New Amsterdam Season 4 Episode 21 Review: Castles Made Of Sand

Darnell Martin was back to direct the installment, and she never seems to miss when it comes to some solid Sharpwin scenes, never mind the fact that she has an incredible eye.

With an uneven season with more than a few misses, as a penultimate installment, New Amsterdam Season 4 Episode 21 was an enjoyable watch and brought us around to setting up the season finale.

And one of the things to look forward to most will be that Sharpwin wedding.

But first, let’s discuss whatever the hell is happening to Ignatius Frome. When and why did he become this insufferable character?

With Veronica gone, Iggy goes back to being the most loathsome character, and it’s disappointing because that wasn’t always the case.

I am not the problem. You are.


It’s hard to make sense of the motivations behind ruining his character this much. If it’s leading somewhere, they’re dragging it on and milking it for all it’s worth, and the endgame is not visible to the naked eye.

Is this their way of bringing things back around to that time one of his students diagnosed him as a Narcissist or some other personality disorder? And if that’s the case, can he at least be as enjoyable as his young patient Juliet?

His storylines are always a mixed bag, so one minute you’re cheering for him or singing his praises, and the next, you want to yell at the screen or worse.

Iggy spoke nothing but facts when he discussed the short-staff nurses and how deliberate things are with overworking and underpaying nurses and others because of profit.

Iggy: I think I know what you have to do to get rid of your panic attacks?
Gene: What’s that?
Iggy: Quit your job.

And his points to Gene had merit when he asked Gene about loving a job that doesn’t love him back. You could make sense of where Iggy’s head was with those parts of that case he took on, despite it not being an official appointment.

However, his recommendation that Gene quit his job, despite hearing how happy the job made Gene and how important it was to him, felt out of line and not productive.

Iggy suggested it casually as if Gene didn’t have a family to take care of; it felt like shortsighted advice.

And as usual, Iggy took another session with a patient, and he had this epiphany about his personal life.

He and Martin started the hour in a questionable bliss. Martin got Iggy a new sweater, and it seemed they were navigating their relationship with the help of a therapist.

Then he went home and determined that Martin was somehow the blame for everything that fractured between them, and his methods of making amends were foolish.

How Iggy determined this is a whole other story, but that’s where he is now. Hopefully, Martin will take this final thing and end it with Iggy. He deserves better than a professional therapist who gaslights and hurts him as much as he does.

They did better with Floyd’s storyline as the hospital getting left without a medical director sent things into disarray, and he has a natural leadership quality.

His storyline is always more compelling when it involves his professional life. Initially, it seemed he was in over his head and pushed the other surgeons too hard without realizing it.

It was surprising that they let his position as chair to influence them so much that they didn’t want to argue against him despite their concerns.

And his plan to perform so many surgeries on all those patients felt impossible and too much. He was jumping from one OR to the next as Wilder and others appeared to be over their heads, but things all worked out, and they praised him for pushing them beyond their comfort zone.

Floyd’s quest to find his father was also squeezed into the mix. He did with success in the end, despite Horace’s vague behavior.

You screw over a doctor, they leave. You screw over a patient, they die. You screw over a nurse, they stay because it’s not a job, it’s a calling. When does someone help you? This profession that you love does not love you back.


Floyd’s sudden interest in his father, presumably as he had become one himself, feels like a storyline that came too late into the game, out of nowhere a bit. Now we’re concluding the season with a rushed personal arc we should’ve explored more during the duration of the season.

In some ways, Leyla and Lauren feel a bit like that, too. We suspected that their road would lead them back to one another, but their method of getting here was so bizarre that it sucked some of the fun out of seeing the two of them reunite romantically.

It’s like we spent too much time on the two of them apart and with these respective issues that it didn’t feel like they would overcome, and now they’re back together again without resolving them, and everything is fine.

Now, we’ve been catapulted into them being in a good place with each other and rekindling their romance. We’re supposed to ignore all the friction and messiness that came in the middle of their arc despite this wedge between them for much of the season.

Lauren: Leyla, this is a bad idea.
Leyla: I know.
Lauren: It is.
Leyla: You’re right.
Lauren: So…
Leyla: So…

Nevertheless, Lauren had the most enjoyable arc of the installment as she and Leyla dealt with the senior-aged patients directly.

It was a great storyline that showed how well and compassionate she is when it comes to her patients. The focus on geriatric healthcare was refreshing, something that The Resident did well this season, too.

No one thinks about that focused healthcare or the ageism that affects senior-aged individuals. New Amsterdam got this influx of patients from a nursing home because the other hospitals didn’t want to deal with them.

It’s appalling that these people wouldn’t have gotten the healthcare they deserve because of their age.

And they needed all sorts of help. The venereal disease outbreak was such a realistic exploration of what afflicts senior-aged people, especially in a nursing facility.

And it highlighted well the shame that we still have in this country when it comes to discussing sex. So many of the patients were in denial that they were sexually active despite the apparent gonorrhea outbreak.

The montage of Lauren, Leyla, and Walsh having private examinations with the patients as they spoke directly to the camera through their legs was a perfectly shot series of scenes.

It was frustrating to hear that the facility found the seniors having sex hilarious, but they didn’t do anything to educate or help protect them from S.T.I.s.

But Lauren’s question and answer session in the E.D. was such a helpful and fun setup for them, and she got to make Leyla laugh too when she referenced her while answering some of the questions.

It wasn’t surprising that after a fun day like working together in the ER, the awkwardness between them at the top of the hour while at home melted away. And we can presume they had a fun, sexy, lighthearted romp.

While I’m still puzzled by how they got to this place again and feel it requires more work, the pairing when they’re in a good place and happy is sweet, and once you root for and Leyren is better on than they are when they’re off.

