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November 23, 2014

Brothers and Sisters: The Missionary Imposition

by Jen Creer, posted Feb 11th 2008 1:00AM
Brothers and Sisters cast
(S02E11) "You're the translator?" Sarah Walker to Graham Finch

This episode was, at its heart, about trust: How do you figure out whether or not you can trust people? And once you have broken someone's trust, how do you (and should you) get it back? Lena has been at the heart of broken trust issues for awhile now, and she has sort of become the symbol of betrayal on the show. But Rebecca, Justin, and Sarah have all had their issues with trust as well--and everyone (except Sarah, really) has certainly been guilty of giving (betrayal) just as good as they get.

Sarah

Sarah is going to have to learn how to trust a man again after a series of betrayals from Joe. He kissed Rebecca, got back together with his ex-wife, and went after full custody of their kids. That is pretty hard to bounce back from. Graham Finch is pushing for her to take some pretty strong risks with Ojai Foods, and Sarah is resisting. Saul calls this her stubborn streak. And that is probably a big part of her reasoning. But for Sarah, Ojai is personal. It's not just business. She doesn't feel comfortable trusting the company with someone she doesn't know yet.

Graham earns some trust by faithfully translating for her at their meeting. However, he loses some points (at least in my book) by immediately making plans with Yvonne after Sarah has told him their fun night in San Francisco is off the table. Does he really need to run out and make sex plans with someone else just because Sarah was coy? On the other hand, she never believes him when he tells her he hasn't done something, so his remark about the alarm clock could have been sarcastic. He is definitely playing games though, and I don't really trust him either. I like him--I just don't trust him.

Tommy/Lena

This was an episode in which everybody did the right thing to such an extent that it scares me. It was like the calm before the storm. Tommy and Julia bickered with each other about details concerning each other's infidelity, and ultimately agreed to go to counseling. Tommy was right to turn away from Lena, despite noting that it was easier to talk to her than to Julia. But Lena was also right (finally) to quit. Even though she needed the paycheck, she needs her dignity more.

I went from really despising Lena to kind of liking her by the end of this episode. I didn't really think Holly's speech to Lena played very well, though. Holly hasn't exactly been bosom buddies with Lena, nor particularly friendly to her, so just to open up to her about 20 years with William and to tell Lena to get something for herself seemed to really cross some lines. I don't think that the storyline really led up to that, but maybe it did and the continuity got lost with so many weeks between episodes.

Justin

When Tommy walked in to talk to Justin, who was watching television, I felt all the tension in that room. That felt like every awkward moment I have ever had with my sibling. I was glad to see them working things out-- on one hand, it would have been nice for them to be able to do it earlier. I wish everything weren't so contingent on Lena being out of the picture, but the fact that it does sort of relegates her to a symbol or a metaphor for betrayal-- once she leaves her job and breaks up with Tommy, the healing can begin.

I really liked Justin's AA meeting. I love the fact that this show is giving soldiers a voice in this way. I just found it very moving. I would like to see more of those meetings, and perhaps Justin talking about his own experiences.

Nora

The plot summaries leading up to this episode suggest that there is going to be something big and important between Nora and Isaac. But I didn't get that from this episode at all. I wish Nora and Isaac had more chemistry, but Nora hasn't really had much chemistry with anybody but her former creative writing professor. The dinner only seemed to reveal that Nora doesn't really have a life apart from her children, as much as Isaac might be trying to draw her out.

Kevin

I saved Kevin for last because I was so darn proud of him! He did absolutely the right thing (finally) by Scotty when he went and sat in the car and told Scotty how proud he was of him when Scotty walked in with the crabs. And good for Scotty for not only asserting himself into the tea party, but also for telling Kevin he doesn't want Kevin to see Jason any more. Kevin and Jason might have unresolved issues and feelings, but you know what? Who doesn't with some person or other from their dating past. Timing is important. Scotty has been there for Kevin all along, and through thick and thin. He really wants to be with Kevin. Do I think Jason won't complicate things for them in the future? No, I am not that naive. But Scotty deserves to be treated well, and for once, Kevin did the right thing where Scotty was concerned.

