On ''Nip/Tuck,'' Sean explains to Julia why he's so adamant about performing reconstructive surgery on his son; plus, Christian respects a longtime patient's final request

By Tim Stack
Updated October 25, 2006 at 04:00 AM EDT


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”Nip/Tuck”: Baby Conor’s surgery

Is this a kinder, gentler Nip/Tuck? It would appear so from last night’s emotional episode. No transsexuals. No Melissa Gilbert having sex with her dog. No serial killers. It was almost as if Nip/Tuck had grown up. Not sure how I feel about that. I kinda miss the usual utter looniness. Nip/Tuck is not a show that prides itself on being muted, and it’s certainly not as entertaining without all the crazy twists.

Hedda Grubman returned for one more episode, along with her new nurse, played by Mo’Nique. Is it just me, or does Mo’Nique basically play the same person over and over again? That’s not to say the lady didn’t have some great lines last night. In fact, she may have broken the record for the amount of times one person has said ”s—” in an hour on basic cable. Hedda asked Christian yet again for more plastic surgery, although this time the situation was a bit more dire. Hedda had been diagnosed with terminal lung cancer and wanted to leave a beautiful corpse. Although Christian refused to operate on her, it was revealed through their conversations that Mrs. Grubman felt quite strongly for Dr. Troy. He was one of the few people who accepted her despite her superficiality. In fact, she chose Christian to say the eulogy at her funeral, which turned out to be very poorly attended. The story line humanized Christian, a necessary step after his horrible treatment of Kimber last week. And I loved the fantasy sequence when Christian was operating on a now-dead Mrs. Grubman and imagined her singing with Burt Bacharach while lounging on a grand piano. Fantastic and oddly touching.

Meanwhile, we were offered a glimpse into Sean’s past and a bit more insight into why he’s so intent on performing surgery on Conor. It turns out Sean was born with a cleft palate, which led to much taunting and teasing from the neighborhood kids. Sean’s father was so terrified about how people would treat Sean that he forbade his son to play Little League. Sean’s mother spent the family’s savings on the surgery to repair Sean’s lip, and his father never forgave her. This plotline, much like Christian’s, gave Sean back some humanity and made his actions understandable. (I still don’t really get why he slept with Monica Wilder, but that’s another story.) The hour ended with Conor having the surgery and with me on the edge of my seat. I kept thinking that something awful was going to happen, but shockingly, this particular episode had a happy ending.

The most shocking moment of the evening was when Julia kissed Marlowe (Peter Dinklage)! How could she do that after telling Sean that she would never forgive him if he cheated on her again? Granted, Sean has cheated on her, but she doesn’t know that. This family is a big ol’ hot mess. I have a feeling the Marlowe story line will serve to explain Joely Richardson’s absence for a few episodes. (It’s rumored that she’s going to be taking a little breather from Nip/Tuck.) It’s kinda funny, though, that both Sean and Julia cheated on each other with their nannies. Mary Poppins never had these kinds of problems, that’s for damn sure.

What do you think? Will Julia and Marlowe continue their romance? Will Conor be okay? And what happened to Michelle and Burt? Did we just forget about that story line? For that matter, where is Brooke Shields? She better pop back up next week.

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