Season 2 Episode 1

Erica Noughton

Aired Wednesday 10:00 PM Jun 22, 2004 on FX
out of 10
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209 votes

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Episode Summary

Sean has just turned 40, and he is already noticing it. His body is aging, and he has developed "the yips", making his performance during surgeries decline. Julia breaks the news to Sean that her mother, Erica, is coming to visit. Erica tells them that she wants a facelift - and she wants Sean to do it. Sean would prefer that Christian do it instead. Meanwhile, Christian is having problems with picky Gina, who is trying to keep Christian away from baby Wilbur, because it isn't his baby. Having his own problems with age, he is rejected by a 25-year old at a bar. Christian decides to hire a nanny, who he ends up having sex with, and later learns that she is giving the baby drugs to keep it from crying. Christian tries to convince Sean to have botox, but he refuses (at first). They perform surgery on a woman who was shot in the face nine months earlier. She is brought along by her gay friend. The two are having problems because the woman loves Chad, but Chad doesn't love her in that way, because he's in love with his boyfriend. We learn that Chad and the woman were planning on shooting each other, but she couldn't pull the trigger, so Chad was left unharmed. During Erica's facelift, Sean panics and can't do it. Christian is having some trouble too - he's slept with Erica, the night of Sean and Julia's wedding. The surgery continues. Later that day, Christian is having problems with Wilbur, so he calls Julia to come help him. She gets upset on how Christian can't handle his own responsibilities, and snaps at him for sleeping with her mother.moreless

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  • ...otro capítulo más...

    Igual al comienzo de la primera temporada no quedé conforme con este capítulo, de lo más flojito que ví hasta ahora. La historia no es interesante, el personaje de la madre de Julia no esta a la altura de semejante actriz, y nada interesante pasa. Espero que la falta de contenido no sea una constante esta temporada.

    Ni siquiera pasó algo nuevo que uno pueda llegar a decir: "Uy! Mirá este personaje, no me lo esperaba!" o "Mirá, Christian tiene un auto nuevo!". Nada, simplemente las extensiones de Julia y el tic de Sean.Christian no se esfuerza mucho como padre, obvio, y todo así. Espero que mejore.moreless
  • Fourtysomething

    Nip/Tuck has clearly grown up. Not exactly in the mature sense of the word (since the show is still silly-as-hell), but it's obvious that entering its second season has given it an added confidence. Ryan Murphy is now unafraid to venture into deeper, more character-driven storylines, and it's great to see every member of the cast get some great material to work with in this season premiere.

    Vanessa Redgrave puts in a tour de force of a performance as Julia's icy, shameless mother Erica Noughton. The scenes featuring real-life mother and daughter sparkle with fun and humor, especially the scene at the gym, where Erica hints that she had sex with Christian and then proceeds to flash her own daughter. Both moments make Julia unsurprisingly disgusted. Erica's a hilarious character, and her interaction with all three principal cast members produces some of the episode's best scenes.

    The episode's subplot was devastating. Romy Rosemont put in a brutal performance as Libby Zucker, a woman who hit middle-age and gave up on attempting to make her life better, which resulted in a gun going off in her face. As the episode goes on, we learn that Libby was shot by her best friend in a suicide pact gone badly wrong. The scene where we see the terrifying event was beautifully shot, with Rosemont and Chris Diamantopoulos aiming guns at each other, against a stark white background. Diamontopoulos brings some sympathy toward what, through a series of events, has become somebody very unlikable. He wasn't scared about shooting Libby, and then abandoned her when she needed him most. The fatal ending to the story was truly shocking, but it was annoying that it was left open-ended, and the audience left in the dark over what happened to Libby.

    Age plays an important part in the episode, with both Sean and Christian hitting a brick wall as they hit 40. Sean is experiencing a mid-life crisis, angry over his wrinkles, sagging butt and lack of drive. This is all made worse by his "yips" (spasms in the hand), which put the whole practice in jeopardy. The scene with Christian at the bar was both funny and sad, with a woman ridiculing his age and his old-fashioned flirting techniques, before running off with an annoying guy ten years younger than him.

