Season 4 Episode 11

Conor McNamara, 2026

Aired Wednesday 10:00 PM Nov 14, 2006 on FX
out of 10
User Rating
289 votes

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Episode Summary

It's the year 2026. Conor is getting the whole family together. In the present, Julia and Sean's marriage is at a crossroads.

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  • Worst Episode EVER

    i had to skip like half of it wowww....
  • There are so many bad classifications I could use for this, shame I could only pick one

    I feel like this episode was written by someone who doesn't actually watch the show. First of all, I couldn't help but wonder why no one said one word about Kimber. The woman's several months pregnant with Matt's baby!! The only way she could possibly not show up in this episode is if she had a late term abortion or died, taking the child with her. Second, Matt becoming a doctor? A doctor who by 40 looks older than my 60 year old father? C'mon now. The man doesn't believe in painkillers. Moving on. Annie's mini plot arc annoyed me because damage like that can't be undone with one five minute bonding conversation. Oh yeah and the dialogue? Abysmal!! I really hate these alternate universe time wasters, they go nowhere and accomplish nothingmoreless
  • Worst episode of nip tuck history!!

    by far the most terrible episode I ever watched in Nip Tuck history.I was thinking how was that dead body that Escobar left for Shawn not brought up in this episode between Julia and Shawn, they only focused on infidelity.did the dead body not concern them, especially Julia who didnt know what was going on. The how about Annie in 2026! She looked like she was a character in Saturday Night Live and was so exaggerated in her emotions to the point that it was fake. And then how about Christian in 2026 , talk about cheeseball. alltime worst episode.moreless
  • Washed Away Written by Ryan Murphy Directed by Craig Zisk

    Connor (to his therapist): “I wish I felt like my parents really loved each other, that’s all”.

    And this week gentle viewers, Nip/Tuck decides to take a wander into the future as in two decades worth of forwarding as this episode opens up with a 20 year old college kid named Connor McNamara is talking to hi shrink in a pretty futuristic office about his current woes.

    It’s certainly an intriguing way of opening up one of the series most water cooler and classic episodes as the breakdown of Sean and Julia’s marriage is relevant in 2006 and of course, 2026.

    In therapy Connor muses about how he somewhat feels responsible for the break up of two people who have weathered various storms in their union, even though I doubt there is a single audience member or a character who would actually blame Connor for being responsible for his parents separation.

    His therapist certainly doesn’t see Connor as responsible and as he sympathetically listens to the lad talking about getting surgery on his other hand, the therapist encourages Connor to get his family into a room and talk to them about his feelings. What exactly is going on with Sean and Julia that twenty years later the otherwise level headed and rational Connor feels he needs to see a therapist?

    Back in 2006, the **** hit the fan as not only has a hurricane named Lenore is hitting Miami and has managed to go from Category Two to Category Five in less than a day and is forcing a mandatory evacuation but Sean and Julia not only worry about operating on Connor’s other hand but they can’t also connect with one another or be angry over each of their infidelities with each other.

    Julia isn’t exactly desperate to know why Sean cheated on her with Mad Monica as she’s more or less deduced his reasons were the same as hers. She’s also quick to pop over to Marlowe’s, who is leaving for Florence and tells him that she’s letting Sean operate on Connor to Marlowe’s objection. It’s a complex with Peter Dinklage as Marlowe does seem genuine in his concern for both Julia and Connor without overtly attempting to vilify Sean but at the end; it’s Julia who doesn’t wan to hurt either Sean, Marlowe or Connor.

    However Julia takes Marlowe’s advice and tells Sean she won’t let him operate on Connor, which finally ignites a reaction and the two let rip on each other. Although nothing new is revealed between the two, you are given the distinct impression that their marriage may actually be over.

    Getting married for the sake of a child isn’t exactly the best reason for anyone to tie the knot, especially if the love isn’t there and poor Connor was never going to be enough of a reason for either Sean and Julia to stay with each other and like Julia later says to Marlowe, upon refusing to go to Florence with him, she is essentially better off when she isn’t depending on someone to give her a sense of self. The first half of Season Three and working in De La Mer showed us that too.

