The Ending Of New Amsterdam Season 5 Explained

Viewers are certainly not devoid of choice when it comes to hospital dramas, but "New Amsterdam" has remained a fan favorite for a while now. The series follows Dr. Max Goodwin as he serves as medical director for one of the country's oldest hospitals and the bucketloads of professional and personal drama that comes along with the job. Known for its romantic liaisons and family-friendly heart, the show's cancellation came as a surprise not only to fans, but to the creators. With such a strong reputation among fans, Season 5 is the chance for the characters to get the ending that they deserve.

The storylines across "New Amsterdam" Season 5 have already got fans worked up, and for the most part, the plan to go big or go home is producing satisfying results. With the season finale offering fans lots of answers for what happens with Max, Luna, and the other New Amsterdam staff, there is still plenty of room for interpretation for where the future could lead them. Even while the series comes to an end — for now — there's no reason to assume we'll never see our favorite faces return. Here's what you need to know about the ending of Season 5 of "New Amsterdam." Spoilers ahead.

The ending is vague for a reason

Though fans went into Season 5 with the knowledge that "New Amsterdam" would conclude soon, the story is ultimately left open ended. Though each of our leading characters have their journeys neatly wrapped up with finite answers, there's enough wriggle room for interpretation as to what might happen next. The clearest example of this is Max, who is moving on to new pastures after entertaining a new job offer. Executive producer David Schulner and director Peter Horton say the vagueness is vital for what they were trying to say about Max's relationships with his daughter and Elizabeth.

Speaking to TV Line, Horton explained, "We really love ambiguity and we wanted to leave that question of his relationship with [Elizabeth] Wilder a bit in the wind. With [Max] giving her the keys to New Amsterdam, they're clearly not, at this moment, together. He's going off to Geneva with his daughter. They're still in love with each other, but the future is ambiguous, and we wanted to leave with that tone." Not only does the decision give fans plenty to speculate about, but not providing a clear answer opens the series up to potential reboots and spin-offs.

Max has bigger fish to fry

Since he's the character most central to the Season 5 finale, the "New Amsterdam" action hinges on Max's personal decisions. Not only is Max leaving the hospital to work for the World Health Organization, but the final episode concerns his will-they-won't-they romantic future with Elizabeth Wilder. With the episode structured to follow his last day in the hospital, it's no secret that fans have been preparing their farewells since the beginning of the season. After the Season 4 drama with Dr. Helen Sharpe, the fact that Max's Season 5 gears up for him to change his life completely actually makes sense. The biggest shock is likely to be Max playing off two different women in a new way — this time, it's his Season 5 love interest versus his daughter.

As we see over the course of the episode, his daughter Luna wins out in the end. It's a turning point for Max's character progression, as he recognizes building a good long-term relationship with Luna needs to come before anything else. Though some fans have cited his past behavior as annoying and unrealistic, this newfound sense of grounding is possibly the best direction for sending Max on his merry way. At the same time, the unfinished ending between him and Elizabeth leaves room for a potential return, though the ending of their relationship shows a sense of growth and maturity.

Luna's future is revealed

Where most seasons of "New Amsterdam" follow a linear timeline in the present, the Season 5 finale decides to do things differently. Varying between the present and a not-so-distant future, the episode treats viewers to glimpses of an unknown woman, though her name never comes up in conversation. By the end of the episode, her link to the rest of the plot is revealed — the woman is Luna in the future, returning to the hospital to take over her dad's position. It's an ending that some fans didn't see coming, broadening out the "New Amsterdam" universe in a way that could lead to endless possibilities. In the spirit of fresh starts, it isn't too far-fetched to think this storyline could have the same impact "Private Practice" had on "Grey's Anatomy" by taking one particular character in an entirely new direction.

For the Season 5 finale, it's about bringing things back to where they begin. As Luna makes a heartfelt speech in the auditorium about Max, the script is reminiscent of his Season 1 speech citing his family and sister as the reasons he wanted to become medical director. Though Luna's relationship with her dad has been picked apart and criticized, the episode's closing moments are a beautiful way of making sure that despite the drama, family always comes first.

Is there hope for Sharpwin?