    The Wilber storyline continued, with Gina actually making some sense this time around. Christian can't act like a kid, and have a kid too. His affair with the nanny was embarrassing, but it was great that at the end of the episode he realized that he needs to put Wilber before his sex life.

    A perfect season premiere featuring four excellently-written storylines which cross each other in unexpected ways. When first aired, Erica Noughton promised great things for season two. We had no idea how amazing this year would eventually become...

    Director: Ryan Murphy

    Writer: Ryan Murphy

    Rating: A+moreless
  • "It took almost dying for me to realize that aging isn\'t a curse. It\'s a privilege.\"


    Aging was definitely the main theme of tonight’s episode; which I thought was a pretty suitable topic for a season premiere.

    Sean got diagnosed with the yips today. The yips are, \"other then the sound a dog makes\", basically a condition when a person’s hand twitches because of anxiety or pressure the person is putting on himself. Sean\'s are probably a result of an anxiety of aging plus the pressures he puts on himself every day at his job. Sean reminded Christian many times in this episode that the both of them were at their plateau in life, and that everything after this is just downhill. Sean\'s yips are causing him to not be able to perform surgery, which could prove to be quite problematic for McNamara/Troy if their more skilled surgeon can\'t operate.

    I think Christian had every right to get mad at the nanny for feeding Wilbur cough medicine to make him sleepy. But really, what kind of nanny did he think he was getting when she slept with him during the interview? Christian is determined to not let fatherhood come in the way of his playboy life, but today both of his priorities collided. Gina did have somewhat of a point; Christian can\'t be a kid and raise one, although Gina\'s certainly not the best person to be dishing out advice on responsibility.

    Again on the topic of aging, Christian got shot down for the first time because of his age. This rejection probably was part of the reason for his weakness that caused him to sleep with Erica Noughton, Julia\'s mother. That and the fact that she bares more then a passing resemblance to Julia, the women he lusts over most that he can\'t have.

    Final Notes and Quotes

    - Vanessa Regrave is wonderful as Julia\'s narcissistic mother. She, like her daughter Joely Richardson, is a wonderful addition to the cast and helps give the audience more insight into Julia as we are allowed to see what kind of mother she was raised by.

    - Christian: \"The world is our oyster and we\'re going to suck that **** down with a champagne chaser.\"

    - Libby Zucker was an interesting patient but did anyone else experience character whiplash? One minute she\'s dishing out deep quotes saying that aging is a privilege, and the next she\'s shooting her best friend saying she can\'t let him grown old. I\'m guessing her murder was more of a result of jealousy that she was loosing her friend.

    - In other news Grace Santiago has evaporated into thin air, as there was not one mention of her in the episode and Valerie Cruz is no longer in the cast.

    - Valerie Cruz exits and Roma Maffia takes up her stop as series regular. That deserves a double round of applause. Good choice Ryan Murphy (which for those still clueless, he is the creator of this show).

    - Sean turned forty today and at the end of the episode it was Christian\'s birthday. Their birthdays can\'t be more then a week apart.

    - Sean and Julia looked so happy together today. I hope it lasts.

    - Gina: \"I don\'t want my child around cheap, common whores.\"

    Christian: \"He\'s around you all the time. Oh correction, you\'re an expensive whore.\"

    I knew they wouldn\'t stay friendly forever.

    - It was a fun episode, but I was a little disappointed that many issues from last season weren\'t addressed such as Matt\'s hit and run. I guess the producers are saving that for later episodes.

    - Sean: \"Do you have any other birthday surprises for me?\"

    Julia: \"My mother\'s coming.\"

    Liz: \"Surprise!\"

    - Christian had a white cupcake and a black one in the final scene with Wilbur; which I thought was funny considering their two races.

    - Sean not being able to blow out the candles quickly at his birthday, just helped illustrate his frustrations at growing old.

    Final Rating: 2 out of 4 stars.

    - Tim Bronx

    You can find this and many other reviews at:

  • Men At 40 Written And Directed by Ryan Murphy

    Some things ripen with age and while this is a statement that could be used for a show in a much later time, its quite appropriate for this opener as both our surgeons hit the big the 4-0 and go about their separate journeys with this peak.

