[Sorry this is so ridiculously long. I have a lot of stuff to say about this week's episode, I guess. I guess maybe tackle it in 1000-word installments or something. I'm a bad columnist.]

Finally, Nip/Tuck is heating up! Literally! Everyone just keeps getting into crazier and crazier scrapes, with four of the principal players almost dying and getting shipped off to hell, where they probably belong. Because they're old. And sinful. And far too naked on TV. But let's not get ahead of ourselves.

As my good, dead friend Maria would say, the beginning is a very good place to start. The thing is that there's not really a beginning to this episode; there's a middle, and there's sort of an end; at what would be the beginning, though, we just plunge right in, head-first, to some scenes of Sean and Eden in a frenzied bout of lovemaking. There's very little foreplay (mostly consisting of her getting naked), and only choppy cuts to let us know that Eden is finally, ostensibly for the first time, having her vagina penetrated by a man. I'm not sure how much I buy into the whole "I've only had anal sex up until now" line she was pulling earlier in the season. Based on the look on her face when she's being bounced on Sean's lap like a toddler who's being treated to a game of "This is the way the Indians ride…," I'd wager that it's not her first time she's let someone's Pooh into her hunny pot. …Now that I read that, it sounds like scat play, but I'm not going to change it. I'm just going to warn you: don't be pooping in anyone's precious lady flower. Especially if you're 42.

The thing about this scene was that it was so choppy and so saturated with smack-you-in-the-face, extra-filled-with-lust-the-deadly-sin red that I wasn't convinced that it wasn't just some fantasy of Sean's until they were in the bath tub. That's one thing that I really enjoy about this show: some of the shit that happens is so outlandish that there's at least a 45% chance of it being a dream sequence at any given moment. And that chance increases to about 60% for the more stylized, lens-filtered, music video scenes like this one.

Eden is going to a party, but Sean's not invited, because he's too old. Also because she claims that this was just a one-time thing, but you know that Eden needs his paternal affection to validate her self-worth as much as he needs her tight, coconut-scented pussy to validate his. I think it's really good that they can both get something out of this relationship, and I think it's even better that what Sean gets from Eden, he could very easily get from any other skanky young ho, whereas it would take Eden much longer to incite actual, genuine concern and caring from another older man.

Matt and Kimber show up at the office, allegedly three weeks' sober and looking for some handouts so that Kimber can get her foundering porn career back up and running. Sean and Christian refuse, on the grounds that the last time they gave them $250k, they just wasted it on church and drugs. Kimber puts in a request for some free surgery to fix her busted-up face, but Christian – really enjoying the power trip, I think – refuses, again blaming her for getting herself into this mess. Sean lectures them on how they have an 80% chance of relapsing into their stank meth ways (spoiler alert: for Matt it's 100% chance), and despite the fact that he's preaching about how they can't just kick the habit so quickly, he refuses to help them, when help is clearly what they need. He should know that; he's a doctor, after all. They don't need any more money, certainly, but he would do well to maybe keep an eye on them periodically through the rehabilitation process, and maybe be more supportive as a father and a friend. Both he and Christian scramble up to the moral high ground, though, and they build a little fort there and yell over the battlements at their son and daughter-in-law/ about how this is their mess that they got themselves into, and they'll have to get themselves out, and their two dads aren't going to do anything to help them anymore. As if Sean was never almost an alcoholic and Christian isn't addicted to sex.

I'm not saying that this isn't Kimber and Matt's fault, because on a micro level, it is. They started doing meth, and they squandered all their money on an alien religion (strange coincidence, that) and drugs. But on a macro level, it's completely Sean and Christian's fault, because they raised Matt, and Christian fucked with Kimber's self esteem enough to make her think that she needed to do things like porn and meth, and to tweak every little bit of her appearance in order to validate her existence. Is meth really worse than Sean fucking his ex-wife's lover's 18-year-old daughter? Is it worse than Christian carving a big, festering wound into his loved ones' personal lives for the sake of his own celebrity? I don't think so. They're each just looking for something to make them feel better on a day-to-day basis, and when Sean and Christian's short-term fixes end up screwing things up even more, you can bet your bottom dollar that they'll be there for each other at the end of the day. Why they can't offer the same courtesy at least to the young man they raised, is beyond me. I guess it's because we're all selfish fucks this episode and we're all going to hell in a fiery red hand basket.

Speaking of alien religions, after Matt and Kimber show themselves out through the trash chute, Sean and Christian find an elderly man waiting for them in their office. The look on both their faces seems to say, "Shit, there's no surgery in the world that could make him attractive again." They needn't worry, though, because this man doesn't want to look better. He just wants to get the alien tracking device out of his tender back flesh.

