Nurse Jackie
Enough Rope

Episode Report Card
Jacob Clifton: A+ | Grade It Now!
Don't Even Notice I Am Lying

Sam: "Are you and O'Hara fighting?"
Jackie: "Doctors are the enemy, babe."
Sam: "Right on."
Jackie: "One more thing? Mind your biz."
Sam deflates even further as Coop appears.
Coop: "Sam, I love you and I'm sorry I fucked your girlfriend but I've never had a guy friend before besides Eddie, and honestly he hates me as much as everybody else does."
Sam: "It's because you are the worst."
Coop: "My misguided grasping at the signifiers of masculinity must surely bear fruit at some point! Even a blind squirrel finds a nut once in a while! I had no father! Apparently I am the result when that happens!"

Zoey pulls a prodigious amount of gloves from every single area of herself, causing everybody's eyes to widen and widen and eventually they feel like she's crossed a line. "Second ago you thought it was magic," she gleams, and heads off to steal from Oncology. Thor, of course, is appalled by this. Zoey is in the grip of her mania and cannot be dissuaded. Eddie appears and kidnaps Jackie back to the pharmacy so he can whine at her about his "best friend" Kevin and how it makes him sad to lie to Kevin, etc.

What everybody seems to have forgotten is that Eddie only became friends with Kevin to fuck with Jackie, that was expressly and solely the reason, to ruin her marriage in retaliation for her not following his orders precisely and being in love with him, and when she was unaffected he tried to use their past relationship to blackmail her into fucking him. It is so characteristic of this show that now we're expected to respect the bromance between Eddie and Kevin, the meaningful details of which we are constantly being told and not shown, because they exist even less than the patients do.

As badly as men write about women -- at least in the second wave narrative we all keep telling and retelling each other as though it is true or relevant -- that's how dumb this show is about men. Which I guess is a step toward equality in one way, but not the right way; definitely it's one of the places [e.g. Fitch Cooper, e.g. Urine Lady below] where the resentment seems to puddle up and express itself, with the effect that you're performing feminism so poorly it turns into the opposite of itself. Not the worst part of the writing in this season/this show, but definitely one of the less admirable parts.

Speaking as I do from a place of white male privilege: There's no such thing as reverse sexism, any more than there is such a thing as reverse racism or, I don't know, heterophobia. I'm not complaining out of outrage or victimhood, because it is my privilege to be impervious to victimhood in those ways. But there is the possibility of being tacky, and sometimes this show is very tacky, genderwise, in a way that harms and does not help the narrative itself, which is my only (ever) complaint: The writing.

Invariably the recipient of Jackie's justice will be an entrenched white male: A good thing. The only power relationships of merit -- the only relationships of merit -- on this show are between intelligent, powerful women. Also a good thing. Bechdel Test satisfied, week in, week out: Good thing. It's when Coop gets involved, or we're going on three years with either zero or wildly discontinuous characterizations of Kev and Eddie respectively, that everything turns cardboard and the Take Back The Night vengeance-fantasy stuff starts seeming obsolete and meanspirited, without larger purpose. Which, considering the episodes barely hang together as it is, maybe you walk before you run. Three years in, these should not be the questions.

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Nurse Jackie




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