Nip/Tuck

Season 1 Episode 2

Mandi/Randi

4
Aired Wednesday 10:00 PM Jul 29, 2003 on FX
SUBMIT REVIEW

Episode Fan Reviews (13)

8.9
out of 10
Average
252 votes
  • A set of twins want to get plastic surgeory

    9.5
    Six weeks after the events of the pilot episode, Christian has recovered and is struggeling with his feelings for his best friends wife and has to make a decision. The duo hires a psycologist to help with screening patients. Seasns wife starts up a new gift basket business with a friend, but is rejected by here friends when they find out she killed her daughters pet. Sean goes on a date with a psycologist from another practise, while Seans son attempts to circumsise himself. This episode introduces a more episodic format than the pilot, while continuing with intresting, exciting and dramatic storylines.
  • Una luz de esperanza

    9.0
    Bueno... parece que la confirmación de que el show se iba a realizar hizo lo suficientemente felices a los cirujanos como para empezar a afinar un tanto sus actuaciones. Celebro por ello.
    La trama mejora, los personajes cobran vida, la paleta del creador comienza a llenarse de colores (más cálidos que fríos).
    Cosas para mejorar (lejos por ahora del diez):
    .algunas story lines demasiado previsibles... - la fantasía de las mellizas - pene con bajo self esteem
    .rápida resolución de conflictos... - Julia y Christian cerca de causar un incendio california style - Sean ya se fue de casa - Sean ya flirtea con la doctora Santiago

    Mandi/Randi: To redeem.
  • Sometimes even multiple glasses of wine don't help...

    7.5
    Much slower than the pilot. Still good though.... it just felt like it needed a little more "juice".
    The case of the week was rather funny, especially the conclusion. This episode continued to show the contrast between Sean and Christian which drives the show. As predicted, I found Matt's silly circumcision storyline...well, silly. But the ending was good, he totally deserved it.

    Julia was much more into the storyline in this than the previous episode I thought actively showing emotions towards Chirstian and vica versa. Though they don't get together, this is a good indication of what drama is to come.

    Sean and Julia getting back together in the end was somewhat rushed, however I doubt its permanent. Overall, a good episode with solid character development, but it definitely needed just a little more magic.
  • Snip Happens

    9.5
    Sean and Julia's relationship continues to be pulled through the wringer. Ironically, it was only after their break-up that they could have great sex again for the first time in two years. Which is probably something psychiatrists could have a lot of fun with. I really loved their whole storyline in this episode, especially when Julia and Christian talked on the beach. Julia has this saintly view of Christian and what a perfect man he is, when it's clear that isn't the case. I really liked how Christian told her that if she wants somebody to be a father for her children and love her, she should stick with Sean. While it wasn't said in the kindest way, it was still kinda sweet of him.

    The surgery of the week was fun, and you just knew as soon as the Dante's appeared on screen that they'd soon end up in the sack with Christian. The look on his face when Julia found them was awesome. He'd obviously had a great time!

    Matt is just insanely stupid. He's been given all the right answers from both Sean and Christian, yet still decides to get all knife happy with his circumcision. Plus, if he just waited out a couple of years he could get the operation without parental consent. The closing moments are pretty ick-worthy though. The loud "snip!" noise was bad enough, but his slow realization that he's pretty much bleeding to death was hilariously gross.

    A great second episode which maintains the humor and visual style (loved that tanning bed sex scene) of the pilot.

    Director: Ryan Murphy
    Writer: Ryan Murphy
    Rating: A
  • This is why we watch!

    8.1
    One of the main reasons that nip/tuck is so widely poular, it let's you see beuty's wrath on people who's sole purpose is perfecting themselves.Take Matt for example: he was always so self conscious about his penis that he was afraid to get intimate. Having relized that his worst fears are true when his girlfriend gets turned off and he's left to think. Shaun is always the exception. His downfall is the relationship to his family. He cannot seem to find th e balance that it takes to keep a family together. Christian, the dominant character, is giving us a look into the eyes of the worlds luckies guy.
  • In this episode they will operate twins, that want to change their appearance so they don't look alike. Sean leaves his family and he's facing a crisis with his wife. Christian still thinks of Julia and can't get her out of his head.

