'Nurse Jackie' recap: 'Managed Care'
During a sobering day at All Saints, Thor's surprise is the only news that's good.
Despite the fact that there’s still four episodes left of this final season of Nurse Jackie, it’s already beginning to feel like some closure is being made, isn’t it? The hospital has started the shutdown process, Gloria is trying to find another job, Thor finds his happy ending, and Jackie is still, surprisingly, staying clean and sober. Yeah, I’m not sure I believe that’s the closure Jackie will get by series’ end, either, but at this point it’s looking that way. Let’s all light a candle, join hands, and wish for that to happen while we delve into this depressing and sobering day at All Saints.
Still flying high from their recent engagement, Eddie is sharing the happy news with all the passersby on the streets of New York. Jackie, on the other hand, isn’t quite as enthusiastic, especially after Grace’s surprisingly ambivalent reaction. Her excuse—“he gave you drugs and had an affair with you while you were married to dad”—is a valid point, and she tells Jackie that she won’t come home if Eddie is there, which Jackie rewards with a few new dresses and some killer boots. Eddie tries to convince Jackie that everyone will be happy, but from where I’m sitting it looks like it’s Jackie who is trying to convince herself of that happiness even more.
It’s a rough start to the day at All Saints. Gloria drops the bomb that the Norwegian’s deal is happening and the hospital has started a 90-day phased shutdown, with many departments already closing. Since the ER is deemed essential, they’re safe. For now. Everyone is speechless, except Zoey, who just wants to know what “escrow” is. Bless her heart.
Thor arrives and drops bomb No. 2: he got married to Reuben (Kevin Cahoon) that morning. Carrie and Zoey are instantly outraged that Thor left them out of the plans (apparently Carrie feels like she is one of Thor’s BFFs now, too, despite several seasons of disinterest, but let’s just got with it) and immediately begin to devise a scheme to throw the newlyweds a wedding in the hospital chapel.
Carrie: How dare you have a gay wedding without us? We will not be denied our gay wedding experience!
Thor: Do what you must, just know that gays are very hard to please.
The day gets even worse when Dr. Prince discovers that one of his long term patients who is suffering from an advanced brain tumor and is part of an ongoing clinical trial at All Saints is about to be transported to the Mayo Clinic in Minnesota. Seems the clinical trials have been shut down thanks to the Norwegians. After Dr. Prince insists the man (Joe) can’t be moved in his condition, Jackie suggests they keep him in the ER until they figure something out. Gloria later discovers that Joe cannot get his medications unless he’s in the official clinical trial, which officially is not at All Saints anymore. Pointing out his advanced tumor and trying to be realistic, she offers to set him up in hospice, but Dr. P won’t hear of it. “F—k this day,” he spits.
NEXT: The chapel of love, gauze, and latex
When Jackie sees the chapel pews being moved out of the hospital, she discovers that is where Karlsen is setting up his transition team’s headquarters. She also discovers that he has no plans to make good on his promise to get her nursing license reinstated until escrow closes on the sale. She looks ambivalent, but I’m betting the Jackie we know won’t let him play her. At least I hope she won’t. I kind of hate to admit it, but I’m ready for Jackie to do something devious and dangerous. Who’s with me?
Joining forces again, Jackie and Dr. Prince decide to take matters into their own hands and find meds for Joe. Taking her into a wing of the hospital that’s already been shut down, Dr. P breaks into a pharmacy twice the size of the one Eddie used to be in charge of. Jackie initially tries to stay out (hold hands tighter, everyone!) but the lure of the sheer size of it draws her in. Who else was shocked when she only took the meds for Joe, even when Dr. Prince left her in there alone? Who else feels horrible for being a tiny bit disappointed?
Bonnie and Clyde arrive at Joe’s bedside with a mountain of the medication that Joe was receiving in his trial and tell him and his wife they are sending it with them to hospice. However, Joe has other plans. He wants to die, with dignity, and asks for Dr. P’s help. After Dr Prince refuses, Jackie meets with his wife and has an honest and heartbreaking conversation with her which convinces Jackie to try to get Dr. Prince to reconsider, which he does not.
Jackie later discovers the reason behind Dr. Prince’s refusal to give up the fight for Joe: he’s in the process of fighting for his own life. Looking at what she thinks is Joe’s massive tumor on a CT scan, she learns it’s actually a scan of Dr. Prince’s brain. Dude, I think it’s time to ditch the banana flavored e-cigarettes and indulge.
Because nothing says “gay wedding” like hundreds of inflated latex gloves, strands of gauze draped around the chapel, and Donna Summer’s “Last Dance” blasting from the PA system, it’s time for Thor and Reuben’s wedding celebration, which is more somber than joyful after the day’s events, especially with Jackie’s newfound knowledge of her friend’s condition. And the day’s not over yet. As night falls, we see Grace boarding a Greyhound headed to who knows where. Hey, at least she’s wearing some cute boots.