Season 7, Episode 2
Air Date: Sunday, April 19, 2015, 9 pm ET/PT on Showtime
“You have lost your right to say that to me. You have also lost your right to keep me from my children. Do you understand? New rules—reasonable visitation starting now.” – Jackie
Hopeful and happy are the best words to describe Nurse Jackie Peyton (Edie Falco) at both the beginning and end of “Deal.” While Jackie waits for hotshot lawyer Barry Wolfe (guest star Mark Feuerstein) to arrive at All Saints, she tells Zoey (Merritt Wever) she and her lawyer are going to “go upstairs and kick some HR ass.” The only problem is Jackie’s retainer fee hasn’t cleared and Barry won’t work without money up front. How the hell is an unemployed drug addict with a prison record going to find the kind of money Barry is asking for? Lawyers don’t come cheap, especially the pit bulls.
Where’s the first place anyone goes to get money quickly when they’ve exhausted all other means of getting cash? The pawnshop, of course. The pawnshop owner (guest star Marceline Hugot) gave me a good chuckle when she grabs Jackie’s hands and begins spouting religious psychobabble in her face. With such a small role, Hugot does a great job with what she’s given, turning from serious businesswoman to religious freak and back in the blink of an eye.
The lengths Jackie goes to in order to gather the $10,000 she needs to give Barry are both laughable and pitiful. Besides the items Jackie pawns, she also visits her former drug dealer (guest star Michael Esper) to sell him the drugs she steals from her elderly nursing patient Vivien (guest star Leslie Uggams). I couldn’t figure out how Jackie was going to get away with the theft of the pills since Vivien’s daughter Sharlay (guest star Tonya Pinkins) is such a hawk eye. This plot point is nothing short of genius. Don’t you just love Vivien telling Sharlay to “shut the fuck up” at the end of “Deal?” I don’t want to give anything away in case you haven’t seen “Deal” yet so I’ll just say Sharlay gets what she deserves in an extremely humorous way that Uggams plays to perfection.
After learning of ex-husband Kevin’s (Dominic Fumusa) underhanded manner of dealing with their finances, Jackie finally has the upper hand where daughters Grace (Ruby Jerins) and Fiona (Mackenzie Aladjem) are concerned. Remember last week, in “Clean,” when I said I felt sorry for Kevin? Well, no more, faithful readers; Kevin is as devious as they come, and gets what he deserves. The only good thing that comes from this plot point is a very heartwarming reunion with Jackie, Grace, and Fiona.
As sweet as hospital administrator Gloria Akalitus (Anna Deavere Smith) is with Zoey when trying to comfort her about her feelings for Jackie, she’s the exact opposite with hospital pharmacologist Eddie Walzer (Paul Schulze). Gloria is hell bent and determined to find out where Jackie got the pills the police recovered from her car when she was arrested in season six’s finale, “Flight.” In my review of this season’s premiere, I wrote, “What is wrong with this guy? Doesn’t he realize he can end up in jail for this? You know this is going to come back and bite him in the ass.” Well, I was right because now, Gloria is out to get Eddie. Schulze plays confidence to perfection as Eddie acts all cocky with her. He’s pretty sure he covered his ass but Gloria isn’t someone to be taken lightly. She’s like a dog with a bone, an animal who smells blood in the air. Smith plays the shit out of Gloria, and more than deserves an Emmy® for her efforts. “I am exactly the wrong person for you to fuck with.” You tell him, Gloria.
I especially love the look that passes between Gloria and Jackie as Barry reads the list of reasons why Jackie should get her job back at the end of “Deal.” You know the old saying, ‘If looks could kill?’ Yeah, well, that certainly applies here. To say Gloria is furious would be putting it mildly. Things are looking up for our favorite drug addict, though. Let’s just hope Jackie stays clean because that’s what it’s going to take to appease Gloria.
As the new Head Nurse in Charge, Zoey tries to find someone to cover the Saturday shift. It looks like Mondra (Nina Hellman), the new nurse, is a tad different from what one might expect. She’s busy on Saturday “at a candlelight vigil” for a “limb.” Yeah, you heard me; she’s strange. I expect great things from Hellman, even though this season is the final one, and short at that.
The funniest scene in “Deal” revolves around a patient, Vinny Raven (James McMenamin), brought in by a cop (Lou Martini, Jr.). Coop (Peter Facinelli) and Carrie (Betty Gilpin) laughingly query whether Jackie met Vinny in lockup. This leads to Thor (Stephen Wallem) singing a song from Les Miserables while Zoey acts out the accompanying scene, and Coop and Carrie giggling at their antics. Any episode of Nurse Jackie that highlights Wallem’s fantastic voice is a hit in my eyes. Add to that brilliant direction by Julie Anne Robinson, Wever’s superb acting, and writer Tom Straw’s humorous dialogue, and you have a sure winner.
Another excellent move by director Robinson is having The Strangeloves’ hit song, “I Want Candy,” play as Jackie replaces Vivien’s pills with placebos.
Coop: “How’d you get the leg, dude?”
Cop: “Resisting during a heroin bust.”
Vinny: “I try it one time and dickless here takes me down like I’m Scarface.”
Gloria to Jackie: “I am literally going to drug test the piss out of you.”
“Deal” is another excellent episode of Nurse Jackie. Writer Tom Straw and director Robinson do a fantastic job of balancing the right amount of comedic scenes with the more dramatic ones while furthering the main story lines of the season. I can hardly wait to find out what Kevin’s new wife Mia (guest star Laura Benati) is going to say now that she’s no longer calling the shots. Now that Jackie is where she wants to be, I can’t wait to see what happens to her in the remaining episodes of this final season. Do you think Jackie has truly hit rock bottom and will stay clean now?
What did you think of “Deal?” Hit me up on Twitter @SeasideTV or leave your comments below.
Tune in to the final season of Nurse Jackie, Sundays at 9pm ET/PT, only on Showtime.
All photos © 2015 Showtime Network, a wholly owned subsidiary of CBS Corporation. All Rights Reserved.
© 2015, Linda. All rights reserved.
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