Season 3 Episode 13

Joy Kringle

Aired Wednesday 10:00 PM Dec 13, 2005 on FX
out of 10
User Rating
236 votes

By Users

Episode Summary

Sean and Christian are perform a mico-liposuction on Joy Kringle, a woman who acts as Mrs. Claus during the Christmas season. During her lipo they find a seventeen year old fetus inside her. Julia is not feeling well. A blood test performed by Sean reveals why. She is pregnant.moreless

Who was the Episode MVP ?

No results found.
No results found.
No results found.
  • Joy Kringle

    The best final scene ever in TV. Nip Tuck always surprised for being the vanguard in the modern contemporary TV. The episode of Christimas Joy Kringle goes down the profundities of the human feeling in such a strong and emotional scene that makes to cry. Great!

    Performing a micro-liposuction on a woman who plays the role of Mrs. Clause during the Christmas season, Sean and Christian discover a seventeen year-old fetus inside of her while a blood test reveals that the reason Julia has been feeling a bit under the weather is that she's pregnant.

    Definitely my least favorite episode ever.moreless
  • Meetus the Fetus

    Matt really impressed me in this episode. While he's still stupid for getting involved with a neo-Nazi family in the first place, he showed signs of maturity in his reaction to Ariel's plans, and even bonded with Christian at the end. The relationship between Matt and Christian continues to be great to see. It's evolving at a natural speed, not in a ridiculous soap opera way, and I loved that they both admitted that they were still adjusting to the sudden new connection between them.

    The Alderman family still creep me the hell out. Brittany Snow continues to put in a brave performance, and really convinced during the scene where she felt literally disgusted with herself after discovering she has black ancestry. Brian Kerwin was also great in his scene, being completely threatening without even raising his voice. It's much harder for an actor to play a bad guy like this, and much more effective in creating a sense of terror in the audience.

    The Kringle story was a mix of both sadness and stupidity. You initially feel bad for Joy after the discovery of the baby fetus inside of her, but when you see her husband's reaction, you end up feeling that she caught a lucky break. His return visit to McNamara/Troy with a newer, younger, hotter Mrs Clause was embarrassing, and a pathetically desperate method of getting back at his wife.

    I loved the scenes between Sean and Julia. While their marriage has always been rooted in suckiness, I can't help but want them back together, and the final moment was really sweet. At the abortion clinic, both of them in separate rooms realize they want to have the baby, and as they meet in the corridor and realize they've just shared the same thoughts, you really have to sigh in happiness at the sight of them getting closer together again.

    An excellent episode carefully balancing humor and pathos. Episodes like this are what Nip/Tuck does best, and it's another showcasing the fact that while season three started badly, it eventually found its footing at the end.

    Director: Greer Shephard

    Writers: Sean Jablonski, Jennifer Salt

    Rating: Amoreless
  • Not an explosive episode, but definitely interesting. (some spoilers, but not the big ones)

    A slightly twisted Nip/Tuck Christmas. Joy Kringle and Santa come in for a little spruce up for the start of the festive season. A very interesting pair for our patients-of-the-week.

    The best parts of this episode are all character development, there's crazy things going on with everyone. Julia isn't feeling well so Sean does a standard blood panel on her, only to find out she is pregnant! Can these guys just not work out how to use birth control???? Julia is my character I love to hate, irritating and pathetic. Every week I hope they'll kill her off!!! The writers haven't done that yet, but they've done heaps of other horrible stuff to her.

    As another reviewer so accurately said this episode is SO the calm before the storm!!!moreless
  • Secrets And Lies

    It feels incredibly strange reviewing Joy Kringle at the beginning of April. We're so far from the festive season, it does seem a little weird. However, a Nip/Tuck Christmas promises something special. And we get an interesting tale dealing with secrets and lies and the consequences of these, set over the holidays. Some especially good music and one of the best visual images ever seen on the programme add to a moving- if a little overwrought- episode.

