Season 1 Episode 7

Cliff Mantegna

Aired Wednesday 10:00 PM Sep 09, 2003 on FX

Episode Fan Reviews (6)

Write A Review
out of 10
205 votes
  • Where The Indiscreet Meet Written by Brad Falchuk Directed by Scott Brazil

    For anyone who has the Season 1 DVD, you’ve probably noticed I’ve used some of the teasers for certain episodes as teasers for my own review, like with this episode. Alternatively, I could’ve called this “The Cheating Curve” after a certain episode of Sex And The City as after all, all of our main protagonists have been or are about to unfaithful to each other, whether it be physical or emotional.

    Let’s start with Matt. He agreed to do a three-way to partly help Vanessa keep Ridley and to be close to her but it backfired on them and him and Ridley became more closer, leaving Vanessa in the cold. When Julia catches them in the act and instigates an intervention with everyone’s parents, which does more harm than good. Julia’s one-sided look at the situation was enough ammunition for Matt’s unapologetic stance of his actions but it was Sean’s good hearted liberal thinking that made Vanessa’s parents come up as morons. Suffice to say the intervention was a disaster and Sean later castigated Matt over his reckless handling of Vanessa and Ridley’s feelings. Vanessa didn’t have a choice in being gay but Matt’s actions towards Ridley weren’t as easy to sympathise with, although in fairness this is the least complex out of all the emotional and physical adultery in this episode.

    Which means the most complex is a toss up between Sean and Julia. Christian made an accurate assessment that both of them are in fact too honest to cheat, in the sense they’d feel incredibly guilty over but the recent miscarriage and unresolved tension they’d had since we first met them has also kept Sean and Julia on opposing paths and it’s not just on their parenting skills either but for some odd reason, I find Julia’s need to look elsewhere more superficial than Sean’s. Put it this way, I’m not a fan of jude. He excudes a certain confidence, which at first was fine but this episode showed him being completely smug. He knows Julia’s attracted to him and uses this as a way of getting an internship in McNamara/Troy (he loses by getting bedding a client) while at the same time attempting to use Christian’s attraction to Julia as a blackmail tool. This episode has you initially thinking that Julia wants Jude but it’s really Christian she desires. Both men are actually quite alike but as Christian dubs it, Jude is really th poor man’s version of a suave playboy.

    Julia and Christian’s scenes at the apartment were quite electric and boy did he get knocked back by her cutting remarks at the end? Christian still lusts for his best mate’s wife and it’s part of the reason why he is making no effort to work out things with Kimber, who like a prized lapdotg gives into his every whim whilw he wonders why he’s still with her. A part of me feels for Kimber but not as much as I was screaming “get a back-bone, already” at her.

    And before I forget the emotional cheating I really do understand out of the bunch is Sean and Megan who try to dispel their attraction before giving in. I don’t condone adultery but there’s something not so clear cut with these, it’s kind of difficult to condemn. Both of them seem to bring better elements out in each other (Sean encourages Megan to feel beautiful, Megan encourages him to be more open with himself). Their scenes are so touching and tender, it’s hard not to like.

    Also in “Cliff Mantegna”

    Main patient of the week: Cliff Mantegna wanted his breasts removed so he could fulfil his swinger lifestyle which was cut short when Christian had to tell him he had Hepatitus C.

    Christian: “Are you doing this because you were rejected by a woman?”
    Cliff: “One woman? Try thirty in one night”.

    Another set of cool Nip/Tuck imagery was Kimber and Christian’s red and orange colour combination in the opening sequence.

    Julia: “Can’t a woman just do something nice for her husband?”
    Sean: “A woman can do something nice for her husband. You driving 20 minutes to bring me lunch sounds like a woman who wants her husband to do something nice for her”.

    Matt (re threesome): “You guys are lucky that was all I was doing. I know kids hooked on crank and kids who are plotting to blow up the school”
    Julia: “Congratulations. You win the award for least screwed up teenager”.

    Some character bits – Jude’s surname is Sawyer and he’s a personal trainer, Kimber is up for a Neutrogena contract and Ridley’s mother in on alimony.

    Vanessa’s mom: “What’s a lezzie?”
    Ridley’s mom: “Your daughter likes vagina”.

    Chronology – none was specified in this episode.

    Julia: “Do you know what I was thinking about?
    Christian: “What?”
    Julia: “Jude”.

    There’s a lot of stuff that does actually happen here and some it’s quite brilliant but others are slightly wide of the mark to a point. “Cliff Mantegna” is a fine but ultimately a rather fillerish episode, which like a few we’ve encountered feels more like a set up than a pay-off.