‘Nurse Jackie’ – ‘Years of Service’: Right back where we started from?

Senior Television Writer
06.07.10 25 Comments


I haven’t written about “Nurse Jackie” since the start of season two, but I’ve kept watching, and I’ll have a few thoughts on the season coming up after the jump…

In many ways, the second season improved on the first. The writers, having recognized the comic brilliance of Meritt Wever, leaned on her even more, while simultaneously showing us a Zoey who was growing up as both a woman (the pregnancy scare) and a nurse (taking on more responsibility as Jackie began to falter). The writers also got more of a comic handle on Coop, and Peter Facinelli ran with the many stories he was given, and Akalitus was toned down just enough to seem human while still retaining her basic function within the series.

But as we came to the climax of the season and Jackie’s world closed in on all sides, all I could think was, “Haven’t we done this already? And then wimped out?”

Essentially, the start of season two and the decision to wave away any consequences from the season one cliffhanger left a bad taste in my mouth that lingered all spring, and that made me not terribly invested in any of Jackie’s problems in these final episodes. I’m not worried about the drug dealer she ripped off, nor about O’Hara and Kevin learning about her painkiller problem, nor what trouble Eddie might cause now that he’s back at All Saints (though for now his intentions seem peaceful), nor anything else, because I get the sense that Liz Brixius and Linda Wallem, like the anti-heroine they created, don’t really want to address any of these problems head-on.

Now, I recognize that season two did deal with Eddie’s discovery of Jackie’s family, and also that the circumstances this year are a bit different. Kevin, after all, can’t be as easily ignored as Eddie was, nor can O’Hara. But until and unless the show comes back at the start of season three with some significant changes to Jackie’s life as a result of this, I’m going to keep viewing “Nurse Jackie” the way I did this season: as an often-amusing diversion and good acting showcase for Edie Falco that loves to spin plates without ever thinking about what will happen when they fall.

What did everybody else think?

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