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'Nurse Jackie' recap: Jackie's fire sale

Season 6 | Episode 10 | “Sidecars and Spermicide” | Aired June 15, 2014

Over the past few weeks we’ve seen — and been outraged at — Jackie’s betrayal of her friends; friends who have been understanding, concerned and loyal, and friends who have been strapped in next to Jackie on her roller coaster ride of addiction. Not only has Jackie betrayed and lied to them, but she’s recently started pushing those closest to her away. As sponsor and new bosom buddy Antoinette tells Frank, “It’s like she’s having a fire sale, getting rid of all of us.” Ironic, then, that in this week’s episode of Nurse Jackie, it’s Antoinette who gets burned.

Let’s start with the superfluous story lines, because the main one is so horrifically troubling (which at this point in Jackie’s story says a lot) that it will require your full attention.

Carrie is panicked that she’s forgotten Coop’s 40th birthday (the morning after they slept together), so Thor gives her an already wrapped present to give him. (Carrie: “Should I write a card?” Thor: “Were you raised by wolves?”) Coop is overjoyed to receive a DVD of Kevin Costner’s miniseries, apparently having lived in a teepee for a period when he was a boy, and is equally overjoyed that Carrie “knows” him so well.

Zoey decides to pursue the job of Nurse Practitioner and must write an essay to be accepted into the master’s program. Thor and Jackie encourage her (she does have a blog, after all), and Jackie lets her care for a patient in the ER. After Zoey successfully diagnoses a heart condition, Jackie is proud of her. (I wonder how long it will be before poor Zoey is the next friend on Jackie’s burn list?)

Akalitus is still giving Jackie Vicodin (illegally) to help ease the pain in her foot (remember, she drove over it in the last episode). When the DEA agent arrives to investigate Carrie’s stolen DEA number and try to determine who stole it, Jackie blatantly lies to his face. When Akalitus is called in, the agent discloses that he knows about the recent prescription she had filled for Vicodin. Akalitus lies and tells him it’s for her arthritis, but the agent wonders why her urinalysis was clean if she’s been taking pain meds, and asks her to explain. Akalitus is left sitting there stunned, caught in her own lie (which is really the direct result of Jackie’s lies), and slowly starting to burn.

Jackie is shocked to discover Grace has called Zoey asking for birth control pills, and immediately blames Frank and his teenage son for her daughter’s instant sexual revolution. In a moment that made me actually respect Jackie (which hasn’t happened in a very long time), she catches Grace on the street and hands her a pack of birth control pills and a condom, and gives her daughter a smart and impassioned lecture on the dangers of having casual sex. Like I said, I was all, “Team Jackie!” until I remembered that I’ve lost all sympathy for her because she’s a horrible person.

Before I tell you how Jackie confronts Frank about his lecherous son attacking her perfect daughter (cough … cough), let’s back up a bit. Antoinette is worried about Jackie, because she knows she’s using again. She tried to tell Eddie about it last episode (when they went on a date). But because Eddie — the pharmacist who has been to this bonfire with Jackie, what, twice, three times before? — doesn’t believe that the recovering addict-slash-sponsor knows what the hell she’s talking about, he stupidly goes running to Jackie to tell her that her friend is about to rat her out to Akalitus. Oh, yeah, and also? He and Antoinette slept together after their date, but no worries, he already broke it off. Classy, dude.

Meanwhile, Antoinette calls Frank and tells him that she’s certain Jackie is using again. Like Eddie, Frank also confronts Jackie (telling him that Antoinette called him), but for about the third (or 33rd) time believes Jackie when she tells him that Antoinette is a liar.

When Akalitus tells Jackie that Antoinette has been leaving messages for her, Jackie lies (surprise) and tells her boss that Antoinette is just trying to sell her a condo and to ignore the meddling friend. Jackie calls Antoinette and is just getting started ripping into her about interfering in her life when Antoinette surprisingly turns the tables and tells Jackie that because Eddie dumped her, she’s in grave danger of falling off the wagon herself (“I’m such a shitty sponsor!”). Jackie is able to contain her own anger and tells Antoinette that they’ll meet for dinner to talk it through.

