Nurse Jackie
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Jacob Clifton: A+ | Grade It Now!
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Any Change Toward Improving One's Nature

The GSW codes immediately, which Coop takes as an opportunity to start his Chief shit with Eleanor again about how they were both there, so the guy died on both their watch, so whatever, competitive pressure. Their conversation is pretty great:

Coop: "Look, I respect you as a doctor, but I also respect you as a competitor."
O'Hara: "One of the many differences between you and I, Dr. Cooper..."
(But of course she's too classy to leave it there.)
O'Hara: "...Is that you keep score on things that never should be scored."
Coop: "You're gonna need those coping skills when you're my subordinate."
O'Hara: "Surely any woman that's ever been under you has needed coping skills."

Fitch bounces for cottage-cheese pancakes with his moms at the Central Park boathouse, and Jackie finally shows up to take care of the body. Eleanor is still wearing her civvies and her hair is adorable, so she's even sadder-looking as she leaves Jackie to it. "Bless your heart," she tells the young victim; you can't help thinking maybe she could have saved him. Two doctors, one Jackie? No comparison.

Cantasha is all over Zoey and Sam, in Admitting, and it's this unbelievably frustrating conversation about how they need her to fill out her paperwork but she refuses to fill out the paperwork but they need her to fill out the paperwork, etc. She is belligerent and annoying, just like everybody in Admitting, and randomly calls Sam India.Arie, which is kind of funny. There's a little moment where the eye-rolling tween does an amazing impression of her mother she doesn't even know she's doing, and your brain starts trying not to do the poverty-cycle math on them.

Jackie appears and is brusque and charming with the mom, sliding the clipboard under the window glass, and the mom gives her this instant-death look that is kind of chilling. Once she's gone, Sam notes that he's familiar with Cantasha from every other hospital in town, back when he was temping. Jackie finally explains to them that it's about making hospital visits on record so they can get more assistance, like we thought; as usual, she's dismissive and mean to Sam at the same time she's treating him to Jackie 101. Wisely, Zoey keeps it schtum at this time. Jackie heads out, straight into this awesome conversation:

Gloria: "Have you ever stolen anything?"
Jackie: "Yes, many times."
Gloria: "Good. Chapel, half hour. Bring Thor."

Eleanor's bandaging up Lou when Jackie gets back to the beds; my God just seeing him makes me start welling up. I don't know, I mean, they kept saying how awesome he was last week and I guess on some level you take that onboard and love him too -- who are we to argue with the heartfelt attachments of Thor and Zoey Barcow -- but honestly it's just entirely the actor, Michael Cumpsty. I love him on such a basic level that I got startled into crying when he showed up in Eat Pray Love for all of five seconds. He could turn out to be playing a child molester and I would still want to hold his hand. Of all the wonderful casting coups this show poaches from Broadway all the time, this is the most brilliant casting thing I can think of that they've done. His face is the most beautiful thing in the world.

And so, along those lines, goes the latest Lou thing: The hypertension is acting up, and he's falling down a lot more, and this time he broke his wrist and chipped a tooth in that magnificent head of his. Jackie -- happier to see him than she usually shows anybody besides Fiona, even Eleanor -- asks him why he isn't taking his medication, after last time.

The first thing he does is apologize for forgetting her name. He's a salesman, Lou Babiak; knowing names is the thing he does.

Eleanor disappears, as Jackie's getting the whole bastard story from him: Lost his job, COBRA ran out, everything ran out, time is running out, he's humiliated, he's never missed child support in twenty years, his children are going to hate him. He is so slow, and quiet, and noble, and still. A failure?

Jackie: "First of all, nothing could be further from the truth. Second of all, our kids love us blindly. Believe me, I am counting on it."

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Nurse Jackie

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