    The first five minutes of the premiere are dedicated to Sean’s birthday, which sees Christian acknowledging they’re no longer in their thirties and sampling their own merchandise is not only a way of keeping up but it’s actually expected of them too. Sean being Sean declines the botox gift from his best mate and pretends to be surprised at his 40th birthday party attended by everyone (the bigger shock would’ve been if they had all forgotten of course) and things kick into action but post-party, Sean begins to wonder whether his life really is great if there’s something not right after all.

    Let’s take a look from when we met in the “Pilot” – him and Julia were on the rocks big time, he didn’t have any real bond with Matt and he was tired of being forced to morally compromise his position by the likes of Escobar Gallardo as well as constantly cleaning up Christian’s mess. A year and a half later (almost), he has sustained better relationships with both his wife and son (though once again, we barely see anything of Matt in the premiere). Both him and Julia seem to be on a similar page and even have a laugh with each other too, so what exactly has brought on these “yips” of Sean’s?

    His doctor believes despite Sean’s seemingly content nature, that it’s psychological which for me could probably been the stress of turning forty (he almost puts his patients at risk with his condition) and feeling that now he’s at the top of his game, he could be put out to pasture.

    As the episode opened with Sean’s birthday blues, Christian for all his arrogant swagger and self-determination also felt the strife of getting older. Let’s take a look – his love/hate relationship with Gina (I have made it clear how much I enjoy these two squabbling like kids, right?) continues to be tested even more with the impact of Wilbur’s presence. Both are usually irresponsible people who now will have to be forced to behave like adults for Wilbur’s sake. Yup, Gina has to be a competent mother as well to a child who she still has no idea of who the biological father is and despite her disapproval, she does need Christian. Although it has yet to be spelled out there’s always the inkling she wouldn’t cope as well as a single parent but like a certain desperate housewife, she should lay off the mommy card.

    She did have a point with castigating Christian for him strictly hiring a nanny who spent more catering to Christian than Wilbur but if he doesn’t want to be held hostage by Gina or parenthood then he should hire staff he won’t want to bang. At least Christian fired the irresponsible bitch in the end for using cough syrup to quieten Wilbur, so it shows he does take or wants to take his new role seriously. Which is better than his seduction techniques in the hour as his attempts of charming the skirt off Nicole at the bar were lecherous and quite pathetic. However just like Sean, he does crave to be a better man, though not enough to ditch his playboy lifestyle. It’ll be fun to see if he can balance both but already we’re intriguing development from Christian.

    Meanwhile Julia had her own shit to deal with too with the arrival of her mother played by Joely Richardson’s real life mom, Vanessa Redgrave. To say the apple doesn’t fall from the tree may be underselling it but they are striking similarities to Julia and Erica, which are enough to convince you to believe why Christian would sleep with her and why Julia doesn’t particularly care for her mom.

    On first inspection, Erica is narcissistic, self-pitying and involved and throughout her debut, not exactly endearing. A child psychologist who once prized her successful endeavours on her smarts, now feels the need to resort to a facelift to flog her books, although she doesn’t particularly care for Sean, she insists he does the surgery before it got passed off to Christian and Erica revels all too much in telling her daughter she bedded the dishy doc.

    This again brings up the unresolved tension towards Christian and Julia but unfortunately, bugger all is done with it in any, just Julia shouting at Christian to grow up, stop trying to hurt her and move on and Christian saying he doesn’t want to get between her and Sean. In fact this particular angle was the episode’s weakest link and Erica’s presence annoyed me more than it did Julia. Still though if her presence allows more exploration and depth in Julia’s psyche I’m all for that and while you could scream stunt casting, Vanessa Redgrave is great in the role of Erica.

    Also in “Erica Noughton”

    Patient of the week: Libby Zucker needed another operation on her face after a suicide pact with her best friend, Chad Myers went wrong. Keeping in touch with complexities of growing older, Libby kills Chad after he tells her he’s finally found happiness and she can’t take it.

    Christian: “Tell me what you don’t like about yourself”

    Sean: “You know what? Nothing”.

    Julia (to Sean): “My mother is coming to stay”

    Liz: “Surprise”.