This man, it turns out, is Dr. Joshua Bell, but he's not a real kind of doctor like Sean and Christian are. He's not even a fake kind of doctor like Aiden Stone. Worse, he's the fakest kind of doctor of all: a doctor like Jodi Foster in Contact. While listening into the hypnotic void of deep space one night, he heard some distinct beeps that indicated to him that intelligent life was out there somewhere. As soon as Sean gets wind of this, he's like, "Nuh uh! I would have heard about it if there were aliens!" Probably from his subscription to Giant Fucking Nerds Weekly. He didn't hear about it because no one else in the world believed Dr. Bell, despite the fact that his name is a beacon, probably because 1) aliens aren't real and 2) for serious, Jodi Foster already pulled all this shit in Contact. Get a new plot device [writers].

In the show's defense, they've really just been improving exponentially on flashback sequences this season. This one, which is desaturated and with PAs in hokey alien costumes hovering around Bell, who's strapped to an exam table, is easily the goofiest yet. (And Rosie O'Donnell getting her lip eaten by that eagle was pretty fucking goofy.) Then one of them draws his finger across Bell's back, and the only color in the sequence – red blood – trickles out of his saggy old lunatic body, and they stuff in a microchip. Sean and Christian are just like, "What the hell? Seriously, we have to deal with this right now?" Then he shows them his wound, which is about the size of a golf ball and covered in gangrene, and grumpily informs them that he tried to dislodge the microchip with a coat hanger. Really? Really, scientist man? That's very "Toby Maguire in the orchard phase of Cider House Rules" of you. This just goes to show, people at Harvard are book smart, but not street smart. Should have used a knife. They're way sharper. At any rate, there's definitely something in Dr. Bell's body that needs to come out, and they would probably do well to close up that bloody crater in his back, while they're at it.

The next day (I guess?) on the H&S set (and can I just say how relieved I am that we don't have to watch that shitfest anymore? And also that we don't have to see that shitfest Kate anymore, although I imagine it's pretty weird for Sean to have to work with her after he told her that her lack of sphincter control has eliminated any chance of him ever loving her again.) Dr. Aiden Stone beckons Sean into his trailer, where he's wearing a goldish speedo and rolling around on the mattress with some nubile young thing in pink boy shorts. Sean is like, "Woah, other adult men have sex with younger girls? I had never considered that I wasn't the only one with these urges!" And Dr. Aiden threatens to Dutch Oven the bed and he and the little girl giggle, and then he demonstrates his scantily-clad limberness while he tells Sean all about some new-age Indian herb doctor he sees, and Sean tries not to look too homophobic. As we see more interactions with Dr. Aiden Stone, he increasingly reminds me of a hybridization of Gob Bleuth and Owen Wilson's Hansel, which is actually a very cool combination of people to be reminiscent of. By the end of the scene, he has invited Sean to join him for some radiation facials and intravenous medication on the morrow.

Now onto the worst plot device of the episode: Julia and Olivia are returning from an evening jaunt to the local sex shop, where they apparently purchased something of such sensitive subject matter that we are never allowed to see it. Judging by how upset Julia is over it, though, I'm betting it's a Georgia O'Keefe print. They squabble about the same old shit about Julia contriving fake problems in their relationship while Olivia gets some cash out of an ATM. Then some white-bread looking dude, who's sort of old and husky, blasts a shot of spray paint over the security camera, points a gun at them ("It's loaded!" he insists, as if to convince himself, which means that it totally isn't loaded at all), and demands that they withdraw as much cash as possible and then chauffeur him wherever the hell he pleases. Olivia is immediately reduced to a blubbering baby, and Julia immediately remains the worst actress in the history of television.

After commercials, Julia is driving her car, with Olivia slobbering all over herself in the passenger seat, and the Bored Single Guy Who Took the Ocean's Trilogy Too Seriously smoking a cigarette in the back seat. Maybe this is just me, but if I had two incompetent women shuddering at my every word, I'd probably nab shotgun. Just sayin'.

A large percentage of his cigarettes have disappeared from the pack, indicating that a considerable amount of time has passed. He languidly requests that Olivia shut the fuck up (for real, yo), and Julia's all, "Where are we going?" Based on the rate at which he's burning through those cigarettes, I'd expect him to say, "To the nearest tobacco distributor." Instead, he's all ominous and shit, just like, "Keep driving!" Except it's not ominous in the way that spooky music is ominous, it's ominous in the way that your dad is when tells you to shut up and stop asking how much farther it is to Grandma's house.

