Wednesday, March 16, 2011

Nip/Tuck: August Walden (5.13)

There was a beautiful moment this episode, with Julia finally acknowledging the fact that she has once again completely screwed up her own life. She had a new romantic opportunity with Olivia, but blew it by once again jumping into the sack with Christian. Now, months down the line, Christian is once again banging random women on the dining room table. What I loved about this scene was Joely's ability to convey complete disappointment and abject resignation to the fact that Christian is incapable of change. She had a fantasy of the two of them together, and regardless of her recent sickness, he would have still screwed her over. She's a fuck-up, but at least she knows it.

While her affair came to an end, Julia also discovered Eden's recent escapades with mercury and a cook book. Try and ignore the fact that Julia did the stupid 'helpless victim in a horror movie' thing of being unarmed and confronting the villain before telling anybody else about what she had learned, and instead acknowledge that she did actually stand up for herself. She can be pretty badass when she wants to be. Eden, too, surprised me at the end of this episode, exploding into a murderous frenzy with firearms and catty takedowns. Even AnnaLynne McCord managed to sell it, for once.

Less successful was practically everything else. I liked the knowing humor of the 'Previously on...' sequence with the rundown of Matt's exes (the porn star, the incestuous transsexual, the other transsexual, the Nazi, the other porn star), but it didn't disguise the fact that it's no longer fun nor surprising to see him wrapped up in a nightmare relationship, this time with his own sister. Gah. He's just an awful, awful person. First trashing Rachel and attempting to make her feel like absolute garbage, and then hunting down some skeezy incest website to try and convince Emme that their relationship is fine. I just can't anymore.

Even worse than that shitbox was the weird story with Sean and the abusive Entertainment Weekly critic. How was this supposed to make us feel? Was it a commentary on how plastic surgeon Sean doesn't like being critiqued himself? Were we supposed to laugh when August Walden got hot coffee thrown in his face? Is it funny to have Kate, in her last appearance, wisecracking about food being the one thing that's stopping her from killing herself? This whole subplot was like a Twilight Zone of absurdity.

I'm at the point where I feel Nip/Tuck is comfortable with introducing a couple of intriguing storylines each season while filling in the edges with whatever crazy shit they can think of. Here we have some decent Julia drama, along with baggage about incest, secret children and comedy suicide. Ugh. Another misfire. C-

Guest stars Portia de Rossi (Olivia Lord); Paula Marshall (Kate Tinsley); AnnaLynne McCord (Eden Lord); Maggie Siff (Rachel Ben Natan); Steven J. Oliver (August Walden); Jeannine Kaspar (Emme Lowell); David Giuntoli (Evan)
Writer Sean Jablonski Director Sean Jablonski

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