Jackie may not be getting stoned anymore, but someone else is.
Credit: David M. Russell/SHOWTIME

Who else’s head is spinning from all the changes in character we just saw? Raise your hand if the opening scene of episode 7 also made you wonder if Jackie and Kevin suddenly swapped the daughter we’re familiar with with a new and improved one. But really, does anyone recognize this girl the college adviser is speaking so highly of? The one he says will “have her pick of colleges?” Certainly not the I-don’t-give-a-crap-about-anything Grace we’ve known (and loathed) over the past few seasons. And as if learning that Grace is apparently a scholarly, intelligent student isn’t enough to shock us, hearing her defend Jackie to Kevin is really a trip. “She’s mopping f—ing floors!” the typically belligerent girl tells her dad to convince him that Jackie is doing everything she can to retribute her mistakes. Ah! Now that sounds more like the Grace we know!

And Grace isn’t the only one making us question what we’ve come to know; Gloria and Carrie both throw things at us that are more than a little bit surprising.

After chastising Jackie for breaking the rules of Diversion and leaving during the day to attend that meeting with Kevin and Grace, Herr Akalitus also lights into Dr. Prince for allowing Jackie to assist him when the nurses were on their walkout. Fed up with her authoritarian attitude, Dr. P calls both Jackie and Gloria into the office for some couples counseling, which, as expected, goes nowhere, but, as also expected, makes us love Dr. Prince even more.

Trying to save her from her tedious existence of deskwork and skepticism, Dr. Prince convinces Gloria to go out to lunch, and over a bottle of wine—and an impressive de-boning (of a fish—a fish!)—Gloria divulges that her son (wha??) was an addict whom she gave the benefit of the doubt, right before he stole her car. She bought into the same pattern with Jackie, and she won’t be burned again. “No more lost causes,” she tells Dr. Prince, who responds by telling her he doesn’t believe in lost causes.

Speaking of lost causes, let’s talk about Carrie, who weirdly befriends Zoey after one of Zoey’s patients dies and she blames herself for overlooking some of his symptoms. Realizing that she needs a break, Carrie suggests they hang out together after work. Zoey, wisely, is skeptical and fends off the suggestion by telling Carrie she has to write a paper, but Carrie is quick to offer her help. “No, don’t do that,” Zoey quickly responds, which only reaffirms our communal belief that Zoey is, indeed, the smartest one on the show.

However, Carrie won’t be deterred and shows up in Central Park with a purchased paper (so that’s how she made it through med school!) and a baggie of shrooms, which our dear, clueless Zoey tries to smoke. Obviously desperate to replace her lost friendship with Jackie, Zoey ends up getting completely stoned with her new BFF. Regardless of what I think of this new friendship (I actually don’t hate it, except for that whole “bad influence” thing, of course), watching the two of them swim to Thor (who Carrie thinks is Sasquatch) on their “rock made of worms” is hilarious.

But let’s get back to Jackie. After learning that Dr. Prince’s best friend from med school became a drug dealer who recently was busted for running a pill mill (a pain management front where drugs are dealt), Jackie latches onto the idea. Seems that Grace’s sudden faith in her has made Jackie want to come clean, and she tells Eddie he needs to find a pill mill to dump their stash. Which he does. Then she tells him to tattoo a bowl of fruit on his bald head, and he does that, too. Just kidding, but you know he would, and you get the point.

Uncharacteristically uneasy about this final deal, Jackie waits with Eddie in a packed waiting room at the pain management clinic. Once inside the exam room, Eddie asks the nurse point blank if she’d like to buy some pills, which forces her to bring in Dr. Wu, who tells Eddie and Jackie in no uncertain terms that he doesn’t do that kind of business, threatens to call the cops, and throws them out. Once outside of the exam room—and the eye of the security camera—Dr. Wu wants to make a deal.

Still uncomfortable with the task, Jackie waits for Eddie in the waiting room and notices a young woman in distress, suffering from an apparent Oxy overdose. When the nurse won’t help her, Jackie bursts into the room where Dr. Wu and Eddie are making the deal and tells him that if he won’t help the woman, the deal is off. (And that’s why Jackie can’t be a lost cause, which I suspect Dr. Prince already knows.) Agreeing to call an ambulance (sirens off, of course), Dr. Wu hands Eddie a wad of cash and they hustle out.

Later, Jackie still isn’t feeling good about what just went down until Eddie tells her they scored $22,000. Suddenly, Jackie is feeling very, very good. So good, in fact, that when Eddie brings up marriage she somehow turns it into her own proposal, and the episode ends with the two of them gazing at the NYC skyline, imagining, I suspect, a lovely wedding … with Dr. Wu as the best man.

Episode Recaps

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