    This episode didn’t have a teaser. We got a reprise from last season, then the opening credits and everything else. How strange.

    Julia: “What happened to women should wear their wrinkles like a badge of honour?”

    Erica: “That worked when I was naïve and firm enough to shove my braless tits in the faces of all those patriarchal Freudians”.

    Roma Maffia (Liz Cruz) was finally made a regular while Valerie Cruz is gone. Pity the writers didn’t at least explain Grace’s absence.

    Nicole (to Christian): “Look you’re cool but I have a real daddy and I don’t want another one”.

    Gina: “I don’t want my child around cheap whores”

    Christian: “He’s around you all the time. Oh correction, you’re an expensive whore”.

    Was it me or was Christian’s office finally remade? It looked different from last time it was seen.

    Erica: “Why do you have a subconscious desire to harm me?”

    Sean: “I assure you Erica, any desire to harm you is conscious”.

    Erica’s facelift was the first full on one we’ve seen.

    We got no chronological references from the first season finale. How much time has passed since “Escobar Gallardo”?

    Julia (re Erica/Christian): “It’s not funny Sean”

    Sean: “I’m sorry but the pictures of those two vain little peas in their self-absorbed pods pumping away, I think it’s hilarious”.

    Christian (to Sean): “Men age in society and say we’ve become more rugged and women age and they just become old. It’s sad”.

    Standout music in this episode was “So Nice” by Bebel Gilberto, “I Wish” by Stevie Wonder, “Lovegirl” by Teena Marie and “Vibrate” by Rufus Wainwright.

    When I first saw this episode, I wasn’t totally impressed with it but after a couple of more viewings, it really grew on me and I think Ryan Murphy found a nice way of easing us into what will be an amazing second year.

  • "Age isnt a curse, it's a privelige". After much thought and consideration Sean soon starts to realize this, as along with Christian, he turns 40...

    "Tell me, what don't you like about yourself?"

    Words we've become accustomed to over the last thirteen episodes, it's a question we automatically relate to Nip/Tuck. Interesting however, the situation this time is different, and roles are reversed as Sean McNamara is at the end of the question, and knowing he's becoming 40, struggles for an answer.

    The opening scene of the episode is a great way to break us back into Nip/Tuck, and early on sets up some plots for the coming season. Sean confidently announces he's happy, his marriage his great, children are healthy, and he's at the top of his game. It's recap dialouge but it works, as it helps you remember what has happened and also provides newbies with some prior knowledge. The light dialouge between Sean and Christian is also highly entertaining to watch, and reminds you of why exactly you love the programme: the chemistry between the two surgeons.

    A lot has changed since Season 1 however. Since Merril Bobolit went out of business McNamara-Troy are now the number 1 plastic surgeons in Miami. Furthermore Christian is now a father, and interestingly, there's a new character: Erica Noughton, Julia's mother. Played by Vanessa Redgrave, Erica did a good job of establishing herself as a new regular in such little time, and also showed she has a lot of history with both McNamara AND Troy. Her storylines and scenes over the next few episodes along with her possible meddling shall be interesting. Another story set up early is Sean's "yips". The cause of "anxiety over expectation", Sean's nervous twitch makes him unable to operate, and a liability to McNamara-Troy. Like Erica's arrival, this is one story that should hopefully be interesting once it has developed a little more.

    And so to the downfall of the episode: the patient. Disgusting in face and myself uninterested in her back story meant she was without a doubt the downfall of the episode. Thankfully her story is explained throughout the episode, but as it was so much of a chore to watch, I dont think it's worth mentioning. Plus she never returns, making her a one-time-episode bore.

    The theme of the episode was undoubtedly aging. Sean's 40th birthday, Erica wanting a facelift to look younger, Christian being a dad, and even the patient's backstory all tie together under the theme of "aging". With Nip/Tuck now being in it's second series it's somewhat ironic, but like the future plotlines, it will be interesting to see how Nip/Tuck as a show can grow.