While Max strengthens his relationship with Luna, a lot is left hanging in the balance for Max's romantic life. While Elizabeth has been the apple of Max's eye for most of Season 5, the season finale of "New Amsterdam" brings their fledgling pairing to an abrupt end. Max admits his love for Elizabeth, but technically leaves the show as a single man. With that in mind, it's possible that his ex-flame Dr. Helen Sharpe could make a return in some form. In fact, she makes a cameo appearance in the final season, appearing on a background TV screen to represent the NHS' fight against cancer.

Because fans have shipped "Sharpwin" for most of the show's run, it would make sense for the couple to be revisited if "New Amsterdam" ever returns to our screens. While some have cited Helen's exit from a show as a good thing, others cling to what the relationship could mean and how it has progressed over time. If we consider how the end of "New Amsterdam" plays out, there's no reason to suggest that the Sharpwin relationship can't be repaired. Who's to say Max's new work won't lead him straight back to Helen?

Elizabeth is left in the lurch

Though the future appears to be sorted for Max, the same can't be said for Elizabeth. Now that she has turned down the opportunity to run her own hospital led by deaf doctors, all that's left for Elizabeth to do is get turned down by the man she has feelings for. Other than revealing a professional determination propelled by the childhood experience of being told she couldn't achieve what she wanted, nothing much happens for Elizabeth. Some fans think that the season finale was rushed, and there definitely could have been more room for Elizabeth's journey to flourish.

As such a successful woman, it's a shame that she's only considered worthy of screen time when she's involved with Max. While her solo future isn't particularly explored, the season finale does shed some light on her potential role in Max's life. Fan theories include the idea that Max can never truly stay away from the hospital, meaning his path is likely to cross with Elizabeth's again regardless of whether they get back together. Other viewers believe Elizabeth to be Luna's unofficial stepmother, meaning the family ties might be stronger than we think.

Romance is in Floyd's future

Where Max is arguably unlucky in love, the Season 5 finale of "New Amsterdam" proves that Floyd is anything but. It's a time of realization for him, both in his personal and professional lives. In his work, Floyd finally understands that his inspiration for doing what he does comes from a need to bring people together. This translates to his romantic life; he professes his love for his girlfriend Gabrielle in a bid to get her to stay in New York. To top it all off, Floyd manages to save one last patient before the closing credits — perhaps confirming that he is the better medic to stay at the hospital.

If some fans were concerned that Floyd was boring in previous seasons, the same can't be said for his ending. Having had to deal with his mother's illness alongside a breakup in Season 3, it feels fitting to round out Floyd's "New Amsterdam" journey with the love, hope, and happiness that he deserves. He's also set up to be the unrivaled lead medic of the hospital, having questioned Max's integrity on numerous occasions.

Iggy and Martin keep things quiet

Plenty of relationships have broken down over the course of "New Amsterdam," but perhaps none have been more painful than Iggy and Martin's. While a healthy number of fans adores the pairing, Iggy's narcissistic tendencies and predatory behavior have frequently caused contention. When it comes to Martin, some viewers believe that he could be doing a lot better, but the Season 5 finale shows the couple putting the work into healing their love. After they take each other out on a date to reconnect, they finally get remarried in a quiet, unassuming church.

Though some eagle-eyed viewers noticed a few small discrepancies, the scene goes some way to projecting what the future might look like for Iggy and Martin. Time is completely flexible throughout the episode, indicating that their marriage must have taken place sometime after, rather than immediately following, their date. The decision to reconnect the two also feeds into David Schulner and Peter Horton's bigger-picture positive thinking. "Hope is in and of itself a power, and that baton will continue to be passed and hope will continue," Horton told TV Line.

Vanessa and Lauren reconnect

Though Lauren has been a huge part of the "New Amsterdam" journey, she takes a back seat in the Season 5 finale. With her abortion storyline earlier in the series now covered, it could be said that the closing moments don't do Lauren's personal journey, or her dealings with Max, much justice. At least fans get to see her reuniting with her sister Vanessa while selling her apartment. With plans to renovate her own space, the finale could be interpreted as Lauren's clean break from the drug-addled past she's worked hard to move on from.

