After a day of feeling defeated, Max asserted he'll never give up Luna without a fight.

Fighting was a significant theme of New Amsterdam Season 3 Episode 13, but surprisingly, for an hour that the promos teased as a custody blowout, that specific storyline only opened and closed the hour.

But it's safe to say that Luna Goodwin is staying with Max.

The situation with Luna's custody and the Bennetts deeming Max unfit as a parent was one of those odd things where valid statements were on both sides and motives were murky.

Recently, we've seen Max at his most unhinged and chaotic, which only gave credence to some of what Gwen and her husband were arguing. However, some of it was such an abrupt decline for Max that it felt a bit contrived for the sole purpose of validating the Bennetts some.

In his grief, Max clung to Luna like a lifeline during New Amsterdam Season 2, and she was one of the only things that kept him going. He had everything set up, from regular play dates to the hospital daycare, nannies, and so forth.

During this season, it's as if he didn't get to bounce back from the time he spent away from her, and for whatever reason, Max was frazzled at best as a parent.

Some of what Gwen and Calvin said was true about Max risking his life and behaving recklessly without thinking about Luna. Max should have better childcare options and things of that nature.

However, the issue with Gwen and Calvin is that a lot of what they were saying was also rooted in their grief over losing Georgia, whatever blame and resentment they harbor against Max because of her death, and the desire to keep Luna to themselves to make up for Georgia's loss.

Gwen: Those voice recordings are beautiful, but you only made them because you don't see Luna for days at a time.
Lawyer: Dr. Goodwin has a very important job.
Gwen: Well, you could leave it. You could work fewer hours. But you choose work over Luna at every opportunity, even when it meant sending her away for months. You work in a hospital. You brought a child into the middle of a plague to make yourself feel more like a father. You were in a recovery ward for days because you exposed yourself to toxic chemicals. Did you stop to think about Luna then?
Max: I think about her every moment of every day. About protecting her, but no one will be safe until everyone is, so that is a lot of people.
Calvin: You saw a roomful of poison and ran right in. You were thinking of Luna? You nearly orphaned her. Her mother is dead. Luna will never remember her, and if you died, all she'll have is voice memos. The sound of some dead stranger who loved her just not enough to put her first. Georgia died in your care knowing she never came first. She was our daughter. We're not letting that happen to our granddaughter.
Max: Maybe you're right. Maybe she is better off with you.

It was one of those situations where two things could be correct at once, and while Max does need to do better as a father, the Bennetts hid behind protecting Luna to unleash all of their pent-up hurt and anger at Max.

Comments about Max's impulsivity and recklessness, which were valid, shifted to things like how Georgia died feeling as though Max didn't put her first and he was somehow responsible for her dying under his watch.

Georgia was a grown woman who made choices. You can say everything you want about how Max is, but he's never wavered on his dedication to healthcare and helping others. Georgia knew what she signed up for twice, including when she chose to return to Max after their separation.

What's a bit disturbing is the expectation that Max is supposed to give up (which is what Gwen mentioned first) or cut back on his career -- his calling -- for the sake of his family.

Gwen brought up Max working to save people during the pandemic and sending Luna to stay with them during the thick of it as if it was something that made him a horrible father.

Thousands of doctors and nurses sacrificed time with their families and spent months quarantined away from them to protect them while fighting against a deadly virus.

It's like Gwen got so distracted by using that to fuel her personal animosity toward Max that she didn't consider the implications of touting that as a measure of unfitness on so many others.

The entire globe has clung to video calls, zoom, voice recordings, and everything else to stay connected to one another and feel less alone, and the Bennetts bashed the entire premise of that like it was nothing.

Max and his lawyer were right about a judge not holding that against Max during a custody hearing. Even with Max's shortcomings, he isn't unfit enough to have his child taken away from him, and his position as a widowed, single dad and doctor would make him both sympathetic and admirable.

The implication that Max's job makes him this unfit parent and spouse all of the time always seems like overkill. It's such a tricky thing to navigate, and yet Georgia and her parents have always harped on this.

On a broader scale, what does it suggest about other single working parents? Should anyone whose job puts their life in jeopardy be deemed unfit as a parent? What about first responders?

By Gwen's own words, it was a strike against him that he chose to work during a pandemic and sent Luna to stay with them in the first place. But then she suggested that Max bringing her back home damn near a year later was ALSO a sign of him being unfit. Evidently, there's no winning for Max in that regard, no?

You factor in that the offer was for them to be of service and help, you know, similar to how they planned to do anyway if Georgia stayed in Connecticut with her parents instead of reuniting with Max. But then they held against him that he needed the help in the first place.

Max: I thought to call, but then I realized what I had to say needed to be said in person. Everything you said this morning is true. I'm not a perfect father, and I never will be, but I am a good father.
Gwen: Max...
Max: And I will be better tomorrow and the day after that, and you know who loved that part of me more than anyone? Your daughter. And I get the pain of losing her, I really do. But she never wanted Luna to be without her dad. If you want to go to court, we can, but you will lose, and when that happens, I will walk out of that courtroom and you will never see Luna again, and I don't want that, for Luna, for you, for Georgia. Becuse she knew so clearly what you clearly don't, and that is I will never stop fighting for my daughter. I will fight for her until the day I die, and I am here to take her home.

