I’ve said it before, and I’ll say it again: Brothers & Sisters knows how to do Sweeps. We got Kitty losing her hair and deciding to shave her head (just a well-made wig, ABC confirms), Robert telling off a racist opponent and becoming a YouTube sensation, Justin diagnosing Rebecca’s surprise pregnancy, Kevin correctly guessing that Scotty’s father was a philanderer, and a younger man (guest star Jon Tenney) courting Nora on the back of a hog. That’s an ensemble drama. Let’s break it down:
Kitty and Robert: Both of them were looking for a fight they could control. Kitty wanted to believe that she could kill her cancer with kindness instead of chemo, by ridding herself of negative thoughts and anger. Thank goodness she chose a combination treatment, or she wouldn’t have had to just give disapproving Nora and Sarah the cold shoulder — she would have had to leave the show. I hadn’t known that most people threaten to quit chemo at one point or another until Simon (Tenney), an oncologist who volunteers at Nora’s center, mentioned it. After Kitty started losing her hair, something she thought she could avoid by going the natural route, she realized that not all Type-A journalists react to an attitude and lifestyle adjustment in the same way and decided to return for her second round. Sometimes you think life will stop when a loved one is dealing with cancer, but as we saw as Sarah tried to convince Nora to go out with Simon as they awaited the debut of Kitty’s beautifully shaped bald head, life (and humor) goes on. As cruel as the mind can be — and as someone whose father has radiation-induced dementia, I’ve seen it — our ability to laugh at the darkest moments is more than self-preservation, it’s a little miracle.
Robert’s fight was, and will continue to be, with a wealthy businessman who’s newly entered the Republican primary. I was sorta shocked that Kevin didn’t want Robert to tee off on the guy outside an event, but then again, I guess Kevin had leaked that info. about the governor’s affair anonymously, so he wasn’t a total maverick. After the video of Robert’s “meltdown” popped up on YouTube, Kevin suggested he clarify it, back off, and look at the big picture — he can’t afford to piss off the conservative right in the primary. To Robert’s credit, as the most levelheaded candidate in the history of ever, he said he wouldn’t back down; you never know if you’ll be here tomorrow, so you have to make your beliefs known today. You are winning me back, Robert. Damn you.
Nora: No one does “concerned look” like Sally Field. You can feel the weight of her frown through the TV. I’m glad she addressed that Simon was younger than her, because it’s all I could think about. Well, that, and how Tenney had been married to Teri Hatcher, so it was interesting that he was guesting on an ABC show that aired right after hers. Nora riding on Simon’s motorcycle and asking him for a cigarette made perfect sense to me — when a loved one’s life is on the line, it’s so easy to suddenly not be as concerned about your own (in a freeing or destructive way). I like Simon. He seems serious, yet refreshingly normal and drama-free. I hope to see more of him. You?
Justin and Rebecca: The med student consumed with trying to diagnose his under-the-weather girlfriend is an utterly realistic plot line. That Rebecca would have a surprise pregnancy is believable, at least during November Sweeps. We all guessed Rebecca had taken a home test and that it was positive the second she approached Justin, smiling, the morning after he suggested she might be expecting. But alas, he did not, and rambled on about how he couldn’t imagine having a baby right now, so she didn’t tell him. I can’t imagine them having a child right now either, since he nearly lost his mind over the wedding planning, but I suspect he’ll have to deal with the news next week, when Rebecca isn’t drinking at the wine party. Maybe they’ll move in with Nora, too. Do you think they’ll actually have the baby, or that Rebecca will miscarry?
Kevin and Scotty: We all knew that Scotty’s dad was going to help finance the surrogate with a comic book the second his father told him that he was considering selling his collection for a fresh post-divorce start. But somehow, Scotty was surprised when the Captain America issue from the ’40s was delivered to his door (but not when his dad showed up in costume at the start of the episode). I guess it’s okay that Scotty’s dad cheated on his mom because she’s cold-hearted and unforgiving, and he only did it with one person, but not okay that William Walker screwed around on Nora because we like her and he had multiple partners? Personally, I still think Scotty’s dad should have left the mom before he started up with the blonde, but Scotty’s right to forgive him with or without the baby bribe.
Sarah: I’ve never loved Sarah more than when she busted her way into that room to see Nora and Kitty at the benefit. You can’t keep a Walker out when they want in. Did you catch how the writers set up next week’s “talk” with Luc with one line from Sarah about how her kids love him because he acts like a child? If they really make Luc as casual about dating a single mom as he sounded in the promo, I will be so annoyed. Women with children need to know where they stand because they’re playing with more than their own hearts. All men, even French artists, should know this. But Gilles Marini himself gives us hope that Luc isn’t just a man-child. As he told EW.com’s Annie Barrett: “It gets to something much deeper and more dramatic next week. It’s major. Everyone will be on a cliffhanger of no way, what just happened, no no no! It’s pretty deep and I cannot wait for people to see it.”
What did you think about last night’s episode? What do you hope happens next week?
Photo credit: Randy Holmes/ABC