Wednesday, December 12, 2007

Nip/Tuck's Nine Circles of Hell

Legend has it that when Spanish explorer Juan Ponce de Leon set out for the famed Fountain of Youth, he was 40 years old and searching to find a cure for his sexual impotence. On this Nip/Tuck, Sean is making a similar journey at age 42, but instead of sailing for Bimini, Sean is diving into that other legendary utopia, Eden (AnnaLynne McCord). Only this one isn't a garden -- in fact it's evil and barely legal.

Another route to the Garden of Eden lies in Dante's The Divine Comedy, where first you have to go through Dante's Inferno, and his outlined nine circles of hell. Aidan with his 'Dante's Infernal party' -- backed by Joan Jett's "Do You Want To Touch Me?" -- serves as a sort of Virgil for Sean's Dante as he shows him through his own version of hell, Hollywood style. Meanwhile the circles of hell seem represented here, if out of order.

The First Circle is the virtuous pagans, which where I party out most of the time, so let's skip it. Second Circle is those overcome by lust -- Sean takes this one on in the opening scene with Eden, done to Lil' Mama's "Lip Gloss." Third Circle is glutton, which could be Dr. Joshua Lee's daughter Wendy, why else make her fat and allude to it a couple times? Fourth Circle is concern for material goods, which is beautifully represented by the scenes of Kimber shoplifting to Jenny Lewis' "Rabbit Fur Coat." Fifth Circle is sloth, and I'm pinning that on Matt in his dealing with Kimber (and maybe Olivia cowering in the face of their burglar).

Now we descend to the lower part of hell, where the Sixth Circle has heretics trapped in a burning tomb. Seeing Matt lit on fire from his botched Meth cooking attempt fits perfectly here, even more so that it's set to Bonnie Tyler's "Total Eclipse of the Heart." The Seventh Circle houses the violent, and Julia's kidnapper fits in here, especially when you notice the song playing on the radio -- Roy Acuff's "A Sinner's Death (I'm Dying)." The Eighth circle is the fraudulent, and who better to represent that then Eden herself, and "The Moneymaker" by Rilo Kiley (with Jenny Lewis again) makes for a nice theme song for her ("...she wants to overtake you / you know you wanna make her").

Finally we've got the Ninth Circle, and that is reserved for those who betray a special relationship. Christian and Julia fit the bill here, betraying both Sean and Olivia. It remains to be seen if N/T will take us through the Seven Terraces of Purgatory and onward through the Nine Spheres of Heaven -- but you know I'll be looking.

Playlist: Nip/Tuck - Ep507
1. "Lip Gloss" - Lil Mama - Sean and Eden have sex
2. "A Sinner's Death (I'm Dying)" - Roy Acuff - Olivia and Julia are robbed and then carjacked
3. "Not A Pretty Girl" - Ani DiFranco - Christian performs ‘freshening’ surgery on Kimber
4. "Espiritu" - Palmero Nuevo - Sean and Aidan visit with Aidan’s new-age doctor
5. "Rabbit Fur Coat" - Jenny Lewis and the Watson Twins - Kimber makes herself up, shoplifts a fur coat, meets with Ram Peters
6. "Do You Wanna Touch Me?" - Joan Jett & The Blackhearts - Sean spots Eden at Aidan's 'Dante’s Infernal' party
7. "The Moneymaker" - Rilo Kiley - Sean plays hard to get with Eden
8. "Total Eclipse Of The Heart" - Bonnie Tyler - Matt tries to cook meth, sets apartment and himself on fire, jumps in hotel pool
Compiled by Avalon at

Previously: Reality Bites (Episode 5.06)

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