Nurse Jackie
Years of Service

Episode Report Card
Jacob Clifton: A+ | Grade It Now!
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Song & Dance

Eleanor speaks calmly, quietly, and Jackie laughs and tells her to get out of the house; she asks for the girls again and Kevin says they're at his sister's -- and that he invited Eleanor. That they are allied against her. That the kingdom is rising up.

"You are fuckin' hilarious. He fuckin' hates your guts," she screams at Eleanor, and looks to him for confirmation: "You hate her guts! You invite her all the way out here to Queens to fuckin' gossip about me?" They stay calm, she moves into attack mode: "You think anybody wants to listen to what you have to fuckin' say about this?" Nearly in tears. "You're a drug addict," Kevin says quietly, and shows her the bill while she screams.

Jackie leaves them in her kitchen, and locks herself in the downstairs bathroom. A terrible song starts playing, but her face and the echoing words -- "You're fucking pathetic, both of you!" -- stay with you. Anything, any hurtful thing, to keep them from killing her. If Eleanor were black, if Kevin were gay. Anything, she'd do or say anything. The worst thing she could think of. She's fighting for her life.

And in another universe, a woman walks along the sand it's very early in the morning, or very late. She sits on the sand looks out at the water.

"Hi, my name is Jackie, I'm a drug addict," she can hear herself say.

Jackie stares into the bathroom mirror, locked in with a monster, and feels them coming for her. Rock bottom. Breakdown. Whatever words you want to use. They want to put her on her knees; they want to kill her. The thing that burns brightest in her, the desire that fills holes that nothing else can fill: They want to take that away, and break her like a saint in the process. Her smile isn't broken, except in the corner; there is only a little bit of shame in it. There is less than a single tear in her eyes.

They're coming to get her, and they'll see her on her knees? She's too brave, too strong, too hard for that.

"Blow me!" she says, with all the love in the world, and throws back her head, and laughs. She is so brave that she is terrified. She is so strong that she is weak. She is so hard that she will shatter. Jackie's a nurse: She understands service. But she is a tiny king, with a tiny kingdom, and Kevin and Eleanor will never be quite as real as the world in there. It's why people pray, to get away from the awful responsibility; to remember something loves us more than we can ever properly understand. Something bigger, that wants to keep us safe even from ourselves.

Kings can't kneel before that.

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Nurse Jackie

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