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This week's episode of Nurse Jackie offers a conclusion to an issue that has been brewing for a while on the show, as she and Kevin finalize their divorce. In an episode conveniently titled Smile, Jackie tries to be happy as she attempts to conclude the intense drama that has percolated between her and Kevin in recent episodes. We see Jackie put on a tough front throughout the show, and lately she has worked especially hard to stay strong despite her troubles. However, her personal drama has certainly come to affect her work life.
After she and Kevin leave the courtroom, they are getting along well and discuss the state of their girls, including Fiona's math difficulties. Kevin and Jackie have had many troubles lately, and their new found camaraderie might be superficial; however, the two of them seem to be willing to do what they need to do in order to be civil on their way out of the courtroom. Jackie appears to be in a very good mood and they are even joking around with each other a bit. Kevin asks her if she knows how to avoid construction, telling her to follow him. It appears that Jackie is in a troubled state when she gets in her car and immediately hits Kevin's car, with the air bag blowing up in her face and knocking her unconscious. This is a shocking moment for audiences, since the two of them seemed fine, and while it was clearly an accident, the cop who questions her jokingly suggests that perhaps Jackie might have wanted to hit her ex.
After being knocked unconscious, Jackie is checked in to the hospital and finds great difficulty with finding herself in such a situation. In the next scene that follows, we see Kevin yelling at her, accusing her of hitting him on purpose, and he suggests that her happy demeanor in the court room must have just been an act. He thinks he should have known better, and in his frustration he’s treating her very poorly, accusing her of being high when she hit him. He lays into Jackie as she lies in a hospital bed frustrated and upset. The other nurses view the scene unfolding, and Zoey quickly offers to go in and help.
While Zoey comes in to help get rid of Kevin, she proceeds to treat Jackie as a normal patient telling her that it will be fun to treat Jackie as a patient, but this just angers Jackie and as any nurse would be (especially a tough woman like Jackie), she feels extremely frustrated, preferring to be out on the floor treating patients. Zoey continues to make jokes with her in a fun and goofy way, as is typical of her character, as she is always present for great entertainment value and is an important part of the show. Merrit Wever (Zoe) does a great job acting in this episode, and is one of my favorite characters on the show; it has been especially nice recently to see her utilized more. She was extremely effective in the scene in which she takes Jackie to the new apartment that she had picked out (she hopes of getting Jackie’s approval); this shows how much she values Jackie’s friendship and the connection that they have. They have become much more than just co-workers after Zoey moved in with Jackie during Season 4.
Jackie immediately connects with a cop who has come to her hospital bed in order to ask her questions regarding the accident He starts flirting with her right away after hearing that the man he just spoke to is her ex-husband, making comments like "Oh, so that's a fresh thing then, huh? How long have you two been separated?" to which Jackie replies jokingly that it has only been a few hours and that the accident happened just before she landed herself in the hospital. While Jackie is recently divorced, an affair was partly the cause of her marriage's demise, and it would certainly not surprise me to see her to start seeing someone right away again now that the divorce is finalized.
At first, Jackie seems unsure about the idea of a stranger asking her out on the same day that she becomes officially divorced, but she quickly warms up to the idea and gives the cop a chance. He seems genuine, and after Jackie gets a prescription from Dr. Roman, (the doctor does not realize that she is a recovering addict), she picks up what she needs, notices the number, and decides to give the cop a call. We cut to the next scene where they are having coffee, and she tells him that she felt coffee was less pressure than dinner. He seems accepting of who she is and interested in dating her even after hearing that she is a former addict with two daughters who also works 70 hours per week.
Overall, this episode is a bit lacking in the comedic elements, but Zoey and Dr. Cooper do have a few moments thrown in. Some of the dialogue seems a bit odd, and one encounter in particular (with Dr. Cooper and Dr. Roman) is very uncomfortable to watch as viewers are clearly familiar with how Coop will grab women when he is nervous, but in an unexpected turn of events Dr. Roman grabs him in return. I don't know how other people feel, but Dr. Roman seems to be an annoying addition to the show, and I have not enjoyed her presence. I don't care for the way she relates to patients or the other doctors, and I dislike how she feels like she can take advantage of other people because of her looks. What do other people think of this episode?