New Amsterdam

Season 1 Episode 3

Soldier's Heart

Aired Monday 9:00 PM Mar 10, 2008 on FOX



  • Trivia

    • Historical Gaff: The battle of Antietam, during and/or immediately after which the flashbacks take place, was in September of 1862. John is assisted in a post-battle surgery by a nurse who it is suggested by other events is Walt Whitman, who did indeed serve as a nurse in the Civil War. Whitman did not, however, become a nurse until at least early 1863. The writers should have chosen a later battle to set the events in.

    • During the Civil War flashbacks, John, working as a surgeon, has a colleague who gives him a book "he just finished", titled Leaves of Grass. Walt Whitman, the author of the poetry collection, initially finished it in 1855, but did serve as a nurse in the Civil War.

    • Soldier's Heart is explained to be another name for Post Traumatic Stress Disorder (PTSD). Also known as Shell Shock, Combat Stress Reaction, or Battle Fatigue. PTSD is a military term used to categorize various behaviors brought on from stress which impact a soldier's performance.

    • The Battle of Antietam was the first major battle in the American Civil War to take place on Northern soil. It took place on September 17, 1862. With around 23,000 casualties, it was the bloodiest single-day battle in American history. It was also known as the Battle of Sharpsburg.

    • Flashbacks reveal that John was a doctor/surgeon during the American Civil War (1861–1865).

    • John tells Eva that he was a history teacher at Kings College, which was the prior name of Columbia University when Britain controlled New York before the American Revolution.

    • In this episode, John reveals that he has served in the Army, Marines, Navy, and the Coast Guard, but explicitly states "not in the Air Force", as he has a "problem with heights", suggesting he has acrophobia.

  • Quotes

    • Sara: (to John) You want to tell me how you got up from the dead and walked out of my ER?

    • Omar: So, if she's the one, what are you waitin' for?
      John: The right moment.
      Omar: Well, why not just walk up to the woman and introduce yourself?
      John: How do I explain what happened?
      Omar: She there when you died?
      John: Her hospital, where they took me.
      Omar: You're gonna have some fancy footwork to do.

    • John: Violent, paranoid, delusional. Post-traumatic stress.
      Sara: Raging.
      John: They used to call it soldier's heart.
      Sara: Soldier's heart?
      John: Shell-shock, battle-fatigue, post-traumatic stress syndrome. Different wars, different names for the same thing.
      Sara: Soldier's heart, whatever you call it, Lonnie Amadee's got it.

    • Lonnie: Ang Bar Province, corpse on the side of the road, we stop to pick it up, take it to the morgue, so the family could I.D. the body, give them a proper burial, but...
      John: It was booby-trapped. VC did the same thing.
      Lonnie: Well, two guys in my squad blew their legs off at the knees. I watched them bleed out while the medics tried to save them.
      Eva: Why wouldn't you want to forget something like that?
      John: Because that would mean it didn't matter.
      Lonnie: That is was all for nothing, in vain. That's not even what I remember most. The corpse was a kid, an eight-year-old boy.

    • John: PTSD, ever had it?
      Eva: Never. You?
      John: Off and on for the last 300 years.
      Eva: Seriously.
      John: Okay, 350.
      Eva: Whatever.

    • John: Never had a coronary over a woman before.
      Omar: Sometimes a coronary is just a coronary. Face it, you've been eating omelets now for nigh on four hundred years.
      John: I have the arteries of a 35 year old.
      Omar: You keep telling yourself that.

    • John: History. Fascinating.
      Eva: Right.
      John: I taught history. At Columbia, ages ago. It was still Kings College.
      Eva: Of course you did.

    • Eva: You a vet, Santori?
      Santori: Gulf War I, the good Gulf War.
      Eva: You've got issues?
      Santori: I've worked through my rage. Anger management, Marquez. I recommend it. Amsterdam, you a vet?
      John: Army, three times. Marines, Navy, Coast Guard. Not the Air Force. Don't like heights.
      Santori: What, no Border Patrol?

    • John: Favorite part of the job. "Sorry for your loss: got an alibi?"

    • Sara: Have... have we met?
      John: I have one of those faces.

    • Eva: What was that about?
      John: What?
      Eva: She couldn't stop staring at you, you were flirting with her.
      John: I wasn't.
      Eva: Shamelessly. And when you walked up, her reaction...
      John: I get that a lot, it's, uh...
      Eva: I know. It's your face.

    • John: The myth of fingerprints.
      Eva: You don't believe in fingerprints?
      John: No two people in the world have the same fingerprints? It's an untested, untestable hypothesis. You'd have to fingerprint everyone in the world to prove it.

    • John: Is this what they mean by "The City That Never Sleeps"?
      Omar: Which is why it looks like hell in the morning.

    • Omar: Oh what a tangled web we weave.
      John: Spare me, I hate getting parental advice from my children. (asking about the band) Do they take requests?
      Omar: When they're written on a $20 bill.

    • John: Usually I can tell when someone's lying to me.
      Omar: Must be losing your touch.

    • Dr. Macvittie: I can't abandon my patients. Some of them have been with me for years.
      Eva: Shouldn't they be getting better by now?

    • Eva: I wish we had a warrant.
      John: There's an old one in the glove compartment if it makes you feel better.

    • Eva: You are a freak of nature.
      John: So I've been told.

  • Notes

  • Allusions

    • The book John, as surgeon during the Civil War, gets at the end of the episode is Leaves of Grass.

      Leaves of Grass is a poetry collection by the American poet Walt Whitman. 1855 was its initial release, but the collection was released and reprinted a number of times during Whitman's life, with poems added, altered, and removed during the course of its releases. Historians vary, but there are at least six to ten variant editions. There was no edition released during the Civil War, however.