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Review: Nip/Tuck - Benny Nilsson

by Jonathan Toomey, posted Dec 10th 2009 10:25AM
Dylan Walsh and Neil Hopkins
(S06E09) "Being related by blood doesn't make a family." - Christian

As Nip/Tuck's penultimate season winds down, I'm having a hard time getting excited for next week's finale knowing that the final season kicks off right after the New Year on January 6th. With only a few weeks in-between the episodes, next week doesn't feel like the event that a Nip/Tuck finale usually is. Regardless, FX's scheduling plans were obviously not on the table when Ryan Murphy and Co. shot these final episodes and as far the creative team was concerned, it was business as usual. Despite a few odd plot choices, "Benny Nilsson" set-up what could arguably be McNamara/Troy's biggest challenge yet -- staying in business.

First things first -- those odd plot choices. I could be wrong, but I'm fairly certain that Sean's allegedly dead brother Brendan has been brought up before, though it's been many seasons since it was discussed. The same goes for Christian's childhood and the foster father who molested him. Both of these plots are serious throwbacks to Nip/Tuck's glory days and from a viewer's standpoint, I had reconciled them and moved on. From the character's standpoint, I thought they had too.

So to have both those stories resurface again, this late in the game, felt a little forced. The reasoning was sound -- to make the argument for who you can and can't trust when it comes to family -- but these two plots were so far removed from the world of McNamara/Troy at this point, that I'm not sure they were the best options to tell this particular story.

Despite my complaints, it reaffirmed some traits about Sean and Christian that we've known all along, but as the show winds down, the refresher certainly didn't hurt. These two men are brothers for all intents and purposes and while Christian will never admit it, he needs Sean more than Sean needs him. Which is why Christian did whatever he could to turn Sean against his actual blood relative, Brendan, once he realized that Brendan could become an obstacle to his needs. Christian might help Sean get out of jam now then, but at least Sean tries to learn from his mistakes. Christian doesn't, nor does he try to.

Christian is literally burying the business behind his mountain of debt and once Sean finds out that his signature was forged on the loan Christian took out, I doubt things will go well. We know business has been slow and the two of them have done their fair share of pro-bono surgeries this season, so the money isn't flowing. Add in staff salaries, the loss of Dr. Hamoui's supplementary income, general operating costs... this is the challenge I spoke of.

It's looking more and more like the door's of McNamara/Troy will be closed for good when the series finale airs on March 3rd. It would make sense, though, should the plot head in that direction. We've seen these two live life to the excess for ages now and watching it crash down would be sort of a fitting end.

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

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Who was the actress who played the IRS agent at the start of the Benny Nilsson episode?

December 11 2009 at 6:02 PM Report abuse rate up rate down Reply
1 reply to jk's comment

Erin Cummings

December 12 2009 at 11:25 AM Report abuse rate up rate down Reply

Maybe I'm the loner in this opinion here, but I've always enjoyed the humorous and funny episodes more than the dark, serious ones. And for some reason the writers just don't get it - they keep hashing out these episodes that are so dark and serious, when the show's plotline is too ridiculous to be really taken seriously. The show has gone downhill since the early seasons because of that. One season in particular was unbearable - the one where Sean had all those problems with Julia and his son. I agree with the above poster than Julia and Sean's son have been sucking the life out of the show. The season with Rosie O'Donnell was pretty entertaining.

I think the writers haven't done a great job of character development either - Christian was such a jerk in this episode that it's hard to really care what happens to him, and Sean has been the same way in previous episodes. These guys are idiots! I guess I'll likely watch it through since I've come so far now just to see what happens in the end, but I'm not holding my breath for anything impressive.

December 11 2009 at 11:15 AM Report abuse rate up rate down Reply


Actually, Season Five was unaffected by the strike. What I mean to say is, they had ALWAYS intended there to be a break in Season Five. The writers have stated this, and I think it's quite obvious too, based on how the last episode of the first half is clearly meant as a mid-season finale, not as an episode made the finale because of the Strike.

December 10 2009 at 6:41 PM Report abuse rate up rate down Reply

Jonathan, season five was always going to be broken up into two sections. The writer's strike was responsible for making the break longer than originally planned--part two was supposed to start in early fall 2008, but instead premiered January '09.

Also, Sean having a brother was never once mentioned before this episode -- which makes the storyline all the more inane, but whatever.

December 10 2009 at 6:15 PM Report abuse rate up rate down Reply
leigh daniel

See i watch the show over here in the UK, it had been popular over here till season four ish when viewership went down and the channel who imported it here decided to not review the contract, however it still has a big following here due to DVD sales and word of mouth. I for one will not like March, and one of my favourite tv programs of all time will sadly come to a close. Favourite season, well how can you beat last years?!

December 10 2009 at 6:14 PM Report abuse rate up rate down Reply

I watch this show because I loved the previous seasons but now it is just not that enjoyable. I'll still watch to the end though.

December 10 2009 at 4:48 PM Report abuse rate up rate down Reply

See now I like matt and julia both...they add spice and drama to the show

December 10 2009 at 12:46 PM Report abuse rate up rate down Reply

I thought the episode was pretty good, and halfway through, I realized why: No Matt and no Julia. They've been sucking the life out of the show since Season 2.

December 10 2009 at 11:05 AM Report abuse rate up rate down Reply
Jon Carpenter

Stop saying this is the end of the season, it's not. The 6th season is the final season, it was just split up into 2 halves, Just like the 5th season except there isn't going to be a huge gap between them. Nip/tuck will not have 7 seasons, just 6.

December 10 2009 at 10:37 AM Report abuse rate up rate down Reply
2 replies to Jon Carpenter's comment
Jonathan Toomey

Sorry Jon, I get your logic, but you're wrong -- FX is billing it as a seventh and final season. This is direct from the press release that said it was coming back immediately in January:

"Nip/Tuck, The Final Season, premieres on Wednesday, January 6. The final nine episodes of the groundbreaking series' seventh season will air consecutively on Wednesday nights at 10:00 PM ET/PT. The series finale - Nip/Tuck's 100th episode - will air on Wednesday, March 3, 2010. Guest stars for the final season include Melanie Griffith, Joan Rivers, Mario Lopez, Frances Conroy, Donna Mills and Joan Van Ark."

December 10 2009 at 10:41 AM Report abuse rate up rate down Reply
Jonathan Toomey

I should add that season five was supposed to air consecutively, but it had to be broken up because of the WGA strike.

December 10 2009 at 10:44 AM Report abuse rate up rate down Reply

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