Kitty's stint as a gumshoe leads to a wacky misunderstanding; Sarah and Kevin grapple with teenage drama
In a long, drawn-out, high-drama, Brothers and Sisters-ly plot showcasing just how terrible the Walkers are at using modern technology in the form of “smartphones,” the whole family suspected that Nora might be a lesbian. But it turned out she was just a florist! It was all Kitty’s fault for having nothing better to do than pretend she was house-hunting, but really spending her whole day spying on her newly secretive mom. I loved how the “new gym” Nora made up to explain why she wasn’t in her bed at 5 a.m. involved “one of those 14-day trials.” So specific! Kitty was onto Nora right from the start, and then Nora didn’t help matters by using language so cryptic and possibly sexual — “You have needs. So do I! Sometimes you push me too hard…” — that it could only mean she’d suddenly switched teams at 63. (This is not way out of line, people. Cybill Shepherd in The L Word, anyone? Or real people who do this, too?)
The gang endured another classic liquor-infused Walker emotional showdown of epic proportions — only this time it wasn’t around their dinner table! The line of designer underwear modeled on the sides of buildings by hot, hot Luc threw a swanky party, so the Walkers ventured out into public to monopolize the booze flow and decibel levels. After Kitty announced her private-investigator findings to her siblings, Justin immediately disapproved of his mom being gay. He’s used to a more stringent “Don’t ask, don’t tell your nosy family why you’re bringing crab soup to female ‘clients'” policy, and wanted nothing to do with this. “Uncle Saul’s not enough for you — now you want mom?” he whined, taking the entire stressful situation out on Kevin. For his part, Kevin just wasn’t buying it. “Anyone else. Even you,” he told Kitty (and yes, Kitty totally would be a better lesbian than Nora), “but not mom.” Scotty was extremely jazzed about the whole idea, but he’s probably still trying to close the last of those hundreds of windows that popped up when he accidentally hit “slideshow” during a routine Google search of “senior citizen lesbians.”
Finally Nora entered to set the record straight, but not before we were treated to a very funny shot of Sally Field checking out a female model. Wink, wink! She plopped down in front of her perplexed children, who simply didn’t know who their mom was anymore, and continued to use mysterious language from the blooming garden of words available only to either women exploring their sexuality or civilians who have recently become florists. It was fun to watch the siblings’ faces take each devastating punch as Sally Field callously threw them out. “I’m not interested in men whatsoever…I’m really enjoying myself…There’s nothing wrong with a woman my age wanting to try something new. To be honest, things have been a little tight lately. I needed the money!”
“Oh my God, you think I’m GAY?!” Well, no, at that point they probably thought she was a prostitute. But no. “No! I’M NOT A LESBIAN. I’M A FLORIST!” she cried out as everyone gasped in relief. She just got a job at Zoe’s Flowers. She’s channeling her inner Ruth Fisher from Six Feet Under! Everything is going to be okay.
NEXT: A proposal regarding Luc’s ab routines and the future of Brothers & Sisters.
Ha, fat chance. Nora used this opportunity to unleash a severe and inspiring dose of OLD-SCHOOL NORA WALKER on her misguided, unsuspecting offspring. For the last year, without her Boniva-infused strong-arm to keep them on the right track, they went astray. But no more. Kevin, when did you become so cynical? Save that poor kid whose drunken dad doesn’t even keep paper in their apartment! Justin, start acting like a good husband! Kitty, take the first painful steps of your new life! No, Sarah, I’m not gonna skip you. Be a damn mother and take your drunk daughter home from this salacious den of sex, lies, and designer underwear!
As the siblings tried to process their new worlds of harsh truths, Nora staggered away in search of a different type of white whine. And look who it was! A talk-radio producer named Zeke, who thought she’d be perfect for a call-in advice show. YES. Hello, Dolly!
I must mention that in a very brief (!) scene, Gilles Marini was doing situps, grunting Monica Seles/Serena Williams-style, except sexier. “Couldn’t you keep it down?” complained Sarah. “It’s very distracting.” No! Don’t stop, Luc, don’t stop. This entire series would be more bearable and less depressing if Luc’s ab routines were featured in the corner of each scene. A little picture-in-picture action — sound on or off depending on the gravity of whatever emotional turmoil the Walkers have wandered into this time. Think about it, producers. Distractions can be good!
