Nurse Jackie

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Jacob Clifton: A+ | Grade It Now!
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Baby, You're Built For Speed

Jackie and Kevin have the kids at the park, and Fiona's posing on Alice's mushroom when one of her balloons pops. She's cool for a second, and then starts to wig out: she is not consoled by the fact that she still has one balloon, she doesn't want a replacement, she wants her original balloon back. Exasperated, Jackie asks if she wants another one or not, and in true Fiona form she's like, "NO." So Grace tries to give her one of hers, which impresses the parents. And if Fiona were going to take it, I'd be impressed too. But she doesn't, so Grace has no choice but to let go of one of her own.

Jackie nearly cries, watching Grace watch the balloon float up. Waiting for her to knit herself back together. She doesn't understand what that says, what it means: that fairness can only get you so far. That sharing doesn't mean anything unless you're sharing pain. If fairness doesn't work, because the person is still hurting, sometimes the only choice you have is to hurt yourself. I knew the second Grace offered her second balloon that thing was getting popped, or let go, or otherwise lost. I admit I crossed my fingers against it. We inherit our disguise.

Fiona's screwing around at lunch, blowing bubbles in her drink and annoying everybody, purposively, with mean eyes, even after Kevin and Jackie ask her to stop. "Honey, really?" asks Jackie, putting the drink in front of Grace, who starts to freak out because it's contaminated somehow. Jackie licks the straw from stem to stern, but Grace isn't having it, so she gives them both a dollar to buy candy with. Fiona runs away, Grace stays put. "I'll give you a dollar if you don't go to work today," Grace says. More important than candy, than pleasure, than anything: she holds it up, like a balloon.

They discuss it, Kevin tries to get Jackie to stay firm, stick with him, keep the girls in place, and asks Grace what she really wants. "I want the hospital to burn down," Grace says softly, and Jackie sighs. "Okay." In the bathroom she snorts some shit, lets it take, and then innocently flushes. At the table, Fiona shouts, "I'm practically rich!" holding up her candy. "The world's not gonna cave in every time she falls apart," Kevin offers, reminding her they've talked about. Jackie tries but can't explain that this isn't about Grace needs, but her own. "We can't keep changing the rules," he says, and begs her to trust him. Grace doesn't look at her when she kisses them goodbye. Then it's later, and a kooky homeless man named Gus Everett collapses in front of the hospital as she's arriving. Her nose starts to bleed as she gets him on a stretcher and inside.

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Nurse Jackie

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