A heatwave throws New Amsterdam into disarray in “Pressure Drop”, leading Max to tackle global warming while the rest of the hospital suffers.
This recap of New Amsterdam season 3, episode 11, “Pressure Drop”, contains spoilers.
I’ve divided this recap up between the various key characters in “Pressure Drop”, which is how the show always tends to do things anyway. It isn’t necessarily chronological, then, and will probably include a fair amount of the random observations that would usually end up on the editing room floor, so to speak, but I’m increasingly starting to believe that the best way to consider this show is on a per-character basis anyway.
New Amsterdam season 3, episode 11 starts with Max, who coyly introduces a June heatwave by sitting next to an air conditioner with Luna while Georgia’s mother is grossly unreasonable to him as ever. What is that woman’s problem?
Speaking of problems, Max has an obligatory one in “Pressure Drop” — sea-level rise will triple deaths from contaminated drinking water by the end of the century. Fresh from solving racism, he’s now targeting global warming. Naturally, his first idea, a campaign called “Gloves Are Off”, limits each department to one box of single-use latex gloves per day and instead promotes frequent handwashing with biodegradable soap, makes everyone in the hospital think he’s nuts.
When Helen puts paid to that idea, he instead decides to “turn down the meat” on global warming by banning all red meat from patient meals. Everyone has a problem with that, too, including Iggy, who previously was Max’s biggest advocate. Next up is the “Shedding Light on Global Warming” campaign to replace all of the lights with more energy-efficient ones, which is a bridge too far for Lauren in her already overstuffed ED.
Eventually, Max realizes that he can’t make changes without upsetting people, so instead of rolling them out one at a time, he’s going to implement them all at once so he just upsets everyone and gets it over with. It’s time to suck it up and get it done. The name of this project will be “Our Last Chance”, which is so wildly melodramatic that it almost plays like a comedic beat. It’s the thought that counts.
Lauren and Leyla
Well, things seem to be going well for these two, since they begin “Pressure Drop” in bed together, where it’s implied they’ve been for the last week. It’s back to work for Lauren, though, where the ED is a shambles thanks to the heatwave. One guy thinks he can control the weather with his mind — she summons Iggy for that one — and another woman, a cloistered nun named Sister Edith Pursey, is freezing despite the weather. None of this, though, is enough to dissuade the hilariously upbeat Lauren, who insists she’s going to fix everyone’s problems and do so with a smile on her face. We’ll see how long this lasts.
As it turns out, not very long. Helen’s bad mood and Max’s altruism are enough to put her in one of her usually foul moods. Her rant about the ridiculousness of his long-term problem-solving ideas basically gives voice to everyone who is frustrated with Max’s do-gooderism this season. By the time she returns home — to a candlelit dinner — she’s so fed up that she tells Leyla they have to break up since she can’t afford to be soft at work. Leyla laughs it off. She doesn’t have to be soft at work, but she’s allowed to be soft at home — life is all about balance, after all.
Helen (and Mina)
Things aren’t going especially well for Helen and Mina, since the former has booked the latter a therapy session to help her deal with her father’s death and her subsequent move to New York, but she’s swerving it to go to the Islamic Centre instead. She even snarkily suggests that Helen should attend the session in her place.
Helen’s patient is Edith, the stone-cold nun from the ED. It’s her first day outside the convent in 30 years, so this is quite the place to spend it, but Helen’s usual bedside manner has eroded somewhat thanks to the whole therapy idea, so she chews out poor Walsh despite Lauren’s attempts at de-escalating weather-based jokes, and is visibly furious to discover that Max has set out to solve global warming. She immediately brings the gloves back and tells Max he’s ridiculous, which of course he is. She also tells Lauren that her vacation has made her soft, which is putting their patients at risk.
Edith’s exact issue is a mystery for most of New Amsterdam season 3, episode 11, but we do eventually get one of those silly “aha!” moments when Edith is explaining her exciting past as an alcoholic backpacker in Panama, which prompts Helen to deduce that she has had dormant malaria ever since then that has been activated by the heatwave. (Hasn’t there been another hot day in the three decades since then?).
On his way into work — complaining about being responsible for his mother’s blood sugar levels — Floyd encounters a kid who has been left in the back seat of a car. He frees him and takes him straight to New Amsterdam, where he discovers that a fellow overworked surgeon is the boy’s father. This complicates matters, to say the least. But almost immediately afterward Floyd gets a call revealing he has been giving his mother out-of-date insulin all week — everyone makes mistakes, right? This leads Floyd right back to the social worker evaluating his colleague, to whom he makes a “recommendation for forgiveness”. He shares a touching head nod with the father on his way out of the hospital, his good deed for the day done.
After last week’s cliffhanger revelation that Chance had once again posed as a veteran in order to get closer to Iggy’s husband, Martin, Iggy confronts him and sternly warns him off — he even suggests a restraining order might be in his future, even if Chance’s point that Iggy was genuinely helping him get better is worthy of some consideration.
Iggy has more pressing matters in “Pressure Drop”, though, in the form of Javier, the patient from the ED who believes he can control the weather with his mind. Iggy establishes his own weather enthusiast bonafides to convince Javier to submit to some tests. A lot of therapy seems to take the form of lying and manipulation, doesn’t it? Discuss in the comments.
Anyway, Javier’s scan turns up nothing suspicious, so Iggy’s theory that he’s a medieval weather magician begins to look a bit more likely. That’s even more true when Javier has a bit of a meltdown and seemingly triggers a thunderstorm. The ironic twist here is that it’s actually the weather that’s controlling Javier — the barometric pressure opened up a fistula (that’s your word of the day) in his brain that obscured a tiny, benign tumor from the MRI. As Iggy says to Javier’s brother, it has been one of those days.
It only becomes more of one of those days when Iggy returns home for the obligatory New Amsterdam season 3, episode 11 cliffhanger and finds his daughter, Sameera, wearing Chance’s hat. This kid isn’t going to go away, is he?