Finalewatch: 'New Amsterdam'

Nikolajcosterwaldau_zuleikharobinso We reach then end of this abbreviated season of New Amsterdam with plenty of questions, not many answers, and (at least on my part) a burning desire to know more. Here's hoping we'll see more next season.

I've lived through this spoiler before

John is back from the dead (again), and he's really not happy about it. You can almost see him flinch every time Sara burbles about how worried she was that she'd lost him, how he miraculously rose form the dead, again, how he's got to take care of himself so nothing happens to him. Ouch.

What to do besides throw himself into a case? The body of a (formerly) comely young woman has been fished out of the East River, her ring finger severed, her toes fish food. She was strangled and dumped. Whodunnit?

The woman turns out to be an actress named Martine, and her friend, Kayla, points the detectives toward her boyfriend, a futures trader with a great big boat. He met Martine through a dating agency ("Soulmates"), and, while he comes off as an officious schmuck, he swears he loved her. He even asked her to marry him!

Here's the thing -- a whole bunch of guys from that agency had dated Martine, and they'd almost all loved her. The only other thing they had in common? Soon after Martine stopped dating them, they got robbed by someone with a very discerning eye. The burglar managed to take only the good stuff. Hmm.

John and Eva decide Martine was part of a robbery ring. Sacred blue! Says Inga, owner of the agency. I can't believe it! She seemed like such a nice girl! But John isn't buying it.

Before he can make his suspicion known, he gets into a knock-down, drag-out screaming match with the Lieutenant, who has spent the whole episode telling him to take it easy, to stay on desk duty, to not do anything that will tax him unduly since, you know, he just got shot through the heart last week. Apparently John finally pushed it too far, because she suspends him right there.

John storms out to find a bar, and Inga ends up driving him to Omar's. There, John falls off the wagon hard, and ends up slurring to Inga that he'd figured out her game -- she was setting up the robberies, and he didn't care. In fact, he could give her the combination to the safe on Martine's last boyfriend's boat, thus giving her access to an emerald brooch. Interested?

You bet! A masked woman sneaks onto the boat, opens the safe -- and is immediately caught by John, Eva and the rest of the police. John set Inga up -- he knew she had a partner, and he just needed to catch her in the act. That partner? Kayla. She killed Martine: Martine was her girlfriend, and Kayla recruited her as spotter for the burglary ring. When Martine confessed that she'd fallen in love with a mark and was leaving Kayla, Kayla went nuts and killed her.  She even cut the ring off as a trophy. Um, ew.

Now, the whole con game plot may have been more or a surprise if we hadn't spent our flashback time seeing John channel Paul Newman and Robert Redford in 1927 -- he was a grifter working the long con. Grifter John fell in with a great dame named Olivia, and actress with some flashy jewelry. After he'd finished romancing her, he pawed through her jewelry box and found her emerald brooch. But the sap decided his was in love, and he returned the stolen goods -- only to get caught by the dame. One more relationship goes down in flames. Olivia tells him to keep the brooch -- it was fake, anyway. Worst. Conman. Ever.

On the True Love front, John still wants to stay with Sara, despite the evidence that she's not really The One. Omar counsels that this is kind of cruel -- what are you going to do when you find the real One, just dump Sara without explanation? Nice! In the end, John breaks it off with Sara and stalks off through the streets, alive despite his best efforts, alone despite his best hopes. He'll live to fight another day -- will the how survive so we can see him? Who knows.

Highlights, thoughts and odds and ends:

  • Was anyone fooled by the con plot? Anyone? Sigh. I wish they could have worked it out so they didn't telegraph the twist.
  • Eva finds John swimming (naked, as is his wont), at the pool. She throws him a towel and quotes city code at him -- an ordinance that "bans public nudity, unless you're breastfeeding." "I usually pump," John says.
  • Omar also finds John swimming naked. "Ain't you got no shame? What if some kid walked in, saw you in your particulars?" "Well, he'd get what he deserved, sneaking into a closed facility," John replies. Yeah -- just like you!
  • Poor Sara is so confused: Here's this guy who pursued, her, wooed her, swept her off her feet ... and now he suddenly withdraws from her every time she mentions how glad she is he's alive. John's a lousy boyfriend when he's not courting death.
  • John's grifter moniker is "Johnny on the Spot." Not bad.
  • John is a bit of a sadistic bastard -- when Eva comes down to look at the (bloated, fish-nibbled, stinking) corpse, he goes on and on about the breakfast he's going to get until she hurls. Nice. He'd better hope SHE'S not The One.
  • Santori continues to reign as Mr. Sensitivity: When he sees the toeless corpse hauled out of the river, he says "This little piggy went to the fish market..." Nice!
  • Hey, 36 got to show off! Go, 36!

What did you think? Do you continue to be intrigued, or would you be fine if the show didn't come back? Who's The One? What did you think of the mock fight? What was your favorite part? Talk!

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