Season 5 Episode 16

Gene Shelly

Aired Wednesday 10:00 PM Jan 13, 2009 on FX

Episode Fan Reviews (6)

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  • Sexual Identity Written by Lyn Greene And Richard Levine Directed by Richard Levine

    Rajesh (to Gene): "Let me tell you what I don't like about yourself".

    The more and more I hear that line, the more it still remains quite funny. Of course if you were a would be client at McNamara/Troy, the last thing you'd want is a precocious seventeen year old being that critical of your appearance.

    Two episodes in and Rajesh is still a pretty promising character. The guy doesn't quite have a filter just yet but his one-liners are certainly fun and he adds to the Sean/Christian/Liz dynamic effectively well.

    I know there's a lot of viewers out there who are probably less taken with the character but I do find him suitably charming enough and if having one of the Shelly's go down on you is anything to go, then perhaps that Rajesh is perfect for McNamara/Troy after all.

    Two other key moments in this episode for the character is when he blurts out to Sean that Christian and Liz had sex. It's moments like that make you remember in spite of his genius, Rajesh really is just a teenager, immature and all. Still made for a good moment though.

    The other significant moment is his horror when he realised that Tracy is a pre-op transsexual and immediately it's Liz that Rajesh feels comfortable talking about this to. Maybe Rajesh knew instinctively that both Sean and Christian wouldn't be quite as helpful or sympathetic on the topic.

    Tackling the debate of whether or not Rajesh is gay I'd say no but clearly he isn't exactly beating would be girlfriends off with a stick either. His advice to Liz at the end of the conversation endeared him to me but hey, anyone has to be an improvement on Eden right?

    Of course Rajesh's minor little moment of sexual identity crisis is nothing compared to what the writers have got cooked up with Liz. Much as I love this show (and I do loads), unlike series such as Six Feet Under or Brothers And Sisters, the writers haven't exactly been brilliant in their gay storylines.

    Liz is a wonderful character and probably the only remaining regular on the show who you could put up on a pedestal but let's have a look at her history, shall we. We've got Jan, who we never met, Sophia, which was too brief, Poppy, who was downright annoying, Wendy, who was really straight and also unseen and a minor crush on Olivia as well as the one nighter who nicked her kidney and that's about it.

    In other words poor Liz has had a disaster area of a love life, most of which for viewers has never been fully fleshed out. When I heard that she and Christian were going to end up sleeping together I was less than pleased and this was certainly the harder plot to get through in this episode.

    I suppose it's not implausible for a gay woman to sleep with a man in the same way that a straight woman can experiment with another woman. However with this show, the sex scenes are just creepy and Christian and Liz's certainly pushed the uncomfortable factor up a couple of notches if I'm honest.

    Technically from what we saw, it could've been construed as rape. Christian assumed Liz was asleep and Liz thought the same of Christian and when Rajesh outed them, he bragged about getting his mojo back. That is pretty much atypical Christian but I can understand Liz's annoyance towards and I certainly enjoyed her insulting his sexual prowess.

    However the consequence of this story is that Liz is now seemingly attracted to Christian, which kind of sucks to be honest. One of the best things about Liz was that she wasn't attracted to Christian for obvious reasons and now that she might be, I'm not particularly enthused as to where this storyline.

    Also true to form, Christian played on Liz's nurturing side this episode. Earlier on, he wasn't pleased with her efforts to take care of him and when his luck with both Kimber and Kitty the hooker sank like a lead balloon, Liz suddenly became a lot more attractive to him.

    Despite the fact that she's an absolute malicious halfwit, it's nice that Kimber finally has Christian sussed. While she was completely out of line for saying that him getting cancer was karmic, she did have every right to attack him about his treatment towards women. It's just a pity that Kimber doesn't seem to have any self awareness about herself. When she started talking about motherhood being so stressful, I was fit to bend over laughing. The only people who interact with Jenna on a regular basis in Kimber and Ram's shag pad are probably staff.

