Kevin's hot sister is pretty annoying but we'll see how that goes. She'll be staying with the Peytons for a few weeks, so I guess most of this season? She's a trainwreck, and possibly will be dating Eddie. Nothing else of note is really happening with home life this week.
What is going on, though, is: Everything is super weird. If this were the new tone of the show I think that would be a great move, because this episode managed to be both funnier and more acidic than usual, while still maintaining a sort of grace that generally doesn't happen on this show. And lots and lots of weirdness. Like, God steals a piano off the street and hauls it into All Saints so that he can counsel Zoey about her Lenny love life... While playing the piano. That kind of thing. Sort of a Northern Exposure cuteness to everything. Akalitus getting into it with this priest who is going to be removing all the statues from the chapel, because it turns out the chapel hasn't been consecrated since the '70s, which seems like a major thematic move for this show, is treated about equally lightly as the guy with a shishkebab skewer through his face, or Thor taking over Coop's fantasy football team.
One of the more enjoyable episodes, I would say, of the series. Which is funny because there weren't really any jokes or anything, just this pervading sense of lightness in a show usually quite happy to simmer in its own filth. And what's weirdest is that it was written by Linda Wallem, who is one of the creators of the show, so the intent behind all this is even stranger and harder to pin down. Here's hoping some of this magic sticks around.
Oh right, and then there was the guy that Jackie mugged last season? I totally forgot about him, with the teeth? Brought flowers; was super scary. So he's back, and it turns out that his deal is basically to be a freelance supervillain for drug addicts: Push them all the way over the edge, so that their redemption/rehabilitation arc actually takes. So basically, like, the human definition of evil. And guess whom he's decided will be his greatest challenge?
Last week: Jackie threatened everybody she loved with the concept of hunting them down and hugging them to death in a last-ditch attempt to get them nudged back in place. Previous to that, she mugged an epileptic drug dealer with his own scary agenda, and of course she thought there would be no consequences, because there never are.
Under the "you're out of the woods" song from Wizard Of Oz and, memorably, The Sopranos, Jackie's feeling pretty good. Everything's almost back to normal, Eleanor's nearly back, Kevin's getting waffles and sandwiches for breakfast. It's kind of like making amends; she's even making a show of avoiding coffee because caffeine is a drug, et cetera.
Upstairs, Kevin's sister Tunie is curled up around Fiona in bed; Grace is already awake, grinning and lovely, explaining that Tunie broke up with her pilot boyfriend and crept into their house under dark of night last night. Apparently this is something that happens regularly, and we never knew, and Jackie never knew. Tunie's not such a bad egg, although her language could use some adjustment:
"So he breaks up with me while I'm still at work? What a fucking butt knuckle!" Of course Fiona's parents cannot accurately define "butt knuckle" for her, but so anyway, it was a text-message breakup, complete with sad-face emoticon: The funniest kind if you're the breaker-upper and the butt-knucklest if you're the breakupee. Tune proceeded into the British Air Executive Lounge to take advantage of his discount, but it's only open until ten, so she just drank herself silly and crawled into bed with the girls at three AM.
"In all fairness, I'm usually gone before you guys even get up," Tunie says, which is not terribly comforting, but as usual Fiona's got it on lock: "I'm never scared, I just pretend she's the Tooth Fairy." Aunt Tunie admits to having been shitfaced, and everybody has some delicious breakfast. Tunie is the kind of person that doesn't use a plate, just eats off the plates of little children. Turns out she gave Grace her pilot's wristwatch at some point in the night, and now that she's sobered up, she needs to take it back. She softens the blow by offering to buy her fancy shampoo, which should be nice for the few strands of hair Grace hasn't yanked out yet.
Tunie gets Jackie alone -- after a reminder about the whole "getting Eddie a job at All Saints" con turns Kevin almost completely back around -- and hugs her tightly, horribly, about the whole intervention thing with "that snotty doctor you work with." Jackie doesn't want to talk about it, even though Tunie is being hilarious ("Kevin, interventions are just fuckin' rude!") and offers to "be here and there for [her]," and then more hugging, and then of course the request to crash until she figures her shit out. More hugging, more hugging, until finally Jackie's just standing there with her arms at her sides basically praying for a world without all the hugging.
