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NBC Insider New Amsterdam

Everything to Know About Helen's Return to New Amsterdam—From the Showrunner

They're sticking around for at least one more episode.

By McKenzie Jean-Philippe
Sharpe Leaves Max Waiting | NBC’s New Amsterdam

After watching New Amsterdam's Season 5 midseason finale, it's no exaggeration to say the Dam Fam may be in shock.

At the end of Episode 10's "Don't Do This For Me," after turning Max (Ryan Eggold) down, Wilder (Sandra Mae Frank) finally agreed to go out with him. A job offer to run the country's first Deaf medical school made her realize she didn't want to stop practicing medicine or give Max up. But just as the two are about to go home together, Max hears none other than...Sharpe (Freema Agyeman) on the TV in the hospital's lobby. It turns out she's in NYC to promote cancer research for the NHS.

"[He feels] like he just saw a ghost," series showrunner Davis Schulner tells NBC Insider. "His past and his future colliding."

Sharpe infamously left Max at the altar, and in the Season 5 premiere, wrote an emotional letter as an explanation. Agyeman went on to announce in July that she would not be returning to play Sharpe for the fifth and final season.

"First off I would like to say a huge heartfelt thank you for your unending, dedicated and deliciously ferocious support!” she said in a statement to TV Line. “I feel very fortunate to have connected with so many of you over these past few years, while rolling around in the skin of Ms. Helen Sharpe, and witness every ebb and flow of your emotional investment."

Goodwin, Ben and Wilder on New Amsterdam

So, suffice it to say, Sharpe and Agyeman's return is a surprise to us all—particularly Max. Schulner says that on the show, it's been about six months since Max and Helen's breakup. "Enough time to move on but not enough time to fully heal," he says. And he has thoughts for the fans who think Max has moved on a little bit too fast with Wilder.

"I know it's polarizing, but I'm OK with that," he says. "I'm thrilled people are talking about it, engaged, enraged, feeling something. And honestly, it's hard to move any slower since we're in episode 10 out of 13, and we just delayed it even more with Sharpe's arrival. I hope the audience keeps debating, talking...because that's way better than silence."

Going forward when the show returns on Tuesday, January 3, Schulner reveals it will come down to one big question. Who will Max choose: Sharpe or Wilder? This means that Agyeman will appear again in Season 5, Episode 11, which Schulner confirms.

"Max has to decide what he wants," he says. "And hope Wilder or Sharpe will still be there when he figures it out."

New Amsterdam Max And Helen

New Amsterdam returns to finish out its final season on Tuesday, January 3 at 10/9c on NBC. You can watch every episode now on Peacock.