Nurse Jackie Review: Don't Sweat the Technique

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With this season of Nurse Jackie is winding down, the show's writers have done well to turn up the heat on many levels.

"Chaud & Froid" was a tempest fueled by a turbulent mix of hot tempers and cold hearted reactions. The episode was not without its clear skies, however. Just as Jackie and her crew were able to ease the lack of air conditioning with some delicious ice pops, there were more than a few moments that served to bring a smile to this fan's face. 

Jackie vs. Cruz

Let us begin though with the scenes that were a little harder to swallow. The bitter taste left in my mouth by developments like Cruz's firing of Eddie and Gloria was not because of anything lacking on the part of the actors, I just hated to see them dismissed like they were and with Jackie was forced to watch, to boot. I don't think Nurse Jackie fans will be without Akalitus's alacrity for long, though.

With so many characters putting aside past grievances to do something nice for another member of the staff this week, the tail really was pinned on the donkey when it came to Cruz, who instead of thanking Jackie for being there for his son used the encounter as a catalyst to dispose of two very vital members of the staff. 

I thought it was a clever bit of foreshadowing when just as she was leaving Cruz's office, the air conditioning finally kicked back on, much to the arrogant administrator's delight.

I think Cruz is going to quickly realize how those people he fired really were the lifeblood of the hospital. If he thought forcing uniform scrubs on the staff was a morality bomb, his latest actions will be Hiroshima-esque when the news hits the floor. Offsetting his loathsome game of tit for tat though, were a number of noteworthy gestures by others.

Eddie put a hole in Kevin's case by telling Jackie about the girls being in the room when Kevin did a dance of his own on the pharmacist's face. Zoey waited on line at the bank to get Lenny some euros for his trip to Greece, Akalitus brought O'Hara the fan and Coop was finally rewarded for his paternal gestures by being asked to go to the anatomy scan of O'Hara's baby. I loved how, despite her finally caving in and asking him, Eleanor still made him ride in the front seat of the livery car. 

Jackie once again showed her softer side to nursing by going out of her way to get the right popsicle for the elderly woman in her care while Thor did his best to brighten the outlook of Lady Gaga's dancer by showing her fake hips don't have to be square. His line about being all "cry-abetes" was one of the best Nurse Jackie quotes of the episode. 

Zoey delivered possibly the best performance of the episode. Whether it was her E.T. reference when telling Lenny she'll always be in his heart or her more sincere but just as heartfelt offer to move out to avoid Jackie possibly resenting her down the road, she delivered some of the episode's best moments while remaining out of the main story lines for the most part. 

Jackie asked Zoey to stay in the end, to help her avoid a relapse. The business with Cruz rocked her pretty hard as she lost two key people, who as she put it, enabled her to get better. Matters with Kevin seemed to be tilting in her favor as the episode came to a close, but it left me feeling like she was being set up to be blindsided by him.

I also felt like the warm and fuzzy mood at the Ob/Gyn office might end badly for Coop and Eleanor. Sonograms have always struck me as more nerve racking than enjoyable and the way that scene ended with Coop mentioning how he could see the spine made me worried that O'Hara could be in for some bad news with regard to her baby's health. Just something about the way he said it and how they cut away to the next scene struck me as odd. That said, O'Hara would have probably noticed if something was wrong, so I hope I was just being paranoid. 

Jackie is taking it one day at a time, but like she said, you don't get to keep everything you started with. As we approach the finale I can't help but feel there is still one major shoe left to drop on the good people at All Saints. Time will only tell. Until then, I am eager to hear what you thought about the episode as well as what the end of the season will bring. 


Editor Rating: 5.0 / 5.0
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User Rating:

Rating: 4.7 / 5.0 (16 Votes)

This was the most uncomfortable and touching episode for me to watch. I am hating on the nazi administrator. The fact that he made Jackie watch as he fired her co-workers truly demonstrates just how weak and out of control he is as a leader.The fact that his son at this point is basically a "walking corpse" because denial will kill him before addiction,demonstrates another facet of life out of control.So once again people under Cruz's management will suffer. I think it would be a cold day in hell before you see Dr. Cruz at a codependants anonymous meeting.He kept calling Jackie an addict with plenty of piss and vinegar spewing from his forked self rightous tongue,but what does that make his son?The final 5 minutes of the show had me in tears because when Jackie showed her vulnerable side to Zoe,it proves why Edie Falco was born to play this role.I work as a nurse and the question continues to ring though my mind. Who takes care of the caregivers? We have to look out and care for each other. That is the only way we can survive the storm.