Back to Frank. When Jackie marches down to the precinct and insists Frank “control his fucking son” — kinda harsh, no? — Frank suggests that maybe Grace is asking for birth control for some other boy. Oh, no he didn’t. Oh, yes, he did. The fight quickly escalates into Frank’s realization that Antoinette was right: Jackie is using again. Adios, Frank. You know too much; now she has to get rid of you. Again.


At dinner, 10-years-sober Antoinette is craving a sidecar (Cognac, Grand Marnier, lemon juice), and Jackie is playing the supportive and understanding sponsor. They commiserate over their deadbeat relationships and Antoinette muses that they should just move in together and be like Laverne and Shirley. Jackie wonders aloud if maybe Antoinette was right about rehab, and admits that maybe rehab would keep her (Jackie) from dealing with a lot of people she doesn’t want to deal with right now. Jackie continues to shock Antoinette by suggesting they go in together, and then lights her newest fire by popping a pill right in front of Antoinette’s face: “If I’m goin’ to rehab, I’m goin’ there high.” That’s all the motivation Antoinette needs to step into Jackie’s fire and order a drink. “Fuck Laverne and Shirley. Let’s go all Thelma and Louise!” As 10 years of sobriety turn to ashes, she toasts Jackie and says, “If you’re goin’ off a cliff, I’m goin’ with ya,” and takes a big drink. Noooooo!

The next morning, a very drunk Antoinette and a (supposedly) high Jackie stumble out of a cab at a rehab facility to check themselves in. Yet Jackie, in possibly the most horrific act of betrayal we’ve seen to date, checks only Antoinette in (she’s apparently called ahead — she’s caring like that), tells the attendant that her drunk friend has had a rough night, and walks out triumphantly. Drew Barrymore in 'Firestarter' (Everett Collection)Antoinette is left there, pitifully victim to Jackie’s lies and devastating deception, cussing Jackie out with some pretty horrible and totally justified words, and is taken away to once again rebuild what Jackie has just burned down.

Nurse Jackie, rated TV-MA, airs Sundays at 9 on Showtime.

TV Families | EW.com
Mark Harris
February 23, 1990 AT 05:00 AM EST

The Bradys are back, with a passel of 90’s hassles. Do they represent the typical American Family? Did they ever? Who does? Stare and compare!

Kind Of Family
TheBradyBunch 1969-74: Blended
The Bradys 1990-: Enormous
Married…With Children 1987-: Postnuclear
Thirtysomething 1987-: Extended
The Flintstones 1960-66: Modern Stone Age

Family Pet
The Brady Bunch: Tiger
The Bradys: Alice
Married…With Children: Buck
Thirtysomething: Grendel
The Flintstones: Dino

Typical Guest Star
The Brady Bunch: Davey Jones
The Bradys: There’s no room
Married…With Children: Sam Kinison
Thirtysomething: Carly Simon
The Flintstones: Ann Margrock

Expression Of Joy
The Brady Bunch: Groovy!
The Bradys: Ritual hugging
Married…With Children: ”Oh, great.”
Thirtysomething: ”Of course I’m happy for you. Really. But what about me? Why does it always have to be about you?
The Flintstones: ”Yabba-dabba doo

Expression Of Rage

The Brady Bunch: ”Hmmm…”
The Bradys: ”If you back away from something you really want, then you’re a quitter!” (the angriest any Brady has ever been)
Married…With Children: ”Aaagh, God, take me from this miserable life!”
Thirtysomething: ”I’m not angry, OK?”
The Flintstones: ”Willllmaaaa!”

Typical Problem
The Brady Bunch: Marcia and her rival both want to be the prom queen.
The Bradys: Bobby gets paralyzed.
Married…With Children: Al doesn’t buy his family Christmas presents.
Thirtysomething: Nancy gets cancer.
The Flintstones: Fred and Barney are staying out too late.

