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

She's getting him dressed when Eleanor comes back, bearing a crisp white paper bag containing a year's worth of meds. "Come and see me in a year," she says, and he's at a loss for words. "Say nothing," she grins. "I just broke the law."

Possibly I should not wish to see Lou Babiak every week. Possibly it would just fucking kill me. Lou is a thing -- along with Zoey, along with Jackie, along with Gloria and God and tap-dancing Thor -- that the show can't help but do perfectly. (Harvey Fierstein climbing the walls last year: Compare, and contrast.) I'd like to meet Michael Cumpsty one day, and shake his hand. I'd probably start crying, though, in that shivery creepy fan way, and then probably I'd Zoey out and, like, push him down and run away. But it's nice to imagine that not happening.

Outside, Eleanor admits she was inspired by Jackie, it was a Jackie move, but that imitation is the only form of flattery she'll be getting as long as she wears those scrubs. (Dissing the scrubs, always funny on this show considering how ridiculously cute and unrealistically tailored Jackie's are. She looks like a bra model in those things.)

Jackie grabs Thor for their secret Akalitus mission, and he's very chilly with her due to the rudeness this morning:

Thor: "Totally dismissive. You talked to me like... Like I was Zoey."
Jackie: "Oh, Jesus..."
Thor: "And the hits just keep coming!"
Jackie: "I'm sorry, honey. I didn't mean to be dismissive. I just have a lot going on at home."
Thor: "That's another thing, you didn't even tell me you were married."
Jackie: "You didn't even tell me you were diabetic, I had to find out in the middle of a trauma."
Thor: "Um, that's a disease?"

Jackie: "My point is, it was personal and I just figured you didn't wanna discuss it in this... little shop of horrors."
(Consider Thor placated. One musical theater reference away, now that he can't eat sugar.)
Thor: "Before we go in, I just wanna make sure that you understand why my feelings were hurt..."
Jackie: "Oh my God let's go."

Heh. Jackie is so coded-lesbian -- see Fitch Cooper in a minute for the other side of this equation -- that when it jumps out at you like that, it's hilarious. See, lesbians and gay men have this thing about each other where both sides talk endlessly about their feelings while scoffing at the other side for doing the same thing. Lesbians roll their eyes when men have feelings because they're starting drama, and gay men roll their eyes when lesbians talk about feelings because it's the same conversation over and over, just basting in the mire of lesbian emotion.

But the truth is that lesbians use emotional processing to talk shit about each other, while gay men use personal conversation to talk endlessly about themselves. So when Thor brings up his feelings to coded-gay Jackie, it's annoying to her lesbian self because it's drama. And when coded-gay Coop in a second brings up his feelings to his gay mom, same deal.

Meanwhile, Jackie has, and causes, more drama than anybody in the universe -- but because it's never expressed explicitly, it doesn't count. And when Eleanor and her girlfriend, or Eleanor and Jackie, have their little romantic moments, it's the most boring thing in the world for guys, because confrontation ("drama") is how we solve problems.

In both cases it's really about the neurosis of the oppressed: If you are -- or feel -- voiceless, you just talk louder and say the same things over and over in the hopes that somebody will hear you, or even after somebody has heard you. And I think part of the repetitive nature of lesbian emotional processing is the fact that when you're gay and a woman, it's exponential how rarely you feel heard. But we're also trained not to bring attention to ourselves, so the natural response is either to shout it from the rooftops or stay completely focused on your own bullshit -- and both of these look just bonkers to the other.

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Nurse Jackie

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