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On the latest episode of Nurse Jackie, we see the return of Kevin, complicating things for Jackie and Frank. Frank decides that Jackie must have unresolved issues with him after seeing the way she reacts to her ex-husband and lets her know his concerns, causing her to confront Kevin with a touching and apologetic confession at the end of the episode. Jackie continues to convey her emotions strongly throughout this episode; the way she relates to Kevin, her interactions with Frank, and an incident that happens with Grace are all highly emotional. Jackie has kept a close watch on her daughter Grace ever since the episode in which she found out that Grace was secretly sneaking off to Central Park in order to see an older boy.
Grace is still young and is making some poor decisions, but sometimes I do have to feel sorry for her due to the amount of supervision that she puts up with from Jackie. That said, Jackie is just parenting in the only way that she knows how, and she feels that by showing that she is in charge, she will be able to get her daughter to listen. She is forced to deal with Grace When Grace she skips school to go out to eat, Jackie is forced to go to the restaurant and confront her daughter in front of Grace’s friends, causing a scene in front of her daughter’s friends.
As the episode starts, we see Jackie and Frank kissing and becoming more intimate. Jackie expresses how grateful she is that they were both able to have a night out together, although this plan is interrupted when Kevin walks in a minute later, telling Jackie that he needed to stop by in order to get one of Grace’s textbooks. She is disgusted with Kevin’s willingness to come over unannounced, and she explains how difficult it was for her to get this night off and that she wanted to be able to spend it alone. Before Kevin’s arrival, she told Frank that it was easier for her to get someone to cover for her that night, making audiences wonder with whom she is actually being truthful.
Frank overhears everything that happens between Jackie and Kevin and decides that it would be best for him to leave, suggesting that he and Jackie get lunch the next day instead. Frank believes that because of the way Jackie reacted to her ex-husband, she may still have unresolved issues. This relevation prompts Jackie to apologize and confess to Kevin at the end of the episode. Frank cares about her very much already and just wants to make sure that Jackie is all his; he is not reacting out of jealousy but because he truly cares. It is hard not to sympathize with him because he is such a sweet guy and Jackie doesn’t treat him as he deserved to be treated, not yet at least.
Another issue that has been growing over the course of the season, Gloria Akalitus’ forgetfulness, is somewhat resolved in this episode. Another incident happens in relation to her memory problem, causing Dr. Prentiss to become alarmed again, resulting in Dr. Prentiss considering reporting Akalitus’ problems to the board. It is hard to know what to make of the situation, since we don’t actually know what is wrong with Dr. Akalitus yet. She calls up Jackie, while running to the hospital, and wants Jackie to cover for her after forgetting that she had a meeting with Dr. Prentiss. Dr. Prentiss is new in the hospital and just wants to do all that he can in order to help the patients, while the other nurses, especially Jackie, have a connection with Gloria; this web of connections makes the situation difficult for Jackie. Later on, Gloria walks in on Jackie and Eddie, who in the middle of analyzing a blood test that they performed on Dr. Akalitus in order to diagnose her situation.
As long time co-workers, they are simply trying to help, but Gloria does not understand this and somewhat predictably freaks out when she sees what they are doing. Anna Deveare Smith shows her great acting skills when she overreacts, and then she is able to shift her emotions after she finds out what the test has revealed. Luckily, Jackie and Eddie are able to rule out Alzheimer’s and find out that the cause of her memory loss is simply due to a new medication she’s been taking. Eddie assures her that he can help her and in a touching moment from three of the characters that we have known longest on the show, we are able to see Gloria happy about her recent problem, while Jackie and Eddie show their support for her.
After weeks of disastrous behavior from Dr. Roman, we finally get to see her handling a patient in a professional way, when she is forced to make decisions on the floor, ultimately going against Dr. Prentiss in order to do what she feels is best. This may sound awful knowing Dr. Roman’s past, but this scene went surprisingly well. Jackie was giving her a concerned face throughout the procedure, as she and Zoe both worried that something bad might happen. Zoe is also present in this episode; she goofs around a bit with Jackie in one scene, but, that scene aside, she still does not seem to be the comedic character that she once was, a change that is disappointing to see. She even goes so far as to try to flirt with Dr. Prentiss in a very odd way when she finds an unfinished mad lib that he had made for a patient. After telling her that he does not think that the mad lib is very good, she says “I’ll be the judge of that,” and playfully fills it out with him, laughing loudly as she leaves the room. Zoe is upset and jealous after seeing Dr. Roman and Dr. Prentiss get in a cab together, leaving the hospital. While I would certainly root for Zoe to have some romance in her life, it does not seem like this is the appropriate way to get it, and this ending moment just shows Zoe feeling inadequate.
Overall, this episode is very well done and features excellent acting. Audiences see Jackie in a number of different dramatic elements, and this episode even features a romantic stint with Zoe and Dr. Prentiss that is fairly awkward to witness. It will be interesting to see where the show takes this idea. I can’t imagine too much good coming from it, but it is something that will need to be addressed in the upcoming episodes as the season is nearing its end. The comedy factor has still been down a bit from previous seasons, but the dramatic elements are heightened to the point where the lack of comedy is almost unnoticeable.
Thoughts and Quotes
— Prentiss: “No, I work for the patients.” Dr. Prentiss shows his disgust for the way Akalitus has been behaving and insists that he does not work for her.
— Zoe: Dr. Prentiss, I am going to touch your stuff. You are not going to like it, but you are going to have to get over it.” This is where we first we witness Zoe attempting to flirt with Dr. Prentiss. This is a very awkard moment for the viewer.
— Jackie: “Grace, you do not get to walk away from me when I’m talking to you.” Jackie attempts to take control of a very difficult situation, highlighting Edie Falco’s terrific acting.
In another attempt to get Grace to understand, Jackie thoroughly takes control by saying “I understand being a teenager sucks, but let me tell you something. Being the mother of a teenager also sucks, especially today when my teenager is a kid who cuts school”
— The news is out that Dr. Roman and Dr. Cooper have been having sex at the hospital and Thor has something to say about it when he comments, “Oh yes, nothing says romance quite like a quickie in the supply closet.”
— Confessing to Kevin, Jackie finally has to say, “I’ve lied to you, I’ve lied to our girls. I’ve done other things I’m not proud of.” This is an emotional scene for Jackie and for audiences.
— Jackie: “I don’t really know how this is supposed to change anything. Maybe it’ll make you feel a little better. Make it can make our family feel a little better. I think that’s the best thing I can hope for at this point.” You just have to feel bad for Jackie, hoping that she is able to make amends somehow and get her life back together. Her addiction got the best of her and she certainly didn’t mean to treat her family the way that she did.