Is it possible to make it through an hour of this series without crying? For most people, it's doubtful.
It was another moving installment whenNew Amsterdam Season 2 Episode 15 tackled the opioid crisis, but it also was a weird hour when it touched upon an incestual relationship as well.
Yeah, um, what does one say about that?
The hour was oddly frenzied with the heartwrenching, raw moments from the opioid storyline splitting time with the bizarre and disturbing incest plot and Iggy's descent into disconcerting behavior, and also the Castro investigation and other things sprinkled into the hour too.
The series would have benefited if they chose to focus exclusively on Max's quest to fight the opioid crisis head-on. It was the most substantial arc, and it had all of the elements that we love from New Amsterdam.
It was heartwarming and gutwrenching all at once. It had Max leading the charge spouting facts and figures and attempting to make a real change. It had personal touches and elements added throughout the hour and a call for solidarity and unity.
It had the stunningly powerful scene with the wall of photos with the extra tearjerker touch of Brantley adding a picture of her sister.
For the most part, everything about the portion of the hour was quintessential New Amsterdam.
The moment Karen asked, no, demanded that Max do whatever the hell he needed to fix the crisis and how the hospital responded to it, you suspected there was a reason for her investment.
Today, I want you to turn this epidemic around.Karen
She's not a woman who shows her hand often, and she keeps most of her feelings close to the vest. She has a way of coming across emotionally detached, so it's been a pleasure to have the Ice Queen thaw this season.
She gave Max carte blanche to be the Maxiest of Max Goodwin, and he didn't know what to do with himself after she gave him the vote of confidence.
It's almost like he's the most effective when he feels like he's breaking the rules, and it's against the wishes of an authority figure.
He wasn't at his best coming up with how to resolve the crisis. After all, it was a big ask. He took to running down the hospital stats and figures and berating the doctors who prescribe opioids regularly at the hospital.
C'mon, Max. It's me you're talking to. People are dying. Do better.Karen
It was reminiscent of his no-nonsense diatribe during New Amsterdam Season 1 Episode 1. It probably did put most of the doctors on the defense, though, and he was surprised when Karen wasn't impressed with his efforts.
She wanted something off the wall; she wanted Max to come up with one of his outlandish out of the box solutions that shouldn't work but somehow do.
He came up with terminating the contract New Amsterdam has with Nyler company. It's a big swing, and it's another one of those situations where what Max is angling for is too good to be true, and what he's requesting seems impossible.
It's no secret the country is experiencing an epidemic; it's horrifying how many people are affected by this, and it's a serious issue.
I'll reserve the commentary about how poorly handled the previous epidemic was back in the '80s and '90s, and how it never garnered the same level of genuine concern for another time.
We know it's an issue, and much of it has to do with doctors overprescribing narcotics when they aren't essential and patients getting addicted to them.
It's a crackdown happening, but it's also in direct conflict with Big Pharma. In general, money tends to take precedence over the well-being of patients. We know about most of this.
We're hospitals, killing people should be high up on the list of things we do not do.Max
But the solution isn't supposed to be eradicating all use of opioids, and maybe I interpreted wrong, but it sounded like the series leaned heavily into that line of thinking while going on one of its passionate tirades.
In fact, one of the funniest lines of the hour also captured how intense the hour was when it got rolling with its anti-opioid message.
A frustrated Bloom was annoyed that a doctor was on her case about Max shutting down the ER, and she snapped at him.
She told him Max was helping to resolve the crisis that the doctor was partly responsible for, and he told her he was only a dermatologist. She laid the blame at his feet when he didn't have anything to do with it.
Lauren: We're trying to solve the opioid crisis, a crisis you helped cause.
Doctor: I'm a dermatologist.
Sometimes, when they get going on a crusade, they spin it into something else, and while it's good, it also lacks a nuanced approach.
Shutting down the ER seemed reckless and like it jeopardized more patients, while Max was focusing on his task. And putting the pressure on Nyler might do the same.
On the one hand, everything he said about the company and what was wrong with them was correct. And he should be at the mercy of this company, nor should all the other hospitals who are bought and have blood on their hands as a result.
On the other hand, what are the immediate repercussions of going against a titan company? They rely on Nyler for more than one thing. How will that affect them in the future?
There's blood on all of our hands. I think it's time to wash it all off. Who's with me?Max
Does it do more damage than good? It's not right that they're beholden to Nyler, but is there a solution that doesn't jeopardize lives?
It was another one of those cases where we don't know for sure how Max can successfully implement his plan or comprehend the extent of what he came up with in the first place.
