Season 3 Episode 14

Cherry Peck

Aired Wednesday 10:00 PM Dec 20, 2005 on FX
out of 10
User Rating
249 votes

By Users

Episode Summary

Christian finds out that Kimber didn't ditch him at the altar but was abducted by the carver. Quentin is a Carver suspect. Julia has bad dreams about her pregnancy. Sean is threatened into doing pro bono work on the transgender woman who was beat up by Matt.moreless

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  • Making Amends

    Several characters return in Cherry Peck, an episode in which many of the characters must face up to what has happened in the past, the truth of what they've done and make amends if they can. But, as is so often the case, the 'pure and simple truth' is far from pure and never simple.

    It starts with Sean and Christian in a consult with Cherry Peck, the transsexual who got beaten up by Matt in Kiki and who beat him up at the end of that episode. She comes to McNamara/Troy to have surgery on her face. She had a really bad job done after the attack and needs it done. The boys are happy to help until Cherry tells them she wants them to do the job for free or she'll go to the police and tell them it was Matt who beat her up. Sean flips and says that if she does, he'll tell them what Cherry did to his son. Later, Matt comes round to see if there's anything Sean has to help Julia's morning sickness. Sean mentions Ariel and Matt reveals they broke up. Sean also mentions seeing Cherry and the blackmail attempt. Matt, finally showing some humanity, asks Sean to do the surgery to help him correct the mistake. John Hensley's acting in this scene, and throughout the episode, is great- finally making up for all the times I wanted to slap him for moping around and being a jackass. Sean agrees to do the surgery on Cherry. As she's about to go under, she thanks Sean but he makes it clear- he's doing it because Matt asked. He gives the moral of the episode again in a real TV-movie-of-the-week manner: 'We need to rebuild instead of allowing our past to haunt us any longer'. Admirable sentiment, but please writers, not so saccharine- my teeth were hurting!

    After the surgery, Sean checks on Cherry and gives her some cream to put on her face for the scars. Matt drops by to see her- there is a bit of a moment between the two, but Cherry decides to be nice. Sean leaves them and Matt helps her put the cream on. They have a nice moment where they apologise for their actions and Cherry drops hints about having the gender reassignment surgery. Matt politely declines and Cherry just says how difficult she finds it not to hit on someone as cute as Matt. Can't see it myself but attraction is a very personal thing. Cherry says she needs to buy some new make-up. So Matt goes with her. She tries out various foundations and asks advice from one of the assistants who is incredibly rude to her. Matt jumps in and defends Cherry, saying that she's more of a lady than the assistant will ever be. And just as things are going well, Ariel walks past and sees them. She makes a few horrible comments about Matt dating 'a dude in a skirt'. Matt tells her where to go and she storms off- back to her father, who catches Matt's eye with a look of menace. Brian Kerwin has no dialogue at all in this episode, but his steely gaze promises some trouble. It might have takem a while, but Matt's finally coming good. A good performance, too, by Willam Belli as Cherry- sympathetic and strong even when Cherry's behaving badly.

