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ADVANCE Perspective: Nurses

'Nurse Jackie': Episode 3 Highlights

Published June 23, 2009 3:08 PM by Ainsley Maloney

Here are highlights from Episode 3 of Nurse Jackie that aired last night on Showtime:

  • We saw a great cameo appearance by movie and TV legend Eli Wallach as Mr. Zimberg. The man is 93 years old and still acting, and is better known for his roles in The Good, the Bad and the Ugly, The Magnificent Seven, and as Mr. Freeze in the 60's Batman TV series. Mr. Zimberg and his wife (played by Lynn Cohn) brought the soul to the "Chicken Soup" episode when we learn Mr. Zimberg is refusing medication for heart issues, claiming all he needs is his wife's chicken soup, (or "Jew's penicillin" as he calls it). In a moment of privacy Mr. Zimberg tells Jackie he's turning down treatment so his wife doesn't find out how sick he is. But after he dies, Mrs. Zimberg softly tells Jackie she knew it all along. It was one of the more heartwarming moments we've seen on the show, and allows the audience to see the complexities of caring for the elderly (i.e. a patient refusing treatment in favor of dying a natural and peaceful death, and keeping the truth of their disease from their significant other.)


  • We find out Jackie's boyfriend Eddie, the hospital pharmacist, might be replaced by a Pyxis, a robotic medication dispenser. Jackie's outraged ("What? Are we gonna need an ID to get an aspirin out of this thing?"), but it's unclear whether she's more upset about losing her boyfriend (who aside from sex, she's often shared intimate conversations with), or her drug supply.


  • Last night made me laugh as nursing student Zoey spends the entire episode trying to get her stethoscope back from Dr. O'Hara, who plays a sort of cat and mouse game with her. This isn't just any stethoscope - it seems to Zoey to be a symbol of her place as a real nurse in the hospital. (She "unveils" it to Jackie earlier in the episode with a lively "Ta-da!"). But when Zoey complains Dr. O'Hara took it, Jackie tells her "taking sh*t" is what doctors do - "stethoscopes, sandwiches, credit." In the end, Dr. O'Hara lets Zoey "win," allowing Zoey to slide the stethoscope out from behind her neck while Dr. O'Hara pretends to be taking a cat nap.


  • We gained a little more insight into Jackie's personal life as she and her husband fret over their 10-year-old daughter Grace's nervous behavior. At the end of the episode, we see Grace unable to sleep as she worries out loud in front of the TV about the chances of a bubonic plague and flu epidemic. As the season continues I'm interested to see what causes Grace's anxiety (I wonder if Jackie brings work home and talks about awful things she's seen as a healthcare provider, not realizing how it affects her children?), and also how she and her husband will handle it.


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