Spoilers ahead for Episode 14 of New Amsterdam Season 4, called “...Unto the Breach.”
New Amsterdam delivered a doozy of an episode in which the memorial service for Vijay was somehow not the biggest event of the hour. After the news that Vijay died brought Max and Helen back to New York, storylines started to collide in ways that seemed bound to end in disaster… and they did, but not how most of the doctors could have expected. They and their resistance were betrayed by one of their own: Dr. Reynolds. It was a shocking twist, but it’s worth wondering: will it be good for Max and the hospital in the end?
Well, if it is good for Max and the hospital, Reynolds may not want to count on anybody seeing that and thanking him any time soon, and there were serious consequences for others while Reynolds ultimately was rewarded. So, let’s get into what happened and whether or not it could be good for everybody else… eventually.
Why Reynolds Betrayed The Resistance
Reynolds was previously a participant in the resistance, even if he wasn’t quite the revolutionary leader that Dr. Wilder was, and nobody doubted his loyalty. Even when they were all sitting in the department chair meeting and Reynolds was avoiding eye contact and looking pretty uncomfortable, everybody assumed that the traitor was Dr. Castries. It was (of course) Veronica Fuentes who outed Reynolds as the one who came to her to report the secret surgery about to happen in the morgue, telling him in front of the group:
While the other doctors were shocked that Reynolds was the one who talked, New Amsterdam actually foreshadowed the twist nicely, first with Reynolds’ frustration that his talents were being wasted on unnecessary surgeries while more important ones weren’t being allowed to happen, and then when a nurse pointed out how irresponsible it would be for jerry-rigged surgeries to happen because people could die. It clearly wasn’t an easy decision for him, but the show set up why he would make it. And there are some reasons why the betrayal may have been a good thing for the long game.
Max Stayed In New York
Max was all ready to head back to his life in London with Helen and Luna despite feeling pretty depressed about the state of the hospital, and it was Helen who decided that he couldn’t just leave when everybody at New Amsterdam needed his help. While things were already looking pretty bad even before Reynolds betrayed the resistance, they were worse than ever after the meeting that ended with Iggy demoted in his own department, Bloom fired, and Wilder blackmailed into staying in her job.
If things hadn’t gone from bad to worse, it might not have been so important for Max to stay in New York and try to help his former coworkers. I’m not quite sure how he’ll be able to do that, since he’s not an employee and unlikely to be hired again by Fuentes. He’s down an ally with the forced resignation of Bloom, doesn’t have Iggy as a department chair in his corner, and may not be the most likely to work with Reynolds, but he stayed, and that could be key to the remnants of the resistance taking the hospital back.
Plus, Max is planning on returning to Helen whenever the hospital is back on track, so him deciding to stay doesn’t have to mean the end of Sharpwin. I’m still not convinced that everything will go perfectly for them, but at least they’re determined to keep their relationship going strong. And there's hope for the hospital with Max back, which might not have happened without Reynolds going to Fuentes.
Lives Can Be Saved
Reynolds had some pretty good reasons for his betrayal, as Dr. Fuentes mentioned in her speech to sing his praises in front of his coworkers. Were there better ways he could have gone about it, like warning his friends first? Maybe, but time was of the essence to stop a surgery that was moments away from beginning. Putting an end to the morgue procedures could mean deaths prevented in the event of complications that couldn’t be dealt with by their ragtag crew and pilfered resources, and having the freedom to start doing more vital surgeries again can mean lives saved at New Amsterdam after Fuentes started running the hospital like a corporation.
The resistance was arguably being irresponsible with patients’ lives, even if they didn't have many options when it came to finding a way to still do their jobs to the best of their ability under the leadership of Fuentes. Of course, the forced resignation of Bloom might cost lives down in the ED if Fuentes can’t find somebody of her level to replace her, but the loss of her job isn’t entirely Reynolds’ fault. That’s not to say that all of his friends will see it that way, but he did what he could to stick to the “do no harm” oath, and that could mean more saved lives. There was no good way out of the status quo with Fuentes, and something had to give. And that was ultimately Reynolds.
The Resistance Can (And Should) Evolve
The hopeful side of me likes to think that his fellow doctors will understand and accept why Reynolds did what he did, and potentially work with him to advance the goals of the resistance now that he has Fuentes’ ear. The more realistic part of me thinks that the rest of the resistance is going to turn on Reynolds, but I can’t see all of them just giving up despite this very big setback. Reynolds’ betrayal could force them to evolve and approach the situation with a little bit more nuance… or at least make moves that aren’t quite so easy to catch in the act.
If anything, the latest moves by Dr. Fuentes have made it more clear than ever that it’s dangerous to leave the hospital in her control. Even without Bloom, surely they won’t give up, right? It is unfortunate that Fuentes has dirt on Dr. Wilder, because that could make removing her from power at New Amsterdam more complicated, but Reynolds presenting a brand new and very big obstacle could require them to adapt, and now Max is back to help them do it. Their previous approach wasn't working; now they have the motivation to try some new ways to resist, as long as they're willing.
And on the whole, this storyline could provide some meaty material for Jocko Sims to act in a departure from the very complicated love triangle with the pregnant Malvo and her husband. There’s a lot to look forward to, once the sting of Reynolds’ betrayal and the blows to the rest of the doctors wears off a bit.
See what happens next for those who still have their jobs when New Amsterdam returns to NBC on Tuesday, February 22 at 10 p.m. ET. The show is off for a few weeks due to the Olympics, but it’s clear that there’s plenty in store for fans in the rest of Season 4. For some more viewing options now and in the not-too-distant future, be sure to swing by our rundown of 2022 TV premiere dates.
Resident of One Chicago, Bachelor Nation, and Cleveland. Has opinions about crossovers, Star Wars, and superheroes. Will not time travel.
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