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New Amsterdam - Disconnected - Review

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"Fake news" seemed to be the theme all through this New Amsterdam episode, with varying degrees of severity as to the impact on people's lives. The episode packed a lot of action for the NA team, and quite a bit of emotional distress too. Let's dig in!

When a cohort of residents appeared in the ED with the exact same symptoms because, in part, of a lack of access to information, Max's fix du jour was on full display again. I know I've complained about this several times this season, but it's getting so tiring. Not that Max shouldn't try and fix whatever global crisis needs fixing, but it's just not realistic that he'd be able to do it in one episode, and having the "fix of the week" schtick is becoming quite dull as far as narrative devices go. I realize this is New Amsterdam's MO, but somehow it never felt this forced or redundant during the first two seasons. If he's so good at finding miracle solutions in under 40 minutes, kindly have Max fix the scripts and compelling storytelling on his own show, please and thank you.

See, Max figured out that the residents of this particular building were in a data desert, with no means to verify the accuracy of the information and safety of the product they were being sold as a natural-ish covid remedy. Which, in turn, meant they all ended up in the ED because the product was, of course, fake. Worse than fake actually, dangerous for their health. Without internet access though, how could they know? (I'd argue that having internet access doesn't necessarily mean you'll be able to check what's true or not, since the internet is famously rife with fake news... but anyway). Max then convinces whoever is in charge, to allocate free data for these residents (I'm not even going to start on how flawed this fix is)... until he realizes that most of them don't have a computer or even a smartphone to actually go online. Enter fix #2: convincing another head of whatever function, that the current computers are already obsolete, in order to give the old ones to said residents. Again, this seems awfully cavalier and not a long term fix. What about all the other people in New York who don't have internet access or computers?! Realizing that the patients will need a platform that helps them too, Max sets off on fix #3 and... I honestly stopped caring long before that. It's a great cause, but as nice as it was to see Max in a suit (despite complaints to the contrary), the realization is just not it. Max is also having (again, when are we going to be done with this endless storyline) trouble with finding time to spend with Luna, and Georgia's mother is not being super helpful about it.
At this point, if I were him I'd just go with the nanny, even if she doesn't speak 3 languages, or have a medical degree, or literal wings sprouting out of her back. Georgia's parents don't seem enclined to make life easier for him and missing the only time he can bond with his daughter even though he actually was on time, has to be crushing. On the other side of child-rearing, Helen isn't have much more luck with Mina. Mina is still acting like a spoiled brat, and Helen needs to take a harder stance if she wants this to work. There's a lot of family stuff we're only getting glimpses of, such as learning that Helen and her mom were abandonned by her father (and Mina's grandfather) in London, years ago. I'd really like to get more background on Helen's upbringing, and hopefully thanks to Mina's presence, we will. Mina needs to chill though, I know being a teen is hard, but she's still pretty lucky to have ended up at Helen's place (especially when her second choice was, again, an actual PALACE).
Helen wasn't having an easier time at work, with a particularly emotional case, but she proved once again what a great doctor she is. Sometimes I think back to the very beginning of the show when she was the absentee Dr Helen, and my how far we've come from that character! A newly in love couple who had reunited after decades of being separated, learned that the man's leukemia was back, threatening their plans to travel and finally see Route 66 together. As heartbreaking as it was to receive that kind of prognosis, Helen mapped out a route that would still allow them to embark upon their trip, while still getting treatment, which was very sweet.
Meanwhile, Iggy was dealing with Chance, a patient we'd already seen a few episodes ago. Chance, who doesn't have any close family members to rely on anymore, seemed to be counting on Iggy as more than his therapist. Which ended up making Iggy very uncomfortable and was frowned upon by the hospital anyway, doctors aren't supposed to become friends with their patients. Whlie Iggy very delicately tried to set some boundaries with Chance, who otherwise was doing great at getting his life together and making amazing progress, Chance took it very hard and swallowed cleaning supplies that burned his throat. Almost every week, Iggy gets hit with these heartbreaking cases that leave an impact that's not easily overcome. These last few episodes, Iggy's eating disorder hasn't been as much at the forefront of his storylines, but I wonder if this particularly overwhelming course of events won't trigger him again (I hope not, but recovery isn't a linear path with no relapses, unfortunately).
Reynolds' case was made difficult by the child's parents, who invented a harmful explanation to how their daughter got shot, invoking first a drive by and then blaming the Black Lives Matter protests for them purchasing a gun. To Reynold's credit, he stayed as civil as possible when faced with such idiocy, and handled the case with more grace than those parents deserved.
You panic-bought a firearm, and left it loaded and unlocked in the proximity of your daughter. And when she got hurt, you tried to cover it up by filing a false police report based on race — a felony in New York. I’m not done. Because then, y’all had the audacity to claim that all lives matter while the police were combing the streets profiling black and brown faces — faces like mine, which apparently don’t matter enough to you.
On the lighter side of messing up, but with what I suspect will be dramatic consequences for the neurology department, Dr Kao failed spectacularly at hiring the best fit to replace Vijay. After seeing a few problematic candidates (although I'm pretty sure the red flags Agnes noticed weren't as bad as the giant crimson banner that appeared when the new hire made her speech), enter Dr Romy Lucio, one of Agnes's medical heroes, whom she'd actually studied during her education. With literally no questions about her qualifications, motivations, management style, aspirations for the department, nothing, Agnes hires her on the spot. In her defense, she didn't want to be interim chief, and she certainly didn't want to do the hiring either. But Iggy delegated the job to her, so to be perfectly fair, he's partly to blame too. Dr Lucio starts her job (on the spot, apparently) by making a speech about how terribly Vijay had been doing as the former chief, "running the department into the ground" and that she's going to course-correct that immediately. Um, aside from what Vijay may or may not have done with the department (I honestly have no idea since we didn't see him acting as chief that often), when someone had to leave for medical reasons, after suffering though heavy procedures and almost dying, leaving a 35 year legacy at the job.... there is certainly no need to list all the ways Dr Lucio believes Vijay failed at his job. Based on the horrified look on Dr Kao's face, she instantly realizes what a mistake she's made but honestly, who hires someone just because they admired them from afar, without knowing them? HR 101, hello!
It'll be interesting to see where this goes, especially when Iggy realizes his best friend has been replaced with Cruella. Speaking of friends, Leila is making herself more at home at Lauren's place, which isn't hard since Lauren's home can be described, at best, as sparse.
- Is it real?
- It is.
- It's just that I'm not really good with living things.
- I disagree.
It all feels very domestic, in more than a just roommates way... especially when they end up holding hands at the very end of the episode.

So, New Amsterdam fans, what are we expecting from these developments? How is Iggy going to cope between what happened with his patient and the new chief of neurology? Is Mina finally going to come around and behave? As usual, sound off in the comments!

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