Thursday, September 23, 2010

Nip/Tuck: Shari Noble (4.4)

There is a lot of sexual chemistry in the scenes between Christian and Michelle. Well, he's Julian McMahon, so I'm sure he'd have sexual chemistry with a jar of tofu, but that's beside the point. What these two have is an irresistible connection, and their scenes in this episode sparkle with banter and secret longing. Michelle's back-story is particularly fun in its soapiness (anything with high-class call-girls and sexual blackmail is a win in my very trashy book), while Jacqueline Bisset is a revelation as James. I don't know if it's the accent or the take-no-prisoners attitude (or, you know, the fact that's she so cavalier in the whole 'smashing paperweights into the faces of pretty young women' department), but she's the show's finest femme fatale since Ava. Rawwr.

Outside of that storyline, however, this episode had problems. Sean's growing anger is obnoxious, while his hypocrisy once again is out of line. So he's allowed to bang whichever nutjob woman that comes into his life, but any hint of intimacy between Julia and the dwarf nanny means immediate dismissal for Peter Dinklage? Ugh. A lot of people disliked the Julia/Marlowe arc, but I actually think they have a lot of chemistry. Julia is lost in a sea of dysfunction 24/7, and Marlowe is somebody who really seems to understand her. They're kindred spirits in a way, even if Marlowe needs to ease back on the creepy murals.

Casting Laura Ingalls Wilder as a woman who has sex with dogs is pretty ingenious. But it does reflect a growing problem for this show. When the series' story benchmark is 'extreme', where can it go from there? We've already had secret transsexuals, white supremacists, rapist kidnappers; there needs to be some kind of limit, right? Peanut butter, nipple removals and dead dogs does not a fun hour make. This subplot was too icky even for me.

Shari Noble had undeniable problems, but there is still a confidence and a streamlined sense of barbed intelligence running through this season. Every one of our core characters is on a specific journey, and at least with Sean and Julia it seems to be with other people. The Michelle saga, too, is suddenly pretty engrossing. But that may just be my Jackie Bisset love talking. Love that lady. Also, as a side-note, this episode introduced me to Animotion's Obsession, now one of my favorite tracks ever. So thanks a lot, show. B

Guest stars Jacqueline Bisset (James); Peter Dinklage (Marlowe Sawyer); Sanaa Lathan (Michelle Landau); Jennifer Hall (Monica Wilder); Robert LaSardo (Escobar Gallardo); Julie Warner (Megan O'Hara); Monica Dean (Kidney Thief); Marianne Muellerleile (Mrs. Gunther); Dean Norris (Mark Noble); Meera Simhan (Dr. Meera Muthara); Melissa Gilbert (Shari Noble); Larry Hagman (Burt Landau)
Writer Jennifer Salt Director Nelson McCormick

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