Season 5 Episode 9

Rachel Ben Natan

Aired Wednesday 10:00 PM Jan 15, 2008 on FX
out of 10
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161 votes

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Episode Summary

As Julia's health worsens, Christian falls back into old habits. Sean hires Gina as the new receptionist at McNamara/Troy in order to get back at Christian. Dawn Budge returns to McNamara/Troy after another unfortunate incident which requires cosmetic surgery.

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  • Leftist Propaganda

    * Spoiler warning *

    I'm an Israeli watching the show for many years now and until now this show has never taken sides in the israeli-Palestinian conflict. What a Shame! I really liked the part when Sean McNamara gave Rachel (an Israeli without even the slightest trace of an Israeli accent, but that's not the point) the terrorist bomber's remains and said that his parents' address is "314, Jerusalem road, Ramallah, Palestine". That's odd, considering there's no such country, or at least hasn't been for 60 years... Ramallah is under the control of the Palestinian Authority, which is neither a country nor a state. Only the leftists consider it a country. And the sympathetic, almost noble portrayal of the imaginary Palestinian terrorist (oddly again with no accent and with a perfect English vocabulary), I mean come on!

    There's also the dawn vs. the gay community issue: this is a very controversial issue so what they do they show the gay as the logical side and dawn and the prostators as irrational and barbaric bunch... be objective. Be fair.moreless
  • Forgiving The Unforgivable Written by Jennifer Salt Directed by Charles Haid

    Rachel (to Sean): "Forgetting is easy but forgiving is really hard".

    Interesting statement from Rachel that I just had to quote in order to start off this review. This episode might be all about forgiving someone who has wronged you but the question is – does everyone deserve forgiveness?

    I ask this because you've got Sean who is pretty pissed off that Christian and Julia re now a couple of sorts. Does Sean have the right to be annoyed with his ex-wife and best mate screwing around? I've said in past reviews that he does and doesn't and I still stand by that belief but maybe Sean does have a right to be extra annoyed at Christian.

    Sean opts for not talking to Christian and this is tricky due to them working together and any patient able to sniff out the tension between the two of them. However Sean doesn't stop at talking and makes it his business to prove that Christian can't control that raging libido of his. Man, is that not the easiest thing to prove or what?

    Sean's first move is to hire Bettina. If this was the Six Feet Under character I could imagine all the kinds of fun this episode could've been. Sadly Bettina is a bland Barbie doll bimbo and Christian virtually wastes no time in screwing her.

    Is it me or has this season of Nip/Tuck really laid on sex scenes that are revolting, bland or meaningless? Is it too much to ask for one sex scene this season between a couple that's loving? Seeing Christian screw dumb bimbo I couldn't care less about is a waste of my time.

    Of course Christian then attempts to fire Bettina when her dippiness shows (maybe Christian should wear earplugs when screwing stupid people) and she counteracts with a potential lawsuit. Sean of course gets great enjoyment and I do too. Anything that will end this crap is a goody for me.

    However Sean does throw Christian a life rope by paying Bettina off but he quickly reminds Christian how annoyed he still is when Bettina's replacement turns out to be worse. By that, just a familiar face that's a joy for me and an eyesore for Christian.

    After just appearing in one measly episode of Season Four, Gina is finally shipped into LA (why not? Everyone else has "conveniently" followed Sean and Christian out to LA) and takes up the position as McNamara/Troy's new secretary. Of course it's not the only reason why Gina is in LA.

    Even when Gina is being polite (her usual greeting sounded oddly sweet here), she still manages to get on Christian's nerves. Oh how I have missed her. Compared to Kimber and Eden, Gina is one madam worth seeing every time. Here's hoping that the writers put her to some good use. By that, I mean someone giving Christian a verbal ass kicking as often as possible.

    Seriously, though on a twisted level, does anyone else think that Sean should be a bit more spiteful? I know I shouldn't advocate behaviour like that but because of him we have Gina back. That's like the best thing Sean could've done. It's nearly enough to make me forgive him for the crappy way he dumped Kate too.

    I know there is a part of me that should think that Sean should grow up and let Christian and Julia try to make it work as a couple but I just can't. I hate the writers for being stupid enough to actually think that a relationship between Christian and Julia was a necessary plot development but this episode does give the reassurance of them not lasting as a couple either.

    Regarding his behaviour with Sean, I thought Christian behaved like a total bastard and deliberately started a fight because Sean couldn't bring himself to accept him and Julia. What did Christian expect? Would he be cool if Sean started dating Gina or Michelle? No, he'd respond by seducing them and making sure that Sean witnessed it.

    Sean doesn't have to support Christian and Julia as a couple and Christian has no right to demand that he does. Christian acted out and started that entire fight. I don't blame Sean for hitting him, Christian certainly has been asking for it in the last few episodes. The only thing that bothered is how Sean had to turn around and apologise to him later. That felt wrong to me. It should've been Christian apologising, not Sean.

    This is the second episode in a row in which Sean has had to apologise despite being in the right. Last week he had to apologise after giving Matt some much needed tough love and this week he apologises after Christian starts a fight with him. Hey, I'm all for writers not moralising but I can't understand why Sean always has to be the one who has to apologise. That logic doesn't compute with me.

