Nurse Jackie Review: Down with "Disneyland"
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:
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.