    8.2
    Christian and Sean have to operate two twins who want to be different from each other, so that other people know who's who. We learn from this episode that even after changing people are still unhappy because these twins after making the operation felt they needed to be like before it.
    Sean has to deal with a family crisis, he leaves home and goes to a hotel. His son wants to circumsize his penis just because he's afraid girls won't like the way it is. Another way to say that being beautiful and perfect is not always good.
    Christian wants Julia, he guess he feels love about her but after inviting her to dinner he is found at his house with the two twins in his bed, so Julia doesn't want a thing with him. Julia finds out that Sean is the perfect man for her and lets him come back to her.
  • Christian is impotent. Matt has a circumcision. Sean and Christian are now living together.

    8.0
    Dr. Pendleton(the new psycologist) enters the operating room and questions what they are doing. Sean explains that they are repairing a woman's breast implant after her abusive boyfriend ruptured it and that he is repairing it pro bono. Upon seeing the breast Dr. Pendleton passes out.

    Christian and Sean next do a consult with Mandi and Randi.(twin sisters) After they explain that they want to look differently from each other Sean suggests they speak with Dr. Pendleton. Christian tells Sean that they already have a letter from Grace Santiago stating that she recommends it. The next morning Matt is eating breakfast when Sean enters and gives him a condom so Matt can hide from his girlfriend. Julia sits downto eat and Annie tells her that she is making posters to find her lost gerbil, Frisky, to which Julia looks visibly upset. Sean then questions what the baskets are for and Julia explains that she and Suzanne are making gift baskets. They then proceed to fight. Troy goes to a tanning salon and meets Jo. After very little persuading Jo joins him and they start making out, but Troy can't get hard. When Jo tries other methods he hears and sees Julia to which he immediately leaves. Sean meets with Grace to discuss the twins. She tells him that it is essential they get a singular identity because they both lost their virginity to an older man. With everything explained the two have lunch. At the house Vanessa and Matt start making out when Vanessa suggests she's ready. When Matt goes to put on a condom She insists on looking at it first. After she does this, she just wants to make out. At the office Sean meets with Liz. He apologizes and offers to double her salary if she'll return. After their conversation Sean realizes that he is unhappy at home and starts packing his stuff when Julia asks where he's going. After another fight, Sean leaves. Sean tells Christian that he has moved out to try and save his marriage. Christian suggests that now that he is single Sean should go and gets some major booty. They then operate on the twins with Sean taking Mandi and Christian taking Randi. Julia and Suzanne talk about their husbands and working on their gift baskets while the plumber deals with the clogged toilet. Soon he leaves the bathroom and shows the dead gerbil to the ladies. Julia confesses that she killed the gerbil to which the plumber and Suzanne look disgusted. Christian brings Matt to a stripclub to build Matt's confidence by having sex. Matt turns it down so Christian goes to the back room with Avanti. There she tries to get him hard but can't do so. Troy sees Julia yet again and when the stripper questions why he's not interested he pushes her off and tells her she is ugly and needs work done. At the office Sean and Dr. Pendleton do a consult with Mr. Brancato. Later Sean explains to Christian that Brancato wants his penis widened and that he thinks they shouldn't do it. Dr. Pendleton interupts and explains that this will raise his confidence level and that he is for the surgery. He and Troy then go for a jog and after hearing his problem, Dr. Pendleton gives him some advice. Christian visits Julia and discuss the past. Julia breaks down and after comforting her, invites her to his place later that night. Matt looks up self circumcising sites on the web. At the hospital Christian checks up on the twins. Mandi explains that the male nurse didn't pay attention to her and the twins wish to go back to the way they were. Sean meets with Grace again and Sean makes a pass at her, which she turns down immediately and leaves. In the operating room Christian discusses with Sean how he's feel if Julia were to start dating. Sean says that it would hurt him and they operate on Brancato and Christian learns that Liz is back at double salary. After the surgery Dr. Pendleton says some words to Sean and Sean fires him. Sean goes to Grace's work and offers her the job. Julia arrives at Christian's place to find the him with the twins and storms out. Christian chases after her and tells her that she should be with Sean. Later, Sean is unpacking his things when Julia returns home and learns that he is moving back in. She tries to kick him out but instead they make love. Meanwhile, Matt drinks a bottle of red wine and try and circumcise himself. He snips once, looks at the blood on his hand and passes out. [source: TV TOME]
  • “There’s a big difference between changing your outlook, and changing your life.”

