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It’s Day 16 of rehab, and Jackie is still in the thick of things. She spends her time obsessively working on her journaling and affirmations, chowing down on Good N’ Plenty, and scribbling into the night in order to complete her steps and leave rehab as soon as possible. As a diligent, hardworking, model patient, she’s more than confident in her ability to check out of rehab halfway through the program. Considering the last thing she did in episode 2 was beg Laura to let her stay, this seems like a half-baked idea at best.
During group, Wayne gets belligerent when Jackie discusses her progress. She says she’s rushing to get better so she can get out and parent Grace ASAP. Apparently that eyeliner really freaked her out, and now she’s latched onto it and is obsessing like eyeliner is the first step on the road to teen pregnancy and machete waving. It sounds ridiculous and borderline hysterical to me–she spent plenty of time not giving a rat’s ass about her family, and now eyeliner is the last straw? The conversation allows Trish a nice little nostalgic moment about shoplifting mascara, and Charlie mentions he’s been there done that, both with the machete and the eyeliner.
Laura tells Jackie she’s not going to get special treatment from the group, and that this isn’t the place for permission to do the wrong thing. Wayne gets cranky again, because he’d like to leave rehab also, and the whole group gets distracted, so Laura calls a break and tells them to go smoke or shake in a corner or whatever. Charlie tells Jackie he has five days left, and makes her promise to meet him on the outside of she does indeed leave early. She agrees, probably because maintaining a relationship with Charlie will be so awesome for her sobriety.
Laura warns Jackie that she’s not ready for the real world, and she doesn’t realize how isolated she’s been in the rehab environment. Despite Laura assuring her she’s not special and very likely to relapse, Jackie still insists on leaving. I’m sure Grace will be thrilled. So Laura tells her to prove she’s good: get a sponsor, do 90 days sober in the meetings, and show everyone that tough stuff she’s so sure she’s made of. As Jackie tries to hail a cab, Charlie tosses down a roll of toilet paper with his phone number on it. Class all the way.
So since Jackie has been fully focused on Grace for the past week, she naturally heads straight for Grace’s school and has her pulled out of class. Grace doesn’t exactly get why her mom is all of a sudden so attentive, and doesn’t appreciate it when Jackie yanks out a pack of makeup remover towelettes and makes her rub off that eyeliner in the middle of the sidewalk. Jackie breathily promises to be around more often, and Grace just snarls and heads back inside, preferring schoolwork to her hovering, incoherent, clearly insane mother.
Now maybe it’s just me, but if I was fresh off rehab, I’d want to take a day or two at home to regroup. Enjoy sleeping in my own bed. Order takeout. Maybe get a massage. The last thing I’d want to do is go straight back to my job at a hospital, the one place on earth guaranteed to be brimming with narcotics—but that’s exactly what Jackie does, because she’s strong and completely recovered! She can return to normal life in the blink of an eye, because she’s a nurse, not some common junkie looking to relapse. O’Hara wants to know what in blue hell she’s doing out, and Jackie reassures her that she got things covered, and just needs to avoid stress. Well, that should be a breeze in the ER. She gives O’Hara her Step 4 Moral Inventory as proof of her sound decision, then chugs a bunch of caffeine. O’Hara informs her that she is roundly opposed to this plan, then flounces off.
The next order of business is to make nice with Dr. Cruz. Jackie apologizes for taking leave, telling him she needed to work on her family troubles. Well that much is true, and maybe she should have taken the rest of her leave and done just that. Anyway, she asks to start over, and seems so chattery and nervous that he actually has to tell her to calm down. He does agree to start fresh, though. The more we see of Dr. Cruz, the less inclined I am to immediately label him a bastard. He’s a hardliner, but seems like he could be a decent guy. Will he eventually get the BlueCanary stamp of approval? That remains to be seen.
Just when the twitchy, verbose, nervous Jackie starts overstaying her welcome, we get to see some of the old Jackie, staving off Zoey’s enthusiastic welcome. Zoey has been flooding her inbox with news of the Quantum Bay developments, but of course Jackie hasn’t read her email at all and has no clue what’s going on. “Oh, it’s been special around here,” Thor sums up.
It’s about to get even more special, because Lenny brings in Molly, a young woman suffering severe, post-D&C cramps. When Coop, Lenny, and Jackie try to move Molly she freaks, and the sight of a patient hysterical and in pain throws Jackie for a loop. Okay, this is the point where she needs to start questioning whether she’s ready to jump back into her work, because people’s lives literally depend on her ability to cope. O’Hara notices and sends her on an errand, and Coop, ever oblivious to anything that doesn’t directly involve him, wonders if anyone has noticed he shaved his goatee. “You had a goatee?” Thor asks.
Meanwhile, Zoey decides to inform Lenny that every 12 days she wishes he was a completely different person for 24 hours. That’s freaking hilarious. Lenny wants to know how she expects him to do that, and she doesn’t know, just doesn’t want to become one of those couples that starts looking alike. Thor leaves before he can say what I’m thinking. They chat some more about how Lenny is little better than a disgusting, sloppy hobo, and Zoey wants to know why he doesn’t look a good as Sam in wrinkled clothes. To be fair, not many people could; I’m guessing Sam looks good regardless of whether he’s wearing wrinkles. Or clothes. Cruz approaches and gets an abridged version of the issue. “Chloe,” he says, “People are who they are. Now get back to work.” Cruz just said a mouthful, and he doesn’t even know it. And I love how Lenny seems supremely unconcerned about the entire incident. Of course, if you live with Zoey, you have to be prepared for a bit of lunacy every now and again.
