Max’s Helen & Wilder Choice In New Amsterdam Explained


  • Max’s decision to choose Elizabeth Wilder over Helen was based on his gut feeling and a desire for a brighter future.
  • Talking to Helen would have only brought back painful history and rekindled past hurts, so Max chose to move on.
  • Max’s romantic decision shows that he is ready to prioritize love and honesty in his life and move forward with his future.

During the final season of NBC’s New Amsterdam, Dr. Max Goodwin was forced to make a major romantic decision that actually made more sense than it originally seemed. New Amsterdam is a medical drama series that ran for five seasons and is based on the real stories of Dr. Eric Manheimer. The show stars Ryan Eggold as Dr. Max Goodwin, the chief medical director at New York’s oldest public hospital, as he attempts to improve patient care and medical practices with an optimistic and ambitious attitude.

In the third season of New Amsterdam, Max forms a romantic relationship with Dr. Helen Sharpe. New Amsterdam’s Max and Helen have an intense relationship that seems like a perfect fit for both of them. However, the pair move to London and when Max tries to instill his unique medical practices, he fails. Ultimately, Helen leaves Max at the altar. From there, Max finds new love in Dr. Elizabeth Wilder but must decide whether he wants to try and work things out with Helen or move forward with Wilder.


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Max Didn’t Need To Talk To Helen To Pick Wilder In New Amsterdam

He Had To Avoid The Hurt Of The Past

In season 5, episode 11 of New Amsterdam, Helen returns to New York and asks Max to meet up, which he avoids until Wilder convinces him that he should talk to Helen and make his choice between Helen or Wilder. Max is persuaded and goes to reunite with Helen but never even enters the building. After seeing Helen through the window, Max returns to Wilder and chooses her.

Max’s surety after his first glimpse of Helen shows that talking to her was unnecessary for him to know that he wanted to be with Wilder. Seeing Helen for the first time after she broke his heart made it clear that, despite what they had together, their time was up. No matter what either of them said to each other, their relationship could not be repaired; Helen hurt Max too much for them to continue. If Max had decided to talk to Helen, he only would have sucked himself back into the pain of the past, and knowing this, he decided to leave the situation and pursue Wilder instead.


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Why Max Choosing Elizabeth Wilder Made Sense

He Chose His Future

Dr. Elizabeth Wilder from New Amsterdam in her office, talking to someone.

Max choosing Wilder makes sense because it is the healthiest decision for him. By not entering the building, Max chooses his future over his past. Standing outside the window, he saw a path toward his painful history with Helen and a path toward a brighter future with Wilder. By choosing Wilder, he chose to move on. If Max had gotten answers from Helen, his decision to be with Wilder would not have been as romantic, because he shouldn’t really need answers. He knows that Helen doesn’t love him as much as Wilder could. Therefore, he makes the right decision by listening to his gut and choosing Wilder.

While the romantic decision Dr. Max Goodwin made in New Amsterdam may have seemed rash, it actually had a much more thoughtful origin. Rather than digging back into the past, Max decides to choose his future, and he proves to be happier for this decision. Though the end of the series shows Max leaving New Amsterdam for Geneva, his romantic decision shows that he’s ready to move with his life and prioritize love and honesty over everything else.

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