This episode’s main focus is Jinny’s drug habit and how it is officially getting out of hand. The opening scene involves her literally taking the OxyContin from a man on the street who she had seen just purchase it from someone else. From this moment on, it’s evident that Jinny’s problem has officially escalated into something more and is about to get worse. After returning from her “score”, she arrives home to find that her father and younger brother are there with her husband, Jack. Her father informs her that her brother, who is also a cop, was shot after stopping someone for expired plates. This revelation quickly sends Jinny further in her descent. John Jr.’s death causes her to have memories of her childhood, which she has not thought about in years. Soon Jack notices that Jinny is on something and decides to confront her about it, she swears there is nothing going on but soon after tearing their apartment apart, Jack finds the OxyContin she has hidden. Eventually, it comes to the point where Jinny cannot cope anymore and the final scenes of her storyline involve her remembering how she found her mother dead in the bathroom after she shot and killed herself and she plans on doing the same thing. That is until her brother Casey calls because he feels that something just is not right and he tells her he is coming over.
This, by far has to the best acting I have ever seen done by Nancy McKeon. One would honestly believe that she could easily have been addicted to OxyContin by the way she acted in the scene where Jack puts all her medication he found in the garbage disposal. The dispair on her face would definitely stick with anyone who watched it. However, the best part of the entire episode for her character involved the ending where she is sitting alone in her kitchen, taking medication and drinking and she decides that she is going to kill herself. Once she put the gun in her mouth, I found myself saying out loud to myself “No, no don’t do it!” I almost felt like crying because it moved me so much. I do believe if this show had aired on a major broadcast network, or even HBO or Showtime, she could have easily gotten a nomination with this episode. Also, I cannot forget Alex Rocco and his beautiful, yet moving performance as John Exstead Sr. The scenes where he told Jinny how his son had died where enough to make even the hardest of hearts have tears in their eyes.
Another storyline involved Magda still continuing her affair with Jonah. However, even though she swears she wants to end it, she continues it and even goes to meet Jonah at a hotel. She says she doesn’t want to go through it and returns home where Gabe soon arrives, who still doesn’t expect a thing. She feels so bad about what she wanted to do with Jonah, that she has sex with Gabe. Eventually, Magda realizes that life is short, especially after learning of John Jr.’s death, so she goes to visit Jonah and continues the affair.
I enjoyed this plot, but found one part of it kind of funny in a way. It was the way that the producers were trying to hide the fact that Lisa Vidal was pregnant during the episode. I mean it was pretty evident because they kept making her hold items in front of her (files, a pashmena for starters). However, this little quibble didn’t interfere with the storyline as once again Lisa’s character of Magda began to take charge of her life. We also realized just how much Gabe being gone so much promoting his record was getting to her, for her to go through with what she knew was wrong.
The final subplot involved C.D. and Nate investigating why a patient broke into her psychotherapist’s office. It’s quickly revealed that the woman is suffering from Multiple Personality Disorder, so the team does not know whether to believe her or not when she says that the doctor sexually assaulted her. The woman eventually produces panties with DNA evidence proving the doctor did have sex with her, but because of her MPD the ADA decides not to prosecute the doctor.
Out of the entire episode, this was the one part I did not really enjoy. I assume it was written so that the other characters could have a storyline and to “lighten” up the episode a bit, but it was not anything we haven’t really seen before on any cop show. Kathleen Wilhoite did a great job portraying Christine, the woman with the multiple personalities, however. She effectively showed the difference between all 3 of the women we saw and you could tell which one she was just by her voice, which revealed she totally understood the character.
The saddest part of the episode was knowing that in the end, the reason why they had to kill of John Jr. Exstead’s character. The reason being was that the man who portrayed him, Scott Plank, died in a road accident.
All in all, I would have actually have been happy if this entire episode just focused on Jinny and how she and the rest of her family reacted to John Jr.’s death., however the other storylines did not take away from the fact that this was one of the best episodes of the series. It certainly was one of the best for Nancy McKeon. Frankly, she was robbed of at least an Emmy nomination for this season of the show. Deborah Joy LeVine did a spectacular job crafting this episode and Aaron Lipstadt’s direction was a sheer delight. Possibly one of the best episodes on television, I have seen in quite a long time.
Final Grade: A+