Nip/Tuck Recap: Virginia Hayes

For all intents and purposes, this was a perfectly fine episode of Nip/Tuck, except the music sucked and the boobs were surgical fakes. But going deeper than that, this show has already run the gamut of the gratuitous and fucked up, so a simpler episode about vengeance and past mistakes feels like a great episode of a show with a blander palate.

First, a throwback plotline to the pilot episode, in the form of Orelia Gallardo, daughter of Escobar Gallardo, the tatted-up madman who plagued the plastic surgeons, and Sean's subconscious, for years. She wants to know about her past, which consists of being raped by her uncle Silvio Perez, who ended up as alligator food thanks to McNamara/Troy. The two doctors quibble about whether to tell her or not. Sean thinks it will do no harm, ever the redeemer, but Christian knows better. Sean gets drunk and has one of his Escobar-daymares, which lost their steam in the past, but tonight's attempts were particularly creepy. Robert Lasardo reminds me of Freddy Kreuger sometimes. In this hallucination, as in ones that occur through the episode, Escobar beats home the fact that Christian is nothing but a nuisance to Sean's ideal way of life. His ideals are all screwed up, I'm sure, and Christian isn't the problem. But anyway, they go so far as to turn Christian into a lizard several times. Very Fear and Loathing...

And while Sean's doing this and little else, Christian finds work in titular Virginia Hayes (Kate Norby), at least that's what he thinks. She tells him of a past of relative beauty, but that here in the big city, that beauty is doing nothing for her. So she gets a boob job, but not before Christian actually turns down having sex with her on his desk, which she of course offered him. Soon after the surgery, Christian gets a visit from an angry woman looking for Ms. Hayes, who has already fled the building. It turns out she's the real Virginia Hayes. The other gal was someone who stole identities and used them all across the nation. Via a pharmacist's tip, Christian catches the faker, who again uses a sob story to get out of a getting arrested. Christian seemingly falls for it and offers her free lipo to make her more beautiful, which the woman takes. Christian actually ends up taking out the boob implants, as not to eat the costs. The imposter awakens and is angered and ashamed, and takes down Virginia's number to apologize. I think she had something else up her sleeve, but Virginia actually shows up, and before the bed-ridden skank can muster up too many words, Virginia clamps a pillow down over her face, denying her apologizes in the softest way possible.

Sean ends up telling Orelia of McNamara/Troy's involvement with her father and Silvio, whose death she takes offense to, but she thanks Sean nonetheless. Guess who gets a visit from the cops, coming to question them about Silvio Perez? Sean is a moron every time he moves, even in his dreams. The cops don't seem convinced by Orelia's story, and Sean and Christian capitalize on this by rampant denial. So then the boys, plus Liz, are in a tizzy to find any evidence of Silvio's presence to destroy it, and the dead blonde is found. Christian immediately thinks it's one of their faults, and doesn't want to lose his license for performing unwanted surgery. Sean, who wants to call the cops, eventually loses his nerve. Liz yells, "Fix this!" and suddenly shovels are picking up dirt in the desert. The grave digging is intercut with scenes from the operating room, where the doctors cut the body up into pieces, and those pieces are dumped into the ground. The dirt is back on, and the boys drive home. Goddammit. Why didn't you call the cops, you fucking idgits? Somebody could have made some kind of paperwork switch that made this surgery appear legitimate, and then her phone would have been checked and the story plus that call to Viriginia would have sealed up something. Instead, another body, another reason for everyone to bitch and scream at everyone else.

I'm not sure if any of this reads very suspensefully, but there were glimpses of it in the episode. Just not enough, and it felt like time went slower than usual. I'm not sure more guilt on people's conscience is the best thing to go with right now, unless it's to reach a boiling point. It doesn't seem like either of these plotlines is going to continue, unless something is actually found out about Perez, which is possible. Really, I see these characters destructing internally, without outside influence like police, but who knows. If this show ends with everybody in jail like Seinfeld, I'm going to be angrified, stupefied, mortified, and such.

Nick Venable
Assistant Managing Editor

Nick is a Cajun Country native, and is often asked why he doesn't sound like that's the case. His love for his wife and daughters is almost equaled by his love of gasp-for-breath laughter and gasp-for-breath horror. A lifetime spent in the vicinity of a television screen led to his current dream job, as well as his knowledge of too many TV themes and ad jingles.