‘Nurse Jackie’ Finale Pulls Plug on Showtime Series (SPOILERS)

Nurse Jackie Series Finale Review SPOILERS

Nurse Jackie” has always been something of an odd duck in scrubs – a half-hour series classified as a comedy due to length, not content. When Edie Falco won an Emmy for the show in 2010, she protested from the stage that the award was “ridiculous,” adding, “I’m not funny.”

Beyond being a sensational actress, Falco has a future if she ever wants it as a TV critic, which is not to say that her Showtime series lacked merit over its seven-year run, culminating in Sunday night’s somewhat rushed and mostly unsatisfying finale. Yet oddly, even the episode’s shortcomings somehow felt right for the show, or at least appropriate in light of its tormented central character.

Once again, those seeking definitive closure from a series sendoff (and SPOILER ALERT if you haven’t watched) will likely have to deal with a bit of a letdown. That said, the title character has always been defined by her contradictions – a caring and principled presence at All Saints Hospital, but a self-destructive train wreck in her complicated personal life. So with the opportunity to make a fresh start, Jackie fell victim to old excesses, overdosing at the party commemorating the hospital’s closure, as she prepared to move on to a new job and to formalize her relationship with her one-time lover turned fiancé Eddie (Paul Schulze).

The strange merry-go-round that has been Jackie’s life was perfectly summed up via the song that played over the climactic sequence, the theme from “Valley of the Dolls,” which asks the musical questions, “Is this a dream? Am I here?”

The finale indulged in one moment of nostalgia, bringing back Eve Best’s Dr. O’Hara to scold Jackie for her screwed up life and continuing addiction. There was also a lovely exchange between Jackie and Zoey (Merritt Wever), with the young nurse calmly pleading with her former mentor to be allowed “to move on.”

Despite the final season’s extended arc about All Saints being shut down and the uncertainty that hovered over Jackie’s career and Eddie’s future, the series appeared to be running on fumes, having exhausted most of the available angles involving its main character. And while viewers will doubtless take away different perceptions of the finishing sequence, the prevailing one is that Jackie’s life will go on in much the same messed up fashion it always has; only from here on, the TV audience just won’t be there to witness her lapses.

“Being a nurse is who I am,” Jackie tells O’Hara, sounding oblivious to the mix of ingredients – many of them toxic – that have actually gone into defining her.

“Nurse Jackie,” the series, is equally hard to pin down, and has at times felt just as confounding and frustrating. It’s easy to admire aspects of the show — the most obvious being Falco — and the unsentimental (and yes, unsettled) nature of the conclusion dovetailed with the program’s melancholy tone. Happily ever after would have been as wrong, given all that’s transpired, as having Jackie, or anyone else, go down in a hail of bullets.

Ultimately, the finale merely reinforced a sense that it was time, in TV terms, to pull the plug, signing out a program that has been – virtually throughout its run, and certainly these last few years – more of a diversion than a genuine pay-TV addiction.

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  1. Laura James says:

    I loved the show!! You never knew what was going to happen! It was great! I watched all of the seasons and all of the characters especially Edie Falco! Brilliant!

  2. Laura James says:

    I loved the show!! You never knew what was going to happen! It was great! I watched all of the seasons and all of the characters especially Edie Falco! Brilliant!

  3. leninacrown says:

    I beg to differ. I’ve been a nurse for 23 years and I’ve never seen a TV show portray the environment and reality of nursing (in America, that is) as excruciatingly accurate as this does. The 12 step program should be taught in nursing school and medical school, instead of waiting until after the inevitable burn out(s) occur. It was funny, but not so funny, which is exactly what nursing is like. Thank you Edie Falco for doing such a great job of showing people the truth about nurses – we’re saints with crooked halos just trying to survive in a messed up system.

  4. Anonymous says:

    Just got through binge watching Nurse Jackie on Netflix awesome show I’m very disappointed it only had seven seasons but I get why it ended personally as an addict myself I think she killed herself or tried to kill herself because she was alive obviously in the end; sometimes you come to a point where you realize you can’t change and you’re never going to be normal again no matter what you do or how hard you try so you just check out.

  5. Hulio says:

    People like this reviewer don’t like serious tv, something that actually makes you think. Jackie wasn’t something light and fluffy with rainbows glorifying drug use like everyone wants to do today. It stayed “light” enough to still be called a comedy but it was actually about gritty reality, something most people want to escape from, hence the ever growing drug use.

    Maybe what someone should ask is if this line of thought may have struck a nerve with the author of this article.

    A single show shouldn’t be carrying a network anyway. A broader variety of programming was a nice intelligent change

  6. Nicole Burden says:

    Nurse Jackie is one of the best series I’ve seen in awhile. Whoever wrote this article missed a lot of the main points of the show. Also their writing style is pompous.

    • Sandra Christensen says:

      Totally Agree with Nicole! Nurse Jackie was AMAZEBALLS! Jackie deserves a better review(er). The character really encapsulated the complex nature of addiction, and how it affects family and friends of the addict. One of the best if only portrayals of this, and a mind-blowing cast.

  7. Ms Manly says:

    Please let me know if theres gonna be a season ending or final season on nurse jackie

  8. Jen Landry says:

    We are all very sad Nurse Jackie is ending and will miss all the characters terribly

  9. Just finished watching all seasons on Netflix. We’re very sad it’s cancelled. Feels like we’ve lost someone. Very disappointed the show is over.

  10. I loved this show and hated to see it end! I was disappointed in the ending but it is an accurate potrayal of the life of an addict.

  11. Eric says:

    I want more of nurse Jackie. As a combat nurse who has addiction issues I wanna see how she felt with the termoil that is her life. Please bring back my show. I love Dr. Ohara. I want more of her and Jackie badly.

  12. marc says:

    Nurse Jackie should be sent to Litchfield Penitentiary for a year- this would be EPIC!

  13. Treva says:

    I need a season 8 of nurse Jackie. One of the best shows out there. Along with shameless.

    • Ashley says:

      I agree with Treva on this. Wish they did a new season. Of course I love my Shameless too. Thank God Shameless has a new season.

  14. Monica says:

    You suck,nurse Jackie was the best tv series I’ve watched in a long time. I was hooked from the get-go. A huge disappointment to hear the horrible things I just read.

  15. PJR says:

    I think it was the perfect ending. Addiction kills.

  16. Patty says:

    Me too. Saw it in a binge watching on Netflex a coworker mentioned it. I was hooked loved it wishe it would return……

  17. Scott says:

    Having just watched all seven series in a marathon last weekend, I want more! I was disappointed when O’Hara left, (love the character – I’m English).

    I’m not sure how things could carry on though, with everyone going their separate ways and Jackie’s relationship with Akalitus fallen apart t(he enmity is quite in your face).

  18. Deb says:

    I was hoping for more Nurse Jackie but kind of figured it was over always hoped to see Coop get married he was a goofy character, did not like Carrie but she too calmed down. Zoey luv ya and Thor most missed.

  19. Shy says:

    “God make me good, but not yet….” This quote from the very first episode rung through my head after she passed out. I figured she came too in the end but it seems as if her complacency in being a hard core addict, and a toxic human being got the better of her.

  20. I think she killed herself on purpose. She knew how big of a dose that was and knew it would kill her.

  21. nunu says:

    I WANT MORE NOW -.- IT CANT END LIKE THAT

  22. Barbara Vaughan says:

    This past week I binge watched the full 7 seasons and loved it. Did not think I would, but I thought it was great. I think the way it should have ended is with Jackie walking in the door of Bellevue, with no relapses. I agree that it made a powerful point with her demise, but it could have been equally good showing you can beat the drugs.

  23. judi says:

    Nurse Jackie had to end with her complete downfall with drugs. When she sniffed up all that heroin, her life as a nurse was over. Did anyone want to watch her recover and then begin some minimum wage aid job in a nursing home or something even worse? Sorry to see it go but it was time. Nurse Jackie had to end with drugs ruining her. That’s what drugs do, ruin lives.

  24. I will miss this show…I never got sick of it and wanted to see at least 2 more seasons!!!!

  25. kpink says:

    finally caught with Nurse Jackie season 6 and 7 in a marathon watch…I believe she died…the look on her face, her color said dead to me. And her game was over, she wasn’t fooling anyone anymore…like many say here and as the good writers clearly show: she was full of contradiction…the last episode she vehemently tells Zoey to NEVER give up yet she snorts enough heroin to kill several…she gave up…a junky always dies in the end. right?

    • I loved the show and never tired of it. I will miss it so much. It was the only show I could watch and not have to get up and move around and take a break and watch the rest later. I missed several years, not paying for Showtime. Have it now and watched the two years worth every day sometimes 3 or 4 shows one right after the other without a problem. I will miss it so very much. No other show compares for me… I am so sad it is over.

  26. Vespasian says:

    This show was an insult to the nursing profession and our intelligence. could she really get away with drug use. she almost killed someone and tried to blame it on the attending doctor. she betrayed family, friends, etc. yet some still see her as some kind of heroine. really! I was glad when she wound up being arrested. she was toxic to everyone around her.

    • Tiara says:

      Something tells me you have never been in close connection with an addict.

      I know two whom I love, and addiction kills people and if it doesn’t kill them it ruins their lives. My ex roommate is an addict, he used to do heroine, will relapse from time to time. I think I connected with Jackie because he and she are a lot alike. Pills, coke, heroine, and alcohol. He choked me one time and doesn’t even remember because he took nine Xanax and drank an entire bottle of wine. He used to nod off with his head in my lap from heroine. He has demons he hasn’t fought and he used drugs and people to get over it. Addicts don’t use drugs for good, they use them to kill pain. The deeper into the addiction one falls the deeper into using people they get. I still have holes in my walls from his drug fueled outbursts. Loving an addict is hard. Letting go of them is harder…addiction doesn’t only hurt you, it hurts the people who love you.

      Eddie is that one person who stays by Jackie, he does that because he thinks he can save her or help her in some way and it just isn’t working. Simply because he will let her use him. As we saw in the start of the show when she was literally fucking him for pills. He knew it, but he also knew she had a deep passion for her job. She just couldn’t shake the addiction and do her job.

      knowing addicts, I took the ending of this show differently. It was another attempt at manipulation. Fine, I’m an addict, everyone thinks I am an addict, fuck it, I’ll be an addict. Though, as long as I show them I overdose and I come out, they will know, they can’t leave me, I need them here. Addicts at times tend to experience the most love because their families are in denial, as well as their friends. O’Hara has known Jackie for years, her relationship extending beyond the start of the show. She wasn’t blind to Jackie’s addiction, she’s a doctor, she just wanted Jackie to admit it. Jackie was so manipulative she got one of her sponsors thrown into rehab literally days after she got clean just to prove to Frank and Eddie she wasn’t using again and keep her away from Akailitis. Most everyone else moved on from Jackie because they couldn’t handle her being as self destructive as she was. Addicts use drugs to kill themselves, they don’t want to put a bullet in their brain, but they use drugs to numb the pain.

      If you were watching, she took a pill before she did that heroine. Even O’Hara said she was high at the end, but like your fellow nurse friend stated. Addiction doesn’t stop at your job level. You’re a nurse, you have seen a number of addicts. Though what you are telling me is if one was standing next to you and looked presentable and could put on a show you wouldn’t see the signs. Jackie like a good number of addicts is intelligent. She knows how to manipulate people. She talked to her boss and said she needed pain killers after intentionally sticking her foot under a moving car to get drugs. We saw earlier she broke her own finger to get her wedding band cut off so she could continue her affair with Eddie that got her drugs. It is a web of lies, and what is worse is she remembers a fair amount of them so no one is the wiser. Just because someone is an addict doesn’t mean people fail to love you and see the good in you. There are people who look at murders and feel sorry for them. Still love them despite that evil.

    • PJR says:

      I am a nurse I am not insulted. Addiction wrecks people from all walks of life. And I know this from experience. I never knew an addict who wasn’t a truly good person who fought demons. Bravo to nurse Jackie for bringing that front and center. Edie Falco…job well done.

    • Major says:

      Your punctuation and grammar are the real insult.

    • Lisa says:

      That’s why it’s called TV and not real life. It’s a show, fiction, not real. You really should go talk to someone if you’re that easily insulted. Also, the rest of your comment leads me to believe you can’t separate realty from non-reality. You talk as if it was real… you’re glad she wound up being arrested? By who, the boom mic operator? Really ?

  27. So glad the writers are more nuanced than the commenters here. So, none of you have done something you knew deep down would have the worst consequences, but you did it anyway, just for the ride of doing it? Unprotected sex? Drunk driving? What the writers give Jackie that is a gift for us, is a muddled mind. Sure, she’s always got suicide in her back pocket as a way out and some kind of fucked up punishment for those who won’t love her any more, but also she has these motivations she doesn’t even know about because she refuses to dive into rehab and analyze herself. She needs to be perfect or hide that she’s not, she doesn’t even need love, she desperately needs admiration. That is so fucked up. So, she does things that are self destructive for all the wrong reasons, so I don’t think anyone can come to the conclusion she decided to commit suicide or not. She just did what she did because she was compelled to do it, like she’s been doing for 7 seasons, outcome be damned. So, to say anything is obvious about this character’s motivations is a huge insult to the writers who have made such a phenomenal show, that I loved because of the ambiguities, even at the end.

  28. Sally Pimplerose says:

    This episode should enter the history books as quite possible the WORST ever series finale to cross an airwave. To have spent all this time watching the series only to have the finale be written by an intern and acted out with zero conviction signals a large hit to the credibility of Showtime as a serious scripted outlet. By the end, this show jumped three ocean’s worth of sharks. Cant believe the actors sold out like this too. I would have walked off of the set.

    • I could not disagree more. I love Jackie’s fucked up morality until the end, especially her glee in being able to use again, And her willingness to let Eddie go to jail for her. She in equal parts wants to check out of her life and be the center of everyone else’s life. So I choose to think she lives, and loses everything and keeps using until she either dies or can finally convince herself she has to relinquish control. Which will be a long time because once Eddie is out of prison, he will keep her from her consequences as long as he can.

  29. Jennylain says:

    In a review elsewhere, they say Jackie was ‘walking toward the light (or at least Times Square)’, and after that she ‘comes to’ in the hospital, so presumably she is walking back from the light, and has survived. With this in mind, I am with the show creators on this one and I think that it is ambiguous, but leans slightly toward her living. I think this makes the most sense for the show, too–the one thing we’ve learned is that her addiction is a never-ending cycle.

  30. Seems obvious to me that she chose suicide by overdose. I guess the writer of this article didn’t really get the show.

    • Ron Wayne says:

      I believe she died and in Soprano’s fashion ended with no music during credits. Great series , great acting. Will miss the show.

  31. ndomnic05 says:

    I liked the show. I enjoyed tuning in for each episode, always. It wasn’t an odd duck. Better then Greys anatomy or scrubs.

  32. Thor says:

    Jackie’s a nurse – and a smart one at that. There’s no question she deliberately committed suicide, snorting the amount of heroine she did. I was surprised she ever made it out of the bathroom.

    “Jackie fell victim to old excesses, overdosing at the party commemorating the hospital’s closure, as she prepared to move on to a new job and to formalize her relationship with her one-time lover turned fiancé Eddie.”

    bull.

    Everybody was leaving her life. She gave up.

    • florence says:

      Thor: Her daughter, Grace, had returned to her believing in her again, and she was about to marry Eddie who gave himself up to the police/DEA for her. Those two meant a tremendous lot to Jackie, plus she never lost her younger daughter. She really only lost Zoey –even O’Hare stated she was her friend even though she knew she was drugging. Also, she got the job as a nurse. She opened her eyes and I believe it all survived –Jackie and her addiction. The first time I watched the series I thought she died, but this time I saw her eyes open and realized that she lived. Jackie had a very high tolerance level and could have lived even with that much whatever it was she snorted. If she died from the stuff she would never have gotten out of the bathroom. That is my opinion anyhow, or at least what I want to believe after viewing the show a second time.

  33. Lanny says:

    It is clear as can be what was intended by the final episode — despite what Phillips says. To me, she passed out after leaving the bathroom, and then died. The only question remaining for me is whether it was a deliberate suicide, or a misjudgment on using that much heroin (unknown potency, unfamiliar drug compared to her usual pills, and tolerance reset due to the time when not using up until recently make it unclear to me).

    To me, there is much symbolism that was not by accident. I will give but a few examples:

    1) The particular sin Fi doesn’t remember (others have mentioned this);
    2) When washing the feet, she is bathed in sunlight — doing Jesus’ work (washing the feet of the disciples before Jesus was crucified). Jackie has the goodness in her, but turns away after that (stealing and then using the drugs) — we all have choices according to Christianity as I recall. Note the lighting differences between the cleaning the feet scene and the others where she is in much darker lighting;
    3) The walk outside (leaving “ALL SAINTS”) in her dream (i.e. turning away from God’s reps);
    4) When walking down the hallway to leave All Saints, the Jesus statue was very brightly lit, and Jackie turns towards the dark hallway to exit (turning away from God’s light);
    5) Yoga mats are red (symbol of death);
    6) Lays down in a casket / death position on Yoga mat;

    I’m looking forward to watching it again to pick up on several other clear clues about her demise — those are just some I remember off the top of my head.

    • Cathy says:

      I just binge watched the entire series on Netflix and was so sad at the final episode in which I believe Jackie died. Her demeanor changed dramatically over time, her cocky attitude lost, her physicality…she was beaten down with no more facade of being in control…she was just a desperate, sad junky at the end and as in real life…the finale is the end of her worldly pain.
      I did rewatch the finale several times because I wanted to be sure of my feelings on whether she lived or died…here’s what lead me, in part, to the conclusion that she did die.
      -when Jackie left the hospital and walks in the crowd towards Times Square, the scene briefly shows several out of place characters…the nuns, a bike rider with large helmet, and a young man passes in front of her with vibrant green hair…I believe that is Charlie…perhaps there are others in the crowd who are patients she lost in past episodes.
      -also, the people in Times Square doing yoga were not actually laying down “in a casket position” as a previous commentor mentioned but in anatomical position, legs slightly parted, arms at sides, palms up…as one would place a cadaver in for autopsy…this one might be a stretch but it was defined anatomical position :)
      -her conversation with Prince, she invites him to come to the party with her…and he says he’s happy sitting in the waiting room and waiting…if you really pay attention to their conversation, it is apparent that “the party” is her asking him to join her in death and, although he knows his death is coming soon…he prefers to wait for it
      -when she exits the bathroom, why else would she remove her badge, stethoscope and watch if she didn’t know she was about to OD and die?
      -the sin that Fee could not remember is per se the sin of blasphemy against the Holy Spirit, the only sin that is unforgivable, is final impenitence. But no one alive has yet committed that unforgivable sin, for it consists in persisting in actual mortal sin through the last moment of life.

    • shemark57 says:

      Good post, and I agree with everything you said, except that it was the Seven Sacraments that Fi was reciting, not sins. And the one she forgot was “final penitence,” otherwise known as LAST RITES, which Jackie herself prompted Fi to remember. I think the entire episode was Jackie’s last rites.

  34. Lynn Milnes says:

    I think Jackie along with the end of this fabulous show died. All things come to an end!

  35. Karyl Krug says:

    I wish the show’s creators would stop calling Jackie sociopathic. Sociopaths have no human empathy, and that is not Nurse Jackie. She feels deeply, but when she is acting out of her addiction, she is selfish, dishonest, and violates her own core values. The addict Jackie takes everything the “good” Jackie cares about. She is a strong woman, so it makes perfect sense that she is a low-bottom addict. Even washing the feet of her potential future self, she fails to learn where she is headed. She may recognize it, but the disease prevents her from learning. Not yet. She is the embodiment of self-will run riot and is still in denial. Even her closet friends and family are forced to detach with love for their own self-preservation. Zoey can’t do the co-dependent thing any more. If Jackie ever successfully recovers, she will shed those traits; a sociopath will not. But overall I loved the finale and the series. Ambiguity is the right final note. Some recover and some don’t. And there is no way to predict who will recover and who will not. The show does a great job of showing the progression of the disease: loss, betrayal, ever lower friends in low places, jail, insanity, and maybe even death. She goes from potentially working at Bellevue to being a patient at Bellevue. Is this her bottom, or will she have to go lower to finally want recovery, or will she ride her disease all the way to death? I actually had an anxiety attack when she popped that pill before her one year sobriety party. Noooo! But that is what addicts do: disappoint the ones who love them the most. The show got so many things so right; calling her a sociopath is so wrong.

    • Tiara says:

      actually sociopaths while they have no empathy, can fake empathy. They shroud their thoughts of whatever is really there and mimic other people. She had a very narcissistic way about her. She used people the way a sociopath does. A sociopath realizes right and wrong, they simply do not care. Jackie put on a show to get what she needed. She hurt herself, she hurt her family, kids, if you notice, Jackie has no family, mom, dad, brothers, sisters — her behaviour extends longer than you realize.

      And you don’t know if she will or will not “shed those traits”. Her addiction to nursing could be the only thing keeping her in line with those traits. Until you know the demons, you don’t know the addiction, and clearing nursing is a part of her addiction. To her it defines her. She went through detox 3 times to keep her nursing license, to continue to prove her goodness.

    • When you create a character on a show, you can define her how you like. They wrote her to be a sympathetic sociopath, so she is. In fact, I’m sure the writers would love that you defend her like Zoey and Eddie do, one of the worshippers under her spell, because no sociopath is complete without a gaggle of defenders relinquishing them from their consequences, saying they are misunderstood and victims of something (addiction, abuse,the system, etc). I love seeing the fans line up like the characters in her life. I am O’Hara- out of sympathy for her early on and just an observer to her life, feeling bad for those hurt by her, but knowing the only thing for it is to walk away and let her spiral away into her own choices. I never felt bad for Jackie (because she’s a sociopath), just loved being able to watch this train wreck from afar.

  36. mcnaugha says:

    I heard the show runner said it was not left open to interpretation and that it was very final, meaning she’s dead. It’s not been left ambiguous. We just watched the final hours of her life.

    • DavidinMA says:

      The show runner said in an interview that the show ended ambiguously on purpose but that he likes to think she survived.

  37. Boodah says:

    I think people are questioning the choice to leave it ambiguous.

  38. ffrank says:

    I would think she’s dead. If that was heroin, and you know anything about it, she did an insane amount for anyone to do, even if she had a tolerance The only thing she had going for her is that it happened in a hospital and they got to her right away. If she’s not dead, she’s brain dead.

    • shemark57 says:

      Thank you! I have never used heroin, but I remember discussing THAT “Pulp Fiction” scene with a friend who was a former heroin addict, and she gave me the lowdown on snorting cocaine vs. heroin. She told me that there is a huge difference in the amounts used. Even with tolerance, as you noted, Jackie did three monster lines of heroin. She should have been convulsing all over the floor. And Zooey had said that they had to close early because all their meds were used up. I assume that would have included Naloxone, which is administered to stop an opiate OD. So I don’t care what Clyde Phillips said. Jackie is dead, dead, dead. Which really is the perfect ending for this show. It’s what happens to long-term addicts in real life. They use increasing amounts because of their tolerance, and use an extra amount some time to achieve that elusive high, and they miscalculate. They simply never wake up. It is epidemic in this country.

  39. Marissa says:

    I watched the show for its whole run. I thought the whole show was brilliant, including the ending. I didn’t take away that Jackie died at the end. I took away that she’ll never stop screwing up any chances she is given because she is an addict.

  40. Alice says:

    So does she die in the end? Clyde Phillips, exec producer and showrunner of “Jackie” for its final three seasons, said the final shot was left open to interpretation on purpose. But in his mind, she is still alive.

    —–
    No one should have to guess if she died or not after SEVEN seasons!!! Grade F for this ending!

  41. Megan says:

    Alas, the showrunner, Clyde Phillips, in an interview, says he “thinks” she made it, so this reviewer is spot on. Phillips said that he made the ending ambiguous because the character’s life was morally ambiguous. This just shows he doesn’t know what ambiguous actually means. It was a conflicted life, but being a liar and a drug abuser doesn’t make one’s life open to more than one interpretation. The fact that he wanted people – who wanted to – to think that she survived just shows how far adrift this show has gotten since he got on board. When you try to have it both ways, you end up with neither. A disappointment.

    • Sally Pimplerose says:

      Agree! Terrible ending of Series!

    • Shawn says:

      I think he has a good idea of what ambiguous means. If you can get into his head and understand what he means, you would see that what he said makes perfect sense. She was a liar and a drug abuser; she was also a loving, kind person who continuously helped people (an ambiguous “look up the definition” life). We all live ambiguous lives to a certain extent, in that we have our demons, but we all try to be good.

  42. shemark57 says:

    First of all, that the reviewer didn’t get that Jackie was dead at the end boggles the mind. Not to mention that they telegraphed this from the first scene. What was the sacrament that Fi forgot, that Jackie had to prompt her on? Final penitence. Duh. If that didn’t clue you in, then this show is just way over your head. I’m not even a Catholic, and I know what final penitence means. It’s what Jackie was doing for the entire half hour. And I must agree with those who said there was no other way for the show to end. Because sadly, addicts either clean up for good, keep going on the clean up and relapse merry-go-round, or, all too often, die. And since there was really no way for the finale to show us the other two, death was the only logical conclusion. And I, too called it weeks ago.

  43. ROBYNSING says:

    You just don’t get the show Brian–and that it is a revelation and step away from the formulaic contrived shows that repeat themselves over and over. This one wasn’t trying that hard…it just was. My take? Jackie snorted so much dope at once,, dope from the street with no inkling of how potent or poisonous it could be, and that is the culmination of her character…from her mouth she says “she’s in the best place ever” and she believes it and then her actions are that of a sick dope fiend in total denial which ultimately killed her. She was a lot more than a hope to die dope fiend, but that is what killed her in the end…and I for one called it.

    • Shawn says:

      I love it. You choose that she died, I choose that she lived. Either way, you justify that she died, or I justify that she lived, it doesn’t matter, because in the end, we are both right, because it is our interpretation.

  44. B says:

    That was probably the saddest ending I’ve ever seen. She OD’d. She knew she couldn’t be a nurse, like her best friend said… So she ended her life. They don’t show her dying, but it’s obvious. The “you’re good” from Zoe reached back to her in the chapel saying “Make me good”… To her, GOOD, is Dead. So so sad, but an inevitable ending for her character. I wish the show had not ended, I adored it, but there are only 2 ways to do this… She quits using, then she’s just another nurse, or she dies. There was NO other way. I will miss this great character, and the rest, but they did this perfectly, like a good movie when it ends.

  45. C. Winter says:

    Nurse Jackie was a great show, a brilliant show and it had a marvelous ending. Too bad for its brilliant creators that they have to contend with thickheaded reviewers like Brian Lowry, who missed every part of what people have loved about it for seven seasons. Its genius lay in its realistic portrayal of the lives of addicts and the ingenious strategems they employ for keeping the world at bay. It captured all the hopelessness and tragedy of their situation while not diminishing the addicts or the characters caught in their webs.

    • J. Tomas says:

      Well said. A perfect summation of the series.

    • ROBYNSING says:

      Right you are..ABSOLUTELY. I took away exactly the same thing from this show

    • Kathleen says:

      Really? You are a professional TV critic? Sorry, but you missed the boat entirely. The show ended exactly the way it should have… with Jackie overdosing on purpose to “get off this ride”. The theme from “Valley of the Dolls” didn’t give you a clue? Snorting heroin generally is a VERY bad idea (see “Pulp Fiction”) and Jackie had to know this. And she also knew that no one needed her anymore and/or that she was “bad” for the people in her life (Zoey asked to move on, Grace is going to college, Eddie is happily going to jail for her, O’Hara called her on her BS). She’s out… maybe…. because we have to leave an opening for a reprise right?

      • GK Sabree says:

        Where did Jackie come from and when did she start using? And what was her trigger? Did she use in nursing school? If yes, how’d she work that? An indie prequel may be in order. S’plain Lucy.

    • Danny says:

      I agree 100%. The last episode was authentic, yet incredibly heartbreaking. Her addiction is never going to end, unless she cleans up for good or she dies. That’s what was depicted in this show. And while I can’t bear the thought of this awesome show having ended, the last episode felt oddly right-to not only show the raw, real picture of addiction but also allows the viewer to wonder “What happens with her next?”

  46. geppi says:

    What a surprise, another Showtime offering that has gone on a few years too many (see also: Weeds, Dexter, Californication, Shameless).

    • lynn says:

      Wrong, wrong, wrong. This show was superb up to the last episode. So unflinching in its portrayal of addiction. Such great acting across the board. The ending was what it should have been – in fact what it only could have been. Jackie, rest in peace.

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