Season 1 Episode 3

Nanette Babcock

Aired Wednesday 10:00 PM Aug 05, 2003 on FX

Episode Fan Reviews (8)

Write A Review
out of 10
236 votes
  • A pasos agigantados

    OK, está bien, lo acepto. Me apresuré en bastardear a Nip/Tuck. Perdón.
    Todo mejoró tan repentinamente que me entusiasmo con la posibilidad de llegar a un 9.5 en cualquier momento.
    Aunque no me encanten las actuaciones de los protagonistas los personajes secundarios los guest stars trabajan de maravillas. La doctora Santiago le agrega esa cuota de misterio, sensualidad y buen gusto a la clínica (cosa que faltaba).
    Muy bien tratado el tema de la obesidad, sin golpes bajos (esa chica actúa bien bien).
    La única contra sería que no es muy creíble (no existe) que una familia con tantos problemas los pueda solucionar de un día para el otro. Ah! claro! es ficción!
    Nanette Babcock: inspirer.
  • No, No, Nanette

    This episode was all about how plastic surgery can't cover up your inner feelings, with both Mrs Grubman and Nanette being damaged inside, and liposuction and tummy tucks being unable to heal all their internal issues. It was also the first masterpiece Nip/Tuck ever produced.

    Nanette was a tragic character. A product of this celebrity-driven world we live in, she was deluded enough to think that everything in her life would be perfect if she lost weight, and that if she looked thinner at her reunion, everybody there would like her. Lindsay Hollister was truly amazing in the part, keeping the audience's sympathy throughout the episode. Her suicide was literally disturbing, and I was completely shaken up by it when this episode first aired.

    My favorite storyline this episode was Mrs Grubman's. Christian was hilarious when he was protesting that he doesn't want to "stick his d*ck in the Crypt Keeper", and I loved that in the end he realized what a sad, lonely woman Mrs Grubman really is. Both Julian McMahon and Ruth Williamson were excellent in their big scene together, making Christian and Mrs Grubman one of the most interesting double acts in the series.

    You have to feel bad for Matt. After going through all the pain and frustration of an adult circumcision, it turns out the girl he really loved was screwing around with another girl all along. The scene where he broke down in tears really showed how much she meant to him. Unfortunately, she was more interested in that damn girl from One Tree Hill. Booo!

    An emotional, powerful episode featuring stunning performances from all involved, and several well-written storylines. The best episode so far, and one of the best of season one.

    Director: Lawrence Trilling
    Writer: Ryan Murphy
    Rating: A+
  • "Unfortunately we live in a world where only one type of beauty is recognized"

    Today's episode took us to the dark side of beauty. Obviously there are two sides to Nannette Babcock's case, whether they should have operated on her and installed self confidence or if they made the right choice in canceling her operation. Both sides have to admit though that she did have some pretty bad emotional problems, as displayed by her obsessive wall full of glorious supermodels, the people she wish she was. Her case was one I'm sure many people could relate to, and her suicide at the end was very effective. Today's whole episode dealt with the idea that society places pressure on people to look a certain way, expiecally women, which is a subplot throughout the rest of the series.

    Sean's preoccupation with Matt's surgery almost resulted in a 10 million dollar settlement, and Christian was forced to fix the problem the only way he knows how: "You want me to stick my dick in the Crypt Keeper to fix your mistake?" Mrs. Grubman actually had a moment of weakness with Christian, as she revealed that the reason she gets so many tummy tucks and face lifts are to make herself fell wanted. We actually got to see a deeper side to a seemingly shallow character, and I actually began to sympathize with Mrs. Grubman. It appears though that the next day she was up to her devious ways again ("we have a lifetime pro bono"), and I look forward to seeing more of her in the future.

    Sean and Julia actually looked, strangely, like a functional couple today. Julia (supposedly) has decided not to blame Sean anymore for not being where she wanted in life, and has decided to go back to medical school. Sean appears to be very supportive of this decision. I doubt though all of their problems are solved.

    Final Notes and Quotes

    - The Michael Jackson impersonator at the beginning of the episode was humorous, and provided good comic relief for an overall darker episode.

