Nurse Jackie: Who Can Turn the World On With Her Smile?

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Photo: Courtesy of Showtime
Episode Title
Pill-O-Matix
Season
1
Episode
11

From dopey Dr. Cooper to pharmacist Eddie, everyone wants a piece of Jackie, and there’s not enough to go around — much like the pills that will from now on be dispensed not by Eddie but by a computer.

Who: Dr. Cooper
Jackie’s problem: She kissed Dr. Cooper to shut him up about her various and sundry secrets, and now he won’t shut up about his newfound affection for her. His feelings are so strong, he breaks up with his gorgeous girlfriend because swapping spit with Jackie stirred feelings in him he’d never felt before. After Zooey tells him that Jackie’s “likes” include gum and coffee, Coop proudly presents Jackie with a sickly sweet bouquet of pink roses and a pack of sugarfree gum. She promptly gives them back, with an unequivocal “no.” He returns them; she deposits them in her trash can.
The solution: Since Coop won’t take no for an answer, Jackie fishes a couple of the roses out of the garbage and presents them to her daughter, Grace, as a peace offering for ruining their mother-daughter tap-dance class.
Ridiculousness: High. Yes, it’s good to recycle, but no matter how messed up Cooper is, it’s unlikely he’d dis the hottie for Jackie.

Who: Troubled Grace
Jackie’s problem: When Caitlin, the spoiled-brat daughter of Jackie’s high-school friend, won’t stick to her own dance space, Jackie tries to gently ask Caitlin to please stop bumping into Grace. It doesn’t work, Jackie gets increasingly forceful in her requests of the inconsiderate little girl, the girl’s mom gets increasingly forceful in her request for Jackie to please stop scolding Caitlin, and Jackie eventually tells the woman to fuck off. In a church basement. They are banished from the class.
The solution: Beyond the peace offering of a recycled rose, Jackie’s got nothin’. Back to square one.
Ridiculousness: Low. There’s nothing worse than an overdoting showbiz mother. Unfortunately, Grace isn’t old enough to realize that her mom’s outburst was not uncalled for.

Who: Intern Zooey
Jackie’s problem: She pawns off the snobby film-critic patient — played by Victor Garber (Alias, Milk) — to Zooey, who, in an unintentionally Jackie-esque manner, gives the asshole an overdose of pain medication. Sure, he’d pissed Zooey off by hating pet movies and the fuzzy creatures who star in them ("You probably hate rainbows, too," she mutters under her breath), but that doesn’t mean he deserved 50 times the prescribed dose of Fentanyl. The critic’s last words as he fades into a coma are a confession to not hating Ashton Kutcher. Administrator Akalitus is furious — and not just because she's had a crush on him ever since he inspired her to see The Bicycle Thief. Jackie sums it up best: “This is not good.”
The solution: A distraught Zooey is put on desk duty, but that’s not the end of it: As her adviser, Jackie’s in trouble, too. Jackie swallows the bad news with a couple of pills.
Ridiculousness: Medium. We’ve come to expect little from the bumbling, otherwise harmless Zooey. But this seems a little extreme. And Jackie probably shouldn’t be swallowing pills so blithely — the mechanized pill dispensary won’t be as generous as Eddie was.

Who: Paramour Eddie
Jackie’s problem: Not only is her dealer about to go the way of the buffalo, he’s on his way out with expectations that the two can finally come out with their relationship. Meanwhile, husband Kevin has used the smashed-wedding-band incident as an opportunity to take their relationship to the next level — with a giant diamond ring.
The solution: Not only was Eddie’s parting gift to show Jackie how to buck the digitized pill-dispensing system, he spies her in Kevin’s bar, loving it up with her nuclear family. He sulks off, most likely for the last time.
Ridiculousness: Medium. Sure, it’s a little too perfect, but it was going to come out eventually. As were the drugs feeding Jackie’s addiction.

In what may be the most ironic moment of the series, the show closes with a bad cover of the theme song to The Mary Tyler Moore Show. Jackie may turn the world on with something, but it’s most certainly not her nearly nonexistent smile. Oh, and Jackie? We’re not sure you are gonna make it, after all.