"Too bad it's not made of Vicodin." -EddieIf last week's wonderful episode felt like a breakthrough for this uneven series, then "Steak Knife" was a bit of a step back. There were still a number of extremely strong things in it -- notably Jackie's increasing doom spiral, reflected in her bad reaction to her one-year anniversary with Eddie, and in her struggling to be the shoulder for Dr. O'Hara to lean on rather than vice versa -- but there were also other parts that suggest a show that's still finding itself.
Specifically, I could do without the show hammering us over the head with the parallels between the patients and their caregivers (here with Jackie and the woman who can't let herself be with nice guys). If I want that, I'll watch "Grey's Anatomy" or "House," thank you very much. One of the advantages of cable dramas, in theory, is that because they're catering to a more select audience, they don't need to dumb things down as much as a broad-tent show like "Grey's." The "Jackie" writers would do well to keep that in mind and try for a little more subtlety on subplots like this.
Along similar lines, Mrs. Akalitus wandering around the hospital with an abandoned baby? Really? Last week's episode briefly turned her into someone resembling a human being, rather than the cartoonish authority figure she'd been previously. But this was right back to her being a buffoon.
But, geez, Edie Falco is so terrific, as was Paul Schulze in the scene where Eddie finally acknowledges that Jackie cares more about the pills than about him. I will forgive a lot for a great performance or three -- and I can never leave out praise of Merritt Wever, who may be the most endearingly funny character on my TV set at the moment -- so I'm hanging in with "Nurse Jackie" even as the growing pains resume.
What did everybody else think?