    Then there was Kitty the hooker. Up until the point where she assaulted Christian and nicked his medication, I was finding her quite amusing. After that, not so much a fan. Still Christian must be pretty desperate if he now has to pay for sex. However his knack for actually being awesome every now and then played into Sean's plot this week.

    First off all, I feel for Sean, I really do but faking a paralysis is just downright stupid and although Julia and Matt are far from saints, they did have every right to be mad at him. Sean was already in the doghouse with Julia over lying to her about them still being married so that really should've been an incentive for him to stop.

    Heck even when his physical therapist had sussed him out, Sean should've gave in and confessed. The only thing that did make him give in was Daphne's creepy baby fetish which would make any man run for the hills. Instead Sean just revealed he could walk as he threw her out.

    The awesome part about Christian is that instead of joining in with Matt and Julia's angry villager mentality, he used some emotional blackmail to get Sean to agree to operate on him. Actually what Christian said was genuinely sweet and while Sean shouldn't be pressured into performing surgeries if he isn't ready, at least Christian's words made him stop pretending that he couldn't walk.

    Also in "Gene Shelly"

    Apart from Gene Shelley and much discussion about Christian's reconstruction surgery, we didn't get too much scalpel action this week.

    Christian: "Stop it! You've been a lesbian so long you forgot that men don't like to be petted when they're puking".
    Liz: "Gotcha".

    What is going to happen with the Hearts And Scalpels segment of the series? Is it gone for good?

    Julia: "I just don't know why you would lie to me like that. Tell me that we're still married".
    Sean: "I guess at the time, I thought it would help".
    Julia: "Who – you or me?"

    Kimber: "You have no idea. Maybe a little with the cancer but being a mother? It's stressful".
    Christian: "I bet".

    Um, actually Christian WOULD have an idea. He's a single parent to Wilbur for crying out. At least Kimber has Ram as well as more staff than Gloria I presume.

    Kimber (to Christian): "Bet that made you feel like a real man, throwing me around like that. I feel sorry for you, Christian, I do but when you look at all the emotional scars you've left on other women over the years. I'm surprised this didn't happen to you sooner".

    Lila (to Sean): "I enjoy role playing. It's a lot more fun than sitting around watching the soaps all day".

    While Julia doesn't seem to remember that Eden shot her, Kimber revealed that Eden was living with her and Ram. I'm guessing Olivia is unaware of Eden's dabbling into porn then.

    Gene: "Trace and I, we like to stay open minded".
    Christian: "Well, next time open your mind and your mouth somewhere else".

    Christian: "No, I have cancer".
    Kitty: "No refunds if you can't get it up".
    Christian: "I'll be fine".
    Kitty: "As long as you're not contagious".

    It's amazing that both Kimber and Kitty made remarks about Christian's cancer being something they could catch. Kimber's laughter at his scar was cruel.

    Christian: "What do you think Lizzie, one peck or two?"
    Liz: "One. I don't think your chest needs any more inflating".

    Rajesh: "Liz Cruz. You and Dr Troy had sexual intercourse!"
    Sean: "You and Liz had sex?"
    Christian: "Yes, Lizzie was there for me. She spread her legs and made me feel good".
    Liz: "You were awake?"
    Christian: "Yeah, I got my mojo back".

    How on Earth could Liz not have thought that Christian and why didn't she stop him either?

    Rajesh: "I'm praying to free myself from impurity and sin".
    Liz: "Aim high".

    Rajesh: "Thank you, Liz Cruz. I think you are a beautiful lesbian or non lesbian, whatever you decide". Standout music: "How Deep Is Your Love" by The Bird And The Bee stood out the most for me as well as Rajesh's singing.

    Christian (to Sean): "Must be exhausting having to take care of everyone else. All I wanna say is stay in that chair as long as you need to. As far as the surgery's concerned it can wait, as long as it takes, alright?"

    Chronology: Presumably a week or two since "Ronnie Chase".

    Slimy sex scenes aside, I did think that "Gene Shelly" was a tad stronger than the previous episode. I'm not entirely sure of Liz's sexual identity crisis plot line but hopeful her attraction to Christian (if there really is any) is short lived and that the Eden thread will be resolved sooner rather than later.
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