Sunday, May 8, 2011

Nip/Tuck: Allegra Caldarello (5.21)

The show played Sean's denial really well here, tying in several other subplots to create a well-crafted character-driven storyline. It's interesting that there also seems to be some regret on his part about his own life. The final scene, in which we see that old college video of the three of them, sees a young Sean talking about wanting to "make a difference", something he hasn't arguably done. He's in his mid-forties, still clinging to this partnership, and living a pretty unfulfilled and empty existence. Annoying Teddy claims to be there for him, but that's not really true. This theme of regret and disappointment plays into the final season a whole lot, and we're seeing the first hints at that here.

The return of Allegra wasn't disappointing. She ranks up there among the most memorable Nip/Tuck patients, a character written in to the show when the writers weren't intent on filling the patient's backstories with sexual dysfunction and inherent craziness. Elaine Hausman once again played the character with a naive, vulnerable quality that made her so endearing the first time around. It was a well-written story, too, all about loss and moving on after death. Her husband was a little douchey, but his heart was in the right place.

I'm still bothered by the absurdity of the Christian and Liz relationship (Liz is becoming stupider every week), but I liked the character growth she was given via the appearance of her mother. Mariela was a heartless hag, and I loved Liz's monologue where she finally stood up to her. I kind of wish this story occurred during a stronger story arc (not this ridiculous shark-jumper), but I'll take what I can get when it comes to decent Liz stories.

Finally, we had Logan Taper. Great work by Richard Burgi (who is always reliable for sleazy horndog characters), but the story was once again Nip/Tuck reaching out for whatever obscure sexual practice they can get their hands on. This one wasn't all that shocking either, various shows having already depicted objectophilia. Meh.

Maybe I'm just getting cabin fever, but this episode wasn't all that bad. It successfully used the stronger elements of all the awful story arcs currently at work, minimizing the use of Liz trying to justify her marriage and cutting down on scenes involving Teddy. Great music this week, too. B

Guest stars Katee Sackhoff (Dr. Teddy Rowe); Elaine Hausman (Allegra Caldarello); Richard Portnow (Manny Caldarello); Lillian Hurst (Mariela Cruz); Dot-Marie Jones (Tess); Pierrino Mascarino (Tito); Richard Burgi (Dr. Logan Taper)
Writer Sean Jablonski Director Sean Jablonski

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