Brothers and Sisters: Double Negative
I am starting to feel like Siskel and Ebert every week. Oh, that was a great episode! Oh, that episode sucked! It doesn't seem like there is any in between with me. Does that mean I'm too picky?
You know, it's funny because sometimes I don't even know how I feel about an episode, really, until I start writing about it, so my actual experience with watching it isn't necessarily negative, even if I write up a critical review. But tonight, I am pretty sure I know how I feel about it: That was a great episode.
Lots of things going on this week: Things are definitely heating up and charging down the runway toward May Sweeps and the end of the season, but they are things that have been set up for so long and so well that their very inevitability feels natural, unhurried, unforced, like a cart careening down a hill, picking up momentum, and heading into rush-hour traffic. And I'm not going to talk about it before the jump, so let's get going, shall we?
Poor Nora. Every time she thinks of a great idea for a charity or a foundation, it's like the Pavlov's dog for Ojai getting into major financial trouble. She was going to do something charitable right after William died, asked for money from the company, and Kevin ended up giving her money for the project because that was right around the time the clan discovered that William had been embezzling money. Whenever Nora's romances go belly up, she decides to throw herself into charity (and I don't mean to belittle the work she does, because she is always making them dress up to attend some fund-raiser or other, and I believe her instincts are genuine). But Nora clearly needs to decide what she wants to do when she grows up. Anytime now would be nice.
Kevin's instincts are good too: It's just the execution the Walkers need a little help with. I understood why Scotty didn't accept Kevin's offer-- but I think he should have. Scotty can have his romance later, when Kevin has time for it. But in the meantime, for crying out loud, if it walks like a domestic partner and talks like a domestic partner, then it's a domestic partner and it should get health insurance. I know that is a practical rather than romantic way to look at things, but I also think that practicalities are okay. I happen to live in a state in which gays cannot get recognition for domestic partnerships, so they cannot provide health insurance for their partners. So turning down a chance to get health insurance just strikes me as ridiculous. But, there have to be constant little dramas keeping them apart, I suppose, now that Eric Winter (Jason) has jumped ship to go to Moonlight.
Kitty and Robert
Wow. Am I the only one who sort of wishes Kitty would stop being such a stick in the mud and just get on board with the whole campaign? She used to be so career-oriented, and I do understand her desire to be a mother, I really really get it, but her relationship with Robert was largely based on their joint love of politics. They had to know that it was a possibility to be offered the Vice Presidency-- I can't believe they would turn down eight years of free publicity before Robert would run again for the Presidency. Taylor may be an asshat, but he's right: Someday, Robert is going to blame Kitty for his turning down the Vice Presidency. Of course, we are assuming Taylor will win. Let's just hope he loses, so this will all be moot.
I don't really know what to make of Kitty's fertility troubles. It's a very real issue and I hope it gets the due it deserves instead of tucked in between political conversations. These are two very huge storylines, so I'd like them to focus on ONE for awhile so we can get the emotional satisfaction we need from it, as viewers. It's interesting that Robert asked Kitty if she were happy that he lost the nomination, when I can't help feeling that he'd be happy if she didn't end up getting pregnant...
It turns out that all of the Walkers had good instincts in this episode. Way for the men to make out Sarah to be a harpy for being conservative about her company and her livelihood. Way to get out of the way and turn off your instincts as a balm for a man's ego: Saul, if you were as good as you think you are, maybe William would have left the company to YOU. I hope this doesn't mean the end of Graham though. I like him and I'd like to see even more of him. Oh, get your mind out of the gutter. That's not what I meant.
Justin and Rebecca
It happened. Here we are right where I predicted we'd be the minute I saw Ken Olin (I mean David) on the screen. He's Rebecca's father. I have been dreading this, but I kind of loved how they handled it. This episode was beautifully acted. The scene between Rebecca and David and then David and Holly was very emotionally packed. I don't see Holly as a villain or a compulsive liar. (Ahem: Pot? Meet Kettle). I see her as a flawed woman who has tried to do the best she could with her life, a woman who fell in love with the wrong man (aka William Walker). Granted, as commenter Blah Blah Blah pointed out last week, "Do you mean to tell me that they just accepted this on her word?" Yeah, way to make Kevin out to be some kind of criminal for wanting to do a DNA test to begin with. (Kevin=Instincts=good.)
The fact that Rebecca chose to lie about this in order to remain a Walker was, albeit wrong, entirely understandable. It wasn't hurting anyone for her to continue any longer: They accepted her as family, and it would hurt everyone for her to be revealed as NOT their sister, because they have grown to love her, and also? It would be like taking a piece of William away. William used her as part of a password: He clearly thought she was his daughter. Of course, she only lied so there can be some dramatic sexual tension with Justin, but since that was inevitable anyway, I am enjoying the way they have set this up.
Can we just talk for a minute about how great Dave Annable was in this episode as Justin? His reaction to Rebecca telling him that she was still his sister, his pause and then shaking it off, was absolutely perfect. He contained a wealth of indecision, confusion, trepidation-- in those moments, he showed everything the character must have been going through emotionally and intellectually. Again, on the beach, when he was strapping her ankle strap on, his hands on her leg, just acknowledging the tension there by laughing it off, "Boy, that was weird when we thought we might not be related..." Emily VanCamp was just great as well, but Annable was absolutely perfect.
Of course, David bailed. But I don't think he did it for any other reason except to let Rebecca have a shot at continuing to be a Walker. She has to decide whether or not to accept him in her life. Maybe I'm wrong and he really is a creep who can't commit, but I strongly suspect that he came back to find Holly because he knew he might be Rebecca's father, and now he was ready to have a family relationship with them. I am perfectly willing to admit that I like Ken Olin, though, and that I am probably projecting my own wants onto this because of that and maybe he's actually a creep.
I can hardly wait 'til next week!