Jackie's new role at the hospital is causing all sorts of feelings.
Credit: David M. Russell/SHOWTIME

If there’s one thing we know about Jackie, it’s that she doesn’t like to have her hands tied; and if there’s another thing we know about Jackie, it’s that if they are, she’ll quickly find a way to get them untied. This week finds Jackie’s hands firmly tied in a knot that even the most zealous Boy Scout would have difficulty untying, but one that surely won’t stay tight for long.

Although the Diversion program forbids her from having any interaction with patients, Jackie quickly falls back into her old routine when a man is brought into the ER (like we didn’t see that coming). After transferring him from his gurney (and Zoey, Coop, and Thor stand by clueless as to what role Jackie is allowed to play anymore), the new, kick-ass-and-take-names Gloria steps in and defines things once again. Not only is Jackie not allowed to have contact with patients, she has to remain 25 feet from the pharmacy door and completely out of the Trauma Department, unless she’s cleaning it, which she directs Jackie to do. Wah wah.

Meanwhile, Zoey is given the unfortunate—and undesirable—job of being Jackie’s designated monitor. “This is all feeling very weird and personal,” she tells Gloria, who doesn’t care and is all about making Jackie’s life miserable (but has inadvertently made Zoey’s life miserable, as the poor girl has to stand guard over her former idol and watch her pee as she waits for her urine sample, despite Jackie trying to get her to leave). Happy with the new role or not, she takes it very seriously. But would we expect anything less from Zoey?

Later, Jackie notices a woman in severe stomach pain who’s been waiting to see a doctor for far too long. Once again dancing in the gray area of the rules, Jackie tries to help by putting her chart on top so the woman is called next. When the woman is still suffering in tremendous pain back in the ER later in the day, Jackie busies herself straightening the sheets while Zoey tries to make a diagnosis. Discovering the woman’s toes are blue (thank you, Nurse Jackie, for catching that while “straightening the sheets”) Coop is called in and reflexively asks Jackie her opinion, which designated monitor Zoey dispiritedly discourages, and as Gloria—who is watching the whole exchange—tries to melt them all with her glare.

Speaking of Coop, he’s fully immersed in the pool of rash decisions he’s created since learning of Carrie’s pregnancy and has paid cash for a house to raise his wack-a-doo little family in. He even asks Eddie to be the baby’s godfather. (“It’s not like you’ll have to do anything, I’m gonna live forever!” Perhaps a clever nod to Peter Facinelli’s other doctor persona, Dr. Carlisle Cullen?) But later, Coop’s dreams—and probably about $800K—go up in smoke (cigarette smoke, that is) when Carrie breaks the news that she had a miscarriage. And by “breaks the news” I mean that Jackie asks to bum a cigarette off of her so that Coop will put two and two together, which he surprisingly kind of does. Carrie gives a devastated Coop a friend hug to comfort him, though.

NEXT: Eddie crosses his final line

The stress of being Jackie’s watchdog takes its toll on Zoey, who has a minor breakdown (she’s also processing the news that she got accepted into her master’s program). Thor takes her to Eddie for a Xanax to help calm her down, but Zoey’s unsure if she should take one and goes through an entirely new kind of stressful dilemma over the anti-anxiety medication (we’ve all been there, sister). But right before Zoey takes the pill, Genghis Khan walks in, sees what’s going on, and fires Eddie for dispensing a medication without a prescription—or as Eddie believes, because she’s gunning to fire someone. Stalking out of the pharmacy, Gloria takes the Xanax out of Zoey’s hand and pops it in her mouth. Now who’s dancing in the gray area?

Sadly, the woman with the blue toes and excruciating stomach pain crashes later in the day (or whatever it is when machines start going crazy causing everyone in the hospital to run around frantically and yell at each other) and ends up dying, with Jackie having to watch all the action from the other side of the window. Telling Carrie she’ll transport the body, Jackie tenderly lays a hand on the dead woman’s head, silently cursing her own bad decisions: the ropes binding her hands that prevented her from helping save a life. Nah, probably not, but it’s what I like to think she was thinking.

In other news:

Jackie’s elderly home health care patient (my apologies to Leslie Uggams for not referencing her last week) is still a reformed woman thanks to her smorgasbord of candy meds, but Jackie is not, as she is still selling the real meds to her dealer.

When Jackie’s in the bowels of the hospital with the body, “Matt the Dungeon Master” (Matt Maher) reveals that he overheard that All Saints is about to be sold to a Norwegian development company and turned into luxury condos. How long before Jackie uses that little nugget to her advantage?

As he walks out of the hospital, Eddie plants a big, juicy one on Jackie in front of everyone. Guess that secret’s out of the bag.

Episode Recaps

Nurse Jackie
Nurse Jackie Peyton (Edie Falco) runs her ER a bit differently.
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