I am at a loss.
What an utterly frustrating, underwhelming, and disappointing season finale for what is inarguably the weakest season of this series.
By the end of New Amsterdam Season 4 Episode 22, all one can ask is, what was the point? As in, what was the point of any of it? I’d like that 40-something minutes of my time back.
The hour was dull, trite, and thoughtless. And there’s no nicer way of phrasing it; there simply isn’t.
They tossed another grenade into each relationship, primarily Sharpwin, with Max waiting on the rooftop dressed to the nines for their wedding and Helen hysterically apologizing from the wasteland where all good things have gone to die, London.
But aside from that, nothing about this installment felt like a finale. It wasn’t even up to the standards of a regular installment of the series.
The hurricane caused a bad storm that tore apart the hospital and led to other unfortunate things that didn’t have any stakes whatsoever, nor was it exciting in any way.
Is the hospital made of cardboard and glass? How did it get so utterly destroyed in such a short period, and why would anyone want to attend a facility so structurally unsound?
Did Veronica suck all stability from the place before she left?
We spent most of the hour with a small batch of patients, Wilder, and Agnes playing “Follow the Leader” with Iggy, who I wouldn’t follow to the pearly gates of heaven if God himself ordered me to do so.
Wilder was so criminally underused in this finale for her to be one of the actual saving graces. I’m relieved that Sandra Mae Frank has been made a series regular for the final season because we deserve to spend more time with her, and there wasn’t enough here.
The hour also lacked any follow-up with characters like Mia and grossly underused Helen.
Panic is not an option, neither is hiding. You asked to lead, now lead.
If anything, Iggy was more front and center for the hour, and placing who has incontestably been the most irritating character of the season at the forefront is one of many reasons this hour lost the plot.
The destruction of this character has been beyond mindboggling to the point where it’s irksome when he appears onscreen. But they went ahead and killed his marriage to Martin once and for all.
And in many ways, that’s a good thing. We’ve been rooting for Martin to leave his ass for a long time now. But, of course, they couldn’t even get that right because, for some reason, no one is reading the room, and they seem to think that we would side with Iggy over Martin.
Yeah, no. Iggy voicing his issues with his marriage are all good and well if they actually made sense, but they do not.
Iggy: I can’t be who I am, I can’t be who I want to be with you.
Martin: OK, um, then you should move out.
In the eleventh hour, we have Iggy griping about how Martin is drawn to broken things, he’s the problem, he somehow stifles Iggy and wants to keep him broken and insecure, and he’s the voice in the back of Iggy’s head criticizing him or making him feel unsure.
To which I say bullshit. Martin could be a voice in the back of Iggy’s head, but there’s like a dozen of them at this point. If they somehow wanted to sell this narrative that Martin is the awful husband who doesn’t let Iggy grow, they should have shown it.
Literally up until a minute before Iggy announced that he couldn’t do it anymore, Martin has been nothing but a supportive, patient, loving husband. We have no evidence of Martin’s manipulation or anything that Iggy accused him of after ten seconds of therapy where he didn’t take accountability for any of his shit.
The notion that Martin is supposed to be the villain and antagonist in Iggy’s story now “because plot” is freaking bonkers.
We have evidence of Iggy lying, cheating, manipulating, and draining every ounce of what Martin had to offer like an emotional succubus for four seasons. We’ve SEEN that.
We have not seen Michael, the same man who prompted Iggy to get back into practicing, loved Iggy unconditionally, and been disappointed and let down by him endlessly without seeming to get off on his “broken bird” husband’s antics do what Iggy has described.
It felt like some cheap ploy to get Iggy back in our good graces, especially coupling that with the Misadventures of Iggy Saving the Day during this installment. Without regret, it has backfired and only made me detest the character more.
After everything Iggy said, even stating that they couldn’t be together anymore, he had the audacity to look shocked that Martin told him to leave the house.
Iggy has lied to him repeatedly, cheated on him, blamed him, not taken accountability, and STILL was the one to break things off, and Martin is basically singlehandedly raising their gaggle of children by himself 90% of the time.
Damn right, Iggy should be the one to get the hell out!
And after nearly getting everyone poisoned with carbon monoxide and having to get handheld through leadership from Agnes, Max, and others, Iggy stepping up wasn’t impressive.
The other character who has suffered from poor writing all season is Floyd.
It took a bit to recall how we ended up with this final storyline of Floyd searching for his father, but presumably, after giving up his lust baby with the married couple, it had him thinking about fatherhood.
Perhaps if they wrapped up the awful “poly” storyline sooner into the season (if they insisted on doing it at all) and allowed Floyd’s search for his father to take up the second half of the season, it would’ve been stronger.
But the whole season was a bunch of storylines that either lasted longer than they had any reason to, such as the Veronica arc or got wrapped up and resolved too quickly, like Helen’s blink and you miss it stroke.
