Nurse Jackie recap Season 7, Episode 9 “Serviam in Caritate” (original airdate June 7, 2015) Jackie and Zoey take an emergency road trip in search of Grace. Prince is the rockstar of the community at All Saints and Eddie comes to Akalitus’ aide. Episode 9 of Nurse Jackie was a bit of a wild ride.
The episode starts with Dr. Prince and Jackie. “You could stick that fucker in my eyeball if it would buy me another six months,” Dr. Prince (Tony Shalhoub) tells Jackie (Edie Falco) as she inserts him with a needle of his experimental treatment. Prince has known that his condition was terminal for just about a year — he took a sabbatical and went back to Stanford for surgery and chemo but had no success, to then he decided to run his own drug trial. “I’d rather go out in a blaze of glory and run a kickass ER.” Prince thanks Jackie for administering his meds, as he knows that puts her at risk with her diversion program. A valid concern, as Akalitus (Anna Deavere Smith) stops Jackie as she’s exiting with the empty syringes.
Jackie stops to talk with Karlsen (Jeremy Shamos), the Norwegian developer who claims he will get her suspension revoked if she keeps staff quiet on the pending closing. Karlsen’s just milking her, he’s got no update.
One of All Saint’s repeat patients, Lydia (Vanessa Aspillaga), comes in. Everyone knows her situation but Prince, so most are on autopilot. Lydia works 16 hour days and can’t afford to see a doctor nor pay for her medicine. But Zoey (Merritt Wever) gets an emergency call from Grace. Grace is at some truck stop off some exit in Pennsylvania and needs help. Jackie flips out, grabs her coat and heads out — oops, she doesn’t have a car. Oh yeah, her driving license is suspended too. But Grace’s second mom — Zoey — is equally concerned and is out of there too, but she doesn’t have a car with her either. (You’ll learn why in about five seconds when you see her on the freeway.) Prince throws his keys at them offering up his blue Volvo, and assumes care for Lydia. Even Akalitus gives them both the go ahead reasoning that it is a family emergency. Well, our girl Zoey can barely get the car out of its parking spot (no real surprise there) — and once she does hit the freeway she drives at least 10 miles under the speed limit, white knuckling lane changes the full two-hour drive. Jackie’s on edge.
When they arrive where they think Grace may be they both start screaming her name – panicked she may have been abducted or went with some stranger. “Mom?” Grace says surprised to see her with ice cream cone in hand. Big hugs of relief. Turns out Grace was actually heading to Philadelphia when the bus took a bathroom break, but left without her.
Then it’s Merritt Wever in all her glory, reminding us why we love this series so much. “I’m sorry are you eating an ice cream cone while I’ve been driving, and merging, and worried sick about you for the last two hours?” she tells Grace, before completely flipping out. “Oh my God! [hands shaking and screaming now] I’m so stressed out. I can barely breathe. I’m like choking on the stress and you’re like what – you’re hanging out, you’re having fun. I’m so sick of waking up every morning wondering if you’re going to be OK, feeling responsible for you and never knowing if I can fucking trust you.” And then she hits Grace’s ice cream cone right out of her hand. So there!
“What the fuck,” Grace says. We’re thinking the same. Who is this Zoey?
Time for some intervention — this time from Jackie. “Hey,” she yells. “Can you get your shit together, PLEASE – both of you! Holy crap.”
Back at All Saints patients are flooding in all requesting Dr. Prince, thanks to Lydia who got a year’s supply of heart meds (on the hospital) and extra special treatment from Dr. Prince and Akalitus. When Thor starts suggesting Dr. Carrie Roman (Betty Gilpin) instead of Dr. Prince to the incoming patients, it doesn’t work. Carrie wonders why no one is asking for her. “Do you actually want more work?” Thor asks her. A valid question when it comes to Carrie.
