Tuesday, April 6, 2010

Searching For Signal: #117 - “Nurse Jackie” - Season 2, Episode 3

We start in Jackie’s kitchen, where her little girls are making cupcakes while Gracie worries about the world coming to an end. Wait, there’s a third girl. Who the hell is that? She looks slightly familiar, we’ve seen her somewhere…

Then Jackie waltzes in the door and spies the extra urchin. She greets her real daughters, grimaces at the bonus cupcake girl, then wanders off to confront Kevin in the other room. “Why is Caitlin here?” (Ah yes, Caitlin. The daughter of Jenny Flynn, Kevin’s girlfriend from way back in the day when Jackie’s drug use was recreational and not a lifestyle. We hate the little brat and her Mommy.)

Kevin: “You said Gracie needed play dates with her friends.” Caitlin is the only friend that Gracie has. There you have it. Jackie sighs. Kevin then whines about Gracie’s tuition and bills in general. Jackie brings up the O’Hara offer of a trust fund for the little darlings. Kevin wants nothing to do with O’Hara. “She’s crazy. She lives in a HOTEL.”

A bit later, Jackie is in the basement, snorting yet another line of something. Nosey Caitlin comes tramping down the stairs, babbling about wanting to see the bomb shelter that Gracie said was down here, and spies Jackie playing Hoover games. “What’s up with the straw?” Jackie, very impressively, makes up a story about nurses needing to dry out their tear ducts so they don’t bring their hospital sadness home to their families. Caitlin clearly isn’t buying it, so you know the little wretch is going to spill at some point.

Doorbell rings. It’s Jenny Flynn, here to pick up nasty Caitlin. She’s bearing a covered dish. “Caitlin says you guys order a lot of pizza.” Jackie gives her a look that could cause lesser women to spontaneously combust. Then Jenny and Caitlin tag team on Gracie, trying to make fun of the way Gracie insists that everybody was their hands every two minutes.

Jackie quickly shoves the meddling duo out the door, and then throws the gift casserole in the trash.

Next we have Coop at the drugstore where Eddie now works. Coop, in his odd way, actually tries to show some sympathy for Eddie’s suicide attempt, and is just checking on him. At the same time, Coop is tweeting to his followers during the conversation, and waving around a magazine where Coop has been listed as one of the top 25 doctors in Manhattan. (I guess the review panel is unaware of the breast-grabbing issue and his general inability to correctly diagnose a patient.) Sadly, Eddie quizzes Coop about Jackie, still pining for details. He’s just not going to let it go.

Jackie and O’Hara at the hospital, with Jacks initially moaning about the atrocity that is Jenny Flynn, but then she also admits that Kevin is not comfortable about the trust fund. O’Hara: “He should be uncomfortable about a daughter who’s a lap-dancer!’ Let me help! Then Coop wanders by, singing and dancing on his cloud of self-worth, and drops off a copy of The Magazine where he has been proclaimed Worthy. As he twitters and skitters away, O’Hara flips through the magazine with increasing frustration. She’s not even listed! (Oh boy, we’re going to hear about this for a while.)

Then everybody in the ER has to pay attention as they wheel in a victim, some dog show person who was mauled in the face while trying to give CPR to a prize-winning something or other. Jackie notices that the man is moaning “nuts” over and over. Turns out this guy’s “baggage” his been ripped open by the unappreciative mutt, and Coop discovers that his testicles have migrated. (Zoey: “Just like birds!” Poor thing.) We end the scene with Coop and Jackie bickering over the proper way to handle the man’s injuries.

Jackie finally wanders out to consult with the victim’s wife. Apparently this woman really loves dogs. A whole lot. Perhaps more than her husband. Jackie decides that she has better things to do and moves to end the conversation.

Jackie: “By the way, your husband’s testicles have migrated.”

Wife: “Migrated?”

Jackie: “We’ll let you know.”

Cut to Thor, Zoey and Sam standing around, pretending to do something medical but not really because they’re only actors. Thor to Zoey: “Are you wearing eye shadow?” Zoey: “No. Maybe. Why?” Thor makes a flippant hand gesture and heads some place where he can act like he’s not thinking about donuts. Sam: “You look really nice.” Zoey: “Back off.”

Coop and Mrs. Akalitus come waltzing up, because that’s what the script said to do, and she gives him some package. He rips it open, and it’s a fancy framed thing proclaiming him as “Doctor Number 23 In Manhattan.” He grins and gloats. Sam: “You paid a publicist!” Coop: “Um…” More discussion wherein it’s obvious that Coop basically paid for this little ranking thing. That boy is just not right in the head.

Jackie wanders up. Zoey can barely contain herself as she whisks Jackie to the side and spills about the publicist thing. Jackie: Are you serious? Zoey: “HE told me,” and then looks glowingly at Sam. Jackie makes a face because, well, she hates Sam.

Quick scene with O’Hara and an EMT that has somehow managed to dislocate a finger. O’Hara, still flipping through the magazine that doth not bear her name, grudgingly agrees to take a look. Then she releases her anger by viciously yanking on the painful finger, screaming that “lists mean NOTHING”, and finally wanders away, leaving the poor EMT to crawl her way to the employment office and give notice.

