Season 2 Episode 16

Joan Rivers

Aired Wednesday 10:00 PM Oct 05, 2004 on FX
out of 10
User Rating
323 votes

By Users

Episode Summary

Joan Rivers consults with Sean and Christian to have all of her plastic surgeries undone, because she wants her grandson Cooper to learn that you don't have to be perfect. When she ultimately learns what she will turn out like after the work has been finished, she decides to give up on her original plan and asks the doctors to schedule her for a facelift the next morning. Matt is concerned about Ava, who seems obviously depressed. He suggests they go away to Paris and start a new life together, which she reluctantly accepts after some convincing. Matt goes to McNamara-Troy to steal drugs for her to take with them. Christian finds him, and gets upset when he learns Matt is going to Paris. Christian goes to have a talk with Ava, and when trying to make a point using sex, he learns that Ava is really a transsexual. Julia, Sean, and Christian spend the night researching, and trace their way to Maryland and a Gender Reassignment center. They learn that Ava's surgeon was a retired doctor by the name of Barrett Moore. Avery was a homosexual admirer of his, but Barrett could not love him the way Avery wanted him to. He perfected his plan for surgery, and made Avery a woman. They married, but their marriage was not perfect. Since they could not conceive, Barrett used a surrogate, and Adrian was born. Ava could not live with the pain, so she left with Adrian when Barrett was not home. Julia confronts Ava, and tells her that she knows her secret - and that she will reveal it to Matt if she does not break up with him by the end of the week. Ava needs one more surgery before she's complete, and Sean and Christian call Barrett in to help. Barrett asks Ava if he could meet Adrian, and she agrees to let him do so. When Matt comes home with the plane tickets, Ava gets upset by his constant mess making, and breaks up with him. In tears, Adrian comes home with a knife hidden behind his back. He once again tries to get his problems spoken. She tells him that Matt is out of the picture, and that they're going to go away to Paris together to start over. Adrian still knows something is missing, and we hear the noise of a stabbing. Adrian killed himself. He never got to meet his father. Upset, Ava decides to leave for Paris alone. The entire family - Sean, Julia, Annie, Matt, and Christian - have dinner together, very similar to the previous season finale. Sean repairs another victim of the Carver. Escobar lives in Sean's head as his conscious and tells him how to face the demon down. Sean decides he needs to lure the Carver to his house, and face him man to man. He has security cameras set up for protection, and brings a gun to bed with him. As the Carver creeps through the dark hallways, the Carver strikes. Sean is alone in his bedroom, and Christian has been slashed by the Carver.moreless

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  • Ava´s Tango

    El título de mi review del último episodio de la primera temporada fue "Gracias", ahora debería poner "Gracias por el tango" pero me basé en la triste historia de Ava. Terminó siendo un transexual que se encamaba con su hijo adoptivo y con cuanto novel se le cruzara para que ningún hombre experimentado note su vagina estrecha. Desilusionante. Compasivo. The Carver sigue atacando ahora a nuestros doctores, llenándolos de terror y sonrisas guasonescas.

    Adrian al fin se suicida, Matt vuelve a perder en el amor, pareciese que el trío vuelve a ser trío y no mucho más. Creo que soy demasiado exigente con esta serie y que algún día cambiaré de posición.moreless
  • Now THAT'S a way to end the season!!!

    One of the best offerings of Nip/Tuck - Ava's true identity is revealed and the Carver strikes again.

    It's been an amazing season, hasn't it? The first half of the season dominated by the fall out of season 1 and Ava Moore&Matt's romance, and the second half dominated by the Carver and family issues - here's the episode to tie it all up...

    Ava Moore is a man. Honestly, that was jaw dropping. I mean, it may be ridicilious in any other show, but not in this one. And it actually made sense. Her backstory was explained very well(kudos for casting Alec Baldwin!). The writers mislead us three times this episode.

    1., with Ava, about what I already mentioned

    2., we assumed Adrian would hurt someone

    3., we and Sean assumed the Carver's after him

    And that's a great achievement. The episode had that "finale" feel from start to finish; loved the dinner scene near the end, an obvious allusion to the season 1 finale.

    Adrian confronting Ava and then stabbing himself was very dramatic too. it's just sickening even thinking about what they had going there. This show can really make one reconsider lots of things.

    And, finally. The Carver's last cut of the season; he attacks.... Dr. Christian Troy! HOLY CRAP!

    I've to say that.... wow.... that was... amazing. You saw the tear coming out of Troy's eye? I did. AMAZING!!!

    A very climatic conclusion&cliffhanger. Sheer perfection.moreless
  • One Moore for the Road

    Saying Ava being outed as a transsexual was a huge shock is the understatement of the century. Looking back now, there were always subtle clues to her past. Right back in Ava's second appearance, there was that awkward silence after Matt asked her if she knew what walking around with an erection all day was like. Obviously, at the time, she said no. Ha! Famke Janssen stole the show this season, and waits till the last episode to give her greatest performance. Her scene with Adrian was completely heartbreaking. While we learned to love Ava over these last couple of episodes, you can't deny that anybody who destroys somebody's life like that is a monster in several ways. But as Ava weeps over her son's corpse, you realize that she really did love him.

