Nurse Jackie-Season 2 Finale

Last things first; since that seems the easiest way to try to sum up this episode and season. Kevin and Dr. Eleanor O’hara both know that Jackie’s been lying to them and using drugs. Jackie angrily denies these accusations and runs upstairs into the bathroom. She then stared into the mirror and fantasizes about being alone on a beach. Next, she says, “my name is Jackie and I’m an addict” with pained, bloodshot eyes. Finally, she says “blow me.” and laughs. In season one’s finale, viewers saw Jackie on the floor of a storage room after taking drugs, fantasizing about Kevin and her daughters laughing and united. In a way it reminds of the scene from the comedy Date Night, in which Phil (Steve Carrell) accuses Claire (Tina Fey) of fantasizing about being with other men. She calmly replies that her fantasies are her being alone in a hotel room sipping soda without having to worry about husband or children.(Any surprise she drove off and left Kevin walking in the street after he stormed out of the truck in fury?) Jackie’s childish flight to the bathroom underscored her desire to escape, with the “grown-ups”  Kevin & Dr. O’hara wanting her to own responsibility for her actions. This was followed by the current season, which had her struggling to hold her relationship with her children together while continuing to lie and use drugs. Could season three mean that she will struggle to hold herself together as she uses drugs, lies, and tries to wean herself away from them? Probably.

She will at least have to get her back examined to find out what’s really wrong with it…

As suspected, Mr. Bill Martin was searching for Jackie in order to reclaim his stash of drugs, which she’d taken from him two episodes prior. Seeing Jackie pinned against the wall as Bill threatened her, Thor intervened by tackling him to the ground and knocking him out. Will that be the last of him? Maybe, maybe not. It seems too quick and easy a solution on a show that loves to pile on the problems…

The audience finally learned why Dr. O’hara always seemed to be around whenever Jackie was working – Dr. O’hara checked the nurse’s schedule and aligned her schedule with Jackie’s. This,of course, begs the question of whether or not Dr. Cooper does the same thing. It would also be interesting to see a third or fourth doctor next season. On the administrative side, isn’t there anyone else in charge of that hospital besides Grace Akalitus? Doesn’t she have a  boss?

One of the good things about this finale is that almost all of Jackie’s lies are exposed – except for her affair with Eddie (a season 3 bombshell?). Another was to see Jackie’s nurturing side come out when Sam came to work too drunk to stand. (Is it only when someone needs help desperately that she’s kind to them? How much of herself did she see in Sam’s behavior?). The bad – what are all those bills from? (She’s been drugging for years,  had free access to drugs while Eddie was there and even when the Pill-O-Matix was installed, and she now has Bill’s $12,000 stash so how did she rack up so many drug bills so quickly? It looked like several months worth.) There’s been relatively little shown of Jackie actually consuming the drugs in each episode. If the writers want to depict drug addiction, let the audience know just how many drugs she’s taking, and which ones, and where she might be hiding them.

Getting back to generational patterns with respect to Jackie’s behavior, Fiona and Grace are respectively like Kevin and Jackie in some key respects. Fiona is easy-going and upbeat like Kevin, and Grace is anxious, and secretive like Jackie. (I don’t think it was an accident that both Jackie and Grace retreated to the bathroom in various episodes to indulge in self-destructive behavior). Did Jackie push her mother away just like Grace has attempted to do to Jackie? If alive, what grandmother wouldn’t want to see such precious little girls?  It would deepen the audience’s understanding of the characters, and make the show more interesting, not to mention realistic, if the writers were to expand Jackie’s universe a bit by bringing in her parents, siblings, childhood friends, and so on. It doesn’t make sense to introduce us to Kevin’s old girlfriend, and consistently mention that his sister is with Fiona and Grace, when Kevin has half Jackie’s screen time.

Other characters got a chance to shine this season. This season has seen Zooey develop a bit more self-confidence and maturity and a relationship with EMT worker Lenny.  It has also shown us a very socially inept Dr. Fitch Cooper, whose behavior raises questions about his upbringing. He reacted very strongly to the notion that a man could ever hit a woman under any circumstances, which begs the question of what prompted this response. We know that he was raised by two lesbian mothers, but we don’t know what else he witnessed in childhood. Is there some reason he thinks he should tell the full unvarnished truth at inappropriate moments? Getting punched in the nose twice should  give him pause for thought, yes, be we have to wonder what’s behind some of his off-center behavior…Finally, Dr. O’hara’s bisexuality was revealed and her affairs with Sam and Sarah ended nearly as abruptly as they began.  We still don’t know where her wealth comes from or why she has so many relationship troubles, but hopefully, more will be revealed in season 3.

Linda Wallem & Liz Brixius discuss the finale:

Summary 1

Summary 2

Summary 3

A Nurse’s Assessment of the Show

2 thoughts on “Nurse Jackie-Season 2 Finale

  1. mediatzar says:

    You wrote a real finale review – not just a little one like I did! Great job! Not sure what I think will happen because they could take it in so many directions. It will be interesting to see O’Hara and Kevin on one side and Jackie on the other. Eddie is going to be pulled in two different directions because I think he views Kevin as a friend now. And he is the final secret but more devastating than Jackie’s drug use for her family. For Jackie to walk away from her family would be a good twist – or for her to figure out ways to stay a drug addict without being caught again. This is one of my favorite shows because it is so character driven and she is so complex. I just don’t want to see her try to get clean because I think it would be too trite. Much better if she is going to NA pretending to try to get clean but still doing drugs and coming up with ways to beat the drug tests that Kevin and/or O’Hara insist she take. Maybe she’ll start dealing to get her fix although I think that would be predictable. The lengths she will go to get out of trouble with the drug dealer will be picked up next season, I think, which could bring in some different characters. O’Hara also has some depth to her. Of all of them, I think Kevin is the most one-dimensional. Exploring who he is and discovering he is different than we think would also make for a good storyline. Dr. Cooper is interesting but I don’t find him much more dimensional than Kevin except for the fact we have more information about him. Akalitus could be wonderful if she could get some better storylines and I think she may be more involved with the characters next season and not just running the department. I like your parallels between Jackie/Kevin and their children and think the fact that Jackie can’t see those parallels fascinating. It should be a great season.

  2. dekeboo says:

    What do I think will happen in season 3? Or What would I like to happen in season 3?

    I am sure in season one that Jackie says how many years she has worked at the hospital and I thought she said 15 years. I might have to watch the episodes again. But the question that I have is how Jackie managed to work on the same ward in the same hospital for 15 years and only O’hara knew that she was married with children. How did she keep that a secret? How did she hide the pregnancies? or was she working somewhere else during those times? and if so where? and maybe someone from her previous job could start working at the hospital.

    I also want to know when she started taking drugs heavily – how many years has she been taking them and everything has been carrying on relatively normal. Did it increase when she began her affair with Eddie and had easier access to the drugs? or was she already using heavily at that point. I also want to know why she started the affair with Eddie when she has Kevin at home – she did make reference in the finale to how she felt that she wasnt really a part of their lives because of her job (when she was trying to explain why she took O’haras money) but is this the only reason?

    I am also interested to know if Season 3 will start at the same point that Season 2 ended or there will be some passage of time.

    Those are the things that I would like answered in Season 3. I really dont know what will happen and I could easily speculate on this. I wont though as I think you have covered most things along with mediatzar too. I do wonder though if I am the only one who thinks that Nurse Jackie is an extremely selfish person.

    Here’s to Season 3!

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