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October 13, 2015

Brothers and Sisters: Domestic Issues

by Jen Creer, posted Oct 29th 2007 9:39AM
Sarah Walker and Cooper Whedon(S02E05) "That shrimp smells rancid."-- Kitty Walker

Oooh, this was a painful episode to watch. In a good way. The writing was absolutely spot on for this episode, and it was just beautifully played. Some things happened that I expected and some things that I didn't, which I will get into after the jump. It was the obligatory Halloween episode, but nicely downplayed also. I loved the fact that the minute Nora's back was turned, Justin and Rebecca dove into the candy bowl like a couple of little kids. It was a good juxtaposition to pair Robert's debate with Halloween instead of focusing on the Walkers engaging in a big costume party, as might have happened with this crazy bunch.

It's nice to see Tommy being given a stronger storyline, even if it's predictable and the very thing that I dreaded is actually happening. I see now that my wishful thinking from last week about the explanation for Tommy and Lena's outfits The Day After was completely futile: They are indeed having an affair.

It's pretty funny that Holly insists she wrote this book, when she keeps telling them to end it. She of all people should know that expecting that to happen is pretty unrealistic. It's harsh, but also interesting, to watch Tommy, who went into business with Holly, following in his father's footsteps, and I hope they bring that out more.

The right thing for Tommy and Holly to do would have been to fire Lena with a really really nice severance package, though that could have probably led to a sexual harassment lawsuit. The decent thing for Lena to do would be to quit. It's unconscionable for Tommy to continue working with her if he intends to save his marriage, but that seems to be up in the air right now. But who really believes that she called everyone to pick her up before she called Tommy? Ever heard of a cab? She's holding on tight with both arms. Kissing him and then apologizing: has she been taking passive/aggressive lessons from Nora, Holly and Rebecca?

At least Tommy knows he's being a cliche, right?

Kitty and Sarah WalkerRaise your hands if you knew Kitty was pregnant as soon as she said the shrimp smelled bad? As for what I was surprised about, I was actually surprised that Kitty told anyone she was pregnant. I wondered if she might have an abortion and not tell anyone, in order to protect Robert's campaign. I know Kitty is a Republican, but Robert's debate opponent brought up the fact that she is pro-choice.

However, if Robert had ever found out about it, being pro-life and the father, he probably would have never forgiven her. They are engaged, but I still thought, even after Robert found out, that they might consider abortion. That would have been a very risky plot to pursue, because if anyone had ever found out, Robert's campaign would have been tanked. As for their decision to have the baby, yay them. It makes more sense for the characters to have the baby, given their politics and the fact that they are engaged. I don't have strong feelings about it one way or another. I was speculating because of potential plot lines. Abortions have already happened on television, so that wouldn't necessarily have been a pioneering area to explore.

What didn't surprise me, but broke my heart, was the fact that Sarah temporarily lost primary custody of the kids to Joe. I didn't necessarily expect him to go for primary custody, but in retrospect, it doesn't surprise me. He was a stay-at-home dad. And yes, I think in some ways Sarah was within her rights to feel that she was being punished for decisions they made mutually, decisions they made in the best interests of their children. It was a turnabout of the traditional roles, and of the idea that mother should have custody no matter what. Joe was also correct, I think, when he told her that this wasn't about her, but it was about what was best for the children. It was incredibly lame for him to use the forgotten permission slip and the ride to school against her, but obviously that wasn't the only card up his sleeve. As Kevin said, it's not over yet. This was a temporary order.

I think you can make arguments for both cases: Is it more disruptive to the children to leave their familiar home? Or is it more comforting to the children to be with their father, with whom they have spent so much time? What do you think? Should Joe be awarded full custody permanently?

The scene in which Sarah packed Paige and Cooper's things and then cheerfully told them goodbye was heartbreaking, and exactly perfect. She handled it beautifully, and then sat heavily down on the floor and quietly collapsed into tears with Nora there to support her. Nora, for once, was quietly angry with Joe, but not melodramatic or over the top. She was exactly everything Sarah and the kids needed her to be at that moment. It was a beautiful scene.

Honestly, this was a lovely, elegant episode. There wasn't a wrong turn in it. I may not be thrilled with Tommy's storyline, but this episode hit all the high notes.