It was hard to invest in Floyd finding Horace, partially because most of us probably checked out of Floyd’s storyline ages ago. But from the mild attention extended to his arc here, it was still unsatisfying.
Amid saving a woman at Horace’s apartment building, we learned that Horace knew who Floyd was and apparently followed his life and career. However, he refused to give any information about the past or answer questions.
Again, one asks, what was the point of this then?
All they did was send Floyd on a last-minute quest to find a dad he hadn’t known, and he came out of it empty-handed. It was as unsatisfying as Floyd abandoning any fight for his kid.
The aimless nature of his storyline this season is so disappointing.
Of course, there’s Leyla and Lauren, who they put back to where they were again in this endless cycle of power dynamics and debt.
They never should’ve even introduced this whole notion of their relationship being transactional because they wrote themselves into a corner with it.
The sheer will and hope of ‘shippers and the actresses’ chemistry keep this ship afloat, and they’re fighting in opposition to the writing and handling of this relationship at every turn.
Leyla and Lauren do make a great team. They were brilliant with the human trafficking case, and they had you rooting for them the whole time. It’s a relief that they saved that poor woman from a disturbing fate.
But their romantic relationship has these frustrating obstacles that just are not handled well.
Somehow, a cup of coffee brought up the transactional power dynamic again. Sometimes a cup of coffee is just a cup of coffee. Leyla could’ve simply gotten Lauren some the next day, and nothing else would have come from it.
Colleagues and friends do this for each other all the time. Hell, strangers do as well.
But we’re right back to where Lauren has an epiphany that they’ll always have this power issue in their relationship, and it’ll always stand between them.
But then she said all of that and gave Leyla her apartment to stay at, so again, what even was the point and what sense does any of this make?
If they just get married or something, will it break this cycle? They’ve had Lauren and Leyla on this same merry-go-round all season, and I want off of this ride. It’s exhausting.
They keep dangling the prospect of their happiness out there and snatching it back, and they’ve done the same thing with Helen and Max.
If one never hears the word “joy” again, it would be too soon because why did they pitch the tagline if nothing has matched up to it all season?
Sitting through a mostly joyless season despite the teases would lead you to think that the finale would deliver on the happiness, but that was far from the case.
Somehow, Max was in this weird job limbo where he isn’t part of the hospital any longer, but he still roams around and does procedures after saving nice cart vendors.
But he spent the whole episode trying to contact Helen and waiting for her flight to arrive so that they could get married.
The others set up a lovely wedding venue on the rooftop, which fit Sharpwin since it has always been their place. Everything was set up and beautiful, guaranteeing a lovely wedding for the pair.
But then, none of it happened. Why? Because Helen never even made it on the plane, she’s “sorry” and “can’t.” What a slap in the face for Max and the viewers.
We can probably guess that something came up with Helen’s mother or maybe her niece. One can hope that there’s a reasonable explanation for why Helen stood Max up.
But with how things have gone all season, there’s also a chance that there isn’t, and this is just the type of contrived drama that the series thinks is entertaining and engaging.
Helen has been written so inconsistently and frustratingly this season that it could be another case of her putting barriers up and regressing in how she handles relationships.
Max and Helen’s relationship has been all over the place this season, and they’ve had some moments where it felt as if some of their issues were unresolved.
However, after the two-second stroke, the realization that New Amsterdam is home, and the spontaneous wedding plans, we should’ve gotten the union by the end of the hour.
Everything in the back half of the season led them to a wedding, but the series didn’t deliver it. It would’ve been the most reasonable thing to happen in the hour, and we didn’t even get that.
It’s a tricky balance with giving an audience what they want. You have to know when to give and when to take. You have to dangle enough there to keep people invested but not give them all too much at one time.
I don’t think this ending was the smartest move for an already uneven season. Adding into the mix that we’re headed into a short, final season, there’s a real chance that some viewers got so put off that they no longer have interest in tuning in again.
It’s like they’ve toyed with us all season, and not in the fun ways. The finale and ending feel like the straw that broke the camel’s back in general discontent.
At this rate, one welcomes the break until a new season. Perhaps in between, the excitement and interest in the series will get restored in time for its sendoff.
And worse yet, after this rough season, and this terrible finale, maybe the bittersweetness of New Amsterdam coming to an end is sweeter than we thought.
Max, I can’t. I just can’t. I”m so sorry, Max. I’m so sorry.
Hopefully, they’ll get it together and deliver a final season with the quality that we know and love, and we can put this one behind us.
Over to you, ‘Dam Fanatics. What did you think of this installment? Sound off below.
If, you’d like to revisit the highs and lows of the season, you can watch New Amsterdam online here via TV Fanatic.
Jasmine Blu is a senior staff writer for TV Fanatic. Follow her on Twitter.
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