May 16 2011

Review – Nurse Jackie, Season 3, Episode 8, “The Astonishing”


Airdate: Monday, May 16, 2011, 10:00 pm ET/PT on Showtime


What is the worst that can happen?” Such a telling statement from Jackie (Edie Falco) to calm Grace’s (Ruby Jerins) fears as she puts the finishing touches on Grace’s costume for the Saints Pageant at school. With Kevin (Dominic Fumusa) watching and beaming with pride, Fiona (Mackenzie Aladjem) feeds Grace her lines so she can practice—the very picture of domesticity. Except we all know that’s not exactly the truth.

Coop (Peter Facinelli) tells Thor (Stephen Wallem) about his problems, again

The look of horror that overcomes Jackie’s face when she learns Bill (Bill Sage) doesn’t have any drugs for her signifies the shock she is experiencing at the thought of not getting her “fix.” Even more so is the desperation she expresses when Bill tells her he’s going out of town. The life of a drug addict can be extremely stress-filled.

Jackie: “You’re going out of town? You gotta have something!”

Bill: “OK. Look, after work, come by my place and I’ll see if I can’t scrounge something up for you.”

Jackie: “Your place? Like your home?”

Bill: “Relax. It’s right up the block. It’s the deco joint with the gargoyles on top. <snicker> Go figure.”

Anna Deveare Smith as Hospital Administrator Gloria Akalitus

I want to slap Coop (Peter Facinelli) upside the head. I know he’s been traumatized by his mothers’ impending divorce, but come on. Enough is enough already. He sits in his office surrounded by all manner of childhood toys, just sulking! Hospital administrator Gloria Akalitus (Anna Deavere Smith) expresses my feelings perfectly. I can only hope Coop heeds her advice.

Akalitus: “I’m gonna have this conversation with you once and only once. Your mothers called me, both of them. They told me about the divorce and that they are worried about you. THIS IS NOT MY JOB! You have two mothers, you don’t need a third. Get your act together and clean your office.

It was interesting to learn a little about Kevin and Jackie’s previous life when Kevin explains to Carl (guest star Dan Lauria), a cop he hasn’t seen in a while, what caused him to get a traffic ticket, which is still outstanding. He had been so angry at Jackie, he packed his bags, took the girls and left! Thankfully, the cops stopped him for speeding; hence, the ticket. The most important thing that came out of that experience is Kevin’s realization of how much he wanted to be with Jackie. Now, he realizes how much rage he has inside. One of my favorite lines in “The Astonishing” comes from Carl, as they’re discussing Jackie.

Look, you married a piece of work. Jackie—Jackie’d chew off her own paw before she’d give an inch.

Oh no, Zoey, you didn’t. Zoey invites Dr. O’Hara (Eve Best) and Jackie to lunch at an Indian restaurant, where she won a $50 gift certificate, on the pretext of being friends. But it’s a ruse…what she really wants is to interview them for her next blog article entitled “Doctors and Nurses: No Longer Cats and Dogs.” O’Hara’s reaction is comical. “Zoey, you do realize, if you mention either of us online, we will cut you into little pieces and feed you to snakes,” said in that perfect British accent I love. But Zoey’s reassurance to them is what really makes me laugh out loud. “Your names are changed. Gesturing first towards O’Hara and then Jackie, Zoey says, “Lady Penelope and Taffy.” Taffy? Really, Zoey?

Jackie’s lack of drugs is causing her mean side to emerge. Not surprising though, if you think about it. Not only does she follow Kelly (Gbenga Ainnagbe) into the men’s room, yelling at him and accusing him of flirting with two teenage girls who came to the hospital drunk, she yells at Eddie (Paul Schulze) when he suggests she try Pilates to help her aching back. “You know what, Eddie? F*ck you!” She decides to take Bill up on his offer to come over after work. She really needs those blue pills. Little does she know how much she is going to be affected by the horrific scene that unfolds in front of her eyes.

As Grace recites during her Pageant, “I am the patron saint of insanity and lunatics. I died, but came back to life. Psalm 102 is attributed to me. It is the prayer of the inflicted. For my days vanish like smoke, I am like an owl in the desert among the ruins. I have mingled my drink with weeping and my days are like a shadow. Pray for me.” She might as well have been talking about her mother.

Watch Nurse Jackie on Mondays at 10:00 pm ET/PT only on Showtime. For more information on the show, visit

Photos courtesy of Ken Reagan/©2011 Showtime Network. All Rights Reserved.

© 2011, Linda. All rights reserved.


Love TV, movies, and books--mostly mysteries, with a good love story thrown in every now and then. I have four adopted dogs who I adore. I love trying new recipes, and enjoy eating what I make. English language perfectionist. Reading in bed, Italian food, warm weather, the beach, all types of games = favs!


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  1. Thanks Johnny, I appreciate your comments. You’re right, this was a particularly moving episode, especially the ending. Your observation about the saints is spot on.

  2. Dick Head, I’m sorry you feel that way. Something tells me, though, with a name like yours, I shouldn’t take you seriously. By no means did I tell you exactly what went on and I left out a lot of things. I gave you my opinion on what went down, what I thought about the various plot lines and characters, and used some dialogue to confirm what I was saying. That’s what a reviewer does. Perhaps you’re looking for a critic. You won’t find that here.

      • Johnny London, England on May 17, 2011 at 3:38 pm
      • Reply

      Thanks Linda for your synopsis…was so moved by this episode, particularly the final scene and Gracie’s performance of the Prayer of the Afficted. You keep writing your reviews just the way you want to, Certainly adding more value than D_______d!

      Such a feeling of impending doom surrounding this show….especially with all the statues gone which seemed to guard Jackie from everthing, including herself!

    • Dick Head on May 17, 2011 at 1:14 am
    • Reply

    was this really a review or just a recap of the damn episode… anyone can type the words to what aired… boring

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