    The patient-of-the-week is Joy Kringle who, with her husband Wes, are the Santa and Mrs Claus at a local mall. Joy wants liposuction to get rid of the last fifteen pounds as, in an attempt to help child obesity figures, they want to portray a leaner, sexier version of Santa. There's some amusing banter about elves being indentured servitude and the bill going to the North Pole, but there's a darker edge to it; Wes and Joy could never have kids and it ruined the holidays for them. As Joy undergoes lipo (to the tune of 'The Hallelujah Chorus' from Handel's Messiah), Christian hits something in her abdomen which could be a hernia or a tumour. They get permission to open her up and make an interesting if gruesome discovery- a calcified foetus. Christian has to break the news to her. A calcified foetus (or lithopedion) is a real medical phenomena, which occurs when a pregnancy is not diagnosed and the baby dies but is not absorbed into the body or passed out. It is left to calcify and can go undiagnosed for many years. She can't believe it at first, but then asks if she can see it. This is quite a weird image, as she cradles the jar with her dead baby in it quite tenderly. She is worried about telling her husband. Predictably, he goes crazy and wants to know who the father is, because it can't be him. Joy admits to sleeping with their eighteen year old assistant seventeen years before and the child must be his. Wes freaks out that their marriage has been a lie, and Joy is honest with him. Not every day is Christmas. Sometimes she feels frumpy and middle-aged and as far from Mrs Claus as you can get. Wes won't accept this and decides to go solo. At the end of the episode, Wes comes in with a new young woman who he wants to give a special Christmas present to: a new set of double Ds! There are some nice moments in this storyline, but it all seems a little over-the-top.

    Another person contending with dark secrets from the past (pun intended) is Matt's neo-Nazi white supremacist girlfriend Ariel. Disgusted that an all-black nativity has been put up at the school and desperate to preserve the whiteness and sanctity of the holidays, she and Matt steal the nativity to paint them white. As they do it, she gets nervous that people can see the black beneath the white. Matt tries to placate her, but Ariel begins to panic. She confesses to Matt that she did some research into her family and discovered that her mother's great-grandmother was black. This makes her mother an octoroon (one-eighth black) and Ariel herself one-sixteenth black. Whilst to most normal people that wouldn't make the slightest bit of difference, Ariel is worried that her dad will freak out if he found out. She is worried that she will start to turn black and begs Matt to get some skin bleach so she can make herself whiter. She seems absolutely deranged at this point. Matt does smuggle some industrial-strength skin bleach from De La Mer but instead suggests that Ariel speaks to a psychologist. She really acts like a spoilt child, grabbing the bleach and slathering it on her face. She tells Matt to leave, which he starts to, but then the bleach starts to burn. Matt puts her under the shower then takes her to Christian to see what damage has been done. Luckily, there isn't much. Christian is still pissed off with Matt and says he's going to bill him for the consult. Ariel's father comes to pick her up as Matt has called him. He tells Mr Alderman the truth about Ariel's heritage and her fear that he will reject her if he found out, but Ariel lies to her father and tells him Matt told her to bleach her freckles. Predictably, Mr Alderman believes his daughter and accuses Matt of spreading 'hateful lies' to save his own neck. Mr Alderman suggests that Matt should stay away from Ariel. As Christian relaxes later on that evening, Matt turns up with an IOU to pay off the debt for Ariel's consult. Christian invites his son in and they have a bit of a bonding session. Matt admits it was easier not knowing that Christian was his father, but he's adjusting to the idea. As is Christian. There is another strong performance by Brittany Snow as the hysterical Ariel, and John Hensley actually has more to do than mope about and be sarcastic- and proves he's not a bad actor in the process. Again, a bit OTT in places (Ariel's reaction to her heritage is completely off the scale) but enjoyable.