The Bennetts don't care for Max, and they miss their daughter and love their granddaughter. They aren't bad people for any of that.

Max and the Bennetts will probably never get along well, and that was obvious upon their introduction, but giving in to them wasn't the best solution. It was surprising when Max initially retreated like a kicked puppy, convinced that maybe Luna would be better off without him.

But then he'd be considered a crap dad for giving up on her, too.

Also, as Helen reminded Max, he's a fighter; it's in his blood, he can't help himself. Fighting for Luna was the only damn option, and while this should serve as a wake-up call for him to do better, something he at least acknowledged, he doesn't deserve to have his daughter taken away from him.

He was firm in his confrontation at the end, and while it came across as threatening and harsh, it's what the Bennetts needed to hear, too. They wouldn't have won that case at all, and the only thing they would've gotten out of it was a strained or non-existent relationship with Max that could trickle down to Luna, and that would be a sad thing.

Also, they had no right to take Luna away when they did in the first place, so good on him for going to get his daughter.

Nevertheless, Max was still on his Maxness at work when it came to the vaccines. Bless his heart; he's such a mess of a do-gooder.

In a refreshing change of pace, instead of exasperated Karen to rein him in or call him out, Todd returned.

Did anyone else miss Todd? I forgot how good his and Max's interactions are, and I appreciate the levity that Todd brings to the situation where the two balance each other out with their political views.

Their interactions were among the best of the hour.

Todd: I have no underlying health issues. I've been fortunate to primarily work from home. So, I've decided to wait until the end of the line.
Max: This is the end of the line. Millions of people have already been safely vaccinate. To keep waiting now would just be insane, it would be crazy, it -- I'm sorry, I tried.
Todd: Whatever happened to my body, my choice?
Max: Well, it's not just your body. Not getting the vaccine could hurt someone else. Me, my daughter.
Todd: Fair point.
Max: Really?
Todd: Sure. I'm pretty open-minded. Unlike some people I know.
Max: Fair point.
Todd: Look, all I'm saying is a lot of the Conservatives that I work with still have questions.
Max: Conservatives are here in this hospital?
Todd: I hate to burst your bubble.

Max, in his Bleeding-Heart Liberal glory, didn't want to throw out 1000 vaccines he could administer before they expired.

It was perfectly reasonable. Where Max did the absolute most was when he decided that he didn't like the people who showed up to get vaccinated and opted to find who he deemed was the desired demographic in need.

The problem with Max's thought process was he literally ended up contradicting himself by the end of the hour anyway. His effort to persuade Todd and his conservative friends to get vaccinated consisted of reminding them of herd immunity and the importance of protecting each other.

If that's the case, and it is, then Max never should've turned away the stockbrokers and whatever upscale ilk who showed up to take the vaccines that HE offered to the public. Weren't they doing their diligence for the sake of herd immunity?

Why was Max punishing them for not being poor, old, or melanated enough?

Max took one glance at the line, assumed all there was to about these people, and he decided that he wanted the vaccinations to go elsewhere under the premise of "doing better."

What if the people in line DID wait for those in need to get vaccinated first? What if they're high-risk for a plethora of reasons you can't figure out by looking at their outward appearance?

Hell, during the 2008 recession, at least twice a week, I'd bump into a homeless Suit at a storage unit. He had a cell phone he used for work and lived in his car and out of a storage unit. You never know what's going on with people, and looks are deceiving.

The montage of Max hitting the streets served as a collection of all the reasons and concerns people have for not wanting to get vaccinated.

Ironically, it's true that the people who've been most susceptible to the virus are the ones who also have been on the worst end of medical history and have zero reasons to trust in the medical field. For example, he met the woman listing medical atrocities against Black and Brown people throughout history.

However, they still got vaccinated and knew that the people who weren't getting it were those against science and some people roaming New Amsterdam's halls. Enter the Todd thing, which again was some of the most delightful back and forth in the hour.

Max is always so staunch in his beliefs, and Todd is someone who can listen to an argument and adjust if he agrees, so it was amusing that Todd didn't waste any time calling Max out on his condescension and lack of open-mindedness.

Todd: I fully support the vaccine effort. I think Operation Warp Speed has been a tremendous success.
Max: Thank God, I though you were gonna say--
Todd: Personally, I didn't get it.
Max: No, Todd. Why?
Todd: I've chosen to wait.
Max: 'Til when everyone you know is dead or dying?
Todd: May I speak freely?
Max: Of course.
Todd: Without your Liberal condescension?
Max: ... Maybe.

The best thing about Max and Todd's scenes is that they are so opposite of one another, yet always communicate effectively and respectfully, listen to each other, and one or the other leaves it all the better without necessarily compromising their ideals.

