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New Amsterdam - Catch - Review

Usually, New Amsterdam offers a buffet of different medical cases, but this week's episode had a pretty recurrent theme involving...maternal health! And more precisely, labor and what kind of leeway women have in their choices as to how, exactly, it'll happen. These thematic choices are never innocent however, and as planned, we're quickly informed that thanks to several maternity departments around New Amsterdam being closed, there's an influx of pregnant patients. Each of the four cases presented a different aspect of pregnancy and its joys and risks combined, and made for an interesting hour of TV.

Let's start with the most difficult case, a young mother who learns just as she's given birth that she has an advanced stage of agressive thyroid cancer that requires immediate treatment. Said treatment means that Nia would have to isolate from her family and newborn baby for months at a time. Imagine having to come to terms with that kind of diagnosis, having your daughter almost literally ripped away from you even though you haven't even been able to breastfeed her once. Helen does her best to help the transition go smoothly but it's harrowing to see the new mother go through this, even if in the very nick of time her baby finally latches on and they have a sweet bonding moment.

Even before this overwhelming case, Helen was not having the best of days. What she thought was going to be a wonderful cool aunt-niece relationship with Mina, is turning out to be almost completely one-sided. The breakfast display she toiled upon? Ignored. The invitation to have dinner together at the end of an already long day? Denied. The minuscule hope that Mina had seen the rudeness of her ways and brought pizza to her aunt? Immediately quashed by a brash teenage response, Mina just needs a ride home. Helen turned her life upside down to accommodate her orphaned niece, but there's not much gratitude to be found in Mina. I don't want to generalize to all teenagers being selfish, because that's not true, but it's certainly present here. And to think Helen gave up her medical deputy title (as insignificant as it actually was) as well as her budding relationship. Ah well, you can't say she isn't trying, and maybe, probably, it'll end up paying off. It's not like she has a choice anyway, she has to try. Also, for someone who was worried about being uprooted to the point of almost marrying her teenage boyfriend in order to stay in her comfort zone, Mina sure is making friends fast. This did lead to a lighter moment though, when Helen and Max finally share a conversation where they each acknowledge their failures at being Parent of the Year to their respective charges. Again though, no explanation from Helen on taking Mina in, Max apparently absorbs information through osmosis now and we aren't privy to any other conversations they might've had.
Aside from toddler-induced harsh reviews, Max was also having hard time balancing New Amsterdam's maternal health policies with a pregnant lawyer's (who'd infamously closed several other maternity wards) birthing plan desires. Her previous experience (c-section) made her an unlikely candidate for a vaginal birth, but she'd had such a bad experience that she wanted her choice to be respected this time, despite it being risky for her and the baby. With the hospital's reputation at stake, Max hadn't much choice than to throw away what was usually done and use is "How can I help" plan to new and disquieting levels. While I understand wanting to make things progress and helping a woman try to give birth the way she wanted to, this is not going to work, medically, every time. Max was focusing on the racism aspect, and he was right to tackle the unfair differences in healthcare depending on the color of one's skin, but I work in a maternity ward and it's common knowledge that healthcare professionnals will do their best to honor your wishes, but health prevails upon personal desires. He gets away with it though, and New Amsterdam's maternity ward will live to see another day. We also get a teeny, tiny little Max/Helen tidbit when Evelyn's husband asks Max if he's ever loved a black woman. There's a pregnant (ha) pause, and Max doesn't answer but he might as well have spelled out Helen's name with surgical tools right then and there.
New Amsterdam's quality of care for pregnant women is high, but not thanks to the prickly OBGYNs, if the two we see in action are anything to go by. In the case of a cryptic pregnancy, the OBGYN in charge of the case wanted Ydalis, the woman who denied she was pregnant, to be thrust into labor whether she felt ready or not to accept her condition. Had Iggy not intervened in order to, at the very least, try and understand what was going on, the other doctor would've inflicted something even more traumatic on a patient who'd clearly been through enough already. As it turns out, Ydalis had been repeatedly raped by her stepfather but in order to protect herself, had completely disassociated from it and thus believed she was still a virgin. All is well that ends well though, since while Ydalis wasn't able to take care of the child, a family adopted the baby as she looked on and thanked Iggy with a determined nod. Iggy, by the way, was (again) the MVP of this case and he seems to be doing just fine even without Vijay's advice to bounce off of. Speaking of Vijay, they're working to hire a replacement but at this point if feels like Dr. Kao will be doing just that, whether she wants to be chief (or interim chief) or not.
That OBGYN wasn't the only unfriendly one, as Reynolds found himself embarked in a case that brought him straight to a doctor we hadn't encountered yet: Lyn Malvo. Aside from the case (a pregnant woman with several previous miscarriages, who ended up having her appendix removed), Reynolds and Malvo were engaging in some seriously flirty banter (even though they were mostly fighting on who needed to treat the patient) until she brought out her wedding ring. Reynolds was undertandably thrown off, since he certainly wasn't flirting one-sidedly, but I'm assuming we'll know more about that situation in upcoming episodes.
Meanwhile, after Leila's little refugee situation was finally found out, she was forced to literally come out of the closet (and I'm wondering if there'll be something more than friendship going on between her and Lauren) and go straight to being Lauren's new roommate. So, New Amsterdam fans, what are we expecting to come of this? Will Helen stop embodying the "How do you do, fellow kids" meme? Are we going to learn Dr Malvo is actually a widow (or amateur jeweler)? Sound off in the comments!

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