    Julia's pregnancy and the concerns of having a baby at the age of forty add the more soap-opera-esque elements to the episode but it also provides one of the freakiest dream sequences I've ever seen in my life. And I watched Twin Peaks! :) Sean goes to see her as she's really suffering from morning sickness, but is still determined to go to work. Sean doesn't want her to work, reminding her that she is older. He wants her to move back in the house so he can help her, but she won't do it. She makes it clear that the baby isn't the missing piece of their relationship and things won't be going back to how they were. That night, she has a very strange dream. A loud ticking clock permeates her dream which begins with Sean making love to her but then him turning into an old man. He then suggests that Julia needs a facelift or people will think the baby is her grandchild but too late: her waters break. Then she finds herself in a bath with something eel-like swimming round in the water. Sean hands her a gown and tells her she's late for surgery. As she walks into the room, she sees Sean and Christian hunched over a baby cradle, whispering about 'fixing things'. She picks up a kitchen knife from the instrument tray and walks towards them. Sean and Christian stand up, their hands and surgical instruments covered with blood. They had to make the baby 'respectable'. Quentin comes in with a camera and takes a photograph of what's inside the cradle. He says the child is 'almost human'. Sean and Christian make some disparaging remarks about it being irresponsible to have a child at forty but Julia wants to see her baby. They move aside, she opens the drapes around the cradle, looks in... and gasps in horror! She then wakes up and makes an appointment to see her doctor. There is a real sense of dread in the dream sequence and some great visual tricks. Sean accompanies her to her appointment where she has what looks like an amniocentesis (a test to check for any disabilities within the child). As the doctor sorts out the equipment, Julia apologises to Sean. The doctor says how glad she is that Julia and Sean are back together and begins the ultrasound. In an act of conciliation, Julia reaches out and Sean holds her hand. Pretty run-of-the-mill stuff but good performances by Joely and Dylan. Plus the extremely strange dream sequence- but could it be prophetic or is it just Julia's own paranoia? Time will tell.

    The other storyline thread in this episode involves Christian, Kit, Kimber and the Carver. At the end of the consult with Cherry, Nurse Linda comes in and tells Christian there's a package for him, and the package is bleeding! Sean and Christian open the box to find a pair of bloodied breast implants. Sean checks the serial number while Christian cuts one open to find a message written inside: Beauty Is A Curse On The World. Sean comes back and tells Christian the implants belonged to Kimber. So now he knows... the Carver abducted Kimber from the church. He calls the police and they send Kit to investigate. Good to see Rhona Mitra back, she really added a spark to the show. She is her usual firecracker self throughout this episode. Christian wants them to investigate but Kit says there's no evidence of a crime. Christian believes someone is holding Kimber hostage and that someone is Quentin. Kit admits they've been investigating Dr Costa but they only have circumstantial evidence. Christian gets quite emotional and asks her to bring him in for questioning. Which she does. Quentin is typically glib but Kit's determined to bring him down, accusing him of being The Carver. This scene works really well, both Bruno and Rhona on top form and the script is really good too, crackling with some great one-liners. As the interrogation continues, a cop comes in with a message for Kit. She goes to see Christian: Kimber's been found wandering in the Everglades.

    At the hospital, Christian wants to see his fiancee but Kit won't let him. Kimber is really messed up as The Carver undid all the surgeries that Christian had done to her. There is a very graphic description of what The Carver did to her accompanied by some freaky flashbacks of The Carver operating on a (thankfully) unseen Kimber. Christian is adamant about seeing her but Kit doesn't want Kimber going in to shock. Later, Sean goes to see Christian at the hospital and distracts the guard stationed at Kimber's door so that Christian can sneak past and see her. Initially, Kimber doesn't want to see Christian: she's angry with him that he didn't find her and angry that he let her be a target. When they met, Christian told Kimber she was an eight. She wants him to tell her what she is now. He opens the curtain to see her. She is in a bit of a mess, but not as bad as I imagined. Christian starts crying and says that he'll make her a ten again. In surgery, Kimber is very jumpy, everything a reminder of what The Carver did to her. She wants Christian to do all the surgeries at once which he agrees to. There is then a surgery montage of Christian working on Kimber, reversing the damage done to her.

    After the surgery, Christian is all up for rescheduling the wedding and getting their lives back on track, but Kimber's not having any of it. She wanted to be fixed so that other people could look at her and not run screaming, but she has to live with the pain. She decides she can't be part of a beautiful couple anymore, she can't be that beautiful, shallow, superficial girl. Christian thinks she's just suffering from Stockholm Syndrome but she isn't. She doesn't want to be with him anymore, no matter that he wants to be with her. A brave and brilliant final performance by Kelly Carlson, who has been a real revelation throughout this series. There is some question as to whether or not Kimber's just being really ungrateful- getting Christian to fix her but then dumping him. I personally think the scales have just fallen from her eyes and she can see the inner ugliness of what she was.

