Nurse Jackie

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Jacob Clifton: A+ | Grade It Now!
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Sick as Your Secrets

So they fight for awhile, and the ladies try to explain Coop's whole Tourette's thing to Lenny, and instead of laughing and punching him again, Lenny starts apologizing for hitting him. Dr. Cooper's kind of still weaving, nose now bleeding, and Jackie summons him back over so they can intubate the guy. She sends Zoey to find Eleanor, and then holds onto Coop's bleeding nose while he takes care of the patient. In its own way, it's sort of beautiful to watch them all pull it together -- especially knowing that, even with that moment of static and dude stuff, it was Zoey that got them to stop fighting and start working again.

"Fabulous!" exclaims Thor, which exactly, and "Who hit who first?" Zoey nods, sort of proud and sort of embarrassed. "Well, Dr. Cooper swung first, but Lenny connected first." Thor thinks this is very romantic, but Zoey's not sure: "I don't need defending," she says, but he knows better: "Oh, everyone needs defending." And suddenly Coop's little tirades turn everything sideways. Grace isn't being petty, she's defending herself. Any abuser, from Jackie to Coop on down, has no idea they're doing it, or give themselves a pass for doing it, in any million ways.

Coop sees no connection between hitting a woman and invading her person with his hands: In one case she's a victim, in the other case she's the attacker. He is defending himself from the threat. And then Eleanor, she thinks she's saving Jackie from poverty, when really she's just defending Jackie's sovereign right to keep herself happy regardless of what it does to everybody else. Zoey's even sort of surprised by these ideas getting acted out around her body, because she thinks being the recipient of abuse makes her a victim: Would it be better if she'd popped Cooper one herself? Sure, but nobody would think to do that, because he's a victim of his disorder, and acknowledging that he's over the line means you lost control of your boobs for a second.

But what Zoey would do is turn right around and broadcast that college guy's weakness, in order to bring some other white knight girls around to help him. The one thing Jackie won't do -- not to get rid of Sam, not even to get rid of Eddie -- is play the victim. She'll find another way. And what Zoey is saying is, she's learned to do the same. Regardless of Lenny's intent or the way it made her feel, the appearance of weakness is worse than being weak. So if she rewards Lenny, or scolds him, it won't really matter as long as it's her choice, because ultimately it's up to her to decide how bad of an attack the boob-grab really is. The boobs belong to Zoey. She is well-acquainted with them.

But the thing that grosses me out the most is that Coop would sure as hell jump onboard that train -- tell Zoey what her response should be, and how it should be dealt with -- if it were any other type of abuse, according to his personal definitions. Because women can't take care of themselves and shouldn't be expected to, and to say otherwise is to blame the victim and advocate abuse and whatever other spurious accusation the self-righteous need to cling to, in order to privilege their own moral superiority over the mind and faculties of the person whose business it actually is.

Three cute girls wheel the college guy out in his chair, and Zoey knowingly asks what's up. "This is Bethany, and Thomason, and Jane. Uh, they all offered to help me 'til my hip heals. So I don't have to go home now." They've got him all organized and wrapped up and taken care of, just as Zoey planned, but she keeps a low profile on her satisfaction with the outcome. He thanks her, sweetly, and she slaps the air with modesty. "Now get out of here, you crazy kids!" And watching those girls wheel him out, she grins to herself. "...That's not gonna end well." She's a deep one.

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Nurse Jackie

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