Nip/Tuck

Season 4 Episode 14

Willy Ward

1
Aired Wednesday 10:00 PM Dec 05, 2006 on FX
8.9
out of 10
User Rating
180 votes
13

EPISODE REVIEWS
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Episode Summary

EDIT
Sean contrives to sell his portion of the practice; Michelle's connection with James finally ends, but not with James' boss; Gina is not happy to discover about Michelle's role in Wilbur's life; Matt tries to rekindle the spark with Kimber; and Poppy and Liz break up.

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SUBMIT REVIEW
  • We Used To Be A Team Written by Jennifer Salt Directed by Michael M Robin

    9.0
    Sean: “It’s a puppet, put it down”

    Ralphie (re Willy): “He can’t doc, without me he’s a 176 pounds of nothing”.



    We’re into the penultimate episode of Season Four and the theme of teamwork is a big whopping part of the episode’s arc and whether it’s business or parental, may of the teams here are beginning to fall apart and for at least one, it’s not exactly for the first time either.



    Dealing with the completely insane ones first, our main patient this week is a man named Willy Ward, a ventriloquist who asks Sean to makes him look more like his puppet, the rather acerbic Ralphie as his shows are beginning to lose their edge with the audiences this particular team are used of.



    The fact that Willy’s wardrobe could do with a bit of an update as well is probably also another reason, though that might have skipped his mind but it’s somewhat poignant that Willy’s own inadequacies over a puppet and the reliance on his own business mirrors just the way Sean feels about himself and the fact that Sean doesn’t want to have a similar fate to Willy.



    Yes, it’s that time of the season again where Sean either feels so excluded, disillusioned or righteously pissed off that he thinks his solution is get away from the business and to be honest, this is beginning lose it’s impact. Once, may be twice but four times in four years. Now I’m beginning to think that Sean is having a laugh.



    It also seems that whenever things hit a snag in Sean’s life, he always ends up wanting to run away from his problems as opposed to seeing them through and after the various debacles that have occurred to him recently and a wonderful moment where Sean genuinely tells Christian that he is in awe of him, he then decides to tell his best friend that him and Michelle had better buy him out because he needs to figure out who he is without Christian.



    Speaks of breaking up teams, the “no-one actually cares” relationship between Liz and her controlling girlfriend Poppy is another that gets the axing treatment when tires of her lovers controlling way, Liz decides enough is enough and dumps Poppy. Of course Poppy doesn’t take to be jilted well and interrupts a surgery to try and win Liz back, to which she fails but only just.



    While it’s nice that Liz has enough inner strength and self-respect to finish things and put her own self-worth over a person she loves but brings her down, you can’t help but think that this storyline may have had a bigger impact if Poppy had been in more episodes and overall the writing had given Alanis Morisette an opportunity to showcase herself as an actress.



    Poppy’s pleas of love feel hollow and her crying over Liz rejecting her, followed by her own self-loathing coming to the surface, feel a little too late in my book. We should’ve seen the more complex side to this character a lot earlier on as opposed to now, although here’s hoping that Liz gets a better love interest next season, one without control issues or a desire to swipe body organs.



    Swiping is definitely a big thing in this episode, especially when it comes to Wilbur the little boy everyone seems to want this year. If it isn’t Christian making sure that legally no-one can take the lad away from him and buttering up Michelle into playing adopted Mommy, then both real mother Gina and organ stealer Madam James are after the little lad.



    Leaving Gina out of the equation first, it seems that when it comes to lows, James can certainly stoop to them as her interest in Wilbur is more to do with those healthy set of kidneys as opposed to any form of maternal or compassionate feelings for anyone but herself.



    The fact that I’m not even surprised that James would even almost act out the idea of stealing an innocent child’s kidney to save her backside, let alone actually think about it would shock if I hadn’t seen how desperate and determined she is to meet her quota from those Mob bastards and Michelle actually wins some points for threatening James when the Madam played operation with the little lad in Michelle’s house.



    When Wilbur later went missing in the park, a part of me did think that maybe James wasn’t successful in her objective (okay I hoped it too) but as soon as she broke into Michelle’s again and pointed a gun at the woman she keeps pestering, the hysterics more or less, that James wasn’t responsible for Wilbur’s disappearance.



    While a backstory explained James’ path in organ stealing, no matter how tragic her past was, Michelle was right – there is no justification for her action and for Michelle that also applies to her. James then turning the gun on herself and killing herself was understandable if anticlimactic.



    Those Mob guys were out for James’ blood, she was behind her own quota, one of the few people she gave a damn about despises the very ground she walks on and even James showed some disgust at what she had become before doing herself in. I’ll definitely miss Jacqueline Bisset. That woman was beyond excellent as James and was very close to being as effective and dastardly as Ava Moore.



    Of course, with James out of the picture the real person who ended up taking Wilbur was Gina and speaking for loads of viewers out there, was I glad to see her or what? After an incredibly thankless role on Prison Break and real life pregnancy, actress Jessalyn Gilseg was back to the fold and in three scenes she reminds why you can love the self-destructive train wreck that is Gina Russo.



    Gina stopped by Christian’s office at the beginning and attempted to appeal to his better nature by playing nice and hope Christian would give her some kind of access to Wilbur. She even said “Hello Christian” as opposed to “Hey **** which for Gina was a huge stretch.



    The pisser for her was that even when being nice, Christian still decides to not give her access so she shows up at a restaurant as Michelle is signing adoption papers and causes one hell of a ruckus in the process. Now, there’s our potty mouthed Mama and to think that Michelle thought James was the only **** in her life.



    Christian isn’t particularly thrilled with Gina’s brief borrowing of her son, no matter how much the latter plays it down and Gina’s ways of saving face are hilarious, whether it’s her telling Christian she can’t undo the damage of the Sutherlands or the reticent Wilbur’s potty mouth, Christian just looks at her with vague suspicion. Gina, you have seen the Scavo kids on Desperate Housewives, right? Wilbur is more or less an angel compared to them and he politely said goodbye to you.



