So Mohammad's gone. Actually not as huge a problem as you might expect -- and he is beautiful and talented as we know, not to mention his budget-cut disappearance adds yet more to administrator Akalitus's full plate of drama, not to mention more Thor -- due to budget cuts. Zoey's still around and still being amazing. Who else do we care about? Thor has a diabetic freakout that threatens his job and makes Akalitus even more scary than previously, but that's not a huge point.
Actually, nothing that happens is a huge point. It's a nice, relaxing hug from the most unnerving show on television, that resets our counter and tells us what's up. What's up is, the whole big suicidal addiction binge hangover cliffhanger is not a huge problem -- and in fact the first third of the episode, you can be forgiven for thinking is a dream sequence, is how not a problem it is. Things really are that idyllic -- except for the sexist broheim Jackie fells mightily at the taco stand during their vacation.
So it's three months after last season, and Jackie and her husband take a lovely minibreak to the seaside with Fiona (still nuts and awesome) and Grace (still nuts and ... nuts), and then go back to life as usual. Eddie the Pharmacist/Boyfriend shows up, first in a what-if hallucination at the Shore and then as an actual suicidal nutso jerkoff patient in Jackie's ER. He says out loud that he tried to kill himself to get Jackie's attention, and Jackie is understandably grossed out and points out that he's a pharmacist and knows damn well exactly how much Dumbass Drug he should take. So Eddie's about how you would expect after finding out his gorgeous brilliant girlfriend has a secret life with kids and all.
Back at the hospital, Zoey is doing what she can to cover for the zero things she knows about Jackie's horrific unprofessional shit. Thor is being adorable and becoming the new confessional homo. That cute junkie nurse that Jackie kicked out last year has become hotter than Mo-Mo and Coop put together, and possibly hotter than all human persons. And has come back sober and in recovery, which makes him Jackie's ideological enemy and paw-thorn in a way that pales between Coop's darling attempt to be her real nemesis by tattling to Akalitus about her general bossiness. And whom, of course, continues to be a paragon of awesome. As much as I loved Akalitus before, I have to say... Somebody tonight said, "You love Zoey on the show and would hate her in real life... But same is true for Akalitus. You scream about her on the show -- fantastic and beautiful as she is -- but in real life you would shrimp her toes." And it occurs to me that this explains a lot.
As does youngest daughter Fiona, speaking of paragons of awesome, and shrimp, who snaps a photo of a raccoon skull on the beach and immediately sends it to Eleanor, who knows as we all should that it's the most perfect possible gift, and is so moved that her dead mom's cliffhanger is resolved by her determination to establish college funds for both girls, and become godmother to one -- "I don't care who" -- both of which Kevin, I'm sure, will bitch about.
All in all, a wonderful reintroduction to the fabulous, hilarious, delightful, dark characters that populate this wonderful universe: Everybody from Perfectly Imperfect Jackie to Adorably For-Real Thor and Zoey, to the Hot As Hell new guy being Jackie's awful mirror to Eddie half-dead and Kevin half-Kevin and Eleanor striking new deals every second with the Peyton girls... It was an okay story, but it was a fucking fabulous reminder of why this is the awesomest show. Everybody on the most amazing behavior.
Just the usual half-hour of "we all miss Xena" action -- lesbians being hardcore/lesbians are righteous and justice/lesbians emotionally processing that we've come to expect and love. In a word, awesome plus hot bears and hot boys, and amazing writing about addiction and marriage that the world has never seen... But with Burt Bacharach to boot! How did they know!? That is the perfect thing!
Jackie goes from flat on her back full of drugs to a blanket at the seashore while "I Say A Little Prayer" plays, three months later. However she made it up to Eleanor for leaving her to deal with her mom, however she managed to get up off that floor with the rats and the hallucinations, we don't see but we can assume that she did it the same way she does everything, which is with the Addict Skillz. I don't feel cheated by the whole cliffhanger thing, because first of all that's exactly the kind of thing this show doesn't do well, but mostly because that's her whole life.
That's what addiction is: An ongoing lack of dramatic conclusions, resolution; a continuing search for, and fear of, a change that never comes. If somebody had found her on that floor with her broken finger and the rats, if somebody had called her out on the Pyxis theft, if somebody had told Kevin she was cheating on him, if somebody could just look closely enough to figure out how sick she really is, then she would have to be an Addict and if she were known as an Addict then she would have to stop using drugs. And that cannot be allowed to happen. Her life is built around hiding from anything that would dramatically change the course she's set for herself. Addicts are the kings of very tiny kingdoms.
Jackie and Kevin are adorable at the seashore, and very much in love, and Grace is of course washing her hands with soap -- because I don't know if you know this but the beach is just sand and sand is just dirt -- because she's a little weirdo. Meanwhile, Fiona's obsessing on this rotting raccoon head: "I don't know, but it's really good... I think it's a head!" She borrows Jackie's phone to take a picture, and then makes Jackie mail it to somebody whom I'm assuming is Eleanor. Fiona is still the awesomest and Jackie's interactions with her are still the adorablest.
