Nurse Jackie

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Jacob Clifton: A+ | Grade It Now!
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Jackie points out that on any other Showtime show, or in lots of other states, he'd have already at least gotten to try medical marijuana, and she's really cool about it, talking to him like a man for once. Of course, Coop is officious and awful about it, and she stands her ground and says that she's going to go ahead and do her job, which is offering solutions to the guy's horrible situation. "No you're not!" Coop bitches. "I make suggestions, you listen and agree!" He offers to go over Gloria's head -- which is who, God? -- and Jackie snorts as if there's anybody more special or authoritative than Fitch Cooper, and it's fairly devastating even though she says it to the back of his head.

Sam's still feeling chatty while Eleanor works on some unconscious dude, all about how he thought it would be weirder to be around the drugs. Finally he ends up behind her, both of them inspecting the chart, and the music tells you things are about to get hetero. "My sponsor thinks I'm a sex addict," he murmurs, and she doesn't look up. "Were you standing this close to her when she told you that?" He's a guy, but yeah. Heh. Sex addicts and their creepy ways. "We can't all be saints," she says loftily, and then we cut to them fucking in the chapel. (No! Yes!) During what seems to be like a jolly good time up against a pew, he goes, "I have a girlfriend!" So does Eleanor, apparently.

"So I was wondering if you had a chance to call that pediatric psychiatrist I recommended?" Jackie knows that Gloria knows that Jackie knows that they're both talking about Gracie -- her kids being something of an open secret I still don't quite understand logistically -- and she's like, "We're really going to talk about this." Gloria tells her to forget she asked, but she doesn't mean it: "Jackie, people put up walls for a reason. And from time to time the people around us pipe up. You need to tear down that wall." Jackie, who invented Being Those People, swears she's not one of Those People, but it only takes a bit of nudging for one tiny brick in one of the walls to come down.

"She's only ten. She fixates on the strangest things. She'd rather watch a fire safety video than High School Musical. We can't get in to see Dr. Bowen until next month." Satisfied -- both that Jackie let off a little of the constant pressure and that Jackie has accepted her demonstration of caring -- Gloria assures her Bowen's worth the wait. "Apparently she's also on the list of the hottest doctors in New York," Jackie says, leaning back, which gets us to a better topic: "Is it my imagination or is Coop even more of a shit than he used to be?" Heh.

Gloria does her classic Akalitus move of talking the talk while making clear they're both just going through the motions: "I understand where he's coming from. Dr. Cooper simply does not want nurses to advise patients to use illegal substances to relieve pain or nausea. Advocating for a patient to pursue illegal drugs when they are under our care here at All Saints Hospital..." Jackie gets it, and asks to leave. At the door, Gloria swears she's not a prude -- "I was at Woodstock, for Christ's sake!" -- earns the only possible response you give one of those adorable Boomers when they say that shit, "No you weren't," while frowny-grinning. The more Jackie likes Gloria, the more I like Jackie.

Jackie can't believe that Lenny's still around, but he says he's been out and back twice already. He shows around a caricature he got somebody to draw of Zoey from his phone -- it's cute, and exactly what you think, considering she's already a caricature -- and Zoey shows up to scream at him to put it away. It's adorable. Eleanor appears and rattles off some doctor stuff, and Jackie stares at her and her apr├Ęs-sex hair for approximately one second before ordering her to go to lunch. Now.

Eleanor giggles under Jackie's walleyed stare and admits that she shagged a nurse, in the chapel no less, which is horrifying but not as horrifying as the next part, which Jackie already has intuited: That it was Sam. Eleanor laughs about how he's a recovering addict, and Jackie says that's just one of the many, many problems she has with him. Eleanor says that without booze and sex and drugs it's a wonder he gets out of bed in the morning: Maybe a shag in front of Jesus is what will keep him alive. Jackie wants to barf, and Eleanor giggles about that because she knows how much Jackie hates him, and changes the subject to Eddie.

"It's over. It's done. It's... You know, whatever we had is now a big fat fucked-up mess." Eleanor points out that in addition to the usual obstructions we can have in relationships -- stalking, drug trafficking, suicide attempts, am I right ladies? -- there's also Jackie's whole marriage and family. Which, of course, Eleanor knows just how much of a bummer those things can be, considering Kevin always acts like it's Eleanor trying to fuck Jackie all the time. "I think the overdosing stalker in him was just lying dormant," Eleanor says, and wonders if he's maybe going to tell Kevin the whole thing. Jackie says no, because what would he have then? Which kind of tells you she's not done with him.

"Everyone's life in ruins? If-I-can't-have-her-no-one-can kind of thing?" Jackie's sure -- and she knows people, it's her magic power -- that he's not that guy. She says that he loves her, no matter what, even if there's a little bit of hate in there now. Eleanor asks the big question: Does Jackie love him? The answer is yes, but answering the question is a bridge too far for old Jackie, because that would make it cheating instead of an exquisite demonstration of denial and Addict Skillz. Eleanor says she doesn't judge either way, and that she expects the same from Jackie, even though it's Sam. I say: Look at Sam. There's your alibi. Just look at him and ask yourself if the normal rules apply. Not wanting to talk about either of their adultery boyfriends, Jackie decides lunch is over. Eleanor stays behind, to do God knows what sneakiness. It involves a bouquet, we'll see.

Eddie comes to the bar to woo Kevin once again with some kind of sport activity, but Jackie has cockblocked them with Date Night. Eddie starts applying pressure in his mysteriously unpressuring, passive way, and you know that this will somehow be going his way, because Eddie is becoming the wife Jackie could never be. She's his hobby now, and Kevin.

Sam wigs and freaks and feels like a failure so volubly that Thor offers to be his "workplace sponsor" despite not being in recovery (not even for his wedding cake addiction). We take care of other people when we can't take care of ourselves. Especially if they're epically hot. It's very sweet and tender and Sam wraps him in a gorgeous hug before admitting that he slipped: "I slept with a doctor." Thor immediately and hilariously turns off every cute and kind part of himself and goes icy and cold and leaves with an abruptness so wild you might think he was channeling Zoey channeling Jackie. I love how firstly Thor is like Nation of Islam when it comes to doctors versus nurses, and secondly how even on this show, which is literally about these issues, sex addicts are still treated like the eating disorders of recovery. Boo-hoo.

I mean, I'm not that callous about it now because all that shit is self-harming and I don't understand treating yourself poorly, but even sex addiction -- and eating disorders, to a lesser extent -- eventually I stopped rolling my eyes about. I was not a believer until I saw the first few seconds of Sex Rehab with that wonderful Dr. Drew and had to change the channel and go throw up forever when I heard the intake questions: "Have you ever masturbated to the point of self-injury?" I was like, I'm out, motherfuckers. In that moment, sex addiction became all too real to me, because WTF did you just say?

In the same way, I think Thor's storyline is the most relevant of all, because if everybody's in some way a mirror for Jackie -- like how on Nip/Tuck there wer

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Nurse Jackie

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