Dawn Budge (Rosie O'Donnell) accepts Freddie's sexuality when it becomes too obvious to ignore; plus, Rachel forgives the suicide bomber who disfigured her


”Nip/Tuck” recap: Facing facts

It’s a New Year, Nip/Tuckers, and thankfully the strike hasn’t affected our favorite plastic-surgery series. Even more wonderful is that Rosie O’Donnell has returned as Dawn and now she’s a producer on Hearts ‘n Scalpels! Not only that but she and her gayer-than-gay boyfriend, Freddie (Oliver Platt), now even have matching track suits. Showing his true colors, Freddie got a little too excited that the show had been offered its own float in the West Hollywood gay-pride parade. Watching O’Donnell feign outrage at Freddie’s participation in the parade was great.

As usual, Dawn found herself in a bit of trouble. (First, I have to say that the re-creation of the parade was a tad sad. It looked like they filmed on a backlot with like five extras. Come on, FX — you gotta increase the papier-mâché budget for episodes like this.) The outspoken Dawn placed herself behind some protesters (again, love the idea of O’Donnell siding with antigay protesters) to watch over Freddie in case he got ”dosed” and taken advantage of. Freddie, not surprisingly, seemed to be enjoying himself a bit too much, and as Dawn attempted to intervene in his merriment, her face caught the front wheel of a lesbian’s motorcycle. And I really can’t make it sound any less insane.

The whole story line, though, was really about Freddie’s acceptance of his sexuality. Thankfully, Liz, the voice of reason in sooooo many episodes, made Freddie realize that he was kidding himself. I thought the scene with the two of them in the hallway was quite sweet, actually. It’s a hard thing to come out, especially when everyone else seems to know and even you do too, deep down inside.

Poor Freddie finally had to admit the truth to Dawn, after he was so inspired by the, um, gaiety of the parade. ”I never imagined it would be such a glorious and profound event,” he told her. ”All the dancing and the music and the feathers.” But the big revelation was that Dawn wasn’t the homophobe she had seemed to be but simply a lost gal who always was drawn to gay guys, who in turn appreciated her humor and Streisand records. It certainly gave Dawn a little more shading and made her seem less of a broad caricature. But I hope she won’t go missing just because she and Freddie have broken up. Nip/Tuck needs this lady to stop by every now and then.

Did anyone else have flashbacks to another Rosie O’Donnell guest spot, on Will & Grace? She played a similarly homophobic loudmouth who then revealed she was a lesbian. I kept waiting for Dawn to come out of the closet in this episode, but no such luck. I think producers enjoy casting O’Donnell as a bigot because we all know she’s so proudly liberal.

NEXT: Attempted murders

Offsetting all of this comedy was a very disturbing story with Rachel, Matt’s burn therapist. It turned out that her body was riddled with pieces of the suicide bomber who disfigured her. Terrifying. Her initial visit just revealed one of the bomber’s teeth in her cheek, but later she needed full-body surgery. Although this story line was intriguing and dark, the fantasy scenes between Sean and the suicide bomber came off as a little cheesy. It looked like a bad horror movie, complete with spooky lighting. And Sean imagining himself as a suicide bomber just felt tacky. Comparing Sean’s forgiveness of Christian and Julia to Rachel’s of her would-be murderer was major apples and oranges. This is not a subject that should be treated so schlockily.

The other subplot in this episode was the deterioration of Julia’s health. The gal has been getting bloody noses, which I’m assuming were from Eden’s poisonous fruitcakes. Is Eden now tainting other food, or is Julia is still hittin’ the holiday treats? They might have to send Julia to fruitcake rehab. Aside from the health crisis, I have to say that I really just don’t care about Julia and Christian’s relationship. It just feels so forced and chemistry-free.

The best surprise twist of the episode, though, was the return of Gina. After Christian had sex with their receptionist (in an admittedly quite funny montage), Sean decided to hire Gina, since she was conveniently in L.A. getting her real estate license. Gina and Christian are such good sparring partners that I’m happy to see her back. Hopefully they’ll give her something to do besides answer the phones.

What did you think? How is Gina going to mess with Christian? Is Eden going to get caught? And do you want Dawn Budge to come back? Post below!

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