EW Community TV Show Episode Guides and Recaps from EW's Community

'Nurse Jackie' series finale react: Answered prayers

Season 7 | Episode 12 | “I Say a Little Prayer” | Aired June 28, 2015

Warning: The following post contains a gigantic spoiler of the series finale of Nurse Jackie, so if you haven’t watched it yet, bookmark this page and come back when you’re all caught up. I’ll wait.

Sunday night, Nurse Jackie—the series and the person—signed off for good, and I really mean for good. While I wasn’t shocked at Jackie’s fate (the fate I believe: that she died) there’s no denying the fact that while her overdose was long expected, it was still heartbreaking. As someone with absolutely no experience with addicts or addiction, I’ll admit that my opinions of and reactions to the finale might not hold much merit to those who have lived it. But I also believe that no matter what your level of knowledge in this matter, it’s easy to agree that watching Jackie’s addiction finally win was devastating.

For seven seasons we’ve watched, helplessly, while Jackie’s addiction wreaked havoc on those around her. The things she’s done have been despicable and disgusting. She’s sold out her friends, her family, and herself (quite literally) over and over again. Wretched, contemptible, appalling, heinous: Thesaurus.com should consider adding a page just for Jackie Peyton.

But here’s the thing: I liked her. Even when I was yelling at her each week and even when her choices sickened me—even when I hated her—I liked her. Does that make any sense? I’ll answer that for you: no. Does that make me a fool? Probably, but I imagine it also makes me similar to the millions of other gullible and naïve people who get sucked into the dangerous web addicts weave for those around them. (And it certainly helps that I only had to like her on my television screen and never on a level any deeper than that.)

Jackie was a horrible, selfish individual, yes, but there were always moments where her true heart would peek through and you could see her for what she could be if she was clean: good. That’s the Jackie that kept me coming back week after week for more abuse. She was a constant contradiction—lying, cheating, stealing, and sleeping her way to her next score, then in the next moment showing true compassion and gentle kindness to every patient who entered the ER. Was that compassion fueled by a few lines or a handful of pills? Most of the time, yes. (Which only supports my earlier claims of being foolish, gullible, and naïve.) It’s sickening, the mess addicts make for those around them … and it’s the mark of a great TV show and an even greater TV character when we feel like we’re in it.

Did Jackie get what she deserved in the end? I guess that depends on whether you think she died or not (I’ve watched the final moments multiple times, and while I’m going with yes, I can see how it might be unclear). It also depends on whether you think death is an acceptable consequence for all of her heinous actions. Frankly, I see it as a cop-out, especially if she snorted that heroin in hopes of this exact result. Suicide is a selfish act, so it wouldn’t surprise me.

As I watched her lying there, all I could think of was Grace and Fiona, and how broken this would make them—although having to deal with your mother dying from an overdose might not be a lot worse than having to deal with your live mother as an addict. I was angry, and then I was sad. Sad for Jackie and the way she lived, but more than that, for the way everyone else around her had to. It’s easy to say, “They’ll all be better off without her,” but it doesn’t change the fact that her addiction will always affect those who loved her, even with her gone.

“Make me good.” Knowing that was something she had no control over, it’s a prayer Jackie made in the pilot, and again in the finale. And as she took her last breaths, Zoey told her friend what she’d been waiting seven years to hear—something perhaps Jackie knew she’d only truly find in death: “You’re good, Jackie. You’re good.” Like her, hate her, or pity her; I don’t think you can dispute the fact that finally, she was.

TV Families | EW.com
Mark Harris
February 23, 1990 AT 05:00 AM EST

The Bradys are back, with a passel of 90’s hassles. Do they represent the typical American Family? Did they ever? Who does? Stare and compare!

Kind Of Family
TheBradyBunch 1969-74: Blended
The Bradys 1990-: Enormous
Married…With Children 1987-: Postnuclear
Thirtysomething 1987-: Extended
The Flintstones 1960-66: Modern Stone Age

Family Pet
The Brady Bunch: Tiger
The Bradys: Alice
Married…With Children: Buck
Thirtysomething: Grendel
The Flintstones: Dino

Typical Guest Star
The Brady Bunch: Davey Jones
The Bradys: There’s no room
Married…With Children: Sam Kinison
Thirtysomething: Carly Simon
The Flintstones: Ann Margrock

Expression Of Joy
The Brady Bunch: Groovy!
The Bradys: Ritual hugging
Married…With Children: ”Oh, great.”
Thirtysomething: ”Of course I’m happy for you. Really. But what about me? Why does it always have to be about you?
The Flintstones: ”Yabba-dabba doo

Expression Of Rage

The Brady Bunch: ”Hmmm…”
The Bradys: ”If you back away from something you really want, then you’re a quitter!” (the angriest any Brady has ever been)
Married…With Children: ”Aaagh, God, take me from this miserable life!”
Thirtysomething: ”I’m not angry, OK?”
The Flintstones: ”Willllmaaaa!”

