At eight this morning I realized a rather startling fact: I have become more obsessed with Nip/Tuck than I am even with WWE (and if you’re a wrestling fanatic, you know how sacrilegious that statement is). The realization came about fifteen minutes into an in-depth online discussion with my partner covering such deep thoughts as, “OMG Quentin and Kit are brother and sister?!” and “What if Matt and his friend didn’t really kill that freak?!”
Are you feeling lost? Then you’ve obviously missed out on the third season of one of television’s most sexy, bloody dramas.
Nip/Tuck Under Fire
Entertainment Weekly gave Nip/Tuck’s third season a D+, and the filth cataloguers at the Parent’s Television Council is having a heyday trashing the sudsy surgery soap opera, but viewers continue trying to dig up the dirt on their favorite characters.
What is it that causes such divided loyalties? The love-it-or-hate-it show definitely has some intensity that warrants the TV MALV ratings (it contains a lot of nudity, violence, adult language and adult situations), and the topics that it tackles are definitely not for the faint of heart.
For instance, in the last season alone dedicated Nip/Tuck fans have watched the caddish Dr. Christian Troy (played by truly delicious Aussie actor Julian McMahon) be brutalized and raped by the Carver, be left at the altar, and in last night’s season finale we were there in breathless anticipation as his bride-to-be was found in a bloody shred of her former self wandering naked on Alligator Alley. We’ve also watched Matt, the teen-age portrait of angst, beat a transvestite into broken pieces and then being beat himself and – literally – urinated on by the transvestite’s friends.
Yup okay so maybe the Parent’s Television Council has a good point. I definitely won’t be letting my daughter watch the show – and yet I return every Tuesday night glued to the screen. And to be fair, it’s not just the filth bloggers that have a problem with the late-night television show. Several advertisers, including
Toyota, General Motors, GEICO, E-Loan, and IKEA have all pulled their advertising dollars from being slated into the Nip/Tuck spot… or, as indicated in a letter to the PTC by Toyota, “for the remaining episodes”. Other advertisers seem to be as hooked on the show as many of its fans, though – Sony bought sole rights to advertise during Nip/Tuck’s season premiere.
Season Three Finale
When Nip/Tuck entered its third season in September, fans were well-used to the way that the show pushes the boundaries of gender and sexuality. In all, it is a show that rips you along on a wild ride of violence, vanity, and titillation.
If you’re not aware of the basic set-up, here’s the deal: Doctors Sean McNamara (Dylan Walsh) and Christian Troy (Julian McMahon) are best friends and co-own a Miami plastic surgery practice. As we learned at the end of season two, McNamara and Troy also share the love of Sean’s wife Julia (Joely Richardson). Julia’s first child was conceived sometime around her wedding to Sean … by Christian.
Okay so the cast does go on … there’s also Sean and Julia’s teenage son Matt (John Hensley) – who is biologically Christian’s son, Gina (Jessalyn Gilsig) and Dr. Liz Cruz (Roma Maffia).
The storylines become even more … well, twisted. Matt discovered that the older woman he’d had an affair with is transgendered and was aided in her sex reassignation by his fathers. The love triangles between McNamara and Troy even included the sharing of a prostitute.
Now, to the real twister in the story, which has become a huge focus in season 3: The Carver. A dark, bloody shadow in the background, the carver has arrived on the Miami scene with an assortment of surgical knives and no anesthetic, literally carving his way through the beautiful mask of Miami life. He attacks both women and men, carving their faces and raping them. It is a deeply mysterious undercurrent to the whole show that drives everything else along.
Now, to season three. After a vicious attack on Sean by the carver, a rival plastic surgeon is called in to help Christian. Dr. Quentin Costa (Bruno Campos) returned as a regular this season as a third member of the McNamara/Troy practice. We watched as Quentin came out as bisexual, had a four-way with Christian, dated the now-divorced Julia, and ended being fired and generally degraded by McNamara/Troy.
But I get ahead of myself. In each episode of Nip/Tuck, the doctors cue up the music on the operating room stereo and the surgical team continues working to “fix the unfixable”. Their pro-bono work providing reconstructions for victims of the Carver continued, providing a lot of interesting twists – one of which landed Christian in jail under suspicion of actually being the Carver.
In the season finale, a true emotional rollercoaster, we saw a lot of things that have been running under the surface of the nose jobs and lipos come to a head. First, we watched as Christian sat at the bed of the battered-but-saved Kimber and watched her scarred and tear-stained expression of love win Christian’s undying love … which she rejected after the plastic surgeon had “fixed” her.
We also followed Sean and Julia into the doctor’s office as they performed tests on the baby Julia is pregnant with (following a truly disturbing scene draped in black sheets that hinted at some deep and dark issues for Julia). Matt has made peace with the transvestite he assaulted by asking his father, Sean, to perform a facial reconstruction … and then things turn – in perfect Nip/Tuck fashion – truly dramatic.
If you’ve followed the third season, you’ve watched Matt go from his beating to a girlfriend with an – honestly – Nazi father who hates everything that is not white and heterosexual. In the season finale, we watched the girl and her father kidnap Matt and his transvestite friend, tie them up in the basement, and force the twisted drama further.
Entwined with scenes of the unmasking of the Carver, who turns out to be Quentin, the heart-stopping terror is mirrored. Quentin has tied up Sean and Christian in the practice’s operating room, and is trying to force Christian to remove his own hand – without anesthesia, of course – or watch his best friend Sean have his throat slit.
In the meantime, Matt is being forced at gunpoint to remove his friend’s sexual anatomy with a dull box cutter.
Yeah … so the season ends with a bang, when everything turns black and the Nazi father is at gun point and Matt’s voice says calmly, “Do it.”
Alright, so I’ll admit that the day after the season finale is a bit soon to be looking for Season Four Spoilers … but I did try. While you’re going to have to wait until summer before any news of the next season starts buzzing, here are some websites with Season Three Spoilers and a ton of Nip/Tuck style dramatic impact:
Official network site for Nip/Tuck, the drama set in a
plastic surgery center.
Cast overview, news, and links for the FX drama about two plastic surgeons.
Nip/Tuck: Snip Snip Sweetheart
Fan page dedicated to the FX show Nip/Tuck. Features episode guide, images, polls, links, and more.
Official fan listing for the FX show Nip/Tuck.