But it was no less moving when he was passionate about the cause. Of all the things he spent the day trying to do, the most effective work was what he did by accident.
Adele's return was a welcomed one, and her story about a loved one's addiction is what led to Max's sweet gesture of placing her picture on the wall.
Look, Floyd. I just can't lose anyone else.Max
He started a movement without even intending to do so. The wall of photos plastered all over the Nyler wing was beautiful, and all of the people there sharing pictures of their loved ones was enough to make anyone emotional.
It's true that everyone knows someone affected by this crisis. It has touched all of our lives distantly or closely in one way or another.
Karen's character development and growth this season is a pleasant surprise, and when she showed up at the wall and put a picture of her sister there, it confirmed that her passion was because of it being personal for her.
It was sad enough, but then we realized that her sister was the same woman who kept showing up at the ER and eventually died, and my God, this show loves to come for your heart.
It touched Lauren as well. She did everything she could to help the woman, and then she ended up in their morgue anyway.
Lauren's dinner with her mother was heavy. Her mother has shaped everything about her, and she found out that she doesn't even remember any of it.
You know, I don't know what's worse. People addicted to their drugs or companies addicted to their money.Max
It's so typical and emotionally destructive, too. Lauren bared her soul to her mother, and she couldn't apologize since she didn't remember any of it.
It was a slap in the face to Lauren. It almost makes you think Lauren would've been better off avoiding dinner with her mother altogether.
While it's nice to have her mother there, especially since it's Gina Gershon, it feels like they dumped her in with no precursor, and every time they show her or them, it's like we missed pieces of something.
And yet, that wasn't as messed up as Iggy's case with the incest. What was that exactly?
Iggy: Chris, why do you think this can be fixed?
Chris: Because the day I met Jenny was the best day of my life, and every day since has been better.
It's what I mean when I say the other stuff took away from the poignancy of the opioid storyline.
Chris and Jenny loved each other, and it sucks that taking an ancestry test blew up their world, but was it something we needed to see?
We could sympathize with Iggy ever since the "diagnosis" and how it affected him, but it was partly because of it not affecting his job much.
You can't say the same this time around. Jenny wasn't comfortable marrying the man whom she discovered was her half-brother.
Gladys: So adorable.
Iggy: Aren't they?
They should've respected that, but instead, we had both Chris and Iggy spending an entire therapy session convincing her that it doesn't matter, and she should get over it.
Why? If one person wasn't comfortable, then that's it. It wasn't like they both were OK with it, and they needed Iggy to reassure them they weren't freaks.
Iggy, our beloved shrink, spent an entire session wearing Jenny down and disregarding her feelings, and then sent the happy couple on their way.
Then he binged to his heart's content, and it's disturbing. He is a licensed professional; Iggy of all people knows he should've consulted a therapist.
Satisfied? I've tried to be the bigger person here.Castro
He should've gone to an actual couple's therapist with Martin when they had their issues, but he sure as hell should've talked to an experienced professional after the NPD debacle.
He is spiraling, and it's not healthy, and I'm scared and worried about him.
I'm also worried about Helen and the hospital. She went to great lengths to expose Castro, and she thought she flubbed when she didn't find anything.
Castro is such a jerk. The way she speaks to Helen makes you want to reach through the screen and shake her, and she doesn't give a damn about her patients.
Castro altered her trial!Helen
As expected, Helen was on the right track. Castro is tampering with her trial. By doing so, she's putting the entire hospital at risk as well as her patients.
WHEN will we get rid of this insufferable woman?! She has to go!
But can Helen take her down without getting burned in the process? Castro is a slippery one, and she's gunning for Helen.
- How many playdates to two babies under the age of one need? What they do, drool near each other?
- If Max had to watch Alice's baby, then how did he miss what she looked like when they did the baby handoff?
- Why can't Max and Alice be friends? Isn't it too soon for him to be seeing someone? So on and so forth.
- Max's comment about not wanting to lose any more people in response to Floyd's departure was dark. I get it, but it's also not fair to Floyd.
- Casey and Bloom have such a fun dynamic, and I wish they would give Casey more screentime and a backstory or arc.
Over to you, 'Dam Fanatics. Do you enjoy this hour focused on the opioid crisis? What's your impression of Lauren's mom? Are you 'shipping Max and Alice?
Are you worried about Iggy? What are your thoughts on that incest storyline? Are you starting to enjoy Karen Brantley/Dragon Lady? Hit the comments below.
You can watch New Amsterdam online here via TV Fanatic.
Jasmine Blu is a senior staff writer for TV Fanatic. Follow her on Twitter.