Monday, August 10, 2009

Nurse Jackie, "Ring Finger": Stop. Hammer time.

Quick spoilers for tonight's "Nurse Jackie" coming up just as soon as I figure out if this is Sunday...
"Super obese is morbidly obese!"(*) -Zoey
(*) No, that line doesn't really sum up the themes of this episode, but it was so freaking funny that I wanted to highlight it up top.

Jackie's downward spiral goes ever deeper in this one, as she has to literally break her ring finger to come up with a plausible excuse for cutting off the ring, and as she indulges Coop's weird attraction to her to cover for the organ donor mess from last week. And Zoey finds out about her and Eddie, which is a terrible for a woman like Jackie, who's so paranoid about anyone knowing anything about her that she will, in fact, smash her finger with a hammer to keep her lives separate.

I'm still recuperating from press tour, so I'm not going to analyze this one any deeper. But I just wanted to offer up a couple of tidbits from my conversation with showrunners Linda Wallem and Liz Brixius, which I'll be running in full after the finale:

• Wallem and Brixius are both recovering addicts, and they said the kind of fanatical compartmentalization that Jackie practices isn't uncommon among addicts.

• In terms of the logistics of Jackie hiding her two pregnancies from her co-workers, they said that "Tiny Bubbles" (the episode with Judith Ivey) gave the false impression that Jackie has been working at All Saints since Paula was there. Instead, the idea is supposed to be that Jackie has bounced around among many different hospitals in New York, including prior stints at All Saints, but that she's only been back there for a few years.

Anyway, I hope to be back in the swing of things for the season's final two episodes. In the meantime, what did everybody else think?


Eldritch said...

Breaking her finger may have made the drama more intense, but as a former hospital worker, I found it jarringly unnecessary. ER nurses use a marvelously simple technique to remove rings off most stubborn fingers.

You wrap string tightly around the finger, starting at the ring and working toward the tip of the finger. This compresses the finger enough to slip the ring off.

Sometimes a ring has to be cut off, but it's never a first resort.

Beyond this nitty pick, I'm still a fan of Jackie's adventures. Her house of cards is getting shaky and I dread having to watch it collapse. Things don't portend well for her as the season finale approaches. Though, if there's to be a season 2, she'll have some kind of escape hatch.

LA said...

It was either super hilarious or morbidly hilarious when O'Hara burst out laughing at the news Zoey had caught Jackie with Eddie.

Honestly, I thought Jackie was going to ask O'Hara for a diuretic to get the ring off.

p.s. Love the new banner. Five more days, people. Five short days.

Toby O'B said...

@Eldritch: As I read your description of how to remove a ring from a finger, it was sounding very familiar. And it came to me - the office manager at the Alb. WitSec office used that trick to get Mary's engagement ring off Marhall's finger in a recent episode of 'In Plain Sight'.

Oaktown Girl said...

I watched the episode last week, but as I recall, I thought what I heard Zoe say was,"Super obese beats morbidly obese." I'm sure you must be right - I have to have the sound low because of my housemates.

"is" vs. "beats" - I don't know which one I think is funnier!

Anonymous said...

Only 2 more episodes? So the one that appeared OnDemand on Monday is the season's penultimate?

(Figured it would wrap up in sync with Weeds, which said it had 3 more episodes)

Jon88 said...

"fantatical compartmentalization" is halfway between fanatical and fantastical. I'm guessing the former.

As much as I'm enjoying this show, is it wrong for me to be impatient for Jackie to get caught out? (There's a season-ending cliffhanger on the horizon, no?)

The Chancellor said...

So are we to read into the timeline issue that O'Hara has bounced around a lot, too? In Tiny Bubbles, O'Hara doesn't know the dying nurse and Jackie says she worked at All Saints until, "about a year ago." So, either O'Hara and and Jackie have a long relationship that goes outside All Saints, or in the "about a year" that they've known each other, O'Hara has become the only person with whom Jackie is open about everything(except the pill popping.)

I don't know, I've come this far with the show so I'll see it through to season's end, but the comedy with Mrs. Akalidis seems to always miss, the timeline issues with the plot are often confusing, and I really feel like the dialouge uses cursing as a crutch (i.e. when Coop asks the daughter of a patient if she thinks her sister would go out with him, beginning the question with, "you seem like a no b---s--- girl..." In what universe would a guy, especially a doctor, begin a conversation that way?) for comedy rather than developing the dialouge and characters more deeply.

(And why is O'Hara always smiling? I mean, always!)

dez said...

(And why is O'Hara always smiling? I mean, always!)

Maybe she's an addict, too?

I totally heart Zooey, Momo, Coop, and O'Hara. I don't know what to make of Jackie yet. I'm also impatient for Jackie to get caught out because I'd like to see why the hell she's made the choices she has, and it's only because of the addiction, I may opt out of a second season.

Oaktown Girl said...

(i.e. when Coop asks the daughter of a patient if she thinks her sister would go out with him, beginning the question with, "you seem like a no b---s--- girl..." In what universe would a guy, especially a doctor, begin a conversation that way?)

I agree. However, it did work on the level of hi-lighting what an insensitive jerk Coop can be, which was the purpose of the scene, I think.

JanieJones said...

Dez, you stated that O'Hara perhaps also an addict. I thought the plot might be advancing when she offered Jackie what Xanax? a few weeks ago. Xanax is a benzodiazepine, which is highly addictive. I though perhaps we may be getting a glimpse of the future of these two, separately.
Perhaps people would be interested to learn of the high rate of addiction and health care workers, i.e, doc's, nurses, etc. It's a healthy statistic.

Addicts are wonderful at compartmentalization and manipulation. Jackie is dancing with the devil in so many ways. Her exchange between O'Hara as to how she knows how to handle Coop was a classic example. O'Hara did not even blink when Jackie said she did something illegal. Jackie kissed Coop as a way to manipulate him.
Eldritch brought up a way to get a ring off of a finger and that trick occurred to me too. Jackie seemed to want to cause herself more pain by smashing her finger with the hammer. Often addicts are drawn to more pain (physical and emotional) so they can find more reasons to block it out as an excuse.
Her redeeming behavior-mailing the deceased letter's did not make me feel better about the way she handled herself while on her shift this week.
The show is a maze to me in some ways. I would be surprised if Jackie is caught (by the wrong person) by the end of the season.

black magic woman said...

So, I wouldn't have thought of the string method of getting off a ring, I just wasn't sure why she didn't get some Preparation H to get the ring off. I understand that is how some emergency personnel get fingers, etc. out of tight spots.

Maybe the fact she couldn't think of less destructive options for getting off the ring is supposed to indicate how far off the cliff she and her doctor friend are.