TV Recap: Nip/Tuck – Ronnie Chase

I can’t believe Nip/Tuck is finally back after what feels like years! For those of you who don’t know (and you should be ashamed if you don’t), this hit F/X nighttime soap opera is about a classic bromance between superstar South Beach plastic surgeons (homely yet holier-than-thou Dr. Sean McNamara and his partner salacious cutie-pie Dr. Christian Troy) and the wife they love/hate to share. Admittedly, the show isn’t quite as groundbreaking or clever as it used to be but still beyond entertaining. Well, a ton of stuff happened last season and here are some highlights: the boys move their practice to Beverly Hills where Sean becomes an actor and Christian is left to play second fiddle; Sean’s ex Julia reveals she’s a lesbian and gets poisoned and shot by her girlfriend’s trampy daughter (and she comes down with amnesia); Christian and Julia have a torrid affair; and Sean’s agent turns out to be a wee bit unstable.

To begin the episode, we revisit the time right before last season’s shocking cliffhanger finale. A woman wearing shades, trench coat, and fedora with her face completely wrapped in bandages enters the lobby of the building that houses the offices of McNamara/Troy. The security guard, unfazed by her appearance, helps her to the elevator and directs her to the appropriate floor. When she arrives, she finds a quiet spot alone, removes her disguise, and reveals herself to be none other than Colleen Rose. Professional agent? No. Off-her-rocker homicidal stalker? Yes, yes, oh yes! She finds a large butcher knife in the kitchen and almost takes out anesthesiologist Liz Cruz before deciding at the last minute to save all her very special love for Sean.

The pre-show flashback reminded us that Sean’s daughter Annie was horribly injured in a car accident with Christian while trying to out-run paparazzi. Sean is preparing to operate alone on her scarred face when suddenly Colleen sneaks up behind and hacks him to pieces. She drags his torn, limp body to an empty room and locks them inside together. Liz returns to the OR and promptly slips in a massive amount of blood on the floor. Before she can process the scene and realize what must have happened to missing Sean, she’s confronted with the realization that Annie, left alone and under uncontrolled sedation, is in distress. She screams for Christian, down the hall with a recovering patient, who runs to her aid and helps stabilize the girl. Once Annie is okay, Christian follows the trail of blood to the locked room.

As Christian is attempting to kick the door in, Sean is bleeding to death and begging Colleen to help stem the hemorrhaging. She puts down the knife and complies, pressing her palms against his chest. She tells him no one is going to hurt him anymore – well, at least not her anyway. Sean seizes the chance, grabs the knife, and plunges it deep into her side. Christian finally bursts into the room and finds her corpse draped over the body of his dying friend.

Four months later, Sean returns to work…in a wheelchair! What?! That loony bitch took away his legs? He’s been teaching cosmetic and reconstructive surgical technique to young doctors but finds himself reluctantly back at the scene of the crime for his first consult since the attack: Lizzy! She feels it’s time to deflate the fun bags and wants her bosses to take care of the job (I would LOVE to work for/be related to/marry/babysit the kids of a plastic surgeon – I’ve got a growing list of nips and tucks I’d like to take care of). Sean isn’t ready to perform a breast reduction or any other surgery and suggests Christian handle the procedure by himself which disappoints Liz and angers Christian. But what can they do? He’s still freaked from having 8 inches of icy cold stainless steel dug in his gut.

Sean/Christian’s son Matt is looking a lot calmer these days, more settled and mature. And definitely not burnt to a crisp and high on meth. Though he certainly has other problems – like the fact he slept with his own half-sister! Unwittingly, of course, but he still liked it. A whole lot. However, he claims to have moved on and is now helping Sean with at-home physical therapy and Julia with memory recollection. He shares the bad news that Julia still hasn’t forgiven Sean for pretending they were still married when she first woke in the hospital after the shooting, but he cheers his daddy up by telling him he’s registered for college and pursuing pre-med.

While giving Liz her pre-op breast exam, Christian discovers a suspicious lump and he encourages her to get it checked out. After the mammogram, Liz gets a clean bill of health minus the fibrocystic breast tissue brought on by too much caffeine. Christian, who’s been uncharacteristically supportive and has joined Liz for her results, is shocked to hear that too much coffee and diet soda could be responsible for his own lumpy boob. Wait a minute…

After a mammogram, biopsy, and other examinations, Christian is diagnosed with Stage II breast cancer (yes, kiddies: men can get breast cancer too). I can’t even begin to imagine what it must be like to receive that kind of news. But I have to say it anyway: poetic justice for an unapologetic, misogynistic man-whore. And he gets so pathetic. He goes through about 4 of the 7 stages of grief in a matter of minutes, asks Liz to look after Wilbur if he kicks the bucket, and is even reduced to trolling for sympathy screws. His encounter with a woman he meets at a bar starts out promising enough, but he makes the mistake of giving her a breast exam mid-coitus (and “breast exam” isn’t a euphemism for something kinky; he actually checks for lumps).

Sean’s pity sex works out a lot better for him. He picks up a blonde bartender and shows her what he can do on four wheels. And it’s the most mind-blowing night she’s ever had! His near-death experience and new-found disability gets him the attention of adoring female doctors in class, the admiration of his formerly distant son, a mentor in obnoxious Indian Doogie knockoff Raj, and special parking. Not being able to walk is turning into a definite advantage for him. Despite watching his best friend wheeled into surgery to remove a cancerous tumor, life doesn’t seem too terrible for Dr. McNamara. Even bad dreams can’t keep him down. Literally. He envisions himself attending Colleen’s funeral to make sure she’s actually dead. He wheels up to the casket only to find his killer still alive and himself about to go six feet under. He wakes up, gets out of bed, and walks to the bathroom. Yes, you read that right. Turns out the lame bastard’s been fooling us all: he can walk.

Next Week: Say it ain’t so! Christian and Lizzy get busy!