Season 3 Episode 10

Madison Berg

Aired Wednesday 10:00 PM Nov 22, 2005 on FX
out of 10
User Rating
249 votes

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Episode Summary

Christian still has second doubts about the wedding. Gina tries to convince Kimber to leave him. Matt's new girlfriend compares plastic surgery to the work of the Nazis.

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  • Beautiful family

    Qué miedo que da ver a esas personas narrow minded andando por ahí, a las que les da asco algo tan normal como una relación homosexual o un obeso que le pregunta la hora.

    Christian se casa (bueno esa es la idea) con Kimber pero ni a él ni a ella se los ve seguros. Al parecer ella desaparece en la iglesia para sacar boleto de runaway bride pero para mí que se la llevo the carver, quien hace mucho no aparece.

    Julia... Julia... por qué no lo dejás en paz?

    Sean por qué no abrís los ojos de una vez por todas?moreless
  • So I Married a Sleazy Man-Whore

    Kimber has every right to be questioning her decision to marry Christian. He's notoriously unreliable as somebody in a committed relationship, and how can she be sure he won't end up picking up some girl in a sleazy bar? It was also sad to see part of Kimber's worries come true, with Christian and Julia kissing each other right before the ceremony. As a die-hard Christian/Kimber lover, I hate it when Julia gets in the way, and unfortunately her presence was all over this episode, even when she wasn't actually in a scene.

    I loved the interaction between Kimber and Gina (which I think was maybe a first). The painful waxing scene was pretty hilarious, and her wedding gift was complete soap opera trashiness. But I also liked how Gina owned up to being a b*tch. She knows she's a mess, but she isn't afraid to admit that. And, however nasty she can be, she at least sees the love Christian and Kimber share for each other.

    After performing his own circumcision, sleeping with an incestuous psychopath, attacking a transsexual and going all skinhead, Matt decides to do what any normal crazy teen would do and shacks up with a group of neo-Nazi's. Ariel does actually make some sense... before going completely racist. McNamara/Troy does promote "whitewashing", and it isn't right that a Jewish girl feels it's necessary to surgically alter her nose in order to appear more attractive. The "sweet 16" surgery policy is also a little sick and twisted.

    Of course, my agreement in Ariel's beliefs stop right there, and the scene with her family is by far one of the most disturbing moments this show has ever produced. Mrs Alderman's collection of "black housemaid" figurines was creepy, but the entire family's pride over Matt's attack on Cherry at the start of the season was completely insane. This is by far the worst situation Matt has ever gotten involved with.

    An episode full of great humor (like the cake scene), and disturbing drama in the Alderman storyline. It's so sad that Christian and Kimber didn't end up walking down the aisle, but I don't think Christian would work as a one-woman kind of guy with so many seasons left. They should save it for the series finale.

    Director: Greg Yaitanes

    Writer: Jennifer Salt

    Rating: A+moreless
  • Kimber: “Did he do this to you? All this bitterness as a result of loving him too much?” Gina: “No, I was always a ****

    Kimber and Gina’s banter was one of the highlights of the episode for me, and it was way overdue. Gina is still as bitter as ever, but she has become much more sympathetic since season one. Her spiteful behavior has a bit of comedic reasoning to it now, and as a result she has become much more fun to watch.

    How ironic that Gina would be the one Kimber unloads to about her worries. Kimber’s doubts are all justified, as she’s giving up her career and putting her heart and soul into this marriage with Christian, and having Gina there, a result of Christian’s cruel behavior, couldn’t have helped any.

    Despite of all this, I still thought that there was a chance we wouldn’t be getting wedding day blues, and that things might work out between Christian and Kimber. Never on Nip/Tuck though. There is a possibility that Kimber did leave him over her insecurities. But we clearly heard a knock on the door, Kimber saying to enter, and we never got a face, so I’m predicting the Carver got to her (which is not a pretty possibility).

    Matt is traveling in murky waters once again, as he befriends a racist and, despite his parent’s objections, begins to date her. I instantly did not like Ariel and the over sophisticated **** that came out of her mouth every other word she said. Her family is no better, as her father praised Matt for beating up a transsexual and even asked him to illegally steal patient files from his father’s office; which Matt idiotically agreed to do after a quarrel with Christian. Ariel and her family are definitely not a good influence on Matt, and just when you think he couldn’t get any more screwed up the writers throw another curveball at you.

    Final Notes and Quotes

    - We may have finally gotten some closure between Julia and Christian. While their kiss was sexy as hell, Julia told Christian to not let her ruin his life, and it looked like Christian was ready to move on with Kimber. So much for that.

    - Matt and Sean are actually on speaking terms now.

    - I found it strange that Liz was not present for Christian’s wedding.

    - Sean finally has decided to return to the practice. Hallelujah!

