Thursday, December 16, 2010

Nip/Tuck: Willy Ward (4.14)

Season four continues to unravel at the seams, with multiple storylines crashing in on one another, and all of them pretty lazy. James, as wonderful as she was, is here depicted as a complete cartoon of a villainness. The show may as well have asked Jacqueline Bisset to grow a pencil mustache that she could twirl whenever James comes up with evil plan. We already knew that James was ruthless (just see the mess she made with Reefer last episode), but adding 'potential child-killer' to her rap sheet was a little contrived. It obviously made her final monologue a little more affecting, but I'm not sure it was really worth it in the first place. However, Bisset was pretty damn extraordinary in this part, and ranks up there with Famke Janssen in the 'bad-ass bitch' department.

Gina is a character who, through her brief reappearances throughout the series, has become less and less 'real'. Like James here, she too has become a cartoon. There's absolutely no character growth here. Once again, Gina arrives with her signature retort to Christian, before claiming that she's clean, sane and together. Then it turns out she's still as batshit as always. Jessalyn Gilsig is fantastic in this part, but Gina as a character has gotten old.

The Matt and Kimber subplot was another heap of stupid, even if it did contain that great Xenu scene. The scenes with the porno crew were awful (John Hensley just can't do comedy, seriously), and only highlighted how little chemistry the two of them have. I get that that's sort of the point - that they're so wrong for each other - but, either way, it just didn't work.

This was a busy episode, filled with a series of rushed conclusions to the various plot strands season four has served up. Each story was flawed in some way, some even spoiling once-great characters like James and Gina. And, with the rushed demise of the Liz/Poppy relationship, we have a great casting coup in Alanis Morissette being undermined by the fact that the show did absolutely nothing with her. Which is disappointing. C

Guest stars Jacqueline Bisset (James); Alanis Morissette (Poppy); Jessalyn Gilsig (Gina Russo); Sanaa Lathan (Michelle Landau); Robert LaSardo (Escobar Gallardo); Ronn Lucas (Willy Ward); Robyn Lively (Miss Hudson); Lorna Raver (Lena Workman); James Eckhouse (Dr. Schwartz); Adria Dawn (Poppy)
Writer Jennifer Salt Director Michael M. Robin

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