Season 1 Episode 8

Cara Fitzgerald

Aired Wednesday 10:00 PM Sep 16, 2003 on FX

Episode Fan Reviews (8)

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  • To forgive

    Perdonar. Lindo verbo. Esencial. Pero por favor no lo vinculemos más con la iglesia o con la religión. No tiene nada que ver con eso. Entonces dejemos de darle poderes sanadores o de redimir pecados a personas (seres humanos) que cometen atrocidades tales como abusar de menores de edad. Y ya nadie puede catalogar estos hechos como dispersos o calificar esta epidemia como casualidad.
    Así como los adolescentes que masacran escuelas en Estados Unidos, como se suicidan miles en Japón o Noruega es una relidad que los curas violan chicos. Aceptémoslo y dejemos de confiar en ellos y en la tan corroída (ya nadie se aguanta la mentira) iglesia. Amén.
  • Christian and Science

    Most of the time, Nip/Tuck is seen as a trashy guilty pleasure, full of sex and violence, with nothing else besides that. Being perfectly honest, that is kinda true. But Nip/Tuck also features dark, haunting episodes like this.

    They say that those that are abused as children grow up to become similar people to those that abused them. In Christian's case, he has become an emotionally cold individual, using sex as an almost protection from having to become emotionally involved with somebody. He gets that instant rush of pleasure, but is then left with nothing else. Nobody really loves him, and he's too scared to get involved with a woman in anything more than a purely physical way. Father Michael Shannon, on the other hand, has become exactly like his abuser, right down to seeking out victims that remind him of himself at a young age.

    Christian's closing breakdown is one of the most powerful moments we've seen on this show so far. As well as showing what a truly excellent actor Julian McMahon is, it adds so much to his character. While it had already been implied that he had an abusive past, Christian finally appeared to accept it, and realize that he can't go on suppressing his past anymore.

    The episode's subplot was also amazing. When Matt first showed up at Cara's bedside, it was obviously in selfishness. The only reason he wanted to see the damage is because he caused it, and because he was terrified of what he had inflicted on her. But it's clear to see as the story goes on that he begins to bond with the comatose girl, realizing how ignored and sad her life was, and trying to understand her beliefs.

    I was really shocked by the Christian Science displayed by Cara's mother. It may have been exaggerated for the purposes of entertainment, but I can't imagine how anybody could be so believing in religion that they'd allow their child to go through life looking deformed and hideous, as they believe it was God's will. It was almost terrifying. Thankfully medical well-being takes precedence over religion, since making an already abused, unpopular girl go through even more pain at the expense of her peers would be a terrible way to live.

    By far the best episode of season one, and giving additional layers to the already complicated Christian Troy, Cara Fitzgerald is Nip/Tuck at its emotional best with a powerful script and excellent acting.

    Director: Jamie Babbit
    Writer: Ryan Murphy
    Rating: A+
  • Another great episode.

    Okay, I've seen this episode many times, and I still can't find a good way to summarize it. That whole thing with Matt should catch up with him sooner or later. I personally liked Sean and Megan together. But mostly, I watched this episode because of Christian. Julian Mcmahon did a great job portraying the tortured soul in this one. I believe Christian did what he did, is because he wanted justice for himself too, but that really didn't work. What I think needs to happen, is for Christian to see his foster father's grave and let it out, I know that sounds cooky, and probably won't do anything, but it would let Christian finally tell the jerk how he felt all those years with him. But anyhoo. A GREAT EP. Secrets and Lies, always have a way of showing up again.
  • This episode was really, really great!

    Underneath the school bleachers, Matt and his friend Henry smoke marijuana and talk about religion. They soon get in the car and argue over which radio station to listen to. While Matt isn't looking he hits Cara with the car. They soon leave after not finding a body and thinking they hit a bird. As they leave Cara lies unconscious on the side of the road.

    The next day at breakfast, Matt learns about what happened when Sean informs the family about an article in the paper. At the office, Christian and Grace do a consult with Devon Greco. After learning that she wants to get rid of her nose because it looks like her father's, who raped her as a little girl, Christian suggests she see a psychiatrist.

