Why New Amsterdam's Obstacles For Max And Helen Are Actually Good For Season 4

freema agyeman as helen sharpe new amsterdam season 4 nbc
(Image credit: NBC)

Spoilers ahead for the sixth episode of New Amsterdam Season 4, called “Laughter and Hope and a Sock in the Eye.”

Max and Helen are running out of time before they’re supposed to make the move to London, and New Amsterdam still has a whole lot of loose ends to tie up both regarding their relationship and the state of the hospital. Dr. Fuentes' absence from the hospital in “Laughter and Hope and a Sock in the Eye” meant that Max could have a “day of yes” of enacting positive changes at New Amsterdam, but there were less positive developments on the Sharpwin front… at first. The episode dealt some obstacles for Max and Helen, but those problems actually good for Season 4 by adding touches of realism to what is an otherwise purely romantic plot. The course of true love never runs smooth, right?

The obstacles first rose up in this episode when Max was hurrying to try and get little Luna ready for the day, and asked Helen to prepare Luna’s very specific lunch for her. Helen’s experience domestically taking care of young children is clearly pretty limited, and she struggled to try and get everything ready for Max’s daughter. And she didn’t succeed until after slicing her finger! It was following this ordeal that she got a message from Guillaume, her dreamy ex who had the not-so-dreamy news that he was dying from pancreatic cancer. She was upset and invested in the whole situation, but Max had to get details on her past with Guillaume from Reynolds, and clearly wasn’t thrilled about it

And by the end of the episode, Max and Helen had an open conversation about Helen adapting her previous lifestyle to pursue the “butterflies” with Max (who she totally thought was proposing when he surprised her with a trip to her mural), and Max understanding that she has a past and is coming from a very different way of living her life. They were back on even footing by the time the final credits rolled, with Max even clearing the air about his threat to Fuentes in the previous episode about not leaving New Amsterdam. Throw in the wonderful Dr. Wilder agreeing to come to the hospital to take Helen’s place, and the stars are aligning for Max, Helen, and Luna to make the move across the pond. 

Of course it’s entirely possible that something will still go very wrong, since it’s hard to imagine New Amsterdam saying goodbye to two major characters in one fell swoop, but everything is looking as good as it ever has for Max and Helen. And that’s thanks to these obstacles that they had to overcome. I for one was pretty excited to see Helen faced with the harsh reality of basically serving as stepmother to Luna, which was one of my biggest concerns about the Sharpwin relationship moving so quickly. 

The love between Max and Helen has been there; the lifestyles haven’t, and seeing them run into speedbumps makes it all the more satisfying when they overcome them. Bring on the obstacles, I say, so long as they continue openly communicating about their goals! All of that said, Dr. Fuentes will be back in the next episode, so it’s probably safe to say that Max won’t be having another “day of yes.” Find out with new episodes of New Amsterdam on NBC on Tuesdays at 10 p.m. ET, following new episodes of La Brea.

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).