Oh, this series knows how to tug at the heartstrings. It’s unavoidable.
Everyone was concerned about Max on New Amsterdam Season 2 Episode 2, and one look at the man tells you how depressed he is and that he’s going through the motions.
Max is no less compassionate and eager to help, but he’s missing the light he used to have, and it’s like he’s on autopilot.
It’s disheartening to know he’s not talking to anyone and hasn’t been for months. He moves like he’s in a fog, and he fakes being fine. But his smile never reaches his eyes, and he slips away before anyone can check in with him.
Max is holding on by a thread. Grief is hard. There is no right or wrong way to grieve, and it’s a personal journey for those enduring it.
Everyone grieves differently, and what works for one person may not for another.
It’s been months since Georgia’s death, and Max hasn’t taken time off to process it as his friends hoped. Helen is usually the closest to Max, and Kapoor understands his pain since he too is a widow.
They were both worried about Max, and they didn’t hesitate to let him know how concerned they were. Max isn’t ready to talk to anyone, not really.
It seems as though he’s fallen into a routine that works best for him. He takes care of Luna, and he comes to work and focuses on problems he has the power to fix.
How can you take care of others if you can’t take care of yourself?
He goes home with Luna, and his apartment is a sanctuary where the ghost of Georgia lingers. He can escape to a place where she’s suspended in time and able to enjoy their family time together.
It’s a perfect, carefully curated oasis, and it’s what keeps him going. It’s something that makes every day worth it — those pockets of stolen time where the rest of the world stops.
It’s a peace of his own. It’s all his, and he hasn’t shared it with anyone, so they don’t understand it, but that’s what makes every day worth it.
Helen: I shouldn’t have said that.
Max: Said what?
Helen: That you were lucky after everything you’ve been through.
Max: I am lucky.
It keeps him going, and Luna does as well.
It makes you ache to experience Max in this much pain, but Eggold makes it hurt so good. It’s also a lovely way to continue seeing Georgia, but there’s a concerning component to it as well.
For now, his alternate reality brings him peace, but he dances on the line mentally with visions of his wife. It’s a dangerous game to play if he clings to it for too long.
It’s not something of which he would share with the others, so he wouldn’t want to open up about an of his feelings with anyone.
It has led to a coldness between Max and Helen, and it’s not that he’s pushing just her away, but it’s likely it’s the most noticeable with her because of how close they usually are.
You can talk to me. You’ve always talked to me.
Helen has always been his confidant, so him not talking to her during his time of grief worries her more than anything has before. She can guess if he isn’t talking to her, he’s not to anyone.
He can’t talk, and he told her as much, but his moment with Kapoor revealed more than he was giving anyone else. Iggy implied that Max was likely compartmentalizing, and he is.
He doesn’t want to allow himself to grieve fully. He’s in pain and knows it; he’s afraid if he let’s go the way he wants, he won’t be able to stop.
If I let myself grieve, truly give in. I won’t ever come out, and I’m all she has left.
If he gives in, he might not be able to pull himself out of the pain and darkness. He can’t afford to give in since Luna needs him. He’s all she has left.
Although, it makes you wonder what happened to Georgia’s parents and if they keep in touch. They knew about the Goodwin marital issues and Max working too much. Wouldn’t you expect them to go for custody?
The rooftop scene was one of the most emotional of the hour. After the talk, Kapoor had a better understanding of Max, though.
He reassured Helen that Max was grieving in his way.
They were supporting him the best the can. Ironically, Max was putting his efforts into trying to encourage his staff to take care of themselves.
Helen: He walks like Max. He talks like Max, but he isn’t grieving, Vijay.
Kapoor: I thought the same, but we’re wrong. Max is grieving in his own way, whether he knows it or not.
He figured if the doctors and staff were taken care of and healthy, then it would trickle down to helping patients too. He isn’t wrong about it, and how he tried to determine how to accommodate everyone was a nice sequence.
Everyone wanted to know what his solutions would be to their grievances, but it takes Max a while to find a solution. He likes to listen first, and sometimes you have to bear with him.
It’s always worth it in the end.
Kapoor: You solved time.
Max: With a bus.