    - Julia: (to Sean and Christian) “So much water under the bridge and here we are: still standing, still pretty fantastic. Let\'s toast to us - to survival with grace.”

    Final Rating: A great episode. 3 out of 4 stars.

    - Tim Bronx

    Find this and many other reviews at: www.motionpicturereviews.commoreless
  • All That I Am, I Give To You

    Madison Berg picks the pace right back up to the level it was before the atrocious Frankenlaura. Christian and Kimber's wedding takes centre stage in a story about changing who you are in order to fit in, exemplified by a Jewish girl's rhinoplasty on her sixteenth birthday. The patient-of-the-week is only seen briefly, her surgery is not shown at all, but what she represents permeates the whole episode. A counterpoint to her decision is given by a new character who is destined to really stir things up.

    Played wonderfully by Brittany Snow, Ariel is Matt's new love interest. They meet at school when she mentions that Matt is the only weirdo she's seen. They bond, then a newly nosejobbed Madison walks past. Ariel shows her disdain for this action, suggesting it is Madison's self-loathing that is being broadcast by the bandage on her face. Matt drops into the conversation about Sean and Christian's work and Ariel asks him to introduce her so she can do research for a term paper. Matt agrees if they can have coffee. Ariel agrees and, sure enough, Matt arranges for Ariel to meet his dads. It is during this consultation that Ariel's true purpose comes out- she wants them to dye her skin black. When they tell her they don't do that, she starts a diatribe against plastic surgery and its homogenising effect on different races making a culture of non-white whites. Her racist views are quite shocking but never sensationally written and the rather calm and pointed manner in which Brittany Snow makes them just heightens their impact. Naturally, Christian and Sean freak out and throw her out of the office, serving only to piss Matt off even more. A reconciliation was begun when Matt agreed to act as Christian's best man alongside Sean, but the mockers are put on that when Ariel pierces Matt's ear for him and gives him her earring, which has a swastika on. The scene where she explains what the swastika means is chilling, because you get to see how much under her father's sway Ariel actually is. In the next scene, we see Ariel's homelife and find that her extremist racist views are not an aberration. Her mother collects Mammy cookie jars, rather grotesque caricatures of large black women, and sees nothing wrong in it. Ariel's father (a chilling performance by Brian Kerwin) applauds Matt for his part in the tranny-bashing of Cherry, then asks him to steal some papers from the office. Matt seems like he's going to refuse, citing family loyalty but that soon changes when Matt turns up to the wedding, looking a state, and Christian freaks out, telling him to go. Matt storms off, back to Ariel and, as the wedding begins, he copies files for his crazy Nazi girlfriend's father. A slippery slope for Matt to go down to be sure. But at least he's having something to do, despite still moping round with a face like a slapped arse.

    Running alongside Matt's story is the main event: the wedding of Christian Troy and Kimber Henry. The episode begins with Christian giving Kimber micro-liposuction so that she can fit into a size 0 dress (which is an absolute obscenity if you ask me; completely unnatural). This seems much more like the airhead Kimber who first started the show, but she wants to look and feel like a perfect bride. So much so that she isn't eating until

    the wedding, so Christian has to do the cake-tasting by himself. Christian reminds her to sign the fidelity prenup (that she had drawn up at the end of Hannah Tedesco) or the wedding would be off. There's a nice use of music during this scene, a version of 'Wishin' And Hopin'' that seeks to show the episode's main theme- Kimber feels that she has to be this perfect size 0 bride for Christian to love her. Which is pretty tragic if you think about it. She goes for a wax at De La Mer and ends up having a clearly pissed off Gina (nice to see Jessalyn Gilsig back) doing her bikini line. Ouch. Gina's annoyed that she hasn't been invited to the wedding, but Kimber makes it clear that they couldn't invite all of Christian's exes. There is great banter between the two women, and the scene really moves along at a good pace. Gina tells Kimber that Christian isn't able to love anyone except the one woman he can never have- Julia. At that moment, Julia comes in to see how things are going. Kimber asks her plainly why Julia and Christian never gave their relationship a shot. Julia tells her honestly that whilst she and Christian are friends, they do not love each other. Kimber's recurring fear first crops up in this scene- that she has altered herself and her life for him and she doesn't want to do that to still lose him down the line. Julia assures her it's not going to happen and Kimber seems reassured. Meanwhile, Sean and Christian are at the cake-tasting together. They discuss much of the same stuff- why haven't Christian and Julia given it a go, would they still. Christian is as adamant as Julia that things won't happen between them. The cake-tasting scene is an absolute masterclass in great writing and acting. Dylan Walsh and Julian McMahon really play well off each other at the best of times, but here they are superlative. The deep bonds of love and friendship between these two men, despite everything that has happened, is clear to see. Which the cake tasting hostess does. She mistakes our two red-blooded males for a couple and says how 'generous of spirit' they are. Cue a little camping up and holding hands which is screamingly funny but strangely tender too. The night before the wedding, Christian is looking at Sean and Julia's wedding pictures. Kimber comes in and sees this and freaks out about it, thinking that he's still got feelings for Julia. She says she's going to stay in a hotel; Christian tries sweet-talking her, but Kimber's not having any of it. She says she wants to feel like a virgin bride, untouched and pure the next day.

