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‘Nurse Jackie’ recap: World’s Greatest Mom

May 9, 2011 | 10:21 pm

Nurse_jackie_307_0162 Happy Mothers Day. Belated, I know, but what better Mothers Day present than a new episode of ‘Nurse Jackie?’ She is, as her cocoa mug proclaims, the world’s greatest mom. On top of having two daughters of her own, Jackie is essentially mom to a hospital full of people, including the staff, and she goes above and beyond her job and, often, what’s legally allowed to save lives. That’s a pretty great mom.

At the same time, Jackie’s a drug addict. She might be a great mom, but she’s an even greater junkie. Jackie goes to great lengths to hide her addiction, but she can’t completely conceal it. Kids pick up on little things, and their minds are still malleable.  I’m not saying that Jackie’s life of distance and deception caused Grace to be obsessive and morbid, but it certainly could have stoked the fires already there. Next thing you know, you’re sipping 2 a.m. cocoa and listening to the gruesome tales of how each saint died. 

Before heading into work, Jackie pays a visit to her good friend Bill. I missed Bill last week. He’s quickly becoming my favorite character as Jackie’s sponsor/dealer. Even tonight, when Jackie busts his chops about the price of $200 for 5 pills, Bill snaps back, telling her about market price and how she knows he gave her six. Bill may have started as the seizing guy she stole pills from, but he’s now the only person who might be one step ahead of Jackie. 

It turns out, Sam is also a friend of Bill. Well, he’s literally a “Friend of Bill” because he’s in recovery, following NA’s 12 steps, but Sam knows Jackie’s Bill, too. He’s heard that Bill’s the best sponsor ever, but Jackie quickly denies any connection with Bill other than nurse/patient. 

Seems to me like that was a waste. Jackie totally could have used Bill to bolster her own fake sobriety, but I have faith in Jackie. She has perfect timing when it comes to lying. She picks up little tidbits of information and drops them like grenades at the right moment. I’m sure she’ll pull out Bill the Sponsor right when she needs him the most. 

Jackie’s new obstacle at work is Kelly the temp. Kelly showed up last week, stealing seats and bragging about Haiti. This week, he’s charming the pants off of everyone at All Saints. Last night, he took all the nurses out. He bought all their drinks and flashed them Sean Penn’s number in his cellphone. Akalitus finds him to be the mother lode. Not only does he have all the insider information on Akalitus’ rival over at Bellview, he also knows the First Lady himself. She’ll give him every Saturday off if it means clinching that visit. 

So far, Jackie has been biding her time when it comes to Kelly. She has stayed mostly neutral to him, trying to feel him out. Last week, he did mess up a prescription of painkillers Jackie had planned for herself, but this week, karma flowed the opposite direction, and Kelly found himself lost with a paper bag full of patches that are a hundred times stronger than morphine. Luckily Jackie showed up just in time to escort the patches to their final destination (even if one of those destinations happens to be her own arm).  

Now Jackie has two good grenades ready to throw. First, her supplier happens to be a super NA sponsor, and second, that at least one of the painkiller patches that Kelly was supposed to deliver happened to disappear. 

Don’t think Jackie doesn’t know just when to use these grenades. Tonight she saved up the story Sam told her from his NA meeting about the junkie who stole drugs off her dead boyfriend before calling 911 and dropped it right when Kevin confronted her with the pills he found in the car. Then she doubled down with the 30-Day Chip Bill used to smuggle her pills. Kevin never knew what hit him. That’s what makes Jackie the world’s greatest addict. Though it probably also disqualifies her to be the world’s greatest mom.

Around All Saints -– Zoey’s updating her blog, Thor’s lusting after Kelly and reading ‘Orchid and Salami,’ Akalitus thinks up acronyms, and Sam makes a lame pass at Dr. O’Hara (with Eddie making a much less lame pass at her not long after). All of Jackie’s hospital children fend for themselves a little more this week. Except for Coop. I don’t think Coop will ever be able to fully fend for himself. He brings all his old toys into the office after his moms make him clear out his old room as his conversion to complete man-child continues. 

The Patients -– The one thing that pulls Coop from his depression is the chance to stitch up a real-life Native American construction worker. Apparently I’m the only person who never saw the Discovery Channel special that talked about how Native Americans were used to build skyscrapers because they allegedly were not scared of heights. This patient claims he is scared up there, but he takes his lunch breaks on the 40th to fly a kite. My heart nearly exploded just typing that sentence. 

The other patient tonight was a mom who partied a little too hardy. Jackie and Zoey looked after her 12-year-old son. Zoey bonded with him over missing fathers. His is in New Jersey. Hers is in jail. She could let him smoke, but they shared a little of the black gum she gets from Chinatown. I’m sure that was harmful enough to his body.

Jackie relayed the mom’s diagnosis to the kid. She didn’t tell him all the drugs his mom had in her system, only that she was going to be in the hospital a few days and it was a good thing he called 911. The kid flat-out says his mother is a drug addict, and even when Jackie tries to give her the benefit of the doubt, he doesn’t let up. She’s an addict. He knows she’s an addict, and from the tone of his voice, you know exactly how he feels about his mother the addict. You’d hope that this would click with Jackie, that she might see the future of her daughters in this kid, but it’s going to take a lot more to break Jackie out of the shell her addiction has put around her. Is it wrong for me to look forward to that?


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Complete 'Nurse Jackie' coverage on Show Tracker

-- Andrew Hanson

Photo: Merritt Wever as Zoey and Stephen Wallem as Thor. Credit: Showtime