Season 2 Episode 4

Mrs. Grubman

Aired Wednesday 10:00 PM Jul 13, 2004 on FX
out of 10
User Rating
199 votes

By Users

Episode Summary

As Julia and Sean's daughter Annie faces puberty, they must both face the harsh realization of maturity and deal with their own issues about getting older. When Gina tells Christian he can no longer be involved in Wilbur's life, Christian is forced to reach out to an old flame in order to build a case to gain sole custody of Wilbur.moreless

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  • As time goes by

    El indetenible paso del tiempo, y cómo pasamos en un abrir y cerrar de ojos de ser unos niños a ser grandes señores con tremendas obligaciones y derechos y trabajos y decisiones que tomar y deudas y parejas que bancar y familias que sostener y jefes que odiar y suegras que aguantar (querer matar) y arrugas y canas y vecinos molestos y no hay tiempo para jugar un segundo con el perro y me duele la cabeza y el dolar y la deuda externa y cuando vence la luz y para qué tener hijos si esto se va todo a la mierda y quién es el que está ahí en el espejo? Aaaahhhhh!!!!!!!!!moreless
  • Mad Menses

    Growing older played an important part in this episode, with Annie hitting early puberty, Julia accepting that she is getting older, and Kimber making herself look older through a spiralling coke addiction.

    I loved the parallels between Kimber and Annie, with both being depicted as "princesses". In Kimber's case, she's already been torn apart by the big bad wolf, while Annie is in the middle of being told how to avoid such a fate. Kelly Carlson was awesome in this episode, especially in the restaurant scene with Christian. She managed to convince the audience as both the bitter, twisted Kimber she was at the end of last season, and the pathetic, lonely Kimber desperate for some kind of affection. It was tragic to see her crawling around on the floor for cocaine in the bathroom, and then returning to the porn industry at the end. She's an amazing character, and you just have to feel bad for her.

    Annie's development also produced a great subplot. Suzanne Epstein's shocking and vaguely racist tale of "Princess Menses" being lured into the big bad wolf's "crib" was unbelievably graphic, and Nancy Cassaro was hilarious as the shameless socialite who's completely unaware of how life really works, and what is important.

    Mrs Grubman returned, and Ruth Williamson put in another brave, tear-inducing performance. It was so shocking to see her at the end of the episode, looking so old after her stroke. It was a sad, honest parallel to how she looked in all her other appearances on the show.

    A moving episode with several emotionally-powered storylines. Featuring amazing performances from two notable recurring guest stars, Mrs Grubman makes you cry, laugh and almost hurl in equal measure.

    Director: Jamie Babbit

    Writer: Jennifer Salt

    Rating: A+moreless
  • Mrs. Grubman: "Beauty is my strength and my armor."

    was happy we were able to receive closure for Mrs. Grubman before the season swings into action.

    Mrs. Grubman’s vanity in the end was what ended up hurting her most. Mrs. Grubman was depressed about aging, and her ineptitude to tell the doctors she was on antidepressants resulted in paralysis from another plastic surgery she connived Sean and Christian into doing. It was tough seeing what her plastic surgery addiction ending up doing to her, but we got a nice scene between her and Christian as she gave Christian parenting advice.

    We had another familiar face return tonight, as Kimber came to testify against Christian in the custody battle. Kimber may be more bitter, but she is still just as pathetic. She still wants Christian back; she even offered to be his maid! She is entirely sufficient on others, and ever since Bobolit went bankrupt she has been on a downward spiral as her coke addiction has hollowed out her nasal cartilage and damaged it severely.

    I was surprised Christian didn't just get back together with Kimber to prevent her from testifying, but it was the right thing to do. He didn't use Kimber; he was honest and told her he just didn't love her. In the end he may have been able to prevent Kimber from testifying, but he couldn't prevent Wilbur from being taken away from him.

    I couldn't believe James. He gets Christian's hopes up that he will help Christian get custody of Wilbur, and then changes his mind and decides he wants to raise Wilbur himself. I know James will probably be a good father for Wilbur. But Christian really does appear to love him and Wilbur brings out the best in him.

    Final Notes and Quotes

    - Annie finally got her own plot today, as Matt's teasing about Annie entering puberty caused her to make drastic actions landing her in a hospital.

    - Sean and Julia are tired of Matt's attitude and have decided to hire life coach Ava to try and straighten him out.

    - Gina (who strangely didn't appear in the episode today) was an idiot to bring Wibur's father into the custody battle. No sane parent would leave their child with her.

    - Suzanne was way overboard, telling sexually explicit fairy tales to eight year olds. It was nice metaphor though when her story overlapped with Kimber dressing up to go meet Christian.

    - They strangely didn't play music during the opening surgery on the high school senior. I guess they had too much to talk about.

