Season 1 Episode 11


Aired Wednesday 10:00 PM Oct 07, 2003 on FX

Episode Fan Reviews (5)

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  • A little silly, but a little underrated too. Episode summary in review.

    Father, surgeon, husband, the only difference is all of mine are named Sean, and no operation can help them get along. –Sean

    We play multiple roles in our lives. Our interactions, relationships, jobs and beliefs all add to the complexity of every human. Unfortunately, the best interests and desires of these roles are constantly in conflict. How can we find harmony with all of these roles in our lives as situations cause conflict between what various aspects of ourselves want? We see how these characters deal with conflict of roles: pious/compliant, husband/adulterer and playboy/father.

    The doctors consult Ms. Caine, a woman looking to get her cankles, calves and ankles in one continuous form, changed to normal shaped legs. It isn’t anything special at first glance (although those cankles and the subsequent surgery are gross), but later it’s clear that she has to work hard to maintain stability.

    Liz informs the doctors that someone wants to speak with the “antichrist”. Christian excuses himself from that suddenly awkward situation. In his office, he meets Gina, who informs him that she’s pregnant with his baby and gives him a week to decide if he wants to have it. She’s had two abortions, one of which had complications that she thought would leave her barren. This pregnancy could be her last chance at motherhood.

    Christian is shocked. He has always taken so many precautions with birth control, even calling himself an expert on applying a condom. He doesn’t immediately suggest abortion though, which shows he is more humane than Gina would like to admit. Luckily, I've never been in this position (because there’s no way I'm ready to be a father at 21), but I know being told you’re going to be a father is a life changing event. It certainly changes Christian, even restricted to this episode alone.

    Christian brings the problem to Sean while they’re prepping to operate on Montana. Obviously, the impact of such a revelation is still very clear. Sean is still distracted following Megan’s death and telling his wife about the affair. Before they head in, he slips that he was still grieving at Annie’s birthday party. Christian, her godfather, wasn’t invited.

    At the McNamara’s Christian arrives with a gift for Annie and asks for an explanation for why he was excluded. Julia says she isn’t comfortable having him in their lives now. She asks him why he didn’t tell her about the affair. He says that if he did it would’ve betrayed the friendship they have. Then Julia mentions that they had a fling. Julia is mad at Sean for cheating. However, she did the same thing. Julia’s juggling the role of Sean’s wife and the object of Christian’s affection by casting him out for fear that she’d be too tempted.

    Cara has recovered from the accident that nearly left her blind. She finds Matt and asks her to her prayer club. When he goes, he’s surprised to see Henry there and actively participating. To cope with his guilt, Henry has decided to change his faith to Christianity. Unfortunately, for him, this is merely a half measure. He doesn’t realize to be redeemed; he needs to confess his involvement. Christianity is clear that sins must be confessed, not glossed over, to be forgiven.

    He has also developed a crush on Cara. This is clearly a bad sign. He’s not attracted to her in a normal way. Somehow, he thinks that this will make up for what he did. His crush on Cara is an offshoot of this guilt. He believes that somehow he can have a loving relationship with her. This will be what will redeem him. Guilt has warped him so that he thinks that he really loves her. In reality, he only loves his chance of salvation.

    Following her cankle surgery, Montana wakes up and has a fit when she can’t have Juicy Juice. Sean realizes that there is an underlying problem so he and Grace meet with Montana’s doctor. She informs them that she has Multiple Personality Disorder (MPD). When Montana acted out, it was actually Sassy. Sassy is an 8-year-old and the only remaining personality aside from Montana. The other personalities are controlled through her. If Sassy is happy, then the other personalities stay dormant. Her doctor recommends performing a breast reduction surgery on Montana so it will please Sassy.

    I don’t know if her statements have any scientific weight or if it’s meant to continue the story. From what little I know about MPD, it isn’t as if one living with it could have a conversation between the personalities, but that they’re so fragmented that a person can’t function. This version of MPD is more common in soaps, which fits for Nip/Tuck, even though it is very un-PC.

    That night, Sean and Julia talk about what they want to do with their marriage. They play these scenes so well it feels as if I'm watching a real life couple. Noises like the turning pages in Sean’s book become much louder in the awkward silence. Julia doesn’t know if she wants to stay married to him and asks why they even married in the first place. Here’s another important piece of back story. Julia’s pregnancy with Matt was what provoked them to get married. This is a big reason why they’re not happy now. Marriage felt more like an obligation than something they did for love.

    She is reluctant to resume intimacy with him. To earn her trust, she makes him get a full STD test because Megan had many blood transfusions. When his results show that he’s clean, Julia rejects him again. He wonders if the whole ordeal was to humiliate Sean the way Sean’s affair humiliated Julia. They both agree that the only way this relationship will work is if both of them are honest. Despite that, Julia is still hiding something about Matt.

    With Julia’s proclamation, Christian sees Gina’s pregnancy as the opportunity to start the family he has never started. Gina tells him that since he’s a day late he missed the window to stop her from having the abortion. Later we learn this is a lie, but it says a lot about what Gina has become. She wants him to feel the pain that he caused her to have.

    Sean and Grace decide not to give Montana the breast reduction surgery, which provokes another personality, Justice, to emerge. Justice is vengeful, like a cowboy demanding her namesake. She threatens that this would be the beginning of a re-release of all the personalities and more. This part feels a little hokey, like science fiction, which probably didn’t please those in the MPD community.

    Julia makes an excuse to go to Christian’s apartment so she can swipe a comb to use for a DNA test. Initially, I was apprehensive by this storyline. “Who’s the father?” is a cliché storyline in soap operas. However, watching this from the perspective of knowing what happens in season two, this gains credibility on a repeat viewing as a step in the storyline.

    After Justice’s emergence, they decide to do the surgery, which suppresses Justice and satisfies Sassy. Sean asks where Sassy goes when Montana has control. She says “underneath”. Sean asks how he can do that. Everyone in this episode is hoping for something that will make all their roles in life get along. They still need to find it.

    We knew Henry’s case for redemption was weak, and it’s proven when they’re eating lunch in the cafeteria. Henry wants to go to the prom with Cara, but she asks Matt instead. This sends Henry off again. This is what happens when redemption is bargained instead of accepted. Henry never thought about what he would do if Cara rejected him. Although by the end, he seems determined to come forward.

    Gina comes forward to tell Christian that she didn’t have an abortion. Although she despises Christian, she sees this baby as a second chance. Her life has been a struggle to fill a hole of loneliness. No matter how much sex she has, it doesn’t work. This child changes that. She already loves the baby unconditionally and wants to have a realistic arrangement with Christian.

    Julia’s ready to tell Christian that he may Matt’s father. However, when she arrives, she finds out that Gina’s pregnant. She hastily leaves his apartment, leaving him confused as to what her real intentions were.

    It wasn’t easy to follow up “Adelle Coffin”, but they do a fine job nonetheless. While MPD may not have been the most sensitive way to handle such a situation, it works. All the characters deal with a situation where their multiple roles and their demands contradict each other. Julia’s pursuit of who Matt’s real father is is enhanced knowing what happens in season two. All the characters are dealing with conflicting roles, which works as the season ends.