    Any scenes with Christian and Gina are guaranteed to be good and it’s interesting that Christian does hate Gina on some level; he also tells Michelle that he believes there’s some good in her as well. Gina is also particularly effective as she opens up about her own childhood and admits that while she loves Wilbur, she doesn’t have the parenting gene but is amazed and dare I say, delighted that Christian does.



    Elsewhere Kimber has her own problems when her and Matt’s sex life hits a snag and her Scientology pal Parker provides pretty useless information on how to achieve satisfaction, something which even Kimber’s own subconscious can’t help but scoff at too.



    Matt however is a bit more proactive in addressing the problem and although reluctant, he takes advice from Sean, which more or less results in him and Kimber making a porn video together with the help of Kimber’s old mentor Lina. It’s just a pity that his efforts and their antics are Lina’s site which angers Kimber’s gynaecologist but hey, given that we may have given some ennui from Kimber in regards to the whole Scientology plot, this is an interesting diversion in the episode.



    Last but not least, it seems Michelle’s fun is also under scrutiny, because even though James may be dead, two new obstacles have surfaced. Not only does she have to take over James’ job but she also has to answer to Escobar Gallardo, who maybe not so surprisingly was involved in the organ stealing all along. Michelle, be very afraid my dear.



    Also in “Willy Ward”



    Patients of the week: Besides Willy Ward, we had a Miss Hudson who wanted her breasts augmented, which caused a petty row between Sean and Christian. Liz (to Sean/Christian): “Boys, boys, boys. This is why God gave women two breasts, now each of you take one and go play in your corner of the sandbox”.



    Kimber (to herself): “There was nothing wrong with who you are and who you used to be. At least then the only myths you embraced was the one you created”.



    What exactly is Zenu OT7 in Scientology? How many levels is Kimber in her belief?



    Liz (re Ralphie): “You don’t sleep with that thing?”

    Willy: “No, I’m not nuts but his bed is right next to mine”.



    Michelle (re Wilbur): “Stay away from him James. If you so much as breathe in his direction, I swear to God I will kill you”.



    Judging by her experiences, don’t you think Michelle would get better security for both her car and home?



    Matt (to Sean): “If that’s what you did with her, then I can’t imagine what Christian and Kimber did together”.



    Kimber was a foolish girl to not sign some legal agreement over the video with her and Matt. As a porn star Kimber should even know that.



    Michelle: “What are you doing?”

    Gina: “What are you doing, ****?”



    Gina (to Christian): “He is my son. I am never gonna stop fighting for him. Never!”



    Speaking of sons, James had one called Jonathan who died of a defective kidney when he was eighteen months old. It was only at her death she told Michelle about it.



    James (to Michelle): “Misery so powerful that it can make you do things, things you’d never believe yourself capable of”.



    Post “Quentin Costa”, Gina has sold De La Mer, gotten back into real estate and is sponsoring newcomers at her SA meetings.



    Gina (re Wilbur): “Oh he’s got quite the potty mouth. Good luck with that”

    Christian: “Must be in the genes”.



    Gina (to Christian): “Some people have the parenting instinct, some people don’t. You’ve got it, you the **** Go fig”.



    Chronology: January 2007? I doubt that it has been too long after “Reefer”.



    Escobar (to Michelle): “Now that’s she’s gone, you’re gonna take her place. Please drive”.



    Standout music: “I’m Your Puppet” by James And Bobby Purify.





    “Willy Ward” is the hour of deconstructing teams all around us and with quite a punch too. We knew it was too good for Gina to play Mommy or Michelle to leave her past behind and while most of us are hoping that Sean’s latest decision to quit is an empty threat, the return of Escobar is not.moreless
  • Yet another great episode.

    9.5
    I really loved this episode. As some people have said in the past, this season has been kind of all over the place and at times it kind of felt like it wasn't really going anywhere. Don't get me wrong... I have absolutely loved this season and it's great that they have completely abandoned all of the carver crap from last season, it's just seemed to stray a little here and there in the direction it's been going and the motivations for some of the characters actions this season have not been clearly defined. There hasn't been an episode all season that I haven't thoroughly enjoyed though. Feels as though the past few episodes have really picked up the pace and it's really starting to get somewhere now.



    I'm still feeling sorry for Sean, and I can totally see why he wants to leave the practice. The practice is basically just Christian and Michelle now, with Sean pretty much being completely ignored. I thought the metaphor for Sean and Christian's relationship was nicely done, because it does ring true. It seems as though Sean always felt that the one thing he truly had over Christian was his "happy" family and with the one family member he has left actually being Christian's son and being too busy with Kimber to have much to do with him,. Sean basically has nothing and he's now stuck in Christian's shadow. I did, however, especially love the father son talk about Kimber that he had with Matt. When he started talking about her wanting anal and "accidentally" slipped up by saying that's what he did with her I almost spit scotch all over myself it was so funny. Great stuff.



    As for Christian.... Well... I used to love the guy. Now I find him just pissing me off more and more. It's all about Christian to himself. Who cares if your "brother's" life is in shambles as long as you're okay, right? God... what a prick. He's pretty much the only one that Sean has left and when he needs Christian the most, he's off in "Christianland" as Sean puts it. After all the crap he has done for Christian and letting him be part of his family, when the shoe is on the other foot he completely abandons him. The only slightly redeeming thing that Christian has done this season is being a good father to Wilbur, and with Wilbur only being back for two episodes so far it's kind of hard to overlook the other stuff. What really pissed me off was when Sean tried to come and assist the surgery on the redhead, he treated him like total **** as always. It's starting to get really old. I wouldn't want to work with that horse's ass either. We'll see how it feels for him when he finds out Michelle's dirty little secret and he ends up losing her, which I'm really going to enjoy watching.



