Tuesday, April 13, 2010

Searching For Signal: #120 - “Nurse Jackie” - Season 2, Episode 4

So we start out with Jackie marching down the sidewalk on a busy street. She looks none too happy. (To be fair, she never really looks happy, but she’s sporting a Defcon-4 sour expression at the moment, so somebody’s going to get hurt.) I’m assuming that she’s still steaming from encountering former-lover, now-psycho Eddie in her own home and apparently best friends with her hubby Kevin.

Sure enough, she stomps into the pharmacy where Eddie works, hijacks his conversation with a elderly woman who just wants her government pills, and then sends the addled woman on her confused way. Then she focuses on Whack Job. “You cannot come into my house, Eddie!”

Eddie, because he’s not exactly firmly grasping the concepts of reality and a woman with a mission, professes his love for her and really doesn’t want to hear anything else. When Jackie reiterates that “do not come into my house” really means “do not come into my house”, Eddie gets a wee bit bitter, even though he manages to hit the nail on the head with his retort. “You’re just greedy.” You want everything. Your way.

Jackie, who obviously has some anger management issues and a considerable inability to properly handle the truth, does not care for this remark. She yells some more threats (even though we know instantly that Eddie is not listening), and then she destroys a very nice display of vitamins that somebody spent a lot of time constructing. Like that’s going to help in any way.

Once she’s back outside, Jackie calls Kevin. Hey, why don’t you send our unbalanced children to your sisters for the evening so we can have a date night? Translation, I’m going to keep you busy so that you won’t have an opportunity to pal around with your new bestie that is really my old bestie that I slept with until that damn automatic pill-dispenser came onto the scene.

Cut to Zoey and Sam at the hospital. Sam is babbling away, possibly trying to be philosophical, but it’s so boring that it comes across as white noise. Zoey puts a stop to this. “I don’t do chatty.” Interesting expression, Zoey. Isn’t that the same phrase Jackie threw your direction when you burst through the doors last season, with your Hello Kitty accessories and your inability to shut up?

Suddenly none of this matters, as right then a woman races into the Emergency Room. Her young child has stopped breathing. Not good. Zoey races over, grabs the child, and starts screaming for a doctor as she hustles to an examining room.

There’s not a doctor immediately available, so it’s up to Zoey and Thor to do what they can. Then we have an amazingly-directed scene where Zoey just takes charge. All background noise drops, and we only hear the conversation between the two. Zoey gets the child breathing again with intubation (Thor: “You’re not legally allowed to…”), and then calmly stays in control when the child’s heartbeat flatlines. In the end, she saves the day. A few minutes later, Dr. O’Hara arrives and Zoey quietly slips away.

Thor to O’Hara: “She saved his life. Twice. But she might have done something that she…”

O’Hara: “Then why are we still talking about it?”

Now we’re at the Nurses’ station, where some nasty EMT guy (Lenny) is irritating everyone as he slurps Mountain Dew, crunches on chips, and is generally a pig. Zoey and Thor make disparaging remarks about his unwanted presence, but he doesn’t get it. Pigs usually don’t. That’s why they’re pigs.

Jackie wanders up, pulls Zoey to the side, and actually reprimands her for what she just did while saving the child. Zoey is stunned. “You are the last person I expected that from. I was only doing what needed to be done.” (Seriously, Jacks, what’s up with you?)

Then Mrs. Akalitus strolls up, spies the piggy EMT, and barks out an amazing line of dialogue: “Don’t eat by the urine!” (Must have been a fun meeting when the script-writers came up with THAT mess.)

Cut to Jackie and Dr. Cooper attending to a chemo patient who is really having a hard time with the side-effects. Can’t keep anything down, nothing is helping his pain, and he’s just not doing well. Jackie: “Have you tried smoking pot?” Coop nearly implodes.

A few minutes later, he corners her outside the examining room. He’s livid that she would dare to suggest an illegal activity to a patient. (Go look in the mirror, Coop. There are so many kinds of wrong going on with you right now. You have a PUBLICIST, for cryin out loud.) Jackie: “I’m gonna make a suggestion if it helps a patient.”

In another examining room, we have Dr. O’Hara and Sam reviewing a patient. Initially, there’s lots of boring medical talk, then we realize that the banter has turned to actual flirting. Next thing you know, both of them are racing off to the hospital chapel (the CHAPEL!) where they go at it like rabbits. In the midst of the lusty frenzy, Sam fesses up that he has a girlfriend. O’Hara: “So do I.”


Scene with Jackie in Mrs. Akalitus’ office. Aka first asks about how things are going with Jackie’s creepy little child that worships death. It’s going okay, hard to get an appointment with the fancy psychiatrist that Aka recommended, but anyway. Then Akalitus gets to the real point. Seems Dr. Cooper has already complained about Jackie and her Janis Joplin world-view concerning illicit drugs. Jackie is not impressed. Akalitus: “I’m not a prude, Jackie. I was at Woodstock.” Jackie: “No you weren’t.”

