I can finally use "chokefuck" in a description of Nip/Tuck, rather than describing what I do when I watch. I'm almost ashamed that I'm on this season's bandwagon, even though/because things are mostly boring. I'm plain ashamed that I think this third episode was actually mature in some ways, but particularly in dealing with the subject of suicide, which it didn't want to make me commit myself to.

Here, as it happens sometimes, the patients take the center stage of plot mechanics and motivations, even though they're on screen the least amount of time. The titular Joel Seabrook, down on his luck father of a recently deceased son, decided to walk off the Golden Gate Bridge. I'm sure his clever water-based last name had nothing to do with this. Joel survived the fall, but his body was heavily damaged, including a smooshed up face he wants Sean and Christian to fix. He explains the clarity he experienced as he fell, and is no longer suicidal. Christian can't believe it, so he'll have to experience it himself. Spoiler: there aren't any bridges involved, but there is a smooshed up face.

Patient two is Adam Wise, a neck-shredded auto-asphyxiator played campily by Greg Ellis, who definitely isn't suicidal. You know how music enthusiasts geek out telling you about some indie band you never heard? This guy's like that, only with orgasms achieved with a tightly sqeezed windpipe. The third patient is a pro bono surgery recipient taken by Sean through old college buddy/humanitarian Dr. Ryerson. Sean's current non-stasis in life, coupled with his frustration for Kimber and Christian's marriage (and his "part" in "it," pun intended), guides him to mental salvation through a planned trip to Africa to work on an impoverished population.

Kimber is obviously unhappy; she fantasizes during sex about whatever doctor she isn't having sex with at the time, and the guilt weighs her down. Misinterpreting this, Christian immediately flips to Mr. Wise's train of thought to add spice to their relationship. This means he totally chokes her out the next time they have sex, and takes her purplish, teary-eyed unsmiling face to mean that she had the same explosive orgasms he'd heard about, and doesn't even mind that she doesn't return the favor. He brags about it to Sean, and TV on Wednesday night got way uncomfortable. An emotionally drained Kimber arrives at Sean's house, and he takes no time in trying to sqeeze her neck closed, tonguing her face, telling her Christian told him how much she liked it. Not a single part of that passes any sort of muster, especially for a professional man in his forties. And when Kimber obviously backs away, he is the caring guy, making it seem like this part was filmed weeks later. Words don't do it justice.

Later, Kimber avoids a repeat situation by telling Christian she's read the Kama Sutra, and proceeds to ride him as normal as can be, which doesn't please Christian, who calls her a faker, and the moment is totally ruined. I'm guessing this is where the lubed wheels in Christian's brain started plotting his next move, because you know the next time you see him, he's nude in the bathroom; he's got a belt, but no pants. And then across the top of the shower door's frame, the belt flips past, and Christian slips his neck through the loop. And the episode's second smoosh-face is seen, as Christian's inner monologue goes from excited to freaked out when his hanging feet can't reach the floor. Kimber finds him later; he comes to and tells her he had that "moment of clarity," and he wants nothing more to do with her because she'll never make him happy. Seems like he did a lot to figure out something he figures out naturally every nine episodes or so.

A depressed Kimber goes back to Dr. Mike "Mario 'A.C. Slater' Lopez" Hamoui, on his boat, where even he treats her as just an item. She'd just told Christian she'd be his slave, but that's an offer that only goes once. So, in her own moment of clarity, or Clariol, she takes her shoes off and steps up to the bow of the boat. And without a hint of Celine Dion, she steps off, and falls into the ocean. Later, as Sean reads a folio about third-world surgeries, Christian walks in and tells him of Kimber's disappearance. Always the friend in the end, Sean throws the folio away, instead of putting it aside and saving it for a few days later. Dummy.

It's a slow chugging engine, but there's life in this yet, as long as there's lots of death. I'd be fine if everybody but Liz died in the next episode, and the rest of the season followed her goal of writing a duet with Melissa Etheridge. Until we meet again, Nip/Tuck.

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