Next we have Jackie doing something at the automatic pill-dispensing machine (translation, she’s jacking with it to get free drugs). Zoey comes skipping up and basically catches on to the fact that Jackie is trying to user other employee ID’s to get goodies. As in Zoey’s ID. Jackie scoffs. Of course I’m not. And why are YOU here? Zoey: “I need some morphine from the gumball machine.”

Jackie laffs it up at that remark, hoping to distract Zoey from Jackie’s Ocean’s 13 subterfuge and steer the conversation to more innocent ground. Jackie: “Are you wearing perfume?” Zoey: Might be. Why? Does it make me smell old? Jackie: Not saying that. But you smell like Mrs. Akalitus.

Zip over to the ER room, where Mrs. Akalitus pulls Jackie to the side and tells her she needs to work an additional half a shift. (Jackie doesn’t really fight this, because it means she will have more quality time with the pill-dispensing machine.) Coop then prances through, tweeting away to his apparent fans. Akalitus takes this opportunity to berate him about the actual pointlessness of using Twitter all the time. (This makes me feel much better about my measly 12 Twitter followers and the fact that I haven’t sent a single post in months.) This fun time is interrupted by Zoey racing up and sniffing at Akalitus’ neck. “Are you wearing Gwen Stefani?” Aka just looks at her with pity.

Cut to Jackie in one of the hospital bathrooms, where she snorts a line of something, chases out a woman who is swigging cheap alcohol from a plastic bottle, and then calls Kevin. “I have to work late.” Uh oh, Kevin is working late as well. What to do with our disturbed daughters? Kevin: “I could call Jenny Flynn.” Jackie practically rips a sink off the wall. “NO! You will not call Jenny.” Anybody else will do. (Cue dramatic music on the soundtrack to foreshadow Kevin’s potentially disastrous choice of babysitter.)

Quick scene in the mauled dog trainer’s room, where a urologist and a plastic surgeon are arguing over which procedure should come first. Fix the face or fix the scrotum? If you delay either procedure, the second operation may not be as successful. Jackie wanders into this surreal conversation, and leans down to hear the patient‘s thoughts on the mattter. He clearly wants his tackle up and running. That’s a man for you. I might be ugly, but at least my gear works. Therefore, I retain my god-like status with the ladies. Geez.

O’Hara and Zoey intersect paths in some hallway, and O’Hara instantly knows something is up with Zoey and her geeky attempt at femininity. O’Hara looks her up and down, then barks “Who is it?” Zoey: Um, nobody really, but there’s a party later, and a guy that might be there, and, well, you know. So, what do you think? O’Hara studies Zoey in her Garanimals outfit for a few seconds longer, then issues her advice. “Hair down.” Then she turns and marches away. Zoey rips off her scrunchie with lightning speed.

Another quick scene where Jackie corners Sam about his “publicist” comment concerning Coop and the questionable magazine ranking. “You need to refrain from discussing personal information about co-workers.” Really? Even though the news had to have made your day? Sam: You’re going to nail me every time, no matter what I do. Probably true. Careful, Jackie. Something tells me that Sam might just be the person you need in a future episode.

As Jackie leaves the hospital for the night, she suddenly approaches a woman who is nursing her baby in the waiting room and berates her for doing so. Not really sure of the whole story, since most of the conversation is in Spanish and there are no subtitles for those of us who are thirty years away from high-school Spanish. Was this the woman Jackie shoved out of the restroom? Hard to tell, since we basically only saw the woman’s lips and the bottle of hooch.

Now we have O’Hara and Mrs. Akalitus running into each other in the God Hallway where Jackie makes life decisions while piano music plays on the soundtrack. Akalitus is sitting at the base of the Mary statue, busily shoving a granola bar or something in her mouth. O’Hara: “I’ve never seen you eat.” Akalitus: “I like to hide my humanity whenever possible.”

O’Hara decides to join her at the feet of Mary, and then launches, still fussing about the stupid magazine where Coop had a cameo and she didn’t even get a footnote. Akalitus: “Do you REALLY care?” Apparently O’Hara does, because she fidgets with her couture and doesn’t directly answer. Akalitus: “Would it help to know that you’re in my all-time top 5?” O’Hara: “Who are the other four?”

We end the episode with Jackie finally dragging her butt home. She enters the house with her normal weary and overwhelmed attitude, hears the kids laughing and playing in the other room, and goes to greet them.

Only to find that Kevin is there with the babysitter he apparently found. And the babysitter’s name is Eddie. THAT Eddie. Surprise!

Gee, Jackie, guess you didn’t really think this thing through. You were so insistent that Kevin didn’t allow an old ex-girlfriend to be near your children (who are already so messed up that Godzilla could babysit them without any real trauma), you actually opened the door for something much more hazardous. The man you boinked to ensure a steady supply of drugs, the man who faked a suicide to get your attention, is now sitting on your living room floor and playing Chutes and Ladders with your troubled offspring.

Would you like to make a statement to the press now, Jackie?

Welcome home…

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