‘New Amsterdam’: Jocko Sims & EPs on Reynolds’ Future, Iggy’s ‘Extraordinary Season’ and More
[Warning: The below contains MAJOR spoilers for Season 3, Episode 2 of New Amsterdam, “Essential Workers.”]
New Amsterdam takes us right into the middle of the pandemic and its effects on New York and the titular hospital at the beginning of Season 3, and that included one of their own battling COVID: Dr. Vijay Kapoor (Anupam Kher). Enter the returning Dr. Floyd Reynolds (Jocko Sims), temporarily back home (from his new job in San Francisco) to try to save his friend. And while it’s complicated — Kapoor’s heart is badly damaged — Reynolds does just that.
“We really felt it was our responsibility, because we’re telling a story about frontline workers in New York at the biggest public hospital in the country, to respond to that authentically and with the gravity it [needed],” executive producer Peter Horton tells TV Insider. “We decided to let one of our beloved characters have to really fight with this. Kapoor drew the short straw.”
Don’t expect to see Kapoor back to solving medical mysteries next week like he didn’t nearly die. “We’re not doing the TV version of this,” the EP continues. “We’re going to make him really have to deal with this in a serious way. It’s not a quick response or fix and it’s got genuine consequences to it.”
Now that he’s helped Kapoor, is Reynolds returning to San Francisco and fiancée Evie (Margot Bingham)? It looks like he may be considering his future — including staying — as he sits in front of New Amsterdam’s In Memoriam wall after hearing about those lost to COVID.
But be careful about reading into Dr. Lauren Bloom’s (Janet Montgomery) “you’re here now” to Reynolds when she joins him in that scene. “They’re able to toy with our emotions so much, because I know right away, in the next episode is something that doesn’t quite reflect ‘you’re here now’ and the heaviness of what that could mean,” Sims previews.
“[Reynolds is] conflicted,” executive producer David Schulner says about the doctor’s future. “He feels like he left his family behind.”
For Sims, while his character does feel like “he should’ve been there” to help his former colleagues, “it would take more than that” for him to make this trip back to New York a permanent return home.
That being said, Reynolds does love New Amsterdam and all its eccentricities — like medical director Dr. Max Goodwin (Ryan Eggold) getting arrested for writing 700 oxycodone prescriptions and hiring bike messengers to deliver them (he was just trying to help patients in pain) — which made the decision to leave last season such a struggle.
“New Amsterdam is the kitten you have that has the weird leg and you just love him regardless. There’s something special about your baby. He’s not perfect like other cats,” Sims says. “That’s New Amsterdam. It’s broken. The system’s broken. The people have unconventional ways of getting things done and it was so imperfect that it was perfect for Reynolds.” That will come into play as Reynolds ponders his future.
We will see more of Reynolds — though we’ll have to wait to see in what capacity — and that includes him meeting the hospital’s trauma surgeon Dr. Cassian Shin (Daniel Dae Kim), who came on board after he left for San Francisco. “Cassian does things his own way, [as does] Reynolds,” Sims says. “He’s more by the book, but once he’s made his decision to do something, he wants to do it his way. We will see those paths cross.” And he and Kim were able to use the fact that they hadn’t met in person until they shared scenes – they’d done table reads over Zoom — in the show with their characters.
With Reynolds spending this time in New York, what does that mean for his future with Evie? “Their Save the Date card has been changed four times already, but they are going to get married,” Schulner assures us. First, however, they’ll be dealing with what his return to his old stomping ground means, even though he is “committed to their relationship,” Sims adds.
The second episode of Season 3 also kicks off an emotional arc for Head of Psychology Dr. Iggy Frome (Tyler Labine). Dr. Bloom witnesses him almost collapse after not eating for a couple days and finds his stash in his desk drawer — along with a note reading, “Don’t eat, you fat pig!! You’re disgusting!!” They’re his father’s words from his childhood, when he’d face weigh-ins and insults. Iggy hated himself so much in middle school, he tried to hang himself, he reveals, but he brushes aside Bloom’s concerns until she brings up his kids. She urges him to talk to a therapist — he’d helped her with her addiction, after all.
“What happens this season for Tyler is such a bold, courageous, amazing performance on his part,” Horton says. “He goes to places you rarely see actors go to, film or television. He really is putting himself in a vulnerable, open position for what he has to deal with, and that includes [his husband] Martin [Mike Doyle], Bloom, and everybody around him.
“But more importantly, it’s his story: him against himself. We get into the whole issue with his body image and food issues and self-conscious issues and shame in spades. It really is an extraordinary season for him, both as a character but also really as an actor. We’re really proud of what he’s done this year.”
New Amsterdam, Tuesdays, 10/9c, NBC