Why did Dr. Kapoor leave New Amderstan in dramatic new episode?

Dr Kapoor New Amsterdam
Actor Anupam Kher starred as Dr. Vijay Kapoor on the hit NBC drama New Amsterdam. Pic credit: NBC

Why did Dr. Kapoor leave New Amsterdam? That’s the question plaguing fans after a very dramatic episode of the show on Tuesday night. And it wasn’t necessarily dramatic due to what we saw on the screen, but rather due to what the characters were relaying about the future of Dr. Vijay Kapoor.

The last episode was supposed to provide an impact, with Dr. Max Goodwin chasing the Chair of the Board of Directors at New Amsterdam Medical Center, Karen Brantley, through the hospital to get money for a new project. Max wanted to deal with systemic racism head-on, and he concluded that they needed a Chief Equity Officer. To his surprise, Karen let him know they already had one. 

On Tuesday night, the show went in a different direction, starting out with Iggy Frome (played by Tyler Labine) dealing with some drama in his personal life. That would shortly segue into a welcome back party for Dr. Vijay Kapoor being hosted by Iggy.

The party itself was a way to re-introduce a lot of backstory to New Amsterdam fans by having Iggy tell partygoers all the reasons why it was fine that Dr. Kapoor was late to his own party.

“Wait. Wait you guys, have you forgotten that he almost died? He had COVID, he had open-heart surgery, and he battled through a hellish rebab. Now, today, our friend is coming back here and I want to celebrate him for 10 minutes,” Iggy said to some partygoers who wanted to duck out to get back to work.

It was only later that we started to realize that something was seriously wrong with the story that the writers at New Amsterdam were presenting in the new episode called The Legend of Howie Cournemeyer.

Why did Dr. Kapoor leave New Amsterdam?

The episode started to feel like one where we were going to learn that Dr. Kapoor had died in some fashion and that this was why he wasn’t able to show up at his own party. There had been rumors about that possibly taking place on New Amsterdam Season 3, but the good news is that the writers didn’t kill off the character (yet). It was left much murkier than that within the storylines.

Iggy was the last one waiting for the party to begin when Dr. Agnes Kao walked in to let Iggy know that she just got an e-mail and that he wasn’t coming. Dr. Kapoor sent that e-mail to the entire neurology department to announce his resignation.

“He’s not coming back,” Agnes said out loud to a shocked Iggy. “Ever.”

Most of the rest of the episode saw Iggy leaving increasingly frustrated voicemails for Dr. Kapoor about not receiving a call directly from him and simultaneously trying to rationalize why the doctor would want to leave.

Eventually, Iggy got through to Ella, who shared a lot of pertinent information.

It turned out that after his health scare, Dr. Kapoor was told by his doctor that due to the strain on his body, he would never be able to return to work. Though he fought back against the diagnosis, Dr. Kapoor had slowly started to realize his career might be over. Ella told Iggy that he had started refusing to talk to anyone and had gone into a shell.

So now what? The door was left wide open here for actor Anupam Kher to return at some point and resume playing Dr. Vijay Kapoor, but, for now, the character has left New Amsterdam, presumably for good.

What may be very disappointing to viewers is that Kher wasn’t even a part of what might be the character’s final episode of New Amsterdam. We really hope it’s not the end of this character.

Another new episode of New Amsterdam next week

Viewers who want to find out what is going to happen next on the show won’t have to wait too long.

The medical drama is back for a new episode on Tuesday, April 20, called Catch. This new episode serves as New Amsterdam Season 3, Episode 8, and it is going to involve Max examining the inequities in child labor for women of color. Dr. Agnew Kao is also going to have to deal with a gut-wrenching diagnosis.

New Amsterdam airs Tuesdays at 10/9c on NBC.

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