Back at the Nurses’ station, Jackie and sleazy Lenny are engaged in some mindless chatter about a caricature. O’Hara waltzes into the scene, and Jackie’s radar starts beeping. She marches up to O’Hara: “Lunch. Now.”

Cut to a nearby restaurant, where Jackie digs for gold. O’Hara: “I shagged a nurse.” When Jackie appears to be appalled at the sordid details, O’Hara changes the subject. (Always a good move when people are not impressed with your lust for life.) “Tell me about Eddie. Do you think he’ll go to Kevin and spill the beans?” Jackie: Nope. (Said with hesitation, make a note.) O’Hara: “Do you love him?” Jackie takes the Fifth.

Now we’re at Kevin’s bar, where psycho Eddie wanders in, waving some primo tickets to the Mets game that night. Wanna go? Kevin sadly admits that it’s date night with the Missus. Eddie: Well then, don’t wanna upset Jackie. Then his eyes sparkle with madness as he accepts a proffered beer from Kevin.

Quick scene with O’Hara buying a bouquet of flowers. Who knows.

Next up is Sam and Thor at an elevator or some such, not sure where they are. Sam’s all twitchy, clearly unnerved about something. (Perhaps the carnal activities in the House of God?) Thor tries to be supportive, remembering that Sam is struggling to stay on the wagon with his drug issues. Thor: “Consider me your work-place sponsor. You can tell me anything.” Sam: “I slept with a doctor.” Thor, immediately changing his tune: “I’m not talking to you.” Then he races away.

Jackie stops by to visit the cancer patient, who has been checked out and is ready to leave. Jackie offers to push him to the exit in a wheelchair (protocol, natch). As they roll through the ward, they pass Coop explaining to Zoey that he now has over 1,000 followers on Twitter. Zoey doesn’t care. We don’t care. Nobody cares except for Coop. He pauses to tweet about the situation.

Just before Jackie wheels the cancer patient out the doors, she grabs an apple off a passing meal cart, meaning that somebody is going to be really disappointed in a few minutes. Once outside, Jackie rolls her patient up to nasty Lenny’s ambulance. They clamor inside, wherein Jackie proceeds to make a bong out of the apple and then crams it full of some Lenny weed. She then instructs the patient on the art of apple-bonging. He instantly feels better than he has in months.

Nasty Lenny: Dude, how did you know I had weed?

Jackie: Mountain Dew and Doritos? Done.

Nasty Lenny: But the apple thing?

Jackie: Jones Beach. Toto concert. Back in the day.

Me: I really led a sheltered life.

Patient, feeling the effects of the special apple juice: “I’m actually hungry. Can we turn on the siren?”

Back in the hospital, Zoey is fiddling with something, when Dr. O’Hara slinks in the door. O’Hara places the mysterious bouquet of flowers on the counter, then pretends to study some charts. As Zoey looks at her questioningly, O’Hara explains: “They’re for you. Good work.”

LUV me some Dr. O’Hara. Despite the questionable dalliance among the pews.

Zoey doesn’t even know how to respond, so she acts instead, wandering off to call an elevator. The doors are just about to close when Jackie races up and jumps on the elevator with her. But they don’t say anything to each other. Gee, Jackie, feeling a little guilty about being a black kettle?

They exit the elevator on the pediatric floor, where Zoey gazes at the sleeping child she rescued. They stand there for a bit, then Zoey surprises us. “I think I’m pregnant.” Another pause. Then Jackie reaches out and briefly smoothes Zoey’s hair before pulling her hand back. Nice moment.

Later, as Jackie is preparing to leave the hospital for the night, she gets a call from Kevin. Can we push Date Night back a few hours? Tickets to the Mets game and all. Then Jackie hears Eddie in the background. “Put him on!” Eddie takes the phone from Kevin. Jackie: “Do NOT do this!” Eddie ignores her, because he’s in full-tilt psycho mode. Great. The fun never ends.

Cut to Jackie in her empty house, making cookies, with one of the ingredients being wacky weed. She then traipses off to the cancer guy’s apartment and hands him the goodies. Just “one of these a day” should do it. Here’s a half-cookie to get you through the evening. Then Jackie proceeds to clean out the guy’s refrigerator while he relaxes and watches the Mets game….

1 comment:

  1. can I ask you a question?
    do you know, by any chance, if Sam says: "I'm slipped" or "I slept" the first time, when he talks to Thor?
    I have to subtitle a clip from this episode for an exam.
    If you answer me, I'll give you half my mark. :D