    Instead Julia plans to take Annie and Connor with her to New York to live with Erica and naturally, Sean thinks that once again, he has to pay for both of their mistakes. In a touching scene with Annie, the middle child asks if she and/or Connor are the reasons for their parents latest split, to which Sean reassures that they’re not.

    Back in 2026, Connor talks briefly about having a close relationship with Marlowe, going as far as to say that his former nanny became his godfather. Yes, despite being the man Julia cheated on him with, Sean was able to like Marlowe enough to let him play an active role in Connor’s life. There’s a great scene in 2006 where Sean and Marlowe put their differences aside and show mutual respect for one another. It’s the kind of subtlety and writing that proves no matter how outlandish this series, it’s most definitely not a soap opera.

    Sticking with the future, Connor is in a restaurant with a much older Julia and thirty old Annie, who is somewhat more vapid with age and has problems that are primarily played for laughs. She’s also played by Jan Brady/Jennifer Elise Cox and if she were my sister, I’d emigrate. Am I supposed to care that she dresses like a teenager and still blames her parents for her own problems? She’d make Kimber look mature.

    It’s a good thing that future Connor is likeable with Pretty Persuasion’s Stark Sands giving a very sympathetic performance as Cox mostly chews through her scenes. Granted, future Annie’s a riot and gets some brilliant lines to shoot at everyone but I think I would’ve hired a more subtle actress or even Anna Farris than the overactive Jennifer Elise Cox.

    The restaurant scene is for the benefit of getting Sean and Julia in the same room and despite the tension between the long divorced pair, both Connor and the naff Hugh Hefner clone, Christian (escorted by two ladies) manage to keep them from drawing knives at each other. It seems Connor has also pulled in the best surgeon to do his hand and that surgeon is Matt. No I’m serious and in twenty years, Matt will look more attractive and despite ever hardly being in school will be a highly skilled surgeon. Talk about improbabilities.

    The dinner scene is also helped with Annie’s special brand of attention; Christian still proving that age won’t stifle his libido (despite needing Viagra). It’s a scene that makes me miss Six Feet Under, which is strange because this episode is mostly doing the same thing that “Everyone’s Waiting” did as well with the characters.

    Anyways Julia later quizzes Connor about why he didn’t ask Sean to do the surgery and the lad admit despite the encouragement she has given him, he has never accepted his own handicap and didn’t want to pick sides between his parents. It’s a fair answer and the scene is merged with older Matt accusing Sean of abandoning Connor yet again during a critical time but that is soon resolved when Connor asks Sean to assist Matt in the surgery to which Christian ensures that he does.

    Matt’s reputation as an excellent surgeon is solidified with his sympathetic coaxing Connor into counting back from ten as Sean and Christian help him out in the most clean and least painful looking surgery ever seen on this series. It’s a really great scene between two sets of father and son and my, hasn’t technology advanced in two decades?

    Post surgery, we deal with one more fit of melodrama when Annie is arrested for stealing painkillers and when bailed from jail, lays into Sean and Julia’s bad parenting. Throughout the episode she’s brought up Julia flushing Frisky 1 down the toilet, the Princess Menses party and her parents losing it over her curiosity of understanding Connor’s condition. Julia and Sean apologise, a slightly joke is made out of it and Annie seems to forgive them but Jennifer Elise Cox is undeniably hammy at times.

    Back at recovery Connor and Marlowe are discussing Christian and Connor’s choices (Marlowe accepts the operation on his hand was his own decision), before nurse Jan takes a picture of Connor and his family: Julia, Sean, Matt, Annie, Christian and Marlowe. Hey, guys, where the heck is Liz?

    At the end of the flash forwards Connor shows his new hand to his therapist and as much as he was glad that all his family were together in one room for him, he still admits that he wished he felt his parents really loved each other. I love that he says in a dignified manner and that is doesn’t border on spoiled child syndrome.