With the character of Vanessa only appearing in Season 5, the pair's relationship is telling of just how far Lauren has come. The final episode works to provide origin stories for everyone actively featured in "New Amsterdam," so the idea that Lauren can have a healthy relationship with a family member offsets the childhood trauma Iggy is first concerned with back in Season 1. Having suffered through rehab and a nasty ambulance crash, a slow and subtle end to Lauren's journey could be exactly the peace of mind that her character deserves.

The creator's kids were involved

Though family is at the heart of the Season 5 "New Amsterdam" finale on screen, behind the scenes is where that mode of thinking makes the most impact. The revelation that Luna is the mysterious adult that's been weaved into the storyline is a twist that viewers didn't see coming. In a way, the creators didn't expect it, either. Given that the links between father and daughter are so strong in this episode, it feels both satisfying and fitting to know that the final moments came from a fleeting conversation around the breakfast table.

Speaking to NBC Insider, David Schulner explains that his 11-year-old was the inspiration behind the change. "I was like, 'Okay, 11-year-old daughter. Leave the writing to me,'" he jokes. "'Eat your cereal.' And I totally blew it off. Then, a week later, Laura Valdivia, one of our writers, pitched me the same ending. And so I was like, 'Oh, okay, I'm 'gonna listen to you 'cause I pay you to come up with ideas.' And then a week later, [writer] Erika Green and I were sitting on set and she said, 'Call me crazy, but what if Luna came back as medical director in the finale?' So, just over three weeks something was in the air that was just pointing the arrow there."

Everyone has their full-circle moment

When it comes to the finale of a TV show, there are usually plenty of loose ends that need to be tied up. Luckily for fans of "New Amsterdam," the creators have worked hard to make an ending that's satisfying across the board. Max has his daughter and professional future set in his sights, Floyd is feeling the love, Iggy and Martin are back on track, and Luna is destined to follow in her dad's footsteps. All of these key characters finally get what they didn't know they needed in Season 1, making a definite goodbye much easier to swallow.

At the same time, there are enough instances of curious doubt to keep the hopes of fans alive. Speaking to EW, Peter Horton said leaving some element of mystery services a viewer's curiosity. "I had a writer explain to me one time that there's a difference between confusion and ambiguity," he recalled. "In storytelling you don't want confusion, but you want ambiguity. We wanted to leave it hanging there for the audience to participate in it. If we tell them what happens they don't get to imagine it and take whatever direction they want to take it in. We wanted to give them that freedom."

The final surgery reveals a familiar face

Long-time fans of "New Amsterdam" may have noticed that Dr. Helen Sharpe wasn't the only familiar face to have a cameo in the Season 5 finale. Though he was quietly phased out after his breakup with Helen in Season 3, Dr. Cassian Shin made for one last pleasant surprise, reappearing for the last operation on "New Amsterdam."

In the spirit of creating a satisfying ending, it's not too surprising that the creators chose to address an issue that viewers have wondered about — specifically, the whereabouts of Cassian and his actor, television staple Daniel Dae Kim. However, speaking to TV Line, David Schulner revealed that burning fan questions had nothing to do with Kim's return. "One of the reasons to do this medical story for the finale was because it gave us the opportunity to bring back all the characters we've loved over five years. So if you performed surgery at New Amsterdam, we did our best to get you into that finale, that final surgery."

Could there be a future New Amsterdam season or spin-off?

After its midseason hiatus during Season 4 and an official cancellation announcement in March 2022, there are currently no plans to bring back "New Amsterdam." However, with the Season 5 finale left the way it is, the possibility of a reboot or spin-off cannot be ruled out. It's not surprising that there are plenty of fans that would be invested in a "New Amsterdam" spin-off, yet some would prefer a relaunch to be focused on certain characters. With the Season 5 finale ending with a grown-up Luna ready to take center stage, maybe finding out what the hospital looks like under her guidance is the most likely way for the program to live on.

At the same time, Max's story could also be explored further. While his work with the World Health Organization remains fairly vague, there's plenty of medical drama likely to present itself in his new role. Similarly, Lauren's fresh start could be tied into that, alongside Elizabeth's career progression and Iggy and Martin's new life. Even Helen could be her own separate branch of the "New Amsterdam" universe, delving further into her work with the NHS.