Nurse Jackie
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Jacob Clifton: A+ | 1 USERS: A+
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Edging God Out

Jackie's image of herself is of a no-bullshit person who stands by her word, which is a very good thing to be, and which technically she is. On the other hand, she is a completely bullshit person who lies every time she opens her mouth. Which is, in the larger sense, why Grace keeps pulling her hair out: What truth she intuits about the world does not match up to the image the world is showing her, which induces paranoia in anybody smart enough -- which Grace is -- to pick up on the underlying contradictions.

And as Grace is to her home, Jackie is to herself: It's holding onto the complete contradictions in herself, the extreme sinner and the extreme saint, at the same time. These are the kind of internal contradictions that create the most energy, like two magnets nearly touching, but generally just burn you up from the inside if you can't resolve them in time.

The bad news is, that's everybody who ever lived, and the really bad news is, you can't ever solve it. If you've been trained into weakness, or projection, that's what borderline personality disorder actually expresses: The complete otherization of the sinner or the saint onto some unsuspecting somebody, the unwillingness to accept grey when black/white is so much easier. And if you've been trained into martyrdom or flights of fancy, you get Black Swan where the idea of perfection by melding the two extremes is not only attainable but your certain doom.

The good news is, you might as well shoot for that and learn the love of the whole of yourself, because you'll never actually get there -- we're not designed that way; it's God's problem -- but in heading that direction, you'll see as much of the landscape as possible.

Why I bring up God right now is that there's more God in this episode than normal, both physically and generally, and He relates specifically to Gloria's new storyline. Seems that when All Saints built a new addition in 1978, the whole property was rezoned commercial, meaning that the chapel has been officially deconsecrated since then. Which -- especially if you're called something like "All Saints" -- is kind of like getting a cardio scan and learning that what you thought was your heart has actually been a TV remote or The Clapper this entire time.

Basically, this priest has shown up to take away all her statuary and relics and things, which should have been warehoused 33 years ago but which action Gloria has been secretly and bureaucratically deferring and stalling ever since. "Bureaucrat to bureaucrat, can't you just look the other way?" I love that. I also love this sort of idea, under the surface, that the Church has finally gotten on the information superhighway or bought new computers and is closing redundancies and loops. Gloria informs him that this is "bullshit" and then screams, "I know Michelle Obama!"

I'd like a montage of her yelling that at like hotdog guys, her personal trainer, a bird that crapped on her shoe. Just shaking her fist at the rain or whenever NCIS gets interrupted by breaking news. It's especially awesome because, you know, she actually doesn't, which means she's just melting down about her saints on this guy.

Lenny does a whole Little Tramp pantomime number on Zoey, super sweet and super cute, with silent flourishes of cloth napkins and tuna on raisin bread and real wine glasses and everything. Then she bites into her sandwich and cracks a filling on his housekey, which romantic gesture is lost on her because it was jarring and kind of dumb.

Lenny: "I saw it in a movie. This is next level, Boo."
Zoey: "Don't put stuff in my food, Lenny."

God rolls His piano past them, toward the hospital. It's going to be okay.

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Nurse Jackie

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