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‘Nurse Jackie’ recap: It works when you work it

May 3, 2011 |  6:53 am

Nurse_jackie_306_0362 I don’t think a truer line has ever been spoken on "Nurse Jackie." "It works when you work it." In the episode, it’s said about Recovery. The program works if you work it. The same thing goes for Jackie’s life. It’s not so much a program to help you recover as it is a plan to keep everyone blissfully unaware of the fact that you’re an addict. Like Recovery, Nurse Jackie’s web of lies only works if she works it. 

The show "Nurse Jackie" follows right alongside the woman Nurse Jackie. When Jackie’s in there, doing the work of pulling everyone else’s strings, it makes for a much better episode. Probably helps that Liz Brixius, one of the show’s creators, wrote "When Saints Go." She knows just how Jackie can best manipulate everyone around her, and she has Jackie do it.

Right off the bat, Grace is Googling Lucifer. She seems enamored with the tale of God’s favorite angel who wanted to get the highest he could and then ended up the king of Hell. Sounds like someone we know. Jackie quickly tosses a “they all lived happily ever after" on the end to try to ward off nightmares, either Grace’s or her own. 

Speaking of bat, Kevin has to whip out his Louisville Slugger. No, not because someone was searching for websites about Justin Bieber on the family computer. He was fending off some fighting drunks and looking pretty tough. Even Tunie noticed. 

Kevin is the first step of Jackie’s program she has to work. First she wakes him up in the middle of the night for a little “I watched you protect your territory” lovin’. Then she clears her history of all the Oxy searches she’s been doing and replaces them with a bunch of searches for NYC AA meetings and withdrawal symptoms searches. She works that step just fine.

At All Saints, the Saints are leaving. The church has sent for the statues and art from the hospital’s chapel. Akalitus watches angry, and asks Jackie not to eat the new temp nurse Kelly (the guy). Though Kelly (the guy) does his best to get eaten. He’s right in there when a gunshot victim is rolled in. Then he’s sitting in Jackie’s as he talks about his work in Haiti. He even picks up the prescription Jackie wanted for herself. A weaker Jackie might have eaten Kelly (the guy), but this week’s Jackie is working her steps.

Next she works Coop, who’s reeling from his moms’ divorce, his bunion surgery and O’Hara’s promotion to head of the ER. Coop’s inappropriate touching disorder wants to come out so badly he has to use his crutch as a crutch. Jackie gives him a little tough love. At least Coop assumes it’s out of love. He’s too busy getting worked by the patient with the “broken” ribs. Even that blatantly obvious drug seeker knows how to work Coop. 

Zoey’s too distracted to need Jackie’s attention. A cute dog lover comes in with a gunshot wound and asks Zoey to slip her phone number to Lenny because she wants to ask him out. Zoey’s trapped with the dilemma  of passing the digits onto her own boyfriend. She even goes to O’Hara for the British-living-in-a-hotel opinion. Lenny’s reaction to the napkin is just about perfect enough to overlook the corniness with his pocket watch. Though it doesn’t excuse him sweeping under that meatball. Come on, Lenny, clean up after yourself.

Jackie has a little issue working her Eddie step right away. He comes to her to give a head's up that he’s going to ask Jackie’s sister-in-law out on a date. Whatever fears she might have of them getting together might seem unnecessary after she finds out Eddie wants to take Tunie to the Natural History Museum. Good luck with that, Eddie. Later, when Eddie nearly catches Jackie popping an Oxy in his back room, Jackie takes it one step further and asks Eddie not to go out with Tunie. She lets him believe her distraction and sadness is over him and not over losing her chance at Percocet. Eddie is worked.

Jackie even works the O’Hara step. That neatly falls in her lap. O’Hara spends time with a wonderful elderly patient that’s a kindred spirit. She might seem a little off her rocker at first, but the more she talked, the more sense she made. Zoey’s clothes do look like Vet scrubs, and “Art” therapy. O’Hara heartstrings are tugged, and she’s easy game when Jackie tells her how great it would be to talk. Step worked.

In the end, Jackie even lets Kelly (the guy) off the hook. He did give up the line of the night, allowing Jackie to steal his Recovery quote to slip in to conversation with Tunie. Plus, taking it easy on the new guy makes life easier to Akalitus as she loses her Saints. 

All in all, Jackie manages to make everyone around her happy. Her family races around the kitchen, playing and laughing. Of course, she’s sitting outside, all alone, but that’s how her program works. And it works when she works it. 


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-- Andrew Hanson 

Photo: Edie Falco as Jackie Peyton. Credit: CBS Television.