'Nurse Jackie': Don’t even think about it
I knew he was directing a few episodes (including this one) and had some title (co-executive producer), but I didn’t expect to see the creator of “Freaks and Geeks” pop up in an episode. Feig plays Fiona’s teacher, who is a little concerned about the girl’s cast and stitched-up lip.
Jackie and Kevin can’t believe he could suspect any sort of abuse. Really? I’m going to have to side with Feig on this one. Fiona has a cast on her arm but everyone says it isn’t broken, they sewed up her lip in the kitchen and no one else really knows she got hurt, and there's the history with the Peyton’s oldest daughter. You can’t blame him and say he manipulated Fiona’s answers. His question was so non-threatening and casual. Jackie and Kevin should feel lucky their kids are in a school that cares so much.
If that wasn’t enough to deal with, Jackie gets a shadow at work. Akalitus gives some impromptu public evaluations. Zoey: good. Thor: improving. Sam: needs work. Jackie? Don’t even think about it. In order to give Sam the work he needs, Akalitus assigns him to follow Jackie. Learn from her. Nothing like a hyper-vigilant former drug addict to get in the way of her being a hyper-vigilant current drug addict.
Sam shadows Jackie as she tends to Lily, a gunshot victim. After they mistake her for a model who passed out from skipping breakfast. Lily’s quality of care doesn’t improve much. The staff dismisses her at best, ignores her at worse. Until Lily reaches out for actual human support. Then Jackie promises to be there when Lily wakes up from surgery.
Coop doesn’t have time for all this foolishness. He’s being a doctor. A love doctor. He decides to set up his best friend Eddie with his childhood friend Georgia. Eddie resists, awkwardly trying to turn the phrase “up her alley.” Eddie insists he’s good but caves when Coop asks if he “could be better.” Having a good picture helps. For a moment, I started to feel good for Eddie. Maybe he could escape from Jackie and find a little happiness. He agreed to a date. How bad could that turn out? (see below)
Elsewhere in All Saints, Harvey Fierstein waits agitated while his partner slowly dies. Most of his agitation comes from the staff of All Saints: Coop talking about his two moms and Thor thanking him for paving the way. My favorite line of the night had to be him asking if it was all right if he wasn’t gay for a while.
The other line that could challenge it was “I’d rather be dead than be Kevin or Eddie.” That’s what Dr. O’Hara says when Jackie tries to comfort her. O’Hara finally found out that her girlfriend was seeing another woman (I think. Did they ever say what gender the “another” was?). Jackie uses herself as an example of how it’s possible to love two people, and O’Hara says how she really feels about Jackie’s relationships. She’d rather be dead.
Jackie doesn’t really respond to that. Instead she says she’s glad Sarah is gone. She likes having O’Hara as her girl. Which seems to be one of the core desires of Nurse Jackie. She wants everyone to come to her for support and answers. She’s the one who bends all the rules to take care of patients. She chastises Coop for promising Lily surgery will be a breeze and then promises to be there when she wakes up. She snaps at anyone who even comes close to asking Harvey about moving away from his partner's room, even though that’s the last thing on anyone’s mind. She has to be the savior.
Maybe that’s why Grace found the idea of becoming the psychologist’s patient so appealing. Grace knows how well Jackie takes care of her patients. Maybe Grace sees being a patient as the opportunity to get the amount of attention Jackie lavishes on those she takes care of. Maybe I should be her psychologist.
Lily tells Jackie to keep the bullet they took out of her brain as a reminder. Because Jackie wasn’t there when Lily woke up. Jackie was off being savior to everyone else in the hospital too. Lily gives Jackie the slug so she’ll remember to keep her promises.
If that wasn’t a painful enough moment for Jackie, she finally settles down at Kevin’s bar to let O’Hara vent about her failed relationship and eat “monkey bits,” and who should walk through the door? Eddie. What better place to take his blind date than his buddy’s bar? A Coke, a smoke, and the chance to rub Jackie’s face in it. Or better yet, jeopardize her marriage.
I was really rooting for Eddie to move on and find happiness. Instead it seems he’s decided to self-destruct in the hopes that it also destructs Jackie. Eddie is a growing problem that Jackie is going to have to deal with, and she’s running out of episodes this season to get it done.
-- Andrew Hanson
Photo: Edie Falco as Jackie Peyton and Harvey Fierstein as John Decker. Credit: Showtime Television