His communal way of looking at this issue was refreshing. The others didn’t seem to understand what he was getting at about how life expectancy varied for different communities ten miles away, but anyone who does research or pays attention could get it.
Rural and Urban neighborhoods have poorer services, healthcare, and many other things, and it all factors into a person’s health and life expectancy.
If a community is wealthier, it means they can afford higher quality medical care, education, hell, food! It all melds into each other.
The common denominator for his employees was the two hours a day they lost in transit. If they had those two hours, they could spend time with their kids, get more sleep, eat better, and more.
Max, Dr. Sharpe said I’d find you hear if I can’t find you anywhere else. How can I help?
Max’s solution of a charter bus for the employees was so simple and yet so effective it makes you wonder why more people don’t do it in the first place. It’s not even costly in the long-run.
In addition to worrying about Max, Helen was trying to adapt to sharing the department with Castro. The woman is probably not a bad person, but she’s insufferable when she’s being passive-aggressive with Helen.
They have different styles that Castro claims makes them a great team, but instead makes them clash and leaves Helen feeling off. She can’t associate with her patients in the manner she likes.
Castro was giving the cancer group hope, but she didn’t want any parts of letting them down when they weren’t candidates for the therapy. She’s flippant and her energy is all wrong.
Meanwhile, Max has no idea why Helen has given up half of her department, nor why she doesn’t seem happy about it. It’s only a matter of time before he finds out the truth though.
Iggy is such a special character. He’s the best shrink on television.
His interactions with the inmates were so uplifting and hopeful. Everyone deserves hope and to be uplifted, even if they mucked up in life.
The session where he got creative with what the inmates could do using their skills was a fun scene until the one guy flipped out.
Iggy: What are you thinking?
Inmate: Nobody ever told me I was smart.
Once we learned his story, it was understandable why he did. He didn’t think he had a purpose or anything to offer. He had a life sentence, so he wouldn’t be getting out of prison.
The thing is, as long as there is breath in your body and you’re alive, you have something to offer. Whether or not you offer it is up to you, but there’s always a purpose.
Of all the scenes that led to a girl’s allergy flare-up, the inmate’s response to Iggy telling him about an opportunity to teach in prison hit the most.
You are not your crime. It doesn’t make you who you are. You’re smart.
No one had ever told him he was smart. He was a man who knew Aladdin was based on The Arabian Nights, and no one ever told him he was smart.
Maybe if they had years ago, he wouldn’t have ended up in prison for the rest of his life. Iggy’s compassion and ability to see everyone as a person is what makes him one of the greatest characters on air.
He doesn’t judge; people are people no matter their walk of life. One can’t help but get emotional discussing it.
Speaking of emotions, Lauren was experiencing some intense ones. Her pain management plan is not working out for her.
Well, the old plan isn’t working out for her.
Casey: That’s not sanitary.
Lauren: It’s either chew this gum or punch someone in the face.
The new one where she bangs her hot, British physical therapist is working wonders for her. In her defense, there’s a whole thing with receptors and sex releasing endorphins which are natural painkillers, and long story short, sex is effective.
Go, Lauren! It was amusing when she was angrily smacking gum and hobbling around sniping, but it lost its luster around the time she was berating Duke.
Duke is a great addition to this series. The kid is exceptional, and he benefits from being paired with Floyd.
His suture skills were out of this world, and there’s no doubt he’s gifted.
He has to learn to take accountability for his actions. They’re in the business of saving lives, so his inability to own his mistakes could cost someone their life.
Duke is a good kid, and he’s a quick learner. He made a mistake, but I’m glad Floyd hasn’t given up on him yet, and he’s willing to have Duke’s back and reprimand him accordingly.
Over to you ‘Dam Fanatics!
Are you worried about Max’s grieving process?
How long will Helen and Castro work together before one of them snaps?
Are you upset about Dora’s departure too?
Did Iggy and his inmate make you cry? Do you like Duke?
How do you feel about Lauren’s new pain management partner?
Hit the comments below! You can watch New Amsterdam online here via TV Fanatic.
Jasmine Blu is a staff writer for TV Fanatic. Follow her on Twitter.