Who do you think custody should be awarded to?
Joe27 (7.4%)
Sarah61 (16.6%)
They should have joint custody.279 (76.0%)

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I understand Joe's logic for asking for the Kids, but does anyone remember in season 1 when Sarah figures out that Gabbe took their Vodka. Where was Joe when that happened, if it wasn't for Sarah no one would have known. I think there is a much stronger case for joint costody of the kids. And the Halloween scene with Sarah and Paige, spoke novels for her side of the costody battle.

October 31 2007 at 10:44 PM Report abuse rate up rate down Reply

Just started on B&S this year. I'm loving the Joe/Sarah stuff last night. It broke my heart. Especially since my husband is a stay at home dad. I'm surprised that Joe didn't ask for the house, if he wanted the kids. I cried right along with Sarah after the kids left. I can't imagine my kids living anywhere else than with me. What a gut wrenching scene!

October 29 2007 at 9:34 PM Report abuse rate up rate down Reply

When Nora showed up at Sarah's door I teared up. Those final scenes were just perfect and a testimony to the amazing writing and acting on this show.

October 29 2007 at 9:04 PM Report abuse rate up rate down Reply

I think that was Patty Griffin Heavenly Day.

October 29 2007 at 6:21 PM Report abuse rate up rate down Reply

"Abortions have already happened on television, so that wouldn't necessarily have been a pioneering area to explore."

Has there been one on network television since "Maude"?

October 29 2007 at 4:46 PM Report abuse rate up rate down Reply
Mark Rabinowitz

Am I the only one who was a little surprised that Robert, the most liberal TV portrayal of a republican in years, was pro-life? To be honest, I doubt a pro-life senator could get elected in California.

October 29 2007 at 3:56 PM Report abuse rate up rate down Reply

Joe should have custody of the kids.
The days are gone where a women automatically gets custody of the kids.
He cheated on HER not the kids.
If her was the primary child care giver before the divorce it is better for the kids to be with him.
There is no point for the kids to come back to a familiar home everyday if no one is there.

October 29 2007 at 1:26 PM Report abuse rate up rate down Reply

From episode 1, I absolutely LOVE THIS SHOW! I don't know if this season is better, but I know it is right on par with Season 1. This was an excellent episode. It was so well done. I cried when my fav, Sarah, had to give up her kids (temporarily). Joe is such a creep, but kind of loveable and dependable. The kids are perfectly cast and NORA is amazing. I want to move in with them.

Just like FRIENDS, everyone wanted friends like Rachel, Mon and the crew. I want to be in Nora's family....maybe a neighbor.

October 29 2007 at 1:25 PM Report abuse rate up rate down Reply

And by the way....

Kevin (nor Sarah) never mentions the "possible affair" to the judge or the reason why they seperated in the first place. He may not be a divorce lawyer, but come on!

The judge may still not have moved the children until the custody / divorce case goes to court, but did they not think that this news might would have made a difference to the judge!

Where did Kevin go to law school?

October 29 2007 at 1:24 PM Report abuse rate up rate down Reply

I also thought a quickie wedding was the solution. Actually at the end when Kitty & Robert walk into the room with his campaign people and said they had an announcement, well I thought it was that they had gotten married (along with the pregnancy).

If questioned they could always say they married because they could not work out a time period for a huge wedding while running for president. She has to only be a short time pregnant, thus a quick wedding then "as she starts to show" they could announce the pregnancy and hardly anyone would question it and it they did they could say they did not know until after they got married.

Surely a team of "experts" that they have advising presidental candidates someone would think of that idea?

And what about Roberts other kids? They never seem to mention them and does he ever see them anymore?

I also see Kitty perhaps losing the baby? I don't think the show needs another baby (Tommy just had one). Or perhaps Robert has to withdraw from the race because of this issue?

As for Sarah -- very touching ending with Nora. The mistake was not hiring a divorce lawyer to start with which Kevin advised her do all along. Obviously Joe had this planned for awhile now, and her mistake was expecting an amicable divorce.

I think there is more to Lena! I don't see her just excepting a break up down the road. Lawsuit? Fatal attraction? Something! She is Rebecca's friend so maybe she will enlighten us down the road, but I get the feeling she is more than meets the eye.

Kevin! Come one family where is the watchful eyes on a ex-addict this week?

And lastly, does anyone besides me keep wondering why anyone in this family would tell another family member a secret anymore? Its obvious none of them can keep a secret so why do they still tell their "secret" and wonder why it got spread.

October 29 2007 at 1:19 PM Report abuse rate up rate down Reply

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