It's funny because it's so in-character, they always have people hugging her and her hating it, but also, I was thinking maybe she also hates hugs because they literally hurt. Chicken/egg situation, where the pain -- and Jackie's horrible personality -- add up to make her a drug addict who hates hugs. I think a healthy amount of suspicion toward the idea of hugs is okay, but having that be a basic thing of your personality is a pretty big red flag.
Walking to work with Eddie, this is a very good scene, Jackie confides about Tunie and everything, the pressure on Jackie's marriage and how having extra people in the house might help, and finally Eddie just goes, "You know what, this is fucked up." Eddie gets real on her about how their friendship is bullshit and the confiding is bullshit and how she's pulling her con on him that she pulled on everybody else: Doing whatever single thing it takes to get you back in her clutches again. Acknowledging that, because Eddie is in love with her and in an intimate relationship with her husband, it doesn't take half as much to get him back under her thumb.
Which: Don't fall in love with married drug addicts, of course, but also, if the world is made of Eleanors and Zoeys, you really want to be more of an Eleanor when it comes to being the easy target. You put the snake in your pocket and then you're surprised when it bites you, every time, but most especially you want to at least think of yourself as the kind of person who can recognize a snake and take some kind of precautions.
Which is valid, and true of Eddie who is the only person who ever calls her out, which causes Jackie to do this sort of amazing Hail Mary of Authenticity, where by acknowledging this she actually makes that part of the narrative: Yes, this is a funny thing we have together where you are my brain slave, emphasis on together. It's very sweet, and underneath that, kind of scary, because you can be totally honest and still be totally lying, but underneath that it's sweet again:
"I'm sorry, Eddie. I don't know how to do this. If you need for us not to be friends, I get it. You might wanna call your buddy Kevin, tell him you got the job. He's crazy about you, you know?" And just like that, everything's normal and they're just witnesses or bystanders to the weirdness of the situation she has totally created and to which he is totally an accomplice: "This is weird," he says; "So fuckin' weird," she snorts. And it's all true, and it's all exactly what he needed to hear, and it's all exactly what she needed to say; but it's also how she actually feels. Works if you work it.
God finds an upright piano stranded on the street, painted with Starry Night, and rolls it away and into the hospital, where He can do the most good with it.
Speaking of God, our first patient -- and this one is super in-depth, like, a Grey's Anatomy amount of energy is put into this patient, which never happens on this show -- is a lady who fell into a hole in the sidewalk and has really bad internal bleeding. She and her husband David, with whom she has two kids, are majorly Orthodox and he wants her transferred to Beth Israel. Problem #1 is the internal bleeding, problem #2 is that she is a convert -- possibly they both are -- and so her parents are making this into a battle of wills with her husband.
Jackie separates the parents and husband, gets the ICU ready, and barks at Zoey for nearly touching one of the pens in her desk caddy. One assumes that it is full of drugs, or lies. Meanwhile, there's another set of patients coming in, a Farsi and Armenian pair of street-vendor rivals who got into a hot-oil fight. Apparently Nurse Sam speaks all the languages, so he translates their various insults while over here, Fitch is trying to flirt Thor into helping him with his fantasy football team. And by "flirt" I mean a Fitch Cooper kind of flirting, where everything he does is both flirting and not flirting, because he has no clues about the world.
"That's the first time in two years you've gotten my name right. You call me Sport, Chief, Wegian and Grande D, which I assume stands for Big Diabetic." Bygones now; Sam warns Thor that Coop will probably end up sleeping with his boyfriend and Coop shrugs, like, not even Coop can tell you what Coop's likely to screw up in a given day.
Jackie tries with the husband, David, but he manages to make his case -- for transfer to Beth Israel -- in about the only way she would actually listen to: "We made vows. We have beliefs. They either mean everything or nothing." Jackie's pretty susceptible to church logic, because her relationship with God secretly underpins everything else, but you can also see her being, at this moment particularly, very drawn to and fascinated by (but also terrified of and repelled by) the idea of actually being committed to something.