Hello and welcome to the Nurse Jackie season 4 recaps! When last we left our favorite junkie healthcare professional, Jackie had just dodged the bullet of the century. Well, I guess you can call it a dodge–in the final minute of last season’s finale, her husband Kevin admitted to having an affair. What he doesn’t know, though, is that Jackie has taken more than one ride on that particular pony herself, and that pony’s name is Eddie. That pony is also a high horse, because she neglects to mention her myriad indiscretions, and sends Kevin packing. For those of you keeping track, Jackie had also not kicked her painkiller habit in any way, and was lying to everyone about her sobriety. So yeah, she’s still awful, but I think we knew that.
We open with Jackie checking into rehab, having her bag searched by a woman who is clearly not interested in taking even an iota of her shit. It’s about time, too, because she dishes so much of it out that this lady is probably like the only person to take that tone with her in years. You go, anonymous rehab lady.
Rethinking the whole self-improvement thing.
Back at All Saints, Thor, Zoey, and Hot Sam are discussing Quantum Bag, a corporation that has purchased the hospital. They’re all hoping the bigwigs will be sufficiently busy that they can’t be bothered to make too many changes, but they’re distracted as Thor gets catty. He says O’Hara has been looking puffy lately, and she calls his own puffy ass out for hypocrisy.
Apparently that rehab intro was either a dream sequence or a preview of things to come, because Jackie is strolling around All Saints like nothing is amiss. Eddie appears out of nowhere to pull her into the pharmacy, and everyone gets shifty-eyed, because that’s never good.
Sure enough, Eddie’s purpose in cornering Jackie is, predictably, to officially ask her to go steady. He’s even picked up a flower off some church steps to make things all romantic. Now why, you might ask, would Eddie still be interested in any sort of involvement with Jackie? She led him on for years, lied about her marital status, neglected to mention her kids, and then dropped him as soon as the truth started to emerge. Well, here’s the thing about Eddie: Eddie is fucked up. Instead of taking fast leave from the hotbed of bullshit that is Jackie Peyton’s life, he did the creepy, unstable thing: covertly befriended her husband and insinuated himself into her home life in the role of Kevin’s Buddy. He’s been holding their affair over her head the entire time, but still held out enough hope that he never blew her cover. Now that she and Kevin are splitsville, Eddie is making his move.
I mean really, who could say no to a half-dead flower some head case scooped up off the New York City sidewalk? Line forms to the left, ladies!
Actually, his attempt at courtship goes over about how you’d expect. Jackie isn’t in the mood to revisit Eddie in any sense, and just when he’s starting to get indignant, Akalitus barges in and cock blocks him, informing Jackie she’s on shift for another hour. And Eddie was so close.
Jackie then has one of those moments when we get to see the glimmer of the good person that may once have resided in her soul. Mr. Canary has dubbed her the most unlikeable character in the history of television, with the exception of Nate Fisher, and he has a good case for that (I personally think Jack Shepherd from LOST was way more unlikeable, though I admit that might just be me). She’s a bitch on wheels when it comes to her coworkers, and she’s definitely the family member you try to avoid at reunions, but with patients she’s a gem.
We see this when she mistakes a worried girlfriend for a temp nurse: she lays on the sarcasm and is all ready to rip her a new one until she learns that the puppy-print scrubs the girl is wearing are actually part of her dog groomer’s uniform. Immediately Jackie snaps into nurturing mode and reassures her. Then Zoey sidles up, totally in love with the puppy scrubs.
I love Zoey like Zoey loves puppy scrubs.
Once Jackie walks away, though, she snaps back into bitch mode, even as she’s doing a good deed. In the middle of buying snacks for puppy scrubs girl, she has a run in with a doctor, who bumps into her because he’s texting and tells her to watch herself. It’s an off-the-cuff remark, more like he’s saying oops-watch-out, not move-bitch-get-out-the-way, but Jackie tears his throat out anyway and tells him to get his doctor head out of his doctor ass. You just know this guy is going to end up being her boss at some point, but considering she tells Coop to go get fucked on a regular basis, I don’t think that’ll make much difference. If there’s one thing guaranteed not to impress Jackie, it’s a doctor’s white coat. I’m pretty sure they actually incite her wrath.
