“Your Turn” pulled a typically cruel and effective trick that built on the first season’s last-minute tragedy.
This recap of New Amsterdam Season 2, Episode 1, “Your Turn”, contains spoilers. You can check out our thoughts on the previous season’s finale by clicking these words.
The spectre of death loomed over “Your Turn”, the Season 2 premiere of New Amsterdam (NBC). And that shouldn’t come as much of a surprise. Despite the show’s relentless positivity, it has always been, on some level, about loss; not just of life, but of hope, and of pride. It’s a show that requires terrible things to happen in order to show you how people can get through them, and its stellar first season ended with a last-minute tragedy which virtually guaranteed that at least one major character would be departing the show. The question was who, and “Your Turn” waited until its final moments to reveal the truth.
The rest of the episode was devoted to a number of convincing red herrings, as we rejoined the staff of New Amsterdam three months later but regularly leapt back into the past through the traumatized flashbacks of Max (Ryan Eggold). In the present, things are going well; Max and Georgia (Lisa O’Hare) are enjoying baby Luna, and Max’s cancer is in remission thanks to the experimental targeted therapy conducted by new doctor Valentina Castro (Ana Villafañe). Vijay’s (Anupam Kher) storyline in “Your Turn” was a laidback lesson in dental hygiene, Iggy (Tyler Labine) was for once able to get home to his husband and children in good time, and Floyd (Jocko Sims) is happily continuing his relationship with Evie (Margot Bingham) and has a promising new intern. Even Max’s attempts to ship insulin over from Canada and brew it in the hospital’s basement were played mostly for laughs.
But there were two people notably missing from all the frivolity. The first was Helen (Freema Agyeman), whose office was occupied by Castro and remained absent for much of the episode. We saw her injured in the flashback sequences, but we eventually saw her arrive at the hospital in the present-day, where she was essentially blackmailed by Casto into co-chairing her department so Max can continue his treatment. But she was, most importantly, alive, even if the reception she received from Max was uncharacteristically frigid — you could basically hear the shippers groaning in disappointment.
That left Lauren (Janet Montgomery), who was also seen in the flashbacks sporting a horrifically broken leg. For a good while, it looked like she was the one who had snuffed it, but her flatlining on the operating table was just misdirection; the tell-tale bleep of her survival cut immediately to her returning to the emergency room to a round of applause, albeit also walking with a cane. She’s in terrible agony and can’t trust herself to take painkillers, having to be comforted in a touching late scene by Helen, but she is, most importantly, alive.
In retrospect, it was obvious from the beginning — perhaps even from last season — that it was Georgia who wasn’t going to make it. What at first seemed like loving banter between two frazzled new parents revealed itself to be a ruse; when Luna woke up crying in the night, Georgia told Max, “Your turn.” His response, “It’s always my turn”, was literal. Georgia died on the operating table. He’s raising Luna on his own.
In its new season, it’s nice to see that for all the lip-service paid to timely social issues, and for all the gags and moments of lightheartedness, New Amsterdam is what it always has been: A show about loss, and how to cope with it.
Jonathon is the Co-Founder of Ready Steady Cut and has been Senior Editor and Chief Critic of the outlet since 2017.