‘New Amsterdam’ Creator Answers Burning Questions After Series Finale
Coming to an end. Following New Amsterdam‘s emotional series finale, creator David Schulner and co-showrunner Peter Horton opened up about the show’s memorable conclusion.
In the final episode of the hit NBC show, Max Goodwin (Ryan Eggold) discovered that his ex, Helen Sharpe (Freema Agyeman), was behind the problematic experimental trial for the cancer cure drug he was about to sign off on.
Amid the shocking discovery, Max wrapped up his last day as medical director in order to be more present in daughter Luna’s (Nora and Opal Clow) life. The series ended on a hopeful note with a flash forward showing Luna following in her father’s footsteps as the new medical director.
Shortly after the two-hour finale aired on Tuesday, January 17, Schulner and Horton weighed in on what they felt was missing from the episode.
“We felt really satisfied with the endings we came up for everybody who was still with us. Obviously, we wish we could have had a great ending for Helen Sharpe and Freema, same thing with Anupam. They were such great characters in our show and such good actors,” Horton explained to Entertainment Weekly. “It would have been great to have been able to resolve their stories with as much freedom, so that’s a little frustrating. Otherwise, I feel good about where everyone ended up.”
For Schulner, knowing that the show was wrapping up helped their writing process.
“It was a blessing and a curse to know we were ending. A curse because we had more stories to tell and more places to go, and we thought we had a couple more years left,” he told Entertainment Tonight. “But a blessing because we got to end it on our terms and so few shows get to do that.”
In March 2022, NBC announced that season 5 would be the medical drama’s last. Fans were shocked when Agyeman later confirmed she would be exiting New Amsterdam ahead of its final chapter.
“Dearest Dam Fam. First off I would like to say a huge heartfelt thank you for your unending, dedicated and deliciously ferocious support!” the Sense8 alum, who had been part of the show since 2018, told TVLine in a statement in July 2022. “I feel very fortunate to have connected with so many of you over these past few years, while rolling around in the skin of Ms. Helen Sharpe, and witness every ebb and flow of your emotional investment. What a ride! Thank you for being on it with me. She has meant so much to me, but the time has come for me to hang up her white coat, as I officially share the news that I will not be returning for the final season of New Amsterdam.”
Agyeman continued: “While I am saddened, I am also incredibly excited to see how the story concludes as a fan of the series. It has been such a joy to play Dr. Helen Sharpe for 4 seasons — those writers built a badass! Beyond grateful for the opportunity to tell some of her stories! Fanfic — it’s over to you to tell the rest!! Lots of love Fam!”
At the time, Schulner and Horton hinted at their plans to explore Max and Helen’s connection without their female lead. “We wish Freema the best of luck on her next chapter and the doors of New Amsterdam will always be open if she wishes to return! We are extremely proud of the impact Freema and Dr. Helen Sharpe have made over these past four seasons and are so grateful to have been a part of that story,” the duo said in a statement. “As we head into the fifth and final season, we want our #Sharpwin fans to know we still have a few surprises in store for them.”
After the finale, Schulner noted how important it was to not answer every question the viewers may have had.
“It just gave us the best of everything. As Peter always says, ‘Leaving a door open is better than [closing one] .’ That was his one thing. First thing Peter said to me when we started producing the show, ‘Just a word of advice: Yes is almost always a better answer than no,’” the screenwriter said toET. “And so leaving the door open is so much more satisfying than telling you what to think, telling you what happens exactly. Because then you get to participate in it. Then you get to be an active part of the show too.”
Scroll through for more answers to the series finale’s burning questions: