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‘Nurse Jackie’ Review: “Disneyland Sucks”

Nurse-Jackie
Showtime

It was clear when Jackie arrived at “Disneyland” last week on ‘Nurse Jackie’ (or rather the amusement park that is in-patient rehab) she wasn’t going to be able to get over on head counselor, Laura, but hot damn did Jackie get called out on her BS in this episode. I don’t know about Jackie but watching Laura finally confront her about “sucking at life” certainly made me feel like the monkey is off my back.

We’ve spent the past three seasons watching Jackie effortlessly and unremorsefully lie to just about everyone she cares about. Perhaps that’s why when asked about herself in group, all Jackie could come up with is “I’m a nurse.” It’s the only thing’s she completely honest about with everyone in her life. Is Jackie a mother, a wife, an addict? Well, that depends on who you talk to.

In “Disneyland Sucks,” Jackie wakes up to the reality of rehab; sleeping off the pain, waking up to an old woman prodding her foot with a fork and being made to share with the group. That is when a batty housewife isn’t going on about her clown collection for the umpteenth time or a cranky old lady isn’t demanding to read her “f**k you” letter aloud. Oh and let’s not forget the pain killer addicted pro-baseball player, played by NY Knicks forward, Carmelo Anthony, bragging about the injury that got him hooked on pills.

Not one for opening up to others, Jackie shuns rehab culture and its rules. When a teenage addict helps her come to terms with the real catalyst of her addiction – the stress of motherhood – Jackie nearly gets herself thrown out for arranging an unapproved visit with her daughter, Grace.  As Laura (played by Laura Silverman, sister of Sarah Silverman) warned her upon her arrival, Jackie is now accountable for herself. And while she broke the rules, leaving rehab would let both her and Laura off the hook, which the counselor quickly realizes.

For someone so authoritative, Jackie detests authority, especially when it’s abused. Which is why it’s probably best she’s away from All Saints as Mike Cruz and Quantum Bay begin their somewhat hostile takeover. While Jackie’s struggling with living under the limitations of rehab, O’Hara and Akalitus find Cruz’s bedside manner in the transition to be less than tactful. However, Zoe and Thor appear to be won over by Quantum Bay water bottles and baseball caps. As for new casual Coop, who’s traded a tie for a goatee and t-shirt, the promise of a helipad has him acting like a little boy, all over again.

And while Jackie couldn’t save any lives at All Saints, she did save her rehab roommate, Doris, when she quickly determined the older woman was having a stroke. Laura, who earlier told Jackie the only life she needs to save is her own, asked her if she was happy, about getting to save a life, after all.

Of course, Jackie’s answer was yes. The only time Jackie is a complete, honest and truly good person is when she’s saving lives. It’s a part of herself that she readily shares with everyone (except maybe that crack addict she took home from the church, but can you blame her?).

What’ll be interesting is who Jackie comes back as after her twenty-eight days are up at “the greatest place on earth.” Will she return a mother and a wife or a lying, cheating addict? No matter what, she’ll always be a caretaker. But if Jackie doesn’t save herself, Doris’ life may be the last one she saves.

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