“Safe Enough” finds the staff of New Amsterdam asking themselves what constitutes “safe” in light of the pandemic, with several reaching important personal crossroads.
This recap of New Amsterdam season 3, episode 3, “Safe Enough”, contains spoilers.
What exactly is “Safe Enough” in a world ravaged by a global pandemic? That’s the question that the staff of New Amsterdam is forced to ask themselves in this latest, refreshingly low-key episode, which works a lot better as a commentary on the current state of things than the premiere did. We’ll break it down by character since virtually everyone had some important decisions to make, and while there was some overlapping they were mostly personal subplots building off long-running storylines and arcs. So, let’s get to it, shall we?
First up, Floyd, since he kind of bookends New Amsterdam season 3, episode 3. You’ll recall that he was only supposed to be back in New York temporarily to help save Vijay, who isn’t even glimpsed in “Safe Enough”, so this really should have been his farewell. But he’s thrown for a loop when his mother is taken to the hospital after a fall and diagnosed with adult-onset diabetes. It’s perfectly treatable, of course, but since she’s knocking on a bit, she’s going to require full-time care. And I think we know where this is going, don’t we, folks? Floyd, Evie – who has arrived ostensibly for support, but really to facilitate a moment later – and Floyd’s sister argue about what is to be done. Floyd eventually elects to return to San Francisco but visit as often as he can, which, of course, he isn’t going to do, since Evie recognizes that New York is his home and that she never should have made him leave in the first place. She gets in a taxi without him and returns the ring he gave her, which is pretty sudden, but we can’t just lose a major character like that, can we?
Anyway, Iggy. His problem in “Safe Enough”, aside from his eating disorder, which isn’t addressed until the last-minute montage when he gets this close to joining a support group and then bottles it, is that he’s having to deal with his patients over the internet rather than in person. He deals with youngsters who’re already struggling as it is, like June, and being constantly trapped in the house by understandably fearful but obviously overbearing parents is exacerbating all of her problems. She’s immune-compromised and can’t return to even a semblance of normality, as her friends have, and it’s increasingly driving her to deep depression. When she goes missing, both Iggy and her parents fear the worst. He’s later able to find her on the waterfront, since that’s the scenery she used as her Zoom background, and is able to put her in touch with a group of similarly aged girls who’re also immune-compromised. Is it totally safe for them to meet, or June’s parents to meet other parents like them? Well, probably not entirely. But it’s safe enough.
Helen is having a mare in New Amsterdam season 3, episode 3. One of her former patients comes into the hospital for some tests and discovers that her cancer has metastasized and there’s nothing that can be done for her. As we learn later, she missed several vital chemo treatments that might have saved her, but she was too scared to come into the hospital due to Covid. This is what compels Helen to take part in a PSA arranged by Dora that Max attempts earlier in the episode and fails miserably at since the dishonesty of encouraging people to return to New Amsterdam when he’s too scared to even take his daughter there is too much for him. As it turns out, it’s too much for Helen, as well, who has a meltdown during filming, insisting that they should be telling people the raw, unfiltered truth – you can understand her frustration, since only a few scenes prior she had to tell her patient’s family that she was essentially braindead after a massive bleed. Luckily, Dora isn’t one to miss an opportunity, and she leaks the footage of the PSA, which immediately goes viral and accomplishes what the initiative was aiming for without the need for sugar-coating.
Lauren’s subplot involves a patient being brought in and subsequently saved by an Uber driver who turns out to be pretty well-versed in medicine. Unfortunately, that manifests as her taking matters into her own hands when Lauren is elsewhere, which leads to the two women badly clashing, though it’s easy to see Lauren as unnecessarily hostile right from her opening interactions with this woman. When she realizes that she saved her patient, though, Lauren tracks her down and discovers that she’s living in her car, despite obvious expertise honed in Pakistan. There’s plenty to dig into here regarding the treatment of immigrants in the United States – presumably, this subplot will continue? Let’s hope so.
New Amsterdam season 3, episode 3 ends with Max calling Georgia’s parents and asking to bring Luna back home since he’s missing too many “firsts” – first birthday, first steps. He doesn’t want to miss anymore. It might not be entirely safe, but it’s safe enough, and for now, that’ll have to do.