Nurse Jackie Review: Where There's Smoke, There's Fired
Well, like Jackie, we made it! We made it through another great season highlighted by a truly amazing finale. "Handle Your Scandal" incorporated just about every aspect of this series that has endeared it so much to its fans.
Yes, it was a bit hokey at times, like the bar scenes with Eddie and Gloria, but there was also some comedic brilliance - such as when Jackie and Eddie were trying to pack a hospital bag for O'Hara at her house, as I noted in this week's best Nurse Jackie quotes. The staff of nurses also dealt with the usual array of patients, which is always good for a few morbid laughs... from the guy who tried to iron his shirt while still wearing it to the man who hounded Zoey for his Jell-O.
All Saints was not all laughs, though, as Mike Cruz erased any shred of respect I had been clinging onto for his character. I had tried to give him the benefit of the doubt despite being such an arrogant ignoramus, having seen several acts of good will on his part toward the likes of O'Hara and Jackie.
As he held up our heroine's nurse's badge like some schoolyard bully, however, until he got the insubordination he needed to fire her, I found myself despising him as much as I ever have any character on television.
You mess with the bull, you get the horns. Was Cruz serious with that Breakfast Club threat? Man, I wanted to puke when he said that, but Jackie does have a little John Bender in her I guess.
One good thing to come out of her termination of course was Jackie's mad dash to pull Grace out of her old school and finally enlist her in the one of her choice. After butting heads with her oldest for so long and constantly struggling to maintain her parental distance, I loved the exchange where she spoke to her daughter without pretense or any kind of filter about why she lost her job.
Coop continued to become more irresistible and less buffoon like, right up to the season's closing scenes. It was such a touching moment when O'Hara assured him that he was not going to get traded in for Jackie. That scene, along with the one where Eleanor pleaded with him to not pursue the donor's identity, were two of their best exchanges to date.
No amount of dazzle camouflage could hide yet another stellar performance from Zoey. From initiating the nurse station slow clap to the maturity she displayed by approaching Cruz with her book of knowledge, tonight was a great finish to what has been a breakout season for her.
Alas, poor Charlie, unlike his partner in sobriety, did not make it. As much as I disliked Cruz by the end of the episode I still could not help but feel for him as he stood helpless over his son's dead body. A very sobering end (no pun intended) to the season was also coupled, however, with the celebrated birth of O'Hara's baby and the self admonition by Jackie that she had made it.
Against all odds, with her back to the wall and her feet in the fire, she held strong and persevered. Amen, Jackie, and everyone who had a hand in this tremendous season.