Nurse Jackie: “Ring Finger”
Posted by therebelprince on August 12, 2009
We’re hitting the business end of the season and for Jackie, that means her lies are beginning to pile up on top of each other. Very little direct plot happens this week. Instead, after a sweet scene in which Jackie joins Grace for mother-daughter tap classes, we really just see various moments in Jackie’s day and how each of them combines the little, and the big, lies she’s been telling.
Let’s take stock here. Eddie knows she has a kid, but thinks they’re in a legitimate relationship. (A touching one, by the way, as evidenced in the scene where Zoey inadvertantly walks in on them getting intimate). Speaking of Zoey, she and Mo-Mo have absolutely no idea: that Jackie is married, has kids, or even that she’s friends with O’Hara, which is something we learn with a bit of surprise this week. O’Hara, then, knows about everything except the drug use – which is something that Eddie has an inkling of, but probably doesn’t know the extent. And then there’s Kevin, poor Kevin who has no idea about any of it.
The plot this week, such as it is, centres on Jackie’s inability to remove her wedding ring. Keeping that part of her life secret is so vital – particularly with all it means for her friendships and her lovelife – that Jackie has O’Hara saw the ring off, and then subsequently breaks her finger with a hammer to have a plausible excuse for her husband. It’s a gruelling sequence, and to add to Jackie’s strain she kisses Coop during a tender moment. It’s probably the best scene this week and Peter Facinelli plays Coop’s gentle freakout very well. His “sexual Tourette’s” was a humorous moment when it first appeared in the pilot, but it’s been intelligently treated as an aspect of the man which he has struggled to learn to live with. I think Coop is my favourite character on Nurse Jackie. I love (and I know I’ve said this before) that this isn’t Grey’s Anatomy. Coop can actually personify two different dimensions – the handsome, arrogant and slightly aloof doctor as well as the nervous child – in one character. In the end, he’s more reliant on Jackie than he wants to be, which means that she gets away with last week’s illegal juggling involving a braindead man and his desires (or lack thereof) to be a donor.
I’m not sure if the episode is perhaps supporting Jackie’s actions a little too much. Perhaps the donor thing will still come back to haunt her, but it seems as if Jackie got out of this by simply confusing Coop. This can’t work forever, surely. In fact, if this episode has a theme it is that. Jackie’s lies are slowly closing in on her. So far, Kevin is protected from it all but it’s only going to be a matter of time before her work relationships crumble when the truth comes out. No wonder Jackie finds herself rushing to the bathroom for a fix every few hours.
In closing, I’m glad this series is getting a second season. The characterisations have been much more successful than fellow newcomer Hung, which is primarily because of the tightness of the show’s structure. Ray on Hung can only spend so much time with each of his family, his friends and his clients. Here, we simply see one shift at a time, which allows us to explore Jackie’s life without ignoring those around her. I don’t think we’ll get too much destruction in the next two episodes – Eddie or Mo-Mo may find out the truth but Kevin won’t – but I do look forward to where things go from here. Nurse Jackie remains a sleeper hit, and will probably continue to confuse many due to its lack of a “concept”, but I’m really enjoying my weekly trips to All Saints’ Hospital.
* I wonder if we’ll see Mrs. Flint (Elizabeth Marvel), Jackie’s old college friend again. They seem to have devoted a good chunk of a scene to her this week, so it’s certainly possible that dancing classes will become a regular fixture.
* No Mrs. Akalitus this week, and boy do I not miss her. I’m much more interested in the personal fallout from Jackie’s deception rather than the professional one, quite frankly.
Next week: Eddie’s out of a job.