    Nip/Tuck is now 2 years old!moreless
Chris Diamantopoulos

Chris Diamantopoulos

Chad Myers

Guest Star

Rachael Hollingsworth

Rachael Hollingsworth

Nicole Watts

Guest Star

Ryan McTavish

Ryan McTavish

Young Guy

Guest Star

Jessalyn Gilsig

Jessalyn Gilsig

Gina Russo

Recurring Role

Kelsey Lynn Batelaan

Kelsey Lynn Batelaan

Annie McNamara

Recurring Role

Vanessa Redgrave

Vanessa Redgrave

Dr. Erica Noughton

Recurring Role

Trivia, Notes, Quotes and Allusions


  • TRIVIA (4)

    • This is the first time we see Christian get rejected by a woman.

    • Featured Music:

      "Ravel's Bolero" by Jazzelicious (Christian attempts to botox Sean)
      "So Nice (Summer Samba)" by Bebel Gilberto (Sean's birthday party)
      "I Wish" by Stevie Wonder (Christian 'helps' Gina nurse/Sean blows out birthday candles/Sean examines his ass and gives himself botox)
      "Eyes Without A Face" by Billy Idol (Libby Zucker's gun-shot reconstructive surgery)
      "Justine" by Brookville (Christian 'interviews' the nanny)
      "Hold 'Dat" (Richard X Re-mix) by Prince Po (Christian attempts to pick up Nicole Watts (orthopedics resident) in bar)
      "Last Tango in Paris" by Gotan Project (Christian still at bar w/Nicole as she turns him down)
      "Last Tango in Paris" (Reprise) by Gotan Project (Christian consults with Erica on face-lift surgery)
      "Lovergirl" by Teena Marie (Julia & Erica work out at the gym)
      "Bach's Overture #3" by Zigo (Erica Noughton's face-lift surgery)
      "Vibrate" by Rufus Wainwright (Libby shoots Chad Myer/Sean eating cake by himself/Christian with Wilbur blowing out candles on his 40th birthday cupcakes)

    • Goof: When Christian faces the 25-year old woman, one shot shows the young man getting up. Then the next shot shows the young man getting up again.

    • Goof: When Christian is threatening to give Sean a botox injection at the beginning of the episode, the position of the plunger in the syringe changes several times from about 0.3 ml to empty.

  • QUOTES (10)

    • Christian: So, Erica, tell me what you don't like about yourself.
      Erica: My neck... my eyes... my stupidity. Why did I ever let you go?
      Christian: I bet you say that to all the boys you slept with at your daughter's wedding.

    • Christian: That was eerie what we just did in there, wasn´t it? Men age and society says we´ve become more rugged women age and they just become... old. Sad.

    • Julia: You slept with my mother.
      Christian: Once. At your wedding.
      Julia: Also at my wedding?
      Christian: So, I see she offered up full disclosure.
      Julia: OK, Christian, thank you.
      Christian: For what?
      Julia: Thank you for releasing me completely from any residual emotional attachment that I might have had towards you.

    • Christian: Actually, I still think you are a knockout. You don´t need a face-lift, Erica.
      Erica: Don´t bullshit a bullshitter. When a hunky guy at the airport asks you directions not because he´s trying to pick you up but because he really wants those directions you´ve fallen off the radar, sexually speaking.

    • Julia: My own mother flashed me at the gym, then she insisted she had a better body than me.

    • Julia: What happened to 'women should wear their wrinkles like a badge of honour'?
      Erica: That worked when I was naive and firm enough to shove my braless tits in the faces of all those patriarchal Freudians.

    • Libby Zucker: It took almost dying for me to realize that aging isn't a curse. It's a privilege.

    • Erica: Do you have a subconscious desire to harm me?
      Sean: I assure you Erica, any desire I have to harm you is entirely conscious.

    • Gina: My tits are ripe. And this blouse is silk, stains are forever. So, I need you to suck it up.

    • Christian: You had no right to fire my nanny.
      Gina: I don't want my child around cheap common whores.
      Christian: He's around you all the time. Oh correction, you're an expensive whore.

  • NOTES (7)


    • Christian: Milk 'em yourself, Heidi.

      "Heidi" is an 1880 children's book by Johanna Spyri. The story is about an orphaned Swiss girl who was sent to live with her grandfather on a mountain. One of the story points is about a criple girl named Clara getting strong on goat's milk and the mountain air.