    The whole thing with Matt and Kimber was pretty interesting too. It's about damn time they did something interesting with them for once. Neither of them really did anything special enough to warrant an entire paragraph for each of them, but at least it was a step in the right direction. Who didn't see the tape being leaked coming though? Matt is such a dumbass. What did he think was going to happen when he hired people to film the video? Of course it's going to get out. If you're going to film a sex tape, do it yourself. Don't hire people to do it for you. You would think that he's smart enough to realize that if the only way you can satisfy your wife is by making a porn with her, there's obviously something wrong with your relationship and it's not going to work out no matter what you do. Hell... The fact that she was a former porn star and slept with both of his dads should have been a huge red flag right there. Anybody that wants to watch a porn with a pregnant chick is sick too. The scene in the doctor's office and the whole thing with Xenu were pretty funny too. I knew Kimber would end up realizing this whole Scientology thing isn't her at all. I just wish they would've poked more fun of Scientology this season. I thought they would've spent more time on this plotline, but I guess not. I'm not complaining, though, because neither of them are very interesting anymore. Lets just hope they don't make Matt a porn star or anything now. Funny how this dumbass supposedly becomes a surgeon in the future.



    It's nice to see that Michelle is finally becoming slightly interesting as well. She's actually starting to develop a personality now too. I can't believe I'm saying this, but I actually liked her for a minute when she was trying to protect Wilbur from James. I think she really would make a good mother for Wilbur.... If she wasn't a kidney stealing former hooker that's working for Escobar now that is. Speaking of Escobar though... I'm going to love watching her squirm while he's pretty much controlling her. I'm really going to love watching him continually slap her around too. I'd feel sorry for her, but she pretty much deserves what she's getting.



    I liked seeing Gina again after all this time too. Still as big a ball buster as ever. She really didn't do much other than harass Christian trying to get Wilbur back and then kidnap him. I guess the spa is pretty much gone for good now too. I wonder what happened to Liz's share of it? I'm pretty sure she owned part of it too, if I remember correctly. No mention of that at all this season. Part of me wanted to feel for Gina and her not getting to be a part of Wilbur's life, but she brought that on herself having a gangbang while he was in the other room. I'm glad that she realized that she doesn't have it in her to be a mother and brought him back when all was said and done, but I think what Christian didn't realize was that her kidnapping Wilbur probably saved his life, so kudos to you on that and trying to get your life together Gina.



    Not much to say about Liz and Poppy this week. Very brief appearances for both in this eppy. I'm glad that Liz finally came to her senses and dumped that dumb slut. I definitely liked Alanis Morisette's character in Dogma where she didn't speak at all much, MUCH better. You could do so much better Liz. Don't sell yourself short.



    The patient of the week was definitely interesting this week. Creepy, but interesting. Not much to say about him either though. I couldn't help but think that he was completely insane. I think he actually thought that the puppet was real. Kinda reminded me of Chuck and Bob the dummy on that old show Soap. lol.



    And finally we come to James. Oh James.... You came, you saw, you blew your f'ing brains out. Y'know... Guys really do like a girl with brains, just not when they're splattered all over the walls and carpet. lol. I'm really going to miss her. Yeah, she was a crazy ass whore who killed Reefer and wanted to kill Wilbur, but goddamn she was a great villain. I liked getting a little more backstory as well and finding out why she was so gung ho about stealing kidneys. It's sad about what happened with her son, but killing innocent people and stealing kidneys isn't exactly the best way to go about coping with that type of thing. Talk about hypocritical. My jaw hit the floor when she killed herself though. I was not expecting that at all. Definitely one of this biggest twists of the season.moreless
  • James: "Misery has become my life. Misery so powerful it makes you do things you never thought yourself capable of."

    9.5
    Ding-dong the witch is dead! James has finally bit the dust after months of extortion, harassment, and kidney heists. Jacqueline Bisset gave her best work this episode, and I liked receiving insight into the more dejected side of James. I found James’ back story somewhat poignant: how her son dying while waiting for a kidney donor prompted her into the dark business she's now waist high in. James conscious at last kicked in this week, as her realization of the demented person she'd become was too much for her to handle. ("There is nothing human left in me!") Her suicide was a shocker; I really thought she was going to kill Michelle. James' death has only paved the way for a greater villain, though. Which leads to one of the biggest "oh snap!" moments of the night: James was working for Escobar! I shouldn't be that surprised; it does seem right up Escobar’s alley. I'm deeply curious to how he was able to organize such a complex operation from prison. Wouldn’t that be hard to do? Nevertheless, I thought it was a nice twist that successfully brought Escobar back into the fold.



    I've been highly anticipating Gina’s return, and her guest role this week didn't disappoint. Here's Gina all quiet-voiced and well-mannered, and I thought she had truly changed. And then that restaurant confrontation came and I quickly realized how wrong I was. Jessica Gilsig still has the flare that originally made Gina so enticing to watch, and her deliver of the line "Mommy's gonna come back. You can count on it," sent chills down my spine. Christian should have known how hard Gina was going to fight for Wilbur, and it's an interesting role reversal to season two when Christian was struggling to convince Gina to let him be a part of Wilbur's life. Kudos goes to Gina for realizing after all that she's not capable of raising a child, no matter how hard she thinks she wants to.



    It was only a matter of time until Kimber's faith began faltering; seriously, Kimber and religion are two peas in two very different pods. I enjoyed Kimber imagining her sexier and former self criticizing her for the person she's become, and I laughed when her fantasy self poked fun at Scientology’s origins. ("Hey, that's the guy from like 75 trillion years ago who drugged mankind and nuked them in volcanoes. Zeno, right?...He kind of looks like that guy we screwed in our first video doesn't he?") I also liked Kimber and Matt's porno filming. It was plenty comical with robotic Matt contrasting Kimber’s natural enthusiasm. Kimber's forming director, gushing over seeing her prodigy in action again, had me in stitches, as well. ("That's right baby, do it for momma"). Too bad she sold Kimber out in the end.