    The day of the wedding comes around and Christian and Sean are outside the church, whilst Christian practices his vows. It is at this point Matt turns up, as Christian puts it, 'looking like a Jerry Springer guest'. Christian, vexed enough already, lays into him and Matt leaves. Quentin drops Julia off at the church; he too is not invited (this is one of two very pisspoor short scenes for Bruno Campos in this episode). Strangely enough, neither is Liz. Roma Maffia's nowhere to be seen. A strange oversight by the writer or a straightforward case of an unavailable actress? Who knows. Despite Christian's fears that Kimber won't turn up, the blushing bride is indeed at the church and waiting. And it has to be said that Kelly Carlson looks positively divine and radiant in her wedding dress, despite the rather sickening size 0. She has another great scene with Gina, where Ms Russo gives the bride an impromptu gift: her old diaphragm. Quite sick, but also funny. This proves too much for the fragile Kimber, and she begins to cry. Gina, perhaps feeling guilty, comforts her and tells Kimber what she needs to hear: Christian loves her. Another wonderful scene between these two women. Meanwhile, Christian is getting ready when Julia comes to wish him luck. They have a talk about the past and actually kiss quite passionately. Christian feels there is unresolved business between them, but Julia is adamant that Christian will not ruin his life with her. Sean comes in to tell Christian that Kimber has asked him to walk her down the aisle. The three old friends are together and Julia proposes a very appropriate toast: 'to survival with grace'. Whilst Christian waits at the altar, Kimber waits in her side room. There is a knock at the door... she calls out... the door opens... as the wedding march plays, Christian waits and the bride does not appear. Sean comes to get him and the two men head to the room. They find her bouquet and the words 'JUST CAN'T' scrawled on the mirror in lipstick. Has she had second thoughts? Cold feet? Or is there perhaps a more sinister motive behind her disappearance? Perhaps a masked psychopath paid her a visit? Whatever the reason, Christian is once again alone. Except he isn't, his longtime friend Sean is still beside him, and ready to return to the practice. There's a nice little twist; Christian asks Sean if he's sure he wants to return and Sean says 'I do.'

    With superb acting throughout, this is one of the best episodes of the season and in fact of the series. Sweet, tender, shocking, thought-provoking, tense, compelling and just downright great, Madison Berg is a great and important episode within the flow of the season as a whole. And it leaves one big question open: what's happened to Kimber? This episode ends the slight detour that the previous episodes took from the main story arc for the season; a story which comes firing in on all cylinders in the next block of episodes.moreless
  • "Madison Berg" is an episode to reveal people's suspicions, confidence and beliefs in anything.

    "Madison Berg" is an episode to reveal people's suspicions, confidence and beliefs in anything. Kimber is a woman on the edge of giving up a career, such as a free woman standing up for herself and she did not want to let it slip away because of a failed relationship. And she is not that wrong about it. Christian will always be passionate about what he cannot have and that is Julia from the beginning to future. Gina is even aware of it, but she is in love with Christian, too because he is the one to keep her on her feet and treated her as a person despite her behaviours.

    The most ironic scene is the last one in which Sean and Christian embark on a fresh marriage as Kimber and Christian would if she was not kidnapped by the Carver. Sean said; "I do" and that got me to smile to its irony.

    Matt is now a messed up teenager who must be in theraphy sessions, not in a sick relationship with that racist girl. Her family seemed to me that even Matt is thankful to God that he had his family instead of that father figure with all his hidious effects on his racist family. Hands down, everyone must not be ashamed of what they are and surely must have the choice to change themselves but not in their way of thinking.moreless
Hallee Hirsh

Hallee Hirsh

Madison Berg

Guest Star

Brian Kerwin

Brian Kerwin

Mr. Alderman

Guest Star

Valerie Landsburg

Valerie Landsburg

Marian Berg

Guest Star

Brittany Snow

Brittany Snow

Ariel Alderman

Recurring Role

Linda Klein

Linda Klein

Nurse Linda

Recurring Role

Trivia, Notes, Quotes and Allusions


  • TRIVIA (1)