    7.0
    A theme of this episode was change, and to not be afraid to make a choice that evokes change. Nether Sean or Julia wanted to make such a huge choice as to separate, but instead they were staying together and remaining unhappy. Sean moving out was just what he needed to realize how much he wants Julia and rekindle the spark in their relationship (although I’m not sure if that’s truly what Julia wants). A new character, Grace Santiago, was also introduced in this episode. She happens not to believe in “half-measures”, but instead making decisive choices.



    Christian and Julia came very close to dating territory today, but Christian was the bigger man and broke it off (in his own strange way). Christian knew perfectly well what time he and Julia were supposed to be meeting at and he slept with the twins just at the time Julia would show up. He knew Sean would be heartbroken with Julia re-dating, so Christian decided to cut things off with Julia by using his attributes he knows best: his sleaziness and coldness. As much as he wants to be with Julia, he cares more about Sean to let that happen. He also uses cruelty as a defense mechanism, as he showed in the scene with the stripper. Christian was rude to the stripper to hide something about him that was vulnerable.



    I found amusing the different tactics Sean and Christian used to try to make Matt feel better about his penis problem. While Sean talks to Matt and tries to install self-confidence, Christian just takes him to a strip club and tries to get him to have sex with a stripper. That says a lot about both of their personalities.



    The episode had a lot of good character development, and it did a good job of showing the effect the murder last episode had on some of the characters (Liz splitting up with her partner), which is good continuity.



    Final Notes and Quotes



    - Mandi and Randi told the doctors that they wanted to have ears like Jennifer Garner because she kicks ass! They're smarter then they appear to be. :)



    - Matt dealt with his parent's potential divorce a lot better then most teenagers would.



    - Sean decided to hire Grace Santiago without consulting Christian first. Sean and Christian continue to make decisions without talking it over with each other, which is not the best way to run a business.



    - Julia creating gift baskets with crazy/creative Suzanne is really just a half-measure. It's a way for her not to think about that what she really wants to be doing is going back to medical school.



    - Liz decided to come back to the practice for double her normal salary. Not a big surprise considering Roma Maffia was still listed in the opening credits.



    - Christian: "Let's not fool ourselves. That's who I am, that's who I'll always be."



    - This episode left us with a cliffhanger as Matt, trying to self circumcise, has fainted at the loss of blood. It's too early in the series though for anybody to die yet.



    - The opening theme song fits perfectly with the show. "Make me beautiful. make me a perfect soul, a perfect mind, a perfect life."



    Final Rating: 2 out of 4 stars.





    - Tim Bronx

    Find this and many other reviews at: www.motionpicturereviews.com
  • OK!

    8.2
    McNamara/Troy's new psychologist, Dr. Pendleton, enters into the operating room. He questions Sean and Christian about what they are doing. Sean explains that they are repairing a woman's breast implant because her abusive boyfriend ruptured it. He also says they are doing it pro bono. Dr. Pendleton sees the breast and passes out.

    Sean and Christian have a consult with a pair of twin sisters, Mandi and Randi. They want to look different from each other and are tired of people confusing them from each other. Sean believes they should speak with Dr. Pendleton. However, Christian tells Sean that the girls already have a letter from Dr. Grace Santiago. She recommends the surgery.

    It is the next morning and Matt is eating breakfast. Sean enters and gives him a condom so that he can hide his uncircumcised penis from his girlfriend. Julia sits down at the table and Annie tells her that she is going to make posters for Frisky, her lost gerbil. Julia becomes visibly upset. Sean asks Julia what all the baskets are for and Julia explains that she and Suzanne are making gift baskets. Sean and Julia get into a fight.

    Christian goes to a tanning salon. While there, he meets Jo. It doesn't take long for Christian to get what he wants. Jo starts making out with him. Christian cannot get hard. Jo tries other ways to make him hard but Christian keeps hearing and seeing Julia. He leaves immediately.

