The five best “Nip/Tuck” season two scenes are the cream of a very large crop. No other season of “Nip/Tuck” had the dramatic appeal of season two. It debuted not only the best secondary characters of the entire series, but also the best storylines. While season three would grab higher ratings overall—helped by The Carver story thread begun a season earlier—there is no doubt that this glossy, over-the-top spectacle peaked in this season. Here are some of the reasons why:
- Christian loses Wilber. In this “Nip/Tuck” season two scene, episode five, Christian is forced by court order to give up Wilber to his biological father. After having cared for Wilber while Gina was pregnant as well as several months after his birth, Christian is understandably heartbroken and stricken with grief. This normally callous, narcissistic plastic surgeon finally feels true pain as he breaks down crying, declaring to Julia, “I feel dead inside. Nothing’s getting me back from this.”
- Sean learns the truth. In episode eight, “Nip/Tuck” features a season two scene that will live on as one of the most well-done and dramatic moments in the show. Racked by guilt, Julia finally confesses to Sean that Matt is Christian’s biological son as a result of a one night stand in college. The sequence of events that follows is both tragic and riveting: Sean chokes Julie before throwing her against the refrigerator and kicking her out of the house; he punches Christian repeatedly and knocks him to the ground and he visits a woman who appears to have mystical powers who plunges him into further despair by admitting that she is a fake. When he asks her for something to believe in, she digs the knife deeper with words that parallel Sean’s crumbling faith in his family and friends: “Don’t you get it? There is nothing to believe in anymore.”
- The Carver stalks Sean. Another classic season two scene, Sean is mixed up in the emerging storyline of The Carver serial killer. The Carver has been cutting up the faces of models while Sean and Christian have performed the plastic surgery to repair them. One night while Sean is showering, the audience is treated to The Carver’s doll-like mask appearing in the translucent glass of Sean’s shower door. Sean doesn’t see it, however, and unwittingly steps into the bathroom. The Carver strikes shortly thereafter, numbing Sean to the point of immobility and threatening to kill Sean if he continues working on his victims. The remainder of the season, Sean’s decision to continue working on the victims puts him in ever-increasing danger.
- Ava mourns Adrian. Ava Moore was portrayed as a brighter, more sophisticated female version of Christian. While Christian employs an overt and subtlety-free manipulation of those around him, Ava plants suggestions in people’s minds and works them like chess pieces without their conscious knowledge. She’s as cold-hearted as they come, which lends greater emotional depth to the “Nip/Tuck” season two scene where her son, Adrian, commits suicide in front of her. This master persuader is reduced to blubbering tears as she hugs the lifeless, bloody body of her son. Throughout most of season two, no one could be sure what Ava’s emotions were at any one point. Coming face-to-face with the death of her son, complete with the knowledge that she is responsible, she cracks like a cistern and becomes human for the first time.
- The season finale. The Carver warned Sean in the season 2 scene above that he would kill him if he continued treating his victims. After much struggle and debate, Sean chose to press forward with his pro bono surgeries. In the season two finale of “Nip/Tuck”, we see Sean unlock his front door before laying down to sleep, a gun in his hand, ready to kill The Carver should he make good on his promise. We see the Carver walk into a bedroom, knife at the ready. Then we cut back to… Christian! The Carver numbs Christian before bringing his knife to bear on Sean’s partner. The season ends here, to be concluded at the start of season three, with Christian’s fate hanging in the balance.