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October 9, 2015

Brothers and Sisters: All in the Family

by Jen Creer, posted Apr 2nd 2007 6:41AM
Rebecca Walker(S01E17) Brothers and Sisters continues to give good episode, and good story. I particularly enjoyed how they used Nora's writing class and the story she was writing to give structure to the episode. She wrote a narrative about all of the crazy threads of her family and all of the story lines.

And so far, you know, I'm with her. I mean, I have seen all of this stuff, so it's not really that I need any kind of recap, but the writers took it a step further. Her classmates tore her story apart. They said it felt too disconnected, too disjointed. They said she should slow down, and that we needed more insight into how the characters are really feeling... particularly Nora.

Of course, Nora the Do-Gooder tries to fix the family tension that Rebecca's existence has created by inviting Rebecca over for dinner. Hmmm, maybe too soon for that? But we did get to the heart of some things, which was good.

Kevin and Chad are headed for some kind of a train wreck. I thought Chad's manager actually had some good points: His manager is going to have a job long after Chad's tanks if going to the movie premiere with Kevin doesn't work out. This is a complicated issue. Do I wish that we lived in a culture in which people's sexuality was acceptable? And that people wouldn't be in danger of losing their careers because of their sexuality? Yes, I do. But I think it is also a very personal decision to come out about your sexuality in the professional world. Lord knows, it doesn't help women to be heterosexual, to have partner and child obligations. And we still don't live in a completely safe place for gay people. Did Kevin make a cowardly decision? I don't know. Did Chad? No, I don't think so-- because he still seems too new to embracing his own sexuality, his bi-sexuality, and he hasn't been a successful actor for long enough yet. Would he survive if his career tanked? Sure. But are he and Kevin destined to live happily ever after if his career tanks? Probably not.

On the flip side of things, Kitty gets into it with McCallister for trying to push her on his kids too fast. She wonders out loud to him whether or not he might be trying to construct a family for his campaign for president. It's a cruel question, but a valid one. As a result. he gives her the cold shoulder. Oh, honey, that is not a good sign. I don't care how good looking he is. Or how talented he is. If you can't express yourself to him honestly without him freezing you out, you should probably turn around and RUN. I didn't like that side of Senator McCallister. Yeah, he has gotten as far as he has because he works fast, moves fast, accomplishes a lot fast. But Kitty was right when she said, "People fight." It doesn't have to be a relationship killer. What did you think of this? Do you think this means McCallister has a dark side, or am I reading too much into it? I really want to like his character, but I didn't like that reaction.

I was happy to see that Tom is finally addressing his insecurities about the fact that one of his brothers fathered his children. He wants to do DNA testing to find out which brother is the father (it's TV! One brother fathered each twin!). Julia, who doesn't have nearly enough to do on this show, wants him to accept the fact that HE is the father. I really really feel for the complexities of this situation. On the one hand, I think that Tom IS the father-- and that when he holds the babies and cares for them and raises them, he will know that. But in the meantime, how can you know that one of your siblings actually fathered YOUR children and not have some mixed feelings about that? Even Kevin acknowledges that if he found out that he was the contributor, he'd feel more obligated to the kids. It's a tricky situation. But all of this means that we will, of course, find out the paternity, and watch Tom painfully metamorphize into fatherhood. I am cringing already... but I can't turn away.

I don't have too much to say about Rebecca meeting the Walkers. They insulted her by insinuating that she might not actually be their sister, and yet tried to convince her that after 20 years, she could be a part of the family. Whew! Rebecca isn't stupid though: She tells Holly that Holly micromanaged things pretty well so that Rebecca would be insulated from the family life she could have known. I think that is right on the money. I think Holly knew that if Rebecca actually got to know the Walkers during childhood, that Holly might have lost out on some of the intimacy that she, as a single mother, had with her daughter. The more I find out about Holly, the more she makes me a little nervous. I think she is a pretty hardcore, cutthroat person. Nora said at the dinner, "This wasn't your fault. And it wasn't your mother's. It was his." Oh, ho ho-- I think Holly can share some of the blame.

But the best part of all is that Nora and her alter ego Dora finally start coming to terms with their rage at William. It is a horrible thing to be robbed of your ability to grieve one of the most important things in your life. I admit that I choked up at the end when Nora tossed William's wedding ring into the water and did the only thing she could do: Said goodbye. Simple... and terrible.

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Thank goodness this show isn't on NBC... or it would have been lost to us all a long time ago. I watch it before I watch DH.

April 05 2007 at 11:43 AM Report abuse rate up rate down Reply

Obviously the manpulations of Holly in the past have gained her and her daughter quite a large sum of money for their future ... you would think that this would be enough for Holly, yet she seems to feel that getting completely involved with the Walker;s business and their personal lives needs to be in her plans as well. Evil. I am just hoping that she gets what she deserves in the end.

April 02 2007 at 7:19 PM Report abuse rate up rate down Reply

I love this show more and more with each episode. It's wonderfully acted even if you sometimes feel like the story line might go too far. But they feel real to me because you know sometimes when you get back together with your siblings, you tend to revert back to that childish behavior from when you were 10 or 15 etc.

The end last night was great. Nora was right, William stole her right to grieve.

Kitty and McCalister is an interesting story line. Kitty is right to wonder why he is moving so fast and he should be wondering does she trust him. In real life these would be flags but we are talking tv, there has to be bumps in the road for it to be good television. So they will probably work this out to move on to more drama. :) To me, Kitty needed to figure out a better way to explain that he was making her uncomfortable by moving too fast. I just hope they don't turn her into Ally McBeal when it comes to relationships and lets this work for a while.

April 02 2007 at 5:53 PM Report abuse rate up rate down Reply

Watching Kevin pull out Rebecca's hair was one of the most outrageous and hilarious things I've ever seen on this show. All the kids (except for Justin) were just awful at the dinner, and I was completely engrossed by the whole thing. Brothers and Sisters is such an underrated show, and I hope that it gains more popularity as time goes on. Sally Field is amazing.

April 02 2007 at 1:31 PM Report abuse rate up rate down Reply

I have to say, I think the "adults" in this show are really pretty screwed up to treat this young woman so shabbily - as if she had anything to do with the crappy behavior of her mother and her father. I guess I just don't understand all the attitude about having this "new" sister - they are all acting like spoiled brats.
Kitty's statement about wondering if he is constructing a family for the public was a telling one in how she is viewing this relationship and obviously not trusting him. I don't like when people freeze you out, but I think he is the one that should think long and hard about this relationship - she doesn't trust him. This wasn't just a regular fight - it was a revelation as to her thoughts about whether he has motives for being with her. That would certainly raise my hackles and give me pause.

April 02 2007 at 8:39 AM Report abuse rate up rate down Reply

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