Nurse Jackie—Season 1

nurse jackie season 1 dvd cover review episode guide edie falco
9.0 Overall Score
Story: 9/10
Acting: 9/10
Visuals: 9/10

Edie Falco, solid series with a perfect blend of humor and drama



Who’s really in the mirror?

Jackie Peyton (Edie Falco) can do it all.  She’s a mother and a nurse…but she’s also a mistress and an addict.  While Jackie leads one life at All Saints’ Hospital at home, no one but her friend Dr. O’Hara (Eve Best) knows about her home life.  Dr. O’Hara doesn’t know about Jackie’s addition or the pills being supplied to her by Jackie’s boyfriend Eddie (Paul Schulze) who doesn’t know anything about Jackie’s husband Kevin (Dominic Fumusa).  Jackie leads a complicated life and it is about to get much harder when Jackie’s worlds begin to crash together.


If you come tomorrow, you can have oxy…

Nurse Jackie—Season 1 aired from June 8, 2009 to August 24, 2009 on Showtime.  The series was released to critical acclaim and received Primetime Emmys for Outstanding Lead Actress in a Comedy Series and Outstanding Original Main Title Theme Music with nominations for Outstanding Casting for a Comedy Series, Outstanding Direction for a Comedy Series (“Pilot”), Outstanding Main Title Design, Outstanding Guest Actor in a Comedy Series (Eli Wallach), and Outstanding Comedy Series.

Nurse Jackie is a great series.  The series is a perfect blend of humor and drama.  The series is smartly written but banks heavily on the charm and acting ability of Edie Falco.


The late, great Eli Wallach in one of his last roles

Edie Falco makes this series.  Her portrayal of Nurse Jackie shows the range of the actress who was so believable as Carmela Soprano.  You like Jackie despite her self-destructive nature, and you want her to keep going despite the fact she’s a cheating, druggy that defies authority.  If you saw a story about Jackie on the news, you would probably would judge her.

That is the benefit of the writing.  The series could easily have made Jackie a villain.  She’s bossy and demanding, but instead it comes off as dedicated.  It also makes her very sad.  You can see the slippery slope she’s falling down even if she can’t see it.  A great example of this is breaking her own finger to cover her infidelity and also telling O’Hara that having a husband and a guy on the side isn’t fun…begging the question of why she is doing it at all.  She’s the woman on the verge of a breakdown and you can’t turn away.


It is pretty unfortunate when your husband meets your boyfriend…

Jackie is surrounded by a good supporting cast.  I don’t know that everyone works.  I feel Anna Deavere Smith is a bit too comedic as the boss Gloria Akalitus, and Peter Facinelli often is bland as his role of the hunky doctor Coop.  Merritt Wever is particularly good as Jackie’s ultra-positive nurse-in-training Zoey.  The season also features some great guest stars including Eli Wallach as a dying patient.

Nurse Jackie is a fun, quick watch.  The short twelve episode season means you can pound out a season relatively quickly and see a real skilled actress in a great series.  Jackie is a mess, but watching her is fun.

Nurse Jackie—Season 1 Complete Episode Guide:



1.1       Pilot Airdate:  06/08/09

Jackie Peyton (Edie Falco) is one of the most dependable nurses at All Saints’ Hospital.  She spars with doctor like Coop (Peter Facinelli) who think they know more than her and butts heads with her supervisor Gloria (Anna Deavere Smith) over pay and money.  She spends her day with her new trainee Zoey (Merritt Wever) and dines with her friend Dr. Eleanor O’Hara (Eve Best) who keeps Jackie on track.  Treating people like a bike messenger who is struck to a prostitute sliced up by a high ranking foreign official, Jackie doles out her own brand of justice…but Jackie also has secrets.  She’s addicted to pills for her bad back and has her boyfriend pharmacist Eddie (Paul Schulze) help keep her supplied.  Jackie is also secretly married to Kevin (Dominic Fumusa) with two children.  Jackie’s life is complicated and it is about to get even more difficult.



1.2       Sweet-N-All Airdate:  06/15/09

The ear flushed by Jackie resurfaces causing problems for Jackie and Zoey.  Coop shows off some skill when diagnosing a patient who comes in from a skateboarding accident.  Gloria accidentally gets ahold of one of Jackie’s special “sugar” packets.  Zoey questions if she’s cut out to be a nurse.


“Chicken Soup”

1.3       Chicken Soup Airdate:  06/22/09

Jackie and Kevin worry that their daughter Grace (Ruby Jerins) is having mental problems.  Zoey tries to get her new stethoscope back from Dr. O’Hara.  Eddie gets bad news that he’s being replaced by a pill dispenser…much to Jackie’s dismay.  A woman (Anna Koonin) visiting New York with her husband reveals she has a secret to Jackie and a man (Eli Wallach) dying seeks comfort from his wife and a bowl of chicken soup.


