TV Recap: Nip/Tuck – Gene Shelly

This week, Christian’s concepts of masculinity, sexuality, and self-worth are challenged by old friends, some new ones, and a suspiciously feminine cowboy. Rancher Gene Shelly stops by the offices of McNamara/Troy for a consult: a mid-life drop in testosterone has made him jiggly in all the wrong places. The docs (shadowed by Raj) suggest how they can make him a man again, but Gene doubts he can trust the knife skills of a cripple, a teen, or a man with tit cancer on chemo.

Christian suffers the indignities of post-surgical chemotherapy treatment (without losing his hair yet, mind you). But Liz is there to sit with him as he gets pumped full of poison, advocate on his behalf with doctors and nurses, and rub his back while he throws up. I’m not used to this. I like my peace in the Middle East, not between Liz and Christian. I guess Christian isn’t used to it yet either because he gives her a little bit of a hard time. Nausea and lack of electrolytes make the snipes weak, though.

Then Kimber drops by Christian’s place to deliver her special brand of emasculation. She pays his Latina maid “dos hundred dollars” to take baby Jenna to the park so she can get a massage, refusing to let Christian watch or even touch his own granddaughter in case he’s contagious. Then when he tries seduction to grow a new pair back, she coaxes him into opening his shirt…and laughs at his deformed chest. She calls him disgusting and gleefully declares cancer divine retribution for his mistreatment of women. What a nasty bitch! Okay, I know I said the same thing last week. But she’s laughing! I’m not the nicest chick either, but I’d like to believe I wouldn’t gloat over the big C.

He later hires a skanky hooker off Craig’s List to make him feel better but even she isn’t enough. She stinks of cigarettes and garlic so he kicks her out before the games begin. When he refuses to pay her, she knocks him upside the head, steals his wallet and cancer meds, and leaves him flailing helplessly on the floor of his apartment. But it’s Lizzy to the rescue: she immediately comes over, cleans up the mess, rubs his back while he vomits some more, and puts him to bed. He begs her to stay until he falls asleep, and she ends up climbing in beside him and spending the night. And that’s where it ends until morning, right? I wish. In the middle of the night, Liz wakes up, Christian groggily rolls on top of her, has sex, and rolls back off. She cries. Um, I don’t feel right. I’m not sure what I just saw: a tender moment of connection between two lonely people or drive-by rape?

In Sean’s make-believe world, he’s still struggling to walk even though we all found out last week there’s nothing wrong with his legs. His physical therapist is hip to the game and tries to force him to take his first real steps, but Sean feigns frailty and falls to the floor. An angry Matt fires the PT, refusing to believe that Daddy doesn’t need his wheelchair. Julia also feels sympathy for Sean when she stops by to pick up their son Conor after a visit. She forgives him his prior lie about their marriage and offers to make him dinner sometime. Sean’s luck with the ladies continues when he captures the attention of a student in his class who wants to take care of him. Take care of him real good.

Looks like Raj is sticking around for a bit. Since Sean refuses to get out of the chair or operate, Christian is forced to depend on the underage surgeon for back-up. He assists during Gene Shelly’s operation, even getting a very big thank you from his wife in the storage closet. Ew, that’s foul. Even Christian, who walks in on the act, is disgusted. But Raj is just happy to finally be a man. Until “Mrs. Shelly” later walks into the men’s room and whips out her penis to take a piss! I knew she looked a little hard. No pun intended. But Raj doesn’t let it get him down – just confused.

Christian finally agrees to let Raj handle his chest reconstruction surgery solo, which upsets Sean when he isn’t informed. But what can he really say? Sean’s his first choice, but Christian isn’t willing to wait any longer for him to get it together. During the consult, Liz enters and proceeds to act like a nervous schoolgirl the morning after. Seems she liked what went down until she finds out Christian was actually awake! What a creepy episode this is…

And the freakiness doesn’t end there. Sean decides to keep getting good lovin’ from his new girl who can’t get enough of bath time and talcum powder. And she keeps calling him “baby.” And referring to herself as “mommy.” And insists on shaving his groin clean. Ew! When she finally dresses him a giant diaper, he explodes and kicks her out of his apartment. In his anger, he jumps to his feet and walks her to the door, not noticing that Julia is standing in the living room in disbelief. Upon hearing the news that Sean can walk, an angry Matt punches a wall. But Christian is too calm in the wake of this betrayal. In all honesty, I’m really disappointed they found out so soon.

Christian confronts Sean indirectly with a healthy dose of guilt with maybe a little empathy mixed in. He tells him to take all the time he needs to get out of the chair, noting that Sean’s always been the strong one taking care of everyone else and that now it’s his time to return the favor. He tells him that his reconstructive surgery will wait until Sean’s better, however long it takes. Then he runs to the bathroom and throws up. As Christian is heaving over the bowl, Sean walks in and stands over him, comforting his best friend through the worst part.

In Two Weeks: Christian attends a breast cancer survivors’ support group where he meets his next lay and new patient.