Olivia is really losing her shit in this sequence, which is pretty annoying, especially contrasted with how much of an unresponsive dick Julia is being. It's annoying on the plane of direction, not necessarily on the plane of the script or of Portia diRossi. It's like the director was just like, "Hey, you know what? Usually Julia's the whiny bitch, but Olivia is a disposable character, so… fuck it! Let's make her really upset. But to show how strong Julia is, and how fantastic of a character, and how desirable, we'll make her all stoic and sort of pissed off-looking the whole time. Like this is just one huge inconvenience to her, and like her girlfriend's obvious terror is even more inconvenient." All I'm saying is, either Julia is afraid or she's not. If she is, she'd be empathizing with Olivia more, and making more of an effort to comfort her. If she's not, she should just call the dude out on his bluff and throw him out of her car. Bang Bus that guy and let's get on with the other plot lines already.

And really, how could she be afraid of this chubby loser, after staring at Mac's gross, burned-up, Boston-loving mom a couple of seasons ago? Eventually he has her pull over near a lake or something, and she and Olivia get out, and he tells them to strip down to their underwear, which they do, and it's gross as hell, because they both look like corpses that someone's mom stuck in the oven on 200 for like 20 minutes to re-heat for her kids when they got home from school. Even if they agreed to split a sandwich, that would be a 6,000% increase in the daily caloric intake. Julia looks especially gross because her face is uglier, though a lot of Olivia's beauty is detracted from by the way she's still heaving like an asthmatic kid in the Dust Bowl. The guy tells Julia, step-by-step, how to comfort Olivia, and I know that he's doing it because he wants to see them get it on, but really, these are pretty basic comforting techniques that she should have picked up on by now, and probably would have, if she hadn't been so fucking self-involved for her entire ugly life.

He tells them to use the Georgia O'Keefe poster on each other, and they're both like, "Ew, no!" and then he threatens to shoot them again, but Julia finally calls his bluff about either his bravery or the gun being loaded (or the gun even being real, for that matter), and he takes off in her car, leaving the two moonlit lesbians alone, translucent, and shivering in their person-shaped sacks of crinkly skin and rattling bones.

Meanwhile, inside, Kimber shows up at Christian's door in a pantsuit (so you know she means business), offering herself to him, saying she wants him – typical porn star fare. I guess she forgot that this sort of thing goes over a lot more smoothly when it's the guy who shows up at the girl's door dressed in his work clothes. Christian denies her, begging his fear of her gaping, Alaskan-King-crab-filled baby tunnel, but Kimber is persistent. She really wants that surgery. They eventually strike a deal wherein Kimber will get her precious, free surgery, but she'll have to break up with Matt (her idea) and give him full custody of Jenna (Christian's idea). Kimber's just going to keep bouncing from surgery to drugs to porn, and it's going to be a crazy downward Marilyn Monroe spiral for her, when all she really needs to do to find fulfillment is adopt a puppy. God, those things are so wriggly and cute.

Sean and Dr. Aiden Stone get radiation facials and super vitamin IV drips from the Indian medicine man. They talk about girls, life, love, Donkey Kong – pretty much everything there is for two dudes to talk about while they chillax in a hospital room. Dr. Aiden Stone does his best Owen Wilson impression the entire time, and then he invites Sean to a crazy Blow & Hos party he's having later at his fly crib. Because no one could possibly decline this invitation, Sean RSVPs, "You bet your sweet bippy!" Or something equally as square.

He and Christian then excavate into Dr. Bell's succulent back rib meat and find the microchip. It's unmarked and appears to be a Chiclet spray painted silver. They all think this is sort of weird, but not alien-weird… until it starts moving on its own!!! It's all pretty X-Files and crazy for a split-second; then Julia knocks on the window, and the scene degenerates from wacky, alien X-Files to creepy, stumble-upon-a-mass-grave-site-near-a-truck-stop X-Files. Everything that woman touches turns to suck. I wish that chubby nerd had ended her. (Oh, PS – Julia called Christian to pick her up from the police station, and when Sean found out what had happened to her and Olivia, he was sort of hurt [in his pride more than his heart, I think] that she didn't also call him. Whatever. Dear Sean, middle school called. It wants its petty, unfounded bickering back.)