    Sean meets with Dr. Grace Santiago to go over Mandi and Randi's case. She says that it is essential that they get a singular identity. She explains how they both lost their virginity to an older man. Sean and Grace have lunch together.

    At the house, Matt and Vanessa start making out. Vanessa tells Matt that she is "ready". Matt goes to put on a condom but Vanessa says she wants to see it first. He lets her. After she sees it, Vanessa only wants to make out.

    Sean meets with Liz at the office. He apologizes and offers to double her salary if she will return. Sean realizes that he is not happy at home. He starts to pack his things. Julia asks where he is going. They get in another fight and Sean leaves.

    Sean tells Christian that he moved out to save his marriage. Christian thinks that since Sean is now single, he should go "get some major booty". They operate on the twins. Sean does Mandi's operation while Christian does Randi's.

    Julia and Suzanne are talking about their gift baskets and their husbands. The plumber is working on the clogged toilet. He leaves the bathroom and approaches Julia. He shows her a dead gerbil, Frisky, that was flushed down the toilet. Julia confesses that she killed Frisky. The plumber and Suzanne look at her disgusted.

    Christian brings Matt to a strip club. He wants to build Matt's confidence by getting him to have sex with a stripper. Matt turns down Christian's offer. Christian then goes to the back room with a dancer, Avanti. She tries to get him hard but it isn't working. Christian again sees Julia. Avanti questions why Christian isn't hard. He pushes her off and tells her she is ugly and needs work done. Christian then goes on to list all of the surgeries she should have done.

    Sean and Dr. Pendleton do a consult with Mr. Brancato. Later, Sean explains to Christian that Brancato has a thin penis and would like it widened. He doesn't think they should do it. Dr. Pendleton thinks it will raise Brancato's confidence and he approves the surgery. Christian and Pendleton go for a jog. Christian explains his problem with getting hard and Pendleton gives him some advice.

    Christian visits Julia to talk about their past. Julia breaks down and Christian comforts her. He then invites her to his place later that night.

    Matt goes on the Internet and looks up ways to do self-circumcision. Christian goes to the hospital to check on the twins. Mandi says that the male nurse didn't pay attention to her. The twins want to go back to the way they were. Sean meets with Grace again. This time, Sean hits on her. She immediately turns him down and leaves.

    In the operating room, Christian asks Sean how he'd feel is Julia were to date again. Sean says he would be hurt. They operate on Brancato. Christian learns for the first time that Liz is back at double salary. After the surgery, Dr. Pendleton says something to Sean and Sean fires him. Sean goes to visit Grace at work and offers her a job.

    Julia arrives at Christian's apartment. She walks in to find Christian in bed with Mandi and Randi. She storms out. Christian chases after her and tells her that she should be with Sean. Julia returns home to find Sean unpacking his things. He is moving back in. Julia tries to kick him out but they make love instead.

    Meanwhile, Matt drinks a bottle of red wine and tries to circumcise himself. He snips once. He sees the blood on his hand and passes out.

    This episode was pretty cool!

  • Double Trouble Written And Directed by Ryan Murphy

    7.0
    Second episode in and the fabulous series keeps hitting the shock button in more ways than one and judging by my not very original teaser, this week’s main operation are twins Mandi and Randi Danti who are so tired with looking like each other, they physically want to stand out and the one way is through having certain features changed. Sort of playing on “sibling rivalry” theme, we’re informed the girls’ psychologist Grace Santiago that surgery would greatly benefit them but alas, when different the girls are just as miserable as before and the only way their confidence is restored is when Christian decides to bed them both.

    That man is a slut but maybe one with a bit of depth as his attraction to Julia is really brought to the fore. He can’t make out with tanning booth girls or strippers without fantasising over his partner’s woman and when Sean and Julia almost split up, he’s over there like a shot. The conversation with him and Julia was predatory on his part but Julia didn’t exactly brush him off now did she? And she made her disappointment of walking in on Christian’s three-way quite clear. The history between these two must definitely be heated and despite Sean’s belief they never slept together, every scene with these two literally screamed the opposite feeling for me. Christian is a cad but I do think he feels or felt something more deeper for Julia than he’d like to admit, especially as his brush off felt more defence mechanism than actual rejection.

