Cancel that emergency appointment you just made for an eye exam and pick yourself up from the floor, folks; Jackie just did, indeed, walk away from an extended arm of free cocaine. Shocking, I know. Are we seeing a glimpse of the new and improved Jackie the series will end with? I’m skeptical. Hopeful, certainly, but we’ve been duped by her Jekyll and Hyde behavior choices in the past, so I’m not reading into it. Fool me once, shame on you. Fool me twice, shame on me. Fool me over and over again and go ahead and just call me a fool.
When insomnia and narcotic dreams drive Jackie to the ER in the wee hours of the morning, she finds a hung-over Dr. Prince already there, bemoaning his late night decision of a two bottle wine tasting. Hooking them both up to IVs for rehydration (“the best cure for a hangover,” he tells her, which makes me wish I’d had access to one in the early ’90s), the two discuss their vices until the rest of the staff arrives in a flurry of commotion. Seems The New York Times has broken the story of All Saints’ impending sale—a story that was anonymously leaked by Jackie, remember. Zoey is instantly outraged, and doesn’t understand why Jackie won’t join in her fury.
The Norwegian exec (whom IMDb tells me has a name—Johanes Karlsen—and who is played by Jeremy Shamos) tells Jackie that the leaked information won’t deter the impending deal, but will in fact accelerate it. As long as she continues working to quiet the staff—namely Zoey—he’ll continue to help expedite the reinstatement of her nursing license, a game she clearly wants to play, but as we see now, a game she wants to (and will) play by her own rules. Conniving and deceitful, with a plan to come out on top. Yep, sounds like a Jackie game.
Suspicious of Jackie’s involvement with Karlsen, Thor (All Saints’ union rep) gives Zoey his support if she wants to do something. Sort of. “Can’t we send an evite?” is his response when Zoey decides on a spur-of-the-moment walkout. Gloria is worried. “An ER of only doctors? God help us all,” she mumbles. But Zoey’s walkout is a failure from the beginning. No one seems to notice the small group of nurses on the busy streets of New York, despite Zoey’s hilarious attempts to rally her troops, or even Matt-the-Dungeon-Master’s poster saying “Fuck Norway!”
Back inside, things are going to hell without the nurses. When a heroin addict is brought in in a shopping cart and Dr. Clueless doesn’t know what to do (remind me how Carrie is still a physician, please?), Jackie jumps in and gets a syringe of an OD antidote (Google tells me it’s Naloxone. Anyone care to validate?), which Dr. Prince injects in the man’s nostrils to bring him back to consciousness. Later, the man and Jackie have a bit of a heart to heart with him questioning what the point is with him getting help when they both know he’ll just use again. Well, isn’t that the million dollar question? If she knew the answer to that, we’d have no show, folks.
When it’s clear the nurses aren’t coming back anytime soon, Jackie calls Grace to cancel their evening plans. Grace, as usual, doesn’t seem to care (liar), but tells Jackie that Fiona will be upset. Because she left her phone on (on purpose?), Jackie overhears Grace sweetly tell her younger sister that their mom is unreliable and to get used to it as it’s part of her sickness. Anyone else not buying Grace’s sudden switcheroo in behavior?
Stepping outside to get some air to help her deal with disappointing her children—yet again—Jackie runs into Zoey and her motley crew of walkouts. When Zoey complains that they’re not getting attention, Jackie calls the police, who show up followed by a press van. Ignoring the policewoman’s advice to peacefully disperse, Zoey grabs a bullhorn out of the squad car, stands on the hood and starts chanting. Thor follows, and they both end up in cuffs—proudly. Gloria runs out and climbs in the paddy wagon beside them. “Hell if I’m gonna let my entire staff go to jail without me!” she says. Now that’s the Akalitus we know and love! I knew she was still in there!
As the nurses all get arrested, Jackie notices the heroin addict leaving the hospital. Following him to a drug deal, she hands the dealer several syringes of the Naloxone (again, just a guess) with instructions on how to use it if, and when, needed. As she turns to leave, the former patient holds out his arm with a fresh line of coke on it as an offering of thanks, which is usually all Jackie needs to fall back down the rabbit hole. But after Jackie hesitates (and I hold my breath), she instead chooses to call Grace, and then walks away. Saved by Grace, quite literally. This time.