A neat little one-act play follows, which I like to call Julia is a Putrid Cunt and I Wish She Had Been Murdered by That Part-Time Newspaper Deliveryman:
Sean: Thank God you're alive!
Julia: I'm a huge cunt. Let's go buy me a handgun.
Christian: Handguns are sexy. I am in love with you.
Julia: I like this handgun best because the shopkeeper told me that it's for girls.
Sean: I really don't think that you should get a gun.
Christian: Guns are sizzick!
Julia: I'll take this one!
Shopkeeper: (nefariously, to himself, wringing his hands in undefined glee) Eeeeexcellent.


It turns out that Dr. Bell has Alzheimer's, and that the chip was installed by some people in the home where he stays to keep track of him, because his senile ass escapes pretty regularly. His daughter shows up with two male nurses/nightclub bouncers to take him back into custody. Dr. Bell, of course, insists that he's not ill, that the woman is not his daughter, and that he doesn't want to go back with them. Christian and Sean seem sympathetic to his situation, which is that he's crazy, and they don't believe a word he says even when he starts spouting off details regarding the current year, president, and relative success of the Celtics. It's pretty much word-for-word the same scene as the one in the Beverley Hillbillies Movie when Caroline in the City and Rob Schneider check Granny into that nursing home, and with the same dastardly motivation.


Kimber had her surgery, and she looks sort of better, I guess, although I don't really see a difference. She stares at an old porno of hers, but it's not even good-times nostalgic or like, "Hey, that was fun, I can't wait to do it again!" or anything. She just has the screen frozen on a close-up of her face, and she's staring at her reflection in the screen, smaller than life-size and hovering sadly in the shadow of her larger, more beautiful, long-ago movie face. Then a song starts to play about how much it sucks to be a girl, because you have to get all dolled up and wear nice clothes and look good all the time and shit, and it's the soundtrack for a montage of Kimber putting on pounds of Marilyn Monroe Old Hollywood Glamor makeup and shoplifting shoes and a fur coat. It's supposed to be pretty sad, I think, because Kimber looks desperate and worn out the whole time, like she's so over the idea -if she ever even had it – of migrating out to the west coast and starting a new life and working her way up the ranks from waitress to receptionist to porno cum receptacle to STAR. That's been the dream of countless girls, most of whom were probably much prettier and more talented (and definitely younger) than Kimber. Once upon a time Kimber was in a similar situation, and she became a queen in her industry, and she threw that all away to get married and have a baby and smoke a bunch of meth – all of which ruined her appearance, which, as she said earlier in the episode, is her one marketable commodity. And how sad to realize that about oneself. How sad it must be for her, who never thought she was good enough to be successful the way she was, to have to look at her reflection in a shitty TV screen in a shitty apartment – married to a kid because he was infatuated with her and working out some weird Oedipal complexes, and because she was desperate and still not fulfilled, despite everything, so she clung to him like a pale, skinny, fishy buoy in an ocean full of fish who wouldn't hurt her – but they wouldn't notice her, either. I think that at the bottom of it all, Kimber thought she was hot shit once. The first date she had with Christian, I think she probably thought she was pretty hot shit. And then piece by piece, little by little, he dismantled her self-esteem – not in the sake of honesty, but because he needed for her to think that she was unworthy of him. In the process, she's forgotten that she was ever worthy of anyone, and the sad thing is, that maybe now she's not anymore. Maybe she used up all the worthiness on Christian and porn, and now the best she can do is show up on their doorsteps and pretend to want them back, and that she'll give her body – her only stock, and it's plummeting fast – to them, but she knows they don't want it. She doesn't want it, either. All she wants is for someone to really, truly believe that she's the best gal out there. Matt believes that, I think, but she doesn't trust Matt's opinion. Matt is weak and small-time and pretty worthless, so if he thinks Kimber's great, that's the equivalent of her grandma thinking she's great, or some chubby loser who spray paints ATM cameras and carjacks two anorexic lesbians with a water pistol. She shows up at the porn franchiser's doorstep in her stolen shoes and her stolen coat, with her fake, stolen face and an ugly, jagged void where her self-worth used to be, and they fuck. Because that's pretty much the only thing Kimber knows how to do.



Sean goes to Dr. Aiden Stone's party, and who should show up but Eden! He plays some weird, fake version of quarters that doesn't involve alcohol but does involve stripping, and Eden gets sort of jealous. Also the party's theme is Dante's Infernal, because Dr. Aiden Stone is sort of a jackass, but also because the writers didn't think we caught on that this week's theme is about sins and hell, I guess.