And Grace is still the suckiest, refusing to talk to Jackie or acknowledge her at all, and refusing to eat french fries because the workers aren't wearing gloves... I mean, I know she's crazy and that's sad and everything, but God she's a drag. Even Jackie is like, "This is getting old." She looks over toward the beach, and there's Eddie standing there -- looking really cute, actually -- and she blinks and feels nuts, and then of course it's some other guy and she's just hallucinating the specter of her fling because it's still hanging over her life: Knowing that at any moment Eddie could pop up and dramatically alter the course of her tiny kingdom.
Then some douchebags come up to the burger stand and start talking about getting these girls drunk and fucking them, and Kevin asks them to chill a couple times before Jackie like head-butts one of them and leaves him on the ground. It's fabulous.
The first thing that happens when Jackie gets to work is a gunshot, right past her head and into that giant Virgin Mary statue that always watches Jackie do horrible things. Zoey is in the office with Akalitus when it goes off. ".22 caliber, I'm guessing," Gloria says, and tells her not to go outside and get herself shot in the bargain, and then her phone rings and she's like, "Anybody hit? Security mobilized? Good." I love Akalitus, I really do.
So Zoey's in there to discuss her proximity to several questionable incidents, including a severed ear and that sexy old curmudgeon Neil Nutterman, and all of these things Zoey nods for, in that creepy way of hers, and then Akalitus says that now the Emergency Department of All Saints has been flagged by the state of New York for narcotics shrinkage. "And I have to ask myself, what's different?" Nothing is different. Zoey's like, "Not me!" And when Jackie pops her head in to say the Virgin Mary took one in the shoulder, she immediately realizes that any meeting between these two forces of nature is probably bad for her, and Zoey abruptly blurts "ILLEGAL!" when they're talking about the drug thefts.
We jump-cut almost to the Pyxis room, where Gloria plays out that old Catskillsy routine where she wants Jackie to tell the people to stop stealing drugs but keeps interrupting her to be obnoxiously Akalitusish. It's very funny, because Gloria is played by a very funny, very smart woman, but I can't really reproduce it for you. She says "people" a lot, like she addresses the group as "people" several times, which basically covers it. Jackie demonstrates how to use the machine, and in doing so totally pockets a vial of Ativan right in front of Gloria and the entire department, which is so bad-ass I can't even really process it.
Zoey: "So when you were up there, I was watching everyone -- you know, like I do -- and a lot of them looked really guilty." Nice. Coop comes running up with Hair tickets, having reset himself like a Pyxis and decided that they're dating or something. Jackie is, of course, horrified. "It takes place in the Sixties! I thought it might take you back!" I've missed Coop.
Jackie's less offended than desirous of egress, but he won't let her get away, explaining that the whole "come here, go away" thing is exhausting him. Which, as a rich white male, cannot be allowed to happen. Jackie explains that there is no "come here" in there, just "go away," and invites him to go away, go away, go away. He immediately starts whining and bitching and making sure to note that she's a "nurse," which he always says like it's a racial epithet, and not to mention far older than he, because petulant is one flavor of Coop that we get to see a lot of. He takes off, tossing the tickets Zoey's way, and as she manipulates them into her bra she screams, "Ah! My first perk!"
Eleanor's giggling at the raccoon head picture when Jackie joins her to wait on a GSW coming in. "I don't know why she wanted to send it or why you like it, but there you have it." Eleanor delights in how she and Fiona are kindred spirits, and then babbles quickly through how her mom died and she's the executor and wants to set up college funds for the girls. As usual, the problem will be Kevin, but the evidence that Eleanor has to offer in her favor -- "Fiona sent me a picture of a dead animal! Knowing full well it would be the highlight of my day! We're connected!" -- is not the kind of thing Kevin's likely to accept. And the only attached string? That Jackie fire one of the girls' godmothers and install Eleanor instead.
Akalitus introduces Zoey and Jackie to Sam, the new staff RN. They, of course, recognize him from last season, when he called Jackie a drug addict after she fired him for being one. Apparently he has been through rehab, and comes with many recommendations, and will be much cheaper than both Jackie and (the sadly fired) Mo-Mo. Apparently he has also been hit several times with the sexy stick.
"If the hospital is worried about nurses stealing drugs," Jackie wonders, "Maybe you don't want to hire a nurse who's an addict?" Gloria calls him a former addict, and the sensible part of Jackie responds, "No such thing." The guy tries to be friendly, but she cold-shoulders him, and then Coop shows up to perform masculinity for everybody, and asks Eleanor for this patient. "Listen, I kind of feel like you're getting a lot of the stabbings and gunshots lately. Mind if I take this one?" Eleanor, like most everybody in the hospital, admits nothing would make her happier than giving Coop a big old gunshot wound. The best part is when he's leaving and he broheims Sam really hard, like with finger guns: "We call those GSWs, for short!"
A 23-year-old girl who reached into the glovebox and got most of her hand blown off by her cop dad's gun. Sucky, but then also she's deaf, so you can see how having a hand like pudding would be even more inconvenient. The whole time Coop's doing doctor things and Jackie's talking to the girl, but it takes Coop forever to figure out that the girl's deaf, and so Jackie's repeated requests to call Plastics make no sense to him. Finally he gets her point, but still doesn't think they'll get the surgery approved. There was going to be more of this, but something's