How the ‘New Amsterdam’ Series Finale Throws Back to the Pilot

When New Amsterdam checks out after five seasons on January 17, expect the heartfelt hospital drama to go gentle into that good night.

“The finale has [only] one medical story,” says showrunner David Schulner, because the majority of the two hours are driven by the characters’ personal stories: “Everyone is looking to heal — to repair the core trauma that started their journeys in the pilot episode.”

That means surgeon Floyd Reynolds (Jocko Sims) comes to terms with the idea of what it means to be a perfect family. ER doc Lauren Bloom (Janet Montgomery) deals with the trauma of leaving her sister behind with their alcoholic mother. And psychiatrist Iggy Frome (Tyler Labine) is owning the feeling that he’s not worthy of the marriage he’s in.

Medical director Max Goodwin (Ryan Eggold, above, with Nora/Opal Clow), meanwhile, must define his future with his ex-fiancée, doc Helen Sharpe (Freema Agyeman). According to Schulner, the January 3 hour forced everyone to “take a big step” forward. Max, attempting to escape before her return to New York City, fled to the wilderness on a corporate retreat that turned tragic. By episode’s end, he’d made a romantic commitment to oncology chief Elizabeth Wilder (Sandra Mae Frank)!

“We’re going to test it, put pressure on it,” Schulner hints. “We’re going to make sure it’s the right decision.”

Though the ending itself had been decided, it wasn’t until Season 4 was wrapping that Schulner and the writers began to discuss the best way to say goodbye. The finale “really is everyone’s origin story,” he says. “It celebrates healthcare workers and that spark when you realize what you want to do with the rest of your life.”

Prepare to shed some tears at the end of what he describes as a “poetic” episode — and to feel some excitement too. With the introduction of the new medical director, “We’re going to meet the future of New Amsterdam,” reveals Schulner. “We’re closing one door and opening another, and it’s really powerful and unexpected.”

New Amsterdam, Series Finale, Tuesday, January 17, 9/8c, NBC

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