Season 2 Episode 12

Julia McNamara

Aired Wednesday 10:00 PM Sep 07, 2004 on FX

Episode Fan Reviews (10)

out of 10
231 votes
  • It's a Wonderfully Disturbed Life

    Julia finally learns at the end of the episode that her problem isn't that she chose to be with Sean all those years ago, it's that she always wants what she doesn't have. In both realities, she finds herself desperate to be with the man she isn't with, and it took her near death experience to make her finally realize it.

    At the end of the episode, she realizes that as bad as her real life is, "what might have been" is ultimately much worse. From the outside looking in, she's perfect, even leaving Suzanne Epstein in awe. She has a perfect husband, perfect business, a stunning mansion home, and a doting mother working as her personal assistant. But beneath all that she's actually a complete mess. A sex-hungry, jealous, lonely coke fiend.

    It must leave her in a bad place though. She has seen that without her being in Sean's life, he became part of a flawless marriage, raised an academically perfect son, and got a job which pretty much made him a better person. So coming back to reality and realizing that she is pretty much responsible for making Sean's life such a mess must provoke so much guilt inside of her.

    Ava was perfectly cast as both the guide through Julia's alternate life, and as the Angel of Death. Ava herself is a huge enigma, who guides her clients into making the right decisions (like when she told Julia to throw Erica out of her home), but somebody who uses personal information to destroy people, or to get things her own way. You just never know where you are with her.

    Visually, the episode was stunning. The last moments of Julia's dreams are beautiful, and feature a perfect soundtrack from The Rolling Stones. All the important players in Julia's life, barefoot and dressed completely in white, look on as Julia hovers toward Ava, dressed in black, looking like a much hotter version of the Grim Reaper, whose luring her in. And it's only when Julia stops it and takes control of her life (just like Ava has always suggested she do) that the dreams end and her life is saved.

    The greatest episode of Nip/Tuck, Julia McNamara plays around with every regular formula on this show, producing a masterpiece hour which takes a TV standard in the "It's a Wonderful Life episode" and makes it as shocking and original as possible.

    Director: Michael M Robin
    Writers: Ryan Murphy, Hank Chilton
    Rating: A+
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