Typical Problem
The Brady Bunch: Marcia and her rival both want to be the prom queen.
The Bradys: Bobby gets paralyzed.
Married…With Children: Al doesn’t buy his family Christmas presents.
Thirtysomething: Nancy gets cancer.
The Flintstones: Fred and Barney are staying out too late.

Typical Solution
The Brady Bunch: The prom committee decides to have two queens.
The Bradys: Bobby gets married.
Married…With Children: They hate him.
Thirtysomething: If only we knew…
The Flintstones: Wilma and Betty decide to follow them.

House Style
The Brady Bunch: Conservative but mod, circa ’69
The Bradys: Conservative but mod, circa ’90
Married…With Children: Roach motel
Thirtysomething: Enviable
The Flintstones: Suburban cave

Clothing Style
The Brady Bunch: Early Osmonds
The Bradys: Made in the USA
Married…With Children: Flammable fabrics
Thirtysomething: Eclectic earth tones; nice ties
The Flintstones: One-piece

Most Annoying Character
The Brady Bunch: Alice’s cousin Emma, the substitute housekeeper (too strict)
The Bradys: Marcia’s husband, Wally (chronically unemployable)
Married…With Children: Steve (supercilious)
Thirtysomething: Ellyn (goes through Hope’s drawers, babbles, changes hairstyle every other week, generally mistreats her friends)
The Flintstones: Mr. Slate (bossy)

Attitude Toward Sex
The Brady Bunch: Never heard of it
The Bradys: Omigod — even Cindy does it!
Married…With Children: Peg: Yes. Al: No.
Thirtysomething: They didn’t get all those kids by accident.
The Flintstones: Prehistoric

How Spouses Fight
The Brady Bunch: They don’t.
The Bradys: Infrequently, but it happens
Married…With Children: Tooth and nail
Thirtysomething: They stop talking
The Flintstones: Fred and Barney go bowling while Wilma and Betty max out their charge cards.

How Kids Get Into Trouble
The Brady Bunch: Greg takes a puff of a cigarette.
The Bradys: Carol’s grandson steals her business cards and sticks them in the spokes of Bobby’s wheelchair.
Married…With Children: By committing felonies
Thirtysomething: Ethan plays with a forbidden toy rocket.
The Flintstones: They don’t.

How They’re Punished

The Brady Bunch: ”It’s not what you did, honey — it’s that you couldn’t come to us.”
The Bradys ”Next time, ask.”
Married…With Children: By the authorities
Thirtysomething: It blows up in his face.
The Flintstones: They’re not.

What Family Does For Fun
The Brady Bunch: Takes special three-part vacations to Hawaii and the Grand Canyon
The Bradys: Has flashbacks
Married…With Children: Exchanges insults
Thirtysomething: Talks
The Flintstones: Attends showings of The Monster at the Bedrock Drive-In

Unsolved Mysteries
The Brady Bunch: How exactly did Carol’s first husband and Mike’s first wife die?
The Bradys: What’s with Marcia’s new face and Bobby’s blonde hair
Married…With Children: What kind of hair spray does Peg use?
Thirtysomething: Why did Nancy take Elliot back? What do Gary and Susanna see in each other?
The Flintstones: How does Barney’s shirt stay on if he has no shoulders? Where do Fred and Wilma plug in their TV?

Worst Behavior
The Brady Bunch: The Brady children once made Alice feel under-appreciated.

The Bradys: Marcia’s son Mickey watches Bobby’s car-crash tape for fun.
Married…With Children: The Bundy’s kill their neighbor’s dog.
Thirtysomething: Elliot has an affair and talks about it.
The Flintstones: Characters don’t wear under-clothes.

Best Reason To Watch
The Brady Bunch: This is what life should be.
The Bradys: They’re all grown-ups now!
Married…With Children: Terry Rakolta hates it.
Thirtysomething (Tie) This is your life. This isn’t your life.
The Flintstones: This is what life might have been.

Best Reason Not To Watch
The Brady Bunch: Blurred vision from rerun overdoses.
The Bradys: You’re all grown-ups now.
Married…With Children: She has a point.
Thirtysomething: After a while, you think it’s real.
The Flintstones: The Simpsons

You May Like