    Also Christian does himself no favours here. He blathers on about how much he loves Julia, yet he's screwing the first bimbo in sight. His reaction to Julia having a nosebleed during sex is priceless too. A concerned boyfriend would care. Christian on the other hand thinks that Julia isn't committed to the relationship.

    Now Christian might have a point (I hope to God he actually does) but he behaving like a total dolt. Did he not think to check on her? I know the doctors haven't found any symptoms to but Christian's lack of concern for Julia's well being is only further proof that they shouldn't be together. If this was Olivia, I bet she would've care. Julia's total lack of respect for Olivia is also a sore spot for me.

    The forgiveness arc is also played into the main patient storyline. We met Rachel last week and we also knew that Christian made the offer to do skin graphs on her. Rachel takes them up on the offer, only because her skin is acting up and there's the reveal that a part of her bomber, Sayid is still inside Rachel. After the personal melodrama between Sean/Julia/Christian, Rachel's plight comes as a welcome tonic.

    I have to say that Maggie Siff is a really good piece of casting as Rachel and this episode more than rams that fact home. You need someone good to play a character as complex as Rachel and Maggie plays her perfectly in my opinion. Rachel might have a better sense of peace but it's realistic that there's still some residual angst from her attack.

    The actor playing her bomber Sayid – Dylan Ramsay is also fantastic. Through Sean's habit of going to dark places, we get to see Sayid glorify his act of terrorism as well as taking pleasure in still being able to torment Rachel. Rachel talks of herself going to dark places because of that remnant of Sayid and it's easy to see why too.

    She even loses and demands another surgery when Sean is in a consult with another patient. I notice that Rachel and Sean seem to have more of a connection in this episode than Rachel and Matt do. I'm not sure whether that's good or bad but it's certainly interesting, I'll give you that.

    Sean even questions Rachel on her motives for further surgery. I'm glad he asks if she's in love with Matt and I'm also glad that Rachel isn't. Matt needs a friend right now, not another groin buddy. Rachel could be very effective in that capacity if the writers retain her dignity and don't turn her into a nut job.

    As for the whole thing with Sayid, it's Sean who encourages Rachel to travel back to Sayid's parents and give them his remains. For Rachel it's not something she can easily do but when she does do it, she gets peace from the experience. I'm glad she does and that she seems able to forgive Sayid. I'm not sure if I could if I were in Rachel's position.

    It's also amusing that the forgiveness angle is brought into Hearts And Scalpels. Dawn seemingly can't forgive Aidan's shameless acting skills and the implausibility of the series (does that mean she hates Grey's Anatomy?). Aidan on the other hand can't forgive a woman who knows nothing about TV criticising his work. Aidan you're cute but you're a pretty dire actor to put it nicely. Bradley Cooper on the other hand has great comic timing so I'm willing to put up with Aidan.

    Of course the bigger issue is more to do with Dawn's issues of homosexuality. No people Dawn isn't coming out of the closet but she's very annoyed when Freddy wants to promote Hearts And Scalpels at a gay pride parade and when him and Aidan engage in mild HoYay for the people watching their float, Dawn isn't very impressed at all.

    The thing about Dawn is that disaster absolutely loves and I'm willing to bet at this point that she won her millions with Hurley's cursed numbers from Lost. It would explain that in the four episodes in which she's disgraced her presence she's had her ear cut off, an eagle maul her face, a light knock her out and a pervy doctor butt rape her.

    With this episode a lesbian biker manages to skid mark her face and thanks to Sean, Dawn doesn't even allow the woman to apologise to her. It's only when Liz intervenes and Freddy admits that he's gay does Dawn relent and drop the would be lawsuit.

    For the first time this season, Liz finally has something to really do. She sought out Jan to apologise to Dawn, she got Freddy to admit he was gay (seriously that was the worst kept secret ever) and her rapport with Dawn was fantastic. Dawn and Liz work well together and by that, I mean a friendship. Give Dawn's penchant for bad luck, I'd swear the woman was a jinx.

    Also in "Rachel Ben Natan"

    Patients of the week: Rachel who had at least two/three surgeries, Dawn who had work done to her face and some unknown patient in a consult.

    Rachel (to Sean): "No wonder I'm having nightmares. My bomber's alive and well and living inside of me".

    Rachel mentioned losing eight teeth during her ordeal. Did she have them replaced during the original surgeries?

    Dawn: "I'm straight out of the park. I'm not a bigot"

    Aidan: "That's what all bigots say".

    Sean (to Christian): "I don't have to lift a finger. You'll detonate it all by yourself".

    Hearts And Scalpels were filming an episode based on "Manya Mabika". It would be interesting to see a past patient react to an episode of the series.

    Rachel (to Sean): "Did you feel your anger was a physical presence? Like you were possessed?"

    Freddy: "I guess I was caught up with the flow"

    Dawn: "You certainly did that".

    Dawn threw in an interesting line about dating gay men in the past. Compared to your second husband, Freddy was a step up, Dawn.

