Nurse Jackie

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Jacob Clifton: A+ | Grade It Now!
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"I will leave you two alone," Jackie says, and of course he immediately pipes up that there are three of them, and Jackie apologizes. And again, it's like, you're not wrong? But there have actually been medical shows before, so it's like reinventing the wheel, and he does it so unceasingly that it's like the squeakingest wheel of all time.

Outside, Kev reports that Grace seems to have enjoyed her time with Dr. Bowen, but is refusing to speak to Jackie. It gets real tough, real fast. Jackie doesn't say anything; he asks if she wants him to try again, and she says not to bother. Now ordinarily in this circumstance, she'd take Eddie to a movie to get back at Grace, but Eddie's got a date. So what do you do? Nothing. Coop sits down with Jackie and awesomely goes, "Do you ever suddenly hate the way your hair stuff smells?" For some reason I love that. Jackie, not so much. She takes off without a word.

You know what Jackie needs? To be friends with Fitch Cooper. Not because he's so great or because he has anything to teach her exactly, but because his complete obliviousness ends up in the same place as Eleanor's total loyalty. You can bitchslap him five times and he'll still sit down next to you like you're even friends, and start talking about hair products. She pretends that's the kind of friend Eleanor is, it's a game they play, but it's totally not true. With Coop it really would be true, and all you have to do is stroke his ego twice daily, which she and Eleanor do for each other all the time anyway. And it's fine, because there's no power differential. Eleanor's a doctor, like Coop, and a brat like Coop, but because she's a woman it's not gross to treat her like a housepet, which is all either of them really want.

But the big secret of men is that they are incredibly easy to work, because they only have a few buttons; Jackie's power and the wonderfulness of her lies in her absolute inability to push those buttons, and it's why Gloria loves her so much -- not to mention Eddie and Kevin -- but honestly it makes things so much simpler. Maybe that's the problem: Maybe Jackie hates Coop the same amount that she hates Sam because they are both questions she cannot possibly answer without losing everything that makes her Jackie.

Jackie knows what women are, so she knows Eleanor's secrets and she knows Eleanor will never surprise her, either by grabbing her boob or making any of the other white male power plays Coop makes daily without thinking twice about it. She can fight with Gloria all day long and never get scared or feel vulnerable, because they're both in the same position vis-à-vis the actual hierarchy. Even Thor and Mo-Mo would fall under this one. But regular old men, they will surprise you and do incredibly cruel things to you without even knowing they're doing it, which is why if you're going to trust them with even a piece of yourself they have to be cordoned off: Kevin here, Eddie there. And if you're Sam or Coop, the power differential is so torqued and fucked up that there's never going to be a way around it. So it's war, all the time.

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Nurse Jackie

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