Brothers and Sisters recap: Getting Away With Mergers
Kevin asks Scotty to marry him, and Holly and Tommy offer to save Ojai by taking it over; plus, Rebecca tells Justin she's not really his sister
I love sweeps weeks. It’s that blessed time when shows aren’t afraid to move their plots. And no one is better at go time than Brothers & Sisters.
I actually applauded at the end of this episode when Kevin, having seen various family members take a nosedive into the lake of unhappiness, proposed to Scotty. I would have accepted that heartfelt but not saccharine proposal — even from a man who I knew was gay. It was that good. Kevin realized how lucky he was to come home to someone who is kind and caring — and who changes the light bulbs. ”Because I changed the light bulbs?” asked Scotty when Kevin popped the question. Yes. And no. Because he also makes Kevin feel that he can just be himself, and that whatever that is, on whatever day, it’s good enough. That’s the definition of family, which is what Kevin wants him and Scotty to be. (Applause!)
Of course, I also appreciated the irony of Mr. Sarcasm being the ray of sunshine in this otherwise drama-filled episode. At the start of the hour, Ojai Foods was still in serious doo-doo because that Golden Plum deal went so far south that it made an appearance at Jamie Lynn Spears’ baby shower. Though Graham tried to tell Saul and Sarah to look on the bright side of their $20 million problem — ”This is not the end. The bank can’t take your knowledge and experience.” (Slap!) — they knew it was their family on the line. Well, their family except for Kitty, apparently, who for some reason was never contacted to help figure out how to save the company in 48 hours. I know that she’s the farthest removed from Ojai — and that she and Robert were busy with their own 48-hour fertility window (he wanted to do it on the coffee table, so he’s switching parties?) — but come on. Someone should’ve called her. Or at least said they tried to call her. Especially after Nora insisted no stone go unturned and took Sarah to beg Tommy and Holly to put their winery, Walker Landing, up for collateral.
For the longest time, I couldn’t figure out why Sarah was taking the fall for Saul. Person after person belittled her for ”signing off” on the deal: Nora thought she lost the vision of the family company; Kevin and Tommy thought her relationship with Graham had her following him blindly. But after Saul told Nora the truth, and Nora went to apologize for the things she said to Sarah, we got our answer: Sarah felt guilty for acting like a schoolgirl (i.e., asking Saul to deliver the ”no go” message to the boy she liked) at the company her father chose her to run. Maybe it’s a good thing, Nora said, if Tommy and Holly wouldn’t help. Ojai would go out of business, and Sarah would be out from under her father’s thumb. But as it turned out, Sarah actually does want the responsibility of keeping the business her father built afloat — which is why she agreed to Holly’s counteroffer, merging Walker Landing and Ojai. Sarah and Tommy will be co-presidents; Holly will be chairman and CEO and have the tie-breaking vote when needed.
NEXT: How evil is Holly?
Let’s talk about Holly, shall we? She’d actually won me over some with her a single mom does what she has to speech during her emotional confrontation with Rebecca over the paternity-test results. Yes, Holly had made a royal mess of everything, but for a moment I believed she did it because she loved her daughter — and because she could live with herself as long as she never knew for certain that she was ripping William Walker off. I even felt bad for her when Rebecca threw it in her face that she wasn’t the mother Nora was. But then Holly went and orchestrated that merger, presumably guessing that Rebecca would eventually tell Justin the truth, and she seemed evil again. (Am I too cynical? Could she have done it to help save something for the people she’s been taking from?) I don’t know what it would take for Tommy and Sarah to vote her ass off Ojai Island, but I do know that it’s not going to be fun working with them once they find out that she bamboozled them. And they will find out, since Justin told Nora that Rebecca isn’t a Walker.
While we eagerly await that showdown, we can discuss something (momentarily) fun, like Justin coming to terms with his feelings for Rebecca. He’d been avoiding her since her surfing lesson — when he first noticed that she had legs. (Her gams were bare this entire episode, no?) She wanted to hang out, but Justin lied and said he had a hot date. He then confessed his many sins to Kevin, in what has to be one of my top 10 favorite scenes of the season. Though it took Kevin a while to realize what Justin meant when he said he wasn’t ”unhappy” at the thought of Rebecca not being a Walker, the look on his face when it registered was priceless. ”You’re attracted to our sister?” he shouted, before scrambling to close his office door. ”I told you, I’m the most disgusting person in the world!” Justin answered. I’ve always had my favorite Kevins: Drunk Kevin, Cynical Kevin, Wicked-Obsessed Kevin. Now I have to add ”Supportive” Kevin. Bless him for trying to talk Justin off the ledge with his speech about how it’s not ”entirely abnormal” for Justin to ”possibly have feelings” for his half sister, because they only met as adults and Justin ”clearly has boundary issues,” concluding with ”You just need a little time-out to stop thinking about…inbreeding.” (Hence the quotes around ”Supportive.”)
NEXT: Justin and Rebecca tell the truth
Despite Kevin’s telling Justin never to speak of this again, to anyone, Justin had to come clean to Rebecca after they went to the movies and he had multiple freak-outs — including one when the person working the concession stand asked if they were ”together” (trite) and one when Rebecca reached into the tub of popcorn on his lap (trite, but tolerable for the naughty undertone). In the lobby, he finally told her that for a moment, when he thought David could be her father, he had feelings for her. He needed to make sure that didn’t happen again, which wasn’t easy when she was always around (in short skirts). Here’s what I wrote in my notes at this point: ”How is the guy working concessions NOT listening to this?” Seriously, it was a quiet lobby and a not-quiet conversation about incest. I know extras are told not to pay attention to the action in the scene, but in this case, I’m pretty sure a bystander would have genuinely been interested in that dialogue. The next day, Rebecca told Justin that they weren’t related, that she’d lied to him because she didn’t want to lose the family she’d found. Justin told her to get the hell out because she’s no different than her scheming mother (who, incidentally, had also thrown Rebecca out of her house, but for good). I wonder if Rebecca and Justin will make up in the season finale next week, and whether we’ll hear her express how she feels about him. (She’s never said it, although we all assumed she was jealous when he was boffing Lena.)
Last but not as least as usual, we get to Saul. I appreciate that they’re finally moving his coming-out story along, but I can’t help thinking that his George Bailey routine would’ve been even more affecting had they actually made him a larger part of this season. Saul called Kevin to pick him up at the pokey after he’d rammed his car into a tree and been arrested for DUI. I heard trumpets when Saul finally said, ”I’m a gay man, Kevin.” And then I heard John Coltrane and Johnny Hartman’s ”Lush Life” when he asked Kevin how to be a gay man at his age and how to get all the time he’d lost back. Kevin couldn’t answer those questions, but he did tell Saul that there was no way the family would let him waste the life he has left punishing himself. (Supportive Kevin, with no quotes!) I really do hope we see more of Saul now. You don’t have to be a middle-aged man fresh from the closet to relate to his story. Regrets come in many forms, and any of them can overwhelm you to the point that you become reckless because you don’t care whether you win or lose — you’re just tired of being immobile. You’ll be soaring if you succeed or headed toward rock bottom if you fail; saving your life or losing the will to live it.
So what do you think is in store for Saul? For Rebecca and Justin? For the merging Ojai Foods and Walker Landing? And for the marinating Kitty and Robert?
Brothers and Sisters