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Nurse Jackie: "Pupil"

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Nurse Jackie

"Pupil"

Season 1, Episode 8
A-

Nurse Jackie

"Pupil"

Season 1, Episode 8

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"Yesterday was St. Lucy. She plucked out her eyes, but she could still see. Then she died, but God gave her prettier eyes in heaven."

Ah, The Lives Of The Saints. They're like bite-sized, God-approved horror stories for Catholic schoolkids, each more gruesome and strange than the last. It's good to see little anxious Grace excited about something other than Discovery Channel documentaries about superbugs. At least the saints have somewhat happy endings (canonization, heaven)—although they do have to be martyred to get there--which is where Grace got St. Lucy's story tellingly wrong. St. Lucy didn't pluck out her own eyes—Dioclesian had them plucked out for her—but maybe it's easier for a little girl with an anxiety disorder to think of the Saint's torture as self-inflicted.  

Of course, it's not long before Grace's gory-saint-stories enthusiasm gives way to a full blown panic attack, and she's calling her mom on her pink for-emergencies-only cell phone while hyperventilating. Jackie tries to calm her down to no avail while Coop is screaming in Jackie's ear in retaliation, causing Jackie to finally yell at him, "Shut up! It's my fucking kid." Coop swears he won't tell anyone. Jackie says, sure, he swears "hand to God to tit." Coop says he has better things to do than to gossip about nurses, then goes to his best friend Eddie's pharmacave and gossips about Jackie. Now Eddie knows one of Jackie's secrets, Jackie has a full-fledged enemy in Coop, and all of Jackie's other shoes are beginning to drop. (When Jackie has finally destroyed her life, will God give her a prettier one in heaven?)

But the most important eyes in this episode didn't belong to St. Lucy, but to Sam, the spacey, slow-moving, drugged out temp nurse. Adorable, scrappy Zoey, says "The pupil tells you everything you need to know," and in the case of Sam the drugged out temp nurse, that adage works on two levels: Sam's dilated pupils give him away, and it's Zoey, Jackie's pupil, who figures out what's wrong with Sam while on seeking out drugseekers duty. Maybe Jackie was too high/frazzled/busy to notice that Sam wasn't just spacey, he was high. Or maybe Jackie did notice that Sam was an addict, but she was angry that he wasn't a high-functioning addict like her. Either way, despite her nurse shortage, Jackie kicked Sam out of the hospital, but not before he could call her a self-hating addict: "Takes one to know one." 

And so it's back to Husbandbot3000's bar to play happy family during kareoke hour. At Grace's request, a sad-eyed Jackie gamely steps up to sing "Up On The Roof," but for whatever reason Grace isn't buying her mom's performance—you can see it in her eyes.

Grade: A-

Stray Observations:

--Oh, and Akalitus stole that baby from the last episode, possibly to use as office decoration.

--"No, no, no. I'm not a dick." Coop doth protesteth too much.

--About Jackie's doughnut sprinkles/pill granules close call: Apparently the granules always dreamily fall, even when accidentally shaken from a Kleenax. It must be in their contract.

              

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