From the minute Dr. Prince (Tony Shalhoub) attempted to bring a DOA man back to life with a swift punch to the chest and then casually took a bite from a doughnut with a mere shrug when it didn’t work, I crossed all appendages for a Nurse Jackie season 8. Sadly, I don’t think even my crossed toes are going to make an extra season happen, so we’ll just have to make the most of the eight episodes we’ll get with Dr. Prince, who has already secured a spot on my “top TV doctors of all time” list. (What, you don’t have one?)
But with the scrubbing in of the nonchalant Dr. Prince comes the sad exit of Dr. Cooper, who doesn’t seem to be nearly as broken up about leaving All Saints as Carrie wants him to be. Seems like little Miss Narcissistic isn’t as “wicked excited” as Coop is about his new life in Boston without her, and even her gift of box seats to the New York Philharmonic’s movie night—“the most thoughtful thing I’ve ever done,” she tells him—isn’t going to keep him on her leash. In fact, it’s the thing that finally makes Coop cut her loose for good. Well, except for one last romp at his going away party, but we’ll get to that in a bit.
Jackie, All Saints’ new Norma Rae, is rallying the staff to protest the impending hospital sale to the Norwegian developers and trying her best to gain inside information. When she overhears the big wigs discussing how to best smooth things over with discordant employees, she calls an emergency meeting, supposedly to start lighting torches. However, one of the executives in charge catches Jackie before the meeting and offers to expedite the reinstatement of her nursing license in exchange for her cooperation in handling the staff’s peaceful transition. Despicable, and I’m not just talking about his accent that totally sounds fake.
Something that’s not fake? The friendship and mutual respect that Jackie and Dr. Prince fall into immediately. Having to act quickly to save a couple’s life who are brought into the ER, Dr. Prince calls Jackie into the room to lend a hand. “I don’t give a shit about Diversion, and I don’t think this lady does either,” he spits at Gloria when she objects. After saving the woman’s life, Jackie is high, and this time, it’s not from little white pills.
Later, after bonding over one of Dr. Prince’s “douchy” banana flavored electric cigarettes and some optimistic discussion over the impending hospital closure (“If this place is closing in a few months, let’s give it a great few months,” Dr. Blasé tells her), Dr. Prince lets Gloria know what he thinks of her rules regarding Jackie’s Diversion by creating one of his own: When Gloria admonishes him for not following the rules, he humbly takes the blame and then distracts her by offering to buy her lunch. Day one and already shaking Attila’s throne. I love it.
At the emergency staff meeting—which is now packed to capacity—Jackie shocks the mob when she immediately switches gears and tells them that it’s over. Things are developing too rapidly and storming the Norwegian’s castle is clearly a waste of their time. Disappointed, Zoey asks what happened. “I am shoveling shit,” Jackie tells her. “After 23 years of working my ass off in this place, why the fuck would I want to save it?” Good story, Jackie, but I don’t buy it. Do I think she’ll cave to the exec and let him buy her nursing license back at the expense of All Saints? Of course not! Despite everything, Jackie still has a hear—oh, never mind. I bet she totally will.
Since nobody thought to give Coop a going away party (seems like something that would have been right up Thor’s alley, which makes me disappointed that it wasn’t at the “The Cock”—the rock-and-sleaze gay bar they visited last season) Dr. Prince steps in and hosts one at a Romanian restaurant where everyone but Jackie arrives to feast on a table of meat and frozen vodka. After some drunken dancing and a final, fast, and furious [fill in the blank with another “f” word] with Carrie in the restaurant’s pantry, Coop gets a little sentimental saying a few words about his co-workers. When he gets to Jackie (whom he gave a St. Agatha medallion earlier in the day as a token of his thanks by saying, “Sometimes I do nice things for people who are mean to me”) he remembers her as someone who made his life a living hell, but also made him a better doctor.
Meanwhile, we see Jackie taking a flash drive she’d stolen from the apparently most-absentminded-Norwegian-executive-in-the-world’s laptop that he’d left behind at the meeting and dropping into an envelope to leave at the New York Times. Clearly Jackie is up to something, but for whose interest will it be in? (Don’t answer that, I already know.)
In the “Jackie and Eddie one-sided relationship” news:
After pissing off Jackie’s dealer, Eddie has found a new one that Jackie hasn’t slept with (must have been a difficult task) and continues to be ridiculously, hopelessly whipped. While pulling a briefcase full of pills down the street, Eddie is practically glowing.
Eddie: People are looking at us you know.
Jackie: Really, why is that?
Eddie: Cause, we got that thing everybody wants.
Jackie: A suitcase full of drugs?
Eddie: No! It’s that love thing.
Jackie: We also have a suitcase full of drugs.
He reminds Jackie that he will do anything for her, which I’m going to go ahead and predict will not end well for Eddie before series’ end. Anyone else get that feeling?