Showtime's Nurse Jackie continues its third season with "When the Saints Go." Sadly, the day has finally arrived when the moving truck comes and empties out All-Saints's sacred room. No one is more depressed than Akalitus (Anna Deavere Smith), though several others pay homage to the quiet space. As a favor to Akalitus in her day of mourning, Jackie (Edie Falco) lets new obnoxious nurse Kelly (Gbenga Akinnagbe) walk all over her. Most of the nurses are enthralled with Kelly, especially Thor (Stephen Wallem), who seems to fall head over heels right off the bat, but it's only a matter of time now until Jackie's claws come out, and she resumes her rightful place as Top Dog.
If there is any doubt that Jackie cares about her co-workers, and there usually isn't, despite her efforts to keep them out of her personal life, that notion is dispelled in this episode. The only reason Jackie possibly sucks it up when Kelly marks his territory all over hers is because she cares about Akalitus and doesn't wish to cause her any more headaches on an already difficult day. Kelly takes Jackie's chair, says demeaning things about her, takes over a patient, and changes a medication order. Normally, any one of those would be enough to make Jackie assert her authority, but instead, she lets his continuous challenges roll right off her back.
What's most surprising in "When the Saints Go" is that her co-workers don't take more notice of Jackie's calm demeanor. Only Zoey (Merritt Wever) even rises to her defense. Considering how important Jackie is, everyone turns to her with her problems, and she handles all difficult the patient issues with grace, one would think her 'friends' would have a little more loyalty. Kelly may be underestimating her now, but Sam (Arjun Gupta) knows better, and should clue his new friend in. When Jackie barks at Sam to jump, he jumps. When Kelly asks why he takes it, Sam replies that that's just how it is.
Jackie is far from a saint, as anyone who watches Nurse Jackie can tell you. Her brilliant handling of the Emergency Room is tempered by her secret pill addiction and previous, though now ended, affair. While most of the characters are clueless about the vast majority of Jackie's secrets, they don't often pry. Believe it or not, this makes the show seem more realistic. While not selfish, exactly, people have more exciting things to do than investigate an odd behavior now and then. As long as Jackie keeps her waves small, she isn't likely to raise much suspicion. Thank goodness for ineptitude.