    The dummy stuff was all silly, although it provided a somewhat relatable metaphor to Sean's envious feelings for Christian. Sean's jealousy and feelings of inferiority to Christian have been present since the pilot episode, and Sean's loneliness most likely only catalyzed them more. Is Sean really splitting up from the practice permanently? It can't for real, can it? How are we going to have a season five?



    Final Notes and Quotes



    - Some more kudos are in order. Liz finally realized she deserves better than Poppy and dumped her to the curb.



    - Good suspense with Wilbur's kidnapping. I seriously thought James had gotten to him.



    - I liked Christian acknowledging how many times Sean has tried to quit the practice.



    - Gina: (to Christian) "You have the parenting instinct. You, the **** Go figure."



    - Imaginary Kimber: "Please, when was the last time this poor girl had an orgasm?” and "I can't believe you're falling for this bull Kimmy...There's nothing wrong with who you were or who you used to be. At least then the only myth you embraced was the one you created." - Liz: "Take my hand.”

    Sean: "Why."

    Liz: "To keep me from running after her."



    - Lena: “Matt, don’t block the money shot!”



    - Liz: "No matter how many times she told me she loved me, I never felt like I could shine around her."

    Sean: "I know exactly what you mean."



    Final Rating: A little dummy couldn’t bring this episode down. 4 out of 4 stars. And the previews for next week have me giddy.



    - Tim Bronx

    www.motionpicturereviews.commoreless
  • James Go Boom

    7.5
    It was slightly disappointing to see James turn into an almost comical bad guy. While she was given an actual motive, and a tragic history, the idea of her kidnapping and murdering Wilber for his kidneys was just way too extreme. We already know she's ruthless (as evidenced by the mess she made with Reefer last episode), but I thought adding "child-murder" to her list of crimes was a little far-fetched. Thankfully she didn't actually go through with it, but it was pretty lazy writing to make her target the most innocent person possible.



    James herself, may she rest in peace, was a really great bad guy. While the kidney thief arc had numerous negatives along with its positives, Jacqueline Bisset was a goddamn revelation as this completely nuts and unrelenting badass. Also really liked her back-story, however brief it was.



    Gina made a welcome return to the show, again displaying both sides of her personality: the caring, successful business woman, and the unstable monster she usually is. Admittedly, there's absolutely no character growth here. Once again, she claims to be together, only for a twist to reveal her to be just as batsh*t as always. No matter how well Jessalyn Gilsig can play evilness, Gina's cruel nature is starting to get a little tiring.



    The entire Willy Ward storyline was a little lame. The whole "Sean is carrying Christian/Sean feels bad about himself" thing has been done (repeatedly), while the actual shots of Christian as the ventriloquist's dummy were pretty embarrassing.



    The Kimber/Matt subplot was another heap of stupid, even if it did contain that great hallucination sequence, complete with Xenu cameo. The scenes with the porno crew were ridiculous, and only illuminated how little chemistry Kelly Carlson and John Hensley have. Just a bad idea all round. Though I guess I did kinda like the insight into Scientology Sex, however creepy it was.



    Elsewhere, Liz ended things with nutty Poppy, and I'm not sad. While Alanis was surprisingly decent in the part, the relationship never really went anywhere, and Poppy herself was a nightmare. However, I liked Liz asking Sean to hold her hand and stop her from running after her. That was a sweet little moment.



    Willy Ward was a busy, busy episode, with a whole bunch of storylines being quickly wrapped up. The James arc ended pretty well, but the rest here was a little redundant. Great final moment, though.



    Director: Michael M Robin

    Writer: Jennifer Salt

    Rating: C+moreless
  • Scientology, Porn and Ventriloquism! (Spoilers)

    8.7
    When I first watched ‘Willy Ward’, I initially dismissed it as a sub-par filler. But having watched it again, I realise I’ve done the episode a grave disservice. It is, in fact, far from sub-par and not a filler at all. An interesting meditation of identity and the confidence (or lack of it) to be yourself sits snugly in with some important happenings that nicely set up the season finale- can’t believe we’re almost there already. Plus any episode that can mix together Scientology, porn and ventriloquism is surely worth a look in!



    The central theme of identity is nicely captured by patient-of-the-week Willy Ward, an ageing ventriloquist who wants a face-lift and other surgery so he can look more like his dummy, a puppet called Ralphie, as he used to. Willy has used Ralphie as a persona for thirty years, allowing him to say all those things he wants to but can’t, and feels he now disappears when he goes on stage. The bickering banter that goes on between Ralphie and Willy- with Ralphie constantly putting Willy down- is initially funny but quite disturbing when you consider it’s coming from the same person! Whilst the idea of the surgery may sound completely insane (and it is!), it awakens a conflict within Sean regarding himself and Christian- exemplified by a bizarre and creepy scene where Sean imagines himself as a ventriloquist with Christian as his dummy! So Sean agrees to do the surgery on Willy. After the surgery is done and Ralphie still has a go, Sean snaps and tells Willy to put the puppet down. The truth is: he can’t. I’m halfway drawn between sympathy for the character of Willy and a kind of pity for his complete lack of confidence in himself. After all this, Sean makes a decision: he’s going to move away from Miami, move out of Christian’s shadow and find out who he is. Both Dylan Walsh and Julian McMahon play the scene between Christian and Sean at the end beautifully.



    As is always nice, Liz gets a slice of the action too. As the surgery on Willy Ward takes place, a distraught Poppy (Alanis Morissette) bursts in, wanting to talk to Liz. The veils have fallen from the eyes of my favourite anaesthesiologist and she’s decided to dump her controlling girlfriend. Whilst Poppy looks genuinely upset, as does Liz, it has been decided it’s all for the best, even though the decision looks like it’s ripped Liz in two. As Liz tells Poppy to leave, she asks Sean to hold her hand- to stop her from running after Poppy. The two of them talk and Liz discloses that she never felt good enough when she was around Poppy and could never shine. This also strikes a chord with Sean. For a short scene, it certainly packs an emotional punch with both Alanis Morissette and Roma Maffia playing it understated yet powerful. I will even admit to a manly tear or two as Liz explained why she had to end the relationship.



