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Nurse Jackie: Season 3 - First episode reviewed

Nurse Jackie: Season 3

Review by Jack Foley

IndieLondon Rating: 4 out of 5

SKY Atlantic’s domination of all things good on TV continued apace with the start of the third season of Nurse Jackie on Tuesday night.

Picking up in the immediate aftermath of Season 2, when Edie Falco’s Jackie was put on the spot by her husband Kevin (Dominic Fumusa) and best friend Eleanor O’Hara (Eve Best) over her suspected addiction, the episode then proceeded to show how she continued to dig ever deepening holes for herself.

For Jackie, this meant lies and more lies, as previous lies were ruthlessly exposed.

The ensuing ‘dramedy’ placed more of an emphasis on drama than comedy but was an absorbing, acerbic and hopelessly entertaining 30 minutes of TV heaven, directed with verve by Steve Buscemi.

As ever Falco is a mesmerising presence… a fascinating juxtaposition of overwhelming kindness (in nurse mode) and frustrating selfishness (in all other aspects of her life).

We want her to get caught by her husband, yet not at the cost of her job. But that’s part of what makes her such a fascinating character. She’s someone we love to hate almost as much as we hate to love. Falco, for her part, makes her an enigmatic presence – a flesh and blood anti-hero who revels in her ability to pull viewers this way and that.

But she’s well supported, too, by a cracking ensemble cast. Best, in particular, stood out once again as the best friend who found herself ‘heartbroken’ by Jackie’s deceit. A brief, virtually silent scene in the hospital chapel spoke volumes for the fractured nature of their relationship (once so vibrant and strong).

But Fumusa continues to grow in value with each passing episode as Jackie’s flustered husband as he scrambles to do the right thing in the face of his wife’s goading, while trying to work out the extent of her deceit.

If that central trio provided the dramatic thrust to this first episode of season three, then Peter Facinelli’s Fitch “Coop” Cooper, Merritt Wever’s Zoey and Anna Deavere Smith’s fantastic hospital administrator Gloria continue to provide some welcome laughs.

Their interplay, their looks of consternation and their own personal foibles continue to provide wonderfully witty asides to the main dramas at play.

In short, it’s great to have Jackie back – so thanks again to Sky Atlantic for making it happen so soon!

Nurse Jackie: Season 3 is on Sky Atlantic on Tuesday nights from 10pm.