    Of course, Christian wasn’t the only fly in the ointment between Sean and Julia in this episode as something of a song and dance routine could be appearing with these two as there’s a strong “One Bails While The Other Wails” act (I’ll let readers decide who fits which part). Reiterating most of what was established in the “Pilot”, the sizzle in their marriage has sizzled out but out of the two I find myself siding with Sean just that bit more. Julia kind of has adopted this “woe is me” attitude and in one particular scene her frustration really isn’t justified. Yes I know Sean isn’t entirely a saint either but he was the one towards the end of this instalment who made any effort even if it was after having his ego deflated by Grace. Julia didn’t make an effort to fix their marital woes just to bemoan them and while Sean satisfying his wife is probably just a ruse for more problems at least the scene had some passion in it.

    Oddly enough though, it was actually their amusing subplots and mutual humiliations that was more fun though. We had Julia facing the consequences flushing Frisky the gerbil down the toilet by incurring the wrath of her plumber and her snobby friend Suzanne getting her kicked off the mother’s carpooling at Annie’s school and then there were Sean’s cringeworthy attempts of hitting on Grace who then gets hired as McNamara and Troy’s new psychologist.

    Then there’s Matt, who’s inferiority regarding his penis plays a rather pivotal role in this episode. His model like girlfriend Vanessa isn’t exactly approving and declines sleeping with him and neither Sean or Christian’s dissuasion from him having a circumcision really makes a difference, though their individual tacks are interesting – Sean attempts to inspire self-confidence by telling his son to wear a condom before having sex while Christian resorts to near prostitution when he hires a stripper for Matt to fool around with, though he declines. Sadly neither tack does the trick and in one scene where I feel I can speak for the entire male population and say I really could have done without seeing Matt decides to give himself the snip via instructions from some dodgy DIY in circumcision website. Ouch!

    Also in “Mandi/Randi”

    Chronology wise, six weeks have passed since the events of the “Pilot”, yet throughout the episode there are references to it feeling shorter.

    Title sequences are up and the look great but why wasn’t this done from episode 1?

    Sean (re plumber): “Can you get someone out this week?”
    Julia: “Sure Sean, can you pick up the dry cleaning?”

    Other surgery of the week: correct breast augmentation on an unknown woman and a penis reduction on Mr Joe Broncetto.

    Grace (to Sean): “I need to drink. I have an ADD patient right after this who spends half the session lining up the Kleenex box just so and the remaining twenty minutes recounting how obsessively he thinks about me while he’s masturbating”.

    Before Grace was hired, there was Dr Penalton and happy news is that Liz rejoined the team. Oh and she’s gay but it’s nice the writers subtly dropped it in.

    Sean: “What got in you?”
    Liz: “Someone pushed a gun into my temple. You might remember that, Sean, you were there”.

    Christian: “I’m playing your game, Sean. For once just give me the God damn ball”.

    Julia was dressed in black while Christian was in white during their conversation at the beach. Role reversal perhaps?

    More Irish heritage with Julia’s father and I wonder what could that comment about Matt not looking like Sean could possibly mean?

    Julia: “Why haven’t I had an orgasm in two years?”
    Sean: “Because I didn’t want to work that hard”.

    Standout music in this episode was definitely Fleetwood Mac’s “Over My Head”.

    “Mandi/Randi” kept the ball rolling on this razor sharp series though it definitely lacks on the brilliant first episode. Still though, it’s a reasonably good filler episode and I’m sure there’s plenty more to come in the remainder of the season, right?
  • Six weeks on from the pilot episode the doctors are starting to mange the business again succesfully. New characters and plotlines are introduced, but generally, there isn't much here....

    7.0
    The episode opens in the operating theater. There, Sean with a few nurses and a new anastheseologist is operating on a patient pro bono. Joining them for the operation is Dr Pendleton, the surgery's recently hired psyciastrist. Sean explains the patients backstory to the man, and goes on to explain what he's about to do. But it's not enough, as soon as Sean starts the cut, Pendleton faints. Shocking and funny at the same time, this, is episode 2 of Nip/Tuck.