    Christian has his own issues to deal with. As he begins proceedings to formally adopt Wilbur, he asks Michelle to officially adopt the child too, which she agrees to. However, a slight spanner is put in the works when Gina returns and wants to strike up a relationship with her son again. Jessalyn Gilsig gives a wonderfully warm and strong performance as Gina, a character who I’ve always liked despite her usual crassness and vulgarity. But what a change! No insults to Christian, instead a plain-dealing and calm conversation where she pleads to be allowed to be Wilbur’s mother again. I felt a great deal of sympathy with her then. However, Christian denies her access so she goes nuts and confronts them at a restaurant where they have gone to celebrate the adoption. Gina especially doesn’t like Michelle having a part in Wilbur’s life and vows that she will return. In this scene, she’s more like the old Gina- ballsy and a little unhinged. When Christian and Michelle take Wilbur to the park, he vanishes whilst a little girl is playing with him. Every parent’s nightmare made flesh. Panicked, they go looking for him and whilst Michelle has a terrifying encounter with James- more on that soon- Christian finds him: Gina’s taken him. However, when she realises he’s a whining potty-mouthed little brat she decides against it, realising that the parenting gene is not something she has. So she decides to stop pursuing custody. Gina has a nicely defined arc in this episode and, yet again, it feels like another wrapping-up of a character in readiness for the season finale.



    Just for a change, we get to see Kimber and Matt together too. Frustrated by problems in the bedroom, Kimber asks her Scientology friend Parker for some advice. As she does so, she is tormented by images of her former porn star self, confident, strong and sexy, taunting her for her problems and mocking her belief in Scientology. Up until this point, the series has seemed almost neutral on the subject, not particularly praising it nor holding it up to ridicule either. But this episode, a strange kind of vitriol comes out, as Porn Star Kimber openly explains one of the more ridiculous beliefs of Scientology (that of the alien overlord Xenu) and, bizarrely, one that only members of a certain level- read, those who have given enough money- are privy too. But just as Kimber is asking for some advice, so does Matt. He wants to talk to Christian but Sean insists on talking to him instead. After an eye-wateringly graphic description of how Sean got Kimber off (and that was an image I could really have done without), Matt decides that the best thing for them to do is… make a porn film. Of course. So he rounds up some of Kimber’s old cronies and gets the cameras rolling. Kimber gets into it and enjoys herself, until a doctor’s appointment where the doctor reveals that the video- thought to be private- was on the Internet and had been found by a Church member. The question remains, why would a member of the Church of Scientology be looking for an ‘obscene little playing-doctor pregnancy fetish movie’ in the first place? But heigh-ho, the point is Kimber and Matt’s future in the Church now looks uncertain and they’ve apparently cursed their unborn child by implanting an ‘engram’ onto it. Kelly Carlson plays her scenes particularly well, especially when she plays Porn Star Kimber.



    Last, but by no means least, we have a resolution to the Michelle-James arc. And what a resolution it is! Spying on Michelle, Christian and Wilbur in the park, James makes a phone-call and suggests that she is able to get a pair of children’s kidneys within a week. Surely not? Would she really stoop so low as to mutilate a baby? We shall see. There’s a wonderful scene of pure mental torture when James turns up at chez Landau and is found playing Operation with Wilbur. When Wilbur goes missing- having been taken by Gina- Michelle returns home in a panic only to be confronted by a gun-wielding James, apparently beside herself at the thought of what she was going to do. Having lost a child at the age of eighteen months to a defective gene that destroyed his kidneys, James was drawn to organ trafficking by tragedy. In a final act, James tells Michelle she loved her and then… James turns the gun on herself and pulls the trigger. The final scene between James and Michelle is an absolute blinder and Jacqueline Bisset deserves a great big round of applause for it. This is James as we’ve never seen her before; scared witless at what she could become. Perhaps there was no other answer but for her to blow her brains out? However, it is a shame that she’s gone as I enjoyed the character (and the actress’ portrayal) immensely. But if the shock of James committing suicide isn’t enough, hang onto your hats, folks, it’s about to get worse! As Michelle gets in her car, she is startled by a figure: Escobar Gallardo! He reveals that James worked for him and now with her absence, Michelle is going to fill that particular vacancy… Unfortunately with Robert LaSardo’s name first on the list of guest stars, Escobar’s return was telegraphed from the off. Had he remained uncredited, that could have made it more of a surprise. But for a short scene, it really crackled and sets things up wonderfully for the season finale.



    Some really enjoyable moments and some great one-liners (kudos to credited writer Jennifer Salt) are the icing on the cake. There are certainly stronger episodes in the season as a whole and it kind of lacks the spark to make it truly superb, but the penultimate episode of Nip/Tuck’s fourth season is an entertaining, intriguing and occasionally shocking one.moreless
Jerald Carr

Jerald Carr

Porn Star

Guest Star

Adria Dawn

Adria Dawn

Parker

Guest Star

Julia Di Angelo

Julia Di Angelo

Little Girl

Guest Star

Jessalyn Gilsig

Jessalyn Gilsig

Gina Russo

Recurring Role

Sanaa Lathan

Sanaa Lathan

Michelle Landau

Recurring Role

Joshua Henry

Joshua Henry

Wilber

Recurring Role

Trivia, Notes, Quotes and Allusions

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  • TRIVIA (1)

    • When James has the gun pointed at Michelle, she mentions that killing 'a drunk is one thing'. In the previous episode Reefer, James orchestrated the murder and organ harvest of a homeless man (also called Reefer).

  • QUOTES (30)

    • (Michelle gets into her car and Escobar is waiting for her. She screams and tries to get out of the car, but Escobar grabs her shoulder)
      Escobar: Relax, Ms Landau. I'm not going to hurt you.
      Michelle: How do you know my name?
      Escobar: What, you don't know who I am? I never get the credit I deserve. I'm Escobar Gallardo. I'm the reason you met your new fiancée. Your boss, James, worked for me. And now that she's gone, you're gonna take her place. (shows her a gun hidden in a newspaper) Please drive.

