Despite the bloody carnage of the first act, this was a surprisingly subdued season premiere (or half-season premiere, with all that damn "season five part 2" business). As it probably should be, the attention was given to the two leads, with almost all the other cast members given the week off.
Christian's breast cancer opens up an avenue of storylines for him, and you can tell that his soul has been completely destroyed by the news. Whether it was intentional or not, Julian McMahon looked completely beat-down in this episode, and you can really tell something bad has happened when cancer even distracts Christian from sex with a badly-collagened bar hook-up.
I really loved Christian's interaction with Liz, but I guess I always have. Their friendship has always been one of the more fascinating subplots over the years, with their friendly backbiting to their complete love and trust for each other. Hopefully the writers will take advantage of their great chemistry this season.
Sean was a mystery, as always. Is he faking his inability to walk? Or was the closing scene simply implying that it was all psychological and that with Colleen gone he can finally move on? The first option is obviously the more intriguing. I don't really know what to think about the new medical students. Dr Raj has the potential to get annoying, but I'm liking Jaime Ray Newman's character. She's too notable an actress to be wasted on such a small part, so I'm guessing she'll either be a love interest or a complete nutjob. Women on Nip/Tuck only fall into one of those two categories, heh.
The scene that really surprised me was the reference to the episode Conor McNamara, 2026 back in season four, which has divided fan opinion on whether the scenes set in the future were real or not. I appreciated that the show finally addressed it, and loved that it was confirmed as a dream that could easily change. One of the biggest complaints about that episode was that all suspense is reduced from then on because we know how most of the cast would end up, so it's nice to see that actually followed up on.
I'm happy to see Colleen go. I was worried that due to the season being split in two, we'd be forced to endure even more Colleen/Eden hijinks, but luckily it looks like Ryan Murphy and Co. are setting up a fresh start this year. Despite some of my problems with the Colleen character, the opening act was a masterwork in terror with great music, brutal violence and complete suspense (Colleen raising the knife behind Liz was freaky-as-hell).
A great episode, but slightly underwhelming. But I guess after waiting almost a year for new episodes, I'd be let down by anything the show would have produced. Still, I love the direction the show seems to be going in and I couldn't help but get a lump in my throat during the talks between Sean and Christian about "coming to the end", as we all know it's true of Nip/Tuck itself.
Director: Brad Falchuk
Writer: Ryan Murphy