Matt moseys into his shit hole apartment to find Kimber packing. He missed her
whole montage, so she explains to him that she's moving out to go live with the porn guy, and Jenna is there already (because I guess she's an Indian giver of baby custody, that tramp), and Matt can go fuck himself. Also, her blow-up doll is being reissued. Matt is naturally upset by this, since he's, like, 19 or something ridiculous, and had been under the impression that they were in love. Kimber tells him that she never loved him. I think that's not true. She very pointedly says, "I lied," in response to a lot of his arguments for her to stay, which is fine, because she may have, but it's more likely that she's lying now: Every time she turns away from Matt, her face contorts into a look of anguish that is either due to the fact that she's giving up the one solid relationship she ever had, or to the fact that she was just looking at Matt's ugly mug. She takes off, and Matt pushes shit around in his room and cries like the 19-year-old baby that he is.

Next thing you know, Sean and Eden are fucking in what appears to be a giant womb inside Dr. Aiden Stone's house. There's awesome heartbeat music that is sort of like a hybridization of those ambient noise machines you can get to help you sleep and a really restrained club remix bass track. Sean says the words, (giggling) "I can't come!" and instead of throwing up on him like I would have, Eden is like, "That's cause of the E!" Then, as if triggered by the memory that he is rolling, Sean has a heart attack right then and there. Inside the womb, enveloped in heart beat music. He's like, "Call 911!" and Eden is like, "Well slap me in the face with the symbolism, why don't you?"

Meanwhile, Christian teaches Julia how to wield her Just 4 Girls handgun, and they basically start dirty dancing at the shooting range.

Sean awakens in a hospital room to the sight of Christian and Julia. Julia is like, "Are you okay?" and Sean is like, "Yeah, plus, see bitch, I had the common courtesy to call BOTH of you." Julia doesn't get it because she's too busy plotting how she will make this all about her. Christian is like, "Why were you rolling? Did that Backstreet Boy Dr. Aiden Stone give you these drugs? I am your mother! Answer me!" and Sean admits that actually Eden gave them to him. Because he and Eden are fucking.

DING DING DING! Julia pretends to be mad, but really she's happy, because that reason for her to get all mopey and shit just fell right into her lap. She runs off to bitch at Eden about never going anywhere near Sean again, and Christian runs into Matt in the hall and tells him that he's "an orphan" until he gets his act together (eg gets the baby back, or gets a job that's not at Burger King, or stops being so goddamn ugly).

The next day, I guess, a fat girl comes into the office asking after Dr. Bell. As it turns out, SHE'S his real daughter, and he wasn't crazy after all! Aw, this show taught us a lesson tonight: not all old people are insane! Secondary lesson: The truth is out there. Apparently Dr. Bell disappeared from his home a month prior, and his daughter hasn't seen or heard from him since. This is moderately strong evidence in support of Dr. Bell's alien story, which begs the question: are aliens real? Has Nip/Tuck actually gone so bat shit insane that it is asking us to suspend our disbelief that there are motherfucking ALIENS planting homing devices in people?


"Total Eclipse of the Heart" starts to play as Julia appears on Christian's doorstep. She says basically the same words that Kimber said earlier, about needing him to stick his ding-dong in her hoo-ha, and I'm sure the disparity in the sincerity of these two deliveries would have been palpable if not for the fact that Julia is a terrible actress with all the charisma and charm of a VCR instruction manual. She kisses Christian, but his eyes are still wide open and screaming, "What the fuck?!"

The song progresses toward its awesome second chorus as Matt labors alone in his apartment over a table-top meth lab. Naturally, because on TV and in movies people are rarely capable of cooking meth without creating some sort of explosion, Matt catches the apartment on fire. I swear to God, and I've said it before – I hate Matt and his ugly Jacko face, and I'm not too keen on the whole meth storyline, but these scenes have the best soundtracks, consistently, in every episode in which they're featured. So the apartment is on fire, Matt is on fire, Bonnie Tyler and Meat Loaf are singing about how they need you tonight, and forever's gonna start tonight, and Matt is running, on fire, out of his apartment and along the corridor and he jumps off of the 3rd or 4th story balcony, and just as he hits the water in the pool below, the music stops abruptly, and all we have is a silent, bluish, pale, almost-corpse of Matt, floating under the surface of the water like that baby on the Nirvana album cover or an alien fetus in some weird spacey goop.

Matt can't be dead, right you guys? That would be awesome on one level – which is that we'd never have to deal with him anymore – but it would also suck because then people like Christian and Sean and FUCKING JULIA would spend the next episode, at least, whining about it. Aw, and then how alone would Sean be, what with Julia and Christian fucking and Eden inevitably moving away with Olivia pretty soon? That would be rough. Maybe Wilbur will resurface, and they can be BFF. I really want to know what happened to that baby.
…OH MY GOD, the aliens got him!