‘New Amsterdam’ Recap: Season 5, Episode 9 “The Empty Spaces”

11 Min Read
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The characters of New Amsterdam have a lot going on at work and in their personal lives. This week, Max, Elizabeth, and Iggy are having relationship issues, while Floyd and Lauren have things going on related to their parents.

What’s Best

A pair of siblings come into the ED. One has minor injuries, while the other has a serious head trauma. Lauren goes to the one with the minor injuries, Avi, and explains that they need to do surgery on his sister, Hiya. Both of the siblings are minors, so she asks about their parents. Avi tells her they’re on vacation out of the country, but Lauren doesn’t buy it and calls CPS.

When CPS tries to talk to Avi, he panics and locks himself in Hiya’s room. While Lauren tries to get to him, Hiya’s heart monitor starts going off, and Lauren has to beg Avi to let them in and treat her. Hiya gets rushed to the OR for surgery which goes great. She’s expected to make a full recovery. While she’s in surgery, Lauren gets Avi to tell her what’s actually going on. He reveals that their parents died of covid two years ago, and he’s been taking care of them ever since because they were afraid to be split up.

After Hiya is out of surgery, Lauren gives Avi and update. She also informs him that when she’s recovered, Hiya will become a ward of the state. Avi isn’t happy about this, but Lauren follows up by pushing Avi to seek treatment for his mental health and grief counseling at New Amsterdam so he’s healthy and ready to get guardianship of Hiya and properly take care of her in a few months when he’s 18.

A Shocking Will

News of Lauren’s mom dying was dropped at the end of last episode. She and Vanessa are planning funeral arrangements and get to hear about what their mom put in the will. Vanessa is upset that Lauren is still working despite the death and they fight about that before they get the news that their mom left her whole estate to Vanessa.

A Sisterhood

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While talking to Gabrielle, Floyd notices a woman struggling to read the hospital map and offers to help her. She tells him that she’s looking to give her baby up. She’s clearly not far enough to be in labor, so Floyd offers to help her find people to talk to her about abortion, and she replies that she needs her baby out of her immediately or she’s going to kill it.

After pulling her aside and talking to her, Floyd and Gabrielle learn that she was using drugs prior to the pregnancy but stopped when she got pregnant. She slipped recently and used again, though, and feels like she won’t be able to stay clean. Because of this, she wants to have the baby now and won’t listen to anything Floyd or Gabrielle say about it.

They take her in for an ultrasound and find that the baby is a few weeks younger than the woman thought. With how young the baby is, they can’t safely deliver it yet. The mom, Olivette, isn’t happy about this, leading to Floyd having her put on a psych hold. He plans to keep her there until she can safely have the baby. Gabrielle disagrees with this choice.

Floyd ends up talking to Olivette and asking if she would want to keep the baby if her circumstances were different. She says she would, and he wants to help her with that. Gabrielle and other nurses tell her that they’re going to go with her to her appointments and meetings and anything else she needs so she can have people to lean on. While they did the ultrasound that morning, Floyd wrote the sex of the baby on a piece of paper and gave it to Olivette to hold onto until she was ready to look at it. In that moment, Gabrielle encourages her to look at it, and Olivette learns that she’s having a girl.

Horace at Home

Following Horace being given the option of being released into someone’s care or being put on another psych hold, he’s staying at Floyd’s. To make himself feel better about the situation and stay busy, Horace tries to do repairs around the apartment. Floyd isn’t happy with the repairs as they seem to be doing more harm than good.

After work, Floyd apologizes for not giving Horace a chance considering he’s actually fixing things. Horace tells him he plans to fix more things which Floyd reluctantly agrees to let him.

Patient Satisfaction Survey

The hospital hands out patient satisfaction surveys for every department, and those surveys generate a percentage. Max went around to all the departments with percentages ranging from 30-60%, and to everyone’s surprise, told them that they’re doing amazing. The last one he went to was the psychology department, which scored 91%. Iggy is delighted by the news, but Max isn’t. Max explains that if they’re getting high scores, they’re not focused enough on their patients’ health. He decides to make a new survey that highlights what he actually wants to hear feedback from patients on. Iggy is frustrated by this because these scores affect his grant-based funding.

Max’s new survey gives Iggy a score in the 50% range. After evaluating the results, he decides to change the psychology department to have no scheduling and only open access. Chaos breaks loose because they can’t keep up with the demand. Iggy ends up going to Max with their updated scores, which total 5%. He chews Max out for changing everything, and Max tells him to do what he needs to fix it.

Later, Max goes to apologize, and Iggy explains that they didn’t completely get rid of the open access system. They got it all straightened out and made it scheduled for appointments in the morning and open access in the afternoon. Iggy goes on to tell Max that he had a patient who he hasn’t seen in a while because she works in a restaurant and didn’t have the schedule to be able to pre-plan appointments, come in, and had a great session with her.

Max and Elizabeth

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Max apologizes to Elizabeth for asking her out, and they seem to be on a good page with Max asking if they can just go back in time before it happened. At the end of the episode, Max tries to talk to Elizabeth about what’s going on between them. She agrees that she has feelings for him, and there’s something between them.

She is signing how she feels to him, and he follows ok at first but starts to struggle and asks her to slow down. This irritates her and leads to her explaining that this is why she can’t be with him. The language barrier isn’t something that she can take in a relationship. She’s happy that he’s learning ASL, but there’s still a lot that he doesn’t know, and he’s unable to keep up with her. The gap in communication isn’t something she wants in a relationship.

A Miracle

One of Elizabeth’s patients makes a great recovery and is expected to have a full remission. After sharing this news with him and his wife, he reveals that he hasn’t been taking his chemo pills and has been throwing them away. Elizabeth is shocked to hear this and talks to the man’s wife about what other things in his life could have led to his recovery.

His wife shares that he’s been taking a bunch of vitamins. Elizabeth asks her to bring in anything that he’s been taking. While looking at it all, Elizabeth realizes that it’s a hair growth medication that the man had been taking that cured him. He asks her about if he can rebrand it and sell it then, and she replies that his cancer is too rare for it to get traction, but then asks him if she can share this discovery with a place that has created a list of things that have side effects that can have great health benefits like this one. He’s happy to help and agrees.

A Kiss

It’s Iggy’s day with the kids, so Martin is leaving when he comes home from work. Martin is telling him a story about the kids when Iggy kisses him.

New Amsterdam is taking a break and will be back in January for the rest of the season. Until then, check out our other coverage of the show here!

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