While not a believer in happy endings, showrunner Clyde Phillips says he is “a believer in authentic endings,” and the final season for Nurse Jackie will be just that. The final season of Nurse Jackie begins Sunday, April 12 at 9pmET/PT on Showtime.
“I am very, very pleased,” says Emmy winner Edie Falco of the final script. “I thought it was sort of exquisite. We had great writers who were very true to the character, and the other characters, and the storyline — about what the whole show was about.”
The final season is filled with unrelenting consequences for Jackie. She’s stripped of everything and is at the lowest point of her life — arrested, abandoned by her colleagues and family, her nursing license suspended. This is her fight to reclaim her sobriety, her job, her children and her identity. Season 7, Episode 1 “Clean” picks up right where the season left off with her arrest, where Jackie suffers through a stay in a holding cell followed by sedated detox.
“I think we come to realize she has to be a nurse and that’s almost as strong of an addiction as her other one,” Falco says. “She will go to any length to see that happen. She’s got to get her nursing license back.”
She knows it’s not going to be easy to win over Akalitus and keep her job, so Jackie seeks help from hot-shot lawyer Barry Wolfe (Royal Pains‘ Mark Feuerstein).
But is it too late, has everyone already given up on Jackie?
For Falco — and for some fans — there’s been a shift in their feelings toward Jackie as her behavior has become so despicable. “I was right there with the audience,” Falco tells us. “I found her endearing and charming and then after a while I was like ‘enough.’ I’m losing her phone number. I’ve had it.”
With Phillips candidly expressing he doesn’t believe in happy endings but more so “authentic”endings, should Jackie Peyton lose her battle and her life like countless other addicts?
“Not a question for me to answer. It rarely happens on TV,” Falco answers. “I don’t know …but ultimately it’s TV.”
These final 12 episodes could be the road to redemption, but we know that’s not going to come easy. Falco says shooting the final episode was emotional. “Everyone was on the set that day. They were very good about the schedule in that we shot it in order and the last scene was the last scene, and the whole cast was there and it couldn’t have been more beautifully done.”
In addition to a cast of friends and numerous Emmy nominations, Falco said only took one thing from the set. “All I did was take her necklace. I don’t keep a lot of stuff.” She only took one thing from The Sopranos set, as well. “There was a little plaque on the wall in [Carmela’s] kitchen that was really hideous, it was made out of shells … we had decided she had made in a craft class. It was actually hideous but I thought it was funny. I keep it in a box in my attic.”
As for what’s next for Falco, 51, and what she does outside of working — she couldn’t be more content. “I’m really boring. I’m like crazy boring. I didn’t use to. I’m so thrilled with my boring life. I have two beautiful kids we sit around and watch Nickelodeon and order in a pizza. People keep telling me, ‘I never see you in Page Six,’ and I’m like, ‘They got to sell papers! Why would they say anything about me? I got nothing.’’
She’s got plenty. We hope to see Falco return in another long-running Emmy winning role soon. For now we’ll sit back and enjoy Falco at her finest in Nurse Jackie, Sundays on Showtime.
Photos: Credit: Mathieu Young/SHOWTIME