Cruz and Coop corner Jackie in the hall to get her opinion on mandatory maximums: the rule which states nurses can’t spend more than 5 minutes at a time with non-critical patients. Before Jackie can say much, Coop starts blathering about how Jackie is the main influence for the rest of the nurses, like Eva Peron, who is apparently Cuban like Cruz, but actually isn’t. Or something. Coop’s douche factor: is it up this season, or is it just me? Everyone else at All Saints is used to him, but you can tell he’s already wearing on Cruz’s nerves.
“I’m thinking of hitting Coop’s jaw with my own clenched fist, and I wanted to make sure you were on board with this.”
Anyway, Jackie says she thinks the mandatory maximums are a bad idea. She’s all for change, but–and then Coop butts in again. Jackie, all for change? Nothing about her suggests that to him, apparently; she’s had the same job, attitude, and even hairstyle for the past few decades, whereas he can add and subtract goatees with abandon. It’s a trait every girl longs for: a man’s ability to be flexible on the goatee issue. Coop’s consistent single status is beyond me.
Well, we all know that Coop was born with his foot in his mouth, and usually Jackie lets his idiocy slide without even wasting energy on an eyeroll, but the remark about her hair puts her over the edge. She escapes to O’Hara’s new office, trembling and in tears. Without the narcotic veneer behind which she’s lived for over a decade, people and words and situations are starting to elicit emotions from her cold, numb heart, and she’s utterly unprepared to deal with it. O’Hara suggests that maybe this is karma for leaving rehab, and shouldn’t they run her right back over before it’s too late? Jackie ignores that and pulls it together, but makes O’Hara reassure her that her hair is ok.
Once she’s collected herself, she admits a woman who’s complaining of stomach pressure, but Jackie thinks something sounds off about her self-diagnosis, hooks the girl up to some machines, and tells Slater to get her into Trauma, because she probably had a heart attack. This news does not stop the woman and her reedy girlfriend from bickering, which they’ve been doing since they came in. Is this the season of obnoxious significant others? First Jeff last week, now Roberta, who’s acting like the heart attack happened just to annoy her. Jeez.
Once O’Hara arrives to deal with the heart attack, Jackie goes to get her headshot taken for her new badge. She then returns to play therapist to Roberta and her long-suffering heart patient girlfriend, but Cruz comes along and puts the kibosh on that, reminding Jackie of the mandatory maximum rule. Jackie agrees to move along, then, true to form, goes right back and offers to pick up where she left off with the couple after they get back from cardiology. Good to see a glimpse of that Jackie who long ago ran out of shits to give.
Speaking of the old Jackie, Slater stops her on the way out and slips her an envelope of Fentanyl patches. Oops! This is one of those moments when she’s probably wishing she’d told at least some of her coworkers what “Disneyland” really meant. There’s not a huge support system to be had in a workplace where your coworkers are also your suppliers.
Instead of just chucking the patches in the nearest wastebasket (like that was going to happen), she wanders the halls, sort of fiddling with the envelope. When she runs into Eddie, she starts to greet him, but he just comes right out with it: Kevin knows. Boom.
This sends her right to the bathroom, pacing, one of those moments when she needs a fix more than she ever has. She sniffs the patches, curses at them, and then calls Kevin. She tells him she knows he knows, and Kevin says the girls don’t know, and he assumes she wants to keep it that way. Astute, that Kevin, but he’s a good guy, so keeps up the neutral voice, and Grace and Fiona are none the wiser. Jackie somehow manages to keep from plastering all four patches on her skin at once, even after she hears Grace refusing to speak to her on the phone.
She then seeks out Akalitus and asks if Akalitus trusts Cruz, which of course she doesn’t. So Jackie tracks him down and hands over the patches, ratting out Slater. She covers her own ass, saying he gave them to another nurse, who she will keep anonymous, then goes and finds Slater to give him the heads up that someone ratted on him, and that the cops are on the way. Slater makes himself scarce, though does clarify he won’t be fleeing the building, as that would look like the act of a guilty party. He also tells her she’s one of the good ones, which might bother her a lot if she had any semblance of a conscience. Looks like she’s still caught in a web of lies, but at least she didn’t use. Of course, she hasn’t even been out for 24 hours, so the fact that she’s already come so close plus had the Kevin bomb dropped on her doesn’t bode well.
Lenny, brings “Chloe” some vanilla milk, which she rejects on the grounds that she’s trying to be more professional. And vanilla milk is somehow unprofessional? She completely negates that seconds later when a couple of hotish cops show up looking for Slater, and she gets femme fatale on them. Lenny seems basically unaffected, but he’s a laid back guy, and people can only tolerate zany behavior for so long. “if you like it, put a ring on it,” Thor tells him. You think he will? And is that really the issue? Because Zoey seems more restless and dissatisfied, rather than irked by Lenny’s lack of commitment.
Dr. Cruz has summoned Jackie to his office to get her to test some handheld ultrasounds, and they discuss how children can break your heart, kill your soul, and rob you of your will to live. She takes the ultrasound straight to O’Hara, and they hear the heartbeat and find out little doctor fetus is a boy. Aw.
Back at the house, Jackie finds a list of teenage demands graffitied on the wall of Grace’s room. She spray paints a big fat no over all of it, apparently still committed to parenting her children.
So, how is everyone liking this season so far? At first I thought it might get boring, but I find I’m enjoying watching Jackie cope with the fallout of her actions. I wonder if the brash, hard, heartless Jackie we’ve known is the real Jackie, enhanced by her pill habit, or if the real Jackie is the nice, sensitive nurturing person we see peeking out of this sobriety. What do you think? Hope you guys are digging the recaps and the season.
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