Nurse Jackie became Showtime’s newest hit show when it premiered last summer. Less than a whole year to wait, the second season premieres Monday night. Series creators Liz Brixus and Linda Wallem previewed the new drama in store for cable’s favorite pill popping health care professional.
“We wanted to tighten the noose around Jackie,” Brixus said. “Just from a pure storytelling point of view, we are thinking, ‘What is going to make her life a little bit more dangerous every time she gets out of bed?’ It's going to be if her boyfriend reaches out to her husband and wants to become friends. So that just keeps Jackie more on pins and needles. It was strictly a device to keep Jackie in some state of paranoia or peril and to keep people watching. It's also a show about consequences. It's a way for some of these consequences, some of these seeds that she sort of dropped, to start having roots and growing and tangling her up a bit.”
Eddie Walzer (Paul Schulze), Jackie’s former pharmacist lover, seems to really hit it off with her husband, Kevin (Dominic Fumusa). Also look for another connection from his former hospital colleagues.
“Paul actually has another bromance with Dr. Cooper,” Wallem said. “That is its own special world.”
The first season left Jackie collapsed under a morphine binge, with her lover just discovering her family. Season two picks up some time later. “What we wanted to do is jump time and see that there's plenty of stuff that we're going to slowly reveal what she'd to do after that moment,” Wallem said. “I think, honestly, it would have been very ABC television if we'd come up on the ‘Okay, what happened the next moment?’ We said, ‘No. We want to jump time. I think the audience is smarter than that. Let's show 'What has she done?' She is so good at covering stuff, but still there's lots of consequences that she has to deal with the whole season."
Rehab might rear its ugly head for Jackie, but not as something she endorses. She meets a 12 stepper (Arjun Gupta.) “It's an addict's worst nightmare, to bring somebody in the workplace that is in AA,” Wallem said. “It's her worst nightmare. So it will be peppered out throughout the whole season of how you have to deal with that. Arjun is terrific. He was a guest star last year as an altered nurse, and then he cleans up and comes back. So he's terrific.”
Some of your favorite supporting characters will intermingle more this year too. “It was fun to see finally a scene with Akalitus and a lot more with Zoey this year, some drive-bys,” Wallem said. “Then [we] finally got O'Hara and Akalitus to have a scene later in the season. We realized, ‘Oh, my God, you guys had never really had scenes together.’ So that was fun those days.”
Nurse Jackie returns to Showtime March 22.