    At the office, Sean and Christian have a drink and discuss their day. Sean mentions Julia being pregnant and says to Christian that love will fix a shattered relationship, even if it seems broken beyond repair. Kit comes in with flowers for Kimber, but Kimber has already left. Christian asked if Quentin's been arrested yet but Kit says they had to let him go because they found new evidence. Earlier on, Quentin had blood taken and photographs done. When asked to drop his trousers, he began to stall but eventually agreed. Something caused a great surprise for Kit and the other officer and it causes Sean and Christian a surprise too... Quentin doesn't have a penis. This last point is so over-the-top that it runs the risk of damaging beyond repair any credibility to the storyline. But because the whole show has been so gloriously over-the-top, you kinda go with it. A very good bridging episode, skilfully moving all the pieces into position for the series finale.moreless
  • He Forced her to write the message, But not to be persuasive!!!

    I hated this epi, I hated the whole show, It was too much dramatic, Just too much Drama !!! I wont talk about the whole epi becuz there r many users already did, about I want to talk about the kimber/chris/carver storyline, First of all , the series forgut all about kimber For more than 2 epi.s , and then, chris and the audience find out on this epi, that kimber is kidnapped and that the carver made her to write this painful message to chris.! well, in my opinion, He Forced her to write the message, But he didn't force her to make it persuasive!, specially that no one knows that Chris wanted her to stop porn movies, she hasn't have to mention it! it doesn't make sense!, at least she could make it a little doesn't look like her, or she can re to something that is not real so chris can suspect that there is something wrong!, moreover , she plamed Chris that he didn't try to find her after this big painful stap that he get throu her message!

    And at the end, she insist to leave him althou he offer to let go every thing he have Just to be with her, and kimber knows that she is his only Family after Sean!moreless
  • Slice 'em Up

    Poor Kimber. The scene detailing all the pain she'd gone through at the hands of The Carver was unbearable, and to see her all sliced up and carved was way too graphic for me. The fact that she'd gotten some kind of Stockholm Syndrome during her ordeal makes the whole thing even more depressing, with Kimber partly sympathizing with The Carver and his "message". Kelly Carlson was amazing throughout this episode, in particular during her final scene with Christian, where she breaks down at the thought of staying with him.

    The Carver himself was really great, and you have to appreciate his twisted genius in regards to sending Kimber's severed implants to Sean and Christian, and wrapping up that tiny little piece of paper which read "Beauty Is a Curse on the World" inside. Kit McGraw made a welcome return, and I appreciated that it was implied her bosses had put a tight leash on her behavior. Seeing as she was a complete nutcase in regard to Carver suspects at the start of the season, it was refreshing to see the writers attempting to make her a little more believable. I loved her smack talk with Quentin, but the shock twist that he has no penis was, and I doubt anybody would disagree with this, completely ridiculous. But more of that in my review of part two...

    I loved Cherry and Matt's newfound friendship, and the fact that Matt has grown so much as a person over just a couple of episodes that he stands up for her, and apologizes for what he did to her. I felt the "evil cosmetics lady" scene was a little clichéd and obvious, but it at least showed how grounded he is finally becoming.

    Julia's nightmare was excellently shot, coated in dark reds and moody visuals. I loved the allusions to Rosemary's Baby, and the shot of Julia's water breaking and giving birth to (what looked like) an eel. A classic visual moment.

    An impressive first part to a tense, insanely dramatic finale. There are still elements of The Carver mystery that are obviously silly, but if you ignore them and just go along with the ride, it's pretty entertaining.

