Nurse Jackie: "Steak Knife"

Nurse Jackie: "Steak Knife"

B+

Nurse Jackie

"Steak Knife"

Season 1, Episode 7

God was everywhere in this episode of Nurse Jackie, in the hallway, judging Jackie as she walked past; Inside Grace's anxiety-ridden head, just waiting to judge her by the color of her bike shorts; and, mostly, spewing colorful insults at passersby from a window across from All Saints Hospital. According to "God," poor Zoey is balding, MoMo is wearing a woman's shirt, Dr. Fancypants is exactly what a woman should be like, and Jackie is both an asshole and an "ol' whore." (That's two for two about Jackie, "God.") 

But the loud, schizo God across the street obviously isn't the one that Jackie concerns herself with—apart from yelling back at him to "pick on criminals, pick on white guys" and to take his meds. No, the God that Jackie seems to believe in is the one that she told Grace won't mind about the wrong color bike shorts because "He'll know you meant well." Clearly Jackie hopes that this God won't judge her so harshly when she basically hypnotizes a stabbing victim into liking a girl with the help of a generous morphine drip, say, or when she roughly yanks the catheter out of a pedophile's urethra. After all, that girl has had a hard time with men. She's a self-described "creep magnet," so she needs a little love, no matter how drug-induced. And that pedophile is a pedophile—why should he get any mercy? He deserved it. God will know Jackie meant well, won't He?

This episode is the first since the pilot in which we've seen Jackie wandering around the hospital, administering Jackie's Code Of Justice as she sees fit, and it was a welcome return to whacked out Robin Hood form. Although in this episode, Jackie wasn't nearly as breezy as in the pilot. Back then, she had her pills and her affair all under control. Now, however, Eddie the pharmacist/lover is pushing to be more of a lover by giving Jackie a Cartier bracelet for their one-year anniversary. Jackie, naturally, is taken aback, and Eddie (rightfully) observes that if his bracelet were made out of Vicodin, there's no way Jackie would refuse it. Jackie isn't ready to face whatever feelings she may have for Eddie, and she certainly doesn't want a reminder of those feelings hanging around her wrist for everyone (even God) to see, so after she makes up with Eddie she gives the bracelet to Steak Knife Guy to give to Creep Magnet. Out of sight, almost out of mind.   

But this episode also gave us something that's been a long time coming: Much-needed character development for Dr. Fancypants. There were hints in last week's episode that Dr. Fancypants wasn't all Wolford tights, snide remarks, cartoon snobbishness, and withering looks. When she was standing guard in the ladies' room as Jackie readied the "special" cocktail for the dying Paula, and Jackie sniffed, Dr. Fancypants sounded genuinely concerned, asking, "Are you alright, Jacks?" (Jacks was, of course, sniffing up a line, but Fancypants didn't know that.) Tonight, Fancypants was off her game: wearing two different heels, having hushed phone calls behind closed doors, allowing Coop to take over Steak Knife Guy's treatment. As it turns out she was having a rough time--something having to do with her step-father, who is a "criminal" of some unspecified sort--and she was feeling aloof and painfully alone in the way that only aloof people can feel. And so she had an impromptu slumber party--complete with at least one French braid—at Jackie's house in Queens. Fancypants even tried to do something genuinely nice by stealing the family's bills in order to pay them, but Husbandbot 3000 spotted the bills, and re-claimed them. It doesn't matter, though. God (and the audience) will know that Fancypants meant well. 

Grade: B+

Stray Observations:

--Oh, and Akalitus probably stole an abandoned baby. Guess who's up next for some character development?

--"Immaculate Virgin? That's a bit redundant, isn't it?" Good one, Fancypants.

--Any guesses as to what has Fancypants so shaken up?