Brothers and Sisters recap: Radio Drama
Nora makes a new friend at the station but can't stop Kitty and Sarah from bringing their overblown battle to her place of work
Last night’s Brothers and Sisters, “Resolved,” introduced us to Dr. Karl (guest star John Terry), a tall and exceedingly benign handsome man who was instantly smitten with his radio station colleague, Nora Walker. He can quote The Great Gatsby from memory but had trouble spitting out a reasonable sentence in the presence of Nora’s powerful halo of kindliness, deep concern, harsh judgment of character, and Boniva. Dr. Karl took the liberty of nicknaming her “Noradrenaline” a day after they’d met, explaining that it’s the approved name for the hormone that causes our “fight or flight” response. According to the internet, this is actually true. I am learning so much!
It looks like they’ll toy with us for a few weeks by having Dr. Karl and Nora be “friends.” Someone who is not related to Nora needs to listen to Nora, Karl decided. Nora, fresh off a crying spell having seen a mother wave to a little boy on a school bus, could barely contain herself. “I don’t even remember what it’s like to have a friend!” she gushed. She’s such a committed mother that even her very, very grown-up adult children have kept her too busy to make even a single friend since she first became a parent. Uh-huh. This seems extra nutters to me; then again, I can’t remember Nora ever having, mentioning, or using the word friend on the show, so what do I know? (Besides noradrenaline.)
“Ugggggggggghhhh,” Sarah sighed. Her butt hurt from having to sit on tens of millions of dollars, trying to find the right company to buy into or buy out. Kitty was there, wearing the exact same glasses as Sarah except Kitty’s were tortoise-shell. It was going to be a long, sisterly day of online shopping, raging insecurity, and deep-seated resentment! Here’s what happened: Kitty, that shiny bitch, offered to work with Sarah and insisted she had a strong business sense because she’d first come up with the idea for magnetic poetry. But at the time, Nora had refused to give Kitty a loan, explaining to Kitty that “business was Sarah’s thing.” Kitty said this out loud, to Sarah, as they lounged with rarely seen child star Evan! Uh-oh. Sarah flipped out. “AS IN MY ONLY THING?” she overreacted to Kitty. “DID I PALE IN COMPARISON TO KITTY THAT MUCH?” she demanded to know from Nora.
It was awful. Kitty and Sarah showed up for a photo shoot at Nora’s radio station only to resume episode 783 in their ongoing War of Hurt Feelings. This time we learned that Sarah had shown her business acumen early in life by managing a workforce for a lemonade stand and that Kitty had once ripped Sarah’s jelly shoes. Then Sarah’s passive aggression came out and she told Kitty about the conversation she and Nora had had earlier. “She told me you were desperate for approval and always needed a man in your life,” Sarah dropped the bomb. “It explains why you would suddenly want to go into business with your sister. You couldn’t stand being alone!” The entire thing was all REALLY SUDDEN and overblown, even for Sarah. Nora attempted to make peace, but there’s no calming down crazy when it’s this crazy.
As if this weren’t horrific enough, Sarah and Kitty then began talking over each other so violently that their screams blended into a single stream of gibberish, like whenever the adults spoke during Peanuts specials. I was watching a screener of this episode on my computer, with headphones. Headphones! During this fight! I will never be the same again. Thanks for sending me an advance copy of the episode, ABC, but consider this my official request for a bottle of Apology Chardonnay. Anyway, Nora stormed out, and the photo shoot was off. Poor Frank!
NEXT: An important question on your feelings about major scenes getting interrupted by commercials.
In the end, Kitty and Sarah decided not to work together after all. Kitty would just get bored, and Sarah would drive her crazy. Crisis averted. Except not, because Sarah decided to buy the company that owns Nora’s radio station. There were hundreds of companies to choose from, and she chose the one that would produce the most Walker family drama. Is this a TV show or what?
Meanwhile, Sarah’s daughter Paige (she’s so tertiary I feel like I need to do that) artfully used her school’s upcoming debate night to bring her uncles Kevin and Scotty back together. “But what if Johnny really loves Principal Smith?” she innocently wondered during a role-playing session that vaguely mirrored the couple’s relationship. Eventually, Kevin and Scotty spoke in private despite Kevin’s attempts to avoid his husband, and they reached some sort of resolve. (Hey, that’s the name of the episode!) I liked how Kevin was honest about his capacity to change his self-centered ways. He’s committed to the idea of change, and wants to “keep growing” with Scotty, but he knows himself well enough to not make promises he can’t keep.
There was something he could do right away, though. “You could forgive me,” said Scotty. Ah! So good! Lovers making concessions! I love how the heightened drama of a Sunday soap like Brothers and Sisters leaves us hanging on moments like that. Suddenly a commercial has kicked in, and we’re left wondering “Will he forgive him?” But it’s not even like that, because we know the answer. This may not make any sense but I’ll give it a shot: Does anyone else have a love/hate relationship with scenes that are cut off at crucial moments? Part of me wants to see the other person’s reactions and hear what they have to say in real time; the other part thinks it’s better that we’ve only been rationed a small amount of voyeurism into these weirdos’ lives and we should just be happy with what we get because it was deliberately produced and broadcast television is free! I think I end up loving these harsh cut-offs more than I hate them, because chances are the followup reaction would never be as good as what happened right before the cutoff point. What about you? Is anyone still reading?
Holly continued to have amnesia. Justin accused David of being high during one of their visits, and he was right. The men attended a meeting together and luckily David was sober when Holly found the jewelry she’d been wearing just before the accident. Holly claimed to have remembered the ring David had given her when he proposed. “No, no, not just another memory. I remember what it felt like when you gave it to me.” That’s a step! Holly, on a roll, then encouraged Justin to move on from his own haunting memory of Rebecca. “We’ve gotta stay open to whatever or whoever comes along.” Conveniently, there happens to be a hot young nurse named Annie, who has a “screwy” schedule, repeatedly harassed him about the tan line produced by his wedding ring, and somehow found everything he says — tongue ring! tiny tanning bed for fingers only! — absolutely hilarious. Fun fact: Dave Annable and this nurse (Odette Yustman) just got married in real life.
Do you think Dr. Karl and Nora will eventually get it on? “Don’t you think it’s weird when baby-less people are obsessed with baby stuff?” (YES.) Discuss last night’s Brothers and Sisters below!
Annie on Twitter: @EWAnnieBarrett