Nurse Jackie

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Jacob Clifton: A+ | Grade It Now!
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Anthony and Christopher
In a hurry? Read the recaplet for a nutshell description!

The needle drops on Jackie's dance class with Grace, all that shuffle-ball-step-chain stuff they always say, and everybody's clapping and having fun. Nobody's really in line, because they've forgotten they're adults for a moment. It won't last. But right now, all the moms and daughters are having the times of their lives, trying to focus, stepping hard with hair in the face. Jackie bumps into somebody and apologizes; Grace corrects her.

Jackie introduces her to a woman and daughter also in the class; the other little girl Kaitlyn is mean-looking and a year older than Grace, who is in the fourth grade. Kaitlyn's mom is also mean looking. She went to school with Jackie; she was Homecoming Queen, Kaitlyn informs them, and Jackie laughs: "Yes I know, I voted for her!" Not done, Kaitlyn whispers secrets.

Kaitlyn's mother welcomes them to the parish, and invites them for donuts after, but as Grace informs them, Jackie has to work. She nearly blushes, making a joke of it. "Yes. In case you thought I was going to the opera." There's a whole mom tug-of-war here, in Jackie's hands and forehead, about working women and women in the home and women with money and women without money, resentment and fascination and jealousy on both sides, and how it's best to just avoid people from the past and stop wondering how their lives went, after you knew them. To turn the other way in the grocery store, and know that they're doing the same, and that you're both grateful.

But the Peytons needs to be in this parish so Grace won't go crazy, and Jackie needs to be in this class so they both don't go crazy. So she revises all of high school -- collaborates, rewrites, re-imagines, nudges, erases -- so that she and this bitch, Kaitlyn's mother, are friends. So that they always have been. Then it's later and she's apologizing for having to go, asking if Grace wanted donuts with Kaitlyn and her mother. Of course she did not. Walking carefully, she asks Grace -- "unless it's private, which is fine" -- what Kaitlyn was whispering. She knows a bitch-in-training when she sees them, she's saying, and Grace's delicacy is such that you can't be too careful, because the world is dangerous. Everyone could be an enemy. Anything could be a weapon. Moments become emergencies.

Kaitlyn said her mom was Kevin's girlfriend before Jackie, back in high school. "Ugh, please!" Jackie laughs. "She wishes!" says Grace. They bond -- preposterous! -- and Jackie is happy to see her laughing, but somewhere else entirely that happy high school story, those new-forged memories start to corrode. Beneath them are several clich├ęs Jackie always thought she was better than.

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Nurse Jackie

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