So. I'm like half pissed off/half really excited to talk about Kanye West and vampires and cryogenics. I think I'm going to structure the recap a little differnetly this week, since the plot of this episode was absolute bullshit (maybe. There is a way that it could be even more awesome/cheap than I suspect it is, and I'll talk about that later), but it had a lot of cool other things in it, like vampires and Kanye West and cryogenics.
The Plot: Some "sangs" come to the office to have their neck wounds fixed because they are like vampires. Later, Christian tries on the chick's vampire teeth and you think for a second that maybe he's thinking of becoming a vampire, because this is Nip/Tuck and he's Christian, but then instead he decides to get cryogenically frozen. Meanwhile, the vampire people thank him for totally not harshing their buzz with judgment. Later they steal transfusion blood from the blood refrigerator the likes of which we should all be so lucky to own and Christian lets them go without arresting them or anything because he's dying. In other parts of Los Angeles, Ram kicks Kimber out of his house for being old, so Kimber tries to dump Jenna on Matt, who foolishly tells her that Chrisitan is getting married to a lesbian. This makes Kimber turn orange with rage, and she tries to foil the wedding, but ends up wussing out. Also, Teddy got married to and subsequently killed a doctor in Las Vegas while doing a poor job of pretending to be southern and red-headed, then she did a lot of nitrous while having sex, then Sean did a lot of nitrous and either died or fucked the surgical table. Also, M. Night Shyamalan directed the ending. Theories and Bryce Dallas Howard to follow.
Before I talk about the ending and all the Kennedy/Lincoln coinidences going on around here (for starters: Bryce Dallas Howard is often directed by M. Night Shyamalan, who loves twist endings, which is what happened on the TV show Dallas when Patrick Duffy's character turned out to not really be dead because the whole thing had been a dream, which is what might be going on here on Nip/Tuck, PLUS I just mentioned Kennedy, and he was shot in Dallas!), I seriously want to talk for a little bit about all the crazy other crap that was going on tonight and that was treated, for my money, pretty nonchalantly by everyone involved. We'll start off with something that was crazy good:
KANYE WEST: They used "Flashing Lights" in 80% of the promos for this season and now finally in the finale I get to hear it come out of my TV again! If I had to guess, I'd say that this episode was split about 2:3 not music video:music video, which is cool and everything, but also makes it seem like an episode of The OC spliced with the entire final hour of Crash. The music is generally really good, luckily, and the first montage had the best. This is the video for "Flashing Lights." It feels mysterious and sticky, like Mulholland Drive. I'm a white person, so I like Kanye West a lot anyway, but his new album is really super good, and you should all listen to it constantly if you aren't already. Some people are bitching about him using the autotuner, but he's probably one of the greatest composers of our generation, and the autotuner actually suits his voice really well, I think. Anyway, this is my favorite song from the album: RoboCop and this is the scene from Great Expectations that contains the music that Kanye sampled. Pretty awesome all around. Long story short, I love Nip/Tuck's sound director.
VAMPIRES: It's pretty widely recognized that vampires are the gayest of all movie monsters, and I had always assumed that this was because the act of sucking blood from someone's neck is necessarily sexual 1) because it involves bodily fluid transfer and 2) because apparently it causes overwhelming pleasure (see Brad Pitt, above). Giselle Blaylock and Legend Chandler certainly consider it a sexual practice to exchange blood, and girls who read Twilight and their aunts who read Anne Rice novels certainly think vampires are sexy. If their demographic is women who want to be fucked and sucked dry by them, why do vampires seem so gay?
As it turns out, two major characters in vampire lore, Vlad the Impaler and Bram Stoker, were raging homosexuals. Vlad the Impaler was a Romanian count who was kidnapped by the Turks when he was 12, ass raped for several years, and then unleashed upon the world to ass rape a bunch of people with wooden sticks. Although the representations of Vlad and his tyranny are disparate-
(I suspect this was made by an Asian person)
-historians agree that he definitely killed people by jamming wood through them. This practice, in turn, was adopted by Bram Stoker as the vampire equivalent of shotgunning a zombie in the head. While scholars have come to a consensus on the whole piking thing, they continue to dispute his exact method of impalement. Some accounts claim that Vlad's victims stayed alive on the pikes for multiple days, dying slowly of starvation, dehydration, infection, and internal splinters. The most famous illustration of Vlad's victims is this one:
As you can see, it appears that he has haphazardly poked sticks through many people, heeding neither the direction they were facing nor the parts of their bodies he speared. Anatomists contend that no one could stay alive for any number of days if his liver was skewered, which means that either that wood cutting is fallacious and Vlad didn't really eat lunch next to a bunch of slowly dying war prisoners, or historians have to figure out a way to make the awesome story hold up to factual scrutiny. Enter the Stick Up the Butt theory: Some dudes with medical degrees figured out that if the stick was long enough and tapered enough, it could be inserted through a human's rectum and exit the body through the mouth without puncturing any organs, arteries, vertebrae, etc. This method would look nothing like the fly-by-night impaling practiced in the famous picture, but luckily there is also this [coin? vase? postage stamp?]:
There you have it. Impaled through the butt. I have to guess that being impaled through the rectum with a wooden stake feels very little like anal rape, but I've never suffered either indignity.
So Vlad the Impaler lived and was gay and then died, and a couple hundred years later Bram Stoker lived and was also gay and then also died, but in between he wrote the seminal vampire novel, for which he borrowed a lot of little details about Vlad. The name Dracula, for example, was given to Vlad because it means "Son of the Devil" or "Son of a Dragon," and apparently his neighbors both hated him and were incapable of distinguishing reptiles from fallen angels. J/K it says that the devil is a dragon somewhere in Revelations or some shit, I'm sure. It says everything in there. So he borrowed the name and the wooden stake thing and the sexy blood drinking and the never fucking women, and he wrote Dracula. And then a hundred years or so after that, Francis Ford Coppola directed a movie version of the novel that is an equally if not more so faithful adaptation as Great Expectations up there.
