Brothers & Sisters, Matthew Rhys, ...
Credit: Craig Sjodin/ABC

It was a night of unexpected twists on Brothers & Sisters, save the whole Luc and Sarah ending, which I’d scripted in my head the second we found out that the painting Sarah and Kevin were ogling at some anonymous art charity event was his. That kiss, however, was worth any eye-rolling it took to get there. (“I missed you.” “Oh my god.” What she said!) But let’s back up…

Surprise No. 1: Rebecca had a miscarriage while Nora was teaching her how to make Justin’s favorite brownies for him for Valentine’s Day. I’d been waiting for this to happen since she first found out she was pregnant, but all those weeks off lured me into a false sense of security. Rebecca and Justin are understandably devastated, and they’re dealing with it in different ways: He cried on Kitty’s shoulder at the hospital, then got Rebecca all of her favorite foods and tried to play nurse; she wants to forget it ever happened and insisted on standing and making those brownies so at least something turned out the way she’d planned. Obviously, this is going to shake up their relationship, because these two can’t be happy: Odds are, she’ll blame him for not wanting the baby as much as she did.

Surprise No. 2: Nora and Holly are on the same team! Holly told David that she didn’t sleep with York and that she was going to sell him her shares in Ojai just to get him out of her life. Her one concern: The deal would again put Rebecca between her mother and the Walkers. David told her not to get sentimental about the Walkers because they aren’t sentimental about her. Cut to Holly sincerely thanking Nora for being there for Rebecca in the hospital, and Nora saying that’s what you do for family — they’re all family. Kitty had heard through her sleuthing campaign manager Buffy (Cheryl Hines) that Holly had sold her shares in Ojai, and when Nora later found out, she went to give Holly a piece of her mind. To Holly’s credit — and against every melodramatic bone in the show’s writers’ bodies — she just stood there and took it, then calmly explained what happened to Nora. She’d canceled the sale after Nora said they were family. She told Nora about the hidden wealth in Ojai, which Nora couldn’t fathom until she found out York was the one saying it. That changes everything, Nora said. What could York be talking about?

Surprise No. 3: Alec, the park dad Kitty had an emotional affair with after Robert’s heart attack, returned. This is only a surprise because I’d forgotten all about him. He showed up at Robert’s office to warn him that he’d gotten a call from someone who wanted to ask him about his relationship with Kitty. Robert was not happy to see him, but told him to set up a meeting with the caller because they had to know who it was. He also asked Alec if he slept with Kitty (Alec said no, which is the truth). As they later waited at Alec’s home for the person to ring the doorbell, Robert was chilly until Alec asked about Kitty’s remission and mentioned that he’d lost his wife to Stage 3 breast cancer. Robert, being his almost annoyingly levelheaded self, then told Alec that he and Kitty had been having problems long before she started taking Evan to the park because he’d shut her out after his heart attack. They’d fought back to where they are today, which is happier than ever, so perhaps he should thank Alec. THAT was a quick turnaround, but okay… We had to resolve Robert’s anger because we were about to lighten the mood with the entrance of Buffy, who was just making sure there were no skeletons in Kitty’s closet. (Kitty’s forgotten about that affair she had with a married politician when she was an intern in Washington?) Robert doesn’t want Buffy working with Kitty — I don’t think he trusts her — but she and Kitty are old friends and Kitty does believe in her. They moved Kitty’s announcement that she’ll be running for Robert’s seat from the planned location (Ojai, perfect because she’s a moderate Republican running on family values and small business) to Kitty and Robert’s home (perfect because there was no question who runs it, and it was Valentine’s Day, and Kitty could wear an ugly red suit).

I’m already enjoying the Kitty-Buffy relationship and the sacrifices the liberal Walkers are making for Kitty’s campaign (Sarah to Paige, who was feeling choked by her pearl necklace: “I’ve got right-wing hair, so suck it up”). Great scene in the kitchen before Kitty’s announcement, too, with Sarah hitting the mimosas and Nora the straight champagne (“I can’t believe the three of you are in here drinking while the GOP is out there denying global warming”). Did you catch the Republican staffer gasping when she saw Kevin and Scotty kiss? That was about as funny as the show pretending that Kitty’s family history wouldn’t be one gigantic red flag for a Republican running on family values. If the show is smart, they’ll have fun with that, like they did with Buffy finding out kindly Uncle Saul was also gay.

Surprise No. 4: Roy broke up with Sarah. Sarah had spent all episode trying to convince herself that she could make a relationship with Roy work even if she didn’t want to define it and he didn’t make her want to blush and barf. At the art charity event, she was mesmerized by a $500 painting that he thought looked like something his daughter could have done in second grade. She didn’t know what to get him for Valentine’s Day (she opted for chocolates), he didn’t know what to get her since she’d broken her ankle rollerskating (his first idea), so he bought her that painting. He realized he was trying too hard, not only with the expensive gift but also in general. So he broke up with her. But he told her to keep the painting because she loved it. BEST BREAK UP EVER! Sarah went back to the gallery to ask the owner to charge her credit card instead of Roy’s, and wouldn’t you know it, Luc was there. That’s why he’d been texting her. He’d seen Sarah kiss Roy at the event, so he waited for her to tell him that they were just friends before fully smoldering. He wanted to know what she liked about his painting. She said it was the line that looked like it was trying to escape — it reminded her of something she lost. He asked, what if the line wasn’t escaping but trying to find his way home? That’d be a different story, she said. And kiss! My mind tells me having Gilles Marini (or anyone from Dancing With the Stars) in that role is cheesy, but my body does respond to him, so I’m hoping Sarah does stop his green card marriage at City Hall next week and puts a ring on it. (Kitty accidentally carrying a firearm into City Hall during Sarah’s mad dash? In the real world, political suicide. In TV world, comedy?)

Surprise No. 5: Schools still force you to participate in Valentine’s Day festivities? Paige’s teacher decided to have them draw names, so everyone got a Valentine and she could work in a history lesson about India and arranged marriages. Valentine’s Day at school was the worst, right? I actually have okay memories from elementary school: One boy strung together three Mighty Mouse cards for me and added connecting words: “I like you BECAUSE you’re out of this world SO be my Valentine.” (It was only a few years ago that I confirmed he was gay.) But high school, man. Having to sit there in homeroom while the carnations were delivered, wondering if you would get one and what color it would be? Torture.

Your turn. What did you think of the episode? Any theories you’d like to share about where Justin and Rebecca, Holly and Nora, Sarah and Luc, or Kitty’s campaign are headed next?

Photo credit: Craig Sjodin/ABC

Episode Recaps

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