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'Nurse Jackie' recap: 'Clean'

Desperate to reclaim her life, Jackie devises a typical, undermining plan.

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David M. Russell/Showtime

Nurse Jackie

TV Show
Current Status:
In Season
run date:
Edie Falco
Doctor/Medical/Hospital, Comedy

In six seasons we’ve seen nurse Jackie Peyton throw many people under the bus: friends, lovers, random strangers—even her kids have been pawns in her dangerous game of deception. It’s not surprising, then, that season seven—the final one for our friends at All Saints—starts off with yet another betrayal, and it’s poor Gloria who is once again Jackie’s victim. But before we get to her final (and, as usual, undermining) ploy, let’s back up to how Jackie got herself out of that season six cliffhanger. You know, the one where we were supposed to think Jackie’s jig was finally up but we all laughed and laughed because we know her too well to fall for that. Again.

Immediately following the crash into the ambulance where the suitcase of pills she was taking to “aid the hurricane victims” (puh-leeze) exploded like a narcotic piñata, Jackie is booked and thrown in a holding cell. After making a collect call to warn her on-again lover and legal-but-not-really-legal dealer (that’d be Eddie) as to what’s happened, she’s held a little bit too long and begins detoxing, eventually collapsing in her jail cell. Two days later Jackie awakens to discover herself handcuffed to a hospital bed and learns that she’s gone through sedated detox and is now clean. Pissed off at losing her right to choose sobriety and at the news that she’s been charged with drug trafficking, Jackie takes off to All Saints to reclaim her life. I guess she forgot about all those bridges she’s burned there.

Immediately running into Zoey, Jackie tries to make amends with her number one groupie by thanking her for being the reason she’s now clean, but it’s clear that Zoey’s gone through a detox of her own: a Jackie detox. Zoey doesn’t buy what Jackie is trying to sell, and tells her to leave, after a glimpse of the old Zoey appears just long enough to ask Jackie where she got sober. Verifying with the detox center that Jackie, indeed, has an upcoming appointment, Zoey’s faith is instantly restored in her hero, and with her usual Zoey-gullibility, she falls off the wagon and deletes the final piece of evidence she has against Jackie: the photo of Nancy Wood that Jackie had taken on her phone and used to make the fake ID. Face palm.

Happy to have that weight lifted from her shoulders, Zoey reports to Gloria that Jackie is in a recovery program, but Gloria doesn’t care. She’s clean and won’t be tempted by the drug of Jackie again. Instead, she offers Zoey the newly created job of head ER nurse, but Zoey refuses, still obviously not wanting to step on Jackie’s toes. As usual, I want to shake some sense into that sweet girl and give her a hug at the same time.

Jackie continues her journey of attempted redemption and goes to Kevin’s bar to convince him to leave the lawyers out of their custody situation, but Kevin drops the bomb that he’s not going to let Jackie near the girls at all. Jackie tries to play her sober card again, but Kevin isn’t buying it. He knows about her stint in jail and declares her unsafe for the girls to be around. “You don’t have any compassion,” Jackie tells him. “I do,” Kevin tells her. “For my daughters.” Word.

Nearing the end of her rope, Jackie meets with Barry Wolfe (Mark Feuerstein, Royal Pains), a hotshot lawyer the nurse’s union suggested. Unfortunately, she strikes out yet again, as Wolfe tells her that her case isn’t strong enough to get her job back. Looks like Nurse Jackie might have to get used to being just Jackie (insert jazz hands here).

NEXT: Jackie is backie