One of the best ways to describe the hour is “busy.”
There were way too many stories happening on New Amsterdam Season 5 Episode 8 at once and not enough time spent on a designated one for them to have room to breathe.
It was like they were throwing everything under the sun at us at once to see what stuck, resulting in a slightly chaotic installment that pulled viewers into too many directions before abruptly ending.
It’s a pity that the hour turned out the way it did because there were some interesting stories in the mix, and the guest stars during the hour were entertaining or compelling enough that I wish we got to spend more time with some of them!
But we didn’t. We bounced around so much that most of the stories needed more time to breathe, and there needed to be more time for some of the stories and plots to stick their landing.
Max spent most of the hour trying to resolve a situation with a department of the hospital he didn’t even know existed. By the end of the installment, it turned out that it wasn’t even necessary the entire time.
And the two guest stars in that particular plot, Michael Cyril Creighton, who played Ken Podolsky, and Michael Broderick as Warren Danova, were so good!
Ken was so conniving without coming across that way specifically, playing two different sides of an issue that didn’t sit right, leaving you confused about whether or not he was an opportunistic scumbag or providing dying people with a much-needed service.
We spent most of the hour assuming that this man was ripping off poor, vulnerable individuals for the hospital’s gain. He didn’t give anyone reason to suspect otherwise, mainly based on how he spoke about his accomplishments.
On the one hand, what he stated about how they were there when no one else was sounded reasonable, but every time he elaborated too much, he made it seem as if it was some game where the way to win was seeing how much they can get out of a person.
You could understand why Warren was livid when not only did he lose his mother but his childhood home, too. Anyone would’ve assumed the same thing: the hospital took advantage of a vulnerable woman with dementia and got her house right from beneath her.
Somehow, you turned service to your country into a liability.
And Warren came through with one of the most hard-hitting, memorable lines of the hour when he commented on the treatment of veterans.
Ken quickly assumed that Warren’s lack of presence meant he was some deadbeat son who didn’t care about his mother when he was a soldier stationed elsewhere for two years.
How did his serving his country subject him to this? The assumptions, scrutiny, and getting cut out of decisions regarding his own mother and their home? Why was he punished for this?
And worse yet, he couldn’t even successfully fight the will because they argued that his mother had signed her will before her dementia diagnosis, so the assumption is that she was in the right frame of mind and not coerced.
However, they emphasized that she got diagnosed with late-set dementia, which would mean that she was deteriorating for some time, most likely even when she signed her will.
But they didn’t go the angle of arguing that. Instead, they made it seem like they were within their rights to keep this woman’s house despite Warren’s objection.
And then, while things were settling down, Ken shared that Warren’s mother placed a stipulation in her will that it must get used to help the Wounded Veterans Foundation because she had Warren on her mind with every decision.
Why exactly didn’t Ken share that news right out of the gate? We could’ve avoided this long, roundabout way to get this result. And it still doesn’t mean that Warren wasn’t in his rights to feel frustrated that he didn’t have control over anything.
It should’ve been his decision to make.
By the end, I was genuinely confused about why they introduced the notion of Ken potentially swindling vulnerable people out of their money, only for that not to be the case at all by the end of everything.
Rafael Castillo was another great guest star who was fun to watch as Solomon, the medium. Iggy had his assumptions about him, and he didn’t want to buy into the notion that Solomon spoke to the dead and had messages to deliver.
Iggy spent way too much time trying to reprimand Solomon and prove something was wrong with him. It’s one thing if Iggy didn’t want to buy into Solomon’s gifts, but it was helping Iggy’s patients, and that should’ve counted for something.
Contrary to Iggy’s words, no one reacted adversely to Solomon. If anything, he gave them the comfort, closure, and healing they needed.
It sucks that Iggy was even trying to mess with that, especially when he wanted to believe that Solomon had epilepsy rather than believe his ability was real.
We got our answer about Solomon when he spoke to Iggy through Iggy’s brother, who passed away. It was a hell of a scene that had you holding your breath as Solomon recited things that only Iggy’s brother would have known, thus giving credence to his skillset.
And it was such an encouraging message for Iggy, who felt a certain way because he felt no one recognized his changes.
Let a young person have the heart. I’ve been lifting up people my whole life. Why stop now?
His brother gave him the encouragement that he needed via Solomon. And Iggy set Solomon up with the Holistic Department offscreen, which made you wonder what ever happened to Mia.
