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'Nurse Jackie': Problems and solutions

June 29, 2009 | 11:22 pm

133969 Problems.

Jackie’s got them, and no one is going fly in and save her from them. Not either of the men in her life (not that a woman needs a man to save her, but as an option, she’s out of luck). One seems to be obsessed with food. Twice in a discussion of their daughter’s anxiety, Jackie’s husband wildly tangented to food. And while arguing private school and pot roast, Jackie fended off some oh so poetic text messages from Eddie, her pharmacist/lover.

But you know what else Jackie has? Solutions.

What problems does Jackie have to solve? Besides her theme song?

First and foremost is her daughter's supposed anxiety disorder. Jackie slips out of work to attend a conference at Grace’s school with her husband. They meet with Grace’s teacher, the district psychologist and the school nurse, or as I like to call them, the Neapolitan Panel. They believe that Grace is exhibiting signs of general anxiety disorder. Their big piece of proof is that her drawings lack color and she never draws suns. Though I don’t understand why they don’t also point out that no one is smiling in her drawings either or why they bury the lead that she circles the desk three times before sitting down so “the planes don’t fall from the sky.” Seriously, wouldn't that be your star witness?

It’s strange that Jackie has such a volatile reaction to their diagnosis. She commented to Dr. O’Hare last episode that she herself thought that Grace might be coming unraveled. And for a woman who generously self-medicates, she was quite appalled when School Nurse Connie suggested that her daughter might need some pills. Jackie seems much more comfortable tackling problems before others even realize they are problems. Like when dealing with the young boy in trauma where it appeared that Jackie called for the chest tube before Dr. O’Hare. But when other people call out problems before she has her solutions, she kinda gets dismissive or defensive.

It probably didn’t help that at the same time she was receiving “me so horny” texts from Eddie. Smooth. Nothing gets a woman in the mood like quoting a Da Nang hooker. And I don’t think that many women are fans of "Full Metal Jacket." They probably feel the same about it as men do about "The Notebook."
Jackie’s solution for the overlapping men situation? She bought a second phone. Jackie’s solution to Grace’s anxiety problem? She just drew a sun onto Grace’s picture. For a nurse, she doesn’t seem to notice the hazard of putting a Band-Aid on a gunshot wound. The two-phone deal works great until they both start ringing while Jackie’s checking on her nursing student. That doesn’t bode well for Grace. Chicken soup and private school aren’t going to fix her issues.

Though on a happier note, it appears that Zoey is proving herself much more competent around the hospital. Last week she was running around like a frightened mouse trying to snatch her stethoscope back from Dr. O’Hare. Tonight she watched over the mother and twin of the young boy in trauma, explaining why Dr. Coop appeared so excited about a gunshot wound and giving much-needed hugs. She also had her first patient death as well, and she came out of it pretty calm and professional. Her personal reaction was a desire to do the patient’s eyebrows, something that woman would have greatly appreciated. Zoey is really developing into the warm, gooey heart of the show. Even Mohammad opened up to her about his twin that passed away.  It’ll be interesting to see who affects the other more, Nurse Zoey or Nurse Jackie.

Oh, and if you haven’t had a chance to check out "Nurse Jackie" or want to introduce someone else to the show, they’re running a marathon over the Fourth of July weekend. You might want to check it out.

-- Andrew Hanson

PHOTO: Showtime Television