Every episode of “Nurse Jackie” brings a new reminder of how far a drug addict can sink, but, c’mon, Jackie, hiding your pills in the Easter eggs? Really? Wow.
You can’t say the set designers haven’t come up with a realistic looking garage for the Peyton family, and as soon as I saw the shot of the electrical outlets, I knew it was going to play into the storyline in some capacity, but I didn’t expect that it would involve the ever-paranoid Grace going around and unplugging all of the appliances in the house every night so as to avoid possible house fires. Good lord, the child has been saving her allowance to buy the safest possible smoke detector for the house…? That’s a whole new level of paranoia, so I figured it wouldn’t be long before the child entered therapy on a full-time basis, and, of course, I was right: Jackie was looking into it before the end of the episode. And speaking of that particular discussion, Akalitis’s comment about how the psychiatrist “was extremely helpful with my boy” is, unless I missed something last season, the first actual clarification as to why she was so enamored of the baby last season. She used to have a son, it seems, and the fact that there’s been no mention of him up to this point leads me to suspect that the boy in question is no longer among the living, though given Akalitis’s age, I suppose it’s equally possible that he’s now grown up and out in the world somewhere.
So Eleanor “partied like a 20-year-old last night,” scored some Ecstasy, and admits that she’s still high. I’m watching this, and I’m thinking with all due sarcasm, “Oh, no, that’s not going to come back into play. Never!” Well, at the very least, it didn’t come back into play this episode, which truly surprised me. I guess it’s just part of the overall “I miss Mummy” arc, along with Eleanor’s recurring demand that Jackie inform her daughters that they now have a godmother with a crisp British accent, but the end result was that, on second viewing, I could just sit back and enjoy Eleanor’s hysterical run / dance down the hallway (and the resulting scream from Zoe) and her unabashed flirtation with and up-and-down admiration of Sam without fear that it was all going to be tainted by Eleanor screwing up on the job while still under the influence. To be momentarily melancholy, though, I must mention one bit about Eleanor’s mourning of her mother that really hit home for me: her uncertainty about how to remove her from the list of contacts on her cell phone. Having witnessed someone have a breakdown when they accidentally stumbled upon their deceased parent’s number on their phone, I can say with 100% seriousness that this is a very valid point of concern.
Eddie comes into the bar for further bonding with Kevin, continues his interesting tactic of telling his carefully parsed-out version of the truth by admitting his suicide attempt to get the attention of a woman, then says, “Ah, I’m just fucking with ya.” Comedy: it comes in all forms. Sick sense of humor? You said it, pal. not me. I keep waiting for Eddie to pull out a gun, but, y’know, I’m getting the impression that, while this may have started as Eddie trying to get revenge on Jackie for what he views as a betrayal, he might actually be starting to like Kevin. Makes sense: they do have something in common, after all.
This was a great week for back-and-forth battles. First, you had Jackie vs. Coop, which started out with Jackie being incredibly shitty to him and refusing to let him get the last word when talking to their young patient and his family, but just when I was feeling sympathy for the guy, he walks out of the room and starts Tweeting about his life (a nice nod to Peter Facinelli’s real-life obsession with the activity). Granted, it was pretty hilarious, but it’s something that you can totally understand Jackie viewing as a douche-tastic maneuver. In the end, though, she’s the one who got smacked across the face for trying to do an end-run around Coop, so I guess I was rooting for the right horse all along. Man, Jackie really knows how to push people’s emotional buttons…which is no doubt why she hates it when other people do it to her. By the way, this was definitely one of those cases where you’re reminded that, in the end, these patients are often little more than chess pieces for the doctors and nurses. The other battle of the week was between Jackie and Sam, of course, and allow me to once again reiterate how psyched I am that they brought him back as a regular for Season 2. I love the way he’s shaking things up for Jackie. I just hate to see her stab him in the back, but you know it’s going to happen sooner than later. Her complaint to Akalitis is just her official way of handling the situation. When she steps outside the lines, that’s when it’s going to get U-G-L-Y.
Woo-hoo! God’s back! I’m not surprised, either: his appearance from last season was classic, and giving him the chance to interact with the cast in person (as opposed to from an open window) was a must-do. Zoe’s scream of “God down!” after he was hit by the bottle made me laugh out loud, as did God’s decision to retract the comparison he’d made between Coop and Clark Gable, but clearly the best part of the storyline was Zoe accidentally breaking God’s brain by clarifying for him that he, uh, isn’t God. Her pep talk was awesome, though, particularly her use of the phrase “religious hierarchical stratification.”
Lastly, I’m really digging the conversations between Jackie and Thor, but, uh, wow, so I guess Steven Wallem is missing an eye in real life? Otherwise, that was a remarkable bit of visual trickery, the way he seemed to pop it right out of the socket!
Random comments and observations:
* “You know, the number one ingredient in hot dogs is cancer.” Really, Jackie? Because I could swear I read somewhere that it was pig anuses…
* Eleanor observing a disheveled Zoe stepping out of a cab and asking, “Was that a walk of shame?” If anything, I’d say it was more of a walk of pride, given Zoe’s cheerfulness, but I nonetheless laughed at the exchange between Eleanor and Jackie on the matter. “Do you think Zoe got her pipes cleaned?” “It’s like seeing Santa naked,” replied Jackie, with a shudder. “It’s not right.”
* Sam’s diagnosis of Eleanor’s activities from the previous evening. “Chasing your G & T’s with a little Thai stick…? Impressive!”
* Thor’s hoarding of magazines, “including ‘InTouch.'” (“Please don’t amplify my shame.”)
* Zoe and Sam’s brief bonding moment…or, more specifically, Zoe’s anecdote about taking Dramamine before going to Great Adventure because of a previous unfortunate yakking experience, which was aided in no small fashion by her gesticulation.
* Coop’s Tweet: “Bitchy nurse being bitchy again.”
* God telling Zoe that he saw something when he got hit. “”Like what?” she asks. “Like a bottle whizzing towards you?”
* And, of course, this exchange between Jackie and Thor:
Jackie: What do you think of the new nurse, Sam?
Thor: Well, I think he’s really smart and incredibly cute, and I think he’s probably an excellent nurse.
Jackie: I don’t like him.
Thor: He’s dead to me.
In closing, let us all remember the words of God’s brother-in-law: “Lather, rinse, repeat: that’s how they’ll get you!”