Wanting to crack open a bottle of wine after watching an episode of Brothers & Sisters is a common occurence. But this week’s Golden State Wine Festival made me want to drink a case. Perhaps that’s why I’m so upset that Ryan ruined Walker Landing’s award-winning Coastal Reserve. Bastard.

The Whine Festival turned everyone’s stress up to 11. Holly had her financial well-being, along with the company’s, tied up in the cheaper wine, which — surprise! surprise! — Saul loved. After it took the top table wine prize, Dennis York (the man who wants to buy Holly’s shares to stick it to William), told Ryan the boy had to figure out a way to fix this problem — if that label was a success, Holly wouldn’t have to sell. I guess Ryan emptied the barrels? It was so nice to have Holly happy for a second and not because she’d just done something evil. The woman has steered Ojai in the right direction, she deserved the vote of confidence Saul had just given her.

Presumably, Holly and Saul hadn’t gotten around to telling Rebecca and Sarah about the catastrophe, or they would’ve been devastated as well. Instead, Sarah tried to patch things up with Luc, whom she’d forced to design the wine’s label because she really wanted him to show her that he could support himself, be there for her, and define their relationship; Rebecca had to have another conversation with Justin in which she didn’t tell him that she was six weeks pregnant. Even though I think Sarah is a woman who needs a regular man with a regular paycheck, not an artist — and there’s nothing wrong with that — I hope we haven’t seen the last of Luc, whose paintings apparently sell so well in France that he doesn’t need to branch out into stationary, lotions and soaps in the US. Like Nora said, even though he and Sarah had a fight, he was man enough to show up to the wine festival and support her; he knows who he is and he likes himself. He’s not her ex, Joe. Plus, he’s as tasty as that Coastal Reserve. Rebecca needs to tell Justin about the baby already. I must be a vindictive bitch, because I can’t think of a better moment to share that news with him than after he finishes explaining how there will be times when he won’t be there for her because he needs to be totally committed to med school. After you speak the truth like that, Justin, you need to add something like, “But, of course, if you really need me, tell me you need me. Get my attention. That’s the only way our relationship will survive.” (P.S. Did anyone else notice that Justin was drinking a Coke can labeled ‘Fringe’ while he was studying? I’ve got a message into ABC about that. UPDATE: ABC says, “Although the can did say ‘Fringe,’ that was just the name that cleared for usage. It doesn’t have anything to do with the series by the same name.”)

Moving on, Nora and Kevin provided some levity. Nora reluctantly went public with 47-year-old Simon (aka Motorcycle Man) at the wine festival and her worst fears were realized: a photographer told Simon to step closer to his mother and Ojai board chairwoman Jane asked Nora if Simon was dating Sarah, then pointed out the chemistry she saw between Simon and her daughter. I’ve never had to deal with a large age difference — but again, I must be a bitch, because I would’ve shut Jane up much quicker thank Nora did. But Nora’s smackdown was worth the wait. “Oh Jane, Oh Jane, Oh Jane,” she said, politely summarizing the bedroom advantages of dating a younger man (even though she and Simon had yet to go there), then promising to give Jane’s daughter’s number to Simon when she breaks up with him. Simon, who overheard Nora and played along like a good boy, better be as good as he seems. “Beautiful, smart, and passionate” Nora has been through enough. Simon thought Nora was holding back and playing it safe because she lives in a box — albeit a beautiful one in Pasadena. I like the message Nora sent when she pointed out all that’s gone on in her home: Just because you don’t travel doesn’t mean you don’t have life experiences and take risks. What she was scared of was the fact that he reminds her of William — charming, exciting, unpredictable. William never wanted to take her along for the ride, and she was having a hard time believing Simon did. They worked it out with a steamy kiss on the staircase in front of family photos. “Yes, let them watch,” Nora said when Simon asked if it felt like everyone was watching them. Foreshadowing to the next episode in which Kitty walks in on some hot shower sex?

Kevin and Scotty, meanwhile, had to work out the little issue of how to choose an egg donor. Scotty couldn’t handle Kevin’s intense screening process — I’m guessing he probably put a spread sheet on their laptops — and bowed out. That meant Kevin had to walk around the wine festival playing the prospective women’s videos and reciting them verbatim. That joke was almost as hilarious as Kevin’s response to Nora when she suggested she not weigh in on that important of a decision over wine: “Why not? It’s never stopped our family before.” In the end, Saul was sober enough to offer wise words: there was nothing special about the grapes that made the Coastal Reserve, but it turned out fantastic. That surprise is the reason he makes wine. Translation: It’s nurture not nature that makes a child what he or she truly is, so any one of the healthy egg donors would be the right choice. Per Kevin’s wishes, he and Scotty each threw a dart at pictures of donor finalists on the door. Neither dart stuck. How did I not see that coming?

Lastly, we get to Kitty and Robert, who essentially had the week off. Kitty debuted her new wig, which was a little too Florence Henderson for me but seemed to do the trick for Robert. Kitty was afraid he was only attracted to “the other woman” (she must watch Desperate Housewives) and that he’d run the other direction if he saw her bald head. But he didn’t. He didn’t even address it until she brought it up. She was beautiful, he said. He didn’t quote Randy Travis’ “Forever and Ever, Amen” but I will: “Honey, I don’t care/ I ain’t in love with your hair/ And if it all fell out, well I’d love you anyway.”

What did you think of the episode? Do you want to see Mr. Naive (Luc) and Ms. Cynical (Sarah) make it work? Is Simon the right man for Nora or a little shady? Didn’t you love how Nora and Sarah continued to drink when they got home from spending the day at a wine festival? What should Rebecca and Justin do about the baby? (Breathe, there’s no way Rebecca would have the baby and hand it over to Kevin and Scotty to raise. Right?) How soon should Ryan get what’s coming to him? (Next episode, which is in two weeks, too soon?)

Photo credit: Ron Tom/ABC

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Brothers and Sisters
Calista Flockhart and Sally Field star in the teary family ensemble drama
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