Season 2 Episode 16

Joan Rivers

Aired Wednesday 10:00 PM Oct 05, 2004 on FX

Episode Fan Reviews (13)

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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.
  • 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.
  • 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+
  • ...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.
  • 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).
  • This series gets better and better with every season. And this season finale is FANTASTIC!!!

    Wow where do I start, well first let me tell you that when the episode finished I was so nervous that I started to scream and I couldn’t walk for almost 15 minutes. These episodes like the season 1 finale where outstanding in every aspect, story-line, direction, performances and all the production was more than we could ever expect. My friends and I always say that in this series we are “perdiendo vida” in good Spanish, because of the strong images and strong drama that Nip/Tuck has. I obviously know that Eva is really a woman so that was kind of surprising knowing that she is playing a transgender character but I will miss here in this next season because here acting was so perfect for this character. I really don’t liked Adrian that much but his death was very unpredictable and well written. When we saw all the family eating dinner again I really didn’t like it to ended that way because it would had been very cheesy for my taste. Instead I got a very very scary finale so well directed that it give me the chills. For all the Nip/Tuck fans like me let’s keep this show on the air for many seasons more. I’m starting to lose all my favorite series and I really would hate for Nip\Tuck to end.
  • The Carver vs. Christian

    Every few seconds my jaw dropped when I watched this episode but the very last scene is the one that knocked my jaw to the floor! It never even registered in my mind that The Carver would go for Christian and I don\'t know why. Seems logical but for some reason it just did not ocurr to me and obviously no one on the show either. I went stark raving mad when that scene ended. Pure shock, shock, shock!
  • All I Know Written And Directed by Ryan Murphy

    Okay, where to start, where to start. I know, how about the Ava plot? All season long it’s been a huge driving force into the second season and the resolution to one of the most anticipated and compulsive plots are nothing short of amazing.

    When Matt announces (after being caught stealing a variety of medication) to Christian that him and Ava are moving to Paris, Christian is determined to put a stop to it and pays Ava another visit. Here we get the usual and rather repetitive array of empty threats from Christian and so much smugness from Ava; you’d want to slap her silly. Luckily before things get too predictable, their little barbs and threats turn to violence and things get physical between them. Under any normal circumstances, this kind of sado-masochistic display could be considered erotic but seeing how despicable Ava really is, it really isn’t. And then there is bombshell that has Christian out of her apartment incredibly fast.

    For those of you who haven’t seen this episode yet (don’t read this review, watch it!), brace yourselves – Ava used to be a man and when Sean, Julia and Christian do a little detective work, the extent of Ava’s lies begin to unfold. After a hostile interaction with the leader of a Gender Reassignment Group and a meeting with Dr Barrett Moore, Ava’s estranged husband, Sean and Christian learn that Ava was once known as Avery Tanner, a male escort who developed a crush on Barrett as well as a close bond, so much in fact that the object of his affection agreed to turn him into a woman in order to form a union with one another. We learn that Adrian was conceived through one of Barrett’s maids but more predictably is that any of the attempts from either Ava or Barrett to normalise their relationship ultimately failed and Ava and Adrian left.

    Casting Alec Baldwin in the role as Barrett was a strange choice but he was certainly up for the role and as strange as this may be but because of him tonight, there was a fair amount of sympathy generated for Ava. I almost even felt sorry for her when Julia (delightfully in power) used her secret as leverage for Ava to dump Matt but mostly I felt bad for her during her scenes in surgery and her emotional reunion with Barrett.

    When it comes to this character, I’m always divided. I think of her predatory nature with both Matt and Adrian along with her constant head-trips and I find her to be a parasite but then when I learned a bit more about her past, I couldn’t help but feel some sympathy for her. As Julia put it, she’s definitely a survivor and people as shrewd as Ava usually are. I liked the face off between Julia and Ava, it had so many underlying layers and Julia even thanked her enemy for giving her the courage to face her, although Sean and Christian’s pseudo support sequence with Matt felt a little too obvious and lacked a certain amount of impact. Julia was determined for Matt not to learn about Ava’s secret and with good reason too but although Ava callously rejected him, I can’t see Matt letting go of her just yet.

    And if that wasn’t enough, we had one more mess from Adrian. When he purchased that knife, I was almost certain he was The Carver and when he confronted Ava in the apartment as she was packing, I did think she was dead meat so Adrian killing himself still came as a shock to me but I’d rather Ava back on the series next season than him. I’m also pretty sure, now looking at that scene objectively that Adrian may have intended to have framed Ava for murder as a revenge act. He also could have meant that knife for Matt too. He didn’t get his wish of holding onto Ava anyway as she still managed to get to Paris, although it was a nice touch having that brief touch and go moment at the airport with security.