This episode was so shucky darn nice. It was almost sickening, wasn't it? That's why I think it's just the calm before the storm that will hopefully come next week. Rumor has it that the writers will be back to work on Wednesday-- just in time!

Do you want to see Kevin with:
Scotty155 (62.8%)
Jason67 (27.1%)
Somebody new25 (10.1%)

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Noelle Schoop

As hard as it is when new characters are introduced, I think this is the only way to propel the character's stories forward. For example, where would Kitty be if Rob Lowe hadn't come along? I believe the story line is getting very interesting-love the relationship and dialogue between Sara and Kevin. Kitty's banter with everyone is incredible. Love to look at Baltazar Getty, but not sure if his acting chops hold up to the rest of the cast or if his story line just hasn't been that interesting to date. Rebecca was a great addition to the Walker clan although her story line looks to be headdedin the direction that she may not be a Walker after all! She has a little too much in common with her Mom's old boyfriend!!! Stay tuned...

February 18 2008 at 9:58 PM Report abuse rate up rate down Reply
Jimmy

I always enjoy this series and have rarely been disappointed, but I am a little annoyed that a great actor like Ron Rifkin is getting short shrift in this series. After starting the whole Saul-is-probably-gay storyline it's just been dropped and he's barely a part of this family anymore. The same goes for Emily van Camp. Ever since the family accepted Rebecca she's had absolutely nothing to do other than being Justin's babysitter. Both of these actors deserve better than what they've been given lately.

February 11 2008 at 1:47 PM Report abuse rate up rate down Reply
1 reply to Jimmy's comment
jensenmr

I agree, Jimmy. I was thinking this episode showed how some shows can suffer from too many characters. Now, I love ensemble shows, and B&S usually does a great job at tying everything together, but this week we got less Kitty, very little Saul (I agree Ron Rifkin deserves better), and absolutely no Robert (and I know I'm not the only one who watches primarily to ogle Rob Lowe).

At the same time, we had more exposure to more or less new characters--Isaac, Jason, Scotty, Graham, Lena. I don't think they're bad, and I'm a big Steven Weber fan, but sometimes I wish that the show would stick to the core rather than introducing new characters.

February 11 2008 at 9:47 PM Report abuse rate up rate down Reply
nattyff

Love scotty!!! he really makes me feel for him.

February 11 2008 at 1:39 PM Report abuse rate up rate down Reply
ladyangst

Scotty both ASserted himself, and INserted himself into the tea party, but one can't assert oneself into anything. Assert is a transitive verb--i.e., it takes a direct object.

February 11 2008 at 11:52 AM Report abuse rate up rate down Reply
Ari

I LOVE Nora and Issac! I think they have chemistry and am only concerned about the fact I don't think Danny Glover would stay on the show long enough to do them justice.

As for the rest I LOVE B&S! I was glad Kevin did right by Scottie. I am glad to see Rebecca back in the Walker home. I like Sarah and Graham and intrigued with that. I do not like Tommy because he's a hypocrite and a jerk and I hope he straightens up!

February 11 2008 at 11:23 AM Report abuse rate up rate down Reply
Ryan

Good review, but I disagree about Nora's lack of chemistry with Isaac. They have tons and I love watching their relationship play out.

As for Kevin's decision to pick Scotty over Jason, I also thought he did the best thing. Of course I'm being selfish because I want Jason *and* Scotty to stay on the show and with Jason as Robert's brother, he has other connections to keep him on the show as opposed to Scotty who's only real connection is Kevin.

I already see a Scotty/Jason thing happening next season. Come on now.

Very little of Kitty in the episode. But it makes sense since the bulk of the episode really had to do with ALL the tension and the drama of the Rebecca-Justin-Lena-Tommy-Julia relationships. And though it did seem hurried, I'm glad they're mostly patched up. I doubt it's the very last we'll see of Lena (or is it?).

February 11 2008 at 1:29 AM Report abuse rate up rate down Reply

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