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New Amsterdam - Three Dots - Review: Bureaucracy!

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Three Dots, aka, the three little dots indative of Max finally beginning his journey to getting treated for his throat cancer.


It's time for him to begin radiation therapy. Three little dots adorn his face as Helen begins prepping him for the impending trauma. Max hasn't told the staff yet and he isn't keen to, but as Helen points out, soon he'll be vomiting uncontrollably and taking his meals through a tube.

Needless to say, people are going to notice.

This is the most vulnerable we've seen Max thus far. Despite his bravado, Eggold plays him with enough sincerity that you can see through it to Max's core. He's scared, even if he doesn't want to admit it, but it's normal to be in this situation.

It took eight episodes to get here but, Max meets up with Rabbi Skillman to discuss his decision. He finally admits that he is scared. He's scared of getting treatment, but I also think he's more scared of not getting treatment. Skillman tells him the biblical story of Abraham and Isaac, about impossible choices. He took the choice that made him happier, but Max feels he's not a good patient because he is scared. Eggold is truly doing some of his career best work in this role. It broke my heart to hear him finally verbalize the fear Max has been harboring all season long.

Max takes what Skillman says to heart and decides to take the risk with his treatment, he wants to try precision based therapy so he can continue running the hospital and be there for Georgia. Helen is apprehensive of this choice but I think she will support him despite the risk. I can't see her abandoning him now, they're there for each other more than anyone else in the show at this point.


Helen is looking for a sperm donor to have a baby, a saw a few hot guys on the page... but I wonder who she may end up picking. We learn a little bit about her past relationship with a man named Muhammed, who she was crazy about, but he died of a brain aneurysm.

She feels like she's betraying him, but Max assures her she's not. Finally, we learn a little about Helen's past. I'd like to know more about Muhammed and her relationship with him, what lead her to this point of striving so desperately for a child.

Also, if she is going through with this, kind of want Max to be her donor even though I know it's not realistic!


Have to say the next scene was pretty horrific. A young Chinese girl, Amy (Poppy Liu), and her mother are seeking help from Doctor Kapoor about her migraines, but something else is clearly going on. Mrs. Chiang (Wai Ching Ho), the patient's mother, is insistent the only issue is physical but Vijay refers her to Iggy for psychiatric help. Afterwards, Mrs. Chiang is adamant they do not talk to strangers about their problems and throws away Iggy's business card... only to turn around and discover her daughter has stepped off the subway platform and allowed herself to get hit by an incoming train. Somehow she survives because she landed on the track bed and the train went over her, although it seems barely, she's escorted back to New Amsterdam.

Iggy and Vijay rehash her case, it could be severe depression. There is a discussion of the stigma of depression in many Asian communities. But if they don't try to help her, regardless of cultural differences, she will likely try to kill herself again.

Our subway jumper has a mother who is firmly against the idea of her daughter being mentally ill. Iggy grows more insistent with her. Her denial about her daughter is harming her. She doesn't even want to admit she jumped. "She slipped." It's a sad thing to witness, especially because this is something real people deal with on a daily basis. There are so many stigmas about mental health in our society that many people are left suffering because they fear alienation or not being taken seriously.

Defrauding the hospital? It may be the only way to save this depressed patient. She's still under her patients insurance and given the reaction we saw from Mrs. Chiang earlier, even after her daughter attempted suicide, it could be Iggy's only option to help her. They'll have to downcode it so the insurance company and her family is unaware she's receiving therapeutic treatment.

Max is able to figure out a way to cover up the costs of the downcoding, they'll get rid of the cell sorter that has been haunting the hallways for the extent of the episode. But it won't matter in the long run. Much of Amy's stress is coming from her parents, and the idea of lying to them about her therapy will only exacerbate matters. It's disheartening to hear her worry that her mother "won't love her the same way" if she were to find out. The only option is for Iggy and Vijay to find a way to get Mrs. Chiang on board with the treatment, for Amy's sake.

Getting through to her won't be easy but Vijay does make a real effort. It's clear that when he speaks to her about their children and how they can't expect them to be perfect because they're not, he is also projecting his own difficulties with Rohan. Perhaps they can learn from each other.

Whereas when Iggy speaks with Amy, allowing her to speak from her heart about how much pressure she feels to make her mother proud. I have struggled with depression and anxiety my entire life so I won't deny this scene with Amy struck a particular chord with me. Through the combined efforts of Vijay and Iggy, they are able to make a breakthrough for the Chiang family, Iggy will be having therapy sessions with both Amy and her mother.

I started crying pretty hard when Amy tearfully pleads, "I'm sorry, I need help." This was a very strong scene and I'm glad this mother and daughter pair were able to get on the same page, even though it took some true tragedy to get there.