Plus, Jackie really doesn’t have time to worry about random doctors right now, because there’s Eddie again, ambushing her as she leaves work. He wants to know if she ever really loved him, or if she was just using him as a pill supplier all this time. Well duh, Eddie. Look who just caught up. She tells him that no, she didn’t love him, and he gets mad and tells her to leave him out of her self-destructive life. Well Eddie, I can sort of see your point, but she’s not the one jumping out at you from behind street signs. She’s been TRYING to leave you alone, yet there you are with your enthusiasm and crazy eyes and sad sack, sidewalk flowers. Make up your mind, man.
Fiona and Grace are in their bedroom at Kevin’s place, discussing their incredibly screwed up home life. Grace packs some pilfered cigarettes in with her head meds, because she’s a model child who hasn’t been affected at all by her parents’ issues.
Only a few more years ’til the debutante ball!
The anxiety disorder seems to have calmed itself a smidge, so maybe those pills are doing the trick. I wonder if Fiona’s still a pyro. Kevin appears in the doorway and you can tell he’s not digging the bachelor lifestyle and wants to move home. I think we can all safely assume he hasn’t heard about the whole Eddie’s penis inside his wife situation.
Now that both Eddie and Kevin are out of her hair, Jackie is free to kill Billy Joe Armstrong. That is not a euphemism. Because church is such a sexy and appropriate place to pick up tail, Jackie goes sniffing around the altar for some skanky strange, and a fellow junkie (played by Billy Joe) is who she finds.
Hey, a girl has needs. At least he’s a step up from Eddie.
She brings him home for some depressing druggie chitchat, some amorous affections, and some freebasing, and one of those stops his heart. He dies on her living room floor in a matter of minutes. Lightweight.
I hope you had the time of your life.
Jackie panics and calls O’Hara, who arrives in the wee hours elegantly turned out and properly disgusted. She clearly wants no part of this boorish nonsense, especially when Jackie suggests shoving the body in her Towncar and stashing it somewhere. Only the long history between the two keeps her from washing her hands of the situation altogether. O’Hara informs her that the two of them are done, and Jackie has a breakdown and takes responsibility for the first time in ever. She knows her life is a shambles, and that everything that’s happened is her fault. She wants to change, but is intent on riding that bullet train to ruin. She doesn’t know how to stop on her own, and finally admits she needs to go to rehab. I guess letting a dude die on her carpet crossed some sort of line.
O’Hara listens without speaking, but agrees to sign the death certificate and keeps her mouth shut when Lenny and Zoey arrive to collect the “heart attack victim” Jackie has so kindly brought in off the street where he collapsed. Zoey adorably fangirls out when she sees O’Hara, and Jackie is so good at acting normal while high off her ass by this point, that no one notices anything off.
As the sun rises, though, Jackie has to admit things have gotten way too fucked up to continue in this vein. Yonot now O’Hara was going through her mental Rolodex as soon as the word rehab left Jackie’s mouth, and she wastes no time getting on the phone to secure a bed for her. Soon it’s official: rehab will commence at 4 p.m., so Jackie has one last day to get it together and make arrangements to take some time off work.
So at least we get some more time at All Saints before Jackie is sent away to dry out. Dr. Mike Cruz from Quantum Bay is making his introductory speech, and sure enough, he’s the doctor Jackie told earlier to get bent. She could give a shit though, and displays a consistent level of respect by going about her business during the speech. Thor makes up for her lack of enthusiasm by popping a boner, which Dr. Cruz takes in stride.
“Yes, I’ve been known to inspire turgidity. It’s part of my charm.”
