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New Amsterdam - Blood, Sweat & Tears - Review

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It's not every day that you get an almost supernatural element or a fake veteran story in a single episode of New Amsterdam, and yet this week's episode combined both. Relationships progressed, new roles were found, in another busy week for our favorite medical team.

I'll admit when the episode opened, I was wondering if Iggy was checking himself into an ED treatment facility and was about to try and find out if the equivalent existed where I am, but it turns out he was getting checked... up (and weighed. The clothes falling off clued me in to the fact that this was likely not some of of meadowy retreat) and not in. Aside from some minor hiccups, this storyline has been really well done and I do hope we can follow Iggy's path to recovery. It's more than a little heartbreaking to realize that he has such issues in helping himself when he's so good at helping others. His doctor calls him out on the fact that he's never actually taken part in one of the group sessions, and she suggests a recovery coach, which Iggy promptly dismisses, but still, he keeps her card. I'd like to point out here that therapy groups seem to be much more popular and available in the U.S. and I wish they were more widespread and readily joinable. Alas, I will have to live vicariously through what I see on American TV.

As fragile as his relationship with food is, Iggy's never been better at helping his patients. In this New Amsterdam episode, we're introduced to a young veteran who seems reluctant to join the therapy group (and yet Iggy has no trouble leading him to it, if only he could apply his own advice...) but starts telling his story... until one of the other members jumps him and punches him in the face, accusing him of faking it. Now, when Chance was using about 10 acronyms per sentence, it left me a little cold because I understood none of them but I figured the other members were veterans too, and to them it would make sense. And I guess it did, except Chance hadn't done his research thoroughly enough and the others called him out on it immediately. Now, if you reacted with a "who the hell fakes being a veteran, and why?" sentiment, you would be far from alone. But Chance's mittens weren't for decorative use only, he really was in a fire, which took away his loved ones from him, but it wasn't during a war.

"Did you Google him?"
"Gladys. I refuse to believe that that is what our profession has come to. Okay? And yeah, I did, obviously. I couldn't find anything."
Meanwhile, this week's shortage at the hospital is...blood, New Amsterdam is completely out of it and Max is scrambling to organize a bloodbank. A freshly fired Sandra is recruited, kind of against her will (but she agrees to do it for her cat, Lilith. I would too, if it meant putting cat food on the table!) to organize it, along with a wide variety of options to entice people to donate: from puppies (who are apparently the new nannies?), to chef-prepared food, to out of work Broadway singers. Alas, it seems like Max could've offered new-yorkers the moon and they still wouldn't have found it in them to give up one more thing. As one of them pointed out, they'd given all they have this past year, and they were done.
"Our blood bank supplies have reached critical lows."
"How did that happen?"
"I've narrowed it down to vampires or the global pandemic."
Helen kids, but if she'd visited Mystic Falls, she would know there was a very real possibility in an alternate universe where it actually is vampires who are depleting the stocks. Aside from blood supplies, Max finally cottons on to Helen and Dr Shin's relationship (and by cotton on, I mean he walked in on them kissing in her office so it was more of an "in his face" moment) and let's just say, it's more than awkward afterwards, for both of them. Helen calls Max out about not telling her he was seeing someone last year, and she says things have no reason to be awkward between them, but she, Max, and us in the audience know there is. You don't have the kind of relationship Max and Helen share without cluing each other into the big events in your respective lives, and if you don't, well... there's a reason.
There's definitely something in the air because after those bloodbag stealing vampires, Helen's case of the week is a wild trip. From suspecting a switched at birth scenario, to reaching the conclusion that the mom is a "chimaera" (is that really the medical term, Helen?) who absorbed her twin sister in the womb, thus having two sets of DNA and actually giving birth to her... niece. Yeah, you got that right. I'm sorry, I didn't realize we were watching Grey's Anatomy with the far-fetched medical cases but none of the details. Are chimaeras that common? Because while I know Helen is as sharp (ha) as they get, that's a hell of a diagnosis if she just came up with it by thinking of a DNA test.

No less impressive was interim, interim chief of neuro: Agnes, who after mis-diagnosing twice a suddenly blind woman, finally discovered that she'd ben attacked and her liver was hurt. I miss Vijay and Agnes doesn't seem like she has quite the experience to be chief, but she did learn from the best and is clearly proving herself in Max's eyes, so I'm sure she'll end up sticking it out at this position.
While Max and Helen are locked in their awkward spiral, Lauren and Floyd are getting along pretty well. Surprise! Floyd is the new trauma associate in the ED, and while it takes a little adjusting for him to realize the ED is, well, urgent care and not "stitch you up like a world renowned plastics surgeon would" care, Floyd ends up doing great in the OR, and he and Lauren are a good team. Lauren is still hiding Leila in the supply closet, so how about helping that girl get the job she studied to do, hm? Maybe next week, let's hope.
All in all, a pretty solid episode. Here's to hoping Sandra sticks around and that Leila can find a stabler situation, living out of a "pukey orange" backpack is a nightmare. I'm also looking forward to seeing Iggy contact that recoevry coach and what she can bring him. As usual, give your own thoughts in the comments and see you next week!

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