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Title: Nip/Tuck (Season 3 - 2005)
Post by: Chiprocks1 on June 20, 2014, 09:23:51 pm
Nip/Tuck (Season 3 - 2005)



Season 3 of Nip/Tuck can also be referred to as The Carver Season. Instead of starting at the beginning of the season and working my way to the end, I'm just gonna jump right into the fun stuff that made up The Carver story line. Actually, I'm gonna start at the very end with the Season Finale episode and work backwards. I'm gonna take it a step further and review this season as if I had never seen it before.

For starters, the series thus far delivered another stand out Season Finale to go along with the first two. It's actually the best so far in completely throwing off the viewer with something they were not expecting with the amount of twist that keeps coming at us fast and furious. Ruling out Quentin as the Carver early on in the episode was a great misdirection because when he finally reveals himself as such, it's totally by surprise. Also, dragging Liz into interrogation was another great misdirection as well, because even though we knew she wasn't the Carver, there is still a hint of doubt that does make you think twice about motives that can easily be hers.

The ultimate twist of all twist is revealing that Kit (Rhona Mitra) is actually Quentin's sister and that she is actually part of all his dirty deeds. This was a great way to end the season because it all but guarantees you that you're gonna come back for the next season. Okay, this was how I felt the first time I saw Season 3. I have since seen it maybe 3-4 times. In the following years that I watched it again, it does take on a whole new perspective in how I watched it. The mystery is gone and I can't ever go back to trying to 'crack' the case before they give me all the answers. I miss that. At the conclusion of that first go-around, I would have easily given this season 5 Stars. But since then, including this time around, I'd give it 4 Stars out of 5. It doesn't help that Matt's story came roaring out of the gate for the first few episodes and then pretty much disappears until the end.

It's not until they bring on Brittany Snow as Matt's new girlfriend does it start to ramp up again. The middle of the season does seem to slow down a bit. It still gives us some great episodes, but as a whole it does feel slightly uneven because of Matt's story line to bookend the season. But with Snow on board, she does a great job of being a vengeful, delusional racist. Why was she great? Because her portrayal of Ariel as one of the most ignorant characters is pretty high on the list of ignorant characters.

A lot of memorable episodes this season for sure. Rhea (Fake Carver Victim) being awake during her operation. I've seen this done once before during the episode of Alfred  H i t c h c o c k  Presents where a guy was laying on a gurney paralyzed and he is scream in his minds eye to stop the guy that is about to cut him open with a electric saw and only a tear that forms in his eye saves him. The 'Leg' episode was particularly good for bringing in some heavy hitters with Bob Gunton, Anne Heche, Thomas Calabro and Joan Rivers. I particulary liked that Thomas was STILL playing a doctor. If you don't know his history, he is most famous for playing one on Melrose Place.

I'm glad they finally gave Julia something to do another than being a neglected housewife. You can only run that for so long before you start rehashing the same things over and over. By having her start her own business, it also gave both Liz and Gina something to do as well. The Plane Crash episode was really good for expanding the character of Julia even more, especially her relationship with her mother as played by Vanessa Redgrave. There is one scene that I always look forward to when watching the episode and that's when Sean, having just been asked to cut out usable skin from a victim of the plane crash says "You want me to skin her?" as he is talking to Mitch Pileggi's character. Come on, this was intentional as he is most famous for playing Walter Skinner on the X-Files. Also, the episode was directed by David Nutter who got his acclaim from the same series.

To finish off, I liked how Matt's story played out at the end and how he was able to find redemption for himself by befriending Cherry (Willam Belli). The entire scene between him and Matt was definitely a nod to Tarantino. I'm sure he would have approved of everything that takes place, right down to when Cherry rises up behind the racist father and clubs him with the shovel. As always, another exceptional season when it comes to music and selecting the perfect songs to underscore key scenes. Definitely worth a Rent.
Title: Re: Nip/Tuck (Season 3 - 2005)
Post by: Chiprocks1 on June 20, 2014, 09:25:23 pm
Nip/Tuck (Season 3) DVD Screencaps

Coming soon....
Title: Re: Nip/Tuck (Season 3 - 2005)
Post by: Neumatic on June 20, 2014, 09:55:44 pm
The way the Carver storyline wrapped up made me realize that the show is all about personal stories, and people wanting to make their exteriors match the stories they tell themselves.  You really notice it with Kimber's torture: all her plastic surgery tells the story of her and Troy, and it's ripped out to undo that, to taint the story so that she can't tell it again without great pain.

