Nurse Jackie: Season 5, Episode 10

Soul (16 Jun. 2013)

TV Episode  -   -  Comedy | Drama
8.6
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Season 5 finale. It's Jackie's one year anniversary of sobriety and she and Frank fight about their relationship. Zoey acts very professional and rigid around Prentiss after their intimate ... See full summary »

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Title: Soul (16 Jun 2013)

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Season 5 finale. It's Jackie's one year anniversary of sobriety and she and Frank fight about their relationship. Zoey acts very professional and rigid around Prentiss after their intimate evening. Carrie's peer review does not go well. Grace has a breakdown about Jackie. Jackie takes something she shouldn't have. Written by Anonymous

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16 June 2013 (USA)  »

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Season 5: Feels like a holding pattern – OK but doesn't build or flow in a satisfying way (MASSIVE SPOILERS)
6 August 2013 | by (Birmingham, UK) – See all my reviews

It is difficult to talk about season 5 without watching the sixth season that will screen next year. The main reason for this is the last minute ending which sees Jackie nonchalantly taking drugs before going to her one year sobriety anniversary. It is sudden and hard to say if it represents a sudden return or that somehow she fooled everyone around her and the viewer. Logic says this was her sudden failure (since she took a blood test in front of others several times) but on the face of it, it didn't make sense and felt like a cheap trick to yet again put the drug addiction struggle very much back on the table – just like it has done every season so far more or less. It will be down to season 6 to see what they do with this, but on the face of it it does appear to be a last minute flick of the switch to reset us back into addiction and start the same plots again but with some new characters floating around.

Time will tell but for this season it did feel like it was on an odd auto-pilot where it was amusing without every being hilarious and engaging but always in a superficial way. Jackie's relationship with Frank feels a bit odd, like she knows she should have passion or excitement or sparks, but in reality just feels safe and looks at him as a bigger picture rather than in detail – this is sort of how the season felt, it delivered what you expect and it worked as such but really it was playing it safe, delivering small movements but nothing overly dramatic or meaningful really comes of it in the grand scheme of things. We get dramatic moments but mostly they occur in isolation and lead nowhere beyond producing some moments in the instant.

The season starts with a bit of a reboot, which doesn't help the feeling. We get a frantic sequence of dialogue where we get an update on what happened between the end of the last season and the start of this one – it is in a rush to get to the desired start point but not do the work to get there itself. Then we have some characters moved on and new ones moved in; some of these work really well (Prentiss) whereas some are pretty poor (Carrie). From here we have a gentle plot that has much to enjoy but generally doesn't go anywhere and doesn't have many rough edges to it. Things happen without context or consequence and generally it feels like we are filling time rather than moving forward. I suspect that the next season will see the makers try to restart the same plots but I hope I am wrong.

It just about works though, thanks to the investment of the viewer but also to the performances. Falco remains committed and strong in the role and I hope the show rewards her with better material next season. Best leaves and, although it helps to freshen up the show, it only works if they do something to fill the gap. Chestnut is part of this and he works very well, good presence and a nice dynamic in the show, but the addition of Gilpin is weak – her character is rubbish and her performance mostly matches accordingly, it is telling that if you look at her message board on this site, the only thread with active comments is about the size of her breasts. Schulze and Fumusa are mostly sidelined while Smith is stuck with one of the pointless "go nowhere" plots. Jerins is asked to work hard with the plot around Grace and she does well but mostly this doesn't have the impact I would have liked. Facinelli matures his character a bit which I liked and of course Wever continues to be great. Wallem's Thor continues not to appeal to me although used sparingly he is OK.

Overall season 5 is OK – nothing special but it does the basics well enough to be enjoyable and engaging even if it ultimately is unsatisfying thanks to how empty a lot of the drama feels. The finale throws the whole season into question as a filler and suggests that the writers go back to an easy square 1 for the next season, but we'll see what they do next season. This will do, but the next season really needs to deliver something more than this and the fourth season have.


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