Warning: major spoilers ahead for the Season 3 finale of New Amsterdam on NBC, called "Death Begins In Radiology."
The third season of New Amsterdam has come to an end, and the final credits didn't roll on "Death Begins In Radiology" without the show delivering the kind of payoff that fans of Max Goodwin and Helen Sharpe have been waiting for. New Amsterdam has been building the Sharpwin relationship toward a romance throughout Season 3. Max and Helen finally got their big kiss, and it looked like a lot more was about to go down behind closed doors. Stars Ryan Eggold and Freema Agyeman spoke with CinemaBlend ahead of the finale airing, and shared their reactions to the long-awaited Sharpwin twist and what comes next.
The big kiss came at the end of an episode that seemed to deliver obstacle after obstacle to Max and Helen finally getting together, which itself came after a season where they both had much larger concerns than starting a romance. They both had to deal with the pandemic, Max struggled as a single dad to Luna and the efforts of his in-laws to get custody, and Helen tried to navigate taking care of Mina. It felt like Max and Helen would never be able to get together.
Speaking with Freema Agyeman and Ryan Eggold, I asked about their reactions to their characters finally overcoming the obstacles, and what they would like to see happen next. Agyeman responded:
We tend to play things slightly different ways each time just because we feel like we can and we have the freedom to play and explore, and the directors are like that, too. And the producers. So there was a couple of versions that we could have played out with that ending... But a few of them would have been a little bit more teasey, which I think probably wouldn't have been the way to go. It's interesting. I did see a couple of comments on social media and people's expectations are quite low insofar as they're like, 'We're never going to get to see, it's never gonna happen. It's not gonna happen.' And I'm so excited for them. [laughs] I remember when we were having the table read. And I think it was Tyler [Labine] after, he just was like, 'Sorry, I need a second to recover that that just happened.' Because we all just thought it just never ever would. But I think the timing is right.
All of the fans who have been waiting for Max and Helen to pass a point of no return and move forward with their relationship have to be happy that New Amsterdam didn't go with a teasing ending to the finale! According to Freema Agyeman, she was excited on behalf of the fans. And there was already somebody excited at the table read – Tyler Labine, who plays Iggy!
Until almost the very end of the finale, there was some ambiguity about what Helen wanted from Max, and what Max intended to do. I for one was so prepared for New Amsterdam to continue building the tension between them without payoff just yet that I half expected Max to be hit by a car once he started running back to her place. But there were no crises or near-death experiences to stop Max's grand gesture, and the good ship Sharpwin is sailing into Season 4.
Ryan Eggold shared Freema Agyeman's excitement about Max and Helen finally making the jump, and revealed what he's looking forward to in the future of Sharpwin:
Yeah, it's fun. And in terms of where did they go from here? I'm just so excited to find a new landscape with Freema in the sense that that unspoken tension between them is wonderful. But if you jump the gun, and they get together too quickly, it's no good. And if you wait too long, and sustain that tension forever and ever and ever, it's no good either. So it's finding that delicate balance of moving the story forward, but in a way that doesn't feel forced. So I think it's the right time for something like this to happen.
Max and Helen have had a slow burn of a relationship, but will-they-won't-they building over three seasons isn't too bad compared to relationships that some fans of other shows have been holding out for, over decades in some cases. (Sorry, Benson/Stabler SVU fans!) New Amsterdam viewers can head into hiatus confident both in the show returning thanks to a very early renewal and in the show exploring a new side of Sharpwin. Ryan Eggold continued:
And I'm excited to see what what this new landscape holds for these characters because I think they're both very guarded. I think they're both very protecting of themselves and both afraid to be honest with the other. I mean, even though there's one half of them that can be very honest with the other person, Max and Sharpe, in a way that they can't with other people. But I think for whatever reason, they're both seemingly sort of wary of that, of the depth of that connection. So I think to just go there now, I'm just excited to see what's next. And to play and to have some some new and different scenes with Freema and to see where it goes.
Personally, I'm curious to see if New Amsterdam goes for a time jump between the end of Season 3 and beginning of Season 4. There was a necessary time jump between the end of Season 2 and beginning of Season 3 thanks to production shutdowns and then writing the pandemic into the storyline, and there was even a time jump of a month between the previous episode and this week's finale. It would be interesting to see how Max and Helen have settled into their new status quo after a time jump, if fans wouldn't get to see the immediate aftermath.
Plus, New Amsterdam delivered cliffhangers on more fronts, including with Reynolds hooking up with Malvo despite his reservations, only to not only meet her husband at the hospital, but receive a promotion that means they will be working closely together. Life must have been so much simpler for him before he moved back to New York!
Whatever happens next, viewers won't find out until the fall, although that does mean a return earlier in the 2021-2022 season than the show received for this past season. New Amsterdam will hold on to its 10 p.m. ET time slot on NBC Tuesday nights when it returns for Season 4 in the fall, following The Voice at 8 p.m. ET and freshman series La Brea at 9 p.m. ET.
For some viewing options during the wait for fall TV season to kick off, check out our summer TV premiere schedule. There's plenty to think about over the New Amsterdam hiatus, and I for one will be wondering how long it will take for the other shoe to drop for Lauren Bloom after the bribery for the foreseeable future, on top of everything else.