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TV Review: Nurse Jackie – “F**k the Lemurs”

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In this week’s episode, Kevin and Jackie accompany Grace to the psychiatrist where they are given the news that Grace will be going on meds to control her anxieties. “I can’t get my thoughts to slow down”, Grace tells them and offers her dream journal as proof of the nightmares she’s been having. It’s a moving scene. Grace doesn’t want her parents to be disappointed in her; they are anything but. The worry in Jackie’s eyes may have more to do her with fears her daughter will eventually go down the same road as she has than Grace’s actual condition.

When Jackie goes to fill Grace’s prescription at the hospital pharmacy, Eddie is reluctant to do so and suggests she take it to a regular drug store. Something is wrong here. Something definitely has changed for the worse.

Physicians take up all the available seats in the ER, since it is the day they’re scheduled to get their flu shots. Off the quiet chaos that ensues, Akalitus calls Jackie into her office, requesting a urine test since HR suspects someone on the ER staff has been abusing narcotics. Is Jackie being singled out? Akalitus hedges and Jackie is suspicious because of Eddie’s actions and since she was not permitted to administer Percocet to a patient. Akalitus doesn’t want a full-fledged investigation coming down because then she’ll have no say in the matter. “I’m protecting my department and I’m protecting you”, Akalitus says, to which Jackie responds, “I don’t need your protection”. Fear shines in her eyes and there is desperation in her tone. “It’s my reputation we’re talking about”. When she asks Akalitus to keep the conversation between them and Akalitus agrees.

In the trauma area of the ER, Jackie confronts O’Hara, suspecting it was she who clued Akalitus into Jackie’s drug problem. O’Hara throws Jackie out and Jackie is mortified at being evicted from what is essentially her turf. When Zoey gets curious, O’Hara throws her out too. It seems O’Hara is reeling from both Jackie’s insinuations and what sort of consequences they both may soon have to face.

When Zoey tells the rest of the staff that O’Hara and Jackie are fighting, all but Thor take O’Hara’s side. “She’s a doctor with great shoes”, Coop says. “Case closed”.

O’Hara and Jackie retire to O’Hara’s office to battle in private, O’Hara dredges up a slew of Jackie’s past indiscretions and how O’Hara saved her neck. She says she doesn’t usually like to talk about it for fear that if she did, Jackie would “go so far underground, no one would hear her cry for help if she really needed it”. This is how deeply O’Hara cares and worries about her friend. She tells Jackie she expects, no, demands from her the benefit of the doubt and assures her she has said nothing, even though she’s been asked. “Let’s get through this, find out who it is and burn their playhouse down”. Once again, O’Hara is Jackie’s ally and strength.

Coop tells Akalitus he is getting married and wants to reserve the chapel for his “birthday wedding”, Akalitus tells him she is not a party planner. Off Coop’s insistence that the mannequins be brought back for the occasion, Akalitus explains they are statues, not mannequins, and that they are being held…for ransom. When Coop says he’ll pay for their return, Akalitus brightens and tells him she’ll make some calls.

Later she is told that seven thousand dollars is what it will take to get the statues back, When O’Hara enters her office and asks about Jackie, Akalitus tells her the subject is “off-limits” but that nothing O’Hara did set it off. Before leaving, O’Hara offers Akalitus money to offset the cost of the statues’ return but Akalitus says she’d rather “gouge Coop”.

O’Hara visits Coop in his office and wonders why he never asked her out. Suddenly he forgets his intended Facebook bride and tells her he’s free; he hasn’t even proposed yet. She then rejects him, after which he asks her why. “Ego is ego, my friend”, she says, then kisses him and tells him she is happy for him.

Later, Jackie tells O’Hara the withdrawal sweating and the nausea have gone and that she’s been off the pills for a week. O’Hara is ecstatic with the news. Still, Grace is now on pills and Akalitus has banned Jackie from giving meds and Kevin won’t be home when she gets there. O’Hara assures her she is “fantastic”. We haven’t seen these two so close for a long time and it’s great to be assured their friendship is still as strong as it ever was. O’Hara then gives Jackie the benefit by getting Grace’s pills for her.

In the end, Jackie sits with Grace while Grace’s meds take effect, since who knows better than Jackie how pills can affect the mind and the soul. Grace says what is in her heart and is happy to have her mother for comfort and security. Maybe in their own ways, Grace and O’Hara will help Jackie pull through.

Nurse Jackie airs Mondays at 10PM ET on SHOWTIME.

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