    Liz: "Freddy, look me in the eyes and tell me you're not gay You're looking away from my eyes".

    Rachel (to Sean): "My mother is mourning the fact that I don't look like Natalie Portman anymore".

    Didn't Liz used to have a girlfriend called Jan back in Season One? She did actually. It might have been cool if the biker had been the ex-girlfriend.

    Dawn: "I don't deserve your love Freddy"

    Freddy: "Of course you do".

    Gina: "Hey ****

    Christian: "To what **** twist of fate do I owe this displeasure to?"

    Wasn't Matt being a tad hypocritical telling Sean to get over Christian/Julia dating? Some sensitivity wouldn't have gone amiss there.

    Sean: "Are you in love with Matt Is he in love with you?"

    Rachel: "We don't discuss things like that. We're just good friends".

    Chronology: I'd say a few weeks since "Duke Collins" so perhaps mid-January 2008.

    Much as I love this show, there's still a large hit and miss factor with "Rachel Ben Natan". As fun as anything involving Liz/Hearts And Scalpels and as engrossing as Rachel is, the episode is massively let down by the Sean/Christian/Julia crap. Plus, couldn't Gina have had more to do as well?moreless
  • Pieces In Rachel

    It was disappointing to see Nip/Tuck return from its first ever winter hiatus with an episode lacking in laughs or drama. Even the stories and characters that in the past were pretty reliable in creating humor (Hearts 'n' Scalpels, Dawn, Gina) were wasted. Just a "blah" hour.

    I've always been a supporter of Dawn Budge, but it looks like she's overstayed her welcome. It feels like this entire storyline for her has been crafted as more meta humor, this time making Dawn scared of homosexuality since Rosie's a famous lesbian. Snore. No drama is present in the Dawn/Freddy scenes, since we all knew their marriage was a crock from the start, and this is only their second episode as a couple. I also couldn't stand Liz being all high-and-mighty about everything. The writers are clearly desperate to give her something to do, leaving her a one-note walking PSA.

    Elsewhere, the Rachel Ben Natan story was disappointing. I was intrigued by the idea of pieces of the terrorist's body being stuck inside of her, but it's unfortunate that the writers decided to make the story more about Sean, and not the patient herself. I love Rachel as a character, and Maggie Siff (who was great on Mad Men) is genius casting, but she should have been the center of this storyline, not just appear as a metaphor for Sean's inner conflict.

    The entire Sean/Christian rivalry was a pain in the ass to watch. Their fight scene was probably intended to be dramatic and shocking, but it came off pretty embarrassing, especially since the source of their feud is so overused and annoying (yes, I'm talking about you Julia!). Christian's behavior is also completely screwed up. I thought he was in love with Julia? I thought he was a changed man? But now he's suddenly back to screwing plastic receptionists? Could the writers please stay consistent! I liked the nose bleed scene with Julia, but I actually wished they'd spent more time on that than the big rivalry. And you know a Nip/Tuck episode is bad when I'm wishing for more Eden!

    Extremely lame with major lapses in logic (Gina's appearance, for instance) and featuring several storylines that just need to end already. Hopefully this was just one bad episode, and not a sign of things to come...

    Director: Charles Haid

    Writer: Jennifer Salt

    Rating: Dmoreless
  • One of the weakest episodes of this season. Some of the secondary story lines are becoming ridiculous.

    I am a fan of Nip/Tuck, but I thought Rachel Ben Natan was one of the worst episodes of this season (ok, not as bad as Damien Sands, but definitely below average). I really liked the take on the main themes (revenge and forgiveness), but was really disappointed by the secondary story lines.

    I thought this episode was definitely a "filler" and it took attention away from the main characters that are keeping us on the edge of our seats (mainly the evil Eden and Kim).

    I also think that the "Plastic Fantastic" show-within-the-show idea is wearing thin, and much as I appreciate Rosie O'Donnell, her stories are just becoming ludicrous.

    Having said that, I am glad the fabulous Gina made a comeback, and cannot wait to find out why she moved to L.A..moreless
  • read the summary somewhere else - I'll concentrate on the review

    WOW-What an episode... What power... What a great message to send out... Probably the best episode I have seen so far. At first I thought "oh no this will be another one-sided Israeli propaganda BS". But after a while the plot changed and different views were flowing in - as thoughts. Just to show that there are actually 2 sides of a coin and not just one. Also about gays and lesbians. Bravo... Beautifully well written. 2 very delicate topics put inside one episode? Its great episodes like these that give me the motivation to watch this remarkable show...Keep up the good work.moreless
Dylan Ramsey

Dylan Ramsey

Saaed Hotary

Guest Star

Maggie Siff

Maggie Siff

Rachel Ben Natan

Guest Star

Brooke Dillman

Brooke Dillman

Jan Tooney

Guest Star

Jessalyn Gilsig

Jessalyn Gilsig

Gina Russo

Recurring Role

Bradley Cooper

Bradley Cooper

Aidan Stone

Recurring Role

Linda Klein

Linda Klein

Nurse Linda

Recurring Role

Trivia, Notes, Quotes and Allusions