New Amsterdam Season 1 Episode 20 Review: Preventable

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Sometimes an hour ends with you in tears. Then there are other times when the installment ends with you smiling fondly over this heartwarming show. 

But New Amsterdam Season 1 Episode 20 likely had you stewing.

How did this series take the two most precious characters and put them in crappy situations? I want to speak to a manager!

A New Way - Tall - New Amsterdam Season 1 Episode 20

We know there would be no series if Max died; therefore, if Iggy loses his job or anything terrible happens to him, we riot!

But back to Max's health for a moment. It's not the best prognosis for him, and he's not looking good at all. Suddenly, the show took care of showing how the chemo has worn him down. His clothes are hanging off of him; he looks clammy and pale, and ironically the scruffy beard adds to the effect.

Related: New Amsterdam Season 1 Episode 19 Review: Happy Place

However, Max's hair falling out which prompted him to wear the emo beanie was a whole other level of heartbreaking. Somehow, it feels more real when there is a chunk of a person's hair in their hand.

Max Loses His Hair

It seemed as though Max woke up on the wrong side of the bed that morning and needed to retrace his steps and start all over again. He was a raging douche for most of the hour, and no one could figure out what was going on with him.

They speculated, and the worst of the speculation was probably our licensed therapist who should know better reducing Max's tantrums to him lashing out over no longer having Helen as his doctor.

Don't get me wrong; I love my Sharpwin as much as the next fan (well, the fans who don't mind their dynamic anyway), but it was an off the wall and odd observation for Iggy to make. It didn't fit during the moment and implied Helen a decision she made a while ago would have Max pissy now.

Helen: Do you want to tell me what this is really about.
Max: You aren't my doctor remember?

Even when Max playfully whined, he respected and understood Helen's decision. For him to lash out at the entire hospital due to her no longer being his doctor weeks later would be absurd and uncharacteristic.

Max's irritability could've been about his hair falling out for all we knew, and for a while, it was what we were left to assume. Unfortunately, it was about more. The chemo and treatment Max is going through are not working, and his prognosis, as a result, is not great.

Hurricane Max - Tall - New Amsterdam Season 1 Episode 20

It's the ultimate suckerpunch after a full season of Max battling cancer, and we have never seen him as hopeless and angry as we saw him during this installment. He was unrecognizable.

A lot of his anger was probably due to regret too. He didn't take his cancer as seriously as he should have for a long time. He spent a long time pretending as if he ignored his cancer, it wouldn't be real.

He was stubborn and refused to follow protocols and was inconsistent with his treatment. Max spent his time fighting against treatment as much as he fought against cancer.

I just don't want my life or my death to be arbitrary.


If he blamed himself a bit for not being as proactive with his treatment as he should have been out of the gate, it would make sense. During his final conversation with Floyd, it sounded as if him wondering if there was anything he could've changed had to do with him being self-aware of his behavior leading up this.

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If anything haunted him, his nightmare about his future daughter looking for her dead dad did. He's at the end of this treatment, and his daughter is due any day. He has a genuine fear of not being there for her.

In hindsight, there is some perspective to Hurricane Max's behavior. Before the revelation, he was a world-class jackass though.

Expenses - New Amsterdam Season 1 Episode 19

Emo Max chose to direct the brunt of his unpleasant behavior towards Nottingham and Floyd at the M & M. The way everything played out was cringeworthy and uncomfortable.

Evie: There was a police officer that died on your table under your knife. You know that they're going to be looking for someone to blame. I hate to say it, but it sure feels like Max is trying to make sure that person is you.
Max: Dr. Reynolds, are you actually ready?

Floyd did not take it well when he lost the police officer on New Amsterdam Season 1 Episode 19. He did everything he could to save her, but Max came at him during the review as if he screwed up. He questioned his capabilities and mental state, and it was not a pretty picture.

Evie suspected Max was getting pressure from the police chief and mayor (and she's probably right), so her statements to Floyd about Max looking for someone to blame were reasonable. For a bit, it did seem like Emo-Hipster Max was looking for a scapegoat and Floyd fit the bill.

Annoyed Evie - New Amsterdam Season 1 Episode 9

Max's reign of terror was pretty bad, and Floyd took it in stride for as long as he could, but he snapped. If I were in his position, I can't say I would've have blamed him for considering turning in his resignation after Max's display.

It was edging into unprofessional, humiliating, and dehumanizing. Of course, Helen is the hospital's Max whisperer and the mediator, so she was able to assess the situation and figure out what was going with Max. Although, Emo Max didn't spare her either.

Floy's Fed Up - Tall - New Amsterdam Season 1 Episode 20

It was refreshing to have Floyd be the one to have a genuine heart-to-heart with Max instead of Helen. The two men needed to get back on the right foot with one another, and they don't have those moments often.

Helen can't be the only one to get through to Max when he needs it the most while at work. Floyd had the perfect encouraging words to get Max back into his fighting spirit.