Sarah was being a real beeyotch with those extra tickets by the way. I mean, the Walkers barely hang out with anyone except their immediate family. Would it have been that difficult to allow for their extra guests, even if they were “twits” named “Chad”? Sarah seemed OFFENDED that her own brother would even ask. This is like the coolest thing they’ve ever done, so Sarah was relishing her new role as the arbiter of cool and treating it like a huge burden! I wouldn’t mind switching “major life problems” lists with Sarah right now.
Sarah was having trouble connecting with her daughter Paige who, to be honest, really does look like a chicken. Actually that’s ridiculous. But if you had a “kid lineup” and had to choose one child to portray the essence of a chicken, Paige would be your girl. She’s growing up! Paige is at that age where she’s retreating from her mom. We’ve all done it at some point. I still feel horrible about what a brat I was to my mom and how I had no concept at the time of how devastating it must have been for her to feel like her daughter hated her. So when I see this happen to every single mother/daughter relationship on TV, I want to shake the child and scream Your mom loves you and you are turning into a scary/awkward monster! But I guess that’s just how life goes. (Parenthood: same thing.) Anyway, these things happen.
To up her cool factor, Sarah allowed Paige to attend the grown-ups’ party honoring Paige’s eminently cooler father-figure, Luc. Paige got drunk on Windex sours with her new friend Layla, but came to her senses the next day and resumed weaving friendship bracelets with her Hello Kitty-loving friend Agatha. Sarah, recipient of one of the bracelets (see how easy that worked out? yay TV!) realized that she needed to be the one to set values around her house, just like Nora used to do for her.
NEXT: Problems with the Justin-Holly-David storyline? We have a number you can call!
For a while, it looked like Scotty and Kevin might have had a permanent houseguest (that is, when he wasn’t trying to break into the restaurant) in troubled youth Mateo, who was afraid of his father “only when he’s around.” (Tragique!) It was Nora to the rescue, making a swift transition from knife-wielding small-business protector (awesome!) to nosy intruder who, as Kevin put it, needed to put her bleeding heart back into her NPR tote bag. Zing, Kevin! But as usual, Nora’s instincts were right. Mateo didn’t want money; he wanted security and love, and most of all he needed help. Kevin and Scotty escorted Mateo to a tearful reunion with his abuela at the end of the episode, and there seemed to be some closure there. I’m not sure I was ready for that kid to leave, though. His dynamic with Kevin was strained but interesting, and I wonder if they could have helped each other a lot more.
The entire Justin-Holly-David storyline is 1-800-ZZZZZZZZ, extension BLAH. Justin was hoping Holly would actually forget him “so one member of that family doesn’t hate me.” But look at his luck! Holly does remember Justin…because he keeps going back to her house! David doesn’t want him around, but it looks like he’ll tolerate Justin because Holly’s making progress with her memories while Justin is around. David’s official stance on Justin: “You broke my daughter’s heart because you had to go play soldier for a year.”
In the end, Kitty finally rented a house in Ojai for the next three months. She’ll either take that job with the RNC or “write children’s books…about dinosaurs.” Just a thought: LESBIAN dinosaurs whose favorite things include NPR tote bags, enormous scarves, and vats of soup would be even better. Write what you know, Kitty! Fine, write about blazers.
What did you think of the second episode of B&S‘ fifth season? Sound off below…but before you do, scroll down for some added visual and audio stimulation!
Hidden Gem of the Week: Evan rolling his eyes after Kitty attempted to thwart Nora’s burgeoning gayness by going to the “cleaners” for her!
DON’T MISS: Embedded below, listen to the first edition of EW.com’s TV Insiders podcast. Dalton Ross, Michael Slezak, Annie Barrett, Michael Ausiello (who also gives his picks for best and worst new show of the new season), and Jeff “Doc” Jensen break down the week in television and present it to you in an easily digestible audio format. Or click here to download TV Insiders to your MP3 player!
Annie on Twitter: @EWAnnieBarrett