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NURSE JACKIE 3.12 ‘…Deaf Blind Tumor Pee-Test’

Jackie learns her better half just might be worse than she is when Kevin drops by the ER.

Episode Title: "…Deaf Blind Tumor Pee-Test"

Writer: Liz Brixius

Director: Linda Wallem

Story:

Fiona (Mackenzie Aladjem) makes a date to play with matches in the school cafeteria while at All Saints, Akalitus (Anna Deavere Smith) tells Jackie (Edie Falco) that HR demands all nurses take a mandatory urine test. Kelly (Gbenga Akinnagbe) who admits to smoking pot on occasion, unloads a bag full of supplements to beat the test and offers them to Jackie but she declines.

Cooper (Peter Facinelli) stops by the nurses' station to remind everyone about his wedding, later that day. Lenny (Lenny Jacobson) brings in a man with a pipe through his stomach. He insists O'Hara (Eve Best) send him straight to surgery rather than stabilize him. She relents and deals with a deaf, blind patient who comes in directly afterwards. Jackie calls the man's brother, who happens to be the man with the pipe in his stomach. He tells Zoey (Merritt Wever) to have Jackie write in his hand to communicate with him. She tells the man his brother is ok.

At school, Fiona is in the principal's office after getting caught playing with matches. Meanwhile, Kevin (Dominic Fumusa) tries to reach Jackie on her cell phone but she ignores the calls. Kevin calls Eddie (Paul Schulze) but Jackie tells him not to pick up. Kevin tells Eddie to have Jackie call him as he heads into the girls' school. 

Jackie and Cooper treat a crackhead vegetarian who ate two pounds of bacon. In the next bed, a hospital administrator wants to send the deaf, blind patient home but Jackie tells her he needs to go up to ICU. She has Thor (Stephen Wallem) reunite the man with his brother.

Outside, Zoey delivers Coop's wedding cake to Jackie, who watches as his fiance runs off. Inside the chapel, Coop waits nervously for his bride to arrive but she doesn't show. Jackie pulls Cooper aside to console him and Akalitus thanks him for getting the statues back. Zoey gives Cooper a tiny stuffed animal and everyone sings happy birthday to him. Eddie joins Coop in the pedicab he reserved for the wedding.

Kevin shows up in the ER with Grace (Ruby Jerins) and Fiona. Zoey goes off to find Jackie whose submitting urine to Akalitus. O'Hara warns Jackie about Kevin. The two bust in on a dead woman getting her last rites.O'Hara whisks the girls off while Jackie and Kevin go talk in the basement. 

Kevin tells Jackie whatever they're doing as parents is messing up the girls. He then admits to having an affair. He tells her it's over and it won't happen again. Jackie doesn't know what to say and then tells Kevin to pack his bags. Meanwhile, Akalitus dumps the urine samples and says "f*#k 'em."

Breakdown:

I'm not sure who to feel worse for, Coop or Kevin? Both men are out of touch with reality, it seems, but Kevin's confession to Jackie, and her subsequent reaction, just might top Cooper's hospital wedding debacle.

The notion that Kevin might step outside his rocky marriage doesn't come as a shocker after an old friend made the suggestion, earlier in the season. And I suppose when you're caught up in drama of your own creation, it's easy to miss the theatrics going on right in front of you. Yes, Jackie's a good liar but even she can't cover every single track she leaves. Zoey's over-the-top hospitality to "Mr. Jackie Peyton" was yet another smack in the back of the head that Kevin just didn't feel. 

Meanwhile, Jackie, knowing full well just how badly she's played her husband, didn't take the opportunity to come clean, herself. If there was ever an opportunity for Jackie to begin to try to make things right with Kevin, it was that moment in the basement of All Saints. Without getting into the very gory details, Jackie might have been able to wipe the slate mostly clean with Kevin. 

But a clear conscience is not what Jackie wants. It's control. And when Kevin introduced some outside interference of his own into the situation, Jackie went on the offensive. And after three seasons of learning just what makes her tick, is anyone really surprised by Jackie's reaction?

The dissolution of Jackie and Kevin's marriage has been a long time coming and it's ground I'm glad the writers broke this season. At the same, it's also been interesting to watch a few unexpected characters dip into moral ambiguity, as well. Kelly is a pathological liar, O'Hara likes to play sexual mind games from time to time, Zoey flirts with cute patients with her EMT boyfriend just a few feet away, Akalitus gives HR the middle finger and Kevin cheats on Jackie. All of this adds another layer of complexity to a show whose protagonist is fascinating and complicated enough to carry the whole series, if need be.

As for the comedic notes in finale, Cooper's no-show wedding was a bit anti-climatic. The storyline is probably my least favorite in this show's three season run. I'm just hoping mopey, sullen Cooper bucks up in time for next season.

And of course, I'm going to go on about Zoey, as usual. Her obsequious welcome to Kevin and the girls was hysterical. Also, squealing in the bathroom while Jackie and O'Hara freak out about Kevin was the kind of moment when "Nurse Jackie" excels as a dramedy. Heart racing and gut busting at the same time.

Thankfully, we'll get plenty more of "Nurse Jackie's" zany, twisted blend of black comedy when the show returns for a fourth season, next year.

Crave Online Rating: 9 out of 10.