By Mandi Bierly
Updated March 23, 2009 at 06:40 PM EDT
Credit: Michael Desmond
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Is anyone else kinda pissed that Sarah and Nora figured out a way to get the charges dropped against Tommy? I know it’s a lesson in keeping the faith, but that was a prayer that could’ve gone unanswered. Unless the stress of missing him was what made Sarah wear an ill-fitting dress, Kitty a matronly pantsuit, and Nora a mismatched ensemble to the opening of Nora’s center. Seriously, what was happening with the ladies’ wardrobe last night?

The episode, once again a perfect balance of comedy and drama, began with Justin and Kevin fighting over who would be the one to tell Nora that Tommy hadn’t returned from Spring Break (Out) in Mexico. Kevin, being the “family Grim Reaper,” did the deed — after Nora had a chance to complain about the third runner-up from some unnamed televised singing competition that Kevin had voted for 18 times canceling on the center’s opening. (“What? She happens to be a genius. She was totally robbed.” God, I’d love to watch American Idol with quippy Kevin and a bowl of whatever tasty delight Scotty would cook for us. Again, this show reveals why I’m single.)

Now, I know that I’ve been a fan of sane Nora, but the fact that she didn’t freak out when she heard the news about Tommy kinda freaked me out. Unlike the rest of the family, she hadn’t lost faith that he would beat the charges — or that he would return. She went to Julia, to ask her to beg Tommy to come home if he phones her, but Julia said she didn’t want him to come home. I don’t know why all the Walkers expect her to stand by a man who risked her future without even consulting her. After talking to the director of her center — a mother who tried all kinds of radical treatments for her daughter’s leukemia, and beat it — Nora decided she, too, had to do something radical. Like get Saul to help her convince the Ojai board members to ask the DA to drop the charges. Saul didn’t understand why Nora was trying to save Tommy, since they all know he’s guilty. She said it’s because the last time she saw him, she hit him. No wonder he didn’t come back — the entire family had convicted him; Justin and Kevin told him to take the plea bargain. But really, all she had to say is she’s his mother, right? Their plan failed, but Sarah had one of her own: She asked the board to bring her back as Tommy’s replacement, to let her fight for the company her family built, and they agreed. She argued to the board that charges against Tommy would only damage the company, and lo and behold, Holly voted with her and said she’d no longer be a witness for the prosecution. That was the best twist of the night. Holly told Sarah she did it because she was putting Ojai first, and they now had to work together. What’s really going on there? Nora told Julia the news, and part of me thought that when Julia closed the door, Tommy would be standing there in his home. But no. We still hate him.

addCredit(“Michael Desmond”)

Meanwhile, we got more reasons to fall out of love with Robert. (Do notlet how good Rob Lowe looked in that blue Henley cloud your judgment,people.) When Kitty finally told him about Tommy embezzling andskipping town, his response was at first wonderfully self-referential: “This isn’t the kind of thing that you guys can solve with 75 phoneconversations and a chicken dinner.” But it quickly turned self-absorbed: “Now we just gotta figure out a way to minimize the damage.” Kittyasked, “To my family or to your campaign?” He answered, “Both.” (Iwrote, “Douche.”) After he told her it’d be good if she never saw Tommyagain, Kitty cooled off by taking baby Evan to the park, where she meta hot dad, Alec (guest star Matt Lescher). Unbeknownst to Kitty, Nora had invited Alec to thecenter’s opening because his wife had died of cancer. Kitty figuredthis out when she confused him for a waiter on her way to “seize theday” at the bar — classic. Do we think Nora is trying to set them up?I wouldn’t put it past her. Kitty was once again annoyed at Robertbecause he put his ambition ahead of his health. He offered to give aspeech at the opening not just to attract press for Nora, but to attractpress for his first public appearance since his “minor heart attack.”Kitty tried to get him to stop making the rounds, but he wouldn’t,until he got light-headed. Why did he go straight into the kitchen,instead of finding Kitty, who was on the couch talking to Alec aboutthe fine art of baby burping and the craziest parent at the park? (Andwhy haven’t we ever seen Kitty and Robert having ANY conversation aboutEvan?) Kevin came and got Kitty and she drove Robert and his raised blood pressure to the hospital. When they got home six hours later, he wanted to have “thefight,” and she said she wanted to go to bed — they’ve had “the fight” and nothing changes. I so want Kitty to leave him and start arelationship with Alec, who better be as good of a guy as she thinks heis since she’s opening up to him about Tommy.

The third storyline was theJustin-Rebecca-Ryan non-love triangle, otherwise known as Justin is an idiot. He decidedto ask Rebecca back, knowing that he was going to have to hide the factthat Tommy was AWOL from her. Ryan, of course, happily shared that with Rebecca,who’d been told she wasn’t invited to the opening because Tommywould be there. I’d be upset with Ryan playing dirty like that, butJustin really should’ve thought that through. Rebecca officially brokeup with Justin and, because she’s tired of secrets, agreed to help Ryanlook through William’s expense reports at Ojai. They found a hotelreceipt that placed him in Reno the night before Ryan’s mother got into her fatal car accident. Somehow, he thinks that’s enough to blame Williamfor driving his mother to commit suicide. I don’t get what he thinkshe’s going to do with that information. Do you? How will he ever knowwhat his mother and William discussed, when both parties are gone? Does he want to hurt the Walkers, when they had no idea that the affair wasgoing on and were clearly hurt by it as well?

So, what did you think of last night’s ep? What do you believe Ryan is upto? Are you on Team Alec or Team Robert? Are you going to miss theGreenotopia guys now that Sarah has left the company? And didyou actually buy that Kevin was teary-eyed over the center director’smoving story? (Kevin is never that earnest, which I get was the joke.But I kept waiting for a bigger punchline…)

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