    Director: Craig Zisk

    Writers: Brad Falchuk, Hank Chilton

    Rating: Amoreless
  • Home Television Reviews Movie Reviews Articles Contact Me Kit: \"Where\'s Kimber?\" Quentin: \"I don\'t know. I\'d check your ass, but your so full of **** I don\'t think there\'s room for her up there.\"moreless

    The bitterness between Kit and Christian nicely toned down in this episode, and as a result Kit was much more likeable. Nevertheless, it was still fun to see her venomous streak come out in Quentin\'s interrogation. Both characters have such witty, sardonic attitudes, that it was entertaining to have the two of them go against each other for once instead of our main characters.

    The Carver certainly likes playing mind games, sending Kimber\'s breast implants to Christian to haunt him about his love\'s whereabouts. Luckily, Christian didn\'t have to wait long to find out; although with his discovery also came heartbreak.

    I was glad Kimber turned out to be alive, as it looks like we\'re facing a major turning point with her character. I personally thought Kelly Carlson did an excellent job with the aftermath of Kimber\'s attack, and she and Julian McMahon played off of each other so well to create a touching, while tragic, scene. The Carver attack managed to change Kimber\'s perspective on beauty, and she no longer wants to be part of the couple that \"measure people’s worth by their body fat percentage\". While it\'s a positive and interesting growth for her character, I\'m still sad that it resulted in hurting Christian. Makeup crew deserves kudos for that scene; it takes a lot to make Kelly Carlson anything but beautiful.

    Nip/Tuck always does a great job with dream sequences, and Julia\'s dream continued that tradition. The continuous ticking in her dream obviously representing Julia\'s biological clock, and her fear of how her age puts her child at risk. The symbolism was pretty blatant as well, with Julia dressed in white and the doctors on her baby (Sean, Christian, and Quentin) dressed in black. The demon child in the bathtub was effectively creepy, and some of the doctor\'s comments illustrated Julia\'s deep qualms about having another child (Quentin: \"Good job Julia, it almost looks human.\"). I also have to make a shout out to the great prosthetics used on old Sean and Julia.

    Matt is on the path to redemption, as he befriended Cherry (feeling guilty, much of the way he did about Cara Fitzgerald in season one), got Sean to fix her face, and even stood up for Cherry to a snotty saleswoman. Matt even held face against Ariel, who is out on a vendetta now against Matt, and her father. The chilling look Mr. Alderman directed at Matt and Cherry gave me bad feelings.

    Final Notes and Quotes

    - Quentin has no penis!? That\'s a bizarre twist, but does it truly rule him out as a Carver suspect?

    - Quentin did have a point when he pointed out Kit\'s ludicrous detective methods.

    - Outstanding Performance of the Week: Julian McMahon and Kelly Carlson did wonderful jobs with the hospital scene.

    - Sean: \"No matter how shattered a relationship is, as long as there\'s love, there\'s always hope of putting it back together again.\"

    - Kimber: (to Christian) \"He wasn\'t my capture. You were. Porn was. He was just the man holding up the mirror to our beautiful superficial lives, showing me how grotesque they were. It\'s all just ugliness hidden by a perfect mask.\"

    Final Rating: 3 out of 4 stars.

    - Tim Bronx

    Find this and many other reviews at: www.motionpicturereviews.commoreless
  • Great episode!

    I loved this episode, I have just been able to watch it yesterday and I think that this is one of the best episodes that I have ever seen in all the history of this great series: Niptuck, and I think that this episode along with Seaosn 3 are great, but very great episodes and everything, I just love the show and I couldn't imagine a just better episode than this one, except for the season finale, which is even better, I can't believe it, I loved this episode, and I love this series!moreless
Sean Donnellan

Sean Donnellan


Guest Star

Colleen Flynn

Colleen Flynn

Julia's Doctor

Guest Star

Brian Kerwin

Brian Kerwin

Mr. Alderman

Guest Star

Brittany Snow

Brittany Snow

Ariel Alderman

Recurring Role

Rhona Mitra

Rhona Mitra

Kit McGraw

Recurring Role

Willam Belli

Willam Belli

Cherry Peck

Recurring Role

Trivia, Notes, Quotes and Allusions


  • TRIVIA (1)

    • Goof: When the anesthesiologist is giving Kimber gas to put her under, [she's at McNamara/Troy to have the "surgeries" given her by The Carver repaired] he is not wearing surgical gloves, a second later he is.