    - Although credited, Famke Jensen didn't appear in this episode.

    - Suzanne: "Oh healthy food is the new plastic surgery. Who knew?"

    - It looks like aging is this year's theme, as today we got Mrs. Grubman's depression about aging, Annie's fear about going into puberty, and Julia's fear of growing old that causes the organic food diet.

    Final Rating: 2 for puberty plot, 3 for Grubman and Christian. Overall 2 1/2 out of 4 stars.

    - Tim Bronx

    Find this and many other reviews at: www.motionpicturereviews.commoreless
  • Christian's getting closer to Wilbur as Kimber comes back into his life. Meanwhile Matt's behavior is having a negative reaction with Annie.

    The whole Gina/Christian/Wilbur storyline was not one of my favorites and it was utterly so predictable. On the flipside though the storyline does develop Christian into a more compassionate person if only for a brief time.

    His contact with Kimber in this episode makes him realize the error of some of his ways. We see Matt slowly start to get transformed into the dsyfunctional brat he really is.

    The comment about the kid having a period sends Annie the wrong message.

    The other sidestory with Mrs. Grubman was hohum too. I didn't care about the patient at all as another review pointed out. Her story was average and yeah it seem like she was blackmail Sean and Christian. Eventually this was a case as her own daughter said of Vanity mixed in with depression. An ok episode but not my favorite. Still a lot great acting involved.

  • Ageing The Only Way Possible Written by Jennifer Salt Directed by Jamie Babbit

    I know there’s a certain shameless quality Nip/Tuck possesses that makes it must see TV but even I didn’t think this series was this audacious. Entering puberty at the early age of eight, the most underused McNamara gets her own storyline this week. Yes, little finally has something to do and her entry into womanhood not only allows us to get re-acquainted with the vile Suzanne, who eerily tries to educate Annie and the other princess Mensies about sex through fairytale metaphors but it seems the pressures of getting older can even affect someone as young as Annie when she is hospitalised and Julia learns what her daughter’s fears are. It’s a thread that relates into everyone in this episode as Julia unwisely took Suzanne’s advice and starts eating food that looks more likely to cause your body harm rather than good in the long run.

    Speaking of long run, we’ve gone through six episodes without so much as a murmur and guess what? Mrs Grubman is back! When the guys refuse to be blackmailed by her into performing another unnecessary surgical procedure she pulls out the “my daughter has cancer and me looking beautiful will help her through it” card. A new one I know and I for one thought she was lying her ass off. Grubman is so desperate for surgery I’d wager she’d do it on herself if needs be. But shock, horror, she was actually telling the truth and her latest trip under the knife goes horribly wrong, her cancer stricken daughter Claire is the first one to blast Sean and Christian. In fairness, it’s not their fault as Grubman refused to disclose she was on anti-depressants and she winds up being paralysed. I’ve always kind of understood but never really sympathised with this character’s desperation to retain her looks but the fact she willing withheld information made me curse at the screen. Her daughter was right to call on Sean and Christian’s indulging her insipid surgeries (why did they wait so long?) but she should have also said something to her mother too. However I did love the scene with Christian and Grubman where she gave him kind advice on how to be a good parent and requested surgery for her daughter. What a sweetie, the both of them in that scene.

    Christian on the other hand, the battle with Gina to keep Wilbur was always going to be filled with different twists and turns and writer Jennifer salt didn’t fail on that score. First off, we got James allying himself with Christian in order to beat Gina and then there was Kimber as a character witness against Christian, which we had to deal with. Following her defunct modelling career and relationship with Merrill, life has really dealt her some harsh blows. In case I haven’t made it clear in the past, I’ve never been a huge fan of Kimber and the majority of her appearance in this episode didn’t do her any favours either. She still has pangs for Christian which obvious and only decided to help out Gina to hurt him until the consequences of her out of control drug habit forced her to reconsider her position. Kimber barked sarcastic comments at her ex-lovers while bleating on about her acting aspirations (Meryl Streep she ain’t) but a leaky septum showed how bad thing have really become for her. I admit I felt kind of bad for her but to contradict the fairytale theme, maybe Kimber should asserting some independence rather than relying on some guy to save her.

    However things really turned in this episode when James after having Wilbur christened, decided to finally accept the boy as his own much to Christian’s heartache. I guess I should have seen it coming but it took me by surprise as much as it took Christian. I like James and I do think he would be a good dad to the kid but even still I don’t Wilbur to go and I really wished Christian had fought more for him too.

    Also in “Mrs Grubman”

    Opening patient of the week: Cheerleader getting liposuction.

    Liz: “You look like someone’s just stolen your first born”

    Christian: “Well someone is trying”.

