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''Nip/Tuck'': The Morning After

By RD Heldenfels Published: December 21, 2005

I watched part of the season finale of ''Nip/Tuck'' on Tuesday night but saved most of it for the morning. And was reasonably glad I did so, given the grisly business going on in the episode. Not the sort of thing for a peaceful sleep.

I was intrigued when Liz -- my upset special -- was arrested as the Carver but suspected she was a dead end. Why? It was too early in the episode. You can figure out a lot about TV shows just by watching the clock, and this was a case where the big surprise seemed to come too soon to be the REAL big surprise.

Quentin, I'm sure, was a disappointing Carver to many viewers since he had seemed like such a likely candidate. The Kit twist was a way of giving it a little oomph, but the ending was too ''Silence of the Lambs.'' In fact, there were a number of horror-movie references in the show, like the way Julia's dream echoed ''Rosemary's Baby.'' Too bad ''Nip/Tuck'' didn't measure up. There was so ... much ... talking! We kept being dragged through explication that felt far too often like a way of padding the story out to two hours. And in a show that is carefree about defying plausibility, Quentin's faked death was even more so.

Still, I was pleased that I had pointed out to people yesterday that identifying the Carver is not the same as getting rid of the Carver. How's this for a future plot? Quentin and Kit meet Ava in Europe...

As for Matt's storyline, I've already said how displeased I was that little-Nazi girlfriend went crazy, cutting short a storyline that had potential, so adding an insane dad on top of it was just sour icing on a fallen cake.

Plenty of cliffhangers though, and possibilities of further dramatic excess.

I'm adding this last bit a little later than the rest. It's something I meant to add but didn't. Which is, that one thing I do like about ''Nip/Tuck'' is that it likes to swing for the fences. It wants to have those scenes that cause people's jaws to drop, that keep people talking the next day. As I have said before, I think it does rather often fail to carry through on what it sets up. And there are times when its big swing turns out to be a big whiff. But I want shows to be unafraid, to not worry about ''going too far,'' to think that there's new ground out there, that audiences can still be dazzled by story and style and acting. If nothing else (and many times, there really is nothing else), ''Nip/Tuck'' has that kind of ambition.

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