    Sean examines Mike Shane's crotch after surgery, but the patient insists on Christian looking at it. Mike informs Troy that he needs to have the mark removed before his honeymoon so Troy gives him a remedy.

    Matt goes and visits Cara at the hospital and meets Kate, Cara's mother. She informs him that they are religious and she won't have Cara on any medications and refuses surgery.

    Matt asks his father to perform surgery on Cara pro bono. Sean visits Cara and Kate and after examining Cara, threatens to petition for medical custody and perform the surgery otherwise she'll go blind. Later, Sean and Christian perform the surgery on Cara, who is in medical custody, while Matt watches on.

    Sean and Grace do a consult on Megan O'Hara who wants to get her breasts done. Grace picks up on them having an affair and confides in Christian her observation. Later, Sean yells at Grace for the observation which causes most of the secrets to come out. Christian learns that Sean hit on her before he hired her and Sean learns that Grace and Christian have been sleeping together.

    Christian returns home and switches on the TV to find out that Mike Shane is actually Father Michael Shannon, a man who was under investment for sexually molesting boys. The next day Sean and Christian argue about it and agree to secretly tell someone to boot him out of the church.

    Christian visits Devon and apologizes for being rude to her. Matt apologizes to Cara while she is in a coma. Sean visits with Megan after her surgery.

    Christian visits the church and confronts Michael. After some violence, Michael reluctantly agrees to confess what he's done. Afterwards an emotional Christian breaks down and confesses why he did what he did to Sean.

    I love this episode really, really much!
  • As close to perfection as possible. Superb writing.

    Absolutely magnificent. This truly is quality TV. Amazing character development. Excellent acting. Julian McMahon was spectacular. No other word for it. We get to know more about Christian which to me is one of the best characters in TV today. Matt gets in trouble and I got to say I’m loving this character too. He’s not the perfect teen or the bad seed. He feels real. And talk about powerful. This episode has some scenes that really got me and that will stay in my memory. Classic.
    Amazing show and one of the best episodes I’ve seen in a long time.
  • In this episode Matt hits a girl with a friends car. He talks his dad into working on her. Also Christian works on a man who is running from a crime and takes matters into his own hands.

    This episode was great. It was painful to watch from every aspect but it was also gripping. I couldn't leave my seat. I loved the fact that the episode showed us all that Christian actually has feelings. It showed a whole new side to him and shows that he's actually beginning to think about his actions instead of just living in the moment. We also find out that he's got a rough past which could explain why he acts on impulse without thinking.
    We also see in this episode that the seemingly "perfect" Sean has decided to have an affair. Not only is he having an affair but it's with a client which puts an extra spin on it. It's almost as though he and Christian have swapped places in this episode. We see the sides of them that we haven't gotten to see yet.
    The episode makes you realize that you never really know someones whole story, theres always a skeleton in the closet, whether it's put there when we're very young, teenagers, or in our adult life when maybe we should know better.
    All in all I felt like this was one of the best episodes.
  • Secrets And Lies Written by Ryan Murphy Directed by Jamie Babbit

    The main patient of the week is 16 yrs old Cara Fitzgerald who was literally mowed down by a stoned matt and his pal Henry. Facing a moral dilemma, Matt bailed and if it hadn’t been for a homeless guy the poor girl could’ve been left there in that ditch. I was disgusted how these two idiots left her like that and how Matt refused to go to the police, despite Henry’s protests, although in spite of his shocking behaviour, Cara’s accident hit him hard. Wracked with guilt, he befriended her mother and got Sean and Christian to take medical custody of Cara when Mrs Fitzgerald refused to go ahead with much needed plastic surgery for her daughter and in a touching scene much later, Matt actually confessed to Cara (while possibly believing) what he did to her. Matt isn’t a monster and I felt bad for him although not as much for Cara but he really needs to go to the police. There is no way he can hide this and even if Cara doesn’t remember it was him or Henry doesn’t break down and confess, then surely forensics in the end will reveal what he did, right? You can’t escape the past.

