‘Nurse Jackie’ Finale: Showrunner Talks That Finale Scene, Edie Falco
Nurse Jackie wrapped up its seven-season run Sunday night with an ambiguous ending that leaves Jackie Peyton’s fate up in the air.
Nurse Jackie Finale
“I Say A Little Prayer” used religion as a through-line, from Fiona’s confirmation to the biblical imagery of Jackie (Edie Falco) washing a heroin addict’s feet. She also returns to the chapel, as she did in the Nurse Jackie premiere. In the end, the nurse, for all her saint-like acts, ends up passed out in a bathroom after inhaling a mound of crushed pills.
“We wanted the ending to be authentic and controversial, and for the finale to continue to be part of the conversation,” showrunner/executive producer Clyde Phillips told Entertainment Weekly. “I made the pitch for keeping it somewhat ambiguous and inspiring. When the credits rolled, I wanted people to lean forward and talk about what they just saw.”
“I personally did not want a happy ending, nor did Edie,” Phillips added. “Edie was so amazing—can you imagine lying on the floor like that and giving up so little that you and I are having this conversation because you’re not sure? It was an extraordinary, sacred moment.”
In many ways, the Nurse Jackie finale felt organic for the show as well as for the character of Jackie Peyton. Throughout the seasons, she’s consistently been portrayed as someone at an interminable crossroads. Things were always on a precipice, threatening to go one way or another. Had things been more certain throughout the series’ run, Phillips believes it would have made for a less interesting show.
“Why else would an audience take this sociopathic drug addict into their homes each week?” Phillips asks. “A woman who sacrifices her family and her friends, her children and her job for her addiction? The first three reasons are: Edie Falco, Edie Falco, and Edie Falco. Also, really stimulating storytelling.”
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