Spoilers ahead for Episode 4 of New Amsterdam Season 3, called "This Is All I Need."
New Amsterdam continued to combine new cases with the overarching struggle of the doctors in the new status quo of pandemic precautions in "This Is All I Need," and the episode forced both Ryan Eggold's Max and Jocko Sims' Reynolds to face what they missed due to COVID and the guilt they feel because of it. Their experiences with the pandemic couldn't be much more different, with Max in the thick of the crisis in New York while Reynolds' hospital avoided the worst in San Francisco, but the stars shared the similar ways that the characters are dealing with their situations.
Ryan Eggold and Jocko Sims spoke with CinemaBlend and other outlets for NBC's recent midseason event, and they shared their thoughts on how New Amsterdam has handled the sense of loss for both of their characters, with Max missing milestones in his daughter's life due to his work at New Amsterdam while Reynolds missed things by not being at New Amsterdam. Eggold, whose character was made painfully aware of what his absence meant to his daughter in "This Is All I Need," explained about the losses:
That's an interesting way of phrasing that in the sense that Max has had too much of it in some ways, as Jocko was just saying, Reynolds has had not enough of it in the sense that he feels sort of like he's missed the fights to some extent or didn't do enough. And Max sort of on the other end is like, 'It's not safe. I don't even want patients here. It's too much.' Speaking for Max, you know, I think his number one concern is his daughter, and that's really [in Episode 4], at least for Max, what his story is about, what the episode's about for him, because he has left her in the care of Georgia's parents, Luna's grandparents, and there's a lot of questions and a lot of guilt. Like, am I doing the right thing? Am I keeping her away from the hospital, away from me, away from danger? Is that right? Or am I being a bad father? Am I not being around? Am I missing her grow up? And so it's a lot of questions, I think.
Max's excitement to travel to Connecticut and bring Luna home from her extended stay with her grandparents began to fade when he discovered how much Luna settled into life with Georgia's parents, and how little he and his daughter knew each other anymore. Even the little things like Max not knowing that Luna now hates peas and loves sausage carried some heartbreak for all that viewers have seen Max lose and sacrifice for.
There was arguably no guilt-free option for Max when it came to Luna in the pandemic, and that came to a head in this episode when he had to take her away from her grandparents and make the first visit to Georgia's grave. While the episode did have a happy ending for Max and Luna, that's not to say that all of the issues of guilt have been dealt with and will be swept aside now that Luna is home, but Max definitely took a step in a positive direction this week.
The doctors may still be dealing with the pandemic, and the previous episode made the point that hospitals still aren't the safest places, but this is progress, and Luna was so gosh darn cute this week that I think fans deserved the happy ending in the Goodwin apartment as much as Max did.
As for Reynolds, Jocko Sims has been portraying his character's sense of guilt from almost as soon as Reynolds stepped foot back in New Amsterdam, looking like a hospital war zone compared to his own hospital back in San Francisco. Sims weighed in on how his character is dealing with that guilt now that his visit to New York has turned into something lasting much longer:
As Ryan touched on, Reynolds does have a sense of guilt. At his hospital in San Francisco, there were about three deaths because at the time, California wasn't hit as hard as New York was. And obviously that changed over the course of time, but there's that to deal with. There's the fact that he's now dealing with the health of his mother that seems to be compromised, with her now being diagnosed with diabetes. And that's just a reflection of the reality of the world that we live in now. It's sort of like, if you're able to survive, you got to keep surviving, in a way. Life goes on. There's other things that you still have to deal with. And the writers have done a great job of painting that picture in so many different ways. And it's been awesome.
"This Is All I Need" started Reynolds' story by revealing what he's dealing with at home, which is living with his mother after the seeming end of his relationship with Evie and in light of his mother's diagnosis with diabetes. He was ready to get back to what he does best as a surgeon at the hospital, but even that couldn't be what it was for him before. Not only did the flow of the hospital change during the height of the pandemic, but now Cassian Shin is the most prominent surgeon. And Reynolds doesn't even have an office yet.
While longtime fans might have been inclined to side with Reynolds over Cassian when Cassian got snippy with Reynolds during surgery, Reynolds did prove that he's willing to work his way back up from the bottom if that's what it takes, and he eventually did follow Cassian's instructions. Reynolds ultimately made it clear to Max that he's not interested in taking a prestigious position at another hospital, but would rather take whatever is available at New Amsterdam after everything the hospital went through that he missed on the West Coast.
Find out how New Amsterdam continues their journeys as they rebuild their lives in the face of what they missed out on and lost for good with new episodes on NBC Tuesdays at 10 p.m. ET. "This Is All I Need" also delivered a tragedy for Helen, with the reveal that her half brother died before she was able to leave the country and see him one last time. The trailer for the next episode indicates that fans may start to see some tension from Max on the Helen/Cassian relationship, and some more scenes between Lauren and Reynolds that Jocko Sims intriguingly teased are on the way as Season 3 continues.