The Blog Formerly Known as Rebel Prince

Cult TV, Gen Y rants, and endless opera.

Nurse Jackie: “Nosebleed”

Posted by therebelprince on August 4, 2009

The song pretty much remains the same this week, as Jackie gets one step closer to being caught out over one of her many lies.

I don’t really have a lot to say about this week’s episode. In short, Jackie takes over when Coop is distracted by his new girlfriend Melissa (Jill Flint), to the point where she fraudently commits one man as an organ donor, and then signs off under Coop’s name to confirm it. Meanwhile, she makes an attempt to commit more seriously to her children, even as Eddie asks her if they can move their relationship to more of a public sphere.

It’s an interesting and well-performed installment of Nurse Jackie, but to be honest we don’t really learn anything new. As has become commonplace, Jackie almost gets caught out again – this time when constant nosebleeds are ┬áchecked out by Dr. O’Hara – although there is a nice scene when O’Hara reveals she has used Jackie’s affair as an anecdotal example (to her sister in Paris), which causes a bit of a rift between the two.

And Mrs. Akalitus proves surprisingly watchable as she is forced to give up the baby she’s been caring for, when the young parents come back to claim him. Anna Deavere Smith is doing her best with the lacklustre material she’s been given so far, but Mrs. A remains the weakest link in this show.

So in lieu of this slow episode, I did promise last week to discuss Jackie’s “likeability”. I admit that I’m biased here: personally I prefer watching nuanced characters even if, ultimately, we decide we don’t like them. Jackie probably does have more negative aspects than positive ones, although I’d say her rough but dedicated treatment of patients is well-intentioned and often apt in this sometimes heartless environment – this week she battles a bitch of a mother (Brownen Booth) who actually thinks her children’s headlice is an emergency. It’s not that I think we should forgive Jackie her affair or her drug use but they’re aspects of a character – yes, a character on television, don’t forget – who, like so many great cable characters of the last 10 years, steps outside the rather simple black-and-white moral codes that exist far too often in our pop culture. The show isn’t asking us to love and praise Jackie herself, but I’m really enjoying tuning in to her life each week and after a couple of years of mediocre cable programming, it’s nice to be treated intelligently by my television again.

Diverse observations:

* I adore Merritt Wever more and more with each passing episode. And Ruby Jerins, as Jackie’s young daughter Grace, is just fantastic.

* Coop’s boyish attraction to Melissa is adorable, and I laughed at his line brushing off Jackie as “just a nurse”.

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