Max still couldn’t help himself and was at New Amsterdam assisting a patient in like Vick rather than returning to England. But it was apparent that London wasn’t his home, and New Amsterdam was.

Vick: You ever been in love?
Max: I’m about to get married.

He refused to serve as interim medical director, despite spending most of his time at the hospital anyway. And there was never a doubt that he would step foot out of that place and never return again.

As far as delightful guest stars go, the blast from the past of seeing Daniel Davis, the beloved and cheeky Niles from The Nanny, brought a smile to the face despite his tragic fate.

Vick presented another frustrating aspect of geriatric care when a patient deals with so many different doctors and multiple conflicting prescriptions.

The process always seems to be to prescribe more than find other alternatives, and a person has to deal with a myriad of drugs because everything is treating a side effect of something else.

Max made a genuine effort to help Vick treat his rheumatoid arthritis so he could play again. It was heartbreaking when the man passed away from a brain aneurysm before he could attempt to play.

But it reminded Max of how short life is and also following one’s heart and passion. Not only did he want to marry Helen sooner rather than later, but he wanted her to come home to New York City.

He wants all the things he loves together as one, which means Helen and New Amsterdam. It’s no sense in pretending like it’s a choice he could make or one he would have to at all.

It’s been evident that Helen isn’t that enthused with her life in London, and after that came with the kid, you could sense the healthcare system there is something she’s not passionate about or feels she can change.

Fortunately, she was coming to a realization too when she looked at a castle for her wedding venue.

Serwa is such a confusing character. She runs so hot and cold, and it’s hard to understand what we’re supposed to think about her.

She seemed needlessly miserable when Helen seemed to be having the time of her life in that castle, and it made you regret that Helen reached out to the woman to come in the first place.

And then Serwa revealed how silly she thought it was that Helen wanted to get married in a grand castle that, to Serwa, represented colonialism and was a place built on the backs of slavery and the hurt and exploitation of Helen’s ancestors.

Serwa: If you want to have your wedding here, then have your wedding here. Because you deserve everything.
Helen: I don’t want my wedding here. I don’t think I want a wedding at all.

It wasn’t that Serwa was wrong, per se, but the whole thing came out of nowhere, and it felt weird to shame and guilt-trip her daughter for wanting to be a princess like most girls dream about when it’s their wedding.

She took a happy moment and made it about social and historical injustices. And there was at one point when her comments about Max and Luna also seemed like she was implying something about Helen marrying a white man and taking his daughter as her own, but it never went further or was elaborated.

Instead, Serwa switched the narrative to her coming from this place of knowing her daughter well, which was a bit confusing. The point was to remind Helen that she was never like the other girls who dreamed of fairy tales, and there was no need for her to try to force herself into this box and that narrative.

It prompted Helen to call Max and say that she didn’t want to get married in a castle or possibly have a big wedding at all. But because of how the scenes played out, you couldn’t tell if it was really what Helen wanted or Serwa’s influence on her.

You mean well, I could tell, but I’d rather not be intimate again than talk about my sex life with strangers.


Because Helen wanted to dissect her dolls rather than play wedding when she was a kid doesn’t mean that things couldn’t change for her as an adult, and she had to subject herself to this binary way of thinking when it came to her interests and desires as a woman.

Helen could’ve still wanted a lavish, fairytale wedding and still been the successful doctor and career woman. It wasn’t an either-or situation. She didn’t have to choose between being a doctor or a princess.

But we’re to read the situation as Serwa being a good mom who knows her daughter, and she wanted Helen to be herself rather than what she thought she was supposed to be. I guess we can take that as progress for this complicated woman who previously seemed too critical and emotionally distant.

Again, you can set all of that aside when the end result is Helen returning to New York to marry Max the next day as they deem fit, with their family and friends as their witnesses.

Helen: Max, I don’t know how to tell you this.
Max: Tell me what?
Helen: I don’t want to get married in a castle. I don’t now if I want any of it.
Max: I’m kind of thinking the same thing.
Helen: You are?
Max: I don’t think I’m getting on that plane. I don’t know if this is unexpected, and unplanned and everything we said we were going to do, but I’ve been waiting my whole life for you, and if this is it, if this is our time, then I don’t want to wait another minute. Because in a minute, it could be gone. I’m not coming back to London, because you’re coming home.
Helen: I am?
Max: Let’s get married tomorrow, in New York. Wait, wait, we jus think about it. What do you need for a wedding, you need two people in love, and a couple of friends to witness it, and super cute flower girl who happens to be my daughter, our daughter.
Helen: Max.
Max: Is that a yes?
Helen: Yes!
Max: Can you say that again, please?
Helen: Yes, yes, yes!

For Sharpwin, the wedding isn’t important to them so long as they’re together, cementing their love for each other and their family.

Max’s speech was swoon-worthy and romantic. In the back of your head, you can’t help but think about how he sometimes acts as if he wasn’t married once before, especially when he says lines like how he’s been waiting his whole life for the moment to marry Helen.

But nothing detracts from the sweetness of Sharpwin’s love for each other, and I cannot think of a better way for the season to close out than the two of them back in New York, where they belong and getting married.

Helen’s delighted “yes” at Max’s latest proposal was adorable, and the way she was filmed from above, laying back on the couch like a giddy, lovestruck teenager, fit the tone perfectly.

Again, when it comes to some of the best romantic moments, Darnell Martin always delivers.

Over to you, ‘Dam Fanatics.

Are you happy about the Leyren reunion? What the hell is happening to Iggy? Are you ready for the Sharpwin wedding? Sound off below

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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