    - Rewatching this episode, the phrase "beauty is a curse on the world" came to mind for Nannette. I don't want to spoil anything, so I'll just say more on that in later seasons.

    - Julia's one moment of weakness, flushing Annie's gerbil, keeps coming back to haunt her. She now has to take an Animal Anger Management class. That should be interesting.

    - Matt seemed very hurt when he found his girlfriend kissing another girl. Good acting from John Hensley.

    - It appeared at first glace that Nannette was responsible for what happened to Christian's car, but she seemed very shocked when she was accused.

    - Mrs. Grubman getting tackled in the airport was hilarious. "We have a runner"

    - Christian: "Ironic, that after these years of my enduring your be-more-responsible lectures, you’re the one who screwed us."

    Final Rating: A strong episode, 3 out of 4 stars.

    - Tim Bronx
    Find this and many other reviews at:
  • Good episode!

    Christian does a consult with Mr. Diamond, a Michael Jackson idolizer. After reviewing his history of numerous face operations, Troy sends him away. Liz informs Troy that Sean is at home, dealing with a family emergency. Mrs. Grubman approaches Troy and demands better sheets for her bed.

    Julia patiently waits outside the bathroom while Sean discusses what happened with Matt. After seeing it, Sean schedules an operation later in the day, but after Matt promises to be more open with him.

    At the office Troy does a consult with Nanette Babcock when Grace enters and after informing Troy of her hiring, joins in the consult. Nanette describes that she wants liposuction and the stretch mark on her chest gone and then explains that she wants to look good for her ten year high school reunion.

    All of the McNamara's(except for Annie) have finished eating breakfast when Officer Stone arrives and tells Julia that she must choose between taking an animal anger management class or a $5,000 fine for flushing Annie's gerbil.

    While getting prepared for Matt's operation, Christian argues with Sean about firing Pendleton and hiring Grace. When they enter the operating room Sean gets nervous so Troy does it in exchange of Sean doing Mrs. Grubman's tummy tuck.

    Afterwards, Troy decides to do Nanette's operation, but Grace and Sean change his mind. When he calls her, she is looking forward to it but soon becomes mad at hearing they won't do the surgery. When Troy goes to his car he finds it vandalized.

    At the hospital, Vanessa visits Matt. Troy brings it into a mechanic and he is told that it is unfixable. Sean calls and tells him that Mrs. Grubman has been put down for another appointment. Troy then calls her and asks why she set up an unapproved appointment. After much debate, Troy decides to cut her off from their business. Meanwhile, she walks through a metal detector at the hospital and after going through it again chooses to go anyway. She gets tackled by security.

    Later at the office, her attorney explains that one of them left a surgical tool in her and that she is suing them for ten million dollars. Sean at first accuses Liz but soon figures out that he was at fault. Troy visits her at her house and she offers to drop the suit for a favor.

    Matt, all healed, goes to Vanessa's house and finds her making out with another cheerleader and storms out.

    Sean questions Julia about searching for another Frisky and then compliments her on being a good mother. Julia decides to stop blaming Sean and to go back to school. Matt returns and tells his father that sex with Vanessa was good.

    Grace visits Nanette at her home and they talk but Nanette refuses to go see a psychologist. Later Sean calls and asks her to come in. Once there she expects that he will do the surgery for her but all he does is give her a psychologist's number. Troy spends the night with Mrs. Grubman and the next day she informs him that from now on all her surgeries are free. At Nanette's place, Nanette puts a gun in her mouth and shoots.

    This episode was really good and I like it ver much, really revealing!!!!
  • "The one with all the big performances".

    Mrs Grubman. An old woman obsessed with monthly surgeries and looking her best. Her addiction her habit, her reason for living, it's all about the surgery.

    We first met Mrs Grubman back in the "Pilot" episode, and she reappears again tonight demanding her surgery. It's a request McNamara/Troy are all too used to, but it's tonight that we get our first hand experience with Grubman. She marches down the corridoor of M/T jumping Troy, and it's not long before we see her in surgery getting her operation at the hands of Sean.

