The showrunner talks v THR about the surprising end to the Showtime dramedy and the post he hopes the series sends about addiction.

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Nurse Jackie.>

Showtime bid bye to one of its many beloved anti-heroes Sunday as soon as Nurse Jackie —and its every Saints Hospital — close up door its doors for great after seven seasons.

The last episode, as showrunner Clyde Phillips previously noted, came complete circle through the original pilot and opened with Jackie (Edie Falco) in church asking for God to “make me good.” Those words would certainly come ago in the final moments the the collection when Zoey (Merritt Wever) would certainly mutter them back to Jackie, who had actually passed the end at the hospital’s closing party after snorting three lines that heroin. The words would elicit one eye flutter and also brief lip quiver indigenous a stoned Jackie and also ultimately leave the iconic and also award-winning character’s ultimate fate up to the audience to decipher.

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“That rarely happens ~ above television,” Falco told THR when asked front of the last season if she believed Jackie must die. “I don’t know. In my mind, there have been periods where every the human being in mine life i love who space addicts as much as i concerned, I want that. Because I’d had actually it. And I also thought i can’t clock them go v any an ext pain and stuff choose that. Yet this is ultimately television.” Falco claimed she hopes thatJackie‘s finale would spread the blog post that “anybody that is going v it, together an addict or someone surrounded by them, you’re not by yourself. And no, it’s not pretty. Don’t it is in surprised the your life doesn’t look pretty even when television mirrors something else. I’d just hope for civilization to say, ‘Yes, I identify that."”

Here, Phillips talks through The Hollywood Reporter about the decision to leaving Jackie’s fate approximately viewers, what he hopes the show’s tradition will be and also if he’d revisit lover Zoey through a physicians Without boundaries spinoff.

The finishing was left nice unclear: so did Jackie die?

It is left come the viewers to figure out. Among the reasons why there’s a question is due to the fact that Edie Falco is therefore brilliant. Imagine lying on the floor in the center of 60 civilization with a camera in her face and also giving just sufficient of one eye flutter and also just enough of a relocate of her lips that you think, “Maybe!” however you don’t know. I personally think she’s alive. Rather don’t. We had actually a lengthy conversation v the network about it, and one of the things we wanted to carry out was to store the conversation going after the show ends with a good and healthy and balanced debate because this is really a show about the impacts of a ferocious condition — medicine addiction — on an otherwise healthy person.

Given your strong opinions about how Dexter should have ended — echoing fans who assumed the character perhaps need to have died — why go this means with Jackie? Why no make the end an ext definitive?

Viewers have actually such one intimate relationship with this sociopathic medicine addict who lied, stole, cheated and also was devious and morally messed up yet they retained welcoming her right into their homes. They walk so due to the fact that of Edie Falco. The viewer has the privilege to comprise their own minds around what happened. They deserve to think, “She got specifically what she deserved,” or, “Thank God she make it.” In one odd way, it’s interactive television.

It’s an interesting technique given the number of recent series finales that have actually been much much more definitive.

I had actually a lengthy conversation through David Nevins about this. We had actually many selections in the editing room. We wanted the conversation to proceed a little bit longer and also to have viewers be part of it. I believe that we room not pissing off any kind of viewers; i think they’ll appreciate what they see and whatever they conclude.

What were several of the other selections you had in editing?

It was always going to end like that; Jackie was a bit an ext animated and also her face was a little less animated. The would have actually been an ext definitive one means or the other.

What did Zoey typical when she was informing Jackie, “You’re good?”

It goes earlier to the pilot whereby at the finish of the pilot, we find out that Jackie has actually a family and she steps into the shadows and says, “Make me good Lord — yet not yet” in voiceover. At the start of the series finale, she’s in church through herself waiting for her family to arrive for she daughter’s confirmation and she says, “Make me good.” Zoey, in saying that at the end, she’s echoing that, but she’s really being clinical and hopeful. She’s saying, “You’re good, Jackie, you’re good.” She’s consoling her. Those room the words that Jackie wanted to hear — and she’s not in a clean state the mind when she hears that. She hears the words, “You’re good,” and her eyes flutter open and her lips crease just that 2 millimeters because she’s heard those words. Jackie has basically to be an anvil and everyone in she life has been a hammer — and also finally someone is informing her she’s good — nevertheless of the paper definition — and Jackie is fully stoned and also wherever she is in her lifecycle, the indigenous are getting through to her.

What prompted Jackie to perform the 3 lines of heroin in the first place?

In the filming that it, there to be many more lines and also we took them out. The hospital is closing, O’Hara (Eve Best) has actually just busted her, Zoey has actually just told her, “You must let me go and also to make my own mistakes, mom,” she’s simply talked to Bernie Prince (Tony Shalhoub), who is dying and also she’s city hall this camaraderie that she’s not part of in this hospital, and also what always makes she use as soon as you don’t mean it is the reality that she’s a medicine addict. She’s in the grips the a ferocious disease.


