Nurse Jackie
Orchids & Salami

Episode Report Card
Jacob Clifton: A+ | Grade It Now!
YOU GRADE IT
Sicker Than Other People

AKALITUS

Gloria: Literally snipping at a bonsai tree, like this is a 1989 sitcom. I was going to write something like, she's playing with a Zen garden or cutting a bonsai tree, and then was horrified to remember that she actually is.
Jackie: "The fact that you gave Nurse Kelly Saturday off is going to cause a riot."
Gloria: "No, it's not. Everybody loves him. This is about you."
Jackie: "I want Saturday off."
Gloria: "You want Saturday off?"
Jackie: "No, like I want the idea."

DANCES WITH MOCCASINS

Coop: "I tread softly on that line between how straight guys actually behave, and how gay dudes actually do."
Wind Walker: "You do it well, generally."
Coop: "You are testing my abilities here to their utmost."
Wind Walker: "Sorry about your moms, and your bunion."
Coop: "Wait, did you just read about my bunion from my soul or something?"
WW: "No, I have had a bunion."
Coop, honestly he says this: "Moccasins."
Sigh, Whatever: "Here is a kite."

Coop: "That's literally all it takes! Thanks, Chief!"
Wind Walker: "Um."
Coop: "Not like Indian Chief, like um, I want to be Chief Physician Chief. And I call everybody Chief. I think I'm having a stroke."
Wind Walker: " I get it, you're a douchebag, already knew that, we're cool. See you on the flipside."
Coop: "Okay, Tonto! ...Oh, God damn it."

He reaches out to give Wind Walker's nipple the tiniest of tweaks. Just kidding. Same difference.

OUT ON THE STREET

Coop: Hobbling around like a grinning dorky maniac, with the kite. It's hard to watch.
God: "Against the wind, you moron! You'll never get this high!"
Coop: "We had a connection!"
Jackie: Has less and less to say in response to Fitch's antics.

Kelly: "Is that Eddie getting into Eleanor's Towncar?"
Jackie: "I'm just kind of going to lose it now, a little bit."

PEYTON PLACE

Kevin, angry and whatever: "Hey, I found all these drugs in the car and now I'm like twice as tall as usual. On the other hand, my clothes get tighter every episode so you can really see what I'm working with."
Jackie, jittery and awful: "Oh yeah? Well I'm going to talk as fast as I can and lie about all kinds of shit, just like in every episode where this happens, only this time I'm basically telling the truth, but it's mostly just a coincidence."
Kevin: "I'm not buying it, Jackie! You always do this! Our marriage is in trouble!"
Jackie, producing Bill's 30-Day chip from last week: "[Tells the story Sam told her that is actually about her, to prove she's been going to meetings, so quickly that it seems nearly logical.]"

Kevin: "Well, I guess I believe you suddenly, again. Thank God you've been carrying that chip around all week since last episode."
Jackie: "Um, thank God I've got this patch on my arm that's 100 times stronger than morphine or I probably would have just beat it and run my ass through the screen door."

But you know what would be awesome is, what if that happened. Or what if Fiona found the dental floss in the car and used it, or almost used it, or totally used it and then totally died. Or what if Eleanor and Eddie started fucking and Jackie had to deal with forgiving Eleanor for something instead of continually setting it up for people to forgive Jackie for no real reason. Or what if Zoey found out about one of Jackie's trillion misdeeds and was led to compromise her own morals in order to protect her heroine? That would just kill.

Or what if Fitch Cooper wasn't a complicated joke about the emotional life of cardboard? Or what if Eddie had a storyline other than "Dating somebody, just kidding"? Or what if Kevin was more than a boltnecked Frankenstein with a single on/off switch? I've seen this season. There is exactly one game-changer I can think of, and it happens in such a way that it might end up not mattering just as much as anything else that ever happens on this bizarre pillow dream of a show.

And I'll be damned if I can figure out why, because what? You want to hold onto your viewers so you don't do the truly edgy stuff? And so it's this bullshit compromise of being exciting and seemingly edgy without actually being either of those? Or I mean, is this about not wanting to watch female characters do the kinds of things male characters regularly do on black comedies? Is that a note you can see getting from the network? Because it makes sense: Some people spend their entire lives online bitching about how Nancy or Jackie or Cathy or Tara are worthless assholes, although I think that says more about them than it does about the audience. So what, then. Is this about failure of gumption on a level so deep that it scarcely matters? These actors are so brilliant, it's a bummer even when it's as funny as it gets.

Because if you're committed to being toothless, the least you could do is pretend that your episodes -- in a season that basically amounts to six hours of footage for the entire thing -- are actually acquainted with one another, telling a serial narrative, rather than what we're getting, which is a few big white-board ideas (MICHELLE OBAMA, PHONY NURSE KELLY, DEVIL BILL, FAT KIDS) established at the beginning of the season, which everybody's remembered to include in their episodes, but don't do much more than that.

They don't develop, or move, so much as they appear and disappear, at random, which just makes the whole thing seem like busywork or, worst case scenario, putting in time on a smaller show so you can get into a better room -- or development deal -- down the line. Which is shitty to even contemplate, because I do like the show, I like all these shows, despite this syndrome of telling us the arc instead of having one. But then, considering you see the same complaints about this show -- and practically every other Showtime dramedy, even Tara which is miles away the best-crafted -- I can't help but think maybe I'm onto something. Which sucks, because how lucky are we just to be watching these women work?

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Nurse Jackie

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