    The remaining storyline deals with Julia and Sean. At home with her children (including Annie!), she is preparing Christmas treats but feels faint and collapses. She goes to see Sean who gives her a flu shot. She admits to doing a lot of stuff at the spa and could just be run down. Sean admits to missing the whole Christmas fuss but Julia tells him that her Christmas is just going to be another day with Matt at the Aldermans and Annie away. He asks about Quentin but gets told that they're no longer together and that Quentin doesn't work at De La Mer anymore either. Sean suggests running a blood panel to rule out anaemia, which they do. Julia turns out to be pregnant. Sean visits her at her apartment and tells her. She can barely believe it and tries to figure out when it could have happened. Sean assumes that Quentin is the father. Sean makes a suggestion that Julia could get rid of the child, but it's not something she wants to deal with at the moment and asks him to go. Christian tells Sean that he's spoken to Quentin (who only has one small scene, but a good one, when he gets his due money from Christian) and that he and Julia never slept together. That leaves the conundrum of who the father is. He calls her but hangs up as he's chicken. She calls him back and he asks what she's doing on Christmas Eve. She tells him she has an 'appointment' and he offers to drive her. At the abortion clinic, as the rain begins to fall, the two of them wait for Julia's appointment. She is just about to fill the form in when she admits what most half-attentive viewers will have picked up about halfway through: it's Sean's baby. She is called and goes in but decides she doesn't want to go through with it, just as Sean is about to go in and stop her. They want to keep the baby. They leave the clinic hand in hand. This final scene is incredibly emotional and played so well by both Joely Richardson and Dylan Walsh. It is made all the more better by a great use of music- Aaron Neville's sublime version of my favourite Christmas song 'Oh Holy Night'- and a truly arresting final image. As the rain falls, the white paint starts to run off the freshly-painted nativity figures, revealing the truth of what lies beneath.

    There is much to like in this episode; the final five minutes or so is almost perfection. But there's also a lot in here which is flabby padding and too soap-opera-esque (thinking specifically about Wes and Joy's showdown, for example). That said, it's an interesting experiment for the writers and producers to conduct. We always knew that a Nip/Tuck Christmas would be just as weird and screwed-up as any other time of the year. And we were right. Enjoyable, but far from transcendant.

  • The Nip/tuck Christmas episode!

    This episode had a really Christmassy feeling to it which meant it was a bit weird watching this episode a month after Christmas but it gave a warm n fuzzy feeling all the same.

    The patient’s storyline with the Kringles was not their best. The bit with the foetus was shocking but the rest of it was just a parallel to the Sean/Matt/ Christian storyline and it wasn't that exciting.

    The Matt/ Aerial storyline was brilliant with the cream and her paranoid fear about her dad hurting her. The final scene with the white paint being washed off the statues together with the scene with Aerial’s dad makes me think that we haven’t seen the last of Aerial. I think her black blood will come back to haunt her even more.

    The storyline with Julia and Sean was so sweet. I was completely taken along for the ride with the characters. I had completely forgotten that Julia and Quentin had never slept together, only remembering when Christian was talking about it with Christian. The end part was really sweet with Julia and Sean wanting to save their baby and hopefully their marriage. They look to be keeping the baby so maybe this will be the son they never had (together!)

G.W. Bailey

G.W. Bailey

Wesley Kringle

Guest Star

Luck Hari

Luck Hari


Guest Star

Brian Kerwin

Brian Kerwin

Mr. Alderman

Guest Star

Brittany Snow

Brittany Snow

Ariel Alderman

Recurring Role

Kelsey Lynn Batelaan

Kelsey Lynn Batelaan

Annie McNamara

Recurring Role

Linda Klein

Linda Klein

Nurse Linda

Recurring Role

Trivia, Notes, Quotes and Allusions


  • TRIVIA (4)

    • Unlike Kim, Joy Kringle undergoes general anaesthesia when she has her micro-liposuction done. Christian gave micro-lipo to Kim with local anaesthesia.

    • Real Life Comparison: Joy Kringle carries a "stone baby" for 17 years. This is actually a real phenomenon. It is called Lithokelyphopedions. They occur when a fetus dies during an ectopic pregnancy. In 2000, a 49-year-old fetus was found in a 76-year-old woman. In 1999, a 39-year-old fetus was found in a 67-year-old woman.

    • Music:
      "Oh Holy Night" by Aaron Neville (at the end of episode)
      "The little drummer boy" by Arthur Lyman (Sean examines Julia and talks with her about their Christmas plans)
      "Santa's going to rock" by The Bellrays (Matt and Ariel dismantle the nativity scene at school)
      "Hark the herald angels sing" by Jingle Punx (Matt and Ariel repaint characters of the nativity scene)
      "Under Dark Rain In Our Room" by Russell Mills (Ariel puts prescription grade bleaching cream on her face, it burns her skin, Matt puts her in the shower to flush the chemical)

    • Despite her comments in a past episode of plastic surgery being the work of devils, Ariel comes to McNamara/Troy for aid.

