They say when things get that bad there's two kinds of people: School shooters and suicides. Basically, that depression is anger turned inward, and anger is fear turned outward. And I grew up around clinical depression and I know what suicide looks like, and I am totally the other kind: Total school shooter. My anger, of which there is a great deal, doesn't really turn inward. So already, I don't understand how you get there.
I mean, I understand depression, I understand the inability to think your way around a dead engine, the inability to remember how you got out of the handcuffs before. The Eight of Swords. I just don't understand the next part, where the action that you take is no action at all. Where you solve the problem that way.
But even more incomprehensible to me, and I think to Jackie, is the bravery just beyond that realization, when you go to someone and actually ask for help. When you admit that you're not capable of being responsible for your own welfare. That there are two yous, the one watching and the one hurting, and the one watching is no longer in control of what the other one's about to do. It just seems so lonely. I mean, I guess, that I still have so much to prove. What I don't understand is how you can say, "Just listen without fixing," and somehow know that that's what's going to fix it.
Lou: "I didn't know where else to go."
Jackie: "Okay, you're all right. Come with me."
She doesn't look away, she doesn't do anything: She fixes without thinking. We heal others to heal ourselves; sometimes for reasons even better than that. She takes Lou -- not by the hand, not with anything less than the total dignity and grace he deserves, and carries with him -- up for an eval, and a bed. A short battle of wills later with the receiving nurse, and they take him in.
Lou's glasses are fixed in the middle with tape, from where he took his spill today. Jackie borrows them, just for an hour. He smiles at her, beautiful. The rats are in the ceilings, chewing at the crumbs. Listening.
Tasha's breathing okay, as Eleanor's examining her; just in case, they check her breath, mother nattering on all the time. Showing concern, in her way. Jackie pulls Eleanor aside a moment, and they regroup.
Eleanor: "Everyone's entitled to decent health care!"
Jackie: "If you come in sick I will fix you, if you pretend to be sick I am gonna pretend to fix you."
Eleanor: "Recent history notwithstanding, I do know when I'm being swindled."
Jackie: "Oh, all right. Let it out."
Eleanor: "You'd better hope I never do."
Jackie's point is that Eleanor is encouraging Tasha to play the system, and Eleanor grins at her: Encouraging Tasha is exactly what she plans to do. Jackie's not always a step ahead. Eleanor is just rocking it this week:
"So you've been to lots of hospitals, looks like? Pretty boring, I imagine. Waiting rooms are miserable places. I really appreciate your patience. Much more interesting on this side of things. Did you ever think about becoming a doctor? Bet you'd be wonderful."
Jackie grins. She loves in Eleanor the things we love in her:
"Well, there she goes again. She always tries to get the smart ones to become doctors. The smartest people I know are the nurses, you should become a nurse. It's much cooler."
They play-fight over her, like tiger kittens. She breathes easier. Jackie breathes easier.
Since Thor won't tell Zoey if he's ever been with a woman (hoo-wee the answer is a resounding no), she won't tell him what she's eating for lunch. Sam sneaks a peek and tells, and Zoey rolls her eyes madly: "I'd have told him. When I was ready."
Thor's already happy to be unimpressed by other people's food -- it's a salad wrap, presumably from Quizno's -- when the fat, drugged, dead rat drops out of the sky and into Zoey's lunch. She jumps into Thor's arms, and everybody stares up.
Jackie drops the tortilla on the corpse and takes it into the bathroom, pissed as hell: "You messed with my stash," she grunts, and we're treated to the incredibly troubling visual of a giant grown-up rat being sucked down into the industrial pipes.