    Ava's entire life was screwed up. Based on what her ex-husband said, she only underwent transgender surgery to be with him in the first place, which is just plain sad. Nobody should cut up their body just for one man, and I can only imagine how devastated she was after Barrett revealed he still saw her as Avery, despite all the surgery.

    I loved the parallels between the transgender support group woman's thoughts about knowing you're a complete person after getting through airport security without any humiliation and Ava's final curtain. She looked stunning when walking through the airport lounge and it's great to see such a powerful character have a happy ending. Her scenes with Christian this episode were amazing. Like they said, they're both powerful, sexually dominant individuals, and to see them go up against each other and push each other's buttons was something so erotically-charged and exciting.

    Joan Rivers was great in her small cameo. A surprisingly good actress, I loved seeing somebody so upfront over her plastic surgery appear on the show. Showcasing her barbed humor and fame whorish-ways, she was a hoot, and made for a needed comedic bookend to the dark, depressing drama of the rest of the episode.

    The final moments were terrifying. We all figured The Carver would go after Sean, so to see Christian end up his latest victim was so shocking. It's even more devastating knowing Christian's past, and realizing he'd have to experience more sexual abuse at the hands of a tougher, stronger predator.

    A stunning, shocking and amazingly well-performed season finale, Joan Rivers manages to send Nip/Tuck out with a bang, bringing to a close one of the most breathtaking and well-written seasons ever aired on television.

    Director: Ryan Murphy

    Writer: Ryan Murphy

    Rating: A+moreless
  • ...But The Ending Always Comes That Fast...

    "Am I too much of a woman for you?"-Ava Moore

    Easily put, this episode is simply amazing. Ryan Murphy's smooth yet pivotal writing and directing style made watching the episode see what a masterpiece this show really is. Plus the superb acting between Dylan Walsh, Julian McMahon, Famke Janssen and Joely Richardson is fantastic. The episode starts with a bang and ends similar to that of the latter. Sean seems to be recovering from his recent attack with the Carver and has returned back to work after being threatened not to do so or face his enemy's wrath. Sean bravely did what his inner demons (Escobar) told him to do and continued to perform pro-bono surgeries on a carver victim from Matt's school.

    A plot which desperately needed resolve was the Matt/Ava arc which seemed to be left in the dark for the past few episodes. Matt pledges his love for Ava by proposing they travel to Paris together to live permanently. Ava then asks him to get her prescription drugs from the McNamara/Troy office. Christian catches him and discovers who the drugs are for. Christian then visits Ava who tries to seduce him. Christian soon finds Ava's vaginal walls slightly odd and believes her to be a man. Soon Sean and he, go looking for records of such a surgery and are taken to Barrett Moore, Ava's estranged husband. Moore reveals to them that Ava was his gay lover but could not endure the pain of humiliation so proposed for her to have a sex reassignment surgery. With all of their facts in order: Julia, Sean and Christian plan to confront both Matt and Ava. Julia, the person who will do the breaking up and Sean & Christian will support Matt's decision to stay with Ava. Ava gets the picture from Julia and decides to break it off permanently with Matt by refusing to go to Paris with him. Instead, Adrian returns home and embraces his mother who invites him to go to Paris with her. Adrian refuses and stabs himself in the abdomen. Adrian is left dead on the floor while Ava cries uncontrollably. In the final pivotal moments of the episode, the McNamaras and Christian eat dinner together while Ava packs for Paris. The montage is accompanied by the awesome and yet sad song, "All I Know" by Art Garfunkel only adds to the mood of this already dark season finale. Sean then locks up and then awaits the Carver's arrival with a gun near his bed. At the airport, Ava is stopped by a security guard who asks to see her passport and her hidden face. Ava takes off her sunglasses to reveal tear stained cheeks and a look of deep sadness. The guard greets and her and wishes her a good flight. The episode finally comes to a close in what I felt was the most shockworthy portion of the show. The carver with a syringe handy walks into a darkened bedroom only for viewers to learn that it is not Sean but Christian who the Carver is attacking. As the Carver injects Christian with a numbing agent, a teardrop falls down Christian's face as he lays there paralyzed. The camera pans on the Carver who proceeds to take a knife and strike it at Christian's face when the screen goes black. Also in "Joan Rivers"...

    *Joan Rivers makes a small cameo appearance as a potential client for McNamara/Troy who would like to have all of her plastic surgeries reversed. Are you kidding me? Joan Rivers, the queen of plastic sugery who looks great by the way wants to have a natural look for her grandson. The surgeons strongly advise her not to go through with the surgery and succeed when Joan is shown a computer simulation of what she will look light. Joan's expression is simply hilarious. I really enjoyed her cameo since she seemed very real and down to earth. Kudos!

