Season 1 Episode 3

Nanette Babcock

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

Episode Fan Reviews (8)

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out of 10
236 votes
  • "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.
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