  • QUOTES (20)

    • (Kit's interrogating Quentin)
      Quentin: Last time I saw you my tongue was in your mouth, surely much more pleasant than this.

    • Sean: See, Christian, no matter how shattered a relationship is, as long as there's love... there's always the hope of putting it back together.

    • Sean: To our profession. The only field of medicine dedicated to both the fixing of what isn't broken and rebuilding of the unrepairable.

    • Matt: You really are pitiful, Ariel. I almost feel sorry for you.
      Ariel: I'm not the one dating a dude in a skirt, Matt. Wait til everyone at school hears about this. You won't make it out alive.

    • Ariel: (to Cherry) So, tranny, isn't Matt fantastic in bed? Do you squeal with pleasure when he goes down on you? Because, you know, I always knew he really liked dick.

    • (Matt and Cherry go shopping for make-up)
      Make-Up Assistant: This isn't a drugstore. This product is very expensive. Were you actually planning on purchasing a bottle or just tainting all our samples?
      Matt: What's your problem, lady? You treat all your customers like shit?
      Make-Up Assistant: He is not a customer until he buys something. I get your kind in here all the time and they never buy a damn thing.
      Matt: And we're gonna buy something from you now? Look. My friend was nothing but polite to you and you treat her like she's a hooker. Let me tell you something, she's more of a lady than you'll ever be.
      (the Make-Up Assistant walks off)
      Cherry Peck: You didn't have to do that.
      Matt: Hey, you don't deserve that bullshit.

    • Kimber: I can't do this anymore, Christian. I can't be this beautiful couple who spends six hundred dollars a month on tanning salons, who takes an hour to get ready just to go to the gym, who measure people's worth by their body fat percentage.
      Christian: This is perfectly normal. It's called Stockholm Syndrome. Kidnapping victims sympathise with their captors. It's a survival strategy.
      Kimber: He wasn't my captor. You were. Porn was. He was just the man holding up the mirror to our beautiful, superficial lives showing me how grotesque they were. It's just ugliness hidden behind a perfect mask. How am I supposed to be with you when your job is to give everyone those masks?
      Christian: I'll give it all up. We can go off and take care of lepers for all I care. I need to be with you, Kimber.
      Kimber: I know, baby. But I need to not be with you.

    • Kimber: I don't want any mirrors ever. I had you fix me so the rest of the world could see me and not run screaming. I'll never be able to look at myself and not see the pain.

    • Kit: Drop your pants, Quentin.
      Quentin: You first.

    • Cherry Peck: You really think I look good?
      Matt: Yeah, you know. Sure.
      Cherry Peck: I'm planning on having my reassignment surgery sometime next year. I'm taking all the hormones...
      Matt: That's great, Cherry. But I don't think that...
      Cherry Peck: It's OK. It's just hard not to hit on a guy as cute as you.

    • Kimber: You left me to die. You let him do this to me.
      Christian: Please... don't blame me for this.
      Kimber: He wouldn't have hurt me if you hadn't given me all those surgeries. You made me think that I needed them for you to love me. It's true. Beauty is a curse on the world.

    • Kit: Kimber identified herself by how she looked, Christian. She's barely holding it together as it is. Seeing you could send over the edge.
      Christian: Or bring her back from it.

    • Kit: (about Kimber) She doesn't want to see you, Christian. She doesn't want you to see her.
      Christian: Tell me what he did to her.
      Kit: The breast implants were the least of his butchery. He reversed every surgery you gave her. Without anaesthetic.
      Christian: Reversed? I must have given her at least ten procedures over the last few years. Tell me what he did to her.
      Kit: After giving her the Carver grin, he removed the segment of rib cartilege you used to fix her nose. Then he sucked the collagen from her lips by removing large portions of the saturated tissue. At some point, he also burnt her skin to recreate the sun damage you repaired. Then he pumped rotten chicken fat into her midsection. Anti-lipo. It caused a pretty horrible infection that he didn't treat. He removed her breasts as a final act of psychotic brutality.