    In our last two looks of 2006, Matt calms an upset Sean and vows not to abandon him and this was during a time when Sean really needed to hear that particular speech. Sadly though while Sean may still have his house and his oldest child around him (and Christian, when’s he not fawning over Michelle), this episode ultimate confirms the exits of Julia, Annie and Connor.

    Joely Richardson’s departure has been long rumoured this season but this episode is now the confirmation as Sean has to drop Julia and their younger children to the airport after the hurricane and it’s a particular bittersweet goodbye scene expertly played by both Dylan Walsh and Joely Richardson that manages to stay away from being mawkish. Julia, I might be in a minority but you’ll be missed.

    Also in “Connor McNamara 2026”

    Patient of the week: In 2026, it’s just Connor who wanted his other hand fixed but in 2006, there is no-one. We don’t even see McNamara/Troy this week.

    Connor (to his therapist): “My Mom told me people will love me for my green eyes and big heart but I’ve come to realise that girls like it when you can unhook their bra straps by themselves”.

    Did anyone else find the trailer for Dirt, slap bang after the opening credits downright annoying? FX, control yourselves!

    Julia (to Sean): “You can forgive me for sleeping with your best friend but you can’t handle that I made love to a man that looks different”.

    Marlowe went to Florence when he was nine years old and talked to Julia about the place being the start of the Renaissance. This episode heavily alludes to changes.

    Marlowe: “You just need me to take care of you”

    Julia: “Actually I need to take care of myself”.

    Annie: “Why are we sitting alone at this huge table? Is this a metaphor for the chasm in our family?”

    Connor: “No I was saving seats for your spirit guides”.

    Future stuff: Annie suffers from bulimia and agoraphobia, Christian married but wouldn’t do it again, Sean remarried and Julia looks a bit like Erica. There’s also a McNamara/Troy in Beijing.

    Annie: “Just so you all know, I had an abortion last week”.

    Sean: “Thanks for putting words in my mouth”

    Christian: “You’re welcome”.

    In the future we learn that a man can marry two women but gay men still can’t? It’s the first Ryan Murphy has ever been vocal about gay rights or politics really.

    Sean: “No you go be with your family. Hold them, protect them, don’t screw up like I did”

    Matt: “I am not leaving you”.

    Sean (to Julia): “She’s thirty years old; we don’t have to protect her”

    Annie: “Yeah, like you’ve ever done it in the past”.

    No Liz, Kimber, Michelle or Gina in the year 2026? How could either of these women not factor in twenty years time with the rest of our characters?

    Sean: “Mean? We’re agreeing with you”

    Annie: “I know, I hate it”.

    Chronology: A week or so since “Merrill Bobolit” in regards to events in 2006. Connor says Sean and Julia split when he was six months old so shouldn’t be 2007 by now?

    Annie: “How are people gonna clean up all the mess?”

    Julia: “People rebuild. That’s what we do”.

    Julia: “I love you, you know”

    Sean: “I love you too”.

    Standout music: Sufjan Steven’s “All The Trees Of The Field Will Clap Their Hands”. It’s a beautiful song that has also featured on the equally brilliant Weeds.

    Dodgy older prosthetic aside and maybe Ryan Murphy shooting himself in the foot if viewers aren’t satisfied with these as future events, “Connor McNamara 2026” is easily the best episode of the season and the competition has been pretty big for that achievement. A brilliant guest spot for actor Stark Sands as future and a wonderful departure for Joely Richardson’s Julia, this episode excelled everywhere.moreless
  • The Lives Before Their Eyes

    You really have to wonder why the Nip/Tuck writers decided to do this episode. While the future can change, this episode ties up neatly what happens to most of the main cast, leaving only Liz and Kimber (who don't appear in the episode) as characters you ultimately care about, since you don't know how they'll end up. Maybe this is just my interpretation of the episode, but I can't see why or how the future would change from the one we witnessed in Conor McNamara, 2026.

