Nurse Jackie

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Jacob Clifton: A+ | Grade It Now!
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"I Am The Least Of My Problems."

On her way to work, Jackie calls the hospital for Eleanor -- she grabs a kid's pacifier on the street and hands it to the mom, while she's waiting, which is a good deed, which with Jackie usually means she's about to do something horrible -- and asks for a bit of a meeting.

On the way in, she passes broken-nosed Coop, who's nearly dying as he watches them whitewash over the Face of All Saints campaign posters. It didn't occur to me until just now that Lenny punching Coop in the face sort of inescapably means fucking up Coop's face, you know, by punching it. That's the saddest thing in the world, if you think about it. Without the face, what is Coop? He's not smart enough for existentialism, and he's not interesting enough to turn it into art or a drug habit. I'm sure he'll act out soon enough and erase that sympathy soon enough, though. Without the face, Coop is just a pair of hands pointed at your tits.

Eleanor and Jackie look at a series of spine films, which are apparently Jackie's, and she complains about how the Ortho dept is sitting on their asses and she needs to see a specialist. Eleanor hisses -- because of course Jackie's so self-sacrificing -- and once Jackie's got her cornered, she relates this latest thing about Grace, the hair-pulling, to throw her off. And it throws her the fuck off. It's terrible.

Then, once the dots are just far enough apart you can't really connect them, Jackie circles back around to her point: "Eddie used to give me some Oxy. You know, between cortisone shots when it would get really bad..." Eleanor doesn't look, but she offers almost immediately to do the same. "Short of banging you over the head to put you out of your misery, I don't see what else I can do!" Let's not rule that one out, Doc.

Jackie is: Reluctant but not too reluctant, grateful but not showily grateful, acknowledges that this is a big deal without making it a big deal. To bookend it against the Grace thing a moment ago, Jackie almost tells Eleanor what the pain is like, but shrinks back from it: An incredibly manipulative narrative she constructs in which the easiest possible response is to give in without questioning it. She brings up her pain which we all know she hates talking about, only so that she can drop the subject and complain about clichés instead. To ask medical questions would, at this point, be an affront on several levels. Eleanor hates the ones who beat the dead horse, and the ones that kill multiple birds with single stones. Jackie just likes the ones that let sleeping dogs lie. She says it like it's just a random statement, and not her total theme song. Eleanor winks at her.

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Nurse Jackie

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