New Amsterdam's New Character Is Bad News For Max And Helen, But Is She Really A Villain?

iggy max helen bloom reynolds meeting veronica new amsterdam season 4
(Image credit: NBC)

Spoilers ahead for the October 5 episode of New Amsterdam Season 4.

In case you thought things were going a little too well for Max, Helen, and the rest of the doctors at New Amsterdam, “Same As It Ever Was” definitely turned that upside down. New Amsterdam gave Michelle Forbes a proper introduction as Dr. Veronica Fuentes, although she didn’t cross paths with Max until the end of the episode. She didn’t make the best impression on the doctors, and Max’s reaction proves that she’s going to be very bad news for him. But is she actually a villain? Let’s break down what we know so far. 

new amsterdam veronica meeting reynolds

(Image credit: NBC)

The Evidence For Veronica Fuentes As A Villain

First things first, I have to give kudos to Ryan Eggold for portraying Max’s reaction to laying eyes on Veronica (played by Big Sky’s Michelle Forbes) after Brantley announced her as the new medical director of the hospital. At this point, all the show has told us about their dynamic is that they, according to Veronica, “go way back,” and Max showed disbelief that Brantley had hired her. Yet in those few moments at the end of the episode, Eggold made it clear that their history together was not bringing back good memories, and Veronica didn’t seem shaken at all. Definitely bad news for Max, but what about Helen? 

Well, depending on whether or not Max thinks Veronica is bad news for the hospital, her arrival might make him more hesitant about relocating to London, especially after having to tell Imani that he wouldn’t be able to support her in the long run because he was leaving. Brantley seems confident, and it’s probably safe to say that she wouldn’t hire a new medical director without at least thinking she did her due diligence, but it’s hard to forget the look on Max’s face when he laid eyes on Veronica again. He's supposed to be the optimistic one!

And sure, Helen made the unilateral decision that she’ll move in with Max to get used to life with him and Luna before their move to London, but that doesn’t mean she’s changed her mind about going, even if he decides to stay. Plus, Helen definitely didn’t seem like she’s dying to spend more time with Veronica after their encounter in “Same As It Ever Was” before the news that this newcomer would be taking over as medical director. 

And we can’t overlook what Tyler Labine, who plays Iggy, said about Michelle Forbes’ new character, referring to her as “a bad, bad guy” even though he generally likes to avoid the tropes of “good guy” and “bad guy.” Speaking with CinemaBlend ahead of the premiere, Labine said:

It's really fun to watch somebody challenge Max in a way that really flummoxes him. Like, we see that she... We don't know, and I'm not gonna say what, but there is history there. That really gets under Max's skin. And he doesn't know how to be Max around her. He feels very young and flustered. And you know, it's fun. It's like watching a little hurt kid in him come out. And so I think her presence alone, Michelle Forbes is such a powerful actor, and she's so present.

So, between Max’s reaction to Veronica, the implications of what her arrival could mean for Max and Helen just when things were looking up for them, and Tyler Labine’s preview of what her character brings to New Amsterdam, is there any question whether or not she’s a full-on villain? Well, based on her introduction, I’m asking that very question. 

new amsterdam veronica fuentes in the ED

(Image credit: NBC)

Why Veronica Fuentes Might Not Totally Be A Bad Guy

While Veronica didn’t endear herself to any of the doctors in meeting them, and arguably approached the introductions in the wrong way, she wasn’t actually wrong in some of what she said. Objectively, anyway. And it’s a little complicated, so let’s break it down.

The first doctor that Veronica met was Reynolds, who tried to give her directions early in the episode. She made it clear that she didn’t need them, and dropped the somewhat foreboding comment that “it’s best that Max not be here for this.” Reynolds was puzzled, but he ultimately got off the easiest of the major characters, since Veronica didn’t grill him or lurk around his department to draw attention to herself. 

Helen was up next when it comes to encounters with Veronica, before she was properly introduced to the staff. Veronica was immediately off-putting to Helen, recognizing her without identifying herself and commenting on the “big change” of moving to London. Helen had to assure Veronica that there’s nothing wrong with the oncology department, and Veronica commented that it’s good that both she and Max are leaving together, saying: 

Because he’s clearly your superior, at work. And that could get you into a lot of trouble with HR. So.

Next up was Iggy, who was cornered in the elevator by Veronica. Like with Helen, she threw Iggy off by identifying him by name as Chair of Behavioral Health without saying anything about herself. Veronica noted that the nurse-to-patient ratio on his ward is “very disconcerting,” which Iggy agreed with. The 13:1 ratio apparently puts his department at the bottom of New York state public hospitals, and he shared that none of his efforts for change amounted to anything. 

Veronica caught when he said that he’d do “anything” to be taken seriously by the board, which he then amended to “within reason.” She dropped the tip that when she ran into the same problem at a previous hospital where she worked, they took care of that problem… not by getting more nurses, but by cutting the patients. That's one way to resolve the issue, I guess!

Bloom was last, when Casey alerted her to the woman who had been hanging around the ED for half an hour, walking around and taking notes. Bloom then approached Veronica and made a speech that she may come to regret, unless it turns out that Veronica likes her assertiveness: 

Hey, you, what the hell are you doing here? You know what, I don’t even care, okay? You’re a walking HIPAA violation, and maybe you’ve been living on desert island or, I don’t know, the International Space Station, but here on Earth, we’ve been dealing with a mass global pandemic, so we don’t really take too kindly to strangers just hanging around the Emergency Department of a public hospital. So take your failed screenplay, or whatever the hell it is you’re writing, and get the hell out of here. Before I have my bouncers throw you out.

To which Veronica simply said “You must be Dr. Bloom,” then left. It was a bold speech that touched on several real-life issues, but was also a lot more aggressive than Bloom might have wanted for her first impression on her new boss. So, what does all of this mean for Veronica on New Amsterdam?

michelle forbes veronica fuentes new amsterdam

(Image credit: NBC)

The Verdict On Dr. Veronica Fuentes (So Far)

Basically, Veronica approached her first day at New Amsterdam in a way that seemed specially designed to guarantee that the doctors wouldn’t like her or appreciate her approach, but she also made some valid points. 

Helen and Max’s relationship would presumably cause HR problems if they stuck around New Amsterdam, and Veronica would probably make sure that it did if they end up staying. Plus, even Iggy agreed that the nurse-to-patient ratio in his ward isn’t good enough. She didn’t seem overtly angry at Bloom, who made some good points herself with the mentions of HIPAA and the pandemic, and Reynolds didn’t make a bad impression. 

So is Veronica a villain? She certainly seems that way after her first full episode, but there are also some shades of gray that I can see so far instead of somebody just clearly evil. I’m definitely interested in seeing where New Amsterdam goes next with her character. It’s probably safe to say that Max would be much happier if his first choice had taken the job! Find out with new episodes on Tuesdays at 10 p.m. ET on NBC in the fall TV season

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. CinemaBlend's resident expert and interviewer for One Chicago, the galaxy far, far away, and a variety of other primetime television. 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).