    I personally found the future scenes corny as hell. Along with the make-up (which could never be taken seriously), all the clunky references to what happens in the future (like the lack of gay marriage, "phone chips" and the polygamy amendment) just didn't work, and the dialogue was left stilted and unrealistic. I also found Annie extremely irritating. I don't know if it was just Jennifer Elise Cox's performance, but her "wacky" future was mostly played as farce, and you could hardly take her issues seriously.

    I also didn't like how Christian ended up. While I do like him at this current time as a huge player, I would eventually like him to settle down with somebody. This future, which has him as an ageing polygamist with two wives, just seems unfortunate, and stops any personal growth for him, or at least the audience's belief that he's growing and maturing as a person.

    While the episode was necessary so Julia could easily be written out because of Joely Richardson's real-life family commitments, I personally found most of the hour to be in equal measure silly, tedious and disappointing. A real waste of an hour, which ends up completely insulting the audience.

    Director: Craig Zisk

    Writer: Ryan Murphy

    Rating: Dmoreless
Jennifer Elise Cox

Jennifer Elise Cox

Annie McNamara, 2026

Guest Star

Rianna Loving

Rianna Loving

Dr. McNamara's Receptionist

Guest Star

Carol Kiernan

Carol Kiernan


Guest Star

Kelsey Lynn Batelaan

Kelsey Lynn Batelaan

Annie McNamara

Recurring Role

Peter Dinklage

Peter Dinklage

Marlowe Sawyer

Recurring Role

Trivia, Notes, Quotes and Allusions


  • TRIVIA (2)

    • Annie in 2026 reminds Julia about the time she cut up her dolls' hands to look like Conor. This happened in the episode Blu Mondae.

    • When Annie in 2026 is talking about her 'emotional baggage', she mentions having a party to celebrate her first period. Her 'Princess Menses' celebration was shown in the Season 2 episode Mrs. Grubman.

  • QUOTES (29)

    • Annie: (seeing the damage caused by the hurricane) How are people going to clean up all this mess?
      Julia: People rebuild. It's what we do.

    • Conor (2026): All my life, I felt like I was this curse on the family. I'm the one who tore them apart. Maybe that's why I didn't do the surgery any sooner. I needed to wait until it could bring us all together. I must have known it couldn't have happened any sooner than it did.
      Therapist: It's a gift, Conor. You chose the perfect moment to erase this so-called curse, and in return you get to move on with your life.

    • Conor (2026): I know you always taught me that being different has never stopped me from doing everything I wanted in life, Marlowe, but…
      Sawyer (2026): You don't have to explain, Conor. This decision was yours and nobody else's. It's a completely different thing if the operation is done on an infant.

    • Julia (2026): (to Annie) I did my best, sweetheart. I mean, I may not have always been right but I did try. And your father and I, we have a lot of regrets about our parenting
      Sean (2026): Absolutely, but we've never stopped loving you.
      Julia (2026): And whatever pain that I cause and whatever hurt that I did, I am really, truly sorry.

    • Sean (2026): (about Annie) She's thirty years old, Julia. We don't have to protect her anymore.
      Annie (2026): Yeah, like you've ever done it in the past!
      Julia (2026): What are you talking about?
      Annie (2026): You don't care about me. You never have.
      Sean (2026): That's ridiculous!
      Annie (2026): You know I barely have any memories of us being together as a family? And when we were, you were always yelling. Like that time I cut up my dolls' hands to look like Conor, because I was trying to process and you went all psycho. I was ten. What kind of parenting was that?
      Julia (2026): I still feel awful about that.
      Annie (2026): Well, imagine that pain I feel, Julia. That's why I had to steal the pills today, because my pain never goes away!

    • Conor (2006): Maybe if I was born with two perfect hands, you and Dad would have stayed together.
      Julia (2006): Oh, honey. Your father and I had our problems long before you were born. What happened twenty years ago, it had nothing to do with you.

    • Annie (2026): Why are we sitting alone at this huge table? Is it a metaphor for the chasm that separates our family?
      Conor (2026): No, I was just saving seats for your spirit guides.

