Jackie is just defiant. Don't get in her way. She's just going to do what she's going to do. - Producer Liz Brixius on the opening scene in the third season premiere, "Game On."
There's no doubt that Jackie Peyton is a defiant woman. She's also stubborn, manipulative and a very impressive liar. All of these traits make for an interesting character, played brilliantly by Edie Falco, but they also make for a series that hasn't evolved much in two seasons and one episode.
Such was my reaction after watching the third season premiere. Within minutes, Jackie had stormed out of the house, laid guilt upon Kevin for his stance on his daughter's tuition and returned to the hospital, more or less back to her regular life of using and lying.
Yes, her husband is closer to the truth than ever before. So is her supervisor.But does anyone expect Jackie to visit rehab any time soon? To put an end to her addiction, no matter what the final scene teased? She may need to get more creative with her cover-ups, but Brixius says it best above:
Jackie is going to do what Jackie is going to do. Doesn't leave much room for character growth, which makes the show feel like its treading water at times.
Fortunately, Merritt Wever and Peter Facinelli are around to bring the funny. They are legitimately, laugh-out-loud hilarious as Zoey and Coop, respectively, from the former sharing way too much about her sex life to the latter begging his co-workers to comment on their expensive shoes.
It can be easy to forget that Nurse Jackie is considered a comedy - that's the Emmy category into which Falco is entered every year - unless these two are on screen.
There does seem to be a serious schism in Jackie's relationship with O'Hara, at least, with the doctor telling her pal that she "broke her heart." We've seen a lot more of these two together than we have of Jackie and Kevin, causing me to be more invested in their interactions and intrigued by a season that might not involve daily lunch dates as a duo.
That, Falco's work and everything about Zoey are enough to keep me around each week. I just don't tune at this point expecting to see anyone other than the Jackie Peyton we met on the season premiere.