    This episode takes place six weeks after the pilot. Christian's scars and injuries from the previous episode are all gone, the psyciatrist is on board at the practice, and patients are steadily rolling in. The only thing that hasnt changed in these six weeks is Sean's family problems. Julia's still angry with him over, umm, whatever it was, and Matt still wants a circumcision. Similarly, Christian's attitude to life hasnt changed either, and he's still the lothario he ever was. Tonight's episode sees him bedding the two twin patients, the girl at the tanning salon, and a random stripper. Not bad for one episode.

    With the six week difference however, also comes new characters. One of Julia's friends Suzanne Epstein is introduced, and so is Dr Pendleton. His stay is short lived however, as by the end of the episode he's been fired and replaced by Dr Santiago, Mandi/Randi's pysciatrist. Her and Sean go out for dinner, and wether it be due to marriage problems or general stress, Sean makes a pass at her. She rejects, and Sean's left feeling a fool. It's horrible to say so, but it's long overdue, and Sean being turned down and rejected for a change hopefully helps him to put things into perspective a little concerning his family and work.

    His arguments with wife Julia in this episode are undoubtedly the "highlight" of this episode. Joely Richardson does a terrible job of playing angry however, so scene as a whole is pretty much wasted. Dylan Walsh and Julian McMahon however, the two male leads on the show, continue to impress as always and definately add a little something to their characters.

    The episode ends with teeange throwaway son Matt. Misunderstood and rejected for two long, he decides to circumcise himself with the help of a certain website. The scene's hard to watch, but he goes for a cut with some scissors. He lifts up his hand, covered in blood, and faints.

    Nip/Tuck has already shown it's potential to shock and traumatise, while still at the same time being entertaining. By nowhere near as good as the pilot, episode two of season one, continues on pressing the stories introduced in new directions. With that come new stories and characters, and the future thankfully, is promising.

    Season 1 only gets better from here on in....
  • It's amazing how quickly a show can prove it's worth.

    8.7
    This episode of Nip/Tuck is everything a satirically melodramatic drama should be (Desperate Housewives, take note!). Joely Richardson and Dylan Walsh's fight scenes are so gut-wrenching and Julian McMahon's troubles "down there" made me feel so embarassed and empathetic for him (not how I typically feel for him). But I think what's most important about this episode is how exemplary it is of a satire. When Julia goes to Christian's abode to potentially rekindle a forgotten romance, she finds him in bed with the title characters, twins Mandi and Randi, who have turned to Dr. Troy to make them feel equally pretty, of course, he does, in the best way he knows how besides surgery, if you catch my drift. The next scene is Julia sitting on the beach, and as Dr. Troy sits next to her, he says "I thought we said 7:30?" as she corrects him with 7:00, it dawns on me that this is more of a comedy, hidden among very human reactions and flawed emotions. This is an extremely excellent show, and this episode in particular is a fine example of such.
  • Decent, but nothing compared to what's to come. Episode summary in review.

    7.0
    Being the second episode of a series is a thankless task. You’re competing to maintain the quality of the pilot or prove that you could do better while maintaining the viewer’s interest. Nip/Tuck proved to have a lot of potential with its 90 minute premiere, but how would it be able to fare as a series?

    The continuity between this episode and the pilot is consistent, which can be difficult as pilots are often filmed far in advance from the rest of the season. Troy/McNamara have recovered from the events of the pilot and have changed their operation. Now we see there is a psychologist on staff and they now do pro bono work, helping the woman with the ruptured implant. However, the psychiatrist can’t handle the sight of seeing the operation, a sign that he won’t be around long.

    Following this, we meet the titular patients, twin girls trying to form their own identities. Seeing how they act it’s clear that they really don’t want to be different from each other, as they have the same haircut, the same type of clothes on, make-up, etc. They haven’t come to grips with the fact that they will always be confused for the other twin for the rest of their lives. Both of them losing their virginities to the same man was the nadir for them and they thought surgery would be the solution. Maybe they should spend more time away from each other to find themselves. Well, it’s clear that by the end of the episode that surgery was a mistake.

