Watching this episode of Brothers & Sisters, the first original one that’s aired since Jan. 13, gave us the opportunity to confirm what it is we love about the show and what it is we can live without. Let’s start with the latter.
Lena has left the (winery) building. Hooray! The writers almost made you feel sorry for the girl — Justin was clearly just using her as a substitute for the painkillers he was addicted to — but not quite. The only right thing Lena ever did was tell Justin that she’d tried to kiss Tommy. (And hello, Tommy, you shouldn’t have told her that it’s easier to talk to her than your wife — not helpful.) I’m happy that Lena left with some kind of dignity. And that we should, theoretically, never have to hear another one of Holly’s been there, done that for 20 years speeches. I’m actually looking forward to the marriage-counseling sessions that Tommy agreed to attend with Julia, assuming we’ll get to see them. That seems like a chance to open those characters up, have them spar verbally opposite a guest-star shrink, give them homework assignments that will allow them to experience something other than an argument in their bedroom.
What else didn’t I miss, besides Lena? Sen. Robert McCallister, surprisingly. He’ll return in next’s week’s episode, but this week we only got to see Kitty on the campaign trail. I live for Calista Flockhart’s scenes with Sally Field. Even their phone calls. You had to love Kitty telling Nora that Lena probably wished Kevin was straight so she could go for the Walker trifecta (ew!), and Nora asking Kitty what Isaac had said about their date. I still feel like there has to be more to Isaac than what we’ve seen, but he seemed on the up-and-up this week. I’m sure many women related to that scene where he asked Nora how she was doing, then stopped her when she started giving updates on her children instead of herself.
While we got no Robert McCallister, we did get some of his brother, Jason, a.k.a. Reverend (Ex-)Boyfriend. Back from Malaysia, he obviously wanted to get some closure on his relationship with Kevin. When Scotty interrupted their tea-party tête à tête and joined them for dinner (jealous much?), I couldn’t help thinking that Jason and Scotty would actually make the best couple. They’re both more open and levelheaded than Kevin. Even though Kevin promised Scotty he wouldn’t see Jason outside family gatherings, and Jason told Kevin that yes, in the battle between God and Kevin, God won, I don’t think we’ve seen the last of this triangle. Jason didn’t call Kevin when he was away because he thought it would hurt too much to hear his voice; Kevin broke up with Jason because not hearing his voice hurt too much. In the end, Kevin insisted he wants Scotty, but we all saw him use the back of a CD as a mirror to check his hair before Jason arrived — he still cares. (And I’d just used that trick earlier in the day, so I felt superclose to Kevin at that moment.)
Sadly, Kevin didn’t have any scenes this week with the person I enjoy seeing him with the most — Sarah. After one little meeting with Saul (what will it take to get him a real story line?), she spent most of her time with Graham (guest star Steven Weber). I know we’re supposed to find him charming when he flirts with Sarah, but he always just looks like he needs sleep to me. Their meeting with the Chinese supermarket kingpin (at least that’s who I think he was) felt somewhat out of place on a series that is all family, all the time. But its main purpose was to give Sarah a reason to trust Graham (he negotiated the deal she wanted, though name-dropping her White House-bound brother-in-law seems dangerous) and also to set up what looks like the two of them getting it on in next week’s episode. I already love that episode thanks to the following exchange in the preview: Sarah: ”Let’s go do what Walkers do best.” Kevin: ”Get drunk?”
So what do you think of the directions the Walkers are taking? Is Isaac good for Nora? What about Graham for Sarah? Do we want to see Tommy and Julia work through their affairs (without visual aids like her yearbook)? What’s next for Rebecca and Justin now that they’ve made up? And is Robert’s campaign losing some steam now that we’re gearing up for a real presidential election?