New Amsterdam returned to NBC for Season 3 nearly a year after the reworked Season 2 conclusion, and “The New Normal” revealed how the doctors and nurses at New Amsterdam rose to the occasion of saving lives during the COVID-19 pandemic. Fighting the pandemic took its toll on all of them, requiring sacrifices of Max (Ryan Eggold) and Co., forcing changes, and resulting in one doctor going on a ventilator. The bad news is that Dr. Kapoor contracted COVID, but the good news is that the damage to his heart opened the door for a major departed character to return. Welcome back, Dr. Reynolds!
Fortunately, New Amsterdam star Ryan Eggold spoke with CinemaBlend about “The New Normal” and previewed what’s to come as Season 3 moves forward, including that final scene of Max Goodwin calling up Dr. Floyd Reynolds (Jocko Sims), who left New Amsterdam back in Season 2. Although Eggold initially cracked a joke about Sims’ return (seen in the video above), he had nothing but good things to say about having Sims back on New Amsterdam:
There’s no world where we don’t do the show without Jocko. He’s such a part of the family and Floyd, in terms of Max and Floyd’s relationship, I really love that relationship and it’s one that we only explore every so often, like once or twice a season. It’s not something we get into a lot but when we do I really enjoy it because Jocko and I like to joke around a lot. And so I like bringing that kind of camaraderie to the roles, to the characters. And I think they have a fun dynamic that I would really like to explore more which is just kind of two buddies who can give each other crap. There’s a fun scene this season, I think it’s Episode 4, where Max has a bit of fun with with Floyd, messes with him a bit, so I like their dynamic. I hope there’s more of it to come.
The return of Jocko Sims wasn’t revealed until the final moments of New Amsterdam’s Season 3 premiere, with most of the episode dedicated to showing the lingering effects of COVID-19 on the hospital and the medical professionals working there. While Max was on the go trying to put out figurative fires and track down the much-needed drugs for the hospital, Bloom realized that she missed the fight of the pandemic in the ED and Helen revealed that she’s afraid of going back to normal for a date with Daniel Dae Kim’s Cassian Shin. Ryan Eggold shared what Max has had to give up that will continue to affect him as Season 3 continues:
One sacrifice Max has made is he’s left his daughter Luna with Georgia’s parents, with Luna’s grandparents in an effort to protect her and to keep her safe but I think certainly is missing her and is starting to doubt himself, and feelings of guilt in terms of like, ‘Am I doing the right thing? Am I keeping her safe?… Am I being a bad father?’ I think that his relationship with his daughter is really going to be something that he wants to rebuild and figure out, especially doing it alone, without Georgia, having lost his wife, adding that complication to it. So I think that’s something that he is wrestling with in the third season.
Season premieres are just not good times for Max Goodwin! Max lost his wife in the Season 2 premiere, and then New Amsterdam revealed in the Season 3 premiere that he had to separate from his daughter. At least Luna had somewhere she could go to stay with family during the pandemic, but there was definitely some heartbreak when Max quite literally lost the connection with Luna in “The New Normal” during their video call.
The Season 3 premiere wasn’t a full hour of heartbreak, however, thanks to some fun character moments and some memorable walk-and-talks through the hallways that were worth a laugh. Ryan Eggold weighed in on the importance of including some light moments in what could have otherwise been a very dark episode from start to finish:
So important in our own lives and on the show. Because you know the pandemic and the news and everything is so much to contend with and it’s a lot to fight at once. And so I think that, you know, finding lightness and finding humor and finding joy and finding connection when we’re so disconnected from each other is important, and when things are as heavy as they are, finding lightness when you can is really important. And I think it reminds us what we’re fighting so hard for, which is the good stuff. Yeah, I think it’s really important.
While Max is facing more challenges than ever moving forward in Season 3, he’s arguably in a better place emotionally now than he was at this point in Season 2 after losing Georgia. Reynolds’ return could lift some weight from his shoulders, although Helen’s relationship with Cassian might leave Max feeling a different kind of stress. All things considered, there are a lot of variables for the doctors and nurses of New Amsterdam in Season 3.