“School Nurse”

1.4       School Nurse Airdate:  06/29/09

Jackie and Kevin are called to school to deal with Grace’s worsening anxiety disorder.  Jackie realizes the dangers of having one phone with Eddie.  Dr. O’Hara is forced to deal with a child when Jackie is away.  Zoe faces her first death.



1.5       Daffodil Airdate:  07/06/09

Jackie befriends a girl (Tomorrow Baldwin Montgomery) whose mother has lupus…and makes her realize Grace might really need help.  Jackie learns Eddie is hanging out with Coop whether Eddie likes it or not and O’Hara is forced to go out dinner with Zoey.  Jackie and Mo-Mo (Haaz Sleiman) find that Thor (Stephen Wallem) having a crush on Mo-Mo could be advantageous.


“Tiny Bubbles”

1.6       Tiny Bubbles Airdate:  07/13/09

Jackie finds her former coworker Paula (Judith Ivey) has returned to All Saints’ in the last stages in her battle with cancer…forcing Jackie to help her with the suffering.  Coop’s mothers (Blyth Danner and Swoosie Kurtz) come to the hospital for a surgery.


“Steak Knife”

1.7       Steak Knife Airdate:  07/20/09

God (Michael Buscemi) is off his meds and torturing nurses and doctors from his window outside the hospital.  A man comes in stabbed by his wife’s ex-husband and Jackie tries to keep the two together.  Eddie tries to connect with Jackie on their one year anniversary with less than spectacular results.  Dr. O’Hara is suffering from a bad day and Jackie thinks a visit home will cheer her up.



1.8       Pupil Airdate:  07/27/09

The hospital is understaffed and Jackie is overworked.  When Grace has a breakdown at school, Coop learns about Jackie’s child…and therefor Eddie.  Akalitus continues to watch over the child she found in the ER.  Coop is introduced by a patient Mrs. Greenfield (Andrea Martin) to her two daughters Amy and Melissa (Alexie Gilmore and Jill Flint) but Coop shows more interest in Melissa.  When Jackie is forced to fire a temp named Sam (Arjun Gupta) for drug use, Jackie learns he might see through her charade.


“Nose Bleed”

1.9       Nose Bleed Airdate:  08/03/09

Jackie finds herself torn between Grace’s problems and work and begins to suffer nosebleeds.  Coop starts a relationship with Melissa that gets in the way of his work.  Jackie makes a decision about a donor without consulting Cooper.  Akalitus considers adopting the baby from the ER and gets bad news.  O’Hara’s loose lips with her sister about Jackie creates a wedge between them.


“Ring Finger”

1.10     Ring Finger Airdate:  08/10/09

Jackie takes dance classes with Grace and finds that she can’t get her ring off leading to drastic measures.  Jackie is forced to mend her differences with O’Hara when Coop goes after Jackie for signing his name to a donor card.  As the pill dispenser prepares to be installed at the hospital, Eddie prepares to lose his job…and Zoey learns a big secret about Jackie.



1.11     Pill-O-Matix Airdate:  08/17/09

The Pill-O-Matix is here, and Eddie is out…along with Jackie’s opportunity to get free drugs.  A fight at tap class puts Jackie at odds with Grace.  Coop decides to dump Melissa in exchange for Jackie after their kiss.  A film critic named Neil Nutterman (Victor Garber) comes into the hospital and makes a connection to Akalitus.  When Zoey makes a mistake, she could end up off the floor.  Eddie discovers the truth about Jackie.


“Health Care and Cinema”

1.12     Health Care and Cinema Airdate:  08/24/09

Eddie decides it is time to meet Kevin and heads the bar.  Zoey’s off the floor after putting Nutterman in a coma and tries to come to terms with her mistake.  O’Hara’s mother is shipped to the United States, and she must face her.  Jackie tries to deal with the Pill-O-Matix and learns that her two worlds are caving in.

Related Links:

Nurse Jackie—Season 2 Review and Complete Episode Guide

Author: JPRoscoe View all posts by
Follow me on Twitter/Instagram/Letterboxd @JPRoscoe76! Loves all things pop-culture especially if it has a bit of a counter-culture twist. Plays video games (basically from the start when a neighbor brought home an Atari 2600), comic loving (for almost 30 years), and a true critic of movies. Enjoys the art house but also isn't afraid to let in one or two popular movies at the same time.

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