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TV Review: Nurse Jackie – “Rat Falls”

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This week, Jackie tumbles into an unfortunate situation,  foreshadowed earlier this season when Bill the epileptic drug dealer offers his services to her. Her stash, hidden under a ceiling tile in a hospital storage room, has dwindled, the majority of it pillaged by a rat. This leaves Jackie no choice but to seek out Bill and his offer of more drugs. Two hundred dollars buys her only a handful of pills. Her desperation is powerful. Will this relationship with Bill be her downfall? Will her spending finally clue Kevin and O’Hara in to the fact that Jackie has a problem that just won’t quit?

Not only must Jackie deal with her unflagging addiction, now a different sort of adversary has arrived to take her on: the green eyed monster. When she catches Eddie texting with Tunie, she is more upset than she lets on. But anger and despair are evident in her dour expression and defeated stance. This time, she can’t have life the way she wants it. But Eddie doesn’t seem overly concerned about her feelings, telling her she has no leg to stand on; his attitude is in keeping with how Jackie has treated him in the past. Now he has the upper hand and has no plans on giving it up. After all the times Jackie’s lied to him to save herself from being outed as an adulterer, his bitterness is understandable.

Coop gets sidelined from his battle to win the ER chief title from O’Hara when his mothers tell him they’re getting divorced. He is devastated by the news and turns to Jackie for solace. Another poor soul looking for solace is Lou, the down-on-his-luck salesman from the previous episode. When he returns to the ER in a ragged mental state, Jackie pulls her weight to get him the help he needs quickly. Here is one more instance of Jackie finding the strength to bring a patient through a crisis but can’t-or won’t-use that strength to help herself.

Two more plotlines continue from the previous episode. As per Akalitus’ orders, Jackie enlists Thor’s aid to help move the Virgin Mary statue, Akalitus’ favorite, from the church to Eddie’s storage room. Their plan to hide it there during the Catholic Church’s impending de-consecration just might work. And Jackie and O’Hara are at odds over a belligerent mother who claims falsely that her daughter needs treatment in order to stay on public assistance. It’s good to see the pair working together again. Even when they disagree, it’s frequently done tongue and cheek with just the hint of a smile.

In the end, it’s all about the pills and the rat, which falls through a hole in the ceiling smack dab into the middle of Zoey’s lunch wrap. The rat has succumbed to its habit, dying from a drug overdose after munching away on Jackie’s stash. It is appropriate and somewhat chilling that Jackie is on hand to take care of the mess. She lifts the vermin inside its lunch wrap shroud and brings it to the bathroom, where she flushes it down the toilet.

“You messed with my stash”, she offers as her short but sweet eulogy before heading off to keep appointment with her new pal, Bill.

Nurse Jackie airs Monday nights at 10PM ET on SHOWTIME.

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