'Nip/Tuck' - 'Christian Troy II' Recap
by Jonathan Toomey, posted Feb 17th 2010 11:00PM
(S07E07) "Am I really this ugly?" - Christian
As 'Nip/Tuck' winds down (if you can believe it, there's only two episodes left), an episode like 'Christian Troy II' (the first Christian-as-patient episode was in season two) was inevitable. Despite their numerous similarities, the one thing that Christian has always had more of than Sean is feelings of inadequacy. Granted, when you consider the tragedies he's endured (being molested by his father and getting sodomized by The Carver both come to mind), it's not like he lacks a reason for not always feeling 100% about himself.
For the most part, Christian has risen above these feelings by becoming one of TV's most superficial characters. But it's good to know that even he still has doubts about himself, and more importantly, what he does for a living.
A week after we saw Christian and Sean duke it out in front of Dr. Griffin, it seemed as though their business was about to implode because of each other. After tonight's episode, we saw a different side -- McNamara/Troy might be near its end because of the business itself. It's a smart observation that Ryan Murphy and Co. would have been remiss to not mention.
Think about it. There's a defined social stigma that comes with plastic surgery that didn't exist ten years ago. How many times have you walked down the street and laughed to yourself at some woman who literally looked plastic? The thriving business that Sean and Christian once capitalized on isn't the same. In true, American can-do fashion, we've found a simpler, cheaper, and quicker way to look younger with the advent of Botox and other facial injectables. But, as we saw with Sean's bruising, they're not always a safer alternative.
Working on that overarching theme, many of McNamara/Troy's older patients made an appearance in this episode, including the Ayers, a real estate couple that wanted all their surgeries reversed because of how society saw them -- not youthful, but rather self-loathing. Everything Sean and Christian knew was turned upside down, and even more so when Christian went under the knife to document how simple a face-lift is. His dream sequence was one of the first we've seen in quite some time on 'Nip/Tuck,' though, the best one still goes to Julia's "what if she had married Christian instead" fantasy from season two.
Christian's dream brought together numerous elements from his past in one helluva depressing montage. His father (great casting with Robert Davi) showed up along with Annette Wainwright and Lulu Grandiron (Joan Van Ark and Donna Mills reprising their season five roles, though Lulu was missing her cat eyes). It all revolved around the end of plastic surgery and Christian's belief that maybe he played a part in that. Something that even Joan Rivers returned to berate him for. And for those questioning the point of Rivers making a short return appearance, don't forget the reason behind her original season two visit to Sean and Christian -- she wanted all of her plastic surgeries reversed, though at the time, they convinced her otherwise.
A few more thoughts on 'Christian Troy II' --
- The whole hour felt a little out of context considering what we learned last week. Sean and Christian seriously dialed down the animosity and even more surprising was Liz having a glass of wine -- she's pregnant! Maybe this episode was shot first and they re-ordered them?
- Speaking of Liz, her sub-plot with Danielle the bi-curious pharmaceutical rep was interesting, but it felt long overdue. Three episodes left and just now serious thought is being given to Liz's personal life?
- Seeing Kimber in Christian's dream was nice, especially since he obviously wishes she was still alive. But at the same time, you want to punch the guy because the best reason his subconscious could come up with for her not being dead was that all the silicon in her body kept her afloat.
Christian and Liz's final conversation was probably the most important thing to take away from this episode. People want life "clean and easy." But as we've seen, in an attempt to make everyone else's life easier by offering a second chance at youth, all it's done for Sean and Christian is make their lives messier and more complicated. Though he shouldn't need a reminder of that, all the negative comments his surgery diary got on YouTube should have been enough for Christian. In the 80's when he pitched this new form of surgery to Sean as "the future," Christian neglected to have a plan for when the future actually arrived.
[Watch clips and full episodes of Nip/Tuck over at SlashControl.]