“It’s like being asked to the prom, it’s just nice to be asked,” she says. Regardless, it’s a full waiting room — the Dr. Prince fan club — and he’s pumped. “Let’s do this!” he rallies the staff and refuses to turn patients away. Thor tells him he’s “like Shelly Winters in the Poseidon Adventure.” Prince doesn’t want a “drop of medicine left in the pharmacy” once the hospital closes – he’s determined to help the entire community — that’s the story.
So where was Grace (Ruby Jerins) going anyways? Turns out she was on her way to a perspective students weekend at University of Pennsylvania. Grace tells Jackie that she secretly planned this, fearing they would have never let her go because of the financial implications associated with the esteemed university. As Grace sees it her parents get to do whatever they want with their lives — her dad’s having a baby and her mom’s getting married— “you can’t tell me not to reach for something just because it’s hard.” Go Grace, we’re so proud of you!
“Grace you are 16 years old, you can’t just run off without telling us,” Jackie scolds. “Get in the car!”
Eddie shows up at All Saints looking to pick up Jackie for their date, but Prince recruits him to help escort the overflow of patients to a secondary waiting area — Karlsen’s now office.
Grace dozes off in the car, but when Jackie awakens her she’s surprised to see that they took her to UPenn for the weekend orientation. Jackie runs down instructions, hands her a wad of cash and tells her to take the train home, not the bus. As for Zoey, her words are the wisest: “make friends with the nerdy girls. They will be there for you when shit gets real.”
Karlsen isn’t happy the patient overflow has filled his office so he starts to wheel patients back into the hall. Akalitus won’t have it. “Don’t you touch my patients,” she demands. All Saints has been a public hospital since 1799 and she’s not going to stop treating them until they are officially closed. “I’m not going to stop treating them until you kick me out on my ass, you heartless foreign investor,” she rages. “Don’t you touch me. You need to get the fuck out of my face.” You go Akalitus!
Eddie walks in and sees the Norwegian getting pushy with his former boss so he decks him in the face. Now that’s how you do it. Akalitus claims she didn’t need an assist, but nonetheless thanks Eddie for his misguided chivalry. Karlsen tells Eddie he picked the wrong person to punch. Eddie doesn’t know who the F he just punched. “Tell Jackie the deals off,” Karlsen tells Eddie, leaving him and Akalitus even more confused. And then Carrie’s left to treat Karlsen’s nose/face where he asks her out on a date, and we think she’s actually considering it — a date with the devil?
Zoey and Jackie are both stressing stuck in a traffic jam — Jackie on missing a date with Eddie, Zoey on being late for her next shift. Zoey snaps then questions what’s wrong with her. “It’s not me back there. I’m not a hitter. I don’t hit ice cream,” she analyzes. “Oh my God, maybe that was me, I’m a person who terrorizes teenage girls.”
Jackie won’t let her believe that, and offers counsel by suggesting that perhaps it’s not Grace she’s angry with, but maybe it’s really her, and welcomes Zoey to vent. “You were my idol. I wanted to be just like you,” she says. “Now I enforce these stupid rules and that’s all your fault. You made me love this job and now I hate it and I’m pissed off at you all the time. And I miss you all the time and it’s confusing and weird. So don’t tell me to get my shit together, get your shit together.”
Jackie acknowledges that Zoey is right and apologies for what she has put her through. And then waterworks begin with Zoey catching her up with her real life, how she’s in grad school and she’s hasn’t been keeping up, how she’s exhausted pushing paper work and checking pee and how she just wants to come home and listen to Adele. “I don’t even know if I want to be a nurse anymore,” she says.
OK, that’s blasphemy to Jackie’s ears. “Zoey look at me,” Jackie says sternly, and things get really real. “Do not quit. You are a great nurse. You have more heart and skill than anyone at that hospital. I know you are going through a hard time right now, but trust me, I can tell you still love what you do.”
But it wasn’t just the motivational speech that Zoey so desperately needed and what makes Jackie her perfect mentor. Jackie gives her something much more needed — a little “woo-ha, woo-ha” — as they dance outside the hospital doors to tUnE-yArDs “Water Fountain.” Zoey crumbles with laughter seeing Jackie dance. Well done, Jackie.