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‘Nurse Jackie’ Review: “Day of the Iguana”

Nurse Jackie
Showtime

Breaking up is hard to do this week, on ‘Nurse Jackie,’ as Zoey (Merritt Wever) collected break-up speeches from her co-workers to use on Lenny and Jackie (Edie Falco) met with a high-powered divorce attorney, courtesy of O’Hara. But is Jackie ready to smear mud on Kevin’s character in order to keep her kids?

While Jackie balks at the idea of labeling Kevin an ill-fit father, O’Hara (Eve Best) insists she load up all the ammo she can, including the detached retina Kevin gave Eddie. It’s a tough call for Jackie, who’s in the process of trying to build up her own character, at the urging of her lawyer.

At the All Saints nurses station, Zoey consults with Thor (Stephen Wallem) and Coop (Peter Facinelli) on how best to break up with Lenny. The end result is amalgamation of break-up cliches culled from across the ER floor. The super-laid back Lenny (Lenny Jacobson) takes the break-up in stride, telling Zoey to go to Paris while he goes to Zales to return the ring. Though hard to do, breaking-up can also be really funny.

‘Nurse Jackie’ is known for it’s heartfelt subplots and this week’s was a sweet one. A former All Saints nurse and Akalitus’ old flame, Dick is admitted to the hospital, now a patient suffering from dementia. Jackie suggests letting Dick, who thinks he’s still a nurse in the seventies, tag along on the floor, rather than keep trying to remind him what century it is. The result is a trip down memory lane for Akalitus (Anna Deavere Smith) and Dick giving a much needed apology to a high school science teacher, after he’s dropped during a gurney transfer. ‘Nurse Jackie’s’ got a lot of heart and it beats strongly in these tender storylines.

Now that she needs to document her twelve steps to bolster her mommy cred, Jackie heads to a meeting with Charlie (Jake Cannavale). Things go awry when Jackie unknowingly takes a sip of Charlie’s Vicodin-spiked smoothie. He swats the drink out of her hand and the two are kicked out of the meeting. Another break-up ensues, this time it’s Jackie dumping Charlie, as he’s a serious threat to her sobriety.

Later that night, Jackie gets a call from Charlie while in Cruz’ office, where she asks him for a character reference. Charlie’s gotten himself locked up on his eighteenth birthday and in need of a bailout. Jackie picks up her young friend and escorts him home, to await his father. It’s a reveal we’ve been waiting for and it didn’t disappoint. Cruz (Bobby Cannavale) arrives and jaws are dropped on both sides, as he and Jackie are completely dumbfounded by their fateful connection.

Mike Cruz and Jackie Peyton have a lot in common. Besides working at All Saints, they’re both divorcees, or soon to be in Jackie’s case, and both have plenty of room to improve as parents. Interestingly, Cruz tells Jackie he’ll have to make a leap of faith in writing her character reference, as he barely knows her.

Well, he sure does now. And Jackie suddenly knows Cruz in a way she didn’t before. And with that, the question of character takes on a whole new twist…

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