    Which is a stamp for this episode when two other patients shed light on Christian’s abusive childhood. The patients were on opposite sides of the spectrum – the abused and the abuser. Mrs Greco wanted her nose done so it wouldn’t resemble her father and was refused surgery until Christian became more privy of what happened to her and relented, following one of several revealing and character shifting moments fro the dishy surgeon. The second, the abuser is a priest who tricks the surgeons into removing incriminating evidence that he was responsible for molesting young boys. Just like Matt, Christian became wracked with guilt when he realised his great error but hey, it wasn’t his fault? How the hell was he supposed to know? This was a really superb episode for Julian McMahon who really got to prove himself to be a versatile and emotive actor as well as a pretty face in this one. Christian went through the gamut of emotions in this hour and his finale scene with Sean where he told his best mate after his past was heartbreaking to say the least.

    Last but just as weighty, Sean and Megan’s affair is nearly exposed when Grace rumbles that there’s a strong connection between the two after her decision to get breast implants. Grace has been a character I’ve had difficulty warming to and while I don’t disagree that she has a point, she proved herself to out of line on this one. Isn’t it interesting how Christian had Sean’s back while grace went out of her way to shame both of them. It’s definitely safe to say Grace’s welcome has been outstayed but I’m wondering now why Christian isn’t running to Julia about Sean’s cheating (after all he saw Sean and Megan kiss, Grace was purely going on speculation)? He did promise her he would if Sean had been. As for Sean and Megan, I’m still in love with this plot. Despite what Grace may have presumed, Sean isn’t some kind f sexist pig who would force a woman into getting breast implants, in fact Sean actually tried to dissuade Megan from the procedure although after doing the operation on her, he did say they were his best work.

    Also in “Cara Fitzgerald”

    I covered all the patients of the week in the opening and I can’t really pick a particular I liked the most. Except for Fr Shannon the cowardly, SOB.

    Matt (to Henry): “Just because we’re smoking your shit, doesn’t make me your bitch”.

    The previously on bit for this episode was incredibly short and only focused on Sean and Megan. Couldn’t they have used bits of the Christian flashback from the “Pilot”?

    Mrs Fitzgerald (to Cara): “Sweetheart, the light in you is so bright that one day that light will bring someone into your life and they will like you for who you are”.

    Three episodes in and still no Liz. Where the hell is she?

    Sean (to Grace): “I told her she looks spectacular with or without breasts”.
    Megan: “No-one has ever said that to me before”.

    Grace: “You’re an asshole”
    Christian: “And you’re an arrogant little PH.D in a Prada knock off skirt who shouldn’t lies about my partner”.

    Again this episode was shy on chronology and outside of Sean and Megan, very little to the previous episode was referenced.

    Henry: “I don’t care about jail, I’m turning us in”
    Matt: “No, you’re not”.

    Christian (re closure): “Did you get what you needed?”
    Ms Greco: “That only happens in TV movies”.

    Standout music: Claude Debussy “Clair De Lune” during Megan’s surgery.

    I loved this episode. Hats off Ryan Murphy for scripting a smart, provocative and harrowing piece of television. This show getting better and better. If last episode was a whimper on the Nip/Tuck scale, then it’s nice to see the show bounce back so effectively with this caustic and tense hour.

  • Turns things upside down. Episode summary in review.

    I wasn’t crazy about this episode when I first saw it, but looking at it two seasons down the road, it has improved dramatically. What do you do when you do something horrible, but easy to hide? Matt, his friend Henry, Sean and Christian deal with three different crisis of conscience. This parallel action strengthens the writing of the episode while advancing the story.

    Under the bleachers, Matt and Henry smoke weed. Prior to this episode, not much had been explored regarding Matt’s school life. All we knew were his relationships with Vanessa and Ridley, both of which are forgotten in this episode. Matt’s function on the show is focused on his interaction with Christian, Julia and Sean, which is appropriate since the practice is the center of the show. This seemingly ordinary afternoon will change their lives.

    Before that, it’s important to establish Matt’s friend Henry’s beliefs and their stoner discussion about life. He believes that his strong Jewish faith will reward him with a good life. They are on the verge of starting their lives in college and beyond. Their faiths are tested hours after their talk.

    While driving home, Matt is high and distracted by the radio and hits Cara, who was picking up her things on the road. In a moment, everything they’ve invested in has been wasted. The director does a great job establishing that initial shock and the panic that ensues with a brief silence. The camera serving as their point of view provided an excellent source of suspense as we didn’t know what was behind the car until they did.

