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TV Recap: Nip/Tuck – Ricky Wells

So, what’s the opposite of an Oedipal Complex? Is it when you love, love, luuuuuuuuuuuuuuuv your pops? No, that’s Electra’s territory. Has to be when you hate your mother, right? Well, regardless of what it is, there are tons of mommy and daddy issues in this week’s episode of Nip/Tuck.

We’re revisited by the legend of Mary Kay Letourneau when a former teacher seeks assistance from McNamara/Troy to surgically age her teenage husband. Actually, the nasty pervert loves him for the sweet young thing he is inside and out, but it’s Ricky who wants to look the part when his new bride gives birth to their first child. Even creepier because relationships like that happen off the tube too.

Sean offers Matt guidance in his pursuit of a college degree and entry into the medical field. But Mattie’s less than a chip off the old block and more a hunk of disappointment: his grades suck, he lacks focus, he wants to drop Organic Chem, and the smell of fetal pig makes him sick. He’s gonna make an awesome doctor.

Good thing Sean has Raj to bond with instead. While they excitedly prepare to conduct Christian’s post-mastectomy chest reconstruction surgery, Raj gets a surprise visitor: his surgeon father. The man is cold, stern, intimidating, and next to impossible to please. Raj has spent his brief 17 years trying to live up to his father’s expectations and all he wants is to make him proud. All Raj’s dad wants is to prove that his own surgical skills have rubbed off on his son – he demands that Raj perform his penile enlargement. Ew!

Christian’s surgery goes off without a hitch and he heals quickly. Once the bandages come off and he sees he’s all man again, his mojo returns full force. Dr. Troy suits up and slaps on the Acqua Di Gio, hits the clubs, and taps some ass. Repeatedly. You know, just another Tuesday night. Never mind that he and Liz are playing house; that doesn’t matter because he never signed a contract stating they were in a monogamous relationship. Once he’s back in the saddle, damn her feelings!

But Christian does get some poetic justice when hard banging causes his pectoral implant to shift up toward his shoulder. He’s pissed at the shoddy boob job (at least it didn’t pop) and confronts Sean as he’s preparing to operate on Raj’s father. Raj is forced to admit in front of dear old dad that he, in fact, was the one who performed the crappy closing and left Christian with loose stitches. Father and son get into a heated argument in which Raj tells his dad that the only reason he did a piss-poor job was because he had a piss-poor teacher. Pow! He gets slapped! And that is the end of everything for Raj: the end of his love for medicine; the end of his sanity; the end of his love for and fear of his father; the end of his run on the show. He joins Matt to get high and convinces McNamara Jr. to help him end his career by slamming his hand in a car door! Ouch!

Turns out Matt has been jealous of Raj’s relationship with Sean. He felt that Raj was able to take the place of the son Dr. McNamara wishes he had: a successful plastic surgeon like the old man. But he realizes after Raj’s breakdown that what he really wants is to become an actor instead (I see the resemblance). No worries, Sean will still be proud of him. But what was Matt whining about in the first place? He has two dads! So, either he’s gonna make Sean happy by plumping up fake lips or Christian proud by sucking on fake tits.

Remember Ricky? Amazing as it sounds, he goes through with the procedures to make him look older, the complete antithesis of what plastic surgery is supposed to be about. Sean moves his hairline; implants facial hair to create a porn star mustache; lengthens his sideburns; I think he even adds some crow’s feet. He loves how the changes have made him look more like his own dad, but the transformation is too much for the Mrs. One day, Ricky gets home from work to find her in bed with another man…his baby brother!

Quite possibly the most poignant storyline they’ve had on the series comes to a culmination tonight, involving the oft-overlooked Liz (and underrated Roma Maffia). To please her new man, she takes classes on giving good head, buys sexy dresses, gets her hair and nails done, and just all out plays the girly-girl. But it’s still not good enough: she waltzes into Christian’s place only to find him screwing a random chick on the side of the tub. And it doesn’t help her feelings of inadequacy when the little tramp mistakes her for Christian’s mom!

I’m saddened by Lizzy’s switch from confident lesbian powerhouse to confused, eager-to-please wifey. But this is life; this is what happens. We all have doubts about who we are and who we should be. We all get lonely sometimes and may look for love in all the wrong places (and people). We’ve all experienced a flash of our mortality that’s scared us into doing really crazy things we never would’ve considered a year ago or even a month ago. Maybe I’m just speaking for myself, but I think we all see a little of ourselves in the Liz we saw tonight. I almost cried when she stood before the mirror stretching her face to erase time. And how about when she walks in on Christian having sex for the last time? His insensitivity causes her to re-evaluate her life in L.A. and she makes a big decision: she quits McNamara/Troy and decides to return to Miami.

Next Week: Is Lizzy really gone? Guess so, because the docs hire a new anesthesiologist. Plus, Kimber’s ready to get some new work done…on her toddler daughter!