Brittany Snow: she burns her face trying to bleach it to make herself more white, because she finds out she has African lineage, despite what she's believed her whole life.  Joan Rivers wants to undo all her plastic surgery because she doesn't want to tell that story to her grandson.  The down syndrome patient has his nose hanged so that everyone else can see his story: that he's part of this family.

I realized this, then when I started season four, one of the first things that happens is we see Annie rehearsing a school play, Puss In Boots, a story about a cat who pretends that his master is a rich nobleman so that he can be accepted into high society.  it's a story about changing your personal story.  It's a very deliberate choice.
Title: Re: Nip/Tuck (Season 3 - 2005)
Post by: Chiprocks1 on June 20, 2014, 10:22:07 pm
I think one of the great things that Nip/Tuck does really well is basically telling the same story (plot point) in each episode from two different perspectives, juxtaposed against one another.
Title: Re: Nip/Tuck (Season 3 - 2005)
Post by: Neumatic on June 20, 2014, 10:29:57 pm
Absolutely.  It's probably true of a lot of medical dramas, the nature of the case or the patient reflects the personal life.

I was dissecting the episode format to teach myself how to write an hourlong (and I have an idea that's sort of in the Nip/Tuck vein) and I could really see the interplay at work.  There's three threads in each episode to me: the WORK (surgery), the PERSONAL, and THE FLING.  And there's sort of an inversion of the detective/lawyer story: the surgery is usually at the start of the episode, while the trial in a law show happens near the end.
Title: Re: Nip/Tuck (Season 3 - 2005)
Post by: Chiprocks1 on June 20, 2014, 10:34:44 pm
So Neumatic, we gotta talk about the Carver. When I first planted the seed in getting you to watch it, one of the things that was on my mind when doing so was how you would react to watching Season 3 play out and whether or not you would figure it out before the reveal. So, I want to hear your thoughts on it. How you felt about the misdirection's, the twist, the ending. EVERYTHING! I've had some long discussions with a few friends over the years about this season. Time to add another to the mix.
Title: Re: Nip/Tuck (Season 3 - 2005)
Post by: Neumatic on June 20, 2014, 10:50:23 pm
I definitely had a suspicion that it might have been Kit (and btw, that ending with her face cut... god that was wonderfully creepy) but I don't know if I suspected Quentin until the last few episodes.  I like that they intro'd him way early on instead of just when the Carver was introduced, that helped with the misdirection.

Part of me thought it could have been the girl that Matty hit with the car, that might have made sense: this girl who was raised Christian Scientist who gets medical treatment and starts questioning everything... Matt never really got any comeuppence for that yet, so that definitely was in my head.

Honestly though, given the sheer number of awesome guest stars that were on the show, I didn't try to guess too much, I was expecting that they would have found an amazing, unexpected actor to be the Carver in the final reveal.  I thought it was going to be someone new, a shadow from their past.
Title: Re: Nip/Tuck (Season 3 - 2005)
Post by: Chiprocks1 on June 20, 2014, 10:55:39 pm
Introducing Quentin at the tail end of Season 2 was great in solidifying the misdirection. They brought him on for one episode, sewed up Sean and then sent him packing. With that kind of maneuver, the character comes off as a 'one-off' and doesn't draw any attention to itself. So when he shows up this season, the viewer reaction is more "hey, that's the same character that "helped" out last season". I remember the first time watching it all play out, I was DETERMINED to beat the writers before they clued me in. But with all the twist and turns, I could NEVER get a leg up on them. Ack!!!!
Title: Re: Nip/Tuck (Season 3 - 2005)
Post by: Neumatic on June 20, 2014, 11:08:08 pm
I don't try to out-think the writers anymore, I just want to see what they're doing and learn from it.
Title: Re: Nip/Tuck (Season 3 - 2005)
Post by: Chiprocks1 on June 21, 2014, 07:26:14 pm
I can't help it. It's the writer in me that says if I can beat them at their own game, then I can write just as good if not better.
Title: Re: Nip/Tuck (Season 3 - 2005)
Post by: Neumatic on June 21, 2014, 07:36:51 pm
But the writer in me says "learn, learn."  I usually only start trying to "beat the writers" when I'm horribly bored or annoyed.  And Nip/Tuck hasn't bored me at all.  I can't even think of a clunker episode.

The show's a real twist the knife show, they make everything as bad as possible and it's awesome, I wanna know how they do that without straining disbelief, you know?  The new boss isn't just a former escort, she's an organ thief!  The mom doesn't just have a rebound, she goes lesbian.  And her step-daughter doesn't just hate her, she poisons her CONTINUOUSLY!  It's nuts but somehow it works.