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September 30, 2014

Brothers and Sisters: Moral Hazard

by Jen Creer, posted May 5th 2008 10:42AM
moralhazard050508(S02E15) "We should ask ourselves: 'What's the right thing to do?'" Holly Harper to Tommy Walker

So, what are we to think of Holly? Is she a pathological liar and a scheming manipulator? A greedy opportunist? Or is she genuinely trying to do the right thing as she sees it, affair with William Walker not withstanding? Honestly, I can't make up my mind, but I am leaning toward seeing her as a flawed person who is doing her best. Lord knows, she could have taken her inheritance from William Walker and kissed the entire clan goodbye. Perhaps some see her as unable to let go, unable to stop until she has revenge on the Walkers for having William in ways she couldn't. But that seems a rather extreme pathology. It's much more interesting to view her as a complicated human being, which has certainly been supported on the show.

Whenever Rebecca rails on Holly, I tend to believe Rebecca... right until Holly points out what Rebecca has done. Rebecca sent David away (I suspected as much) so she could keep the Walkers. However, after Justin admits that his feelings for her have become complicated and Holly kicks her out, Rebecca decides to prey upon Justin's attraction to her by confessing that they aren't siblings. Why does she look so surprised when Justin kicks her out too?

I have to say, "BRAVO, Justin!" Good for him! I am so glad she can't play him like a violin. Oh, they aren't done yet, not by a long shot, but I'm glad his initial reaction was to call her a liar. In spite of my strains of sympathy toward Holly, you do have to admit that the manipulation apple doesn't fall far from the tree when it comes to Rebecca. Sometimes I forget that Rebecca is worse than Holly, and that Rebecca truly does use and manipulate people to her own interests. Remember when Rebecca wondered whether Holly was capable of loving anyone? Projection much?

But just to make sure that Holly and Rebecca don't become obsolete on the show, Holly responds to her fight with Rebecca by tightening the bondage that binds them to the Walkers: She swoops in with a proposal to save Ojai foods that basically puts Holly at the helm. Oh, she will just be there to settle disagreements between Sarah and Tommy. Surely, that will never happen.

Saul just needs to be handed a nifty retirement package and cut loose. He's a loose cannon and he needs some time to dry out and come to terms with his decision to embrace his position as a gay man. He is bitter and resentful about his lost time, and it's marvelous to have this subject matter addressed: How about exploring this and giving him the freedom to do it without taking the entire Walker clan down in the process?

Did you tear up when Kevin proposed to Scotty? Who doesn't love Scotty? Luke McFarlane is so genuine, so good-natured, so adorable, who wouldn't want to keep him around? I'm glad Kevin finally sees the light. But as much as I adore Kevin, I have to say, he's getting the best end of this deal. I'd love to see McFarlane go from guest star to full-fledged cast member on the show. Next stop? Fatherhood!

Next week is the season finale and you can bet with the setup of Rebecca's parentage, Ojai's disaster, and impending nuptials that they are going to go out with fireworks, just like last season. I just hope nobody jumps into the pool.

Do you think Holly is a master manipulator or misunderstood?
Manipulator120 (39.7%)
Misunderstood41 (13.6%)
Both141 (46.7%)

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Jimmy

I still hate the road the writers have taken with Rebecca. This character has developed so much in the last year and then to take a complete step backwards? Bad writing in my opinion.

I have to give ABC credit. Very few networks would have such a long kiss between two men occur on network television. Personally, I like Scotty. He's the perfect foil to Kevin's often times self centered nature.

May 05 2008 at 10:48 PM Report abuse rate up rate down Reply
Alex

I agree that Justin and Rebecca have chemistry, and I believe that prospect, along with learning that Rebecca is in fact NOT his sister, caused Justin to freak out, resulting in his extreme reaction and subsequent kicking Rebecca out. (It seems to be a Walker family trait, focusing on something else [her lie] other than the aspect that is really the issue [his feelings for her, and the possibilities opened because she isn't his sister]).

