So Jackie is finally in rehab, for what that’s worth. Rehab is all well and good for those who want to get better, but for some people it can be a waste of time. Since it was her idea to go, I’m not sure yet under which category Jackie falls, but we shall see.
So she spends most of the first week sweating out a cold turkey detox, writhing around in bed, not eating a delicious looking piece of carrot cake, and maybe hallucinating some batshit old lady and her fork collection. At long last, she peels herself out of bed and shuffles off to group.
And it’s all downhill from there.
Right of the bat we’re subjected to one of those rich lady sob stories, wherein Trish got high in a luxury suite and bought about 5 grand worth of clown statues on QVC. Hey, it happens to the best of us. Before Trish can drone on any further concerning the clowns (which, we learn, have been mentioned plenty prior to this session), the batshit old lady, who is not a hallucination but a roommate named Doris, cuts in, accuses Jackie of stealing all her stuff, and demands she be given time to read the therapeutic confrontation letter she’s been working on.
Brace yourself, ’cause this one doesn’t hold back.
I immediately love Doris, because her letter gets right to the point. “Dear Alexis, Fuck you–” she begins, and before we can hear any more (I totally want to hear more), Laura the therapist yanks away the notebook and threatens to throw it off the roof. She then puts the spotlight on Jackie, who identifies herself as a nurse. Period.
Speaking of nurses, Akalitus is officially back on the floor, in her cardigan and a set of no-nonsense scrubs. No puppies and kitten bullshit for Akalitus, no sir. She announces to Zoey, Thor, and Hot Sam that she will henceforth be one of them and expects to be treated as an equal. She then immediately demands Thor order a better chair from maintenance, and when he calls her Gloria she shuts that business down with a single look.
Best of luck with the whole equality thing.
Dr. Cruz arrives and wants to know where the hell Jackie is. Akalitus tells him she cashed in her vacation, a detail that does not please him. He snarls at them to try to look busy, then swooshes off. Prick.
Back in group, Laura gets right to the heart of things, asking Jackie if it’s hard working around a stockpile of narcotics. Nah, I’m sure that’s not an issue at all. Jackie claims to only take pills “when not taking them would affect my ability to do my job.” And, you know, at home and on the weekends and after work and before church and during sex with the pharmacist. We all know this is bullshit, but at least one other person in the group can relate. Wayne The Pro Baseball Player knows how that feels.
Did I mention he plays pro baseball? If not no biggie, because he’s got that topic pretty well covered throughout the episode.
Anyway, Jackie goes along with the therapist’s suggestion that drugs make her a better nurse. Trish is all about contradicting that though, pointing to herself and the clown purchase as hard evidence that narcotics impair judgment.
But since you’re allegedly sober in this joint, how do you justify that cardigan and necklace combo?
Doris has had enough, though, and wants her turn. When her attempts to reclaim her notebook fail, she stands and starts to recite her letter by heart. Yay, we get to hear more! Alas, she gets no further than “Dear Alexis, Fuck you for Boca Raton,” then Laura rains on our parade and makes Doris sit down. Tease.
Anyway, Jackie tells us how she got started on the habit. Apparently she was prescribed Vicodin for a back injury and started taking it recreationally, but when pressed for details, she refuses to say more.
Don’t worry, we can always discuss Wayne’s baseball career, or Charlie’s badly planned coif.
O’Hara, Coop, and Dr. Cruz are having a chitchat on the roof, and Dr. Cruz is asking them to envision the future of what Quantum Bay is trying to accomplish. The future contains all sorts of fancy, expensive new things–like a helipad, for instance. That dork Coop jumps right on board, naturally: “Helipad; hellayes,” he says, crawling ever further up Cruz’s back passage. O’Hara, however, isn’t as star struck. She wants to know what’s going to happen to the nursing staff after Quantum Bay spends all their investment money on things like helipads and then doesn’t make a profit. Dr. Cruz assures her that QB is committed and will definitely make a profit and there’s nothing to worry about.
First order of business: land helicopter on Coop.
As she continues to lay out all the reasons she’s incapable of bullshit, O’Hara drops the fetus bomb, completely derailing her point. Cruz is all smiles and congrats, while all Coop wants to know is the identity of the baby’s father–Eddie? Sam? “Could’ve been me, long story,” he informs Dr. Cruz, with a nudge-wink. Oh, Coop. You’re somewhat adorable onscreen, but if I knew you in life I’d have no choice but to punch you hard in the scrotum on a regular basis. O’Hara warns them to keep it quiet, but we all know how that’ll go. Coop is all aglow about the helipad, then Dr. Cruz bursts his bubble by telling him to lose the mustache and wear a tie. “It’s a goatee,” Coop says, not about to be dismissed without the last word.
