Last night, before this episode aired, I sat in my sister’s living room trying to catch her up on the show. Her husband, who’s never seen an episode, also listened. When I finished, he said ABC should just go ahead and put Brothers & Sisters on every afternoon from 2 to 3 p.m. because it’s a soap opera. Of course it is. But I’ve always been fine with that, until now…
Let’s start with Nora giving a large check to Dr. Handsome, Simon, for his “Guatemala Project.” How does this woman, who just started her own center for cancer patients and their families and is on the board of a sinking family business, have that kind of money lying around? Why would she ever bring money into the relationship that early? If she was going to make that large of an investment (he said he needed $100,000), wouldn’t she have talked it over with someone in the family? The Walkers analyze the heck out of everything else.
Simon’s innocent until proven guilty, but telling Nora that he would postpone his business trip to Portland so he could be her date at Justin and Rebecca’s wedding — then calling to cancel the morning of — is not promising. I realize Nora needs a story line, but why does it have to be something that makes me lose respect for her? She said Simon’s charity, which helps fund locally-owned businesses in poor areas, appeals to her liberal heart, and that the chance to support that and get money back is “too good to pass up.” I foresee her repeating that when she explains the situation to Kevin, and him telling her that the phrase she’s looking for is “too good to be true.”
Next, we get to Justin not calling Rebecca to tell her that he was going to miss their Hawaii-themed rehearsal dinner at Nora’s because he had to tend to a child hit by a car. When he finally showed up to talk to Rebecca — who’d called off the wedding because she assumed that’s what he wanted — he admitted he started off the night avoiding her calls because he didn’t want to get married. But then he didn’t have his cell phone, so he couldn’t call her, and when he was finally able to phone her, she wasn’t picking up. The emergency room I was in recently had a phone that you could make local calls on for free. I’m sure if you told a hospital employee that you were missing your own rehearsal dinner to help save a child’s life, he or she would find you a phone — even if it was a pay phone, which I’m guessing all hospitals still have. If Rebecca wasn’t picking up, he could have tried Holly’s number or home since he could assume Rebecca would be with her. But then we wouldn’t have gotten the monologue we all knew was coming: Saving that boy, Justin realized the one thing he’s good at is taking care of other people. He knows he’ll be a good husband and a good father; he only has doubts about himself. Wedding back on.
Because Rebecca and Justin apparently have no friends in California, that meant their ceremony would be a family-only affair in Malibu (the new location after a hurricane hit Hawaii and Rebecca, having heard their baby’s heartbeat at an appointment Justin didn’t bother to attend, didn’t want to postpone the nuptials). Tommy flew in and brought Elizabeth, which Kevin knew was legally kidnapping since Tommy hadn’t asked Julia if he could take their daughter out-of-state. Tommy is such an idiot. Would anyone have missed him if he hadn’t shown up for the wedding? He told Kevin that Julia would never find out about the trip, but Kevin — having a brain — also knew that if Elizabeth talks (and allegedly she does), Julia would find out about the weekend. Kevin ran interference, but Julia sent Tommy a nasty email, then showed up at Nora’s to take Elizabeth home. Leave it to Scotty to save the day: Cooling Julia off, he told her there should be a support group for Walker spouses, but that she has to remember, she’s a stronger person than Tommy is right now. She needs to forgive him. The next day, Kevin and Scotty brought Elizabeth to the wedding.
Lastly, we get to Kitty: I can buy that she wouldn’t tell Robert the truth — that the chemo wasn’t successful, the tumors have actually grown — and instead tell him that the MRI results wouldn’t be in until Monday. A) He wouldn’t stop telling her how fragile he was. B) If she told him, not only would he cancel his trip to Washington, but he’d also have to wait 48 hours to talk over options with a doctor (which would drive a man like him insane) and he’d have to pretend everything was fine in front of the family (and we saw last week at the “gayest bachelor party ever” that he cannot keep a secret). My only problem with Kitty dropping over at the ceremony was the timing: It happened before Justin and Rebecca had said “I do” — so we’ll have to have a Wedding, Take 2? groan — and right after she’d read the line “I fear no fate (for you are my fate, my sweet)” from E.E. Cummings’ “I Carry Your Heart With Me.” As Justin was doing CPR on Kitty, I was busy rolling my eyes — and thinking there’s no way Calista Flockhart is leaving this show. Right? If I thought this series could survive without her, I’d have been more emotional… Even now, replaying the scene in my mind, the way Kitty’s face seemed to shut down right before she fell — it’d be haunting and heartbreaking if I thought she could really be gone…
I do have to give the writers props for one thing: The scene of Robert and Kitty in the waiting room before her MRI. The movie Love Actually showed us the kind of love you see at the arrival gates in airports; you can also see love in hospital waiting rooms. Honestly, I wish someone had a camera last July when my mother wheeled my father, who has radiation-induced dementia, back into the waiting room after he had blood drawn. He had the most amazing look on his face — quizzical, because he probably had no idea what had just happened to him, with simultaneous hints of childlike innocence and curmudgeonly annoyance. My sister asked “What kind of look is that?” and my dad flipped her off. She and I laughed the entire way to the car, so hard our stomachs hurt and we were crying.
Thinking he’d be officiating the wedding, Robert waxed poetic on the subject of love as he tried to figure out how to open the ceremony. Sitting in a waiting room trying to pretend you’re not scared — that’s love, he said. Not being able to concentrate on writing a speech about the beauty of love because you’re so afraid you might lose it and nothing would ever be the same, and you realize the one place that you feel most you is when you are lying next to that someone just breathing — also love. Robert’s speech made Kitty cry, and me a little sad that Saul ended up officiating when Mr. McCallister went to Washington.
What did you think of the episode? Could the show survive without Kitty? Has Nora been swindled, or are we the ones being set up? Would you want to see another wedding? (Loved the way Rebecca and flower girl Paige ran down the non-existent sand aisle. Clearly, the show’s costume designer has a thing for brown bridesmaid dresses, but Rebecca’s were better than Kitty’s. How will they ever get that one seagull to walk across the sand again?)
Photo credit: Craig Sjodin/ABC