I also agree with Mrs. Eldubya's insight into Rebecca not being "a saint in the future". However, I believe that the Walker's reaction (most importantly what Justin does) will determine if she will go down a bad path. I can't help but think of Justin and Rebecca becoming a couple sometime in the future, would it be possible? too weird? would she still be accepted? I can't help it, but I still think of her as a Walker despite the obvious lack of blood relation. I have a bad feeling that Rebecca's reasons for keeping the secret may (sadly) keep blowing up in her face, I just hope that the family doesn't go grouping her with Holly thinking that she was simply manipulating them the whole time and in it for the money (or something along those lines). I do, however, have a hard time picturing Nora having these views, or sitting idly by while her children bash and attack Rebecca, but she might be preoccupied with the reality of Holly's status now that it is determined that they have no familial connections. Nora has always seemed like the voice of reason and clarity when it comes to complex situations such as these, and I hope that if it comes to it, she will be able to sort out what implications Rebecca's paternity has on the family (hopefully ending up with some type of HAPPY conclusion for Rebecca).

That about sums it up for now. (Still not convinced about the marriage between Kevin and Scotty). Where are Tommy and Julia? What's happening with them?

May 05 2008 at 8:14 PM Report abuse rate up rate down Reply
nattyff

I LOOOOOOOOOVE SCOTTY!!!, he is so sweet and adorable, how can anyone dislike him??? :)
I think that the wedding will happen (so justin and rebecca, the have an unbeliveable chemistry)

May 05 2008 at 6:43 PM Report abuse rate up rate down Reply
La-Di-Dah

I LOVE Scotty - and I LOVE Kevin. I love Kevin and Scotty. I love that they are getting married. I am so hyper right now.

Matthew Rhys was spectacular last night - spectacular in the scene with DA (I giggled so hard), RR (awww!) and LM (back to heaven). Go Rhys.

May 05 2008 at 4:37 PM Report abuse rate up rate down Reply
Judy

Alex took the words right out of my mouth and said it better than I could. I love Rebecca, not so much Holly.

Regarding David, I seem to remember him telling Rebecca that he was going to make it up to her no matter what, when she felt she had lost the whole Walker clan. I think he "made it up" to Rebecca by his abrupt departure sacrificing even his love for her and for Holly. Cheers to him for being a loving and understanding birth Dad.

May 05 2008 at 2:05 PM Report abuse rate up rate down Reply
Alex

It's interesting to read other people's opinions on the characters. I was especially surprised at your views of Rebecca and how she is this manipulative somewhat egocentric girl (or something along these lines). While I know she was once that girl (Kiss with Joe), I believe that she has changed. When I saw the scenes where Justin and her mother kicked her out I felt sorry for her. I understand her reasons for driving David away, and for lying to Justin, would you not want to preserve the happiness that you finally feel and have achieved in your life? I find Rebecca a tragic character, her own life is majorly composed of other's mistakes, lies, and more lies. She finally feels a sense of belonging and it is taken right out from under her. Yea lying to Justin was a dumb move...but can you really blame her? Maybe I can easily identify with her because my extended family is Walker-ish (big, chaotic, guests feel out of place), and wouldn't give it up for anything. I felt her pain when Justin refused to listen to her (in my opinion wrong, though valid) reasons for her dishonesty.

As for Holly, I dislike this woman. I can't help but feel that her taking the "moral highroad" is just to secure a stable position for herself in anticipation for when the whole family finds out about Rebecca's true blood ties. Sure Rebecca was being horrible, but Holly also needs to show some respect and stop with the lies.

Okay, it's time to end my Rebecca tangent, but I like her. I like her character, and I feel sad about her predicament and "Loss" (although we do not know what may happen...will she still be accepted?) of the Walker family.

As for Scotty? I don't like him. I agree with chrisb, he IS whiny and annoying. Anyways, I feel like the wedding wont happen, or that it won't last.

May 05 2008 at 1:50 PM Report abuse rate up rate down Reply
1 reply to Alex's comment
Tammy

you have to remember when Rebecca came on the show she was following down her mother's footsteps by having an affair with a married man while in school. So she has alot more Holly in her and it comes out from time to time. Maybe she was fooling herself into being someone else when she thought she was part Walker... I have a feeling Rebecca is not going to be a saint in the future anyway. (I have a hard time hating Rebecca because of the actress.... that's Amy from Everwood! Who would hate Amy?)

