Episode Title: "Enough Rope"
Writer: Liz Brixius
Director: Steve Buscemi
Previously on "Nurse Jackie":
Jackie battled with Kevin over her "drug problem" and the girls' education. Meanwhile, O'Hara planned an exit strategy from All Saints and Jackie's life.
After taking the initiative and enrolling Fiona at the same private school as Grace, Kevin arrived at All Saints to tell Jackie, forcing her to think fast, as her two worlds collided.
Zoey basked in the afterglow of her hook-up with Lenny while Sam and Cooper continued to experience tension after Cooper slept with Sam's girlfriend and paid for it with a broken nose.
Eddie (Paul Schulze) pleads with Jackie (Edie Falco) to find a way to tell Kevin the truth about where he works. Claiming he didn't know Jackie was married when he started hanging out with her husband, Eddie insists she owes it to him. Jackie tells him to let Kevin know he's out of work and looking for a pharmacy job.
Zoey (Merritt Wever) pays a visit to Akalitus (Anna Deavere Smith) to complain about maternity stealing gloves from the ER. Her supervisor encourages her to steal them back, sending Zoey on a glove-thieving tear through the hospital. Meanwhile, Akalitus lectures the nursing staff again, this time in an attempt to get Michelle Obama to visit All Saints on her hospital tour.
Jackie deals with a mother with an injured thumb and four boys with chicken pox. The woman doesn't want to be seen by a male doctor, so Jackie has Cooper (Peter Facinelli) swap with O'Hara (Eve Best), making for a tense interaction.
Later, a homeless man is taken in by the EMTs with a note pinned to his shirt reading "DNR." Jackie scolds the EMTs for resuscitating the man, who clearly wanted to be left to die outside. The man dies short after in the ER, with Zoey, who tried to comfort him with a plant, and Jackie by his side.
Afterwards, Jackie crashes O'Hara's lunch and asks her to stay at All Saints, claiming she'll follow her to any hospital she goes to. O'Hara says nothing but later tells Jackie she needs to time to deal with things.
Cooper reads a mea culpa he wrote to Sam (Arjun Gupta), out loud at the nurses station but it falls on deaf ears. Later that night at the bar, Kevin (Dominic Fumusa) brings Jackie over to Eddie, telling her that his friend is looking for a job at a pharmacy and suggesting she ask around at All Saints.
Like Eddie said, Jackie is an "amazing, f***ing liar" and it appears to be a skill she's not ashamed of. They say the more you lie, the deeper in you get and as far as her relationship with Kevin goes, there's no going back to truth, at this point.
Not only did we see Jackie lie to Kevin, repeatedly, but also to herself. Popping pills while she tells her husband on the phone that she doesn't have a problem, it's clear Jackie's relationship with the truth is as fractured as that with her husband.
And like her addiction to pills, she's also hooked on her best friend O'Hara, the only person who's anywhere close to knowing the "real" Jackie. We knew she wouldn't let O'Hara go quietly, but I'll be disappointed if she relents back into the fold as easily as Jackie would like her to.
The start of this third season doesn't feel quite as wild as the first two, but that's to be expected. "Nurse Jackie's" first two years were about building up the titular character's extensive life of lies, with shocking effect. Now, we get to see what happens when they begin to crumble and fall.
But as Jackie's drama begin to take a bit of a backseat to the supporting cast, it's welcome. Zoey's one of my favorite comedic characters on TV and giving her absurd antics more screen time is fine with me.
The same goes for the bumbling Derek Shepherd wannabe, Dr. Cooper. His ongoing feud with Sam shines a light on the worst of his interpersonal skills. Good times!
The question now is where exactly will this season go? There was a lot of set-up in this episode, with Jackie
constructing another ruse to let Kevin in on Eddie's job at All Saints and making a play to keep O'Hara from leaving.
I'm still having a hard time believing just how forgiving Eddie is of Jackie's lying. And the fact that he continues to subject himself to seeing Jackie hang all over Kevin is also a bit of a stretch. Eddie seems more concerned about Kevin, a relatively new friend that himself. It's beginning to feel a bit contrived.
Still, Jackie is an enigma to watch. I find myself rooting for her when she pushes to do the right thing for a total stranger (in the case of the homeless man with the "DNR" request) yet disliking her when she plays with the emotions of those closest to her. But that's the disturbing dichotomy of her character, that keeps me coming back each week.
Crave Online Rating: 7 out 10.