"Jackie, we're talking about the seamless integration of man and machine! Step! Into the Future!" She explains to him that the Pyxis is not only an insult to nurses, but is also squeezing Eddie out of a job. Suddenly, Coop realizes that she's there on her own behalf, and not like as his Jiminy Cricket or whatever; that she's not urging him to give his own two cents to the board, but hers. Which has been obvious since she walked in and told him that, but whatever. His feelings aren't even really hurt. "How about next time you need a favor just ask, huh?" Ugh, if that's the price, these mental noogies... She takes off, but he decides it's worth trying again, this time humiliating her with questions about the "little crush on Eddie" he's somehow uncovered by reading between the lines of their conversation. He's a regular Nancy Drew, old Coop:
"Yeah. That's it, 'Coop,' I have a huge crush on Eddie. In fact, we fuck every day at noon. You're a moron."
12:01 and guess what's up. "How are we on time," Eddie gasps out, and with her forehead against his, sitting in his lap in his pneumatic chair, she answers. "We're good. Just don't get fancy."
Then it's later and Mrs. Zimberg is feeding him chicken soup. That was what was in the bag. She makes Jackie smell it, and it's amazing. Zimberg swears that it's kept him alive two years longer than predicted; it's all he needs. Jackie tries to underscore that Eleanor is a very good doctor, and that her evaluation can be trusted: Zimberg needs a consult and therapy. They both protest, and Mrs. Z levels: "He's had enough. Trust us."
"They don't call chicken soup Jewish Penicillin for nothing," Zimberg says. "It's all about faith." About faith, about love, about life in the Balkans. "It's a cure-all," Mrs. Z says. "Back in ancient times, a Jewish mystic blessed the first pot, and to this day there's a little magic in every pot. True or not, it's a nice story." Jackie smiles. "We'll go with true." She wants to believe.
"Attagirl!" Zimberg shouts, and Jackie laughs. "So, let's be clear. You are refusing medical treatment, and choosing to eat soup, instead." It's not really something she needs to clarify, unless Akalitus comes running, because she loves them and they deserve to enjoy some soup. His ass is dying, and all three of them know it. But life in the Balkans is like this: You're old enough, or wise enough, to look it in the face. Or you get that way PDQ. Whatever it is, you look at it -- death, sadness, horrors, cold, mistakes, pain, suffering unimaginable -- and you don't blink. You blink, people die. You weep, people die. You say anything but the truth, shining like a harsh winter sun, it doesn't make it better, it makes it worse. And for this strength, this cruel firmness, you are rewarded with something more valuable than any comfort: you have the truth. That's what Jackie gives, and all she's doing now is confirming that all three of them are strong enough to look.