Todd's reasoning for not getting vaccinated yet made some sense from his perspective, and if you operated under the assumption that we aren't at the tail end of trying to eradicate this thing, so the time is now.

And ironically, it wasn't unlike Max's line of thinking when he started his vaccine quest. But Todd had his argument about body autonomy, which is perfectly valid. But so was Max's brilliant appeal to Todd as a soldier, shifting the idea of a herd mentality as sheep to a unit of soldiers who depend on one another for survival.

Sadly, even though Todd rallied the troops, it was too late. It was a hard-learned lesson for Max. And while I appreciated that Helen reassured him and inspired him, and her words were the truth, Max needed to realize how his overzealous behavior cost him and others.

Other than Helen including them as something worth fighting for, they haven't spoken about, addressed, or gone any further in their romantic relationship after that near-kiss.

I wonder if this means they've taken another step forward, and then they'll coast there for a bit. One couldn't help but wonder what Max was thinking when his lawyer mentioned how much he's still mourning Georgia and that he still wears his wedding band.

Helen was preoccupied a bit with more angst with Mina. She concluded that they're similar but still don't know each other well, and that's why they butt heads.

Mina is looking into colleges, and she doesn't want to be in NYC. I get that Mina is a hurt teen, and Helen has a complicated history with her past and family, but this storyline doesn't elicit much interest.

It was more entertaining to see Helen and Floyd work together to save little Kyrie and, by proxy, her parents' marriage.

It was so heartbreaking when she had another organ fail her, and then they revealed that she could be on the transplant list again. She was only five!

But I love that the issue was her blood type changing after her transplant. It was such a unique, unexpected twist. And it felt as if the happiness of knowing what was wrong with their daughter and having a permanent fix brought her parents back together.

It reminded Floyd that he wants a traditional relationship, and as attached to Lyn as he is, he's not cut out for polyamorous relationships.

Lauren: You start something that you've already decided doesn't have a future so even though it's great, you're going to torch it.
Floyd: Because it's not what I wanted. I never wavered on that. A traditional marriage. A Black family.
Lauren: Yet you let Evie go. Look, Floyd, I know you think of yourself as the man who walks the path, but you keep ending up on the cliffs. I don't know, maybe it's because you want to jump.

Floyd's ability to discuss all of that with Lauren was cool, and it was funny how easily they could discuss their relationship and how it failed. Lauren was in the perfect position to remind Floyd of some things, including that he had what he always claimed he wanted with Evie but let her go.

Zing, Lauren. Floyd's love life is a bit all over the place, but Lauren is content with where she is with Leyla. She's never been this happy before.

Their relationship has gone at warp speed, and yet, it works for both of them. Lauren is the type of person who never envisioned she'd have this type of love or life, so every time she comes home, you can tell it catches her off guard.

It would be nice if we learned a lot more about Leyla. now that she's living with Lauren. She's this beautiful, loving woman who adores Lauren for all of her quirks, and she embraces and seems to know Lauren beyond words.

Lauren was inspired not to have any secrets when she and Casey were treating Niku. Casey is such an adorable geek.

He was hype about Niku being a KGB spy, and it turned out he wasn't wrong. A sleeper, double agent from the Cold War isn't something you'd expect to run across every day, let alone someone who tried to kill himself rather than go to a home.

I only wish we didn't get to hear some of his stories he shared with his son. It was a storyline that offered some amusement, and we needed a bit, especially with the Chance situation.

In hindsight, it probably shouldn't have been a surprise that Chance set the fire that killed his family on purpose. He's not well, and he needs more help than Iggy ever could've provided.

As terrified as Iggy was during the entire ordeal, he handled himself so well. When he shared that he felt responsible for his brother dying in a drunken accident, it was believable.

Iggy drew on some of his personal issues, spun a tale, and found a way to relate to Chance, and it's that combination and his successful attempt at alerting Martin, which saved him.

If Chance made comparisons between Iggy and the father he loathed and killed, then it wouldn't have ended well. But what's interesting about Iggy questioning what he'd done is that it felt like a way to allude to the personality disorder storyline.

He didn't know what it said about him as a person and a therapist that he could lie and manipulate so well. But Martin, as per usual, was right. It was a prime example of Iggy putting himself first.

Iggy: I gave Chance everything in every part of me. I just wanted him to get better, but it was never enough, so I made up a story. I lied, and it worked. I don't know what that says about me. I don't know what that says about me as a human being and as a therapist.
Martin: It says you finally put yourself first, and that's a good thing.

Have I mentioned how much I love Martin? It was heartbreaking when Iggy broke down, and damn if I didn't want in on that cuddle session with the two. They needed all the comfort after that.

It's probably the end of Chance, so again, I have to commend Luke Slattery for his amazing performance.

Over to you, 'Dam Fanatics. Did Max take the right approach with the Bennetts?

Do you think Max learned a lesson from the vaccine ordeal? How brave was Iggy?

Hit the comments below.

You can watch New Amsterdam online here via TV Fanatic.



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