    • Christian: Why break up the team?
      Sean: Because you and I have been friends and partners for so long, I don't know who I am without you! I need to find that out.

    • Christian: Everything is falling into place for me, partner. The business, Michelle, Wilbur. You know, it's funny. Every day of my life, I wake up with this… thing in my throat, but this morning, when little Wilbur snuck in and wedged himself between Michelle and me, I just lay there listening to the two of them breathing and that thing in my throat, whatever it is, disappeared.
      Sean: I want you and Michelle to buy me out.
      Christian: What? I was just telling you how good everything's going.
      Sean: For you. That thing in your throat, that went away when you got a family? I swallowed it when mine left for New York.
      Christian: You've been through this before. How many times have you tried to leave this place? You just need a vacation. Why don't you go to Sardinia, screw some hot Italian bitch with hairy armpits and you'll be fine.
      Sean: I put the house on the market yesterday. Julia's on board. She said there's nothing left for her there either. I've been blaming you for my unhappiness for years. First, with Julia. Then the business, then Matt. I'm always being critical of your lifestyle. I've realised it's just been a cover for my jealousy.

    • Sean: (about James) You knew she was Michelle's madam? She was in our recovery suite, Christian. How could you not tell me?
      Michelle: Because I asked him not to. James was my shame, Sean. I'm sorry if I didn't want it whispered through the halls.
      Sean: Then explain to me why you're planning your shame's funeral.
      Michelle: Because I'm all she had.

    • Gina: (to Christian) My mother wasn't a bad person. She loved me. She took care of me. I don't know why I turned out like this. I guess it's random. Some people get the parenting instinct, some people don't. You've got that instinct. You. The asshole. Go figure.

    • Gina: He didn't even know me, he was afraid of me. Imagine your own child rejecting you. He cried the whole time. I've worked too hard to get where I am, and turning him from a whiny brat into a decent little boy would take all my time and an entire team of experts. That is not how I plan to spend my time or money, undoing the Sutherland's mess? No. Be my guest.
      Christian: Are you done?
      Gina: Oh, he's got quite the potty mouth. Good luck with that.
      Christian: Must be in the genes.

    • Michelle: What have you done with Wilbur?
      James: Children that age are so extraordinary, aren't they? So pure. So full of light.
      Michelle: Give him back, God damn you. He's innocent. He doesn't deserve to suffer.
      James: Do any of us? I had a little boy. Did I tell you that? I… I don't think I did. Jonathan. He had the same bright sparkle in his eyes. He inherited a defective gene and his kidneys developed sacs of fluid that consumed the healthy tissue. He was eighteen months when he died in my arms. Waiting for a young donor. A tragedy that's led me to my current… business. It's ironic, isn't it?
      Michelle: So you think your child's death justifies taking another child's life?
      James: Children's organs are in high demand. It seemed alright somehow. To deprive you of the happiness I can't have, to make you taste misery that has become my life. Misery so powerful that it can make you do things, things you'd never believe yourself capable of
      Michelle: Oh my God, Wilbur…
      James: It was shocking to me when it first occurred to me. A drunk is one thing, but a helpless child? You were right when you said there is nothing human left in me! Can you imagine, to take revenge on something you've never had, that you can never have, on a defenceless child?
      Michelle: James, don't! Please! Please don't…
      James: When you reach that point, there's just nothing left to lose, is there, darling? I loved you!
      Michelle: Please stop, James!
      (James shoots herself)

    • Dr. Schwartz: Before we start, I'd like to talk about the second dynamic.
      Matt: The second dynamic?
      Kimber: The part about creativity.
      Matt: Oh, right,.
      Dr. Schwartz: Actually, it's about sex and family. And surviving through future generations by making sure engrams aren't implanted on the foetus.
      Kimber: But I would never do anything to hurt the baby, Dr Schwartz. We're very, very careful.
      Dr. Schwartz: Are you? Do you know that aggressive sex during pregnancy can be interpreted by the foetus as abuse, possibly even an attempt at abortion? Don't you think that's an engram?
      Matt: Wait a minute, what are you talking about?
      Dr. Schwartz: I'm talking about your obscene little playing-doctor pregnancy fetish movie on someone named Lena Workman's website. It was discovered by a Church member this morning.
      Kimber: That must be a mistake 'cos she's a friend of ours and she would never do that.
      Matt: Oh, shit.
      Dr. Schwartz: Your ethics are out. Even after you do the work to fix this, the damage might already be done. I fear for your child's future and for your future in the church.

    • (Willy Ward shows the effects of his surgery to his dummy, Ralphie)
      Ralphie: Jesus, Mary, son of Joseph! Did you use a scalpel or a sledgehammer, Doc?
      Willy Ward: Oh, come on, Ralphie!
      Ralphie: I'm serious, he should lose his license after this hack-job!
      Willy Ward: (to Ralphie) Why can't you be there for me? Can't you just let me be happy for five minutes, just once?
      Ralphie: You want me to lie? OK, you look like Monty Clift. (pause) Not when he was alive, mind you.
      Sean: Mr. Ward, it's a puppet! Just put it down.
      (Willy starts to cry)
      Ralphie: He can't, Doc. Without me, he's a hundred and seventy-six pounds of nothing.

    • Lena: It's all gone to shit now, though. Nobody wants artistic porn anymore, all they want is this niche crap. Bondage, bukkake, bestiality.
      Kimber: Well, I got out just in time.

    • Kimber: What's going on?
      Matt: You and I are gonna make a porno. You said how you always had real orgasms on the set. That's why you're such a big seller. So we're gonna do one right here.
      Kimber: What are you thinking? Those days for me are completely over.
      Matt: It's just for us, babe.