    Ruth Williamson puts in a fantastic performance as Grubman, jacking up the humour and always giving a laugh. This ideology is reinforced later on in the episode where she's chased at the airport by security for the alarm going off. The operation not as succesfull as it seems, it's revealed Sean left a scalpel inside of her, prompting the alarm to sound when she walked.

    At the opposite end of the spectrum however, Grubman proves she is more than just a comedy backdrop and does impress later on in the episode during a tearful scene with Troy. The scene is done so well as Grubman reminisces about the days of married life and sex. It's cringeworthy in content but the performance is solid and in the end, you do feel a little bit of sympathy for her.

    Another big performance of the night comes from the character this episode is named after, Nanette Babcock. An overweight woman who wants to look great for her school renunion, Babcock has been ridiculed most of her life as a result of her size. Things are of course made worse by the doctor's refusing to operate on her due to her being a manic depressive. Her despair only grows throughout the episode, and after a rather painful and tense scene with Dr Santiago, she commits suicide. The story was truly gripping throughout the episode and by time her scene with Grace came around you just found yourself sitting on the edge of your seat, desperate to know where this would go.

    Valerie Cruz as Grace dissapointingly, wasn't so good in these scenes, providing more of an ethical voice via character than anything else. Sadly things dont get much better as the season progresses, but this really was Valerie/Grace's chance to shine. A missed oppurtunity by both writer and actress alike.

    In a night of big performances it was reassuring seeing Hensley step up a little. After Matt's self-circumcision in the previous episode, this episode gave both him and Sean a chance to bond a little. Their scenes were great to watch, and along with other scenes in this episode involving Julia, it totally reinforced the idea of Sean as "family man".

    The end of the episode sees Matt teary eyed and upset, and it's revealed early on to Matt that cheerleader Vanessa has been "seeing" someone else. Of all people, another cheerleader. It's upsetting knowing that he tried to circumcise himself just for her, but at the same time provides him with a reason to wake up and generally get his head out of the clouds.

    What has the future got in store for Matt? As always, we'll have to wait and see.
  • Tipping The Scales Written by Ryan Murphy Directed by Lawrence Trilling

    In a series that strives to give depth to a medical procedure all too often seen as superficial and more problem enhancing than solving, Nip/Tuck wastes no time in giving us a case in which your views of plastic surgery can really be divided.

    Nanette Babcock, an overweight woman in her late 20’s/early 30’s has spent most of her life being ridiculed for the way she looks and finally decided to do something about it. Yes liposuction and a lot of it and it may have gone her if Grace hasn’t gotten on her moralistic high horse and managed to get an all too willing Sean to veto his partner over operating on Ms Babcock.

    Her second episode and Valerie Cruz doesn’t make much of an impression on me. I don’t particularly hate the woman but there’s something rather un-engaging and dare I say it, wooden about Grace. Even though she was right to voice her concerns over Nanette’s well-being, was I the only one who thought there was something smug about the way Grace did it? But to give her some kind of trumps, Christian didn’t bother to review Nanette’s profile (very unprofessional) and Grace did appear genuinely concern for the woman, even as far as going to her house and almost putting herself in danger in an intense ( I actually thought Nanette was going to stab her). In the end, everyone did the right thing regarding her, even as far as referring her to a psychologist free of charge but in a shocking scene, Nanette tired of the constant rejection in her life, shot herself.

    Nanette wasn’t the only problematic patient as Mrs Grubman from the “Pilot” returned or maybe I should say was properly introduced to malign Sean and Christian as a professional sporting event. Whether Nanette needed plastic surgery or not is debatable but the Mrs Grubman’s of the world are people who should be banned from the table but when Sean botches up her tummy tuck, it’s Christian who has to pay the price with the utterly gorgeous Julian McMahon getting a plethora of snappy dialogue and a dressing down from his surgery obsessed adversary. Christian’s grovelling isn’t up to scratch but its fun to watch the rousing interplay between doctor and patient and their various exchanges boast a few surprise moments and a hilarious outcome which only means we haven’t seen the last of Mrs Grubman. She’s an amusing character but probably one who is better utilised if used sparingly but at least we got to see Christian in his black undies which is never a bad thing.