    *In addition to the great acting of the regular cast, Alec Baldwin contributed to the many pivotal moments in this episode as Ava's husband who then reunites with his ex-wife to perform her vaginal correction surgery. *Plots that remain unresolved are Julia and Sean's separation, the revealing of the Carver who is expected to play a more pivotal role next season and Christian's relationship with both Gina and Kimber. *Hopefully Christian is still alive for next season since one his character is important to the continued success of this show and two he is extremely handsome! "Joan Rivers" was an inevtiable and necessary episode for the show and demonstrates why the show is so good. I for one extremely enjoyed this episode and thought it was the best of Season 2. I am positive Season 3 will be just as spellbinding and suspenseful as the second season has been and will continue to be amazed at the gruesome surgeries and pivotal plotpoints next season.moreless
  • Christian: "Ava fooled everybody." Liz: "Not everybody. I knew there was a reason I wasn't attracted to her."

    It was the mother of all bombshells last night when Christian discovered that Ava used to be a man. It was one twist I certainly wasn’t expecting. The only hint the writers gave about Ava’s true identity was all the medication Ava had (that Adrian steals in "Oona Wentworth), but it would have taken a master at deduction skills to put two and two together for that one.

    You can find the full review at:

    - Tim Bronx

    (Sorry about not typing the full review, is giving me a hard time writing reviews, they keep making all my paragraphs squash together).moreless
William Gregory Lee

William Gregory Lee

Airport Security Guard

Guest Star

Conor O'Farrell

Conor O'Farrell

Detective Fischman

Guest Star

Joan Rivers

Joan Rivers

Herself (uncredited)

Guest Star

Seth Gabel

Seth Gabel

Adrian Moore

Recurring Role

Kelsey Lynn Batelaan

Kelsey Lynn Batelaan

Annie McNamara

Recurring Role

Famke Janssen

Famke Janssen

Ava Moore

Recurring Role

Trivia, Notes, Quotes and Allusions


  • TRIVIA (2)

    • Goof: When Christian, Sean and Julia are using the laptop computer to search the Internet, several shots show a black screen meaning the computer is turned off or in screen saver mode.

    • Featured Music:

      "Joaquin Rodrigo's 'Concierto De Aranjuez'" by Tangerine D'or (Sean's 'dream sequence' about to perform latest Carver victim surgery/Escobar tells Sean to kill The Carver)
      "Cars" by Gary Newman (Also in the Escobar counseling Sean scene)
      "Epoca" by Gotan Project (Christian confronts Ava about leaving with Matt/Christian attempts to have sex with Ava)
      "Queremos Pas" by Gotan Project (Christian and Sean arrive at Barrett Moore's house)
      "Wild Horses" by Rolling Stones (Barrett & Ava talk pre surgery/Ava put under/Ava & Matt fighting)
      "City Ports" by Forss (Ava packing/Adrian returns/Adrian kills himself)
      "All I Know" by Art Garfunkel (Aftermath of Adrian's suicide/McNamara & Troy dinner/aftermath of Ava/Adrian post-suicide/Sean & Christian/Ava leaving for Paris/Christian being attacked by 'Carver')

  • QUOTES (6)

  • NOTES (7)

    • This was the first season finale with the entire regular cast.

    • Awards for this season:

      -The show won the 2005 Golden Globe Award and the 2005 Golden Satellite Award, both for "Best Television Series-Drama", and, the 2005 BMI (Broadcast Music Incorporated) Cable Award. Plus, it was nominated for:
      *The 2005 Saturn Award for "Best Syndicated/Cable Television Series".
      *The 2005 PGA (Producers Guild of America)'s Television Producer(s) of the Year Award-Drama.
      *The 2005 CDG (Costumes Designers Guild) Award for "Excellence in Costume Design for Television-Contemporary".

      -Julian McMahon (Christian) was nominated for the 2005 Golden Globe Award for "Best Performance by an Actor in a Television Series-Drama", and, for the 2005 Saturn Award for "Best Actor on Television".

      -Joely Richardson (Julia) was nominated for the 2005 Golden Globe Award for "Best Performance by an Actress in a Television Series-Drama", and, for the 2005 Golden Satellite Award for "Best Actress in a Series-Drama".

    • For this entire season, the show was nominated for:
      -The 2005 Saturn Award for Best Syndicated/Cable Television Series.
      -The 2005 PGA (Producers Guild of America) Award for Television Producer(s) Of The Year-Drama.
      -The 2005 CDG (Costumes Designers Guild) Award for Excellence In Costume Design For Television-Contemporary.

    • For this entire season, Julian McMahon (Christian) was nominated for the 2005 Golden Globe Award for Best Performance By An Actor In A Television Series-Drama, and, for the 2005 Saturn Award for Best Actor On Television.

    • For this entire season, Joely Richardson (Julia) was nominated for the 2005 Golden Globe Award for Best Performance By An Actress In A Television Series-Drama, and, for the 2005 Golden Satellite Award for Best Actress In A Series-Drama.

    • Guest star Mario Schugel(Joe)previously worked with Julian Mcmahon on Charmed where Mario played a sub-servient demon to Mcmahon's character Cole who was ruler of the underworld.

    • Both Famke Janssen and Alec Baldwin are credited as Special Guest Stars.


    • Ava: Angry villagers here to chase out the monster the doctor made.

      An allusion to the novel Frankenstein, that went to become a series of movies and shows.