Rabbi Skillman (George Wyner), a man with terminal pancreatic cancer is facing difficult odds. He has a 90% chance of dying during surgery, or a 10% chance of a cure - Max's positive spin on things. This moment really puts his optimism in direct parallel to Helen's realism. It's a tough choice. He can take the risk and potentially die in the operating table or live another year of good quality life with his loved ones.

Max and Helen are at odds over this imperative decision. Although I feel confident saying, even when butting heads they have insane chemistry! Seriously I could watch Agyeman and Eggold all day together. Anyways. They even rope Dora in to get her opinion, it's clear most people would take the concrete option, a solid year of comfort and peace rather than a risky surgery. Obviously, Max has more of a personal stake in this whether or not he is open to admitting that to himself. Unfortunately for Max's morals, the Rabbi agrees with Helen. He wants the year.

Well, it looks like Max's talk with the Rabbi swayed things in a way he didn't anticipate. He changed his mind. Now he wants the surgery. He'd rather be dead than live out the remainder of his short life as a patient, or have the sliver of a chance he may walk out of the hospital cured, either way, he'll be free of the baggage that comes with having cancer.


Elsewhere in the hospital, Lauren is riding in on a wave of bravado fresh off the back of an ambulance. She's been moonlighting at other jobs if you recall from last week's episode, and it looks like things are taking a toll if the pills she keeps popping are any indication. Something tells me they're going to become problematic soon.

Floyd's new girlfriend catches up to her, which Lauren points out how weird it is to call him Floyd and her retort is a funny joke about calling people by their last name (as medical shows in particular tend to do), she wants to know if scotch is a good gift for his birthday. Lauren humors her a little only to psych her out, apparently he loves his birthday and can be impossible to please, so maybe she should do better than scotch.

Someone is helping Floyd bring his birthday in with a bang though. He's got a brand new $100,000 cell sorter machine. Money that could have been reallocated anywhere in the hospital, Max points out, as there was nothing wrong with the old one but no one is going to rain on Floyd's parade.

Lauren's 30+ hour shift is taking its toll on her. Popping more pills is certainly not the answer but she's doing it anyways. How long before she cracks? Not long it seems because shortly after she starts to zone out mid-conversation with her patients, lose focus, blurred vision, all signs she's pushing past the point of exhaustion. Just before she can get to an on-call room for a nap she has another run-in with Floyd's girlfriend, more questions about what Floyd likes for his birthday (everything, nothing is too big, and also - peach cobbler). Finally, Lauren gets to a bed, but she doesn't get more than a few minutes to herself before someone is pounding on the door asking for help.

She may be tired as hell but Lauren is still highly skilled. She is able to navigate her crashing patient with finesse even in her borderline hallucinatory state. But in the aftermath, at the end of her rope, she lets slip to Evie (who has more questions about Floyd of course) her former affiliation with the doctor and based on Evie's crestfallen face, she didn't know about it before.


Vijay and his son are slowly starting to work on mending their relationship. Rohan (Vandit Bhatt) invites his father to see him get his latest sobriety chip but Vijay doesn't seem interested. In fact, his retort about the reward "not being an addict" was dismissive at best and harmful at worst. As a doctor, I would think Vijay understands addiction is a disease as real and debilitating as any other. Progress is important and deserving of at least mild congratulations. It's not an easy path. Instead he would rather stick to the safe topic of basketball, the only common ground he can find thus far with Rohan. As he gets called away on a phone call, he lives his son looking dismayed.

Vijay does make an appearance at Rohan's meeting, looking on with pride as his son gets his next sobriety chip. It's a tender moment as Rohan's face goes from disappointed his father didn't show, to elated when he sees him standing there in the corner.


Take a shot every time: Max and Floyd lament "Bureaucracy!"

Patient & Performer of the Week: Max Goodwin and Ryan Eggold. Max is finally beginning his cancer treatment and Ryan Eggold is excellent in confronting Max's genuine fear of taking this risk. No matter how much he has tried to conceal it, his talk with Rabbi Skillman was heartfelt and sad, I really just want to give the guy a hug.

Most Heartbreaking Line: "I'm sorry, I need help." I also want to give special attention to the young actress who played Amy, Poppy Liu, she was standout in the episode for me in addition to Eggold.

Best Karaoke Moment: After working all episode long to discover what Floyd wants for his birthday, Evie pulls off a big surprise party but when he asks her how she found out most of this she states simply, "Honestly, Doctor Bloom told me." Uh-oh.

But in the mean time, Floyd gets to belt out during his favorite birthday event - karaoke.


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