When us spoke in April ahead of the season, you claimed the “finale needed to feel complete. The finishing needed to it is in shocking and surprising, yet if girlfriend play it backwards, it all provides sense.” and the finale opens with a call-back to the pilot as soon as Jackie says, “Make me good” — though in the pilot she states “not yet.” Is this her method of saying she’s all set to die? just how does this finishing make feeling if friend play that backwards?

That was in every one of our cumulative consciousness. Us planted a many stuff in the critical episode, in that scene whereby Jackie procedures out of the bathroom and also takes off her stethoscope and puts that on the counter with she watch and also ID card and also she measures outside and also is walking under the street, she’s anonymous among all these other people. And also we walk a tiny tighter, and also you may not notification but a boy with environment-friendly hair runs by. That’s Charlie (Jake Cannavale). And also bike messenger go by very quietly — that’s the messenger that didn’t survive the very first episode as soon as Coop killed him. Climate she’s walking by and a couple of nuns smile at her. It’s this religious undertone of the last episode that starts in ~ the church and also when she’s washing the feet of vinny Raven since all souls worthy to be cure at all Saints.

Eddie (Paul Schulze) winds up extending for Jackie and is going to jail. What’s the takeaway native that? The price of love an addict?

Yes it is the price of loving an addict as well much. It’s also when Eddie is informing Jackie this — and also they’re in the chapel, another spiritual nod — you watch Edie Falco’s eye flicker a bit as Jackie is establish a pair things: a) this is component of the shrapnel of the hand grenade that i am; and also b) this man loves me so lot that if we remain together, I will be allowed forever and I don’t understand if that’s healthy. It’s so complicated. Us tried to be authentic and also original every the time, and it’s a brutal disease. The never allows you go; it’s Jackie’s dark passenger.

When Jackie and Kevin space talking about the turbulent patch castle had before their wedding, is that expected to foreshadow the kind of marital relationship Jackie and also Eddie would certainly have?

That wasn’t intentional. What we were mirroring was Kevin (Dominic Fumusa) is at ease v Jackie because that the very first time in years. It was a relief from the hammering she’s been taking. It’s a disease, yet one that civilization don’t have sufficient compassion about. Among the things we strove for to be to get human being to be compassionate around this, and we couldn’t have done it v anybody rather in the civilization other than Edie Falco.

How much involvement did Edie Falco have in how Jackie’s journey ultimately ended?

We’d done so much research and had so much respect because that wanting to do it right, and for Edie, by the moment we acquired to the ar of running it through her, us knew what we were doing and also she was great with it. She said, “This feeling right.” She didn’t have a trouble with where we to be going and enthusiastically jumped in. The last table check out for the final season, everybody — and also I check out the narration — wept our method through 30 minutes of reading. And also we had actually the network listing ~ above the phone call in the facility of the table, and also usually lock say, “Let’s do notes,” and also they to be silent. Everybody to be so moved. Us were so damaged by it — and also then we had to go shoot it.

What to be the last day on set like?

As we say goodbye to each character, we protect against shooting and say goodbye and also sing a collection wrap track to them and also hug everyone. Just prior to we relocated to the succession of the last party and Jackie going right into bathroom, us shot Tony’s last scene and also everybody was destroyed. It was such an emotional scene — his mind isn’t working and he mistake Jackie for one of his wives and opts come sit in waiting room. There’s a tiny hidden thing in there as soon as he’s smoking cigarettes a cigarette and says, “Why room things that are so poor for you taste therefore good?” i m sorry is one allusion come drugs. Then us shot the final sequence in the ER and also people would certainly say bittersweet, however we were sad. Us knew we were law something really special and also there were a the majority of tears all with that. The was an alleged to be our last day of shooting, yet weather in new York forced us to move days so the yoga step outdoors in times Square was the last day that shooting. Edie to be our only actor the last day and also that was the actual final shot. However all the emotion was the vault day.

Now the you deserve to speak about the series as a whole, what kind of message about addiction do you expect the collection sends?

I’m no an professional by any means but I’d say do the work since Jackie didn’t do the work. She skirted the duty of it. In season 4 when she checked into rehab, she didn’t complete it or walk to meetings; she got a sponsor (played by Julie White) simply so it would look good. And also have compassion if someone close to to you has this disease, think that it together a disease. If it were cancer, you’d think that it together a condition and you’d it is in compassionate. Addiction is a mental health problem and also my love breaks once I think about what happens across this country. There’s a heroin epidemic going on now. The governor of Vermont, when he gave his State that the State speech two years ago, gave a totality speech, not about politics or bridges and roads and tourism, but it to be all about heroin.

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Looking in ~ the future, would you ever consider following Zoey in Haiti working for physicians Without Borders?

No, we’re done. Us think the display ended in ~ the appropriate time and also in the right way. We’ve said all that we wanted and could say, and hopefully we’ve claimed it well.

Do you think Jackie lived or died? Share your thoughts top top the Nurse Jackie series finale in the comments ar below.