Wednesday, December 8, 2010

Nip/Tuck: Reefer (4.13)

Like most storylines this season, I had mixed feelings about Wilber's return. As sad as it was, I liked the ending to his arc back in season two, and the personal growth Christian experienced. But to resurrect him in an already plot-heavy season is yet another decision I have trouble with. It also bothered me that Michelle had such a problem with the idea of being Wilber's mom until she discovered he was bi-racial. I understand that it would make it theoretically possible for her to be his actual mother, but it still rubbed me the wrong way.

Sean's breakdown and subsequent descent into a drunken wreck wasn't convincing. It's so interesting to see the radical differences the show employs from episode to episode. In Diana Lubey, Sean's sadness over Julia's departure was played with a subtlety that was pretty wonderful to watch. Here, emotions are forced and contrived, the idea of a character's sadness depicted through 'wacky' elf blow jobs and inappropriate consultations. Ugh.

The only real successful element of the episode was James. Jacqueline Bisset is a force of nature on this show, with her icy demeanor and cold, calculating evil lurking beneath the surface. She's ridiculously watchable, and the scene where she manipulated Reefer into drinking spiked wine was especially chilling.

Nip/Tuck in its nature swings tonally from scene to scene, but it's always a problem when the tone becomes so unnecessarily dumb. Reefer is a perfect example of that, an episode brought down by its latent stupidity. The performances are universally great here, but too much of it was plain silly. C

Guest stars Jacqueline Bisset (James); Alanis Morissette (Poppy); Sanaa Lathan (Michelle Landau); Lisa Ann Walter (Mrs. Hickock); Derek Webster (Wendell Sutherland); Ivar Brogger (FBI Agent); Debbie Lee Carrington (Merrily); Jack Yang (Chiyo); Charles Haid (Reefer)
Writers Lyn Greene, Richard Levine Director Lyn Greene

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