Review: Nip/Tuck - Benny Nilsson
by Jonathan Toomey, posted Dec 10th 2009 10:25AM
(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.]