    Onto the non-surgery events of the episode and this week Sean and Julia spent long lengths of this instalment away from each other but when they did share a scene it was in good context as Sean defended Julia when a police officer called her out on flushing Frisky the gerbil down the toilet and commended with how she handled the situation later with Annie (they are now two Frisky’s in the McNamara household). Julia also took a few good steps forward by deciding not to blame all her problems on Sean (yeah right!) and deciding to restart school once again. And then there was Sean’s attempts of getting close to his son.

    I really felt for Matt in this episode. Although he’s not one of my favourite characters on the series, the humiliations of his botched self-circumcision was one thing but then he had to find out his girlfriend was cheating on him too was another. Is Vanessa really gay or experimenting and could that scene have been more “straight lad’s” fantasy if Murphy could try? Even if it was a guy she was caught doing the dirty on, it really dented Matt’s self-esteem. He really did like her but in this episode and the previous she displayed ambivalence towards him and Matt lying to Sean was classic denial and pride protecting. Poor guy.

    Also in “Nanette Babcock”

    Refused POTW: Mr Diamond, a Michael Jackson impersonator wanted a deviated septum operation but Christian refused and that was even before everyone jumped on him for his lack of ethics.

    Sean: “Before we leave you need to shave your genital region”
    Julia: “Carefully”
    Matt: “And the humiliations just keep on coming, don’t they?”

    Sean: “Matt, have you urinated today?”
    Vanessa: “Buzzkill”.

    Julia had to either pay $5000 or take an animal anger management class, I wonder which option she went for?

    Mrs Grubman (to Security guard): “Loosen your braids and take a look, sweetheart. Do I look like a terrorist?”

    Nanette (to Grace): “You with your perfect face and your tight ass and your tits that don’t sag down to an elastic waistband you don’t have to wear. I hate girls like you”.

    Chronology from the previous episode, it just seems to be a few minutes after.

    Sean: “Did she indicate that if you slept with her, she’d drop the lawsuit?”
    Christian: “Are you actually telling me to stick my dick in the Crypt Keeper to make your mistake go way?”

    Mrs Grubman: “Do you want the lights on or -”
    Christian: “Off!”

    Standout music in this episode was Johann Waltz’s “The Blue Danube Waltz Opus 34” during Matt’s circumcision and Mrs Grubman’s tummy tuck and “So Damn Beautiful” by Poloroid during the shock final scene.

    “Nanette Babcock” is an incredibly interesting study of the human psyche from different sides and once again, the ethics of McNamara and Troy are called into question regarding the patients and the surgeons themselves. It’s episodes like this which give the show the weight it needs to make it in the long haul. Keep up the good work.
  • So many things!

    In this epsiode self-esteem is a major factor in all three stories. In story one Nanette Babcock is body consious and wants a major lipo so she can look good for her high school reunion. Unfortunantley she isn't prepared for what Christian ahs to say aboutt he operation after learning that she has a mental-illness and isnt stable. After ina powerful short scene with a good song, Nanette commits suicide.

    In story two, Matt wants a circumcision, but when his dad says no, he goes to the extreme and does it himself. While a very painful thing, he is willing to do it all for his girlfriend who wont have sex until he has the procedure. In the same song as Nanette's suicide, we see him cry to find that Vanessa was kissing another girl. That was a powerful sequence that made my aunt almost cry.

    And finally in story three, Mrs. Grubman's vision of herself is very low and has a lot of operations just to look beautiful, but as the episode progresses she reveals her true self to Christian only to revert her true feelings the very next day. Its quite sad actually that she thinks that of herself.

    I loved this epsiode and reccomend it to anyone.
  • Chilling look at the dark side of beauty. Episode summary in review.

