Tuesday, April 20, 2010

Searching For Signal: #123 - “Nurse Jackie” - Season 2, Episode 5

So Jackie wanders into her bedroom, apparently late at night. (Kevin is asleep in the bed) Jackie decides to do some housekeeping RIGHT THEN and grabs a shirt off the floor. In the pocket of this rude article of clothing she finds some movie ticket stubs. Interestingly enough, the ratio of child/adult stubs does not match the known population spread in Jackie’s house. Something’s up.

(On a side note, Jackie, don’t dig in pockets if you don’t want to learn stuff.)

Anyway, Jackie gets that look, flips on a bedside lamp so that her interrogation skills can be clearly seen by all, and she wakes Kevin. Spill, now. Turns out that Kevin and the girls went to dinner and the movies with evil Jenny Flynn and her satanic offspring, Caitlin. Jackie expresses her dissatisfaction with this arrangement, Kevin gets to act frustrated while shirtless, and then suddenly Jackie gets horny. (Perhaps heated discourse just does something for her.)

But the lustiness is short-lived. Jackie quickly changes her mind and decides to sleep on the couch in the living room instead. Well then.

Next morning, Jackie wakes to discover crazy Gracie and little Fiona standing beside the couch, both of them clutching boxes of high-sugar cereal and shoving handfuls of such into their mouths. (Um, Jacks, maybe THAT right there is one contributing factor to Gracie’s obsession with the end of the world. Nobody needs that much artificial energy. Bad things can happen.)

She has a brief conversation with them, where we learn that “Alice in Wonderland” is a really great movie (Fiona) and that it was directed by Tim Burton (Gracie, and of course she would know this because she’s drawn to darkness and men with unkempt hair.) Then Gracie says something flippant and stomps off. To make up for this brashness, Fiona proffers some Fruit Loops for Jackie to eat. And of course Jackie does, because her mouth automatically pops open whenever she spies little, round, colorful things.

Cut to Jackie and Dr. O’Hara having breakfast in that restaurant near the hospital. Jackie’s whining about Jenny, O’Hara is advising on how best to keep secrets from husbands, and Jackie’s back hurts from the couch. This somewhat boring conversation is interrupted when some reporter has breaking news on a TV that is conveniently located nearby.

What the reporter is actually saying is not important. What we’re supposed to learn here is that, first, Jackie really likes this reporter, Sarah Something. Second, O’Hara seems to know way more personal detail about this Sarah than your average rich doctor should. Jackie, about how much she enjoys Sarah’s reporting: “I could NOT love her more.” O’Hara, somewhat muttering: “Well, get in line.”


Then we have Jackie and O’Hara strolling through the hospital, where they run into Sam. (Remember that he and O’Hara just “passed the offering plate” in the last episode.) Sam would like a word with O’Hara, but she quickly dismisses him and they move on. O’Hara to Jackie: See, that’s how it’s done. Quick and painless.

Then we have a close-up of Zoey shoving a giant donut in her mouth, while diabetic Thor is sitting in the background. Then there’s a nice conversation about how unglamorous diabetes can be, wherein we learn that Halle Berry gives birth to beautiful children and Mary Tyler Moore is an alcoholic.

Suddenly, Mrs. Akalitus comes stomping up and interrupts all the fun, because that’s what she does best. She announces that “Miguel from Admitting” will now be stationed at the Pill-O-Matics until they can figure out why controlled narcotics are going AWOL all the time. Jackie, looking quite mortified, argues with her for a bit. “You’re making things worse.” Mrs. Akalitus does not care, and she and her 50’s hairstyle march away.

Next we have everybody racing to assist with a patient that sleazy Lenny just rolled in. Seems this guy fell off a building or some such. They get him in one of the rooms, people start doing their thing, and then Zoey grabs a pair of serious scissors and starts to cut the man’s pants off. (I guess this is something that happens all the time.) Zoey lets out a squeal when she discovers a gun in the man’s pocket.

While everybody else screams and panics (including Dr. Cooper), Jackie steps up to finish the scissor action by just cutting the whole pocket out of the man’s jeans. She then marches off to where “Miguel from Admitting” is soundly sleeping next to the Pill-O-Magic machine. She kicks him and hands the weapon over. “Make yourself useful.”

Quick scene with Jackie leaving a message for Kevin. My bad about sleeping on the couch, missed waking up next to you. Call me. Which is sweet and all, but this is Jackie, right? What’s the real motivation?

Another quick scene with Akalitus storming into the room where Coop, Zoey and Jackie are still working on the guy who no longer has a matched set of pockets on his pants. “I understand there was a gun. I want him handcuffed to the bed.” The other three: “But he’s unconscious.” Akalitus: “Don’t care.”

Cut to Akalitus’ office, where Cooper is once again whining about Jackie. She cuts him off, bigger fish to fry. Seems the hospital board has decided they want to do a splashy ad campaign, and they have decided (Akalitus grimaces here but manages to keep going) that they want Dr. Cooper to be their spokes model. Because he’s cute. Not because he’s a good doctor. Surprise!

