'Nurse Jackie': Birthday cast
Episode No. 6. The halfway point of the second season for “Nurse Jackie.” Though it really feels like we’re back in season 1. Jackie starts off with Eddie in his brand new sheets. He’s rambling on about some random topic (this time vinyl versus digital), and she looks like she wants to gnaw off her leg to escape. Just like old times.
Only now, Eddie knows about Jackie’s secret life. He asks about her night and her kids, but when Eddie mentions Kevin, Jackie presses him to stop hanging out with her husband. Not much later, when Jackie says she likes Eddie, he presses her to say “love” instead. Turns out neither of them got what they wanted.
Jackie rushes home from the bed of her lover to help oversee a Kaitlyn sleepover. The girl who used to be only annoyingly honest and observant has grown into a full-on jerk. She says the kitchen smells bad, trips Fiona and calls wanting an arm cast as a birthday present “retarded.” Before, you might understand why only Jackie saw Kaitlyn as a bad kid, but Monday night she came off as obviously evil. How about when she was stroking Fiona’s hair? That was way creepier than whatever ear flick she was threatening to do before.
Jackie runs into the same problem as so many other Americans this time of year. Her Easter candy supply has run out. However many Reese’s peanut butter eggs you snagged in the discount bin, they’re all gone now. Same with Jackie’s pills hidden in her old decorations. She refuses more pills from Eddie (probably a smart idea), and the Pill-O-Max is under scrutiny, but luckily a pharmaceutical rep wanders past the yellow line and starts offering Jackie samples of his company’s newest barbiturate. And it’s his first day. I don’t think Jackie would have a problem saying “love” to that bit of luck.
Jackie’s two patients Monday night were an Iraq war veteran who crashed her motorcycle and sounded frustrated when she found out she was still alive and a guy who got an arrow in the chest on 6th Avenue --right through his newly transplanted lung -- because a drunk millionaire decided to fire it off. Jackie listens to the veteran’s husband tell how he bought the motorcycle to help raise his wife out of the depression she’s had since returning. Then she defaces the millionaire’s limited edition car when the driver shows up to collect the offending arrow. That’s Jackie for you. Treating you both physically and karmically.
The real excitement around All Saints Hospital is Dr. Coop’s ad campaign, Dr. O’Hara’s hot lesbian action and Zoey’s pregnancy. Or maybe how annoying she acts when she can blame the pregnancy.
First up, Coop. “If looks could kill.” That’s the new PR strategy featuring Dr. Cooper’s darling face. It’s so strange to me to see a hospital advertise. I come from a small Midwestern town where the one hospital was the only option. Other than the veterinarian, but you didn’t want to go there with a broken leg.
The campaign includes cardboard stand-ups of Dr. Coop around the hospital. I don’t know why Jackie would hate that. She should drag one around with her while she sees patients. Easier than the real thing. Even though she’s given strict warning that they can’t be vandalized because of their $286-a-pop price tag, Jackie scribbles a message on one. It had to be her. No one else would know to write “I grab boobs.” It’s perfect because Coop knows exactly who wrote it but can’t say or he’d have to explain why.
O’Hara’s news anchor girlfriend Sarah Khouri makes her first appearance that isn’t on a screen in the background. She’s live and in All Saints and dragging Jackie out for lunch in the middle of a tall, skinny woman sandwich. Sarah’s here to tell tales of pretending to be generals' wives and console husbands of dead Iraq war vets. I’m not quite sure how that second thing ended up happening, but she looked to be helping.
Finally, Zoey’s all crazy riding pregnancy hormones. Possibly. She hasn’t taken a test yet, but she “knows her own body.” Her body is yelling from the nurse’s station like a drill sergeant and talking about a dead spleen. I did love when Zoey confessed to the Virgin Mary that being a mom was hard and then realized who she was talking, too. Miraculously, Zoey ends up not pregnant, though she proclaims it at the exact wrong time.
Quick side note: Where’s the chaplain for this chapel? There’s so much going on in there. Food, drugs, sex, revelations. Someone should be keeping track.
Jackie gets a call from Kevin that he’s heading in to play ping-pong at a club Susan Sarandon opened. With his buddy Eddie. Jackie meets up with them in time to see Eddie drill Kevin in the face with the ball. Kevin offers to grab a pitcher, giving Jackie and Eddie a moment to chat. Eddie explains he’s hedging his bets. Keeping the threat of telling her family if she stops seeing him. Jackie’s response is to enthusiastically make out with her husband and tell him to kick Eddie’s butt.
Jackie’s response to danger is charging at it full force. Nothing may be really broken right now, but I have a feeling something will be soon.
-- Andrew Hanson
Photo: Edie Falco as Jackie Peyton and Daisy Tahan as Fiona Peyton. Credit: Showtime
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