Ever watch a teen movie and wonder if the “mean girls” in the audience get that they’re like the ones on screen? I’ve always wanted to know if the connection humbles them, enrages them, or simply eludes them. Watching this episode of Brothers & Sisters, I found myself curious about how ultra-conservatives viewed the speeches that Kitty and Republican senator McCallister delivered to radio pundit Luther Reeves defending the idea that Nora could be both against the war and for the troops — and that Kitty’s outspoken mother and gay brother should be neither silenced nor dismissed.
Before we get into Justin’s return from Iraq — and the Walkers’ roadside verbal attack on Reeves — I think we should just knock out the episode’s minor story lines (which is how the show’s writers apparently approached them as well). Joe told Sarah that he’s been sleeping with his ex-wife and that he really does want a divorce. Fine. Leave already! Kevin has better chemistry with Sarah anyway. (How much did you love when they took their side-by-side calls from Nora and Kitty about Justin? And kudos to whoever thought to make Sarah’s mascara run ever so slightly on her right cheek during her conversation with Joe — it felt real.) Rebecca finally told Sarah that she had kissed Joe back, and Sarah declared war again on the Harper women. Bored now. I enjoy both Emily VanCamp and Patricia Wettig as actresses, so I’m hoping that the writers have a plan for Rebecca and Holly that allows them to do more than pay for past mistakes. I do get the feeling that they just had Rebecca introduce Tommy to a woman with whom he’ll be tempted to cheat on Julia. How else to explain the random hiring of Rebecca’s friend Lena as the winery’s new office manager? (It’s not like the sole purpose of her introduction could be to give Saul an opportunity to proclaim his heterosexuality, in spite of his fondness for antiques, opera, and mid-century furniture.) I know I said in last week’s TV Watch that I didn’t need to see a lot of Julia, but the scenes for next week, when it looks like her father will threaten to take Julia and Lizzie away from Tommy, seem a little sudden, no? Who has a good story line for Tommy? Anyone?
Now on to what was done right in this episode: Kitty and Robert’s relationship remained solid. It would’ve been easy (and predictable) to have him second-guessing their engagement after Kitty and Co. went off on Reeves and his “ideology of hate”, but he didn’t flip-flop. The sight of Kitty, Nora, and Kevin on a road trip was enough to make me giddy (“Bite her, Mom! Bite her!”), but when Nora leaned out the window to yell, “You tell him, Kitty!” I knew I’d be rewinding. For me, that scene ranks right up there with Nora and Kitty stealing back the game-night trophy. I Iove it when the Walkers mobilize, and if having Reverend Boyfriend away means Kevin has time to play, then I’m willing to give up shower scenes for a year.
NEXT: Justin comes home