Nurse Jackie Was … Well … Sweet ‘N All That

Dr. Akalitus gets a lift for her trouble.
Dr. Akalitus gets a lift for her trouble.

By Anna Belle

After packing Fiona & Gracie’s lunches and pouring her morning coffee, Jackie crushes up a handful of Percodan and puts them into three Sweet ‘n All packets to sweeten her mid-morning, mid-afternoon and “long ride home” coffee and goes to work.

First person in the doors, a screaming psychopath just wanting someone to listen to him. Jackie nicely asks him to calm down, and when he refuses, she has Thor escort him from the building. He returns a heart beat later and punches her in the jaw. Time for Jackie’s mid-morning coffee with a packet of Sweet ‘n All (that’ll do the trick).

Next person in the doors, a young boy with some serious head trauma from a skateboarding accident (who wasn’t wearing a helmet), his mother hysterically in tow, along with a pair of fast-talking, screaming med-techs. Dr. O’Hara asks them to calm down. When “Coop” predicts he has an aneurism without examining him, Dr. O’Hara bans him from the exam room (“Three’s a crowd.”).

After everyone turns down her fresh-baked muffins and after seeing Jackie get punched in the face, poor Zoey (nurse-in-training) is in the bathroom stall on the cellphone whining to her mommy wondering if nursing is truly her path, when what burps up into the toilet bowl: the missing diplomat’s ear that Jackie flushed.

“Ears don’t jump into toilets,” says Dr. Akalitus (Anna Deavers Smith) as she grills Jackie and Zoey about the diplomat’s ear being found in the toilet. Jackie tells Dr. Akalitus that the ear was last in Zoey’s possession. Zoey asks, “Am I going to be arrested?” As they discuss this new development in the case of the missing ear, Jackie decides to have her mid-afternoon “coffee” and as she tap … tap … taps the packet of Sweet ‘n All … Dr. Akalitus says, “What’s that?” Jackie says “Sweet ‘n All.” Dr. Akalitus snatches it away and says how hard it is to find artificial sweetener in the hospital and without another word rips open the packet and dumps it in her coffee while I and everyone else watching the episode does a collective “OMG.”

Next up, Eileen, who was smoking with her oxygen tank on and admits she looks a little like Wiley Coyote. MoMo explains to Jackie that he’s been waiting for Dr. Cooper for 20 minutes. Finally, Dr. Cooper shows up and Jackie says to him that he was paged 20 minutes ago. Dr. Cooper looks at his pager and says he didn’t have it on. Jackie walks out of the room in disgust. He looks at Eileen, the patient and asks, “How can we make this better?” and without missing a beat, she looks at MoMo and Dr. Cooper and says, “You two, kiss.”

So much whining goes on in this episode that you begin to understand why Jackie needs a good “bump” now and then.

Jackie goes to talk to the kid’s mother; she starts whining that they had to cut her kid’s hair to relieve the pressure in his brain from his severe injuries. On the way to lunch, Dr. O’Hara whines that Dr. Cooper was right about the aneurism and that the hospital might make him chief of surgery (if he keeps up). Then when her favorite restaurant is closed for a private party, she whines about that.

Jackie just chalks Dr. Cooper’s diagnoses up to luck — “Even a blind squirrel finds a nut now and then,” she says. But later on confronts him and tells him that she believes, and wants him to believe that he is a “good doctor” right about the time Dr. Akalitus comes up to her, high as a Jap Spy, (sans suit jacket, no glasses) hugs her, laughs hysterically and tells her she’s a “good lady, lady” and asks, “Where’s my purse?”

Jackie then returns to the mother of the kid to tell her that her son is stable, but that his injuries are very serious. That as a mother, her job is to protect him, and even though he may not want to wear a helmet … before she can get another word of her mouth the mother says, “it was only one ramp and he had just made the Pottery Barn team and the photographer was there and she wanted some shots of him with longer hair since it had taken him a year to grow it out and that’s why she told him to take the helmet off.” Jackie leaves her by telling her it’s going to take him a year to learn how to walk again.

Before she’s even off the hospital grounds she runs into Eileen in a wheelchair trying to flag down a cab. Jackie finally gets one to stop, goes to open the door, and notices the driver is in respiratory distress. She pulls him out, lays him on the pavement and starts CPR. He passes out, and she opens up her final Sweet ‘n All packet, pours it in his mouths and says “you need this more than I do” and tells Eileen to go inside and get some help.

While she continues to give the cabby CPR, some lady comes up to her and asks, “Is this cab free?” Jackie’s reply: are you f***ing nuts?”

And so ends another day at the hospital for Nurse Jackie.

Dr. Akalitus: Credit: Ken Regan/Showtime