    What do you do when you can’t equal what society deems as beauty? The media exerts so much pressure on everyone, especially women, to look a certain way. They need to be thin, have big boobs and little body fat to be good-looking. Few women fit that mold. It is particularly rough for someone like Nanette to live with a mental illness, and to have a negative body image. Add the constant criticism and the result is deadly. It is her obsession, as we saw with the model collage lining one of her apartment walls.

    I feel bad for Lindsay Hollister, who played the titular character. In her previous roles I've seen, she has always played someone whose weight was an overwhelming part of her character. She’s not the only heavy actor to be typecast as “the fat one”. While I'm sure they’re well paid for their performances, it must hurt sometimes only to be cast in roles because of some aspect of yourself like your height, weight, etc. Although on Nip/Tuck, being fat is an important part of her character because appearance is a major theme of this show.

    Grace’s intervention didn’t help; Nanette became even more frustrated since Grace is what Nanette wants; beautiful and thin. Prior to this episode, her appearance has been dealt only through Sean’s crush, but this is far more disturbing. The doctor handled it well even as Nanette became further upset and started pointing her knife threateningly when she talked. She must’ve dealt with numerous violent patients in her work.

    Because of her behavior, Nanette is the suspect in vandalizing Christian’s car. Nanette denies it, and it only furthers her hostility. Whoever did it (we’ll learn later) clearly has severe emotional problems and places the blame on Christian. While it could’ve been easy to have Nanette be responsible, they make it more complicated by having the culprit be unknown.

    From their meeting there is tension between Christian and Dr. Santiago because she replaced Dr. Pembleton without him knowing. He also sees this as hypocritical since Sean chides Christian for his womanizing while and then hires a woman because he is attracted to her. Later we’ll see a lot more tension between the two as Grace learns about Christian’s lifestyle.

    “Pilot” served as a prologue to Mrs. Grubman and this episode thoroughly explores her role in their world. Using “Blue Danube” with the slow motion shots of her surgery show this isn’t an ordinary patient. Mrs. Grubman has a lot in common with Nanette; both women are desperately trying to achieve beauty and seek help through surgery. Only Mrs. Grubman’s frequent visits have helped propel Troy/McNamara to success and she hasn’t shown violent tendencies. However, Christian referred to her as the “Crypt Keeper” and to her neck skin as a “waddle”. While they appreciate her business, they resent her entitlement attitude. The part of her that thinks it’s OK to schedule surgery with the receptionist instead of them.

    She can be tender as we saw when Christian and she were alone. Inside she is insecure following her husband’s death. However, in public she is callous, behaving rudely to the airport security (karma hurts sometimes), emphasizing how much Troy/McNamara needs her (even though she needs them more) and threatening them with a $10 million malpractice suit. This puts them in a difficult situation like in the pilot, but to another extreme. Their lives aren’t at risk, but their livelihood is. They don’t want to deal with her any more than with the drug dealers. Everything they’ve worked for is put into jeopardy by this.

    Julia has decided to return to school. A character finally decides to commit to making a change in her life. This will influence most of this season. Although they won’t nearly be as content as they appear to be. There are still communication problems, such as Julia not telling her husband she killed Frisky.

    Sean has made improvement trying to talk to Matt. After his impromptu “surgery”, Sean had to face that communication was worse than he thought. He did slip a little by saying that Matt should come to him for advice about the clitoris, but he helped a lot. Matt feels like he has gotten away with it, even when Sean reminds him he’s only doing it to correct what Matt did. By the end Matt lies and doesn’t tell his dad about his discovery of Vanessa’s secret. We know they are further from the ideal father-son bond than they thought.

    As his circumcision storyline ends, so begins Matt’s arc, which relies largely on his awakening sexuality. It’s only hinted at briefly this episode as he catches Vanessa kissing another girl, but this twist will be integral to his character development this season.

    This episode is the first disturbing portrayal of those who will go too far to look what society deems as beautiful, especially the toll it takes on those with enough problems as it is. The opening segment with the Michael Jackson impersonator was a good piece of comic relief before Nanette’s tragic story. They make you believe that she might be willing to help herself. Her suicide is a shock, but expected simultaneously. This episode holds well, but its weakness simply is that it isn’t what is coming.