    • Kit: When I bring you down, this case is going to be tighter than a vestal virgin.
      Quentin: Well, tread lightly, Kit. You've already botched this case once. Another false arrest and you'll be back in London writing tickets to people for not picking up their dogshit.

    • (during the interrogation)
      Kit: Rape isn't about sex, Quentin, it's about power. And you felt like you'd lost it after I arrested Christian and risked giving him all the glory for your butchery.
      Quentin: So... I'm the Carver now? Kit, if you want to catch this guy, may I recommend that you expand the scope of your suspects beyond those who know whether you're shaved, waxed or natural.

    • (Kit is examining the implants that have been sent to Christian)
      Christian: Every breast implant has a serial number in case of recall or defect.
      Kit: Habeas corpus, Christian. We can't start an investigation when there's no evidence of any crime.
      Christian: Since when is a bloody implant from a woman who's been missing for weeks not evidence of a crime?
      Kit: Well, how do you know Kimber didn't have them removed herself?
      Christian: Because she loved them! They were the first thing I ever gave her. Our first surgery together.
      Kit: Speaking of surgeries, what do you think of my face? The surgeon who did agree to do it did a pretty good job, don't you think?
      Christian: Don't throw that guilt trip at me, Kit. After what you put me through, you're lucky I wasn't standing over you with a scalpel.

    • Kimber: On our first date, you said that I was an eight. You were honest with me. I need you to tell me what I am now as honestly as you did then. From one to ten.
      (Christian draws the curtain and sees Kimber who has been carved - the carver has reversed all her surgeries)
      Christian: (speechless and shocked, sits down beside her bed) I'll make you a ten again, sweetheart, I promise. (bursts out crying) I'll make you a ten again.

    • (Kit is trying to break Quentin)
      Kit: Where's Kimber?
      Quentin: I have no idea! I'd check your ass, but you're so full of shit, I don't think there'd be any room for her up there.

    • Quentin: (to Kit) Now, why would I rape you? You were perfectly willing to spread your legs like a Romanian gymnast for me.

    • Nurse Linda: Excuse me, Dr. Troy.
      Dr. Troy: Hmmm?
      Nurse Linda: A package just arrived for you.
      Dr Troy: Well, sign for it.
      Nurse Linda: The package is bleeding.

  • NOTES (7)

    • International Air Dates:
      Czech Republic: November 5, 2008 on TV Nova

    • Eryn Krueger Mekash, Stephanie A. Fowler, Thomas R. Burman and Bari Dreiband-Burman were nominated for the 2006 Emmy Award for "Outstanding Prosthetic Makeup for a Series, Miniseries, Movie or a Special" for this episode.

    • Brittany Snow (Ariel) and Rhona Mitra (Kit) were credited as "Special Guest Stars". At the same time, Mitra received the "And" credit.

    • Brian Kerwin (Mr. Alderman (credited as a "Guest Star")) received the "And" credit.

    • Cherry Peck / Quentin Costa was watched by 5.7 million viewers. Thus making it the most watched program in FX history.

      It also drew 3.9 million viewers in the 18-49 age demographic. This made it the highest watched cable series for 2005.

    • This episode originally aired alongside 3.15 on FX as part of a special 2 hour Finale on the 20th of December, 2005.

    • Although listed in the opening credits, Roma Maffia does not appear in this episode.


    • Julia's dream is a direct reference to the ending of Roman Polanski's classic horror movie, Rosemary's Baby, in which Rosemary finds out that her child is the antichrist. Similarities include the black veil over the baby's crib and Julia walking in with a knife in her hand, screaming when seeing her child, and asking "What did you do to my baby?"