I honestly thought Jackie and Cruz would have a thing for each other by the end of the season but last night's episode pretty much ended that illusion. Who wouldn't be an addict with a dad like that? Here's hoping the season end will find all the main characters back in place with Cruz transferred to a remote location.


I really think this season is the bomb! Everything has been coordinated so perfectly that I think Nurse Jackie will go on to a sixth season and BEYOND! The fourth season is outstanding as I was worried a bit about last years seasons and the fate of the show. However, the cast and producers pulled it together and now things are slowly unraveling. It's amazing....
I work in healthcare and know how stressful it can be, especially working those doubles! Edie Falco's character reminds me of myself; struggling with addiction under stressful situations, losing important co-workers, and how administration can make the rules as they go along to give everyone a hard time. Cruz is very good in this role, but yet I just hate him because I had several bosses like that!
Nevertheless, Jackie and the strong ones will make it under Cruz's control. Everyone has a point here on the post regarding the sonography. It does sound like a developmental disorder. Poor Dr. O'Hara. I can't wait to see the next episode and what others post on this blog.


I was frankly amazed by this episode. They took the show in places I never expected. Didn't think it would be possible to make Cruz into a more loathsome character, but they've done it. Childish, peevish, vindictive and cold: maybe someone will connect the dots for him, to show him what happened between him and his son. Since the show has a habit of being realistic in its approach to characters however, it's doubtful he'll ever see what a douche he's being. It will always be someone else's fault, not his. God I hate that man. : ) Loved that scene with Jackie and Zoey. I actually said out loud "I love that girl. I honestly love her" because I do. : ) Her sensitivity and "let it all out" personality just grows on you. She's learned to read Jackie quite well, hence her offer to move out. A-ma-zing. Mad props to the writers on this one!


I watched this episode three times last night. The thing with Cruz and his son was briliant. It is obvious that Cruz is pissed that his son is F'ed up and Jackie is not (Clever casting to use Bobby Cannavale's real life son as his on-camera son). He is clearly taking it out on Jackie. Cruz should be happy that his son had someone to call when he was obviously in a bad place... I know that there are Union rules that need to be followed in order to fire someone (HR has to be in the mix) so Cruz is crealy being set up for a HARD fall!! This is by far, the best season of Nurse Jackie. I cannot wait for next week's installment. BTW - Is Eve Best really pregnant; she does not seem like she is faking!?!


I agree that the sonogram scene ended on an ominous note.


Loved the episode title's homophone, kinda double, in the "hot and cold" in French, sounding like schadenfreud, or German for pleasure taken in another's misfortune.


this show has really stepped it up a gear this season. its managed to come back from a weak season last year, and is in my opinion, one of the best shows on tv. jackie splitting with kevin was a superb twist, and cruz has really shaken things up. i agree with you about zooey; her in the living room with kevin and jackie was brilliant; the way jackie clearly felt comfortable enough to have her around in that situation, shows how jackie is opening up, and accepting her as a friend. coop is brilliant. i felt last year that his character became a bit pointless; just doing silly things in the background. this baby storyline is so fitting for him; he so wants to help people, and i love that o'hara is letting him. would love to see this win best comedy or drama series at the emmys, it really deserves this. in my opinion, its easily up there with mad men


Interesting comment re. Coop seeing the spine. Could just be another example of his overeffusiveness leading to inarticulateness or it could be a lead-into discovering the fetus has spina bifida or similar. Cruz's reaction to Jackie seemed to be born at least in part out of his embarrassment at one of his staff knowing about his son - and also anger at this proof of his being out of control of things at the Hospital. Plus, he had been thinking that he and Jackie had a good working relationship and rapport. so he felt hurt and betrayed when confronted with just how little he actually knew. And, working at a hospital myself, I couldn't help but feel that, to be fair, a hospital can't afford to have drugs being distributed to/stolen by staff like candy. There are legitimate mechanisms for a clinical employee to get help kickign a drug problem vs. covering it up while pretending officially that nothing is wrong. Cruz was in a bad situation - however, it was obvious that he was reacting more out of anger and hurt than responsibility


I just wanted to say after a mediocre season last year, Nurse Jackie has really stepped it up. I think this is my favourite season to date. Good work all around.

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Nurse Jackie Season 4 Episode 8 Quotes

Did you sound even more Britishy just then?


What kind of fu-king character witness am i really? Fu-k a guys wife then pretend to be friends with him?