According to TVLine, Eve Best will not be returning to Nurse Jackie for its upcoming sixth season, which was commissioned earlier this month. The reason given is that she wanted to focus more on London theatre work after four seasons of work on the Emmy-winning dramedy. Best only appeared in the first two episodes of the fifth season before her character, who gave birth in the fourth season finale, relocated to London, a move that was a major damper on the rest of Jackie’s first year of sobriety.
O’Hara’s confirmed absence and continued residence across the pond should mean that at least one of Dr. Roman and Dr. Prentiss will make it to the sixth season and remain a series regular. Carrie brings a lot of tension to the hospital, both in terms of her relationship with Coop and Jackie and Gloria’s dislike of her, and could continue to stir things up, while Ike’s situation with Zoey has yet to be resolved, so unless the show manages to jam in an ending for them during the season finale, it’ll have to be moved to season six, a’la Jackie and Mike.
The lack of O’Hara will also potentially have a negative impact on Jackie, who felt the absence of her friend very much this season. Jackie may have Frank in her life to lean on, but she doesn’t have a friend that she can be herself around, not to the extent that she relaxed around Eleanor. There’s still complicated feelings with Eddie, things with Kevin haven’t smoothed out enough for the two to be classified as friends, Gloria is too much the superior to be a friend on O’Hara’s level, and Jackie thinks of Zoey less as a contemporary due to the age difference and the latter’s decidedly child-like demeanor. Without that rock in her life, how will Jackie’s sobriety be affected?
In addition to her role on Nurse Jackie, Best has appeared on the likes of Up All Night, Vital Signs, and The Inspector Lynley Mysteries.
The fifth season finale of Nurse Jackie is set to air this Sunday at 9:00 on Showtime.
Are you disappointed that we might have seen the last of Eleanor? How will Jackie cope without her good friend by her side? With Dr. O’Hara gone, is it a given that either or both of Dr. Roman and Dr. Prentiss will make it to season six?