    • Sean: OK, fine. You wanna make Kimber hot? I get it. She's a former porn star. You have to be assertive, be a man. When she says she wants you to give it to her in the rear- and believe me, Kimber will say that- you tease her first with your tongue. She'll beg you to stick it in, but hold off. Wait until she writhes and screams until she can't take it anymore, only then do you give her what she wants. You pound her so hard, she'll beg for mercy. The neighbours will either move out or send you flowers. That's what I did with her. (pause) What I'd do.
      Matt: If that's what you did with her, I can't imagine what Christian and Kimber did together.

    • Liz: (to Sean, after telling Poppy to leave) Take my hand
      Sean: Why?
      Liz: To keep me from running out after her.
      Sean: I didn't know you two had broken up. How's it going?
      Liz: Good days, bad days. I miss her in bed with me. That girl could miss a shower for a week and still smell like lilacs. Still, it feels right. (sighs) I just never felt good enough when I was with her, you know. Because no matter how many times she told me she loved me… I never felt like I could shine when she was around.

    • Poppy: (walking into the operating room) You need to call me back, Liz. We need to talk.
      Liz: We have talked, Poppy. We talked, then we cried, then we made love, then we talked and cried some more and none of it has made me feel any better about the way you treat me.

    • Willy Ward: (as he's about to undergo surgery) Look how much paler my right hand is than my left hand. I don't think I've spent more than twenty minutes at a time for the past thirty years without Ralphie on it.
      Liz: You don't sleep with that thing, do you?
      Willy Ward: No. I'm not nuts. But his bed is right next to mine.

    • Gina: I figure you would have called by now if you planned to get in touch. Mr. Sutherland forbidding me to see Wilbur is one thing. But this is different. I am his only living relative now. You can't possibly think of denying me my son.
      Christian: It's in his will, Gina. You lost any legal rights to Wilbur two years ago.
      Gina: And with good reason. But I am not that person anymore. I… I made a nice nest-egg when I sold the spa and I renewed my real estate license and I made quite a killing last year. I'm back at my SA meetings; I'm even sponsoring newcomers.
      Christian: (after a pause) How's your HALT?
      Gina: Well, AIDS is the new diabetes, Christian. This cocktail I'm on, I don't even get a cold during flu season.
      Christian: Getting a new suit and getting some money in the bank doesn't really change who you are.

    • Gina: Hello, Christian.
      Christian: Don't you mean 'hello, asshole?'
      Gina: There's no need for demoralising pet names any more. I'm here on business.

    • Porn Star Kimber: (appearing to Kimber) You'll never escape me, Kimmy. Trying only makes you more tired.

    • Kimber: I have a question. Tell me about Xenu. Like, what does he look like? He's not the same as a thetan, is he?
      Parker: We don't talk about Xenu. That's for OT 7 and higher. People who are light enough to handle it.

    • Porn Star Kimber: (appearing to Kimber, along with an alien figure in a black cape) Hey, that's the guy from, like, seventy-five trillion years ago, who drugged mankind and nuked them in volcanoes! What was his name? (to the figure) What's your name? Xenu? Xenu. (pause) I can't believe you're falling for this bull, Kimmy. There was nothing wrong with who you were or who you used to be. At least then the only myth you embraced was the one you created. (looks at the figure) Kinda looks like that guy we screwed in our first video, doesn't he?

    • Kimber: Sex with Matt is kind of boring.
      Parker: Kimber, you know as well as I do, it's all about the tech.
      Kimber: The tech, I know. The tech works.
      Parker: Have you two made a list of your overts and withholds?
      Porn Star Kimber: (appearing to Kimber) 'Overts and withholds'? Can I reach those with my vibrator? When was the last time this poor girl had an orgasm?

    • Christian: (to Ms Hudson, who is in Florida on a hunting trip) You know, I can't seem to picture you in camouflage and orange.
      Ms Hudson: Well, after I zero in on my prey, I usually wear nothing at all.
      Christian: Now that… I can picture.

    • Sean: Scoot over Christian, you don't get to have all the fun. (to nurse) Gown and gloves.
      Christian: What are you doing here? Thought you'd cop a feel while she was under?
      Sean: I just think that we should give Ms. Hudson the best treatment we can. Since I'm available, I figured I'd just make sure the operation goes as smoothly as possible.
      Christian: Oh Jesus, you've gotta be kidding me. You pull this crap every time you're fragile little ego gets bruised.
      Liz: Boys, boys, boys. This is why God gave women two breasts, now each of you take one, and go play in your corner of the sandbox.

