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

Nurse Jackie, Season Finale Countdown…

In the past few episodes, we’ve seen Jackie lying to Dr. O’hara about Kevin’s acceptance of her generous offer to pay for Fiona’s education. What will Jackie spend the money on instead? Those bills in Jackie’s locker provide some clue…Drugs? Yup.

Eddie Walzer returning to All Saints’ Hospital? It does seem a bit too predictable and convenient, doesn’t it? I liked having him start his own business in the same neighborhood and dating the younger, prettier, Georgia while throwing it in Jackie’s face. I feel sorry for Georgia who’s unaware of the emotional crosscurrents and involvements between Eddie and Jackie.

We know that Kevin knows about Jackie accepting the money – and based on the trailers for next week’s show – he’s spoken with Dr. O’hara and knows that Jackie’s a drug addict. We also know that some handsome stranger came to the hospital looking for Jackie; presumably to thank her for saving his life, but somehow that seems far too simple and straightforward for this show…Here’s what we don’t know: Does he want his stash back? Will he threaten and/or help expose Jackie? How will Kevin handle all the lies and the drug addiction by the end of the finale? Will he move out and file for divorce, and take the kids with him?

This show, and particularly this season, has shown us just how wounded healers truly are. Although most of the dysfunction centers around and emanates from Jackie (little surprise as the titular character), there have been more than ample signs that all is not well in the lives of Dr. Eleanor O’hara, Dr. Cooper,  and Dr. Eddie Walzer. Grace Akalitus’ character has been softened up a bit this season, which makes me think we may see her tackle personal issues next season.

Interestingly enough, the more Jackie seems to fall apart, the closer she wants to be to her family. When are we going to learn more about her own family upbringing??? Come on, writers!

LaTimes– Critic’s Notebook assessment of Jackie Peyton as a drug addicted character.

All things Nurse Jackie

How do YOU think it will or should end??

Nurse Jackie-Season 2, Episode 7

Just when you thought the writing on this show couldn’t get any better, this episode dovetailed the infidelity of Dr. Eleanor O’hara’s current love interest, Sarah Khouri (played by fellow Brit Julia Ormond) with Jackie’s own feelings of guilt/uncertainty regarding her own affair with Eddie. It was great to watch Jackie sympathize with Sarah in the ladies room as she injected her with antitoxins to cure Sarah’s spider bite.  Jackie showed her loyalty to Dr. O’hara by simply stating “Hey, she’s my friend.”  when Sarah pointed out that Eleanor had affairs with boys “half her age.” Jackie also told Eleanor about the slightly steamy phone call she overheard Sarah having with a stranger.

An unstated assumption by Sarah is that it’s OK to cheat, especially if your lover is bisexual, places an interesting perspective on bisexuality and how it’s perceived and dealt with by others.  This subtle adding of layers from one episode to the next is what makes this and outstanding series.

The guilt of secrets seemed to be weighing slightly on Jackie’s mind when she spoke with Eddie on the phone and confessed that she didn’t know whether he was the love of her life or a pathological liar. I suspect it’s the latter quality which play a part in her attraction to him.  He’s a partner in crime and fellow manipulator/liar, and she gets the high of pulling one over on people’s eyes as well as the possibility of scoring drugs from him.

I had mixed feelings about Kevin’s take-down of Jackie. She had it coming, but the timing? It felt like a bit of a sucker punch after the cozy set up – he waited up for her, letting her think he had romance in mind initially. I’m sure it’s the only way he felt he could talk to her or get her attention, but it still felt like a sucker punch. I was glad she only went to a diner for comfort food instead of resorting to sex or drugs.

Zoey inched slightly closer towards a relationship with Lenny, and I’m very glad.

Dr. Cooper? Peter Facinelli is a better actor than some might think. How many actors can verbally attack an elderly woman one moment,  grab her breast the next, then try to save her life, and show moral angst in the ace of ghoulish office politics?  [Gloria Akalitus’s badgering those within earshot about Mrs. Sussman’s (Barbara Barrie, in a fabulous guest appearance) last wishes].

All this in 30 minutes!

Can’t wait until Jackie reacts to Eddie’s new girlfriend…

Summary 1

Summary 2

All things Nurse Jackie

Nurse Jackie – Meds, Beds, and Weird Heads

Ok. So Jackie slept with Eddie again. Anyone else see the insanity of action (given the notion that Jackie wants Eddie out of her life or at least out of her husband Kevin’s life)? It’s nice to hear her say that she was there because she liked him and not because he has drugs, but  why was she there at all unless the sex between was another kind of drug? It may be this in conjunction with the mere thrill of forbidden fruit; it seems that Jackie loves getting over on and outwitting others, so maybe this is yet another way to get her adrenaline running.

The importance of Eddie’s connection to Jackie’s drugs has been further undercut by the arrival of a bumbling pharmaceutical salesman. I’m sure Jackie will con this poor man out of an endless stream of feel-good medicine…

Kaitlin – this obnoxious little girl shouldn’t be allowed anywhere near Jackie’s children and I really don’t understand why she’s around. Can Grace really be that unpopular that she can only find tormentor who wants to abuse her and her sister Fiona to spend time together?

It’s good that Zoey isn’t pregnant since she didn’t want to be. It would be interesting to meet the guy she likes and/or his brother, which would add depth to her off-screen life and character. I’m still rooting for Lenny, the EMT guy to be her beau.  They’re a cute couple;)

Dr. O’hara is more interesting now that she’s a bisexual on top of being a blase dissolute sophisticate.  Julia Ormond adds oomph to any screen, and it will be intriguing to follow this story arc for the rest of the season.

Dr. Cooper needs another love interest. Or, maybe a crazed stalker who will make him rue the day he decided to have his picture plastered all over town…

Stay tuned, and stay in touch!

What do you think should happen next?

Nurse Jackie

This is another show I love – this season has our titular heroine besieged on all fronts. As a mother, she’s finally realizing that Grace does indeed have some psychological problem that needs to be addressed, and finally took the phone number of a good child psychiatrist from Mrs. Akalitus in the last episode.  The latest episode – “Candyland” – had her dealing with the inflated ego of Dr. Cooper, the suspicions of Zoe regarding her access code for the automated drug dispenser, and an oddly migrated set of testicles.

Some people feel that Eddie, Jackie’s lover from last season, should simply move on and get over their break-up. Others may feel that Jackie brought on Eddie’s stalker-like behavior. I’m of mixed opinion. I wish Eddie would find someone new for his own well being, but on the other hand, I think that since Jackie cheated on her husband and broke her lover’s heart, she has to face the consequences. Eddie now is a friend of Jackie’s husband, Kevin, and  in a position to make Jackie squirm. Let the dramatic guilt and deceit games begin anew!

Nurse Jackie link 1

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Nurse Jackie Summary 1

Nurse Jackie Summary 2