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TV Recap: New Amsterdam – Keep the Change

A homeless guy, a Google search, and a vintage Gibson guitar all play into John’s weird, wild world tonight. We learn a few more things about his past, too. Like the fact that he and his old-jazz-guy-son Omar didn’t always have such a chummy relationship.

While investigating the death of a homeless guy, John flashes back to 1964, when he struggled with alcoholism and entered a 12-step program. As you might imagine, he had a LOT of people on his apologies list. Just think of all the people you could screw over in 400 years.

Thanks to his sponsor, Frank, John enters AA, but when Frank dies, John has to find someone else to read his journal to. He chooses his estranged son, Omar, beginning with “you know how I always looked younger than the other dads…?” Omar sits in stunned silence as John tracks back through his Very Long Life.

Back in the present day, things don’t go so well when John tries telling his story to the E.R. doc. After getting hot and heavy, she says she can’t be with someone who won’t tell his deep, dark secrets (that’s a lot to ask after two dates, don’t you think?). "And why are there no public records of you on Google?" she asks. Because, you know, Google is the be-all-end-all of public records.

She says buh-bye and starts to walk away, then John launches into his weird, wild story. But it’s all for naught, because she keeps walking. “I need for things to make sense,” she says. Keep walking, girl. Probably not gonna happen with John.

All this comes in handy, though, when John has to flush some info out of a guy with “no papers,” whom “the cops are never going to believe.” Well, buddy, you haven’t given John Amsterdam a chance. Based on the guy’s info, John figures out that a young boy died from a hit-and-run, along with two other guys who might have been ready to sing to the cops.

The driver of the hit-and-run? A woman who opened a new homeless shelter. But the man behind the murders – a homeless guy and a rock star with whom the woman was apparently having an affair – is her husband.

Oh, I almost forgot the vintage Gibson guitar. The rock star left his alcoholic buddy the guitar – worth mucho bucks because it might have been owned by blues guy Robert Johnson. But instead of selling it, the alcoholic plans to learn how to play it with all the free time he’ll have since he quit drinking, thanks to John, who got him into AA. See how that all ties up nice and neat?

And here’s kind of a cool video where director Jim McCay discusses this episode.