The Wife:

What is Nip/Tuck if not a show about literal and metaphorical dick-sucking? And by dick-sucking, I mean auto-erotica, self-love, even vanity. A plastic surgery clinic is the perfect place to explore the conceit of self-love, as Sean and Christian have basically made a living putting collagen and fake breasts into women who can only love themselves if their bodies look a certain way. They encourage people to love themselves, even if that love is only self-serving and temporary . . . like sucking your own dick.

Okay, I don’t know if that metaphor is entirely exacting, but I’m going to roll with it, as the Patient of the Week, Manny Skerritt, was a yogi who could literally suck his own dick, a man whose plight yielded some really funny lines, but also served as the organizing metaphor for this episode. Manny is not only extremely flexible, but also well-endowed. In his own words:

“I’ve got a tyrannosaurus prick.”

Once he discovered the ability to self-fellate, the obsession to do so consumed his entire life. He no longer leaves the house, holds down a job or has real relationships:

“No, I mean I spend all day in my apartment with my penis in my mouth . . . I can’t hold down a job, and forget relationships because no one can get me off as good as I can.”

While Manny sucks his own dick in a very literal sense, Kimber does so by pimping her darling little Jenna out to creepy baby modeling agencies under the tutelage of mega-managers The Steves, who turn babies into stars by asking their mommies to correct their children’s slightest imperfections with restalyn, collagen and botox – a premise so utterly absurd that the metaphor for dick-sucking here is obvious. For many, their self-worth is defined by the success of their children, so having a gorgeous, money-making baby inflates her sense of success and self-worth. She’s only valuable if the fruit of her lions is valuable; as Jenna is a continuation of the being known as Kimber. And, naturally, in the ultimate display of self-fellating, Kimber chooses to dress baby Jenna up as her mini-me. So Kimber, being told that Jenna won’t make the big bucks unless her “thin, villainous lips” (inherited from Julia) are corrected, asks Christian to give his granddaughter a little collagen plumper.

Christian clearly refuses to do this, because he may be a bastard, but he’s not so unethical that he would perform an elective cosmetic procedure on an 18-month-old child. Sean urges Christian to meet with The Steves to find out what doctors they use so that those baby-injecting freaks can be put out of business, but when he meets them, he grows weary of their “lazy” managerial style and announces that from now on, he will be baby Jenna’s manager.

Yet more dick-sucking occurs when former Hearts & Scalpels star Aidan Stone returns with a script called “Deadly Tightrope: The Sean McNamara Story,” which he intends to produce, direct and star in if Sean will sell him the rights to his life story. This is dick-sucking for Sean, yes, but more so for Aidan, who desperately needs to stage a comeback after being fired from Hearts & Scalpels (and replaced with Sean) when he made a sex tape with underaged Eden Lord in his trailer. He needs this project. People keep replacing him with Ricky Schroeder.

“This is my Dances With Wolves, man!” – Aidan

Aidan has everything in place already: Morgan Fairchild wants to star as Colleen Rose and Lifetime wants to produce the script as a TV movie, but Sean is not happy with certain changes in the script. Though it’s hilarious to see Bradley Cooper in bed with Morgan Fairchild-as-Sharon Gless, Sean never slept with Colleen. Sean’s not a spy. And Colleen didn’t kill Christian (who in the movie, Aidan intended to cast as far less attractive than Sean, possibly a little pudgy and balding).

Sean: You killed Christian?

Aidan: I didn’t know what to do with his character anymore.


(Honestly, I think that last statement is the exact attitude the writers took when they killed off Olivia, a fact that still hasn’t been dealt with, despite the need to detail it in the 3-minute long recap at the top of this episode!)

(Husband Note: My best explanation? The fact that Portia de Rossi is now on ABC’s mid-season replacement Better Off Ted.)

In a final plot point for this episode, Sean asks Christian to let him take over the hiring of Liz’s replacement, fearing Christian will only pick someone who has big tits and, lo and behold, give blowjobs freely. Sean, however, ends up hiring Dr. Teddy Rowe (Katee “Starbuck” Sackhoff), a super-fine bad girl who rides Harleys, lives fast and plans to die young, but still finished first in her class at UCLA. Teddy (a name that calls to mind Colleen’s human bear stuffing, I think) doesn’t care much for rules and this carefree attitude resonates with Sean’s id, causing him to do some very self-gratifying acts . . . like taking a picture next to Manny Skerritt’s superdick, and potentially fucking over the entire practice in so doing.

I think there’s a part of Sean that can only love himself when women define the kind of man he should be. Just as Colleen, his freaky stalker-agent-nonlover, fed Sean’s considerable prickish ego by telling him he was God’s gift to television soap operas and plastic surgery, Teddy appeals to the part of Sean that wants to feel that special about himself all the time. She brings out the dick in him, that’s for sure.