  • QUOTES (16)

    • Joy Kringle: By the time your kids have kids, Doctor, Santa will no longer be thought of as the fat man. He will be trim, tight and a little bit sexy.

    • Annie: Do you think Mary had sex with God?
      Matt: Um.. Uh.. Well, my personal theory, is that Mary got it on with Joseph before the wedding and then when Jesus was born less than nine months later, she told everyone it was a virgin birth. That way no one would know she had sex before uh... she was married. That'd be pretty tough to get away with that today.
      Julia: Matt, knock it off.

    • Christian: Not a bad way to spend the holidays.
      Matt: Two single men, watching football, eating Chinese. That's America.

    • Wes Kringle: Has it all been a lie, Joy? Our entire marriage?
      Joy Kringle: Of course not. But every day isn't Christmas. Sometimes I don't feel jolly, I feel like shit. I'm tired of being Mrs Santa Claus. I just want to be myself.

    • Wes Kringle: (on finding out his wife slept with another man) How could you do that, Joy?
      Joy Kringle: He paid me some goddamn attention, Wes! After the doctors told us your sperm wasn't viable, you just jumped headlong into the whole Santa thing and all the little brats that worshipped you. And it was all about them and your career and I got a little lonely. I couldn't talk to you. I still can't.

    • Ariel: Do you love me?
      Matt: Honey, I just stole the baby Jesus because you asked me to.

    • Quentin: Julia and I had a parting of the ways.
      Christian: What was the problem? She didn't have a dick?

    • (as they operate on Joy Kringle, the music is the Hallelujah Chorus from Handel's Messiah)
      Christian: The Messiah? Liz, I thought you were an athiest.
      Liz: I kinda go on the wagon around the holidays. You miss out on too much good music if you don't. And it puts me in a very forgiving mood.

    • Ariel: The story of the birth of Jesus is sacred, Matt. It's the foundation of all Christianity. Saying that Jesus was a mudbaby is like pissing on the Bible.
      Matt: You're not supposed to take it literally. The story is for kids. Jesus is Santa Claus for adults.

    • Matt: (after Annie asks him if he thinks Mary had sex with God) My personal theory is that Mary got it on with Joseph before the wedding. And then when Jesus was born less than nine months later, she told everyone it was a virgin birth. That way, no-one would know she had sex before she was married. It'd be pretty tough to get away with that today
      Julia: Matt, knock it off.
      Matt: Although, come to think of it, you and I know someone a lot like the virgin Mary. Only she got pregnant by her husband's best friend before the wedding. She also told a great big whopper of a lie and everybody believed it for a very long time
      Julia: Yes, but her baby was no son of God.

    • Joy Kringle: It's our sincere hope that by the time your kids have kids, Doctor, Santa will no longer be thought of as the fat man. He'll be trim, tight and a little bit sexy.

    • Joy Kringle: With childhood obesity rates the way they are today, fat is not an image we want to promote any more.
      Wes Kringle: The holidays don't have to be about gluttony and over-indulgence. The true spirit of Christmas is about celebration and good cheer.

    • Christian: (about to perform lipo on Joy Kringle) All right, shall we suck the pringles out of the Kringle?

    • Julia: It's your baby, Sean.
      Sean: I know.

    • Julia: Did you just call me?
      Sean: Did I? Um...yeah?
      Julia: Why did you hang up?
      Sean: ...I was chicken?

    • (Christian and Sean enter, Joy Kringle told Wes Kringle about the dead fetus.)
      Joy Kringle: I knew he wouldn't take it well.
      Wes Kringle: Take it well?! She tells me how she walks around with another man's baby inside of her? Wha--What am I suppose to say? "Ho Ho Ho?" Well, let me tell you something, you are the god damn "Ho", Joy.

  • NOTES (4)