‘Nurse Jackie’ recap: People are trying to die in here
Why do I watch "Nurse Jackie"? There are a lot of medical shows on television. You've got your "House," your "Grey's Anatomy," and a bunch of others. Medical shows are probably only outnumbered by cop shows. Then there's the medical cop shows, such as "CSI." So why "Nurse Jackie"?
For me, it would have to be the lines it gets to cross. Being on Showtime, "Nurse Jackie" has a little more room to explore that broadcast shows don't. I guess you could call it the show's edge. Though, as Jackie says herself, "There is no edge."
Jackie is talking about the edge Eddie offers to help her take off with a few Valium. Eddie noticed that Jackie came off a little sharp when she was telling him he shouldn't text her sister-in-law, so he offered up a few of the Valium. The same pills she came to him to get back when they were using that cot he keeps in storage. I am talking about the edge of having your main character addicted to Valium. I know House was addicted to Valium, but he was a junkie the way Sherlock Holmes was a junkie. Nurse Jackie is a junkie the way that person you know in real life is a junkie. Only you don't know that person is a junkie. That's the kind of junkie he or she is.
Jackie refuses Eddie's offering and the idea that she has any edge, then immediately rushes off to get her stash, blowing off Thor on the way. (It's not enough that she blows off Thor, she does it like he's Zoey, an insult that is only placated with references to musicals.) Jackie retrieves her hidden pills from ceiling of the abandoned examining room she used to sneak off to in Seasons 1 and 2. She dished out the big blue pills to figure out exactly how long the bag would last her. From that point on, the episode became about the numbers.
1987 -– That's the year of the calendar Jackie used to count out her pills. She has just over a week left. Because she no longer wants to score off Eddie and it's unlikely she's going to find another man having a seizure with two huge bags of Valium in his coat, Jackie needs to find a new hook-up.
11:15 a.m. -- That's the time of death of the gunshot victim O'Hara and Coop lost together. Coop insists that it was them together because of the competition between them for chief of the ER. A competition O'Hara isn't participating in.
Two hours -– That’s how long Candice and Natasha (or Candasha, as they're called) complained about waiting without Natasha being seen about her asthma. You might remember them from last week, when Candice appeared long enough to swear at Jackie. Apparently this is a trend of the mother and daughter. Sam saw them at every hospital he temped at. And he's not asleep. That's just his vibe.
1/2 hour -– That's when Akalitus wants to see Jackie and Thor about committing theft. Namely stealing the statue out of the chapel she most relates to. It's not going to Long Island.
1 year's worth of pills -– That's what O'Hara illegally gives Lou, the world's nicest guy who came in last week. He's lost his job, his insurance, and he's falling behind on child support. O'Hara takes this moment to imitate Jackie and steal him a bunch of pills. Better that than Jackie's fashion. O'Hara won't do scrubs.
1,000 -– That's how many pictures Coop took of his two moms at brunch. Though I almost put 8, which is how many years old Coop acted through that whole scene. I'll give it to Peter Facinelli. He took it and ran with it. His expressions were so wonderfully obtuse, but it felt a little cartoony at times. Mom Swoosie Kurtz fed into his childish behavior while mom Judith Light tried to stay realistic and stay away from talking about her "straight" business partner.
A couple of flu shots and some nausea meds -– That's what it takes to get a rush psych evaluation on Lou when he comes back into the ER worried he's going to do something bad to himself. The guy has it rough. He keeps falling down, both literally and figuratively.
1 step ahead -– That's where Jackie thinks she is compared with O'Hara when it comes to dealing with Natasha's "asthma." O'Hara turns it into a game of trying to persuade Natasha to become a doctor while Jackie pushes the charms of being a nurse. Not sure how that deals with Candice's hypochondria, but it worked.
1 dead rat -– What it takes to ruin a good chicken wrap. It fell from the sky on Zoey as she was sitting down to eat. It freaked out Zoey and kept her from following up on her question to Thor if he's ever "you knowed" with a woman. That's the second time in this episode we're denied seemingly interesting info out of Thor. Boo.
$200 for a 30-day chip -– That's what Jackie pays to her new drug dealer/therapist for a bunch of pills hidden under the sobriety award for a client who didn't make it. This relationship is fascinating to me. His life's work is to take junkies who want to get clean to their most rock bottom in order to turn their lives around. She has constructed her entire life around getting and hiding pills. She even cuts off a conversation with her daughter to make the swap. Jackie has nowhere else to go for her fix anymore. Bill (though I'm still not 100% sure of the character’s name) can slowly draw her in. He wants a challenge, and Jackie is the Moby Dick of junkies.
-- Andrew Hanson
Photo: Edie Falco as Jackie Peyton. Credit Showtime