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'Brothers & Sisters': Well, technically someone did die

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Brothersandsisters_lI watched the Brothers & Sisters two-hour movie event with my sister last night. Considering she’d never seen the show before and said she felt like she was going to vomit when Robert had his heart attack as Kitty met their newborn son, I think we can say this episode was well done.

The show started with Nora running through the hospital to get to the ER where an unseen man that we all knew would be Robert was flatlining. Is there a more heartbreaking shot than a hospital dash? Either you’ve done it, or you live in fear of it. We then flashbacked to 24 hours earlier and a Walker family dinner at Nora’s, where we got some nice one-liners: “Oh, nice catch Nora” (Scotty, when Nora caught the roll Kevin tossed to Justin); “We don’t do separately” (Sarah, when Saul said his boyfriend wanted to have dinner with them all, individually); “Not everybody needs to meet our family to be happy” (Kitty, when Nora’s open invitation to Ryan to come meet his half-siblings was finally exposed). We also got to see Robert tell Kitty that him killing the article about her was a “genuine misunderstanding” (such bull) before assuring her that family comes first and announcing his gubernatorial run to the Walkers. Kitty and Robert went home and had sex. Twice.

The next day, everything went to hell: The Drudge Report got a leak about Robert stepping into the ring, so he had to move up his press conference announcing his candidacy — just as Kitty got the call that Trish, the mother of the baby they’re adopting, went into labor. (The writers attempted some nice psych-outs with Justin having to drive back to Kitty’s house in Santa Barbara to get the baby clothes and Saul needing to drive home to get some of Trish’s pre-selected music — car accidents could’ve put either of them in the ER.) Would Robert actually put his family first and be there for the birth of the baby? That was the question of the hour (or two). As Nora tried to distract Trish by telling her the William Walker saga, the drama heightened at Robert’s office when the governor paid him a visit and said she’d changed her mind — she would be running for re-election, now that she told her husband about her affair and he forgave her. They threatened to make each other’s lives miserable (finally, Robert behaves like a Republican — KIDDING!) and Robert needed a pep talk from Kevin about how he represents change to stay in the race. He also needed an aspirin for a headache, which would end up saving his life. After his speech (and so many shots of water bottles that my sister actually thought Robert might’ve been poisoned), he collapsed in the parking garage on his way to the hospital to see the birth. Rob Lowe was fantastic in that scene — and in the lifeless ER shots that followed. I actually thought he might he die. It seemed like a perfect regret-filled ending to Robert and Kitty’s marriage, to have Kitty see his speech on TV and essentially tell her family that she was going to leave him. He still wasn’t putting family first when the doctor told him that he needed a bypass that would involve months of cardiac rehab — and he balked. Only when Kitty gave him no choice (she wasn’t going to let him miss the rest of Evan Walker McCallister’s life) did he relent.

addCredit(“Ron Tom/ABC”)

This episode was Calista Flockhart’s best work of the series, if you ask me. It should be what they submit for Emmy consideration — with timecodes for that waiting room outburst to her family, her “Just give me one more minute” speech/prayer to Nora, and the final moment, when she saw Kevin on TV lying about the seriousness of his friend Robert’s condition and assuring the press that he was still in the race and she sat down with Evan and told him it’s “just you and me now.” (Confession: I thought maybe instead of Kevin’s statement, she would see the TV pundit announce Robert’s death.) I’ve always enjoyed Kitty’s scenes with Nora, but last night was the first time I remember truly liking Kitty solo. I like that she’s no longer letting Robert get by on his charm, and that she’s returning to the strong woman we knew when she first met Robert.

The other big development in last night’s episode was Tommy’s arrest for embezzlement. Rebecca and David returned to California, and though it looked like he’d actually convinced Holly to let Tommy buy her out and walk away from the Walkers, everything changed when she went to Tommy’s house and Julia started talking about how happy her husband was. (If I’m being perfectly honest, it crossed my mind that Holly might be going there to, like, shoot Tommy. What? It’s sweeps, people!) Tommy just happened to call Julia to tell her about Evan and Robert, and when Julia needed a last-minute babysitter for Elizabeth, Holly volunteered so she could snoop through Tommy’s papers. Of course, she found exactly what she was looking for — proof that he’d taken $2 million from the company to buy Crawford. Sarah and Saul had finally managed to talk Tommy out of selling his soul and integrity with this shady deal to boot Holly, and he called off the board meeting he’d scheduled to vote her out. But it was too late: Holly had all the ammo she needed, and after she confronted him, he was shown at home with his papers being seized by the authorities.

Of course, Tommy’s takedown is bound to come between Justin and Rebecca. She wasn’t sure whether or not to warn him, and after David told her love was all that mattered, I thought she would. But, she didn’t. She just made Justin promise that no matter what happens, they’ll make it through. It was a big night for Justin: After a pep talk from Nora, he decided that he wants to be a doctor. (I don’t see him in med school. I see him being an EMT.) And, he met Ryan, who showed up at Nora’s house while Justin and Rebecca were there making dinner and avoiding talking about Tommy.

So, what do you want to see happen between Kitty and Robert? (Should Kitty be a single mom? We’ve already seen her do the world’s quickest diaper change.) What do you hope happens to Tommy? (In the preview for next week’s episode, Julia and Nora look mighty pissed at him…) And anyone else think we’re in for a Rebecca-Justin-Ryan triangle?