    Did anyone else want to slap Suzanne for little victory remark about Sophia? I certainly did. Why would Julia tolerate this woman?

    Christian: “Do you lie awake at night thinking of new ways to torture your body and us?”

    Mrs Grubman: “Spare me the moralistic lecture, Dr Troy. If I was paying, you’d have me in faster on the books than shit goes through a goose”.

    Suzanne: “Newsflash Julia, those little angels dripping with hormones and if you think the old boys can’t smell it, then you and your daughter are in for a rude awakening”.

    Character bits: Gina’s had 292 sexual partners in the last three years, Grubman’s had ten surgeries in the last six months and James has been married for the last 39 years.

    Kimber (to Christian): “You couldn’t love anyone, your heart’s made of granite”.

    Matt (re food): “Where do I get the courage to take the first bite?”

    Sean: “You’re a big boy, Matt. Just do it”.

    No Gina in this episode despite a heavy role she played in the episode and although credited, Ava doesn’t appear either.

    Christian (re Gina): “My intention is to bring the bitch to her knees which ironically enough, is her favourite position”.

    Grubman (to Christian): “Just because I feel dead, doesn’t mean I have to look embalmed”.

    Standout music: “Cosmopolitans” by Erin McKeown and “Moonlight Sonata” by Dankesh York.

    Again, no chronology is present in this episode, Liz had nothing of interest to do and we still didn’t learn Grubman’s first name but even still “Mrs Grubman” is continuing on an excellent path for the series. The theme in Season Two is definitely about age and the effects surrounding it and there was a funny fairytale twist with Sean and Julia explaining sex to Annie, which tied into Kimber’s new career in porn.

Gary Carlos Cervantes

Gary Carlos Cervantes

Father Joe

Guest Star

Jane Daly

Jane Daly


Guest Star

Alla Korot

Alla Korot

Claire Grubman

Guest Star

Kelly Carlson

Kelly Carlson

Kimber Henry

Recurring Role

Famke Janssen

Famke Janssen

Ava Moore

Recurring Role

Kelsey Lynn Batelaan

Kelsey Lynn Batelaan

Annie McNamara

Recurring Role

Trivia, Notes, Quotes and Allusions


  • TRIVIA (3)

    • It is revealed that Gina had 292 sexual partners in the last three years.

    • Featured Music:

      "Satie's Blues" by Margaret Leng-Tan (Annie's 'Princess Menses' tea party/Kimber getting ready/meeting Christian for lunch)
      "Baby" by Koop ft Cecilia Stalin (Christian & Kimber at lunch)
      "Cosmopolitans" by Erin McKeown (Kimber at lunch with Christian/doing coke in bathroom)
      "Humble Girl" by Anjali (Kimber returns from bathroom & nose starts bleeding at table with Christian)
      "Mother's Little Helper" by Rolling Stones (Mrs. Grubman's knee surgery/flat lines)
      "Moonlight Sonata" by Dakesh York (Kimber's nasal reconstructive surgery)

    • Goof: During the wide shot of Sean, Julia and Suzanne standing up, Julia's right hand is on her cheek in shock. But the following close-up shot of her and Sean, Julia's hand suddenly appears on her waist.

  • QUOTES (3)

    • Mrs. Grubman: I need you to do something for me, Dr. Troy. Fix my face.
      Christian: This time I can´t. You´ve had neurological damage, and I can´t lift that, and I can´t repair it. I´m sorry.
      Mrs. Grubman: So that´s it, then I lost the race.
      Christian: Who were you running against?
      Mrs. Grubman: Time.

    • Julia: Why were you trying out one of Mommy´s tampons?
      Annie: Matt said I was going to leave a stain. I don´t want to get old and bleed.

    • Sean: Unfortunately, we live in a world where smooth thighs matter.

      Suzanne: Sweetie, I think you need contacts. You must be legally blind not to notice how good my skin is looking these days.
      Julia: Oh, I'm sorry, Suzanne, I just assumed you got shut up again by botox.

      Suzanne: Healthy food is the new plastic surgery. Who knew?

      Christian: (to Mrs. Grubman) Tell me what you don't like about yourself… again.

      Christian: (to Mrs. Grubman) Do you lie awake at night dreaming up ways to torture your body?

      Suzanne: (to the kids) "Take off your clothes, princess," said the prince. Pressed up against him, the princess felt a hard bulge--
      Julia: (interrupts) --And the princess replied, "You know what? You're a wolf, not a prince."
      Sean: "And I don't play with liars. So there, wolfie."
      Julia: A-and then, they all played Monopoly and lived happily ever after. (weak laugh)

      Matt: Look, I'm sorry, guys, but I should not have to eat dog food just because you're worried about little princess' pubes over there.

  • NOTES (2)