One calamity after another besets the staff at New Amsterdam in “Replacement”, but where there’s a will there’s a way.
This recap of New Amsterdam Season 2, Episode 3, “Replacement”, contains spoilers. You can check out our thoughts on the previous episode by clicking these words.
Everyone needs something new in New Amsterdam Season 2, Episode 3 — an assistant, a hip, a more responsible coping mechanism than having sex with your physical therapist. Some people find replacements; others don’t. But as is to be expected in this show, solutions come from the unlikeliest of places, just when they’re needed most. Or they don’t come at all — not yet, anyway.
It’s Max (Ryan Eggold) who’s on the lookout for a new assistant, and in classic Max fashion, he hires the person who is, at least on paper, least suited to the task: Todd, a staunchly conservative combat veteran who has never owned a computer or worked in the medical profession and disagrees with him about everything. For a lot of New Amsterdam Season 2, Episode 3 Todd follows Max around berating his methods, calling out his idealism, and popping up when least expected like he’s on, as Max puts it, a covert operation. He’s hilarious. I would have been perfectly happy for Todd to do this for the rest of the season, but no such luck. By the end of “Replacement”, Max has somehow finagled him a position on the medical board, and with a salary, no less. We probably won’t see him again, but I sincerely hope we do.
As for why Max felt like he needed Todd on the board, well… that’s a bit more complicated. He wasn’t his first choice. The criteria, according to Karen Brantley (Debra Monk), is someone with money and influence, since that’s how all Max’s cost-inefficient ideas come to fruition. Todd has neither of those things. But the board doesn’t want Floyd (Jocko Sims), and neither Dr. Sharpe (Freema Agyeman) nor her public-facing celebrity alter-ego Dr. Helen want the position. Todd, at least, represents the viewpoint of the people New Amsterdam is trying to serve — people like Renee, who is back in the hospital for a do-over of an already successful surgery because she wasn’t given any aftercare.
And besides, Dr. Helen has bigger fish to fry. Her patient in New Amsterdam Season 2, Episode 3 is Vincent, a blue-collar construction worker whose faulty hip replacement is poisoning him. He can’t take another eight weeks off work or afford a swanky ceramic model that won’t kill him. Helen quite rightly believes the unethical private company who knowingly provided the poisonous joint should foot the bill; the only way to make them pony up the cash, though, is to expose them on national television, which might just land her with enough defamation lawsuits to sink her medical career. Max would rather she didn’t go through with it since he needs her support in dealing with Georgia’s (Lisa O’Hare) death, but Helen quite rightly points out that he doesn’t get to intentionally push her away and then use his own trauma to leverage her into not doing the right thing for her patients.
Doing the right thing comes easier to some than others. It certainly doesn’t come easy to Vijay’s (Anupam Kher) impressively despicable son Rohan (Vandit Bhatt), who has gotten Ella (Dierdre Friel) pregnant and immediately fled the city. Nor does it come easy to Lauren (Janet Montgomery), who is clean from drugs but can’t stop sleeping with her smug physical therapist. Neither of these problems finds a solution in “Replacement”; they’re left to simmer with the rest of the season’s on-going issues. At least Floyd, who isn’t coping well with his long-distance relationship with Evie (Margot Bingham), especially when she reveals that she won’t be home for another two weeks, gets to turn up unannounced at her hotel room for a smooch.
Iggy (Tyler Labine) has his work cut out in New Amsterdam Season 2, Episode 3 with what he assumes is a gas leak, then an outbreak of Legionnaire’s disease; either way it’s causing all of his young patients to exhibit the same symptoms. As it turns out, one of them, Emily, has a benign brain tumor, and the other kids are psychologically inheriting the symptoms due to the extreme proximity; monkey see, monkey do. For Emily, who feels completely alone, this is actually good news. The rest of the kids making signs imploring her to get better proves she isn’t. I suppose none of us are.
Jonathon is the Co-Founder of Ready Steady Cut and has been Senior Editor and Chief Critic of the outlet since 2017.