Seriously, right in the sack.
The staff is gathered in the chapel, waiting to get their headshots for new ID badges. Apparently Quantum Bay will be tracking them via these badges, to see where they spend their time. Eddie is all busted up, looking like he has very little motivation to continue drawing breath. He gives Thor his QB promotional gift bag, saying it’s all bullshit. I have a feeling he’s not just talking about the branded clipboard. Thor, Sam, and Zoey will later be shamed for wearing the swag, and that’s a great moment, especially when Zoey caves to Akalitus, Thor doesn’t give a shit, and Sam just stands there.
Love those three.
Back in rehab, Jackie gets called away from some fascinating inpatient social time to meet with Laura one on one. Laura wants to know how she plans to deal with the inevitable reemergence of the back pain, and swiftly puts the kibosh on any suggestion of weaker painkillers. Jackie can’t even have Tylenol. Damn. How far gone do you have to be if Tylenol is too hardcore and risky? Anyway, Laura tells Jackie she needs to learn to live with the pain, and Jackie steers the conversation to how Doris is insane. That’s not going to work on Laura though, and she points out exactly how fucked up and sick Jackie is, and that she needs to pinpoint where her addiction began. Jackie insists that she’s not like the others–she’s a nurse. Laura says Jackie will have to stop defining herself that way and start thinking of herself as a patient.
Back at All Saints, O’Hara, Lenny, and Akalitus are wheeling in a girl whose name could either be Liza or Blithe, but I’ll be damned if eight rewinds made the mush mouth boyfriend understandable. Anyway, LizaBlithe is an NYU student who fell off the balcony and is now trying her best to fend off goddamn mush mouth Jeff, who has followed the procession inside, determined to be there for his lady whether she wants him to be or not. Akalitus orders Jeff out, but he won’t budge, so O’Hara calls Sam over to eject him.
“Will someone please kill him for me? This neck brace is limiting my range of motion.”
Laura is still plugging away at the whole therapy thing, suggesting some step by step processes for Jackie to work on. After informing her that she can’t see her family for a week, Laura also adds that the addiction problem didn’t just happen on its own–something (or several somethings) in Jackie’s life was painful enough to get her started. One of her therapies is to figure out what, write it all down, and purge it.
Coop is stitching up a patient and irritating Zoey, his usual personality keeping everyone right on the edge of smacking him in the mouth. He can’t resist getting in digs to Jackie even though she’s not there. Dr. Cruz pokes his head in and wants to know why he’s not in trauma, then drags everyone out in the hallway and makes Coop switch with O’Hara (who had been just about to lift LizaBlithe, despite her own delicate condition). Cruz then tells Akalitus she’s too old to lift patients.
Something tells me he will pay for that one.
He then gives her office to O’Hara, and takes O’Hara’s office for himself. Well, at least we know he’s not there to make friends. He will soon be roundly despised, if he isn’t already.
Once everyone else scampers off, O’Hara tells Cruz he’s a rude bastard, and he informs her he did what he did in the interest of keeping her from straining herself, while protecting her secret. Also, the office switch was for her benefit, as she now has a bigger, more conveniently located space to accommodate her pregnancy. Huh. I can’t figure out if he’s a good guy who just acts like an asshole, or if he’s an asshole who’s doing everything for the sake of QB and things are just working out.
Jeff still won’t leave LizaBlithe alone, even when she tells him she was out on the fire escape in the first place mainly to get away from his smothering ass. They argue about whether or not he’s an annoying, clingy douchebag (spoiler alert: he is), and he vows he’ll marry her even if she ends up crippled. She’s about to lose her mind in frustration, so Coop tells Jeff to blow on her toes to see if she’s paralyzed. When his face gets near her foot, she gives it a satisfying kick. “Jackie would’ve loved that,” says Coop. Aw, someone misses his favorite nurse.
Speaking of Jackie, she’s jonesing hard, and is hitting up the rehab receptionist for any sort of painkiller. Yeah, that’s not how things are going to shake out. So Jackie thieves the receptionist’s Starbucks in revenge, then retreats to the janitor’s closet. But she’s not alone! Charlie is in there, with his green hair and teen angst, sending hateful texts to his dad. No phones are allowed, but he’s somehow smuggled one in and has it hidden in some linens in there. Charlie is a hot mess. He’s 17, on his fourth rehab stint, and doesn’t give a shit that his habits will eventually kill him. Spoken like a true teenager! You’re so worldly, Charlie. I mean, you really sound like you just have life all figured out, you know? And he’s streetwise, too–he could smell Jackie’s back injury lie a mile away.
