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October 26, 2014

Brothers and Sisters: Separation Anxiety

by Jen Creer, posted Apr 21st 2008 9:20AM
brothers and sisters 042008(S02E15) "I'm leaving to get away from all of you!" - Nora Walker to her darling children, about moving to Washington D.C. with Isaac.

Sometimes what I actually want to review is the scenes for next week's show, because it seems more interesting than the one I just watched. However, I know that many of you deliberately do not watch those clips, so we shall say no more on the subject. I am glad the Walkers are back, and I like how they have handled the time off due to the strike: they simply said, "Three months later," and picked up with events then.

Before that jump, though, we learned some important things: That Graham and Sarah are still dating, that Tommy and Julia are still happily together, and that Senator Robert McCallister loses the Republican Party's nomination for the Presidency, so Robert returns to the Senate.

Fast forward three months

Kitty and Robert
are trying to conceive a baby. Robert, despite having mentioned before in the show that he doesn't want more children, is supporting Kitty by giving her hormone shots daily so her eggs can be harvested. Apparently, they have been trying to conceive, because Kitty doesn't want to be disappointed again. I wonder if it gives him kind of a secret thrill to jab her every morning when she is kind of dragging him into this, but that's not very nice, is it? Robert admits to Isaac that being in the Senate no longer feels like enough. He doesn't think he could ask Kitty to endure another campaign with him, but he misses it. Hmmm, smells like foreshadowing, doesn't it?

Graham and Sarah are still hot and heavy. Tommy points out to Sarah that, hey, mixing business with pleasure isn't cool and she tells the pot to cool his black heels. What she forgot, though, was that ultimately Tommy's relationship fell apart, and he almost lost a lot both professionally and personally. She is making bad business decisions because she is engulfed with Graham. She doesn't want to approve a deal with China, but making Saul, who wants the deal, be her fall guy is just gauche.

I was so irritated with this storyline, because it undermines the smart businesswoman Sarah has been established to be in the series. Now, she is just a giddy schoolgirl, thinking with her pants. We wouldn't let men get away with that, so why let Sarah do it? I loved when Saul told her he'd take care of it. "What's one more favor?" That was infused with pure malice. That was as close as I've seen Rifkin get to his character, Sloan, from Alias on Brothers and Sisters. Rifkin is nearly perfect when he is just a little evil. He is so under-utilized on this show: Let's give him something more to do besides denying he is gay.

Nora and Isaac: Should she stay or should she go now? Isaac is far too polite to those brothers. I would have taken the golf club and wrung it around a few Walker necks at those questions. When the Walker brothers were sniggering that Isaac couldn't afford a pool, I was sputtering on my couch. That was way beyond rude and condescending. Talk about elitist.

I'd like to know how many viewers can relate to that world: Tittering on a golf course about someone not being able to afford a pool (especially when he was clearly playing them on that issue, anyway). What also makes it problematic is that there is a tacit assumption that if he can't afford to keep her in the style to which she has become accustomed that he isn't good enough for her. It's classist, elitist again, and highly privileged. Is this really what the Walkers are like? Rich, stuck up white kids from California who have to have a certain standard of living and smirk at others who do not? There was no discussion of race, but I was still eerily aware that a black man was being grilled on a golf course by three snotty white men half his age, and I found the whole scene utterly distasteful.

If you are reading my reviews for the first time, you may be under the impression that I do not like the Walkers or this show. I adore the Walkers, though, and this show, and so that is why I am a bit ticked about this episode. When this show is good, it's very good. When it's bad, it's horrible. This just wasn't a particularly good episode. It set up the scene for other things to happen and for there to be strong episodes, but this episode wasn't weak simply because of slapstick or uneven writing: It had some distinctly, strongly ick factor moments, as I discussed above. I hope we don't see that kind of behavior from these people again, especially from people who claim to have a strong social conscience (and I mean writers and characters alike here).

I loved it, however, when Sarah slapped Kevin and told him to be a man, but the whole storyline was so contrived. Did anyone really think Nora would actually leave? It would have been more interesting to let her go and see what Washington, D.C. was like, and to let her make a real decision about whether to move so far from her kids for a chance at a new love. I am rather hoping she will miss Isaac so much that she will go ahead and go. It's ridiculous anyway: They all clearly have enough money for her to commute.

Holly | David | Rebecca

It's Rebecca's birthday, ruined Walker-style by the kids squabbling over Nora being able to make sound decisions about her own life when it doesn't suit them. The most interesting part of this threesome is the still-looming possibility that David might be Rebecca's father after all. This would cause an identity crisis for Rebbecca, but it opens up some very interesting storylines to come if this is the case. I continue to love Ken Olin, scruffiness and all, and I really enjoy watching him act with Patricia Wettig because they are so good that I forget they are married in real life.

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mischa

Remember that scene where Robert was giving Kitty her shot and she said that she didn't feel a thing? I bet he didn't even inject it since he doesn't want any more children.

April 21 2008 at 12:28 PM Report abuse rate up rate down Reply
2 replies to mischa's comment
Connie

Exactly the thought that popped into my head!

April 21 2008 at 1:07 PM Report abuse rate up rate down Reply
nattyff

me too!!

April 22 2008 at 12:52 AM Report abuse rate up rate down Reply
Maria

Two questions-one serious one tongue in cheek.
1: How can he be Rebecca's father? I thought they did a paternity test. Do you mean to tell me that they just accepted this on her word? A person who was cheating with their father is going to believed by their word?
2: Does Rebecca have any friends or a job? What 22 year old is going to have a lets come over and bake and have a party at the Walker house??
:)

April 21 2008 at 12:22 PM Report abuse rate up rate down Reply
1 reply to Maria's comment
CK

Remember the scene when Kevin pulled out Rebecca's hair in the attempt to do a test...Nora reemed him on it - so did Rebecca...so no, a paternity test hasn't been done.

I loved this episode. Sets up nicely for what's to come.

April 24 2008 at 10:21 AM Report abuse rate up rate down Reply
Bas

I was actually really hoping that Nora would go. My advice would have been "Go! Run for your life! Cut the strings and force your adult children to finally GROW UP!" I love the show, but there were many times last night that I would have liked to slap every one of those kids. Especially Kitty guilting her mom with the whole "I need you, don't go" spiel. If Nora went to Washington, then Kitty goes because Robert is V.P., and maybe Isaac dies, there could be the whole fight about who needs mom the most - east or west coast. It'd be nice to see the Walker kids (hardly kids at all) going thru some growing pains without their mom.

April 21 2008 at 12:11 PM Report abuse rate up rate down Reply
nika4

I agree with Rmpr., the entire golf scene was purposely designed to be goofy. Of course the brothers were inappropriate and elitist...this was their MOM they were discussing, and with the man who was threatening to take her away! I have three grown sons and I could certainly see them behaving in such a boorish manner to a suitor of mine.

April 21 2008 at 12:07 PM Report abuse rate up rate down Reply
Rmpr

I disagree. the whole golf scene was intended to be goofy and just inappropriate questions you would ask your mom's suitor. It didnt seem elitist or racist at all. This was a fun episode and the previews for the future ones look really cool

April 21 2008 at 11:54 AM Report abuse rate up rate down Reply

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