Nurse Jackie: "School Nurse"
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Nurse Jackie: "School Nurse"

A-

Nurse Jackie

"School Nurse"

Season 1, Episode 4
A-

Nurse Jackie

"School Nurse"

Season 1, Episode 4

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It has taken four episodes, but one of Jackie's other shoes (and by my count she has at least three, each from different pairs, perched on the precipice) has finally dropped. Jackie and her terminally bland husband are summoned to Grace's school where a panel of (dubious) experts tell them Grace has generalized anxiety disorder. There is no color or sun in her drawings, you see. Also, she circles her desk three times before sitting in order to keep the planes from falling out of the sky.  So, as it turns out, Jackie's magical chicken soup cure didn't work (which, duh, Jackie.That soup killed Eli Wallach.)—Grace is still nervous and sad and troubled and unable to be healed by her professional healer mom. The school nurse recommends starting Grace on an age-appropriate, low-dose anti-anxiety medication. Pill-popping Jackie isn't so keen on medicating her child for what she sees as a developmental stage, and recommends the school nurse shut up. On their way out of the school, Jackie and HusbandBot 2000 discuss enrolling Grace in private school instead. Sure, because no one is anxious at private school. 

But with Jackie's other mom shoe finally dropping to the ground, how long can it be before the other wife shoe follows? In this episode, Jackie was expertly juggling both Eddie and HusbandBot: Dodging Eddie's offer for a ride to her "dentist appointment;" Hiding Eddie's multiple "Me So Horny" texts in front of HusbandBot (no need, Jackie, robot husbands can't read anyway); buying a new cell phone just for Eddie to send "Me So Horny" texts to; And in one swift, funny move picking up both of her cell phones to tell both Eddie and Kevin at the same time, "Can't talk. Luv Ya!" Sure, Jackie's an adept liar now, but obviously it's only a matter of time until she forgets to take her wedding ring off in front of Eddie, or before HusbandBot finds the second cell phone. This episode created a nice light tension about Jackie's double life, though.

Meanwhile, Zooey lost her first patient, Dr. Fancypants was forced to interact with a child ("Now you be a good boy and remember to always help ladies on with their coats"), Coop revealed that he has a surprisingly warm bedside manner when dealing with old ladies who have crushes on him, and Mo-Mo bared his twin soul (then said something about hot rollers). In fact, the DVR description for this episode could have easily read, "Jackie juggles Eddie and her husband; minor characters get some much needed character development; Mercifully there is no sight or mention of Mrs. Ackalitus." 

In general, this episode was a huge step up from last week's "Look at the lessons these patient caricatures have to teach us" follies. The patients were used sparingly. Jackie finally got out of the hospital and/or her kitchen. A few characters (Mo-Mo, Coop, Zooey, but obviously not Jackie's husband) branched out and inched closer to resembling fully-realized human beings. The pacing was great. And nothing was played too sweet—even the moment at the end of the episode where Jackie draws in a sun on Grace's decidedly grey drawing, a moment that so easily could have lapsed into saccharine territory, instead ended with Jackie's gruff stab at healing "There. Was that so hard?" For Jackie, it's only going to get harder.

Grade: A-

Stray Observations:

--"His mucky little fingers ruined a pair of $80 tights." How, exactly? Unless Dr. Fancypants was wearing them on the outside of her fuschia sheath dress.

--"Yeah but Gunshot Guy's alive. Collapsed lung boy is alive. Mine's dead." Poor defeated Zooey. 

--"Coop: 1, Death: 0! Booo-ya!" The Great Facinelli, still great. 

--"She's always drawing my hair longer. She hates this haircut." Nice one, Edie.

    

   

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