Typical Solution
The Brady Bunch: The prom committee decides to have two queens.
The Bradys: Bobby gets married.
Married…With Children: They hate him.
Thirtysomething: If only we knew…
The Flintstones: Wilma and Betty decide to follow them.

House Style
The Brady Bunch: Conservative but mod, circa ’69
The Bradys: Conservative but mod, circa ’90
Married…With Children: Roach motel
Thirtysomething: Enviable
The Flintstones: Suburban cave

Clothing Style
The Brady Bunch: Early Osmonds
The Bradys: Made in the USA
Married…With Children: Flammable fabrics
Thirtysomething: Eclectic earth tones; nice ties
The Flintstones: One-piece

Most Annoying Character
The Brady Bunch: Alice’s cousin Emma, the substitute housekeeper (too strict)
The Bradys: Marcia’s husband, Wally (chronically unemployable)
Married…With Children: Steve (supercilious)
Thirtysomething: Ellyn (goes through Hope’s drawers, babbles, changes hairstyle every other week, generally mistreats her friends)
The Flintstones: Mr. Slate (bossy)

Attitude Toward Sex
The Brady Bunch: Never heard of it
The Bradys: Omigod — even Cindy does it!
Married…With Children: Peg: Yes. Al: No.
Thirtysomething: They didn’t get all those kids by accident.
The Flintstones: Prehistoric

How Spouses Fight
The Brady Bunch: They don’t.
The Bradys: Infrequently, but it happens
Married…With Children: Tooth and nail
Thirtysomething: They stop talking
The Flintstones: Fred and Barney go bowling while Wilma and Betty max out their charge cards.

How Kids Get Into Trouble
The Brady Bunch: Greg takes a puff of a cigarette.
The Bradys: Carol’s grandson steals her business cards and sticks them in the spokes of Bobby’s wheelchair.
Married…With Children: By committing felonies
Thirtysomething: Ethan plays with a forbidden toy rocket.
The Flintstones: They don’t.

How They’re Punished

The Brady Bunch: ”It’s not what you did, honey — it’s that you couldn’t come to us.”
The Bradys ”Next time, ask.”
Married…With Children: By the authorities
Thirtysomething: It blows up in his face.
The Flintstones: They’re not.

What Family Does For Fun
The Brady Bunch: Takes special three-part vacations to Hawaii and the Grand Canyon
The Bradys: Has flashbacks
Married…With Children: Exchanges insults
Thirtysomething: Talks
The Flintstones: Attends showings of The Monster at the Bedrock Drive-In

Unsolved Mysteries
The Brady Bunch: How exactly did Carol’s first husband and Mike’s first wife die?
The Bradys: What’s with Marcia’s new face and Bobby’s blonde hair
Married…With Children: What kind of hair spray does Peg use?
Thirtysomething: Why did Nancy take Elliot back? What do Gary and Susanna see in each other?
The Flintstones: How does Barney’s shirt stay on if he has no shoulders? Where do Fred and Wilma plug in their TV?

Worst Behavior
The Brady Bunch: The Brady children once made Alice feel under-appreciated.

The Bradys: Marcia’s son Mickey watches Bobby’s car-crash tape for fun.
Married…With Children: The Bundy’s kill their neighbor’s dog.
Thirtysomething: Elliot has an affair and talks about it.
The Flintstones: Characters don’t wear under-clothes.

Best Reason To Watch
The Brady Bunch: This is what life should be.
The Bradys: They’re all grown-ups now!
Married…With Children: Terry Rakolta hates it.
Thirtysomething (Tie) This is your life. This isn’t your life.
The Flintstones: This is what life might have been.

Best Reason Not To Watch
The Brady Bunch: Blurred vision from rerun overdoses.
The Bradys: You’re all grown-ups now.
Married…With Children: She has a point.
Thirtysomething: After a while, you think it’s real.
The Flintstones: The Simpsons

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