After refusing Aidan’s offer, Aidan drops by to talk to the recently size-reduced Manny Skerritt and tells him that he saw Sean and Teddy take a photo of the anesthetized man’s dick. He suggests that Manny sue, and offers to hook him up with a good lawyer, if Manny can show him how to literally suck his own dick. (You know, just in case that vanity project doesn’t work out.)

Look, I'm just not that into you, okay? I'd rather suck my own dick, thanks.

Look, I'm just not that into you, okay? I'd rather suck my own dick, thanks.

Christian, fresh off several baby modeling rejections because of those “thin, villainous lips,” is almost ready to save baby Jenna’s already flagging career by plumping her baby pout to the size of Angelina Jolie’s, but just as he draws the needle toward his granddaughter’s face, he can’t bring himself to give her the injection. He walks out, but unfortunately leaves the needle in plain view of crazy-ass Kimber, who doesn’t hesitate for a second to stuff her baby’s lips full of that oh-so-natural collagen filler, thus reuniting her with The Steves and her “career,” which, let’s face it, will probably be over by the time she learns to talk. (Although, she’s a meth baby, so that could be a little bit.)

There really is something wrong with the world when your career as a baby model is over simply because your thin lips somehow detract from your allover cuteness. I mean, I was a former pageant kid, and even I am freaked out by a certain pageant-loving mom I saw on an episode of Wife Swap who puts her daughter, Baby Kayla, through manicures, pedicures and, yes, even hair bleaching just so her daughter will conform to standards of beauty established by pageant judges. The manicures and pedicures are weird, yes, but not harmful, unlike baby hair-bleaching, which I think is probably just as bad for your child as baby collagen injections. I guess we really do live in a world with no innocence, if self-fellating is necessary for babies, too.

Christian is completely incensed to hear about Manny’s lawsuit threat and he tries to fire Teddy, but she suggests that McNamara/Troy simply offer Manny an out-of-court payout to drop the suit and tells Christian that she deleted all the evidence from her digital camera. Had Aidan not intervened, there should have been no harm, no foul. This pisses off Christian, and he refuses to talk to Sean back at their shared apartment . . . until Matt bursts in and randomly stabs his biological dad with a sterile hypodermic needle. Matty accuses Christian of injecting baby Jenna with collagen, which he vehemently denies. The three McNamara/Troy men huddle around a conference call with Kimber, who is already reaping the benefits of being Baby Burburry’s mommy by spending her daughter’s hard-earned money. Kimber tells them that she gave Jenna the injections because Christian was too chicken to do it and that she’ll take the fall for it, saving the practice from any implications of misconduct. This conversation leads to a couple of choice lines from Matt:

“Kimber, alleycats who dump their litters in gutters make better mothers than you.”

And, to Christian:

“I’m sorry I stabbed you.”

Back at the office, Teddy goads Sean into taking Aidan’s $350K life-rights offer, convincing him that the money will give him the ability to move out of Christian’s apartment, get his own place and do a bunch of really fun things that he’s always wanted to do but never had the money to do. And then she totally puts the moves on him.

Aidan later turns up at McNamara/Troy with a broken neck, which he claims is because of a car accident he and Patrick Dempsey (Patty Demps, as he calls him) sustained from hitting an ice patch on Sunset, but Christian is sure stems from a different source:

“You broke your neck trying to sick your dick, didn’t you?”

He asks them to cover the scars he’ll have on his forehead when his neckbrace is removed, and, while they’re at it, to add a couple of extra inches to his dick . . . so he won’t fall off his bed and break his neck again the next time he tries to suck it.

In surgery, Sean decides to snap a photo of Aidan’s penis, which Linda describes as being so small that it’s “like two blueberries and a cocktail weenie,” just in case he should need to blackmail Aidan about the script to “Deadly Tightrope: The Sean McNamara Story,” which he plans to further rewrite during his recovery time. We know he plans to take out the entire Julia plot, which makes me wonder: will Nip/Tuck follow suit and continue to ignore further developments in Julia’s storyline? I don’t know how I’d feel about that.

After his foray into blackmail, Sean and Teddy ride off on her hog into the hills of Los Angeles, whereas Christian returns to help an incompetent Kimber even out the filler in his granddaughter’s lips, an act he doesn’t feel good about, which is beautifully underscored by some dissonant xylophone and piano music that served to make the whole baby Jenna storyline very creepy.

This was certainly not one of Nip/Tuck’s deepest or creepiest episodes, but it was in form as one of the funniest this season. I was into it, and I honestly doubt I’ll ever be able to use the phrase “dick-sucking” in an article so many times ever again.

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