Holly gave up her life for Rebecca in a way. To me she did love David but gave him up because she as almost certain she was William's child and William would be a better father in her mind. It was a way to keep him in her life and way to give her daughter a better life. Maybe she wanted to be a Walker too and that's why she did the merger. This is a way to make sure she stays with the Walker's and if Rebecca loves them so much, maybe a way to get her back too.

May 05 2008 at 2:44 PM Report abuse rate up rate down Reply
Ari

One I LOVE Scottie!

Two, I LOVE Rebecca and I don't think she is a manipulator. Holly is the bad guy in this situation. I was not happy that the first think Justin does is call her a liar. She wanted a family - who can blame her? And she told Justin the truth because she was guilt about him feeling bad imo.

May 05 2008 at 12:40 PM Report abuse rate up rate down Reply
Ryan

The episode was pretty much perfection. It's no accident that Kitty was barely around (just kidding!). But really this episode was like the epitome of the phrase "shit hitting the fan" because WOW.

Thank GOD we did have one happy moment when Kevin proposed at the end. I pretty much squeed for five minutes.

May 05 2008 at 11:46 AM Report abuse rate up rate down Reply
Tammy

I just adored Kevin at the end. I think Kevin and Justin are my two favorite siblings so to go from Justin being hurt to Kevin realizing he needed to propose was just the perfect yin and yang. Kevin was sort of like Billy Crystal in 'When Harry Met Sally'.... when you realize you want to spend the rest of your life with someone, you sort of what the rest of your life to start right now. I know it's a simplistic way of thinking but it's was so right for that moment and I think the two actors captured it perfectly.

Maybe it was because I thought ABC was going to shy away from the whole gay thing and put Kevin's story line on the back burner. So having a gay wedding is the total opposite and those Family groups who think they are saving us can stuff it. It's 10 pm at night, we can have a gay story line don't you think? As long as people are watching and the ad dollars stay there, hopefully ABC will keep stories like this coming.

Brothers and Sisters save Sunday night now. Desperate Housewives needs more revamping, again, and then there is what? Home Makeovers, Detective Shows, reruns? B&S is the type of show I love over and over again and we just don't get enough of anymore. I would take this back to when Family was on tv with my all time favorite character... Buddy. :) Good character driven shows with great actors absorbed into their parts... and of course talented people behind the scenes. (There's a good article for TV Squads..... shows like B&S.... you have My So Called Life, Once and Again, China Beach, 30 something, Family, etc.... I would add Gilmore Girls but they were a little different since it was more based on humor with some drama vs drama with some humor.... still honorable mention for me!)

May 05 2008 at 11:41 AM Report abuse rate up rate down Reply
Mark

Ok, so I read this website everyday and by far my favorite show is Brothers & Sisters, so I look forward to your review every week and have never commented here or any other show recap, but I just have to because last night's episode I thought was almost pure perfection.

The acting was amazing, the writing and story lines were really well done, and the chemistry and emotions of all of the characters were almost to a perfection.

I have to tell you that I have never seen an amazing show with an amazing cast since Once & Again with Sela Ward back a few years ago.

This show combines slapstick humor with real family drama so well. They can do both really well, but what they do the best is make you feel like you are part of the Walker clan and can feel everything they feel.

The confrontation between Holly and Rebecca was amazing! Like you mentioned, you forget how manipulative Rebecca was/is, but Holly didn't back down finally to all of Rebecca's one liners to her. This was probably the best scene of this season and actually made me feel bad for Holly, who acted TO PERFECTION!

And of course the wedding proposal at the end was so well done and had me tearing...

So I have to say to the writers and actors of Brothers & Sisters, job well done. I tell all my friends and co-workers every day that you should be watching this amazing show and just can't say anything bad about it.

So thanks for the re-caps, you do a great job and I will start now commenting, even though next week is the finale, haha.

May 05 2008 at 11:14 AM Report abuse rate up rate down Reply

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