(S07E02) "For once in my life, I just want to be able to walk down the street and be ignored." - Willow Banks
Imperfection. Though it's something that Nip/Tuck has tried to buck since its inception, and despite the claims of Drs. McNamara and Troy being able to make you perfect, the notion of imperfection has, in a way, always been the core issue of this show. But just like the surgeries performed week in and out, there are layers upon layers that make up the idea of perfection vs. imperfection and, more importantly, how different people perceive that battle.
This week's episode of Nip/Tuck tackled that issue in what was arguably one of the most nuanced and, yes, layered, episodes in the series yet. Considering that we're in the midst of Nip/Tuck's swan song, "Willow Banks" might very well turn out to be one of the show's most important installments when we finally have the opportunity to look back on the series as a whole.
(S02E13) Last week I said I expected this finale to be "one helluva storm." Well I was almost right. It was a storm. Just a calm one that played out very methodically with a few things that you almost half expected anyway.
We pick up right where it left off: Russell tweaking out on his couch and Huff sitting on the floor next to Pepper's lifeless body. The cops arrive and it comes as no surprise that Russell is cuffed and brought in. The guy was high as a kite and suspicions are aroused when traces of coke are seen in Pepper's nostrils.
The following scene was incredibly well laid out as it jumped back and forth to Russell being booked and sent to his cell while Craig checked into a hotel. It's a wonder these two have maintained a relationship over the years because they are complete opposites.
(S02E11) I'm speechless. Every week I just watch this show and I'm so impressed. Shows like this are the reason I hardly read books. This is better than a book. Way better.
Taking a cue from Six Feet Under, the episode began with Huff dreaming that he was back home with Beth and Byrd. Until Byrd pulled a gun on his father. Dream sequence over. It's starting to seem that Huff is regretting his decision to leave Beth and these dreams are how he's dealing with it. It happened to him again during a session with a patient later that day. He just keeps spacing out. I'd like the think that the rest of this season will be about Huff finding himself and making amends with Beth. But after this episode, I seriously doubt we'll see that happen in the final two episodes.
(S02E10) I was starting to wonder what the story arc for the rest of this season would be and it's finally starting to take shape: the similarities and comparisons between Craig and his father, Ben. It comes at a poignant time too. Now that Ben is gone for good (I honestly don't think he'll be back), it's left Craig to inherit all his father's flaws and mistakes. As much as Craig wants to not become his father, he has and it'll probably take him the rest of the season to realize that. Also, you might notice that I'm referring to Huff as "Craig" and not as "Huff." I have a point to make there, I swear. But I'll get to that later.
(S02E09) I often find that this show has a lot in common with Curb Your Enthusiasm. Mainly, that it frequently makes me feel uncomfortable during certain scenes. You know something is good when it literally puts you off just by watching it. In particular, one of the final scenes between Huff and Beth was done quite well. So well that I almost stopped watching because I felt so bad. But we'll come back to that.
Elsewhere in the Huffstodt home, Ben is back! He even went out of his way to get Izzy her license back... by threatening a judge. He laughed when he told her how he got it, but I actually believe him. I wouldn't put anything past Ben Huffstodt, especially now that we found out why Ben is back in town: he's in debt to the Malaysian mob. Good times.
(S02E06) Once again, this show continues to mesmerize me. So many different and varied things happened in this episode that it boggles my mind when you think about how well it all flowed together. Only this show could hop back and forth between a tearful father/son reunion and crystal-meth fueled house party.
Yes, in case you skimmed that first paragraph, I did say father/son reunion. Ben Huffstodt is back, he's only got ten hours until he has to disappear forever, and in true Ben Huffstodt fashion we have no idea why. But before he goes, he wants to see Teddy and maybe Izzy. Obviously, he comes to Craig first. For those that saw the first season of Huff, you may have noticed that Ben looked a little different. Formerly played by Robert Forster, the role of Ben Huffstodt now belongs to Tom Skerritt and I thought he handled the role much better (even though it seemed like a different character).
(S02E05) Well, it had to happen sooner or later. Eighteen episodes into this spectacular series and up to this point, every single one of them has been nothing short of incredible. This episode? Not so much. I just didn't find myself all that engaged. The story was all over the place, which isn't that unusual for an installment of Huff. But this episode felt especially disjointed.
That being said, there was still plenty of good stuff going on here. You know a show is pulling it's weight when it has Sharon Stone exit from her guest-starring stint only to be followed up by Angelica Huston in the very next episode. Unfortunately though, to make room for such stellar guest stars, storylines involving the main characters (What happened to Byrd and his new hobby?) get pushed aside.
(S02E04) I feel like I went into this episode with an unfair advantage. I got to screen it early and speak to creator Bob Lowry about it. Now that I've watched it a second time, so many things stood out. You want to talk about a show with multiple levels ... it's like a 50-story apartment building. Wow, I can't believe I just wrote that - worst analogy ever. But you get what I'm saying? Yes? Good. Moving on.
The episode started with a bang. Dauri is still a patient of Huff and as one would expect Russell is covering the cost of the sessions. But that's what Russell does. He throws money around without bothering to try and have a real relationship with anyone. With all the problems Russell has, it's hard to believe he hasn't figured out one of life's simple truths. Money doesn't fix everything but I think Kelly is going to teach Russell a few things in that department. But his connection with Dauri makes a startling leap forward which I'll address later.
Only three episodes into the new season and Huff creator/executive producer Bob Lowry is already back for more. After speaking with Ryan last week, I had the opportunity to pick Bob's brain a second time. We chatted about this Sunday's new episode ("Sweet Release") as well as some other things to expect before season two comes to a close. A heads-up to our readers though: the interview contains a few spoilers, fair warning. However, there is one thing that all Huff fans should be excited to know. Bob let me in on a little secret. They'll know on May 2 if the show is going to come back for a third season, so everyone keep your fingers crossed.
OK, let's get to it. Here's what went down between myself and Bob Lowry on Wednesday morning:
Jonathan Toomey: Bob Lowry! Good sir, how are you?
Bob Lowry: My new best friend! Thanks for calling.
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