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‘Nurse Jackie’ Review: “Slow Growing Monsters”

Nurse Jackie

Now that Kevin knows the truth about her relationship with Eddie, Jackie (Edie Falco) wants to put the lies behind them. The question is, does the truth even matter anymore after you’ve lived with lies for so long? In this week’s ‘Nurse Jackie‘ episode “Slow Growing Monsters,” Jackie learned an important lesson from a terminally ill woman named Jules (Rosie Perez). Sometimes the only person you need to be honest with is yourself.

When Jules is escorted into the ER by two cops after an altercation in a supermarket, everyone assumes she’s pregnant, based on her bulging belly. Its not until O’Hara (Eve Best) performs an ultrasound that she and Jackie learn the woman is suffering from stomach tumors that can’t be removed. Jackie’s disdain for who she assumed was a careless pregnant woman turns to empathy for someone trying to make the most of her final days.

That night, Jackie sits with Jules on a stoop and listens as the plucky woman laughs about the reactions she gets on the subway, when people see a pregnant woman smoking cigarettes and drinking Jagermeister. With her life coming to an unfairly quick end, Jules would rather get a laugh then spend her last days trying to explain herself.

As for Jackie, she’s been doing plenty of explaining as of late, to her estranged husband, Kevin, her distant daughter, Grace, and her new boss, Mike Cruz. “You’re not used to people calling your bluff,” Cruz (Bobby Cannavale) tells Jackie when she confronts him about docking her paycheck, per her suggestion, for stealing drugs.

And he’s right. Jackie’s gotten so good at breezing by and blowing off anyone who dares try to take her to task. But now that she’s been exposed for the drug-addicted adulterer that she is, that’s not going to work anymore. When Jackie tells Kevin (Dominic Fumusa) about her brief stint in rehab, he heads over to All Saints to get the tally on Jackie’s drug tab with Eddie (Paul Schulze), who begrudgingly obliges. Only when he heads out the door, does Kevin reveal the true nature of his visit to the pharmacy: to get ammo for his custody battle with Jackie.

Meanwhile, Jackie’s trying her hardest to hang on to her sobriety. When she finds another woman in Kevin’s apartment, she makes plans to go to a meeting instead of getting high. Unfortunately, being on best behavior isn’t going to make things right or even better with Kevin. And neither is “helicopter parenting” her preteen daughter, whose developed alarming fondness for eyeliner and boys.

Like Jules, there’s no cure for Jackie’s disease. Though she may not die from it, the pain and suffering isn’t going to abate anytime soon. It’s something Jackie surely realized, when she dove into the dumpster where she tossed the Vicodin Jules gave her. Like the dying woman, Jackie is getting honest with herself and facing up to her own “slow growing monsters.” The question now is whether or not her husband and two daughters still care.

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