Nurse Jackie Review: Down with "Disneyland"

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Initially, my favorite aspect of "Disneyland Sucks" was that it looked like we'd be speeding through Jackie Peyton's time in rehab.

Day 1... Day 2... Day 6. Yes, I'm the same person who wrote that the Nurse Jackie season premiere was a welcome episode because it introduced a great deal of change into what had become a stale universe, and I feel the same way now.

But I'm not sure how much we need to actually see of Jackie going through the steps. Most of this installment played out like a familiar refrain, akin to many other shows (i.e. House) that have placed its lead into treatment:

Jackie in Rehab

Patient is reluctant. Patient clashes with rehab advisor. Patient forms a bond with a fellow member. Patient comes close to getting kicked out, only to eventually realize that maybe he or she really can be saved. And, moreover, really wants to be saved.

None of that felt especially fresh here, until we got to the guilt over Grace. Now we're on to something!

Jackie really never seemed like the best mother. Drug problem aside, the girls were simply closer to Kevin, who could get down to their level and speak to them as both a parent and a friend. Jackie always came across as exasperated by her kids, resentful of them even.

So it makes sense that perhaps she was simply never meant to be a mother. Not all women are cut out for it, but I can only imagine the jarring realization this could induce in a woman after she has a baby. It could be enough to make her turn to drugs one day... and then the next... and then the next day after that.

Is Jackie here entirely because of her daughters? Maybe not. (Was she ever really happy in her marriage, either? Eddie would say no.) But this was at least very refreshing insight into an otherwise filler episode, one that had to be aired in order to show us that Jackie actually attended rehab, but one that will really only serve as a buffer to her returning to the hospital in the near future I presume.

Nothing else really clicked, either, starting with the bizarre guest-starring appearance of New York Knicks star Carmelo Anthony. He played the recovering athlete in rehab and, for this sports nut at least, was nothing but a distraction from what should have been a serious storyline.

Back at the hospital, meanwhile, it was a shame to see everyone so reliant on Jackie. We'd get snippets of life at All Saints, only to cut back to Jackie at the treatment center. I'd like to think that Zoey, O'Hara and company are established well enough at this point where we could see them presiding over a patient or interacting in some way without it always coming back to their missing co-worker.

I am digging Dr. Cruz, however. He's hard to figure out, seemingly all business, but with a good heart, perhaps? Or maybe he just wanted O'Hara to have the bigger office for reasons that sounded benevolent - closer to the ER, with a couch - but which he really knew would result in a more efficient hospital. He's sort of an evil genius.

And he told Coop to shave. So he gets major points from me in that regard.


Editor Rating: 3.6 / 5.0
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User Rating:

Rating: 4.1 / 5.0 (7 Votes)

Matt Richenthal is the Editor in Chief of TV Fanatic. Follow him on Twitter and on Google+.

C f ohara

Moving on from my previous comment let me now focus on the good because there was plenty. Jackie's klepto roomate Doris's repeated attempts to read aloud her Fuk-U letter and Laura the counselor's threat to go upstairs and throw it off the roof. I didn't mind Carmelo's cameo. I thought the story about him intentionally taking a fast ball to his hand to get a year of dope was interesting and I'm guessing has been done on some level of athletics. I also loved the image of his character driving a Ferrari into a wall to see if it had airbags. There's no doubt Mike Cruz is a DB but I do think his giving O'Hara the bigger office was because he has a little thing for her. I see sparks flying there, anyone else? I lol'd when Akalitus screamed "we're having a baby!" Things of more substance i enjoyed were the back and forths Jackie had with Laura. You come from a fukked up place... I come from Queens. She had Jackie pegged but was caring and genuine when she told her that pills kill the pain but she did not get sick all by herself. Jackie is good at her job but sucks at life...that pretty much sums it up. Jackie showed just how good she is when she helped Doris, but for once she actually felt good after. She did her job so to speak without self-medicating and while the pain was dulled down neither was the elation and Jackie really seemed to enjoy that. I don't think the staff showed reliance on Jackie I just think they were showing how much she was missed and how they all seek to impress her, like when Coop tricked the smothering BF into getting kicked. Zoey has come a long way in her abilities and Thor is the ever dependable gentle giant.

C f ohara

Matt I too was critical of the rehab scenes but for much different reasons. For a show that is so accurate in many ways when it comes to opiate abusers I thought the scenes of Jackie tossing in bed were wasteful. If they wanted to show Jackie struggling in detox, they should have shown what it is really like. Her counselor noted last episode that it was "hell" from what she had seen. Jackie showed more real signs of dope sickness back in "What the Day Brings" in season 2 when she lost her pills while on the family road trip. Jackie later admitted her bra was pooling up with sweat and to being nauseous. Those comments were more accurate than her in a bed which showed no signs of sweat. The thing I hate most about this show is that it is ONLY a half hour. That's why I chose to harp on this point. With such little time each week to give us our "fix" I just felt like they wasted what could have been better used minutes.

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Nurse Jackie Season 4 Episode 2 Quotes

Quantum Bay? More like Quantanamo Bay.


Helipad? Hella yes!