    • Music:
      "Wishin' and Hopin'" – Ani DiFranco (Christian performs Kimber's stomach micro-lipo )
      "This is Not a Love Song" {Public Image Limited cover} by Nouvelle Vague (Christian asks Sean and Matt to be his best men at his apartment)
      "Cherish" by The Association (Christian and Sean sample wedding cakes)
      "Atomised" by Forss (Ariel pierces Matt's ear)
      "Honeydew" – Tom Quick (Christian looks at Sean &Julia's wedding photos/Kimber confronts Christian/Kimber informs she's staying at hotel to observe wedding 'tradition')
      "Canon in D Major" by Pachelbell (Christian practices wedding vows with Sean outside church waiting for Matt)
      "Jesu O Joy of Man's Desiring" by Bach (Julia visits Christian as he gets ready for wedding)
      "Canon in D Major" by Pachelbell (REPRISE) - (Kimber waits in dressing area before wedding begins)
      "I've Been Loving You Too Long" – Otis Redding (Sean informs Christian that Kimber left / Matt/Ariel hugging after stealing patient files from McNamara-Troy / Sean sitting w/Christian in church / Sean reveals he'll come back to the practice)

  • QUOTES (14)

    • Christian: Maybe I'll always be alone. Maybe thats just the way it's meant to be.
      Sean: You know, you've never really been alone.
      Christian: Really? My bride left me at the altar. My partner left me for a midlife crisis. Am I missing something?
      Sean: I can help you with one of those things. I'd like to come back to the practice.
      Christian: You mean that?
      Sean: I do.

    • Julia: (to Sean and Christian) So much water under the bridge. And here we are. Still standing. Still pretty fantastic. Let's toast us. (hands them glasses) To survival with grace.

    • Julia: Everyone is terrified before their wedding, Christian. You know that cliche about life flashing before your eyes when you die? Well, the same is true of weddings. Every reason that marriage is wrong and impossible rises to the surface. That's why there's so much champagne at weddings.
      Christian: That's why you slept with me. Isn't it?
      Julia: My fears about Sean turned into the need to find out if you were really the one.
      Christian: Theres still something. Someting unresolved between us. After all these years.
      Julia: Sleeping together didn't resolve anything. We simply made a mistake that many people paid dearly for.

    • Kimber: Did he do this to you? All this bitterness as a result of loving you too much?
      Gina: No, I was always a bitch.

    • Ariel: I believe people shouldn't disguise themselves amd hide their identites. I mean, I don't hide who I am. And I would like to know if someone is Asian or Jewish or what their real gender is. And, oh my God, those sex-change operations that plastic surgeons do... did your fathers do any of those?
      Matt: Yeah, I think they did.
      Ariel: That to me is truly immoral. Playing with something that's as sacred as someone's sex. Playing God and spreading disease and fear... I'm not a Nazi, Matt. I am a purist.

    • Matt: (about Ariel's earring) Is that a swastika on it?
      Ariel: It's one of the world's oldest symbols. (Matt laughs) Don't tell me you're gonna freak out about it. People are so ignorant abouit it.
      Matt: Well, it's got some pretty evil connotations, Ariel.
      Ariel: It's on Buddhist prayer wheels and Native American amulets. See, look. It's four Ls. Light. Love. Life. Luck. My dad gave it to me. He's very very smart.

    • Ariel: I'm asking you to address that fact that it's acceptable to make a black person white but not to make a white person black. Michael Jackson is whiter than I am.

    • Christian: How can we be of help?
      Ariel: I want you to dye my skin black.(off their looks) Basically, I want to look African-American.
      Christian: We don't dye people's skin.
      Ariel: No, but you would bleach my skin, wouldn't you?

    • Cake Tasting Hostess: (to Christian and Sean) You two are the most elegant, sharing couple I've ever met. So honest and so generous of spirit.
      (the men hold hands; Christian kisses Sean's hand)
      Christian: Julia's not the one for me, sweetheart. You're the one I want. The only one I want.
      Sean: I love that you love me in that way, baby. Can I try the chocolate? (Christian feeds Sean a forkful of cake) Mmm... divine. Delicious.
      Cake Tasting Hostess: We fly in the chocolate from Belgium. We call this one Forever My Love.
      (the two men start laughing)

    • Sean: Since Julia and I split up, have you and she ever talked about giving it a try?
      Christian: I don't think we've both ever been single at the same time.
      Sean: That's not an answer.
      Christian: I don't harbour any feelings for her if that's what you're asking. I wouldn't do that to you. Again.

    • Kimber: A way to a man's heart is not entrapping him with your tragedy.

    • Kimber: I was hoping you might be a lady about this, Gina.
      Gina: You're no lady and neither am I. You're just the lucky whore who was in the right place at the right time.

    • Wedding Planner: (overhearing Sean and Christian's conversation) I'm sorry, I just have to say something: I've been doing this for a lot of years, and you two are the most elegant, sharing couple I've ever met.

    • Julia: (to Christian after kissing) That was your wedding present to you from me.

  • NOTES (4)