I love this show wildly. Botched operations, lesbian cheerleaders, pathetic surgery addicts, rampant craziness. Julian McMahon is amazing and I'm thrilled he's finally got a role in which he can prove himself. All the other actors are great too, but he just keeps twisting further into his character week by week, helped along by generous writing--he gets to have his cake and eat it too: be a prick in all the best ways, and demonstrate decency in all the most sympathetic ways. But he saves it all by investing Christian with no real smugness. He almost never sneers, and when he does it's usually very calculated. When he has the opportunity to be smug, he chooses instead to underplay--shows vulnerability or frustration or simple indifference to his favored circumstances. The way Christian handles Sean's mistake with Mrs. Grubman is rather amazing--you'd think he'd be up in arms, defensive, pushing Sean to own up to his actions, but his mind is entirely focused on how to solve the problem. I think they both recognize that it's in their best interests if she thinks Christian is to blame, but it's fascinating how little they seem to need to talk about that, how much of a non-issue it is. So Christian doesn't throw this back in Sean's face, and he doesn't strut around for Grubman herself once she displays her interest.
In general, McMahon often tones down antagonistic vibes just when other actors might start chewing the scenerey, and brings a professionalism to Christian rather than taking the low ground (good direction and writing might also be driving that). When Grubman plays her final hand of blackmail to bag a free ride in perpetuity, Christian acknowledges defeat with good grace (as does Sean) and doesn't indulge resentment; the kindness he'd shown her the previous night didn't sour into morning-after mocking or contempt. It's also interesting that he got along with the last psychologist when Sean didn't, and that he's so accomodating with Liz. Christian comes across as one of those guys who's confident enough about himself to actually accept and get along with a wide variety of people--he's the one who speaks Spanish, to better fit the culture he finds himself in--but more than that, he knows how to work with people. Basically he picks up wherever Sean leaves off and vice versa; their partnership is fraught, but also complementary, and cool to watch in action.
It's kind of strange--I keep expecting Christian to be far more arrogant. Instead, he's all about negotiation and compromise and has a willingness to put himself out there (and, you know, *put out*).
I'm drooling and not really saying much about the other elements of the episode, I notice. Too late for me to achieve more complex thoughts.
Oh, by the way, did we all see that tummy tuck? Never. Ever. Ever. Will I have plastic surgery.