    • Annie (2026): My spirit guides told me that I'm not in the right place to start a relationship right now. Last night, I took a meditation pill. They told me I have too much emotional baggage. What's my baggage? Where do I begin? Let's start with the fact that my mother flushed my pet gerbil Frisky One down the toilet. Oh, and did I also tell you that she shamed me into having a party to celebrate my first period? I still get panic attacks whenever I use a tampon!

    • Sawyer: (to Conor) Hey, buddy. It'll pass. It's just weather. (There is a rumble of thunder and Conor begins to cry) You've already been through a lot worse. And you were a brave soldier, weren't you? One day, this will all be a distant memory. You'll have your own life. And you won't be at the mercy of storms you don't understand. (pause) It's been an honour to know you.

    • (Julia tells Sawyer she won't be going with him)
      Sawyer: You just need me to take care of you.
      Julia: Actually, I need to take care of myself. And the only way that I know how to do that is to be on my own.
      Sawyer: Julia…
      Julia: I have spent my whole life depending on others for security. Christian, Sean. I am never going to be strong enough to survive this moment in my life if I don't do it on my own.
      Sawyer: Is it Florence? I mean, we don't have to go to Florence.
      Julia: No, no, it's not about Florence…
      Sawyer: What is it? Is it my size? Oh, God, you don't have to explain. It's always like this. It's fine for a while and then the novelty wears off. I thought we loved each other.
      Julia: I do love you. And I love you for allowing me to be this imperfect woman.
      Sawyer: But you're not in love with me.
      Julia: What we have now is a shared love for Conor. And that's all we have.

    • Annie: Is this going to be like last time, when Mom moved out but you asked her to come back again?
      Sean: I don't think so, Annie.
      Annie: Is it my fault, Dad?
      Sean: No. Absolutely not. Your Mom and I… we just… we grew apart.
      Annie: Then it's because of Conor. Maybe he can live with Mom and I can stay here with you.

    • Sean: Don't you think you're overpacking a little? Conor's only going to be in recovery overnight.
      Julia: He's not having the surgery, Sean. He and Annie are coming with me.
      Sean: You think I'm gonna let you take my kids away from me, I'll fight you with everything I have.
      Julia: And ruin their lives in the process?
      Sean: Once again, I'm the one who has to suffer? The burden always has to be on me?
      Julia: Sean, stop it…
      Sean: You screwed Marlowe!
      Julia: You screwed Monica, and it shouldn't take us having to hurt each other like that to realise that we just don't belong together anymore.
      Sean: Why him? I understand you cheating on me. Did you have to humiliate me too?
      Julia: You can forgive me for sleeping with your best friend, but you can't handle the fact that I made love to a man who looks different, who's somehow imperfect.
      Sean: I can handle imperfection, Julia
      Julia: Is that why you're so desperate to operate on your son? Eighty percent of your day is spent making people look better as if it was somehow going to make them feel better as well.
      Sean: Yeah? That eighty percent paid for this house.
      Julia: God, it did more than pay for this house, Sean, it seeped into its foundations, the furniture, us. It's a poison. I know that being with Marlowe was wrong but it opened my eyes to how consumed I am with appearances. It has eaten away at me like a cancer.

    • Julia: I've decided to let Sean go ahead and operate on his other hand. (to Sawyer) Please, just, don't look at me like that. I mean, he's his father. I can't just… It's his dream for his son!
      Sawyer: His dream is misguided and invasive, you know that.
      Julia: I know that you're angry with me but, please, just try and see it through my eyes.
      Sawyer: Julia, yeah, I'm angry but mostly I'm disappointed in you. Conor can't defend himself from his father's obsession with creating a perfect son. It's an illusion, it's an ego-trip, it's harmful. The whole world you people live in, it's just…
      Julia: It's what? Go on, Marlowe, say it. It's what?
      Sawyer: If you're not his advocate, he's got no-one.
      Julia: Oh my God, I'm literally torn in pieces. Everywhere I turn, I'm betraying someone. I can't bear to torture Conor and I cannot bear to hurt Sean and I can't bear to lose your respect. So what am I supposed to do?