He took the death of the officer to heart; he didn't want to think about her, others, or his life as being arbitrary. Floyd's words didn't provide Max with concrete answers as there is no way to make sense of the universe, but they were profound and provided solace.

Max: How do we just accept that her death that anyone's death is random? Life, death, it can't be arbitrary.
Floyd: It's not.
Max: I just thought maybe it was something we missed. Maybe it was something we could've done differently. I could have done something differently.

After all the behind the scenes problem-solving, all Helen had to do was have a sweet moment of mostly companionable silence on the rooftop. Max has decided to go nuclear on his cancer with the DDS treatment.

Max's battle will most likely get worse before it can get better, and it's hard to prepare for it.

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It's also hard to prepare for a world where caring about your patients can get you in trouble and having to answer for it. Social worker lady is the worst. She's detestable and loathsome, and she can take her complaints about Iggy and shove them where the sun doesn't shine.

Iggy Investigated - New Amsterdam Season 1 Episode 20

We barely had a chance to dab at our eyeballs after Iggy said goodbye to another of his beloved patients, and she comes in with this bullcrap.

She wouldn't take the time to listen to Avi nor understand him and what was going on with him, but the moment Iggy took time to sort things out with Avi it was a problem. Seriously?!

Related: The Village Season 1 Episode 7 Review: Couldn't Not Love You 

If you don't recall, Avi is the young man who almost jumped off the hospital roof during the snowstorm. He has since come a long way, and Iggy couldn't be prouder of his progress, but Avi didn't react well when he found out he and his mother were moving away.

My job is to give you the tools to get through the day. That's it.


Iggy gets to know each of his kids on a personal level and tailors his treatment to them in such a way where they don't feel like another cog in a machine or like he's another adult who puts up with them but doesn't give a crap.

Iggy is the perfect damn therapist, so how does this woman have the audacity and unmitigated gall to suggest anything Iggy does is unethical?

It's too bad she wasn't in the room when Avi stopped by to say goodbye to Iggy, and he reminded yet another kid how he wasn't broken or in need of "fixing." If she saw it, she could never imply Iggy did anything wrong.

Iggy does feel a strong sense of compassion for his patients, and he does appear to become attached to them, but it's also something he holds in. He never allows his kids to know how much it may tear him up inside letting him go because of how it could stifle their progress.

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He has the perfect blend of being their therapist and a paternal figure without the latter overpowering the former. Pardon me, but I'm livid about this. Leave Iggy alone!

Avi: Thank you for you know trying to fix me. I'm sorry I let you down.
Iggy: You never let me down.

Meanwhile, Kapoor's patient was giving Yelp reviewers everywhere a terrible name. How? By giving one of the best doctors at the 'Dam a one-star review.

Little Miss Yelper had to feel important somehow. She received the VIP treatment -- the best the hospital had to offer -- and despite having fluffy pillows and people waiting on her hand and foot, she doubled down on the one-star.

Are there people that insufferable in real life? Don't answer that. The answer is obvious.

Helen and Kapoor Round II - Tall - New Amsterdam Season 1 Episode 20

Vijay had the last laugh -- or he could have if he were that type of person -- when he saved the self-indulgent twerp's life. His final moment with Agnes the Awesome was another classic Kapoor moment which reminded us of why he's the best of us.

He didn't treat her kindly because of the reviews. It was never about them. Kapoor is in this for the right reasons; don't ever forget it.

Helen: Max's cancer is not responding to chem or radiation.
Floyd: How bad?
Helen: It's bad.
Floyd: When did he find out?
Helen: Staunton told him this morning.

Kapoor and Agnes's scenes are some of the best, and their mentor/mentee relationship is underrated. We also got a little of Helen and Kapoor together at the top of the hour, and it's always a treat too.

They had lighter moments since the developments with Max and Iggy are all kinds of stressful!

Over to you, 'Dam Fanatics. Are you surprised about Max's treatment not working? Did his behavior catch you off guard?

Helen is Worried Again - Tall - New Amsterdam Season 1 Episode 20

What the heck is going to happen with Iggy? Do you think he was unethical, inappropriate, or ineffective? How many stars would you give Kapoor?

Hit the comments below!

The season is winding down, so if you need to catch up, you can watch New Amsterdam online here via TV Fanatic!

Preventable Review

Editor Rating: 4.6 / 5.0
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User Rating:

Rating: 4.6 / 5.0 (5 Votes)

Jasmine Blu is a senior staff writer for TV Fanatic. Follow her on Twitter.

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New Amsterdam Season 1 Episode 20 Quotes

Evie: There was a police officer that died on your table under your knife. You know that they're going to be looking for someone to blame. I hate to say it, but it sure feels like Max is trying to make sure that person is you.
Max: Dr. Reynolds, are you actually ready?

No one is ruining your life, Avi. I don't think anyone has that power.