Season 6 | Episode 11 | “Sisterhood” | Aired June 22, 2014
This episode of Nurse Jackie ties up a few ends that have been hanging loose all season — the Nancy Wood investigation and Kevin’s wedding. If ever there were a need for Jackie to self-medicate, both of those situations are it. And medicate she does. All. Day. Long.
After starting the day at the plastic surgeon’s office — where she schedules an eye lift to get a prescription for post-surgery pain killers, which she fills, and then promptly cancels the surgery — Jackie arrives at All Saints to discover that addict/nun/recurring patient Helen is back. And this time, it looks like Helen’s suicide attempt might just get her the final result she wants.
Like she’s done so many times in the past, Jackie takes an added interest in Helen (because she sees herself in her?), and takes extra pains to make sure the dying nun is comfortable in her final hours. Helen tells Jackie that at one time she had a group of sisters at the convent who were her family, but now Jackie is all she has and she’d like to repay Jackie in some way. Spoiler alert: She does.
Meanwhile, Akalitus tells Jackie that the DEA agent is on her ass because of her lie about filling the prescription for Vicodin for her arthritis. It looks like Jackie’s friend/boss is finally starting to string the facts together. “My hands are neatly tied, aren’t they?” she asks Jackie.
While discussing Helen’s impending death, Jackie asks Zoey to send her the nice iPhone picture of Helen that Zoey took the last time the nun was in the ER. I don’t know where this is going, but I’m pretty sure Jackie isn’t asking for the photo to post on Instagram.
Later, when it becomes obvious that Helen only has a few hours left, Jackie gathers all the women who work in the ER around Helen’s bed (which gives this episode its title). A sisterhood. Lovely touch, Jackie, but after 10 episodes this season, I’m on to you. Carrie gives an impassioned (and fantastically Carrie) speech about how she always hated nuns and how nuns hated her and ruined “like 80 percent” of her childhood. “But Helen, I don’t hate you. I wish you peace,” she concludes, looking very pleased with herself. And here’s where we discover how Jackie collected on Helen’s offer.
“Don’t call me Helen — Helen is my religious name. My real name is Nancy. Nancy Wood,” Helen tells the group.
Carrie immediately rediscovers her hatred of nuns and unleashes on Helen/Nancy for stealing her DEA number: “All you nuns are out to get me!” Akalitus apologizes to Jackie for suspecting her as Nancy Wood, and Jackie celebrates by going into a bathroom stall and snorting a lot of white powder and looking mighty pleased with herself (I’m assuming it’s Vicodin, but since Advil is my painkiller of choice, I can’t be sure).
Flying high on her deception — and about four lines — Jackie returns to a diabetic patient’s bedside and administers 800 units of insulin instead of the 8 units that Carrie had ordered. The patient immediately goes into shock (I’m guessing. As the owner of a diabetic cat, I’m familiar with insulin, but have thankfully never given her 100 times her dose, so I’m not familiar with the effects). Zoey jumps into action by offsetting with an injection of glucose. When the patient regains consciousness, Zoey lies and tells her that she just passed out for a moment. Jackie thanks Zoey, but passes it off as a mistake due to the stress of Kevin’s wedding. Zoey is suspicious.
With a full day of using, and the stress of deceiving all her friends and almost killing a patient, Jackie is ready to cut loose at Kevin and Mia’s wedding. At the reception, Jackie’s favorite drug dealer — and wedding date — Gabe arrives. When Grace sees Gabe, she immediately recognizes him as the drug dealer who sold her friend Mandy drugs at a party. Grace is shocked to see Jackie happily welcome him with a kiss. After calling Zoey in hysterics (and, I’m assuming, blowing the whistle on Jackie), Grace confronts the happy, high couple on the dance floor. Jackie introduces Gabe as her friend, and Grace responds with, “Yeah, we’ve met.” She then calls him out for selling Mandy drugs, and Jackie flips out to learn that he sells drugs to kids: “She doesn’t look 15!”
Gabe defends himself. As they continue to loudly argue and the fight escalates, Jackie pushes Gabe into a table, and Kevin eventually throws both of them out. Nothing like seeing your mom get thrown out of your dad’s wedding for going fisticuffs with her drug dealer/date to make you sign up for the “eternity” option on your therapy schedule.
Back at All Saints, Helen has died. As Zoey and Carrie go through her personal effects (a wooden cross, a pack of cigarettes and an ID), Zoey notices that the photo on Helen/Nancy’s driver’s license is the photo that she just sent to Jackie from her phone. Heartbroken at the realization that Jackie made a fake ID for Helen and that Jackie herself was Nancy Wood, Zoey’s suspicions become real and she breaks down in tears. As the episode ends, we see Zoey — not only the best nurse, but the best friend — calmly walk into Akalitus’ office: “We need to talk about Jackie,” she says.
Next week is the finale, and I can only hope that it will also be the end to all the hurt and deception Jackie has caused this season. Don’t worry — I’m not really stupid enough to count on it.