    • Sean: Storms blow over. Sometimes you get lucky and you ride out the winds and the terrible damage and you survive. The sun comes out the next day; you forget how afraid you were of losing everything. It's all… just a bad dream.

    • Sean: Why haven't you asked me about Monica? What I did, why I did it.
      Julia: I know why you did it. The same reason that I had an affair with Marlowe.
      Sean: I want to talk about it.
      Julia: I already know all the answers. So do you.

    • Conor (2026): As soon as I scheduled my surgery, I started having nightmares. About my parents. They split up when I was just a baby. I guess I never really thought about it. I mean, I'd just always knew them as two separate entities, like Africa and South America. They were these two huge landmasses separated by an ocean but, one day, someone tells you that they used to be one big continent… and you start to see the places where they… y'know, where they broke apart.
      Therapist: I'm not following.
      Conor (2026): I was six months old. What makes a couple that's been married for almost twenty years break up when they have a six-month old baby?
      Therapist: So you want to know for sure why they divorced.
      Conor (2026): I want to feel whole and normal in every way possible and, surgery or not, I don't think I can until I know the truth.

    • Conor (2026): I went to an all-boys prep school, and there are a lot of girls at my college. My mom always told me that people would love me for my big green eyes and my good heart, but I've come to realise girls also like it when you can unhook their bras by yourself.

    • Christian (2026) at dinner speaking to Sean and Julia: "This is bullshit, your son invited you here to make make nice!"

    • Julia: (to Sean about her affair with Marlowe) I know that being with Marlowe was wrong but it opened my eyes to how obsessed I was with appearances!

    • Marlowe: (to Julia) Conor can't defend himself against his fathers obsession to create a pefect son!

    • Sean: Hurricane Lenore, it sounds like an old maid Aunt coming to town to kick your ass.

    • Conor to his therapist: "I want to feel whole and normal in every way possible"

    • Sean : (at the airport saying his goodbyes) Seeya Jules.

    • Conor (2026): (to his therapist post-surgery) I wish I felt like my parents really loved each other, that's all.

    • Annie (2026): (to Sean and Julia after being bailed out of jail) Sorry you were awful parents, so this is what you get....DEAL!

    • Annie (2026): (introducing her boyfriend to Conor and Julia) Mom, Conor, I would like you to meet my boyfriend Ahmed. Just so you know, Ahmed is bi-sexual.

    • Annie (2026): (to her family at dinner) Just so you all know, I had an abortion last week.

    • Julia: (to Sean) We only got back together because I was pregnant. Conor was a gift, and this is the price we have to pay for having him.

    • Conor (2026): (to Therapist) All I want to be able to do is walk into a room one day, hold out my hand proudly and say 'Hi, Im Conor McNamara'.

  • NOTES (7)

    • Season five's episode "Ronnie Chase" would reveal that this entire "future sequence" was all a dream Sean had as he relates it to Christian.

    • Original International Air Dates:
      Czech Republic: February 11, 2009 on TV Nova

    • Peter Dinklage is credited as a Special Guest Star

    • Jennifer Elise Cox receives the 'and' credit.

    • Although listed in the opening credits, Roma Maffia and Kelly Carlson do not appear in this episode.

    • Music featured in the episode:
      "Barcarolle" by Jacques Offenbach (Julia talks with Marlo about Conor's surgery)
      "Dubeaster" by Mazzini (Conor organizes a dinner so his family can meet his surgeon)
      "I will remember you" by Stephen Lang, Jamie Dunlap, Scott Nickoley (Conor asks his father to participate in his surgery)
      "Cello concerto in B minor" by Antonin Dvorak (Matt, Christian and Sean work together to fix Conor's hand)
      "All the trees of the field will clap their hands" by Sufjan Stevens (Sean goes to the airport with Julia, Annie and Conor to see the damage made by the hurricane)

    • This episode marks Joely Richardson (Julia)'s final appearance of the season. She chose to leave the show due to family issues. However, she will come back next season.