    With the Ava/Barrett/Adrian plot, The Carver angle of the season finale played a much smaller role than I had anticipated. To be honest this is hardly a bad thing. After who wants a storyline that was only talked in one episode and introduced properly last week so quickly over with? I certainly don’t and I doubt I’m alone in that feeling either. Other arcs needed resolution and this is an arc that is only beginning to blossom and it truly does here. I loved Escobar’s reappearance through dream sequence, telling Sean to take the fight to The Carver and while there is certain sense in that logic, Sean is out of his depth on this one. His idea of trapping The Carver was incredibly risky and he should have informed both Christian and Julia of his plan.

    With all the security systems set up and the overall foreboding sense of fear, it should have been very clear that something didn’t quite add up and sure enough it didn’t. As we watched Sean huddled in fear in his bed with a gun and The Carver getting closer to his prey, who should his victim turn out to be but Christian. Christian didn’t have an opportunity to scream before he was hand gagged and struck with a paralysis injection. That final moment creeped the hell out of me. What the hell will happen next? It’s safe to assume Christian won’t be killed off but even still, I dread to think what’s happened to him.

    Also in “Joan Rivers”

    Main Patients: A Carver victim (female), Joan Rivers wanting all her plastic surgery undone until an unflattering computer image from Sean and Christian’s changed her mind (she went with a facelift instead) and the last phase of Ava’s gender reassignment procedure.

    Christian: “Miss Rivers. Everyone knows you’ve had a few procedures done”
    Joan: “A few? Everyone knows I’ve had my face tucked in more times than the bed sheets at the Holiday Inn”.

    Side note – While this was clearly stunt casting of the highest order, I really enjoyed Joan Rivers cameo in this episode.

    Christian: “You lubricate acid. If I stuck my dick in you, it would sizzle off”
    Ava: “Oh, it would sizzle alright”.

    Christian: “Ava fooled everybody”
    Liz: “Not everybody. I knew there was a reason I wasn’t attracted to her”.

    I loved that it was Liz who used her connections through Sophia Lopez to help Sean and Christian track down Ava’s origins and records. Also the leader of the Gender Reassignment Group looks a little familiar. Has she been on the show before?

    Escobar (to Sean): “Restore the natural order and kill The Carver”.

    Dr Barrett (re Orchids): “Because they never leave and rarely disappoint. Humans and medicine are so fallible”.

    Did anyone find it a little weird that the regular cast (along with Famke Janssen) were credited at the end credits as well as the opening? I’m also beginning to think Nip/Tuck should follow a cable show tradition and use a variety of music to end each episode instead of just the theme tune.

    Julia: “I don’t think you’re a monster, Ava. I think you’re a sad, lonely individual who commits monstrous, selfish acts to cope with conflict”
    Ava: “Be careful of your choice of pronouns, Julia. Have some goddamn respect. I am a woman”.

    Chronology, it’s a month since “Sean McNamara”. The Carver has sliced four victims since the previous episode. Five if we include Christian.

    Sean: “I love you”
    Julia: “I love you”.

    There are two similarities to last season’s finale in this episode– Sean, Christian and Liz at the airport and a family meal (with Christian) at Casa de McNamara’s.

    Joan: “That hag looks like E.T”
    Christian: “It’s what you asked for”.

    Standout music: “Wild Horses” by The Rolling Stones and “All I know” by Art Garfunkel.

    Season Two has been an incredibly exhausting, emotionally charged rollercoaster and “Joan Rivers” not only resolves some issues but nicely opens up a new can of worms and with a final like Christian’s attack, the anticipation for Season Three is high. This finale kicked a lot of butt and was one of my favourite TV moments this year.

  • joan rivers comes in as herself and asks if they could undo what all the plastic surgery shes had doneso she can teach her grandson that you dont have to be perfect. Matt is concerned of ava depression, and suggest that they should start a new life in pa

    must be one of the best nip tuck episodes ever, joan rivers plays her self so good thta it is so believable and it is a reason to watch nip tuck as they always have gags in the episodes. the script writter and the person who thought up that joan rivers should be on it must have got a big bonus for it as it is so good.
  • The Carver's final cut of the season.

    If Nip/Tuck does one thing with ease it's dream sequences. This episode proves that fact yet again, as Sean gets an unexpected visitor to the surgery...

