New Amsterdam season 2, episode 12 recap – “14 Years, 2 Months, 8 Days”

By Jonathon Wilson
Published: January 29, 2020 (Last updated: February 7, 2024)
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New Amsterdam season 2, episode 12 recap - "14 Years, 2 Months, 8 Days"


“14 Years, 2 Months, 8 Days” is a long time to wait, and in its latest episode, New Amsterdam explores what can happen to a family in that length of time. Also what vaping can do to your lungs, and what doctors can do with old-fashioned pens and paper.

This recap of New Amsterdam Season 2, Episode 12, “14 Years, 2 Months, 8 Days”, contains spoilers. You can check out our thoughts on the previous episode by clicking these words.

Time is something we’re all running out of, and it’s the most compelling thread running through the latest episode of New Amsterdam, which also makes time for a woo-woo validation of prayer, a cautionary tale of vaping consequences, and a finger-wagging condemnation of relying too heavily on computers to do our work for us. New Amsterdam Season 2, Episode 12 was an unusually condemnatory hour, it seemed to me, but the show’s trademark and now expert manipulation of its audience’s emotions still yielded some surprises.

We began the episode with a young Dr. Kapoor and his comatose patient, Jacob, and followed them both over those “14 Years, 2 Months, 8 Days” of the title. Kapoor (Anupam Kher) still checks on Jacob in the present-day, and more so now that he’s awake – but is he, really?

Of course not. He’s still vegetative. Neurologically speaking, he’s dead. But Jacob’s wife won’t accept that and believes her husband opening his eyes is a miracle. It’s the first of several in this episode, virtually none of which turn out to be miracles at all in the conventional sense. It certainly isn’t a miracle for Jacob’s son, Sam (Zach Appelman), who essentially lost his mother when he lost his father. She barely knows him; barely knows his children. This is, as far as he’s concerned, a never-ending wake. It would be more merciful to allow Jacob to die, but just as it seems everyone is considering it, he starts to moan aloud, complicating matters.

One of the better scenes in New Amsterdam Season 2, Episode 12 is when Vijay rationalizes Sam’s mother’s actions to him, explaining how she is terrified of letting go and being alone; he describes the death of his own wife, and how he would have felt seeing her there, technically alive, even if the neurologist in him knew she was dead. This takes, and it’s eventually what they all need to let go. Vijay taking the plant from Jacob’s room after so much time spent watering it felt right; a connection that had taken root in his life and was now free to sprout in whatever direction it pleased. RIP Jacob – gone, but not forgotten.

Not quite gone yet is Floyd (Jocko Sims); neither he nor Evie (Margot Bingham) can pluck up the courage to tell Max (Ryan Eggold) he’s leaving for good. Max has other things to worry about anyway – namely a playdate for Luna with Alice (Alison Luff), the pretty, charismatic widower he met last week. Is it a date for Luna or a date for him? He has no idea, but he’s leaning towards the latter. It’s set for 8 am in the park, because of course it is, and equally unsurprisingly Max will have trouble making it.

Max’s troubles in “14 Years, 2 Months, 8 Days” include a prayer group in the hospital lobby who’re convincing people that miracles are afoot and a 13-year-old lad who seems to be having a heart attack. He isn’t having a heart attack but is instead suffering from a disease associated with vaping. It’s some new-fangled epidemic that the doctors scarcely know anything about, and prayer won’t help with that, no matter how many patients claim to have been healed thanks to the group’s presence in the lobby. Oh, and the playdate is canceled.

Max and Floyd are at a loss for a while, so much so that when the boy’s condition worsens and it coincides with the departure of the prayer group, Max starts to believe that maybe there’s something to God-bothering after all. This whole subplot didn’t land for me, building eventually to a nebulous act-of-God conclusion to which “Amen” is offered up as a viable response. I’ll allow the show a weak narrative thread now and again; let’s just hope it doesn’t make a habit of it.

Anyway, there are some other threads worthy of brief discussion in New Amsterdam Season 2, Episode 12. Iggy (Tyler Labine) works with a woman, Louise (Stacie Greenwell), who has been contemplating self-harm thanks to unsightly loose skin left behind from massive weight loss. Naturally, her insurance won’t cover a “cosmetic” procedure; the show has been banging a similar drum for ages now, but you can hardly fault it for doing so since paid-for healthcare is kind of a big deal. And it makes for some funny and satisfying scenes that also rope in Helen (Freema Agyeman), who busies herself in “14 Years, 2 Months, 8 Days” by thwarting the latest evil scheme of Valentina (Ana Villafane), who post-promotion is continuing her cartoon villainy unchecked.

Lauren (Janet Montgomery) is saddled with tech issues for most of the episode, cropping up here and there in other threads but mostly using her time to promote the idea that doctors should be able to practice basic medicine without a computer holding their hand while they do so. This is, obviously, a continuation of Max’s no screens idea from a previous episode, and like the insurance business seems a running theme of the second season. Hands-on, personal care is no bad thing, obviously, but let’s give Lauren more to do, please.

Don’t get the wrong idea. Despite being an episode with an unusual number of missteps, New Amsterdam Season 2, Episode 12 still delivered where it counted. Vijay’s journey was touching, Lauren’s analog day built to a smart conclusion, and Max took the next step of making a new friend – even if it’s technically Luna who’s doing the dating. They deserve it. Now let’s see what the next step after that might be.

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