Warning: many spoilers are ahead for the Season 5 premiere of New Amsterdam, called “TBD.”
New Amsterdam returned to NBC for its fifth and final season that had to begin by addressing the end of Season 4. Sharpwin fans were dealt a serious blow when Helen called off their wedding from across the pond, and actress Freema Agyeman’s announcement over the summer meant that there wasn’t going to be a happy resolution in the fall. Now, star Ryan Eggold and executive producer David Schulner opened up about the Bollywood final scene of “TBD” and the “catharsis” that came with it.
The Season 5 premiere had some serious highs and lows, with the lows largely centering on Max’s efforts to move on from losing Helen… and Luna wondering where her “mum” is didn’t help. Freema Agyeman made a voice cameo in a letter that attempted to give Max some closure (and the bosses shared that they dropped clues in Season 4 to foreshadow the heartbreaking twist), and he was able to channel his energy into helping a young boy achieve his dying wish of visiting a Bollywood movie set.
Unfortunately, all the combined energy in the world (with Max, Wilder, Reynolds, and even Brantley joining in) couldn’t make the boy well enough to travel to India, so they decided to throw him a Bollywood sequence of his own right there in the hospital. Not only did it give the boy something to celebrate, but the doctors jumped in to participate and join in the fun as well.
Max had a lingering look at Dr. Wilder in the final moments after she tried to get him to dance, which suggests that maybe she could help him with what Ryan Eggold described as Max’s “healing.” The Bollywood number was a cathartic way to end the premiere and set up that the final season won’t be thirteen episodes of mourning the Sharpwin relationship. David Schulner shared that this particular storyline was originally planned for years ago, saying:
Apparently, the beginning of the fifth and final season was finally when the time was right for New Amsterdam to go full Bollywood! Even though finding joy was more of a theme for the fourth season, the dance number was intended to be a sign that celebration and fun can still happen despite the huge shakeup. Ryan Eggold, who directed “TBD” as well as starred, shared his own perspective on the ending:
Eggold made sure to credit the choreographer who brought that “life” to the Season 5 premiere, when Max seemed like he needed a jolt of happiness to his system. Although he didn’t join in the dancing himself, it was clear that seeing all the joy was doing him a lot of good after how all of his friends were there for him in the beginning of the episode. The actor/director elaborated on what made this a “touching” story, saying:
“Catharsis” was actually the perfect word for how New Amsterdam wrapped its first episode of Season 5, as it followed Max’s realization that he made a mistake in trying to fix everything for Helen. When I asked if learning not to try to fix things for everybody else is a lesson that Max “How Can I Help?" Goodwin can learn, Eggold responded:
The only bad news is that Max only has twelve episodes left to learn whatever lessons are necessary, as Season 5 only received an order for 13 episodes. Still, the Season 5 premiere set up what could be a joyous and celebratory season, which bodes well for finishing the stories of these characters.
New episodes of New Amsterdam air on Tuesdays at 10 p.m. ET on NBC. You can also revisit some New Amsterdam days gone by streaming with a Peacock subscription, and find some more viewing options with our 2022 TV premiere schedule.
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Laura turned a lifelong love of television into a valid reason to write and think about TV on a daily basis. She's not a doctor, lawyer, or detective, but watches a lot of them in primetime. Resident of One Chicago, the galaxy far, far away, and Northeast Ohio. Will not time travel and can cite multiple TV shows to explain why. She does, however, want to believe that she can sneak references to The X-Files into daily conversation (and author bios).