After a strong Season 2 that highlighted a lot of structural flaws within the healthcare system, New Amsterdam had to adjust one of its biggest storylines and sign off early because of the coronavirus pandemic. Consequently, we didn't get to see everything the show had planned, including a pandemic-themed episode set in New York that was shelved after people in the show's cast and crew — including recurring guest star Daniel Dae Kim – contracted the virus.
Before the season had to be shortened, an entirely different finale had been planned — one that depicted a different kind of disaster. In an interview with creator and executive producer David Schulner, TV Guide learned what that original Season 2 finale could have looked like, along with much more about how Season 3 might look. “We can't just pick up where we left off,” Schulner said.
Schulner wasn't entirely clear yet on how things are going to play out for the characters — the writers' room reconvenes in June — but he did share some initial thoughts on the stories the show could tell next. What might New Amsterdam Season 3 look like? Here's what we know so far.
New Amsterdam planned a hurricane episode for the Season 2 finale: Whether New Amsterdam will actually shoot and air the Season 2 finale they'd initially planned remains unclear. But for what it's worth, Schulner told TV Guide that the show had initially cooked up an ending with the team going to the Dominican Republic to help out after a hurricane.
“Hurricanes are becoming more frequent because of global warming; a lot of hospitals don't have the resources to handle it. [The doctors] were going to a failing hospital to help — it was going to be a huge cliffhanger, life and death, people's jaws would have dropped. Now they're going to have to wait before jaws drop again,” he said.
Sharpwin is kaput… for now: Yup, Max Goodwin (Ryan Eggold) and Dr. Helen Sharpe's (Freema Agyeman) stop-start, sputtering sexual tension isn't about to be realized anytime soon, according to Schulner. The arrival of Cassian Shin (Kim) means that Sharpe has a new colleague/love interest, and they are, in the words of Schulner “going to become a thing.”
There's going to be friction between Max and Cassian: How could there not be? With Cassian employing a work style all his own that's nothing like Max's, these two are bound to butt heads — especially if Max spots Cassian and Helen getting cozy, like they were in the last episode. Then again, Schulner has said that Max may not even care. “I don't think romance is going to be on his mind.”
Except some very different storylines: We've come to expect certain hallmarks of this show by now — injustices in the medical system, corporate greed prioritizing profits over people — and certain storylines too. Iggy (Tyler Labine) was working on a possible food addiction while preparing to adopt another kid; Dr. Bloom (Janet Montgomery) had been working on repairing her relationship with her mom, and so on. But now, the writers are reconsidering what Season 3 might look like in the wake of this pandemic. “All our plans have been blown out of the window,” Schulner said. “In Season 3 we have to rethink everything. Their priorities are going to change after this pandemic. I don't think we can force storylines on a new world we're living in — it would ring false. They're going to change.”
We'll see that pandemic episode at some point: This was alluded to in Ryan Eggold's opening sequence at the beginning of the last episode of the season, “Matter of Seconds.” How that pandemic episode will factor into the next season isn't clear yet.
Don't expect to see any more new players; Schulner said that they aren't planning on adding any more new characters soon. But he given that he also said all their plans have been blown out of the window, who knows if that might change! We do know that Daniel Dae Kim had originally been slated for five episodes in Season 2, and that plan will remain in place with the option for him to appear in more episodes.
Dr. Reynolds' return is still a possibility: Dr. Floyd Reynolds (Jocko Sims) famously (and sadly) took off for San Fransisco in Episode 17 (“Liftoff”) but in past interviews, Schulner has played coy about whether or not he's really gone from the show. “Reynolds is leaving New Amsterdam [but] not leaving the show,” Schulner told Cinemablend in March, and even Sims has said we probably haven't seen the last of him. Schulner told TV Guide that Aaron Ginsburg, who wrote the finale episode, has joked that a spin-off for Reynolds might be called “San Fransterdam,” but also, “We don't know how to bring him back, especially now.” Could he be bluffing? We'll find out when it returns.