We get another glimpse of Good Nurse, as she sends some IV supplies home with Puppy Scrubs and the boyfriend. ‘He’s worried about paying for 72 hours in the hospital (can’t say I blame him), so she’s letting them go home for the treatment as long as they stay in touch with Zoey. I can’t help but wonder how she manages to just switch on and off like that. I get that she genuinely cares about her patients, but she also genuinely cares about her family and friends…yet she treats them like shit across the board. Does she just use up all her good will at work?
We call this the “I couldn’t possibly give a fuck if my life depended on it” face.
Before she can put it off any longer, O’Hara collars her and steers her to talk to Akalitus, where she has to confess to needing 28 days off. Well, that’s a magical number, and Akalitus knows exactly what’s up. She’s not happy, but doesn’t try to stop it happening–I think she knows that Jackie wouldn’t even get within sniffing distance of a rehab facility unless things were beyond bad. And they are, make no mistake.
You probably should have done this back in season 2.
Yay, it’s the first Dr. Cooper sighting of the season!
Coop, sporting a badly planned goatee, is brown nosing Dr. Cruz, who’s barely listening and already honing his Jackie radar. Dr. Cruz makes a snarky remark as Jackie passes, but she’s beyond the realm of fuck-giving at the moment, and barely acknowledges him. Coop is used to it, but Cruz is not amused.
Clearly channeling the same 90s nostalgia that led to the casting of Billy Joe.
I guess Jackie has a good reason for not bothering to engage with Cruz, though, because she’s on her way to say goodbye to her daughters. Since neither of them know what a colossal fuckup their mother is, she’s telling them that she’ll be away for a training seminar for work. All they care about is the Wii Kevin just bought them. She’s not admitting the rehab thing to even him, though, feeding him the same line about work. Not that honesty has ever been the cornerstone of their relationship, but I guess she’s pretty ashamed things have come to this.
Meanwhile, Dr. Cruz establishes himself and his corporation as the Big Evil this season, by informing Akalitus that her job is redundant now that he’s arrived. She has two choices: stay on as a nurse for the next two years and retire at full pension, or retire right then at half pension. She agrees to stay on, but only if she’s still in charge on the floor. Then she refuses to shake his hand because “it’s cold season.” Akalitus rules.
Grace and Fiona are rocking it out on the Wii of Single Parent Guilt, headphones on, when a twitchy and very inebriated Eddie shows up at Kevin’s door. Turns out he has something to tell Kevin, and wanted to do it with the girls there so Kevin couldn’t beat him too badly. Pussy. And really, Eddie–is this really the way you want things to go? You know Jackie will never forgive this, so I guess you’re over her now and won’t be crawling back on your belly a couple episodes from now? I guess not, because he tells Kevin to stop beating himself up about the affair. FYI, he says, Jackie was fucking Eddie himself for four years, so the blame can be spread around nice and evenly. Kevin glances back to make sure the girls are distracted, then proceeds to give Eddie a much deserved ass whooping. By the time they turn around, Eddie has been tossed out and Kevin now has to spend 28 days suppressing his rage. Real nice, Eddie.
Should have picked up a flower on the way over, dude. It would have softened the blow.
Jackie and O’Hara arrive at rehab, and Jackie promises her things will be different when she gets out. They have to be, O’Hara says, because she’s not about to deal with anymore horseshit, especially when she’s busy gestating a fetus. Jackie is amazed and suddenly emotional, and gives O’Hara her saint medallion “for safekeeping” before walking through the rehab doors, unaware that Eddie has just further decimated her life.
Wait, the’re keeping me in here for HOW long?
So that’s the opener to what looks like a season packed with more fodder for drama than an episode of The Real World. Since this is the first season recapped on this site, I don’t know how many people will watch, read, and comment, but I hope there are at least a few of you. And even if it does echo like a tomb in here, I’ll keep plugging away.
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