The series finale showed addict Jackie continuing her spiral, snorting several lines of heroin, collapsing and looking like she might die -- as Zoey (Merritt Wever) stroked her hair and told her she's "good." So here's the big question for showrunner Clyde Phillips: Did Jackie die? Here's what he told The Hollywood Reporter:
As he told Variety:
It is left to the viewers to figure out. One of the reasons why there's a question is because Edie Falco is so brilliant. Imagine lying on the floor in them middle of 60 people with a camera in your face and giving just enough of an eye flutter and just enough of a move of her lips that you think, "Maybe!" But you don't know. I personally think she's alive. Others don't. We had a long conversation with the network about it and one of the things we wanted to do was to keep the conversation going after the show ends with a good and healthy debate because this is really a show about the affects of a ferocious disease — drug addiction — on an otherwise healthy person."
Phillips told Variety the team went into the finale with a different ending in mind: They originally planned to have Jackie appear to die after a fire breaks out in the ER. Jackie was going to head into the flames to save the heroin addict handcuffed to a hospital bed in the basement. But this version does seem more honest to Jackie, and it shows her as the last person treated at All Saints Hospital.
One of our ambitions has always been to have people understand the ferocity of the disease she has, and to have compassion. If Jackie had cancer, everybody would be completely compassionate. This disease she has causes her to hurt other people because it's such a narcissistic disease. All she cares about is her next hit."
What did you think of the finale, and do you love or hate when TV shows have ambiguous endings?
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