Cooper, totally pleased with the offer and himself: “hob-knobbing is my gift. That and really tiny stitches.” But first he wants his “team” to look at the contract. He has a team? Please.

Short scene where Jackie manages to steal drugs from the Pill-O-Rama while Miguel is obliviously working on a crossword puzzle. Nice.

Extended scene where there’s some mess about Mrs. Akalitus approving the purchase of cheaper “death kits”, with the little plastic sheet not even beginning to cover a dead body. More importantly, we learn that Sam is knowledgeable about Reflexology, and he grabs Zoey’s hand to demonstrate his skill with a diagnosis. “Something’s up with your uterus.” Whoopsie. Then Zoey slaps him and runs away because… I don’t know. It’s Zoey.

Another patient is wheeled into admitting, this time an elderly woman. I don’t really get all of the details (something about her being abandoned in her own home) because I’m distracted by two things. One is that the woman is waving around hands with freakishly long and nasty fingernails. The other is that the actress doing the waving is none other than Marion Ross, aka Mrs. Cunningham from “Happy Days”. Is Fonzie responsible for this woman‘s condition? Maybe Pinky Tuscadero? Are there going to be more cameos?

While this is going on, O’Hara clatters up and drags Jackie off to the side. She demands that Jackie order Sam to stop looking at her. Jackie: Are you kidding me with this? You made your own bed. O’Hara: “It’s not a bed, it was a one-night stand. Barely that. Just a bump in the chapel!” Jackie just gives her a look and heads back to work.

Scene with Jackie and the clumsy guy who tripped and fell off a building. The whole conversation is in Spanish, but the helpful subtitles inform us that he was carrying an unlicensed gun because people keep stealing his tools and he can’t report this to the police because he’s not legal. Oh boy. In the midst of this, Jackie gets a text from Crazy Eddie. “Still sweeping up vitamins, love you anyway.”

Jackie wanders into the room where they are keeping the neglected Mrs. Cunningham. Zoey is warmly chatting with her, and it becomes clear that Mrs. C is just not all there. (Perhaps she never got over the cancellation of her show.) Zoey shares some surprising news with Jackie: “She has a a 24-hour caregiver, paid for by the state.” Really? Jackie gets that look which means heads are about to roll.

She stomps off to get the woman’s file, then comes back and gently digs for more detail on this supposed care-giver. Turns out this person only shows up once a week or so. As Jackie’s blood continues to boil, Thor comes up and would like to chat with “Renata”. He recognizes her from back in the day, when she used to by a stylist for major Broadway productions.

While Thor and Renata chat, Jackie and Zoey are off to one side, discussing getting old and babies and such. During this, Jackie fesses to Zoey that she has two girls. Pause while Zoey grins. Then Jackie: “That’s all you’re getting.”

A bit later, while Jackie is trying to call someone (not clear), O’Hara totters up again in some really cute boots, and makes Jackie go outside to talk. Cut to them on a bench, where O’Hara has just spilled about having been in a relationship with Sarah the Reporter. Jackie: “Really? You don’t do ANYthing half-ass, do you?” O’Hara thought she was over it, but she’s meeting Sarah in a few days.

Sam comes walking up, and Jackie quickly scurries away so that O’Hara will have to deal with him. He gets right to the point, breaking off the relationship that they really don’t have. Sam: “My girlfriend’s back.” O’Hara: “So’s mine.”

Scene with Zoey talking to sleazy Lenny, and they seem to know a lot more about each other than we first thought, getting slightly intimate with their conversational flow. Zoey: “I think I might be pregnant.” (Oh my, is this Baby Daddy?) Turns out, no he’s not.

Zoey: “It’s not with the guy I like. It’s his brother. One less Jaegermeister and I might have ended up with the one I wanted.”

Lenny: “If no one steps up to the plate, I can be there.”

Cut back inside the hospital, where some woman marches up to Thor. “I’m looking for Renata Thurber.” Thor: “Family?” Woman: “Caregiver.” As soon as she says that, I can’t help but squeal. Jackie gonna get her some of THAT. And here she comes, being all sly. “Why don’t you have a seat, we’ll get you the release forms.”

Suddenly Jackie gets very busy. Zoey tell her that the police are here for the gun, they need a signature. Jackie gets an extra set of scrubs, marches to the room with the illegal, and explains how to escape the hospital and how to care for his wound. Then she uncuffs him. Go! Jackie then intercepts the police officer and asks him to follow her.

They approach the care-giver while Jackie explains that the officer will need to take the woman in for “aggravated neglect and endangerment.”

Care-giver: “Who the hell are you?”

“I’m Jackie Peyton. Nice to meet you.”

The officer takes the woman away.

Later, after work, Jackie calls someone. “I’m sorry about all this. Wanna talk?”

Cut to Jackie meeting Eddie (yes, Eddie) outside a movie theater. “You gotta toughen up.” Then they go inside to watch “Alice in Wonderland” while a jazzy little number plays on the soundtrack…


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