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Showtime’s Nurse Jackie is one of those shows that I forget exists until I’m reminded that it’s there, waiting for me to tune in on Sunday nights, only to be banished to DVR because, well, Sundays are busy. I know, crappy excuse. Maybe that shouldn’t be the case? Maybe Nurse Jackie deserves our undivided attention? I've been out of the Nurse Jackie loop for awhile, so I decided to dive back in and find the answer to that very question. Now that we’re just past the halfway point of Season 4, how are things looking for Jackie Peyton?
Tried and succeeded, actually. In the Season 4 premiere, Jackie found herself stuck with a dead body to dispose of after a friendly neighborhood crackhead offered to shoot up with her and promptly overdosed... in her living room. It was a team effort to get the poor slob off to the morgue without too much fuss, involving the combined efforts of a pregnant O’Hara and the bed-head-sporting duo of Lenny and Zoey.
That incident, coupled with Jackie's ongoing marital problems and an increasingly rocky relationship with her daughters, prompted our girl to finally give rehab a go. She bailed after two weeks, but returned to work with a surprising commitment to sobriety and a renewed dedication to her family and her job. Unfortunately, “I’m sorry I was a terrible person and I’ll never do drugs again” did little to endear Jackie to her estranged family, no matter how much she meant it.
Currently, Jackie is still sober, but it’s definitely not easy.
Jackie kicked Kevin to the curb when he admitted to cheating on her at the end of Season 3. Understandably, he wasn’t very quick to forgive Jackie when a remorseful Eddie decided to come clean about their own affair, even going as far as to lure Jackie to their favorite burger joint under the pretense of a friendly dinner, just to have his lawyer serve the divorce papers. That was cold, bro. Seriously.
The recently sobered Jackie, probably thinking clearly for the first time in years, had previously made efforts to mend fences with Kevin, particularly since he made it abundantly clear that he didn’t want her anywhere near their daughters once the full extent of her addiction was made clear. Jackie poured her sorrow into pie and reached out to Zoey with an invitation to move into her recently emptied house.
With Kevin currently stuck on his divorce setting, Jackie has focused much of her attention on her daughters, particularly Grumpy Grace, but they don’t seem to want much of a relationship with their mother either. Jackie has her work cut out for her there.
All Saints Hospital was bought by a massive medical corporation called Quantum Bay, unleashing a toolish physician named Mike Cruz on the nurses and forcing Akalitus out of the office and onto the floor if she wants to avoid being laid off. Akalitus’s struggle to be embraced by her former underlings, while still maintaining some semblance of superiority over them, has provided some of the best moments of the season so far, particularly when a run-in with some projectile vomit had her desperate for a change of scrubs and it was Zoey to the rescue.
All Saints has been reduced to a battlefield concerning staff relations, especially those between the new Quantum employees and those who remain of All Saints' quirky staff. After smuggling medicine to a lupus patient who didn't insurance, Jackie found herself reprimanded and her pay docked. Recently, those at the top instituted a dress code for those at the bottom and Zoey raged at the loss of her cute pink-bunny scrubs. I’m gonna miss them too.
As of Episode 6, Nurse Jackie’s fourth season is entertaining and surprisingly sweet—sweet in the Mickey Mouse pancakes kind of way, not in the “Dude, sweeeet” kind of way. I guess it can be both, though. We’ve watched Jackie self-destruct for three seasons, waiting for the other shoe to drop. Well, it's finally happened and now it’s time to watch our girl pick herself back up. It’s not nearly as much of a downer as it sounds like it should be.
Are you watching Nurse Jackie? What do you think of Season 4 so far?