    • Sean: (to Willy Ward) Tell me what you don't like about yourself.
      Ralphie,the dummy: Do ya have to ask? Father Time whacked him in the face with a baseball bat.
      Sean: (to Willy Ward) Very impressive, but I think we'd move more quickly through the consult if you'd just put the dummy away.
      Ralphie,the dummy: (to Willy) No problem. Go wait in the car dummy.
      Willy: (to Ralphie) Enough Ralphie, let me talk!
      Ralphie,the dummy: (to Willy) Geez, okay it's fine. (to Sean) He wasn't so sensitive when his jowls didn't look like a walrus.
      Willy: (to Sean) Ralph...Ralphie and I have been together uh, Thirty?
      Ralphie,the dummy: Thirty.
      Willy: (to Ralphie) Thirty.
      Ralphie,the dummy: (to Sean) Thirty years.
      Willy: (to Sean) Yeah. I designed him to look exactly like me.Oh he's perfect. He's like another me, only better,more... more confident. Out there, he could say the things that I was afraid to say. We have a long time contract with Princess cruises. Yeah,we saw the world. People ate us up. Mike Douglas, Donahue.
      Ralphie,the dummy: I felt Dinah Shore's tits.
      Willy: Ralphie, would you please shut up.
      Sean: And now?
      Willy: This past year we booked two nights at a...dinner theatre, and a retirement home.
      Sean: Sounds like you need a good agent more than a plastic surgeon.
      Willy: No.No, no, I, I need to look like Raphie. That's why the show's not working. When he was a extension of me, my, my other self, our shtick was charming. Now it's just tragic. I can't compete with him. Doctor I need a face lift, some lipo under the chin, plugs. You can use Ralphie as a template.
      Sean: I don't mean to sound insensitive Mr. Ward, but why not get a new puppet?
      Willy: (to Ralphie when he goes to speak) No! No, no, no! Hey shut up! (to Sean) This isn't about Ralphie,we used to be a team. When I was the Abbot to his Costello we were on equal ground, but now when we go out on stage, I feel like I just disappear. I need this. To restore my confidence, get my mojo back.
      Raphie, the dummy: And while you're at it, why don't you throw in a dick and balls. Have you ever heard a man sound like such a pussy?
      Willy: G**Dammit Raphie! Would you please let me be, just for a minute.
      (Sean sees himself sitting in place of Willy, with Christian as a dummy beside him.)
      Dummy Christian: Face it jerk face, it dosen't matter what you do, I'll always be sexier than you, better looking, more charming. Now get your hand out of my ass.
      Alt.Sean: Shut up Christian!
      (Sean snaps back to reality)
      Willy: Shut up Raphie!
      Ralphie, the dummy: So Doc, you gonna help granddad out, or not?
      Sean: I have an opening tomorrow at eleven.
      Willy: (to Ralphie) He's gonna do me.
      Ralphie, the dummy: (to Willy) That's great.
      Willy: (to Ralphie) I know, that good. (to Sean) Thank you, thank you so much. Thank You.

    • James: (on the phone) Yes, it's James. What's the market for children's kidneys? I have two. I think I can get them within a week.

    • Liz: (to Poppy) You are the most beautiful woman I've ever kissed who didn't steal my kidney.

    • Sean: (to Christian) I'm in awe of you, I always have been.

    • Liz: I cannot let you keep me down anymore.
      Poppy: I love you!
      Liz: You love controlling me.

    • Nurse Linda: (to Sean) Dr. McNamara, your 2:00 is here and you should bring milk and a bowl because he is cuckoo for cocoa puffs.

    • Christian: (to Ms Hudson during her consultation) I'm happily engaged and looking forward to family life.

  • NOTES (5)

    • Jessalyn Gilsig (Gina) passed from receiving the "Guest Starring" credit, to being credited as a "Special Guest Star".

    • Original International Air Dates:
      Czech Republic: March 4, 2009 on TV Nova

    • Although listed in the opening credits, Joely Richardson does not appear in this episode.

    • Jacqueline Bisset (James), Alanis Morissette (Poppy), Jessalyn Gilsig (Gina) and Sanaa Lathan (Michelle) were credited as "Special Guest Stars". At the same time, Lathan received the "And" credit.

    • Music featured in the episode:
      "Up, up, and away (in my beautiful balloon)" by 5th Dimension (Christian
      performs Paige's breast surgery; Sean comes in and argues with him)
      "I'm your puppet" by James & Bobby Purify (Willy undergoes a face lifting and his puppet looks on)
      "Magnum" by Jimmy Kaleth (Kimber and Matt film a porn movie)

  • ALLUSIONS (7)

    • Ralphie: (to Willy) You want me to lie? OK, you look like Monty Clift.

      Montgomery Clift (1920-1966) was a film star in the 1940s, 1950s and 1960s, a very handsome man- and a good actor- but also an alcoholic and a tortured homosexual who became increasingly dependant on drugs towards the end of his life. Two of his most well known films are From Here To Eternity and A Place In The Sun.

    • Matt: (talking about sex with Sean) You make me feel like I'm talking to Dr Ruth.

      Born in 1928, Dr Ruth Westheimer is a foremost sex therapist and author, who has written books and lectured on various aspects of human sexuality. She has a syndicated TV show called Sexually Speaking and also a popular radio show. She has a very disarming physical presence- she is only four feet seven inches tall and speaks with a broad German accent- but is very candid in her advice about sex.

    • Parker: We don't talk about Xenu. That's for OT 7 and higher. People who are light enough to handle it.

      In Scientology doctrine, Xenu is an alien overlord who brought billions of aliens to Earth seventy-five million years ago, stacking them around volcanoes then blowing them up with hydrogen bombs. The alien souls- now called 'thetans'- remained of Earth, binding themselves to the bodies of the living and causing issues for them. Scientologists have attempted to keep this story confidential and do not mention it in public statements. OT7 refers to a level within Scientology's Operating Thetan structure (that of level seven), which will- according to official Church of Scientology literature– culminate in the 'attainment of the state of Cause Over Life'. It seems that only people who have attained this level and higher can have access to information about Xenu.

    • Ralphie,the dummy: I felt Dinah Shores t*ts.

      Dinah Shore was an American singer, actress and talk show host. She first became famous as a "girl singer" during the Big Band era, then went on to become a movie star. She was then the host of a long-running series of popular TV variety programs.

    • Willy: Yeah,we saw the world. People ate us up. Mike Douglas, Donahue.

      Phillip John Donahue is the creator and star of The Phil Donahue Show, also known as Donahue, the first tabloid talk show.

      Mike Douglas was host of the "Mike Douglas show" from 1961 to 1981. He was the first to feature a then 2-year-old Tiger Woods on his show.

    • Willy: When I was the Abbot to his Costello we were on equal ground, but now when we go out on stage, I feel like I just disappear.

      Abbott and Costello (William (Bud) Abbott, Louis Cristillo) were an American comedy duo whose work in radio, film and television made them one of the most popular and respected teams in comedy history.

    • Nurse Linda: Dr. McNamara, your 2 O'Clock is here, and you should bring some milk and a bowl with you, he's Cuckoo for Cocoa Puffs.

      Cocoa Puffs is a brand of chocolate-flavored breakfast cereal manufactured by General Mills.
      Its mascot is Sonny the Cuckoo Bird, whose catchphrase is "cuckoo for Cocoa Puffs".

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