Friday, September 24, 2010

Nip/Tuck: Dawn Budge (4.5)

You can almost forgive the show for it's contrived fast-forwarding of the Christian and Michelle relationship. If there's one thing you can expect from Nip/Tuck, it's rapid acceleration to get to a certain plot point. If you ignore their annoying professions of love for one another, you finally get to the storyline gold: Christian's interaction with James is vintage show. She's a beautiful older woman with maximum sex appeal, he can't contain himself -- if it weren't for the fact that she's a crazy blackmailer. Their scenes glimmer with sexual tension, and it's so, so awesome to see.

The Michelle storyline here takes a detour into another story arc: the arrival of white trash lottery winner Dawn Budge. Rosie O'Donnell (who the far majority of the time is an intelligent woman, great interviewer and talented performer) is a revelation in the role, capturing Dawn's delusions over her wealth as well as her latent vulnerability perfectly. She strikes that tricky note where she's both outlandish and comedic, but also human. Sure, it's fun when she mentions Britney Spears and K-Fed during sex with Christian, but there's a sadness to her: money can't buy you happiness. It's a theme echoed with James. Blackmail is fun and you may get something financial from it, but it can't get James the one thing in her life that's unattainable: Michelle's heart. I'm sure she could literally get it (she's handy with a scalpel...), but I doubt she'd go so far.

Sean continues to showcase his deluded parenting abilities with his ingenious idea to bribe Matt away from Scientology. Kimber was pretty spectacular here, even if she is becoming less and less sympathetic as the series goes on. I loved Julia's little smackdown about the number of men in her life that Kimber has gotten her claws into. Meow.

One of my favorite Nip/Tuck scenes is the closing of this episode, with the intercut unfolding of Sean and Julia's renewing of their wedding vows, and James and Michelle's kidney-thievin' hijinks. The Rolling Stones track is stunning, and the revelation of James' real job is inspired. The fact that she runs an organ-harvesting escort ring is so batshit insane that it's almost believable. God, I love this show.

Dawn Budge effortlessly folds together a variety of juicy subplots, featuring some of the best character interaction displayed on this show in an age. It's a real heavyweight hour in terms of story structure, every cast member getting their moment to shine as well as a scene-stealing special guest appearance. A+

Guest stars Jacqueline Bisset (James); Rosie O'Donnell (Dawn Budge); Sanaa Lathan (Michelle Landau); Misti Traya (Mallory Budge); William Allen Young (Mr. Staubeck); Kelsey Lynn Batelaan (Annie McNamara); Adria Dawn (Parker); Randee Heller (Saleswoman); Daniel Wantland (Dwight Budge)
Writer Elodie Keene Director Hank Chilton

No comments:

Post a Comment