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Review: Nip/Tuck - Alexis Stone

by Jonathan Toomey, posted Nov 19th 2009 11:46AM
Vanessa Redgrave as Dr. Erica Noughton on Nip/Tuck.
(S06E06) "That's the wonderful thing about raising children -- they keep you young!" - Erica

With Teddy's murder now come and gone (I could go on for hours about how displeased I still am with the way her story ended), Nip/Tuck returned to safe territory last night in "Alexis Stone" by bringing back one of the most loved (and hated) characters to ever grace the show -- Julia's mother, Dr. Erica Noughton (played to icy perfection by Vanessa Redgrave). With Erica around, conflict is always guaranteed and this was no exception. Calling her the mother (and mother-in-law) from hell would be the understatement of the year.

After Sean's almost suicidal skinny dip in last week's closing seconds, he finds himself hospitalized in a psych ward staring down the one woman he likely wanted to see least. After all these years and all the turmoil she's put her own daughter through, it's a wonder why Julia ever called Erica for help, but that's besides the point. She's back and, smart woman that she is, Erica made quick use of the situation for her own benefit.

How long was unclear, but Erica has been married to a young Italian stud named Reynaldo and it seems as though there's trouble in paradise. He's wanted kids for some time and, withered old bag that she is, Erica obviously can't provide that service any longer. So she used Sean's breakdown as an opportunity to take custody of Annie and Connor. It's not like she didn't make valid points -- Annie eats hair, Sean married a murderer, Julia suddenly became a lesbian and dated a woman with a daughter her poisoned her -- and coupled with Matt's "they're bad parents" testimony, it looks like Erica might actually pull this off.

As gripping as the whole scenario is, it still feels like just a tiny bump in the road but I have hopes for where it might lead to. There are only 13 episodes left in Nip/Tuck's run (four this season, nine next year) and it would make sense for things to start building to an ending now. With Julia now planning to move to L.A. to help win custody of the kids with Sean, Erica's lawsuit could feasibly turn into the impetus for bringing the McNamaras back together as a family and that's a story I think most fans could get behind.

The same goes for Christian and Kimber. The will-they-or-won't-they get together shenanigans between these two has been going on since the pilot episode when Kimber was just a one-night stand for Dr. Troy, but again, the way this episode went between them suggests that it might finally be building towards an end.

Christian is softening -- he agreed to do Alexis' sexual reassignment surgery after he screwed her (him?) and even Liz is on speaking terms with Christian again -- and Kimber called it all off with Mike after fantasizing about her former lover during sex. There's clearly still chemistry here and with such little time left in the show's lifespan, sparks need to fly soon or why bother at all?

A few more thoughts --

  • Matt is still the only one left in any sort of limbo here and if we assume this as the turning point for everyone else, then it may be the end for him as well. Maybe it's time for him to start embracing who he is and what he's done -- taking Erica's advice and being somebody's bitch might not be that bad of an idea. Maybe he'll bump into Merrill Bobolit in prison?
  • Think there's any chance Erica might actually agree to let Sean operate on her and take off a few years? It could be a chance for him to finally get some revenge should he be so bold.

[Watch clips and full episodes of Nip/Tuck over at SlashControl.]

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Rick

Am I the only one that's really disappointed in the direction the show is going? A custody battle seems like territory that's been strip mined by so many previous shows. It's so... safe, for a show like Nip/Tuck. I watch this for my weekly train-wreck. There are plenty of other mainstream dramas for the tame stuff.

November 22 2009 at 12:12 AM Report abuse rate up rate down Reply
2 replies to Rick's comment
angelina

Definitely! I think nip/tuck has jumped the shark (TV term referring to a show that has lost what's made it unique in pursuit of the outrageous and non-entertaining.) [i.e. when Fonzie jumped the shark tank in the last throws of Happy Days.] As much as I've enjoyed the story lines and the way it never takes itself too seriously, it's been all drama lately, and lame ones at that.
You're right. These stories are too grim and not scintillating, at the very least nip/tuck usually delivers on that...
Also they should have never recast Teddie. They should have just left it alone and moved on to another outrageous story, the audience had no investment in her other than Katee Sackoff. In fact, she was the reason I decided to watch the show in the first place, heard she was a guest star.

November 26 2009 at 8:06 AM Report abuse rate up rate down Reply
Miguel

Angela,

I think it's kind of funny that you're saying the show has jumped the shark, considering you only began watching it a year ago and have not yet seen the previous four seasons. I don't think your quite allowed to make that assessment as a new viewer.

Rick,

A custody battle hasn't been that far off from stuff Nip/Tuck has done in the past. If you think back, in season two the custody battle between Gina and Christian over Wilbur was gripping and emotional stuff.

I personally would like Nip/Tuck to tone itself down a little bit. It was much better in it's first and second season, before all the characters ridiculous antics made them mere caricatures of their former well-developed characters. While this isn't the best plot line the show has developed, I don't think the solution to the shows subpar quality is more insane antics, such as Teddy randomly encountering a serial killer.

*sigh* Oh, well, it was good to have Erica and Julia back again, bickering as usual. Reminded me of the good old days.

December 05 2009 at 12:37 AM Report abuse rate up rate down Reply
JD

Anybody know who the actress was that played Alexis Stone? thnx

November 19 2009 at 1:18 PM Report abuse rate up rate down Reply
1 reply to JD's comment
kate

Candis Cayne. I recognized her from Dirty Sexy Money.

http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Candis_Cayne

November 19 2009 at 2:38 PM Report abuse rate up rate down Reply

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