Fun fact: Bram Stoker was a huge fan of Walt Whitman (either he or Lorca was the president of the Walt Whitman Fan Club), which in the 19th century was a euphanism for saying someone was gay, like saying a woman was a k.d. Lang fan in the 1990s.
CRYOGENIC FREEZING: I joked last week that this episode was going to be like Futurama, and they made an honest woman out of me. The cryogenics lab where Christan took Sean looked almost exactly like the interior of Applied Cryogenics, except that the chambers had smaller windows and none of the corpses was holding a beer. Every time cryogenics shows up in pop culture, it's treated as a weird science fiction joke. There are a lot of things we were promised we'd get in the future, and so far we have approximations of the few more commications-related ones, but we're still waiting on the flying cars and silver jumpsuits and cryogenic freezing. Unlike flying cars, we have the technology for silver jumpsuits and cryogenic freezing, but like silver jumpsuits, cryogenic freezing is a plan that everyone seems to have silently agreed we shouldn't implement.
Just like normal death, no one is sure what happens to you once you've been cryogenically frozen. Technically you're in "suspended animation," but no one has ever successfully been unfrozen, so the chances of you eventually reanimating are unknown but probably small. By my estimation, there have been four major instances of unfreezing in pop culture: Fry from Futurama, Austin Powers, Encino Man, and Caveman Lawyer. All of these people are at least a little bit retarded. I would not force my family pay $5000/month for me to be frozen on the off chance that I would one day end up like them.
The thing about the cryogenics in this episode is that they actually aren't far from the truth. Since the 1960s people have been interested in cryogenics, and several (though not many) people are entombed in cryogenic chambers today. If you're interested, there's a This American Life episode all about one man's struggle to keep people frozen in his mom & pop cryogenics business. The basic facts are these: You put the person on ice just as he's dying (just like Christian said), then you do some weird shit to them with chemicals or something (just like Christian said), then you pack them in more ice and put them in a refrigerator-like box that's cooled by liquid nitrogen, the same stuff they use in factories to quickly freeze ice cream. Just like in the episode, the cryogenic chambers are very expensive and if they're full, the landlords are more likely to toss a few bodies in a chamber together than to deny someone the right to be frozen. The problem is that every time you open the chamber, the person unfreezes a little bit, and unless you have really state-of-the-art equiptment (which no one has), the chamber is probably never going to work properly again, and all of the bodies inside it will decompose. The dude in the radio story seems to feel worse about telling people no than about lying to them about their rotting loved ones, which I guess is a peace you have to make with yourself when your business is keeping people frozen for $5000/month.
- the surgery scene looked like Sin City and it was really awesome. Just like in Sin City, because the blood was the only thing that had color, it seemed like there was a fuckton of it. Also like in Sin City, there probably legitimately was a fuckton of blood.
- When Sean's moping about his stupid dinner, Teddy says, "My showing up is not a comment on the evening's entertainment," which is a really elegant way of saying, "Shut up, whiny bitch."
- Jenna looks more and more like Tweety Bird every day.
- While high on nitrous, Teddy laughs just like the Joker when Sean fucks her. If she dies of a nitrous overdose, perhaps she'll win an Oscar.
- Unless everything I know is a lie, Season Finale + Christian Getting Married = Carver Attack. I'm disappointed.
- Wilbur says to Liz, "Can I call you Mommy now?" making Liz officially the luckiest person in the entire world.
STUPID/FAKE/AWESOME ENDING: Okay, so at the end of the episode, after Liz and Christian are married and just as they're ready to leave for Italy, Christian gets a call from his black doctor, who tells him that the lab results got switched by accident, and that Christian's cancer is in remission. When Christian learns this news, Liz and Wilbur enter the frame, then go blurry while he's still in shock and in focus. In the scene before, Sean huffs some nitrous and then goes blurry.
I have three theories about this ending, and I feel differently about the show depending on which one I entertain as being true.
THEORY 1: CHRISTIAN'S CANCER IS IN REMISSION
This would be incredibly lame and a huge cop-out, but not a more huge cop-out than Julia's coma/amnesia, and it's definitely fictiony, so while I will be pissed off if this is the case, I won't jack anyone's face over it. If this is the case, they will move back to Miama at the beginning of next season because they want to forget all the craziness and drama of Hollywood.
THEORY 2: THE FINAL SCENE IS SEAN'S NITROUS DREAM
Although I don't know if people dream on nitrous or what, this is my favorite theory, because it means that Christian is still dying and that in the final scene, the director is forcing the audience to empathize with Sean. If this is the case, they will move back to Miami next season so that Christian can die in a place he considers home.
THEORY 3: EVERYTHING SINCE SEAN GOT STABBED HAS BEEN A DREAM
It's possible that Sean's been in a coma this entire time. He may have dreamed these entire past nine episodes. If this is the case, they will be back in Miami next seaon because I will have built a time machine and traveled back to the middle of Seaon 4 and threatened Ryan Murphy that if he followed through with the next season, I would impale him through the anus.
POSSIBLE POETIC JUSTICE ALTERNATIVE OUTCOME OF THEORY 1:
Christian might pull a Sean and pretend to still be dying so that people will continue to fawn over him and love him. If this is the case, they will move back to Miami for the same reason as in Theory 2, but once they get there, Christian will bang a set of triplets off a rooftop to their deaths.
I guess all I'm saying is that if they made the entire second part of the season, and especially this episode, all about mortality, fuck them if it turns out that no one's really dying.