Sarah and Kitty try to escape to a spa, but their troubles -- and Nora -- come with them; meanwhile, Justin and Tommy apparently succumb to temptation

By Mandi Bierly
Updated October 27, 2007 at 04:01 PM EDT
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Credit: Scott Garfield
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You’re right, Kitty: Life has not been kind to the Walker children in recent weeks. But at least it made for great TV.

As usual, let’s get Tommy out of the way first — a task made easy since the writers do such a great job of isolating him from the rest of the family. He’s now officially given up on Julia (who’s still at her parents’ house in Phoenix with Lizzie and refusing to talk to him). We sensed this when he symbolically threw his hands up in a business meeting, which pissed off Holly. We knew it when he opened a bottle of wine with Lena the office manager and presumably spent the night with her — which really angered Holly. Though I pushed for Tommy’s infidelity in last week’s TV Watch — just because it’d give the character something to do — this affair feels rushed. One minute Lena is telling Tommy it’ll all work out. The next, she’s telling him he needs to think of himself. Then bam! — Holly shows up to work and finds them wearing the same clothes they had on the day before. I’d like to think they just spent the night drinking (or bowling), but they wouldn’t have looked that guilty then, right? The preview for next week showed Tommy saying that ”what happened” couldn’t happen again, then telling Lena to get in his car. Note to the show’s writers: If you’re gonna have the father of an infant cheat on his estranged wife (not appealing), at least have the (in)decency to show us a sex scene.

Speaking of inappropriate relationships, how much did you love it when Justin’s physical therapist referred to Rebecca as his girlfriend? I’m hoping we’re not headed toward a scene where Justin is so high that he hits on his half sister. Ewww. I’m no doctor, but even I could tell that Justin had popped some unauthorized painkillers when he went all Gumby. Yes, he scored the pills from a fellow wounded vet, but why was Justin’s own pill bottle sitting on his dresser? If you’re worried he’ll dip into it, shouldn’t it be locked up somewhere? Seems like Recovering Addict 101 to me. Nora is not gonna be happy about this, Rebecca. Maybe this is the start of the riff that will force you back into your mother’s house.

A falling out I wasn’t expecting was the one between Kevin and Saul. I love/hate that we have no clue when we’ll learn the real story behind Saul’s Key West vacation with old pal Milo, who invited Saul to his all-male housewarming party. Now, however, we know why Kevin’s ex Scotty was brought back into the picture: He was a waiter at Milo’s ”big gay cocktail party,” saw Saul at the shindig, and asked Kevin why he never mentioned that his uncle was gay. When Kevin confronted Saul, all he really wanted to know was why Saul never had his back when his father had trouble accepting a gay son. Saul pretty much just wanted the conversation to end. The two sat down for another heart-to-heart, and Saul insisted he was not gay. What do you make of that? I’m at a loss.

NEXT: The Walker women get away

Something I do understand is how Kitty and Sarah could be guilted into including Nora on their overnight spa trip. (If you’re reading this, Mom, I love you.) Kitty needed to escape the stress of having found a prenup among Robert’s papers, and Sarah needed to avoid thinking about her 10-year wedding anniversary. Of course, Nora wanted to use the time away to plan Kitty’s wedding and to get Sarah (”All I’m missing is a Lionel Richie song and a pint of ice cream”) psyched about single life again. I had to rewind three times to watch Rachel Griffiths’ face drop when Sally Field told her they could use the time to talk about her impending divorce. It was so perfectly, instantly stripped of joy.

The scenes at the spa were all that that Diane Keaton movie Because I Said So wanted to be and wasn’t — mainly, well written and hysterical. Take Nora and Kitty trying to convince Sarah that she’s still hot and, in fact, looks better today than she ever has: ”I could show you a picture from three years ago, you’d kill yourself,” Nora offered. (That’s almost but not nearly as messed up as when I recently told my mother that I’d never get married and she responded with the incredibly encouraging ”You never know.”) I’m digging divorced Sarah already because it means that she’ll have this kind of time to play with Kitty and Nora when the kids are with Joe. (Also because it means we won’t have to see Joe. Oh, like you miss him.) Sarah has been making a play for the title of my favorite Walker — what with the way she greets alcohol (”Oh, thank God”), it’s only natural — and she finally succeeded in this episode. The moment of victory came just after the trio got booted from the quiet room, when Nora threatened to go see Tommy and Sarah temporarily diverted her attention with ”Mom, I need you.” Dramatic pause. ”It’s why we’re here.” Calista Flockhart and Griffiths are so good at giving each other those looks that sisters give that it makes me grateful that I have a sibling to shoot a smirk at. (Again, Mom, I love you.)

After Kitty persuaded Sarah to crash a wedding for the lamb chops, Sarah got ”lock-blocked” before she could bed the groom’s son, and Nora returned from seeing Tommy, the Walker women finally had it out. Sarah and Kitty told Nora she wasn’t responsible for their happiness, and Nora explained that she wished she didn’t have to stay up at night worrying about how her screwed-up children will get their lives together. In the end, Sarah and Kitty begged Nora to break the quiet-room code and give them advice: Sarah needed to admit her marriage is over, hurt like hell, and move on; commitment-phobe Kitty needed to acknowledge that the prenup represents more than Robert’s doubts about their happily ever after and have enough faith for both of them. (Of course, because Robert is so painfully perfect, he said he never intended to have Kitty sign the prenup. In real life, I’d love him. On TV, he’s a bit of a snore.)

So, what do you think? Is Nora right? Will Kitty become — and stay — the new Mrs. McCallister? Will she find out she’s pregnant on next week’s episode? Where exactly are Tommy, Justin, and Saul headed? And does anyone else find themselves reimagining other shows with Griffiths in the lead? (I like ABC’s new comedy Samantha Who? but I’d love to see the kind of weight Griffiths could have given that role.)

Episode Recaps

Brothers and Sisters

Calista Flockhart and Sally Field star in the teary family ensemble drama
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  • Bebe Moore Campbell

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