Gilles Marini, Rachel Griffiths, ...
Credit: Ron Tom/ABC

Who else just researched prices of plane tickets to France? Wow, Sarah sure did get her groove back en Francais. She was on a work trip to visit vineyards, but got sidetracked in the best possible way.

Sarah didn’t even come home bragging about her holiday romance, instead acting like a caring, rock-like support system for Kitty. As Kitty readied for her first chemotherapy session, she had family members fighting over the chance to be her “chemo buddy” (led by Nora and Robert). But she wisely wanted to reconnect with Sarah and took her along to the first appointment. As Kitty’s treatment started to become uncomfortable, she asked Sarah to tell her a story, a good story. And boy did she deliver.

We flashback to Sarah’s time in France — sunflower fields, sunshine, and Sarah’s lost en route to a vineyard. She stops at a house, where a swarthy, handsome painter (Gilles Marini) opens the door. He cutely toys with her pretending not to understand her high-school French, but then reveals that he speaks English. He’s good at analyzing people (telling Sarah she’s slow to trust), and even better at setting the mood with the world’s most romantic picnic. No wonder Sarah stayed for weeks. How priceless were the dreamy looks on Kitty and Sarah’s faces when Robert walked in on their gab session? (I was also thrilled that this guy, Luc, seemed to be a sensitive guy worthy of Sarah, not like Marini’s role in the Sex and the City movie, as Samantha’s beefy egotistical neighbor Dante.)

Holly had Saul do a juice deal for her new cheap wine line of “$2.99 swill.” We have all tried Two Buck Chuck from Trader Joe’s, but I have a bad feeling about this whole endeavor. Maybe now that Sarah’s back she can supervise before disaster strikes.

Speaking of disaster, Robert’s gubernatorial ambitions have taken a hit. Robert and Kitty decided he would stay in the race, and he gave a press conference to continue his candidacy despite Kitty’s illness. Of course, he slipped in the polls. Kevin runs into Kitty late night in the kitchen, and she confronted him about Robert’s polling. She kept pressing until Kevin revealed that Robert seems to just be limping through the campaign, without his usual drive. Kitty, heartbreakingly, tells Kevin that she needs Robert to stay focused on his political career for many reasons. “If he quits, and I die, then what?” she asks. Kitty goes behind Robert’s back to do a press interview about her support of his campaign. It’s good to see Kitty not letting cancer change her whole personality — of course she’s a fighter who is not going to lay around watching bad TV in a back bedroom. And she’s driven to help her husband. The love between Kitty and Robert seems to be healing even through the dark days of chemo. “I know you are the most important thing to me, and I didn’t know that before,” Robert said. It seems like he on some level knows that his political aspirations serve Kitty more than sitting by her bedside.

If that “what if I die” speech opened my tear ducts, they flooded during Nora and Kitty’s heart to heart. How much do you want to hug Sally Field as Nora said, “I wish it were me.” Kitty knew that already, of course — that’s why she couldn’t take her mom as her chemo buddy. And she even gave her mom permission to cry — what a well-written, believably tender scene.

Rebecca was hoping for that mother-daughter connection when she started looking at wedding venues with Holly, who was rudely distracted by work calls. Nora told Rebecca she needs to feel the right vibe from a venue — and tells her to forget a generic bridal package with chocolate fountain — “The idea of all the Walkers in the same room with five tiers of molten chocolate is terrifying,” Norah said. Although it would have been fun to see Nora and Holly slinging chocolate at each other if wedding nerves got the best of them (you know Grandma Ida would have been in there too!). Eventually, Rebecca realized her childhood dreams were of an island paradise, so she tells Justin they should get wed in Hawaii. He seems thrilled, and not only for the surfing potential. But isn’t a destination wedding a little bit crass with a sick sibling? Wouldn’t a small, personal family affair at Chez Walker be better for everyone involved?

Professor Madsen was a reassuring influence on Justin this week. He told Justin not to rush into oncology just because his sister has cancer. And even cooler, he denied that 16-year-old-genius kid’s request to replace Justin with another lab partner. (As Rebecca said in response to that nonsense: “Doogie thinks you can’t hack it? What a tool.” Amen!) As Madsen says, Justin has more real-life experience than anyone in the class, and Carter is lucky to have him.

Speaking of lucky — how much did you LOVE this ending? Kitty had asked Sarah how things ended with Mr. Frenchy. Sarah made up a story about catching him with another woman and storming out, so Kitty thinks the whole thing is a fiction just to cheer her up. But the truth is that Sarah had to leave France abruptly when Norah called to tell her about Kitty’s cancer. So that made this episode’s final shot all the more thrilling — Luc shows up at Sarah’s front door and (how cute!) asks for directions. That kiss looked like more love than just vacation lust. I’m thrilled for someone to add that spark to Sarah’s life, especially when the Walkers have Kitty’s struggle ahead of them. I’m counting the minutes until Frenchy is invited to his first Walker dinner. Seat him next to Scotty and we can have a hotness explosion.

What did you think of this episode? How much are you loving Sarah’s French import? Do you agree with Kitty that Robert should continue his campaign for governor?

Photo Credit: Ron Tom/ABC

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