    Last week’s episode focused on the exotic side of sex; this week it was the dark side. One of their patients, Devon, wants her nose done so that it doesn’t resemble her father’s, who raped her when she was younger. Though Christian is blunt, he makes a valid point that changing her nose may not be what she needs to get over it. Unfortunately, victims of sexual violence are never done with the ordeal their perpetrators inflicted upon them. Even if she was given a new nose, Christian argues, she would eventually find another part of her body that reminds her of him.

    Another patient, Mike Shane, is getting the bandages from his surgery removed. He had a birthmark from his genitals taken off, but a small red mark remained, which needed to go away quick for “his honeymoon”. Of course, this appeals to Christian’s ladies man, and they crack jokes to ease the tension as he gives him a bleaching cream which should expedite the healing process. When watching this for the first time it feels like an ordinary surgery, but now it can be paralleled to the pilot episode.

    When Christian is watching the news, he finds that Mike is actually a priest and the procedure was meant to hide an identifiable mark so his accusers couldn’t confirm who he was. This is similar to Perez wanting to change his face to hide from Escobar, whose daughter he raped. Both incidents disgusted him, but in this episode, we go further to find it’s deeper than human decency.

    This episode’s strongest scene was the corresponding action between Sean and Christian & Matt and Henry deciding how to deal with their respective dilemmas. Both could lose everything if they come clean. McNamara/Troy could hurt their reputation by going against doctor/patient confidentiality or stay quiet and let this pedophile go. Matt and Henry could go to the authorities and be arrested or stay quiet at the cost of their conscience. They fit together so well that dialogue segues between the two pairs seamlessly.

    Matt’s way of redeeming himself for hurting Cara is to use his dad to repair his mess. This helps us not totally turn off from Matt, but this action is only a half measure. Henry knows that more than Matt does. By keeping it secret, he won’t be absolved of his actions. However, he thinks he can live easier if she doesn’t have the scars on her face to remind him. Cara is a Christian Scientist, who doesn’t believe in such treatment. It’s surprising how neither Sean, Christian and Julia noticed Matt’s sudden interest in her. Part of him is sincere, but most of it is to quell his guilt.

    Sean’s affair with Megan continues to grow. Megan is in love with Sean and she wants implants to be able to enjoy their love fully. Their exchange is tender, but awkward as Dr. Santiago is in the room witnessing the whole thing. Grace isn’t stupid and can tell by the obvious signs what’s going on, so she informs Christian. She doesn’t have much choice professionally to tell him. It backfires when Christian, not surprisingly, takes his partner’s side. Christian has had contempt for her from the moment they met, whereas he has a bond with Sean that has survived almost twenty years.

    During this confrontation, Christian and Grace’s fling is revealed. Sean hypocritically denounces Christian for his behavior even though he has used the office to conduct his affair. After Grace is dismissed, Sean tries to hard to make an argument as to why he wouldn’t have an affair, as if he was trying to convince both himself and Christian. Christian doesn’t call him out though.

    We knew that Christian had problems with his father from the brief flashback in the pilot episode. In this episode, we find out what happened. When he was a child, a man named Mr. Troy adopted him and raped him. Mr. Troy gave Christian hush money and he didn’t tell anyone. With his foster father’s death, Christian thought he was done with it, but he never will be. This is the second time that a child molester exploited McNamara/Troy for his own benefit. Perez died before paying the penalty. The only way Christian could find redemption is coercing Father Shannon to do the right thing and confess. It’s an intense scene, both emotionally and violently, as Christian brandishes a scalpel, at one point stabbing Shannon in the leg, to get out the truth.

    Afterward he is still haunted by his past as he cries in Sean’s arms. This continues what Ryan Murphy called a “love story between two heterosexual men”. Their bond is that deep so as they can reveal their secrets to each other and somehow overcome them.

    This is an intense episode throughout. It deals with the many darker sides of humanity as a piece that explores conscience and what how humans deal with it when they have the option to hide the truth. “You’re going to jail, whether you go to hell is up to you,” as Christian says to Father Shannon, sums it up perfectly. The past will inevitably come back, how we handle it is our choice.