‘New Amsterdam’ Boss on Max & Helen After the Midseason Finale: They’re ‘Chasing Their Joy’

Freema Agyeman as Dr. Helen Sharpe, Ryan Eggold as Dr. Max Goodwin in New Amsterdam
Spoiler Alert
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[Warning: The below contains MAJOR spoilers for New Amsterdam Season 4, Episode 10 “Death is the Rule. Life is the Exception.”]

Dr. Max Goodwin (Ryan Eggold) and Dr. Helen Sharpe (Freema Agyeman) aren’t really going to leave New Amsterdam behind, especially given everything that’s going on at the hospital with Dr. Veronica Fuentes (Michelle Forbes) taking over as medical director, right? That’s what everyone hoped.

“That was our goal. That what we tried to do to make it as impossible to leave as we could and then for them to still do it anyway,” New Amsterdam executive producer David Schulner tells TV Insider.

Yes, Max and Helen are truly going to London, and that’s part of the theme for the season, to find joy. “Max and Sharpe certainly [earned joy]. And when they left New Amsterdam, it was with the intention of finding their bliss, chasing their joy,” he continues. “And unfortunately it just took them away from New Amsterdam, But hopefully that moment was joy, the culmination of joy. And we’ll see more of that in London.”

There’s not as much joy in their friends’ lives. Dr. Leyla Shinwari (Shiva Kalaiselvan) finds out she got that residency spot because of a bribe from her girlfriend, Dr. Lauren Bloom (Janet Montgomery), and calls her out on it. Dr. Lyn Malvo (Frances Turner) tells Dr. Floyd Reynolds (Jocko Sims) she’s pregnant, which is very complicated given her open marriage with Dr. Claude Baptiste (Andre Blake). And Dr. Iggy Frome (Tyler Labine) may have just made a mistake hiring a new head nurse who hit on him during the interview.

Freema Agyeman as Dr. Helen Sharpe, Ryan Eggold as Dr. Max Goodwin in New Amsterdam

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Schulner breaks down the midseason finale and teases what’s ahead below.

Last we see Max and Helen, they’re heading to the airport, so anything can happen. We have not seen them get on the flight yet. So what is next for them?

David Schulner: [Laughs] They’re going to London. It’s happening. We’re not fooling around. … We’ve been talking about American healthcare for four years and Max is in favor of a system much like the NHS in the UK where healthcare is a human right and everyone is afforded healthcare as a part of being a citizen and even a noncitizen. So we get to talk about what’s good and what still can be done to help socialized healthcare. We get to talk about a whole new system that Max and Helen are going to be a part of.

What’s Helen up to in London?

She’s the new medical director of the clinic that informed her and inspired her to become who she is. She also has a formidable obstacle with her mother and all sorts of stories about Sharpe’s childhood and her parents, and her memory of her father was completely shaped by her mother’s stories to her, which we found out weren’t exactly true. So there’s a lot for Sharpe to deal with in London on the personal and the professional front. And then Max is adrift for the first time in his life. When we first see him in London, he doesn’t have his medical license yet, so how’s he gonna help people without a license? Everyone’s got their challenges in London and everyone’s got their challenges in New York.

Freema Agyeman as Dr. Helen Sharpe, Ryan Eggold as Dr. Max Goodwin in New Amsterdam

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Sharpwin as a couple and when it came to Luna was so sweet in these first 10 episodes.

Oh, great. And honestly we couldn’t do as much as we wanted to, just because of COVID. Every time we bring that sweet little girl on set, it’s a challenge. Our primary goal is to keep that actress safe. She’s too young to be vaccinated. So obviously we would love to do a lot more with her, but safety being first, we had to scale back a little bit.

It seems that they’ve been moving pretty fast, so should we expect their wedding this season?

Anything’s possible, but if anyone knows the show and knows how I like to tell stories, they have a lot to overcome before they can get to that next level. Like you said, they’ve been moving so fast, they’ve skipped a bunch of steps and they’ve skipped a bunch of conversations that we haven’t heard yet. So we definitely want to play all those things out before anyone goes further.

Janet Montgomery as Dr. Lauren Bloom, Shiva Kalaiselvan as Leyla in New Amsterdam

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Bloom and Leyla’s last conversation was absolutely heartbreaking. You gave them this happiness, only to take it away. Was there any debate about Bloom confessing first?

No. After a long thought, no, there was no debate. We knew Bloom had to pay for her actions, unfortunately. And we didn’t want to set something up as big as that bribe and then not deliver the full weight of the consequences for her.

So what’s next for their relationship?

Oh, it’s so complicated because they both still love each other, but it’s so fraught and complicated and messy and not over in any sense of the word. But that doesn’t mean it gets better.

Frances Turner as Dr. Lyn Malv, Jocko Sims as Dr. Floyd Reynolds in New Amsterdam

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Lyn’s pregnant. What can you share about the conversations to come for her, Reynolds and Claude?

Those are probably the most complicated and fraught conversations because it’s all new territory for them and hopefully for the audience. It’s funny, we started breaking these stories when Will Smith and Jada Pinkett Smith’s own admissions came out about their marriage. So it’s been really fun to follow their confessions and kind of see our own threesome struggling with monogamy, with fidelity, with honesty. It’s been fun to track these two relationships at the same time.

Whatever happens next, whoever the father is, what did you want to do with Reynolds with this storyline? What kind of impact is it going to have on him going forward when he thinks about what he wants out of life?

The whole point for this story was we presented Reynolds as someone who was very rigid and very solid in his ambitions and goals and views of his life in the future. And there’s nothing more fun than to take that person who is so sure of his life path and totally shake it up. It’s the consequences of his own certainty — we had to try to shake him loose and see what he was made of and because maybe he’ll come out of this even more certain of what he wants out of life, or maybe he’ll come out of this and realize he has to reevaluate everything he thought he knew. And that’s what’s fun for us. And I think by the end of this season, he’ll know what path he’s on.

Tyler Labine as Dr. Iggy Frome, Mike Doyle as Martin McIntyre in New Amsterdam

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Speaking of consequences, talk about the consequences for Iggy with that new hire.

[Laughs] You know, I can’t blame Iggy. I get it. It was the wrong move and I totally feel for him, but it’s Thor. Who wouldn’t hire Thor to be your head nurse?

But what’s it going to do to his marriage? I love him and Martin (Mike Doyle) together.

We love Iggy and Martin, too, but Iggy’s not doing anything wrong, is he?

So far.

[Laughs] Right? He’s just the best candidate who just happened to make a pass at him at the job interview, or pay him a compliment.

What’s coming up with Iggy career-wise, going forward? He didn’t want to see patients, and now, he’s doing that.

We really felt like we explored his consequences of how much he gives of himself as a psychiatrist and a behavioral health specialist. And so we wanted to jump back into his personal life and see if we can uncover some more, peel back the onion a little bit more.

New Amsterdam, Tuesdays, 10/9c, NBC