Why New Amsterdam Can 'Blow Things Up' In Season 4 Two-Parter, According To The EPs

Ryan Eggold as Max Goodwin in New Amsterdam Season 4
(Image credit: NBC)

New Amsterdam fans had to wait almost two months between new episodes in Season 4, but the show didn’t hold back in delivering some jaw-dropping twists in the spring premiere. The episode ended on cliffhangers for no fewer than five characters, and was the first half of a two-parter. The medical drama isn’t known for two-parters, and executive producers David Schulner and Peter Horton opened up to CinemaBlend about why they were able to go bigger than ever with the story in Season 4. 

The first half of the two-parter (available streaming on Peacock) turned a night of drunken karaoke into a crisis that has left at least one character collapsed on the floor, and the other four with their fates unknown. The EPs already explained the trauma that Max is in for with Helen’s state, and the “insane” process behind Dr. Castries’ cold cliffhanger indicates that she’s not doing so well either. Things also weren’t looking great for Casey, Dr. Wilder, and Trevor. 

When I spoke with the producers about the goals and challenges of the two-parter, David Schulner explained why they can figuratively “blow things up” in ways that they couldn’t before: 

Erica Green, one of our EPs and writers on the show, she said 'Season 4 is jazz. You can do things in Season 4 that you couldn't do in Season 1 or 2, where you're playing more classical music.' We've earned the right to kind of improvise with our structure. We've earned the right to kind of blow things up, and do things that we just couldn't do in the first couple of seasons when we were trying to establish ourselves. But the audience knows our characters, and they trust us as storytellers for the most part. So we want to take that trust and really give them something special, something different.

New Amsterdam may not be too likely to actually blow things up – although who knows after how the show ended its spring premiere? The episode certainly blew up what seemed like a fun night out and potentially the status quo at the hospital for the foreseeable future, depending on whether all five victims recover from what happened to them after karaoke. Even after Season 3 covered how the hospital handled the worst of the COVID pandemic, it wasn’t until Season 4 that fans really got to see the show embrace some “jazz” and this kind of two-parter. 

The original plan for the spring premiere had to change, so this two-parter was intended to air very differently on NBC. Instead of being split by the break, both halves ultimately followed Renée Zellweger’s The Thing About Pam limited series. Peter Horton explained how airing the two-parter without a break of weeks between episodes turned out to be “a lot of fun,” saying:

Well, initially, it was to try and fit into a different schedule than we ended up with. But I think doing a two-parter without a break ends up being kind of a fun way to do it. Because you get to write a longer story. It's a longer arc, it's a longer journey for everybody. So by default, I think it can be a lot of fun. But yeah, we generally try and keep our episodes contained, because that's been the mandate for us.

The two-parter may be fun for viewers to watch from home, but certainly hasn’t been much fun for the characters following the karaoke night! Unless, of course, Bloom wearing the taco hat for most of a work day counts for her coworkers, and that was a nice light plot point in an episode featuring some pretty foreboding developments. Even aside from whatever happened to those five characters, Iggy seemed on the verge of making a very bad decision when it comes to Trevor. At least Max had his proposal to look forward to! Hopefully he’ll still be able to pop the question to Helen. 

Find out with the next new episode of New Amsterdam on Tuesday, April 26 at 10 p.m. ET on NBC as the second half of the two-part event. The characters may be less likely to let loose again moving forward after the karaoke night backfired, and fans can only imagine at this point what Veronica will make of the situation when she returns to New York. Luckily, there are still several weeks of new episodes before the Season 4 finale in May!

Laura Hurley
Senior Content Producer

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, but will sneak references to The X-Files into daily conversation.