Nurse Jackie recap Season 7, Episode 8 “Managed Care” (original airdate May 31, 2015) We start with a little mommy/daughter one-on-one time with Grace (Ruby Jerins) and Jackie (Edie Falco) shopping. Grace can’t pick between two outfits. Jackie suggests she gets them both. Grace knows all too well, and reminds she doesn’t have money for that. Plus, she usually only buys her things when she feels guilty. Neither is the situation this time, so Jackie springs it on her.
“I’m getting married to Eddie.”
Grace ain’t digging that idea. When Jackie tries to defend Eddie as a good man, Grace digs in hard. “Yah, he’s a good man. He gave you drugs and had an affair with you while you were married to dad.” Hard to counter that.
“I want the shoes too,” Grace adds.
Jackie updates Eddie on Grace’s reaction. Always the optimist, Eddie’s convinced the rest of the world will see their engagement with joy and congratulatory wishes. He tests his theory by asking strangers who provide mixed response.
At All Saints Carrie (Betty Gilpin, pictured) pushes an overly enthusiastic Zoey (Merritt Wever) into work in a wheelchair. It appears that their newfound BFF time included some strenuous biking that a less-than-fit Zoey is now dealing with the aftermath.
Akalitus bursts into the ER announcing to the staff that All Saints has entered into escrow with the Norwegians, non-essential departments will begin closing as let go as part of a 90-day phased shutdown — ER is deemed essential for now. “I’d start thinking about your future,” she tells.
But Thor (Stephen Wallem) trumps that news arriving in a suit and tie shouting out: “I got married.” Jackie expresses her congrats and amazement. Carrie runs over to hug him and Zoey hobbles over looking like a “deranged cowboy.” Feeling like they were denied their gay wedding experience, as Thor and Ruben married at the courthouse, Zoey and Carrie decide to plan a party.
The Norwegians are moving fast closing down clinical trials and nonessential hospital units, which impacts one of Dr. Prince’s patient’s — Joe, which means they need to transport him to the Mayo clinic to continue treatment. Prince thinks he’s too sick to travel and the trip could kill him. Akalitus (Anna Deavere Smith) tells Prince at Stage 4 he needs to be thinking about how best to make Joe comfortable and that is hospice care. Not the option he was looking for. “Fuck this day,” Prince says, to an agreeing Jackie.
The two set out on a supermarket sweep of sorts rummaging through the hospital’s closed floors. Prince goes to the pharmacy. Jackie says she needs to stay out as she could get fired immediately just for being there. But no one is insight, all wide-eyed she’s enters, and drools over the size of the pharmacy (it’s at least three times the closet-sized pharmacy that Eddie use to work in.) Jackie tells Prince about her engagement, he’s at least excited. But Prince is on a mission and he dumps buckets of drugs into a box Jackie holds. Little uneasy watching this adventure unfolds.
Up in the ER Zoey and Carrie are considering themes for Thor’s party, but Thor overhears and tells them that he will not fall victim to “catastrophic bad taste” just because they never had a party/wedding because of their failed relationships.” Game on — these gals are ready to make this one awesome bash.
Akalitus has started applying for jobs. While walking out on her first rejection, she ends running into Eddie. She’s surprised to learn he’s a pharma rep for pain killers. She calls Zoey immediately and tells her to test Jackie. Over the let’s-wait-and-pee time, Zoey, Carrie and Jackie come up with the music plans for Thor’s party. “I do my best thinking on the toilet too,” Carrie says, commending Jackie for her idea on piping the music for Thor’s party through the PA system.
Prince and Jackie deliver their pharmaceutical haul to Joe telling him that he can continue on the trial treatment, it just can’t be administered through them or All Saints. But Joe has one last request of Prince. He wants him to help him die. Prince isn’t willing to give in, he tells Joe that science is showing them that this drug could give him two to three more months. “I want to die while I’m still me,” Joe says. Prince won’t do it — he’s not going to give up on his patient. Thor grapples with Joe’s decision too; telling Jackie that he’s a diabetic and his new hubbie Ruben is HIV positive and modern medicine is going to ensure they both live a long happy life. Jackie takes to counseling Joe’s wife Natalie who struggles with letting him go, but comes to realize that maybe she too is tired of this fight.
Zoey wires Carrie’s playlist to pipe through the hospital. The song? Appropriately, Donna Summers’ “Last Dance.” [Grade school flashback … Skateland 1978] They grab Thor and escort him to the now vacated chapel (thanks to the Norwegians who were cleaning it out to make room for their staging area) that’s been transformed into a romantic hospital/wedding ballroom complete with blown-up rubber gloves for stand-in balloons where Ruben awaits.
“You hate disco,” Ruben says.
“Why do you think I’m crying,” an emotional Thor says.
The Norwegian shows up with a gift. Akalitus takes the gift and tells him “we’re only in escrow, a lot can happen in 90 days,” and Donna Sommers kicks it up.
Jackie exits the party to call Grace. “I’m marrying Eddie, but you are the love of my life,” she tells. Jackie says she’s worried that she’s more upset about this than what she’s letting on. But Grace assures otherwise, through watery eyes that Jackie can’t see.
Jackie stops in to talk to Prince who is reviewing a brain x-ray. Prince tells her he sent Joe home with enough morphine to bring him peace on his own terms and time. Jackie’s pleased. “Look at the size of that thing,” Prince says of the tumor. “I’m going to that party and I’m going to smoke a lot.”
Jackie asks him what he wants her to do with the meds. Prince sighs and tells her to put them in his office. As he exits, Jackie takes a closer look at the x-ray. OMG. It’s his. Jackie finds Prince at the party and asks how much time he has.
“All night,” Prince says. “Let’s dance.”
The episode closes with a touching, slowed-down remake of Whitney Houston’s “I Want To Dance With Somebody.” Eddie eventually shows up and cuts in on Prince. Prince dances with Akalitus, and spills the beans on Jackie’s pending nuptials.
But the final closing shot is even more somber with Grace boarding a cross-country bus.
All images credit Showtime.