical consult, Iggy gives Shay some news he's not exactly happy to hear. He wants him to have the surgery, but he needs to wait a year for his hormone blockers and natural growth to progress further so they can ensure they move forward with the right surgery for his body. Shay is upset with this outcome and takes to his Twitter feed to get his anger out, painting Iggy out to be a transphobic doctor and spurning a backlash against him and the hospital.
Luckily for Shay, Iggy is an empathetic, kind, and well-meaning man and doctor. While upset about what Shay said, he talks to him on a human level. He doesn't lash out in anger or speak down to him, he helps him come to terms with the fact his Twitter persona and follower count may be putting pressure on him to rush into surgery because of his promises and the GoFundMe account he set up. It should be Shay's choice and Shay's alone, even the followers who are supportive and gracious could be pressuring him in ways they don't realize. Clearly Shay is feeling like he might let people down if he postpones but as Iggy points out, his words are motivational and powerful, giving himself time to let his body adjust won't make him any less powerful.
Iggy promises him that in a year, if he's ready, then he'll be right there beside him for the surgery. I'm glad New Amsterdam was able to tackle this topic with grace. And while I don't agree with Shay's actions online, I do think there is something to be said about how trans medical issues are handled in our hospitals. It's unfortunate there aren't more resources or specialty divisions for people in transition to get help they need.
A year of sobriety is worth celebrating. Vijay is at his usual haunt, the hospital cafe, with his favorite barista Ella (Dierdre Friel). It is important to Vijay to get his son something nice, as a commemorative gift of this important accomplishment. A new apartment would fit the bill and Ella agrees it is a beautiful idea.
I'm glad Vijay pointed out how much money he makes as a doctor. I know something that always irritated me a little in the early days of Grey's Anatomy was some of the doctors acting like they were broke despite being accomplished surgeons.
Later in the day when Vijay comes back for an afternoon snack of some kind, he finds an upset Ella. She has just found out her dog has cancer and will have to be put down unless she can come up with $2,000 to pay for surgery. Well, I think we all know Vijay is going to wind up giving to her considering he spoke about having more money than he knows what to do with only minutes before.
Vijay returns later with an envelope of cash for Ella, using her own words about helping people he cares about that she told him earlier than day in regards to Rohan. Awe, I love Vijay.
HEART OF GOLD
A new patient, Sarah Madsen (Andrea Syglowski), arrives with diluted blood flow and heart issues. In a surprising twist, we learn this woman had a heart transplant done at New Amsterdam 27 years ago, and the person who donated the heart? Luna Goodwin. Max's face says it all as he and Helen rush towards the patient's room.
The woman has a rare condition that is causing her bleeding, and if her body is rejecting her heart then it could explain why the bleeding itself is making her so sick. She's carted off to the ICU to begin treatment and Helen is left to check in on Max. It must be a strange thing to be confronted with a living component of his long dead sister.
Maybe the hospital was unable to keep Luna's heart beating all those years ago, but Max is determined to ensure that doesn't happen again. This woman has Luna's heart and therefore, in a way, she is giving Luna another chance at life, she's keeping some part of her alive. Max isn't going to let this woman die without fighting tooth and nail for her.
But he may have to let Luna's heart go. It's difficult for him, but Floyd and Helen are able to get through to him and point out that the heart is dying and Sarah needs a new one in order to survive. I think Max feels a little like he's losing Luna all over again by not being able to save her heart.
When he goes to talk to Sarah about this, the fact she'll be back on the transplant list and they're going to fix her hemophilia, she reminds him of the time the two of them met once, years ago. It wasn't hard for her to figure out Max is Luna's brother. After Luna's funeral, Sarah had found Max skipping rocks (badly) and it was that moment she realized "she [Sarah] was only here, because another girl wasn't". Max looks truly touched by this memory, one he had clearly buried deep.
Unfortunately, in order for Sarah to be able to get the next available heart. She'll have to pass three PT tests in a row. Max is determined for this to happen but it doesn't look like its on the horizon for Sarah. They're unable to get her a clean score more than once and definitely not three in a row. Sarah is okay with dying though, and the monologue Syglowski gives about her life with Luna's heart is beautifully written. Max is beyond moved by her kind and gracious words, eulogizing herself and Luna too.
After a long, arduous, and painstaking night with no sleep, Max awakes to the bright, green ping of a positive test result...and then another...and then another! Sarah is a-go for transplant surgery. She did it, or Luna did it.
Andy gives Max a small urn Sarah had made for him. I wonder how she was able to get Luna's ashes? Unless it was just symbolic? Either way, it's a lovely gesture. One Max takes to Cold Springs, where he met Sarah, and to the old dock he and Luna used to jump off of to go swimming, to disperse the ashes. But then, in the episode's final moments, Max collapses on the dock. Ugh, cliffhangers.
Patient of the Week: Sarah, her words about Luna's heart won me and Max over. She lived her life to the fullest no matter the difficulties she faced and was ready to brave until the very end. And thanks to her, or Luna, the very end shouldn't be for a long time.
Favorite Line: The exchange between Max and Sarah, with Sarah saying: "Your sister, she gave me a beautiful life." And Max responding, "It's the other way around."
Doctor of the Week: Doctor Iggy Frome. He handled the situation with Shay as well as could be without ever disrespecting Shay's choice. He was open and honest with him, respectful of his decisions, and most importantly, he listened to Shay and got through to some of the root issues causing his rush towards surgery.
Best Scene: Sarah talking to Max about her incredible life, gifted to her by his departed sister.
Performer of the Week: I'm going to go with Ryan Eggold again, just because he is so charming, sweet, and heartfelt as Max how can you not fall in love? This week was another one to tug on the heart strings and remind us of his connection with his sister and Eggold was in top form.
NEW AMSTERDAM WILL RETURN WITH NEW EPISODES IN 2019, ONLY ON NBC.