Should 'New Amsterdam' Season 3 Include a Max-Helen-Shin Love Triangle? (POLL)
While it's unclear how incorporating the pandemic into the season — which showrunner David Shulner said they can't "ignore the reality of ... as health care professionals in New York City at a large public hospital" — will affect plans, New Amsterdam's unplanned finale in the spring certainly set the stage for a potential love triangle going forward.
The hospital's medical director Max Goodwin (Ryan Eggold) and deputy medical director and head of oncology Helen Sharpe (Freema Agyeman) have been engaged in a will they or won't they, push-and-pull, one step forward, way too many steps back slow burn romance since Season 1 (including as he was married, before his wife Georgia's death). But when he (thought he) was ready to move on, it was with another single parent, Alice (Alison Luff), not his friend, confidante, and doctor. Still, that didn't stop them from sharing quite the passionate moment ... without a kiss ... in Episode 16 of Season 2. (Watch it below.)
Helen revealed just why she gave Dr. Valentina Castro (Ana Villafañe), with whom she had a tense history and present, half her department. "I did it for you," she told Max. "Everything I have done, I have done for you." (Castro was the doctor who treated Max's cancer.)
"When were Max and Sharpe going to address that almost combustible kiss or something that happened in Episode 16? That was going to be a big part of the finale," Schulner revealed. "Everything was going to come out and we were going to have a big come to Jesus moment between them."
While we will "eventually" see that on the NBC drama — it's been renewed for three seasons, so there's time — the episode that ended up being the finale saw Helen turn down a night of paperwork with Max for a night out with the hospital's new head trauma surgeon, Dr. Cassian Shin (Daniel Dae Kim). His approach to medicine is very different from Max's (think more "are you the kind of patient I was hired to treat?" versus "how can I help everybody?"), and that's not the only thing about him that's attractive to her.
"Sharpe makes a conscious choice in the finale to go with Cassian rather than Max," the showrunner said. "That is a very micro decision about one particular evening, but it's also a macro decision about where Sharpe sees herself in the future."
But is there any point in exploring a full-blown love triangle when it's obvious who's going to end up together? While it may not be time yet for Max and Helen to explore what's between them, we also don't need the show to go back and forth with having one involved with someone else while the other pines. And while Helen deserves some happiness in her personal life, we also don't need to see another relationship end (like hers with Sendhil Ramamurthy's Dr. Panthaki in Season 1) with Max even a tangential cause. That's likely the only way it could go with Shin if it turns into a love triangle.
Instead, it might be more interesting to have the "triangle" with the three doctors in Season 3 be about their approaches to medicine. In the scenes from the flu pandemic episode (which didn't air) shown before the finale, Helen and Shin's interactions were focused on the medicine. (Watch them below.) And with no plans to change his approach going forward, it should be quite interesting to see how he eventually clashes with Max and how Helen, who does see the benefits of Shin's ways, handles that.
So New Amsterdam's best bet is to not lean into the relationship drama like other medical shows tend to do. If Season 3 is going to see Helen and Shin together, let their relationship be separate — yes, hard to do, considering where they work — from Max.
But what do you think? Vote in the poll below.
New Amsterdam, Season 3, Fall 2020, NBC