Promotional material for the New Amsterdam Season 3 finale teased big things for Sharpwin. Did it deliver, or will viewers have to wait even longer?
Two of the most important doctors at New Amsterdam, Max Goodwin and Helen Sharpe, have had tension since the very beginning. Even when Max was married to someone else, there was that special kind of chemistry sizzling between stars Ryan Eggold and Freema Agyeman that just couldn’t be ignored.
When Max’s wife died, that started to slowly crack the door open for fans to at least feel slightly less guilty about seeing the obvious connection between Helen and him. But there was still a long, uncertain road travel, which even included that really awkward moment when Max actually walked in on Helen kissing Cassian.
Thankfully, that relationship didn’t last as long as it seemed like it might. But even an endgame relationship can take a long time: See also: Suits‘ Darvey not hooking up until the end of Season 8, 22 seasons (and counting) of waiting for EO on Law & Order: SVU, and whatever “platonic” nonsense happened on The X-Files.
What happened with Sharpwin in New Amsterdam Season 3, Episode 14
After all those romantic voicemails piled up in the finale’s promotional materials, Sharpwin seemed like a sure bet. At last.
But nothing is ever easy. Helen’s mother suddenly took ill, leaving her on a completely different continent from Max for most of the hour. Meanwhile, he was busy running around, searching for his “lost” (totally ditched on purpose, whether subconsciously or not) wedding ring.
Just when it seemed like Sharpwin would not only not get together in the finale, but they also wouldn’t even be seen together, two doctors nearly collided in a hallway. And they gazed at each other with the goofiest grins on the planet…only for Max to ruin it all by talking about how he’d spent his day.
It was obvious that Helen was not only disappointed, but probably just slightly heartbroken (same). It was another one of those performances from Freema Agyeman that’s pretty clear evidence of why we don’t deserve her: The way Helen’s face just fell, how she retreated into herself and kind of holding herself back for the rest of her conversation with Max, was really beautiful to watch.
It was the kind of end to a season finale that absolutely, completely strung viewers along in the few precious remaining moments in the right way. Sharpwin was totally going to happen, or maybe not, oh definitely, wait…not…Wait! YES.
After a walk back to Helen’s place, where Max attempted to say goodnight and leave but kind of…couldn’t, he and Dr. Sharpe shared another one of those “moments.” He said goodnight to her a second time, then lingered while she grinned at his obvious stupidity, before he actually left.
When Max finally did walk away, he didn’t get very far: He made the decision to move on, to walk away from his past and put aside symbols of a love that had ended. The vows say “til death do us part,” after all, so there was no reason for him to keep carrying around his guilt over falling for someone else. He didn’t need a symbol of his old relationship, when his true other half was waiting right down the block.
Sharpwin has always been a pairing that relied on the quiet moments, the glances, the “us” on a rooftop. So, it was only fitting that, before they could become New Amsterdam‘s power couple, Max needed his own, solo, quiet moment with removing his ring and making up his mind to embrace the rest of his life. (Sir, please give this dude a call and teach him your ways.)
And so, in a moment reminiscent of one Harvey Specter suddenly having an epiphany and rushing off to Donna Paulsen’s doorstep before it was too late, Dr. Max Goodwin put those long legs to work and ran back to Dr. Sharpe’s. But it wasn’t about the world’s hottest hookup for these two—here’s hoping that comes later. It was about peace, acceptance, and pure romance.
The pause, where Goodwin and Sharpe just stared at each other and breathed each other in before finally taking that one last step toward each other, was perhaps the most beautiful interaction Eggold and Agyeman have given us as Sharpwin all year. That’s saying quite a lot, but it’s both true and not actually saying enough.
In dance, we always say the connecting steps—the transitions—are just as important as, if not more important than, the flashier ones. Sharpwin is, and has always been, proof that a TV relationship is created in those transitional moments. They are the breath before the kiss, the glance that asks the question of “do you feel this thing, too,” and the slightest bit of hesitation before walking away.
These moments for Max and Helen, much like every forehead kiss for Mulder and Scully or cup of coffee for Castle and Beckett, are what drew viewers to them.
And they’re the building blocks that finally put it all together, that made Goodwin realize it was finally time to see just how much better his life could be with Sharpe in it, “in all the ways that matter.”
Sometimes, at the end of the day, it’s the person that’s been there by your side, even in your worst moments, who makes the whole world fall away. How fitting, then, is it that closing the door on New Amsterdam Season 3 meant finally opening up that door for Sharpwin to just be?
Did you love Max and Helen’s big moment in the New Amsterdam Season 3 finale? What do you want to see in Season 4? Let us know!