by pat howard

NURSE JACKIE | 1×03: “Chicken Soup”

In Nurse Jackie on June 24, 2009 at 12:24 pm

I just can’t watch this on Monday nights after Weeds. I promise, it’s no reflection on the show.

I thought Zoey was a little much at first, but she has steadily grown on me as a character, culminating in her cat-and-mouse games with Dr. O’Hara to get back her stethoscope in this episode. It probably wasn’t as funny as I found it, but I was laughing out loud by the end, egged on by O’Hara’s admission to Jackie at lunch that it was all a game.

This show wasted no time finding a fantastic balance for all its elements, and I feel it was well solidified here. The family stuff bookended the episode, but not in a way that felt like an afterthought. We got little plot crumbs there and in the Eddie-being-replaced storyline. Giving Jackie a doctor best friend in O’Hara makes her attitude toward Coop (and doctors in general) go down easier.

The patients-of-the-week did a nice job of illustrating Jackie’s challenges: painkiller addiction and the true meaning of love (if it’s about easing your lover’s suffering, perhaps Eddie loves her more than Kevin?). And her exchange with Mo-Mo when she busts him cruising Coop at the elevator was priceless, a debate for the ages. If Nurse Jackie can maintain what it has created, we’ll be in excellent hands for the rest of the summer.


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