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Nurse Jackie – Walk of Shame Review: Drama Outweighs Comedy in a Bit of a Disappointment

In the latest episode of Nurse Jackie, Jackie comes to terms with what she did in the previous episode. In an effort to keep things on a good note between her and Frank, Jackie calls him right away to apologize about having to leave the date, and also makes it clear by the end of the episode that she and Dr. Cruz are not going to do anything more. She realizes that what she did is wrong and throughout the episode she is trying to make things right, embarking, as the episode is titled on a walk of shame. Jackie is starting to get her groove back after the previous episode threw her a curve ball with the interruption of her date and subsequent encounter with Cruz. She definitely makes the right decision to end thinks with Cruz, and to continue to pursue Frank, who is a very nice and likeable character. 

The episode begins with Jackie and Grace waking up together in a haze, both having to face the consequences of their actions from the night before. Jackie tells Grace that they need to have a talk with Kevin present and learn how they will be able to trust her again, although Grace would be happy to get it over with right away. Luckily Grace made the right decision and decided to leave the club on her own, but there is no telling what could have happened to her in that situation on any other night, and because of the danger that she put herself in, Jackie and Kevin have a very serious talk with her in hopes of finally getting her to understand that she is not to lie to them and go out on her own like that. Jackie seems to be doing the best that she can as a mother and as Eddie says to her in the hospital "the apple doesn't fall far from the tree," reminding her that she has plenty of experience lying to her family too. Cruz is back in the hospital for his exit interview and is immediately greeted by Jackie and Dr. Cooper, although his presence in the hospital makes for some awkward encounters with people, and eventually Jackie is forced to have a serious talk with him in the chapel. She calls Charlie's phone in order to contact him, leading him to tell her that he will have to shut his phone off, so she gives him her number.

Some serious drama is going on in the hospital today in addition to Cruz's return. Early on, Zoe is admitted as a patient due to being hit in the head by the showerhead in her new apartment. It is odd and out of place to see Zoe in her civilian attire (as she describes it to Cruz), and her character's fun and goofy personality was completely absent in this episode, which was disappointing to see. There is the continuing issue of Dr. Cooper agreeing to do Dr. Roman's work for her, and Jackie assures him that he cannot let this continue. A violent and troubling patient is admitted, after having hit a bus with his forehead, with a serious injury, and he is also high on meth, which causes him to act out. Dr. Roman is finally forced to deal with some real work and she sets his nose back in place by hand. Apparently she feels proud about finally being able to do some real doctor work, so she goes into Dr. Cooper's office afterwards and instructs him to take his pants off and illustrates what he should do afterwards by using note cards. Dr. Roman's behavior just seems to get worse all the time; even after she finally does something professional, she has to ruin it by going to Coop and having inappropriate sex with him.

The meth patient continues to be trouble for everyone; when Jackie attempts to put ice on his nose, he catches her off guard and knocks her to the floor. She gets back up and punches him in the nose, hurting her own hand, and after she freaks out she is told to leave the floor. Jackie has freaked out due to the recent events in her life and a patient is able to get to her by illustrating one of her weaknesses. At the same time, it simply shows how tough she is and that she is not afraid to do anything in order to stand up for herself. Of course, she breaks all kinds of ethical codes and feels terrible after doing it, but this incident allows Dr. Prentiss to correctly diagnose another patient. He had mistakenly judged a young kid, thinking that he was coming in to score drugs, only to find out that he has PTSD following the shooting death of his little sister; he later helps the patient deal with this issue. The addition of Morris Chestnut as Dr. Prentiss on the show this season has been a treat to watch as he is a great doctor and plays the part well too.

By the end of this episode, Jackie makes it clear to Cruz that what they did was nice but that she does not want it to continue and wreck what she has going on in her life right now. She goes to his apartment and gives him a kiss, which he realizes is their good-bye kiss, and then heads to her date with Frank. They have a nice date together talking about the troubles that they each have with their kids and it seems that they are able to relate to each other well. Frank decides to play a game with her and flirts with her by saying that she will have to kiss him if he is able to hit a sign with a rock; she giggles as his throws are off the mark, and they eventually kiss. This cliche is often used as a way for a guy to get a woman to kiss him on a date and was reminiscent of the scene in Happy Gilmore in which he first got a kiss from his love interest in the film, when he proposed that she would have to kiss him if he made a goal. After their kiss finally happens, the episode ends and we are left with Jackie having a happy moment.

This episode was certainly disappointing in the comedy department, and since the show is often an equal mix of drama and comedy, the comedic characters were out of their element. Zoe suffered an accident and as a result was not her usual goofy self, and due to the drama going on in Jackie's life she did not seem to be in the most comedic of moods. Additionally, Dr. Cooper has simply been distracted with Dr. Roman and making himself look like an idiot. It was a bummer to see Zoe out of character and with less screen time too, although with Jackie closing things off with Cruz, it is possible that he might be off the show for good. We will have to see where that goes, and Dr. Roman continues to bore us with her haphazard doctor skills and sexual activity in the hospital. There is simply not enough time on the show to work with her annoying character when there are more important issues to deal with.

Thoughts and Quotes

Zoe: "Everything happens for a reason." Zoe talks about how she thinks getting hurt must have happened for a reason. It feels very odd to hear Zoe saying things like this as she becomes completely serious in this episode and is not as fun to watch.

Zoe: "This is nucking futs." In the rare exception to Zoe's seriousness in this episode, she exclaims her surprise when she sees Dr. Cruz walking into the hospital. This was a nice nod to the film Dickie Roberts: Former Child Star in which the phrase originated in a good pop culture reference.

Jackie: "I punched a patient." A very distressed Jackie retaliates in a moment that shows her as both weakened and unwilling to let a patient push her around at the same time.

Mike Cruz: "I just want someone to tell me that I did my best." Not knowing what to do, Cruz turns to Jackie for advice and needs help.

In an odd and unwelcoming quote from a doctor, Dr. Cruz tells Jackie "Nobody smokes in New York anymore; took me ten minutes to find a lighter."

Dr. Roman: "So, that's Dr. Cunt to you." Speaking to the out of control patient, Dr. Roman is clearly not fit to be a doctor and displays this at inappropriate moments.

I thought the sex scene between Dr. Roman and Dr. Cooper was even more uncomfortable than the other sex scenes as she uses note cards that she made to get him to talk dirty to her and wants him to take charge, yet ends up doing most of the work herself. She wants him to call her a slut and a cunt, and it just seems like Dr. Roman has no respect for herself at all, and the way she acts is no surprise.



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