    If there was any purpose to the twins it would be to introduce the fifth lead, Valerie Cruz as Grace. In retrospect, it didn’t make sense to have her as a lead. She is absent through five episodes, several critical to the development of the show. Her character served two purposes. One will be discussed in a future review. You could argue that her secondary purpose is to appeal to Sean in a moment where his mid-life crisis is still affecting him. Along comes a beautiful woman who doesn’t believe in half measures. It convinces him to change his menu choice from what he usually has to what she is having. However, his poorly timed line showed this wouldn’t be the right way to change his life.

    Perhaps it would’ve been a better decision to have a few different psychologists on the show or stay with Dr. Pembleton. He felt like a wasted opportunity, as if they couldn’t get Valerie for this episode and had him substitute, with her scenes shot later and mixed in. The impact of his firing is somewhat diminished since it recalls too much of Sean’s dismissal of Julio in the pilot. There was tension between them as we saw regarding Mr. Brancato, but hardly enough to make this payoff worthwhile.

    Sean’s still resorting to half measures trying to talk to Matt about sex. He clearly meant the best by sliding the condom across the table, but this is what makes it hard for Matt to talk to his dad. So he consults Christian because he is easier to talk to about sex, but the advice he gives isn’t the type you’d want a young man to follow, like sleeping with a stripper so he can gain experience equipped to please Vanessa.

    Christian also has trouble with women in this episode because of Julia. He is impotent towards every woman he is with unless he is thinking about Julia during it. No one in Christian’s life has touched him the way Julia has. Since the “consultation”, he has become fixated on her. But when they meet towards the end, they have a heartfelt discussion, which revives his sex drive.

    Julia is still living a desperate existence. She’s bored and creating gift baskets to avoid thinking about going back to school so she can get what she wants. Neither she nor Sean is sure what to do about their relationship at this point. Matt has to intervene because both of them aren’t doing anything to face the problems in their lives. He has a good point, but Julia continues to make the baskets.

    However, this hobby will be dashed with the consequences of killing Frisky the gerbil. Considering how obsessive kids can be with their pets, it doesn’t make sense that she would wait a month and a half before putting up “Missing” ads. Also it has taken this long before the plumbing problems started. It was funny how she confessed to it. They laid it on heavily by mentioning it could’ve been Matt and that’s how Ted Bundy started, killing small animals. Their utter disgust when Julia admitted she killed it was priceless.

    Liz plays another part in Sean’s decision to commit to change. Being held at gunpoint changed her perspective so that she left her deadbeat girlfriend to pursue what she wants in life. It takes Sean some convincing to get her to come back. Not knowing the name of Liz’s ex didn’t help. Nevertheless, doubling her old salary worked.

    Sean is willing to leave Julia, but still doesn’t want to go out and see other people. He has only changed his mindset, taking half measures but thinking he’s going all the way. There isn’t any joy in this marriage. When faced with Julia again, he decides it’s better to have amazing sex as if that will remedy their problems. It doesn’t. He seems to want to please her only to spite her. Earlier Grace spurned his advice. Sean wanted safety after that and he resented it.

    Unlike her husband, Julia seems more interested in a drastic change following Christian’s visit. He has always been more open, but still isn’t the right man for her. Brushing off an erection he got during a close meeting between them and then having a three way with the twins on the same night he was going to console Julia (describing it as a “Doublemint moment”) isn’t the type of man likely to settle down, even though he desires Julia more than any other woman.

    Matt is in a tough situation being a self conscious teenager. Vanessa likes Matt, but her reaction to his penis caused him to recoil. That caused her to shy away too. Her saying they should just stay kissing was about as hurtful as if she left. All of the pressures he is facing, added to the fact that he can’t effectively communicate with anyone close to him, makes him try to circumcise himself. I'm sure I wasn’t the only guy to cringe a bit when that snip was heard. The creepy voice narrating the webpage where Matt got his information shows how bad it can be if you have no one to turn to so you rely on questionable sources because they are more open. To have someone do that on TV is unbelievable, but it’s not just for the sake of shock value.

    This episode performs well following a great premiere, but suffers from some minor faults in the writing. The continuity is strong as it sets up the season arc. Mandi/Randi is good, but not the indicator the greatness ahead in this season and the next.
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