At first she looks like she’s going to yell at him; instead, we hear the real story of her fall from sobriety: Grace was such a difficult baby, just nonstop crying for two solid years, that Jackie literally couldn’t take it. She stole some Percocet, started chowing it like there was no tomorrow, and that was the tipping point. I guess the silver lining is that she drugged herself instead of the baby, but it’s still a rotten situation.
“So fuck you, Grace. Is that it?” Charlie asks, and we can see, just for a second, that it is. Jackie kicks Charlie out, but before he goes he reassures her that the kid being the start of things is okay, and she needs to own it and deal with it. I can see his point, but that’s a harsh bit of reality. I mean, how do you confront that? It’s not like she can go up to her preteen daughter and say “Hey Grace, thanks for fucking up my entire life with your crying baby bullshit.” Rough. There’s no way to make amends, because there’s no one to blame. Grace was a baby–she doesn’t even remember doing this, much less have an explanation for it. And now I wonder if Jackie was popping during her second pregnancy, because that’s a whole other level of fucked up. It also might explain why Fiona is so much more laid back than Grace.
O’Hara, while helping Akalitus clean out her office, drops the fetus bomb again, and Akalitus is all aflutter. Then O’Hara’s phone rings and it’s Jackie! She’s using Charlie’s phone, asking O’Hara to bring Grace to see her–visiting rules be damned. I’m sure this will go over swimmingly with Laura.
When Jackie sees O’Hara’s hired car pull up outside later that day, she rats out Charlie to Stephenie Meyer’s doppelgänger and convinces her to go get the phone right before Grace walks in. Jackie sits at the desk and acts like she’s hard at work, and then she just swoops in on Grace and gets very emotional. Grace doesn’t quite give a rat’s ass, but is nice, just wants to know when Jackie is coming back so she can switch schools. Then the receptionist comes back, and is intuitive enough to play along with Jackie’s work charade until Grace leaves. But that’s as far as the kindness goes, because Laura’s going to hear aaaall about this.
Charlie isn’t even that pissed about losing his phone, probably because it’s something he would have done in her place. He doesn’t even think it’s that fucked up, and seems amused that she’s even sorry. Oh, I can do fucked up, Jackie assures him. One time she smashed a hammer on her ring finger for some reason she doesn’t even remember. Well, I remember, Jackie–I’m pretty sure it was because you’d had to get O’Hara to cut your wedding band off your swollen finger so Eddie wouldn’t see it, and then had to break your finger so Kevin wouldn’t question why your wedding band was snipped in two. But yeah, that qualifies as fucked up, in a general sense. I wonder if she’s just ashamed to tell that story, or if she really doesn’t remember. She was all kinds of high at the time, so it’s not out of the question.
Anyway, we’ll never know, because Doris wanders over and is shooed away by Charlie. “Whites only, huh?” says the whitest lady on earth. I love Doris. Then Laura shows up, and the shit hits the fan.
Would you want to be on the business end of this argument? I wouldn’t.
Laura tells Jackie to pack her bags. She’s being held accountable for her actions, and now she has to explain the whole Grace thing to Laura. But Laura is standing firm, telling her how screwed up she is and how she can’t even see it. Laura stands over her while she packs, taunting her, then gives her one more chance, telling her to cut the shit and stop trying to save everyone except herself.
That night, Jackie hears Doris croaking in bed, and when she gets up to bring her water, sees she’s having a stroke. Good Nurse Jackie emerges, oddly without the help of any narcotics. So there is a good caretaker lurking in there. She’s not a hopeless case, as long as she realizes that, and at the end there’s a moment when she’s actually happy. It’s sad.
So that’s that. I’m glad we get more than one episode in rehab, even if it’s kind of discombobulating jumping back and forth between rehab and All Saints. I’m actually really digging this season, though–it seems to be focusing more on serious issues than just hospital hijinks. Not that those aren’t fun. Hope you guys are liking it too. See you next time!
To get the funniest quotes from TVgasm recaps as they’re posted, follow us on Twitter. You can post your favorite lines right back at us. If you want to play games and socialize, like our Facebook page! We’re also now on Pinterest and Tumblr! Thanks for being a part of the gasm!