With that extra boost, Iggy had a great interaction with Martin, where it was evident Martin noticed a change in Iggy and said as much.
We got some of those sparks between the two again, and you can see the writing on the wall that they may find their way back to each other.
It’s hard because we have yet to actually see Iggy do much work to improve himself enough to earn that reunion with Martin. The weightlifting is still very new, and it’s different from the therapy he desperately needs regularly.
But I don’t foresee anything other than the series working toward getting the two back together by the end of the series, so that’s where we are with them.
Floyd battled some personal issues too. He had the case with the most positive, inspiring woman ever. She was a ray of sunshine and a ball of joy, and it was sweet to see how her encouragement and praise brightened everyone’s day.
Marvela was too precious and pure. She was such a light that it hurt to hear that she wouldn’t even get put on the list for a new heart because of her age.
Surprisingly, they didn’t spend more time delving into the rough criteria under those circumstances. Marvela was left to die because of her age, and she didn’t want to fight it if it meant someone young like her students would get their second chance at life.
It was an inspiring case for Floyd, who took the sentiments from that and volunteered to host and look after his father upon his release from the hold. Apparently, Horace was still under psychiatric supervision, and we can assume he got an official diagnosis.
It’s still hard to invest in this storyline or understand what they were angling for, especially with how poorly they’ve written the mental illness component.
Lauren and Wilder were hand in hand with projecting things onto their patients and cases.
For Wilder, she was repeating her same pattern of jumping to conclusions and being a bit judgmental, assuming she had something figured out and that her way was the best. It also seemed personal, like maybe she experienced something similar, but the never went in that direction, which was odd.
She saw her patient was a dancer and thin, and she instantly jumped to the conclusion that the girl had an eating disorder. It didn’t matter that the girl was arguing against the notion.
Wilder eventually learned that her patient had lymphoma instead and things went from there.
She apologized to the girl, which was a great moment. She needed to recognize and own up to where she went wrong.
Wilder has consistently had this issue when she handles cases all season. I both admire that she can recognize when she’s wrong and wonder if it ever means anything if she keeps repeating similar mistakes.
My mother used to give me drugs and alcohol when i was a teenager. Tried to win my affection. I spent my whole life trying to dig myself out of that hole.
She and Max have continued to get closer, and it’s nice to see that his ASL is improving the more he interacts with her.
We got some forward movement with this thing that’s brewing between them. He admitted to asking her out on a date in a very roundabout way, but she declined and walked out of the room, leaving Max confused.
We already know or can at least guess that Wilder is the one who caught feelings for Max first. Her response could either mean she wanted a more concrete invitation from him where he put in the work and made her feel like he wanted her and what could be between them, or she’s not keen on serving as a rebound relationship for him.
No one wants to be the rebound or feel like some consolation prize. Wilder is a smart woman. She doesn’t want to simply step into something with Max.
She left him shocked with her rejection, but it may be her best move if only to buy her some more time.
Lauren was another person who projected a lot during her case with the mother who gave her teen marijuana. The idea of what the mother was doing made some sense, and you could see where she was coming from with it.
But who would give their kids drugs under the guise of “if you can’t beat them, join them?” It’s such a wrong approach to things, especially if you can’t even do it right.
The teen supposedly overdosed on marijuana because of the mother’s plan, and she nearly died because of it. The hour went into this explanation about how potent THC Is now compared to decades ago because the percentages vary.
I can’t begin to unpack what they were trying to do with this cannabis storyline, but I know enough to know it was disastrous and misinformed.
Marijuana in 2022 is not the same drug as when you were a kid.
It took this weird turn into having the daughter behaving like she was high off LSD or something rather than just too much weed, and I don’t know what we were supposed to gain from this storyline.
Lauren wanted to contact CPS because of this case and the bad feelings it brought up, reminding her of her own mother and what she did to her growing up.
She didn’t report the mother, but her day got worse when Vanessa came in and told her that their mother had died in the most insensitive manner ever.
Undoubtedly, the news shocked and stirred up a lot of feelings for Lauren, and now we have to hope she won’t respond poorly to this news. It’s a good sign that she was at a meeting when the hour opened.
She’s committed to the program and her sobriety. But finding out that her mother is dead is such a blow, especially when the two never got to make things right with each other.
Vanessa: Mom kicked it!
Vanessa: Mom’s dead.
Over to you, ‘Dam Fanatic. What are your thoughts on this hour? Sound off 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.