'New Amsterdam' EPs on Helen's New Therapy to Save Max & Luna's Birth
We may have been worried about the wrong Goodwin in the penultimate episode of New Amsterdam's first season.
Max (Ryan Eggold) is losing the battle against his cancer, and even his attempt to aggressively fight it is going poorly, to the point that Helen (Freema Agyeman) orders him to go home. But his immediate future may not be the one we have to worry about, as "This Is Not the End" concluded with Dr. Bloom (Janet Montgomery) showing up at his apartment to let him know she wants her leave from the hospital to be permanent — until he opens the door, covered in blood.
The EPs also address Max and Helen's 'adult friendship full of contradictory and complicated impulses.'
As the promo for the finale reveals, he's not the one in trouble. His wife, Georgia (Lisa O'Hare), is.
Ahead of the last episode of the NBC medical drama's first season, TV Insider spoke with executive producers David Schulner and Peter Horton about what to expect.
That was a crazy ending and season finale promo. What can you tease about what's happening with Georgia and the baby and the choice Max must make?
David Schulner: We've set up, hopefully, Georgia's birth, Georgia's baby in the pilot episode of New Amsterdam, and we knew there'd be complications based on what happens to Georgia in the pilot. We always kind of new that Luna's birth would be the finale of the first season. We didn't know how it would play out that far in advance, but we knew that's what we were going to be building towards.
The medical director's life is on the line as he battles throat cancer.
Peter Horton: It coincides with the apex of Max's struggle with his cancer, so I think those two threads have been weaving through our season and they come to a climax in the final episode.
Throughout the penultimate episode, Max is getting progressively worse because of the choice he made to aggressively treat his cancer to fight and be there for his family. Though he follows Helen's orders to go home, has he done irreparable damage to himself?
Schulner: That's what chemo does and radiation. It basically carpet-bombs your entire body in the hopes of killing the cancer before it kills you. So Dr. Sharpe is going to find him a new course of treatment. She's not just sending him home without any hope of battling the cancer. She's desperately trying to find a new therapy that will save Max but still kill the cancer.
Horton: There's a great clue actually in Episode 22, really the very first scene of the hospital when Sharpe is walking with Dora down the hallway. She makes mention of something that people will, if they're alert, pick up on.
Schulner: To piggyback on that, if you rewatch the Sharpe/Panthaki debate in Episode 21, there's also a clue to Max's new treatment in that little debate they have. The seeds are planted.
Horton: Yes, they are, and one of the things that we've had the opportunity to do because we're telling this story is to really explore the various treatments of cancer: what's on the cutting edge, what's coming, what's happening, what's working, what's not and all of that is fodder that we're putting into this journey for Max.
The actor is ready to revisit his character, Tom Keen, who was killed off in Season 5.
Can you talk about Helen's choice to be his doctor again? Did it cost her her relationship?
Schulner: I don't think Sharpe knew that Panthaki would react that way. But I think Panthaki has had enough of Sharpe putting Max first.
Dr. Bloom returns planning to make her leave permanent. Is she 100% certain of that decision, at least until she shows up at Max's and sees what's happening with Georgia?
Horton: Yeah, that's her plan. She really needs to go heal and she knows that anytime she's in the circumstances that she's been for her whole career, it triggers the addiction. … She's come to that conclusion and gathered herself and bolstered herself and decided to go make that announcements to Max.
Schulner: It's that important to her that when Max wasn't answering his calls that she had to talk to him personally and immediately for her own health and well-being.
Iggy's on an interesting path now. Does he need to be a different therapist, considering he's right that they "all go the extra mile"? Can he be different and still be Iggy?
Schulner: That's the question, isn't it?
Are they 'meant for each other'?
Horton: That's the field we're playing in for sure.
Schulner: That's the question that the audience should be asking themselves, too, and in Episode 22, we give Iggy a case, a new case, perhaps his most difficult case of the season, that's going to test the very question that you're asking.
Horton: And into next season too. This is something he'll have to wrestle with for a while.
New Amsterdam, Season 1 Finale, Tuesday, May 14, 10/9c, NBC