Nurse Jackie

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Jacob Clifton: A | Grade It Now!
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Heading North
rently also wearing perfume, which Jackie teases convincingly is the same fragrance Mrs. Akalitus wears. What does Gloria smell like? Rose water, or Chanel. Jackie wears nothing, but always smells like lemongrass and linen. Sam smells like heaven, or a Tom Ford. Possibly one of the Burberries. Thor smells like Le Male, which is a really nice smell for such a godawful bottle. Eleanor smells like one of the Poisons, or something from Viktor & Rolf. Eddie smells like futility and cough drops. Coop smells like Axe. Duh.

Gloria grabs Jackie later to cover a half-shift for Triage, and then questions Coop about the Twittering. Jackie explains, as he snorts and texts, that this is because he doesn't have real friends, and Coop brings up Eddie to get her back. This earns quite a look from Jackie, whose faces are on fire this week. "He works over at Excelsior Drugs, right around the corner. But if you followed me on Twitter, you would've known that three hours ago." They make fun of him some more and he babbles about social networking and it's gross and kind of dumb, and then Gloria ascertains that it can't tell her what Bellevue's lowest bid on medical waste removal is, or the fat content of a lemon bar, and is thus useless. Vanquished, Coop runs off just in time for Zoey to sniff Gloria loudly and ask if she wears L.A.M.B., which is actually funny, which this show usually is not when it's trying to be hip and current, vis this entire paragraph. For the record, she does not wear anything by Gwen Stefani.

More snorting in the WC, and outside the stall a lady is drinking liquor out of a water bottle. Jackie tells her to get the fuck, and then calls Kev when she's alone. He can't cover her covering the shift, because he's got to get to Jamaica Bay to get new barstools, but his suggestion -- horrible Ginny Flinn -- is wildly shot down. "She said she's always available," he totally says, and Jackie nearly laughs at how oblivious that is. (Remember for later: This is where Jackie bitches at him about time management and Kevin responds that she's not allowed to give him a hard time because he's for once the one stuck at work. It will be on the test.) Anyway, battle lost but the war's not over: "Do not call Ginny Flynn."

Maxillofacial and Urology are fighting over the body of the migrated testicle dog man, as they've been doing for ten minutes. They take the usual potshots at each other's specialization, and Plastics looks really familiar, but finally the guy oilcans about his balls, so Zoey tries to appease Plastics with the cell phone guy.

Outside, Zoey tells Eleanor where the cell phone guy is, and Eleanor stops her with a detective eye. They have exactly the most amazing conversation the two of them could have, wherein without preamble they just shoot codewords at each other until they arrive at a consensus. Eleanor knows she can't get Zoey to open up about what is clearly a man problem, and Zoey's too petrified generally to actually confide, so it's this mad barking Q&A, with mirrored body language: "Who is he?" Not an actual person. Just a location. Party on Staten Island. "But there will be people there? And there will be one particular person? Hair down." Good call. Business concluded, they twirl away from each other without another thought. That is one of the best scenes they've ever had together, just brilliant.

Jackie menaces Sam in a hallway about "discussing personal information," even though the dork in question was Coop's publicist. He calls her out for hating Coop anyway, and using any excuse to bust his balls, and she gives him a frightening, lingering stare before bouncing. Out in Triage, the drinking lady is about to breastfeed, so Jackie shouts at her in Spanish and hands the kid to the man next to her.

Eleanor spots Gloria eating under a giant Jesus statue and grins at her, having never seen her eat. "I like to hide my humanity, Dr. O'Hara. Or at least keep it to a minimum." Eleanor approves. I love this episode because Eleanor is finally talking to other people, and it's amazing. Last season people were convinced she was imaginary. She immediately starts in about Coop's thing in medias res and Gloria's like, "Listen, I've been here since 1978. Stop doing the math. Do you really care what a group of magazine editors that dole out stars for the Best Street Burrito, and Eyeliner, think about healthcare providers?" No. Eleanor rewards her for this humanity by explaining that she just needs Gloria to know she's a better physician, and Gloria rewards her for this very tender admission by acknowledging that Eleanor's in the all-time Top Five. Eleanor grins to herself, facing away, and then jerks. "Wait. Who are the other four?"

Jackie gets home after a shift and a half and who's sitting on her floor playing Candyland with the girls and Kevin? Oh, just Kevin's friend Eddie, who grins and shakes her hand from the floor. And while it's consternating -- Where were the girls today? He certainly didn't hand them over to Eddie for the afternoon -- I'm willing to let it slide; maybe all four of them went over to get the stools together, or something. The important thing is the crazy face on Jackie as her balls migrate north, staring down at Stalker Eddie on her floor, almost impressed with just how talented at being fucked up he really is.

So, not a lot actually happened in this episode. Coop traded the ongoing Twitter nonsense for this new Top 25 storyline, which should be fun, and Zoey's clearly cooking up something nutty, but in terms of the season: Jackie freaked out Kaitlyn, went to work to save lives and act sassy, and then went to her invaded home. Lots of setup, and very enjoyable for an episode of television, but a bit early for the Beartrap Tightening Around Jackie kind of thing we keep expecting. I think we're going to look back on this first act as a slow ramp toward crazy, and as long as it stays this funny and Eleanor continues to charm, we could have twelve Days in the Life and still be an amazing show, so knowing that shit's clearly about to blow up just adds to what was already a pretty great experiment in chilling out.

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Nurse Jackie

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