    The scene begins with Sean preparing to operate on another Carver patient along with Nurse Linda and Liz. It doesn't take long before the patient isn't all they seem, and Escobar Gallardo is on the table. He talks to Sean, an imagined voice, challenging him to be a bigger man, to be confident once again and go head to head with the Carver. Asking for a gun, he gets one from the newly hired Nurse Escobar, and he begins to aim at Escobar's head. The scene cuts away, returning to reveal the Carver's on the table, and BOOM, the dream sequence ends with a gunshot. Fantastic.

    Unrivalled entertainment, had it not been for the appearance of Joan Rivers in the same episode it would've made for the funniest scene of the season. Like the title, traditionally the patient of the week is the character this episode's named after. Unconventionally though, the patient never makes it to the operating table, as after seeing a virtual enactment of what she would look like post-surgery, Joan cancels, and continuing the humour, books another facelift for next week. Classic, and a great injection of humour into what should theorhetically be a dramatic episode.

    Thankfully because of the way Nip/Tuck operates however, it does this too, as plot revelations and unexpected twists crop up in the remaining minutes of the episode. It's revealed to us that Ava's a transexual, and on top of that, we also get to meet Adrian's dad, Dr Barett Moore played fantastically by Alec Baldwin. A lot is revealed from Dr Moore first hand concerning both Ava and Adrian, and while explosive and devastating, such announcements and plot details felt a little out of place. More so considering Adrian would later kill himself at the end of the episode, and Ava would go to Paris. So ultimately, a bad way to wrap up their stories especially by revealing character history a little too late.

    The episode thankfully ends pretty happily, with the McNamara-Troys once again all round the table for dinner. It was great seeing them all together again and smiling, and hinted towards the possible return of passion to Sean and Julia's relationship. A storyline I hope that's considered for Season 3.

    The closing scene of the episode takes place post-dinner when everyone is bed. After locking up and saying goodbye to Christian, Sean brings a gun to bed fearing the worst. The Carver stalks the hallways readying his attack. He enters the room, looking down on his sleeping patient. A doctor, Christian Troy. He injects the chloride and goes for the cut. The episode ends.

    With suspense like that and continual drama throughout the season, S2 has undoubtedly been a success. All that's left now is to wait until Season 3, and hope it's just as good, if not better! Good luck Mr Ryan Murphy! You'll need it!
  • Sean & Christian continue to work on victims of the carver. Adrian commits suicide.At the end of the episode Sean waits in bed with a gun for the carver & Christian is in his bed alone when the carver is standing right above him and slashes him with his k

    This was the best episode of Nip/Tuck. The writing acting and music of this episode were incredible. This episode could not have been better. After watching this episode I started counting the days until the third season starts. This is the best episode of Nip/Tuck and the best episode of any show. I know the third season will be just as good as the others were.
  • What a brillant way to finish the season 2 with christian beening craver next victum

    So Eva is a man, most people might have been shocked by this revelation but for me I wasn’t mainly because I expected it, I mean this series is about plastic surgery so it is possible that one of the characters would have had a sex-change operation. To think if she didn’t give the drugs list to Mat no one would ever know? Still what worst her son killed himself, now am I the only one that a bit confused, last week episode she told him he was adopted now we find out she was lying to him. At least for moment she has gone which can be seen as some good news.

    The two guest stars Joan Rivers and Alec Baldwin, well she wanted her all her surgery undone which was amusing but when they showed her what she would of looked like she changed her mind. Alec Baldwin as Ava husband was interesting; I don’t know what it is about him that makes me not take him so seriously. I like his role shame he couldn’t see his son, I think that would probably would of make her son a little better since he would actually have a good parent. He’s dead now and I am not exactly sad to see him go, I was kind of expected him to stab Ava but he killed himself but in twisted sense he proved his love for his mother.

    I love Sean dream, that guy did make Sean into tough guy and I liked the fact that Sean had a gun ready to use but then in smart move craver who I admit is so smart he goes over to Christian place and slices his face. Now for ch4 viewers we will not be able to season 3 and I am fine with it because I watch too much TV. A brilliant way to finish the season. It’s has been all right season with less shocks then the first season. The strangest thing has to be the man wanting boobs to make his wife happy. That about it.

  • The first show I saw of the series.

    Just by accident I tuned in to this second season finale, having never watch the entire series before. I was hooked on characters I knew nothing about, and subsequently watched the DVD of the first season and the reruns of the second. Can't wait for the third season to begin!!!