Nurse Jackie 1.12 — “Health Care and Cinema” recap

Season one of Nurse Jackie is already gone; tonight’s episode was the finale. And it ended on such a strange note, that I’m interested to see where season two goes. It was actually the most overall strange episode of Jackie yet. Not much was resolved, but the rising action just continued right on up to the trippy closing moments of the episode.

The episode begins with Jackie and Kevin at the bar. Jackie is complaining about Jenny Flynn, the woman at the dance class who caused the scene with Jackie. Jackie reveals that she knows that Jenny and Kevin used to date, but Kevin insists it was only for two weeks when they were sixteen. Jackie worries about Grace’s reaction to the entire Jenny Flynn situation, but Kevin reassures her that Grace will soon see that Jackie was just trying to help.

Kevin then tells Jackie that he’s got a surprise for her when she gets off work, and so she’ll have to come to the bar at midnight to recieve it. Jackie is delighted, musing “Who is luckier than me?”

As Jackie leaves, she is looked on from afar by Eddie, who saw her with Kevin and her daughters the previous night. As Eddie enters the bar, Jackie turns around. She doesn’t see Eddie, however, and continues on her way, a troubled look on her face. Eddie, meanwhile, sits down at the bar, and Kevin invites him to have a drink, even though the bar isn’t supposed to open for another hour. Eddie decides he wants a beer.

Meanwhile, at the hospital, Akalitus talks to the comatose Nutterman, eventually grasping his hand. Zoey notices this but says nothing. Jackie, meanwhile, goes to the hospital, and stops by the pill-o-matix to get some pain medication, but is only able to score Tylenol. “Blow me,” she deadpans disappointedly.

As she’s leaving the room, she is stopped by Akalitus outside the elevator. Akalitus informs her that she is opening up the Nutterman case for investigation, and she’ll need to question Jackie and Zoey in her office in five minutes. However, as soon as Akalitus gets in the elevator, it gets stuck, stranding her alone. Jackie continues on to the nurse’s station, which is swamped with phone calls. Zoey is talking to Nutterman, telling him her name and apologizing for her mistake which put him into the coma.

Jackie finally calls Zoey over for some help. Akalitus calls the nurse’s station from her cell phone in the elevator, but is put on hold by Zoey. She calls again, loudly telling Zoey her name. Zoey hangs up anyway, unfazed. Jackie notices that Zoey is wearing grey scrubs, and Zoey informs her that they are because she’s in “mourning” for her mistake. Jackie doesn’t like the scrubs. Zoey ignores another call from Akalitus, and asks Jackie if there’s going to be an investigation into the Nutterman coma. Jackie says yes, but advises her not to call the elevator repairman just yet.

Coop then comes up to Jackie, telling her that he knows that she broke her own finger. Though she is shocked that he knows this, Jackie feigns ignorance and follows him to discuss it in privacy. He tells her that she broke her finger just to get some alone time with him, because of their “chemistry.” Jackie calls him a moron, but kisses him once more. He’s confused by this — very confused.

Meanwhile, Zoey talks to Thor and Mo-Mo about her scrubs. Neither of them like the scrubs. In the middle of their discussion, a tall, skinny girl (heralded by Mo-Mo as “America’s next top model”) walks into the clinic. Taking off her hoodie, she reveals a large piece of hair missing from her scalp. Mo-Mo and Thor are unsympathetic, but Zoey suggests a hair stylist that she knows who will fix the girl’s hair. The girl wants Zoey as a nurse, but since Zoey cannot treat patients, she is stuck with Mo-Mo and Thor.

Meanwhile, at the bar, Eddie asks Kevin about Jackie, pretending that he doesn’t know her. He tells Kevin that he himself is in a relationship with a marrried woman who has two children. Kevin sympathizes, but Eddie tells him that he has “no idea.”

Akalitus remains stuck in the elevator, and slowly begins to grow stir-crazy.She begins talking to herself, pretending as though she is at a meeting, and talks about herself and Nutterman. “It’s been a great year for healthcare…and cinema,” she crows to an invisible audience.

O’Hara informs Jackie that she’s going to break the law — she’s having her mother shipped in from London, just so she can see her with her own eyes. Because she can’t handle the paperwork, she is admitting her mother as a Jane Doe.

Jackie tries to get the pill-o-matix to give her something stronger, but it refuses to cooperate. She calls Eddie for help, but he’s still at the bar, and ignoresher call once he sees that it’s her. Jackie, frustrated, leaves.

Back at the nurse’s station, Jackie continues to beg Zoey to change, but Zoey refuses, hypothetically wondering what Nutterman’s reaction would be if he saw her wearing happily decorated scrubs after she’d put him into a coma. Jackie thinks that it won’t be a big issue. Zoey thinks it is, however, and wants to apologize to Nutterman, and admit that she made a mistake. Jackie tries to assure Zoey that it would be selfish to tell Nutterman, because it would only make herself feel better.

Coop, meanwhile, talks to Mo-Mo about Jackie while they’re treating a man whose intestine has popped out of his stomach. Mo-Mo is unaware that it’s Jackie who Coop is talking about, and expresses his own regrets about a man who he likes who is not into him.

Jackie calls Eddie once more, but he ignores her, and instead continues talking to Kevin about Jackie. Kevin shows Eddie the wedding band he’s gotten for Jackie. Eddie begins to drink more.

The elevator maintenance men finally get Akalitus out of the elevator. As she walks hurriedly out, she complains that they were “not prompt.” Jackie, meanwhile, tries to reset the pill-o-matix, but instead sets off its alarm. She leaves when it doesn’t stop blaring.

While O’Hara waits for her mother to arrive, Coop decides to help out Mo-Mo by taking a picture of them kissing in order to make Mo-Mo’s crush jealous. Jackie walks by, throwing an offhand comment about Coop, to which Coop tries to save face. Mo-Mo realizes that Coop is talking about Jackie.

Meanwhile, Nutterman wakes up, though he has no memory of any cinema except Showgirls. (“I broke him,” Zoey whimpers.) He does, however, remember exactly what Zoey said to him while he was in the coma, and he notices the bright new scrubs that Zoey is wearing, though she tries to tell him that she had previously been wearing grey ones.

Meanwhile, Eddie shows up at the hospital, drunk. He causes a scene, shouting profanities. Jackie tries to calm him down, but can’t. Akalitus asks him to leave, and when he is stubborn, she threatens to call security. He agrees to leave, but not before telling Jackie that he’s met Kevin. Jackie, astonished, flees to the pill-o-matix machine, taking out three vials of morphene. Sneaking into a private room, Jackie takes all three vials before lying down on the floor.

She blinks, and discovers that she has been dressed in completely new nurse attire, much like the ones pictured left. The room is bathed in a white glow. Looking to her left, she sees an idyllic family — Kevin and her two daughters — waving at her.She begins singing “Have You Ever Seen the Rain?” in a drowsy voice inside her head.

However, her hallucination is broken when she sees a rat in the fluorescent light above her. She watches it circle the light twice, and then wonders aloud: “Did anyone else see that.”

And that’s the end of the season. It’s not the most satisfying end, mind you, but as Peter Facinelli so aptly described the finale, “I can say that nothing gets tied up in a neat little bow for the end of this season. It’s like life. The end of the day is not wrapped up in a neat little package. You have to wait to tomorrow to see how today really was. That’s how it is with this show.”

Nurse Jackie will return for a second season in 2010.

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