New Amsterdam season 4, episode 2 recap – “We’re in This Together”

By Jonathon Wilson
Published: September 29, 2021
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New Amsterdam season 4, episode 2 recap - "We're in This Together"


“We’re in This Together” is about teamwork in the midst of chaos, but individual problems threaten to pull it all about.

This recap of New Amsterdam season 4, episode 2, “We’re In This Together”, contains spoilers.

Everything is fine! That’s what the staff at New Amsterdam would like you to believe, at least, but it’s almost never true for them, personally or professionally. Personally, Max and Helen are officially an item and are leaving for England in six weeks, yet Max still hasn’t managed to tell anyone about either their relationship or their impending trip; Floyd is still seeing Lyn, though she’s suddenly giving him weird energy; and Lauren is giving Leyla lifts to work, while the other ED residents catch the bus. Professionally, Max hasn’t found anyone to replace him as Medical Director of New Amsterdam, prime candidate Dr. Wilder doesn’t want the position, and the ICU is about as understaffed as it can be given that literally nobody is running it. Everything is… fine?

New Amsterdam season 4, episode 2 recap

The action in “We’re In This Together” is centered in that ICU, where Max takes over rather than pulling any staff from other understaffed departments. As the news of Helen and Max’s relationships spreads like wildfire thanks to Casey spotting them smooching, various patients in critical condition are wheeled into the ICU. There’s no time to meet anyone and slowly decipher their diagnosis; it’s all chaos, all the time, which is obviously an intentional choice to emulate the stress of trying to run an understaffed hospital department. But the place quickly becomes staffed, at least temporarily. Helen agrees to stay there with Max, and then so does Lauren. The episode’s title is making itself clear.

There are subplots elsewhere, obviously. Iggy is struggling with his residents because he’s far too hands-on and patronizing during their training, Floyd is trying to decipher why Lyn is giving him the cold shoulder, and Leyla is having to check her privilege, which is an extraordinary thing for her to have to do given she was living out of her car only weeks prior. But her flash stethoscope and iPad loaded with textbooks are certainly privileges of a kind — and those privileges aren’t winning her any friends.

The ICU stuff is really effective. For once, it makes sense not to get to know any of the patients. They’re in and out, a blur. Nobody is doing one thing for long without being called away to help with another. Eventually, Floyd finds himself there too. But there are personal subplots weaved in and out; Leyla telling Lauren that her newfound privilege makes her feel as though she isn’t earning her success; Helen having an epiphany while listening to the story of a climber whose partner is in another hospital, potentially even more badly wounded than he is. You’d think it’d be too much at once, but it isn’t, really. Max even finds time to meet with Dr. Wilder again, who has been thinking his job offer over as a professional courtesy, and reveals that she has a paranoid schizophrenic younger brother who lives with her. For the first time, work isn’t her priority anymore, and New Amsterdam deserves a Medical Director that can put it first.

And it builds to a payoff in the form of an intra-aortic balloon pump. And no, I don’t know what that is, other than it requires the help of almost the entire ICU staff. And that’s a novel concept; you’re reminded of just how infrequently you see all of the show’s main characters in the same room at the same time. It’s enough to inspire one of the usual ICU staffers to walk back her resignation since for the first time she doesn’t feel alone in the department. Some of the extraneous personal subplots reach resolutions, too. Iggy realizes he needs to be more hands-off and allow his patients to make their own mistakes. Lauren realizes that, rather than see Leyla abandon all the things that’ll help her get to where she needs to be, she needs to provide the same advantages to all the residents, to give everyone a level playing field. And at Iggy’s rooftop Harvest Festival, Floyd finally knows what to apologize to Lyn for.

Max and Helen also find themselves on the roof, as ever, though admittedly on a different one overlooking the festivities. Helen is stewing on the fate of her patient’s climbing partner, and the metaphoric similarities their accident has with her relationship with Max. She’s worried they’re tethered together and that his inability to commit to big decisions will pull her down with him. So, at the Harvest Festival, he tells everyone, including Karen Brantley, that they’re leaving. And she’s not too happy about it.

New Amsterdam season 4, episode 2, “We’re In This Together”, airs on NBC.

NBC, Weekly TV
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