Tuesday, June 08, 2010

Nurse Jackie Season Finale

Nurse Jackie ends its season two with two little words: Blow me. Season One was all about creating Jackie's world, setting up the Lego pieces that would tumble in the next round. I love Jackie, a pill-popping angel of mercy with all too real sins of hubris, stealing, and who traffics in betrayals, large and small. Played by Edie Falco, this is no Carmella Soprano, the role she played to perfection for almost a decade. Hair cut short, eyes lined, vanity disregarded, she plays an adult woman who looks likes she's in her forties. God, what a relief to see an actress who can move her face! And doesn't have to look Barbie doll perfect for men to desire her. And desire and its attendant evils provide all sorts of genius complications for our Robin Hood-like nurse. She's very good at helping those in great need, but her morality day to day is what may generously be called situational. Like William Hurt said in Broadcast News about his own moral line -- "That sucker just keeps moving."

By season two, Jackie's addiction is stronger, her situation uglier. She's physically addicted to opiates, a big change from the first season in which she uses them for emotional escape. She's stooping lower to get her fixes, making worse decisions which result in her world getting more and more claustrophobic. The shape of addiction in this series is like the walls that closed in on some of the women convicted of witchcraft in Salem, a type of death that fascinated me as a child. Jackie can push the walls back at times, but they are still moving toward her. Worse yet, she's still functional and nowhere near the bottom of her run. Despite the intervention of her only real friend and her husband, she's unwilling to accept a vision of herself as an addict. We leave this season with Jackie locked in the bathroom, escaping the mini-intervention, trying to picture herself saying those words familiar to all those who eventually surrender and laughing at that image. I've often thought that God's not-so-subtle way of telling us that we need to change our lives is through symbolism. If you're engaged in an activity that involves copious amounts of time in bathrooms or by dumpsters (my friend A's theory that every illicit affair eventually includes having sex by a dumpster), you probably shouldn't be doing it. Nurse Jackie is all about the enclosed spaces of the heart; the people you meet there, the loneliness of all involved, and the metaphorical (and in the case of Jackie and Thor trying to keep Sam awake after his relapse, literal) tap dancing involved in keeping it all going for as long as possible, not realizing you can open the door and step out into the sun.

Michelle's Spell of the Day
Favorite lines from last night -- Dr. O'Hara
"Don't tell me you've been reduced to prayer."
"Let's go repent. It might be fun."

Zoey --
"I hope so." Upon Lenny asking if the watch gift was for years of service

Eddie --
"Anyone who knows you knows they don't know you."

Cocktail Hour
Single suggestion: "Not Afraid" Eminem

Bendictions and Maledictions
Happy Tuesday!


Charles Gramlich said...

I haven't watched this. I didn't even know exactly what kind of show it was, but this makes it sound interesting. I've heard other folks say good things about it. I'm still missing Nip/Tuck.

Laura Benedict said...

I watched Season 1 and it was just too much for me. You're a brave chick to take that trip with her.

I feel exactly the same way about "Breaking Bad." Too painful. xo