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New Amsterdam - Anima Sola - Review: Being Dr. Merritt Does Have Its Advantages

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Amina Sola, the lonely soul. A suitable patron saint to be identified in this episode of New Amsterdam and to perhaps one of the loneliest people on the show -- Lauren Bloom.

Ever since beginning her custom ADD treatment, Lauren has been in a downward spiral. She claims to have gone cold turkey but in the last episode we saw Helen digging through her purse to see if this was true or not. Is Helen making it all up in her head or is Lauren still secretly using? This is a question that haunts the latest episode.

A man named Miguel is rushed into Lauren's ED after collapsing. Originally, his friend Ivan believes it is due to severe dehydration. They are over-worked vineyard workers from Long Island but the symptoms prove more complicated than that. Helen and Lauren are still at odds over the purse incident so they're not thrilled to be working together and this shows when they can't agree on a diagnosis.

When more workers from the same vineyard are rushed in with similar symptoms, Helen makes the call of hantavirus but then we meet Amina Sola, a small wood carving of the patron saint who has watched over Ivan in his years of sobriety. It is from his story Lauren realizes the real cause of the illness, they all got sick from drinking partially fermented wine or, as Ivan tells it, "angel vapor".

Even though Lauren was right about her gut instinct that hantavirus wasn't the correct diagnosis, Helen still makes the decision to report her to Max, who already has his hands full with colorful chemo barf and another physician whose time in scrubs may be up.

After witnessing an older man, Henry, drop a bottle in the cafeteria, Iggy wonders if he is still dexterous enough to perform surgery. Is right to be worried? Is he being ageist? We never find out exactly what - or if - something was actually physically wrong with Henry but it doesn't matter anyways since Max and his puppy dog eyes can't say no to anyone. He finds a new career path for Henry, putting him in charge of tele-medicine so he can guide complicated surgeries over video conferences. Man I wish I knew Max Goodwin, I could have used a new lucrative career path after college.

Speaking of video conferences, there is a running gag in this episode of Helen trying to conduct a professional oncology meeting with prestigious Haitian doctors that gets interrupted with totally inappropriate diatribes - first by Max, then Iggy. It's hilarious.

Rounding out our patients of the week is Maren, a woman who is blinded by a brain tumor but also cannot be put under anesthesia. Kapoor can do her surgery without anesthesia but only if Floyd is able to fix one of her heart valves without it as well and he can only do that with a C-ART machine which will cost New Amsterdam over three million dollars. Thus the goose chase begins...

...And ends, when Max essentially suggests they commit fraud and use the University to do the surgery because they have the necessary equipment. Floyd has been having trouble getting Dr. Merritt's name removed from his office door and for once, that will come in handy when they need to get through the University doors with a patient.

Amazingly, they are able to pull it off but Maren still can't see. At least, not until Kapoor diagnoses her with glaucoma and gives her Latanoprost and... yay! She can see her daughter's latest drawing. Happy endings for everyone this time around.

Sort of. Max is still reeling from his chemotherapy and just in time for him to start radiation! Plus now the whole Helen vs. Lauren thing is looming over everyone's heads and I can only imagine that getting uglier before it gets better.

A new episode of New Amsterdam titled "The Blues" premieres February 5th on NBC.

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