Nurse Jackie

Episode Report Card
Jacob Clifton: A+ | Grade It Now!
Anthony and Christopher

Sitting near the newsstand, Mo-Mo thinks it's Sunday, but it's Saturday, but he feels like it's Sunday, and maybe this would make Jackie second-guess but today she doesn't have to second-guess because she has Mother-Daughter Tap on Saturdays. But Mo-Mo doesn't know she is a mother, so she must be a daughter. "You take tap with your mother?" he grins, and she remembers and feels guilty. She is a liar. "And we're good!" Eleanor O'Hara gets off the elevator and doesn't look at Jackie; her feelings are hurt, too. Eleanor is the only person that doesn't make Jackie feel like a liar. She is a liar with Eleanor, too.

Mo-Mo wonders what's going on with Dr. O'Hara, and Jackie plays it off. You know doctors, that kind of thing. "Usually she says hello," he says, worrying at it, and she loudly corrects him: "No. She says hello when she's bored, or she's wearing something new and wants someone to notice." Mo-Mo realizes that she's right; somewhere in there Eleanor realizes that she's right, too. "Those Chanel pumps are nice, though," he says, and Jackie quickly barks it out, afraid Eleanor will leave without hearing her: "Well, she has taste. Doesn't mean she has manners." Eleanor walks by with her purchases from the newsstand, less than a yard from them throughout the scene, and still doesn't look. But in her best doctor voice she commands, "When you have a minute?" She keeps walking. "Fucking doctors," Mo-Mo says, and Jackie gives passable agreement.

There's a pile of random shit on the desk -- candy, magazines, all seemingly grabbed in desperation, like the magazines people always toss on their pile of condoms and tampons and I don't know, lice treatments, lube -- and Jackie and Eleanor are both bent to their charts while Eleanor rambles out apologies and promises that it won't happen again, quietly, not looking up. Jackie's impassive, manipulative, not giving in -- what Eleanor doesn't know and Jackie isn't telling her is that she's already forgiven, she was forgiven five seconds into proving she was strong enough to stand at that newsstand with Jackie talking shit stage left -- and Eleanor puts a little more force into her voice, digging into Jackie's (totally bullshit, remember) sense of victimhood about the whole situation: that "clearly" Jackie doesn't "know [her] well enough to know" that she doesn't make the same mistake twice, so once Jackie decides to finish up her punishment, she'll still be around.

Which is being a very good friend to somebody who is being a very bad friend, which is the definition of being a good friend. People don't need us when they're feeling great, and they don't try to hurt us when they're feeling accepted. What Eleanor did was make her a spectacle -- "fun" or not, "harmless" or not -- which means somewhere in Eleanor's head she's looking at Jackie's actions through a magnifying lens, which is the one thing Jackie can't allow. By taking the scattered moments of Jackie's life and applying a narrative to them, she's given Jackie a cohesive story through which to view her own actions: a story which directly contradicts her self-image as a hardworking mother and wife, while underscoring her secondary self-image as a piece of shit. Which, if you care about the person as much as Jackie does Eleanor, is essentially like Eleanor calling her a piece of shit.

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Nurse Jackie




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