'Brothers & Sisters': Well, technically someone did die

Brothersandsisters_lI watched the Brothers & Sisters two-hour movie event with my sister last night. Considering she’d never seen the show before and said she felt like she was going to vomit when Robert had his heart attack as Kitty met their newborn son, I think we can say this episode was well done.

The show started with Nora running through the hospital to get to the ER where an unseen man that we all knew would be Robert was flatlining. Is there a more heartbreaking shot than a hospital dash? Either you’ve done it, or you live in fear of it. We then flashbacked to 24 hours earlier and a Walker family dinner at Nora’s, where we got some nice one-liners: "Oh, nice catch Nora" (Scotty, when Nora caught the roll Kevin tossed to Justin); "We don’t do separately" (Sarah, when Saul said his boyfriend wanted to have dinner with them all, individually); "Not everybody needs to meet our family to be happy" (Kitty, when Nora’s open invitation to Ryan to come meet his half-siblings was finally exposed). We also got to see Robert tell Kitty that him killing the article about her was a "genuine misunderstanding" (such bull) before assuring her that family comes first and announcing his gubernatorial run to the Walkers. Kitty and Robert went home and had sex. Twice.

The next day, everything went to hell: The Drudge Report got a leak about Robert stepping into the ring, so he had to move up his press conference announcing his candidacy — just as Kitty got the call that Trish, the mother of the baby they’re adopting, went into labor. (The writers attempted some nice psych-outs with Justin having to drive back to Kitty’s house in Santa Barbara to get the baby clothes and Saul needing to drive home to get some of Trish’s pre-selected music — car accidents could’ve put either of them in the ER.) Would Robert actually put his family first and be there for the birth of the baby? That was the question of the hour (or two). As Nora tried to distract Trish by telling her the William Walker saga, the drama heightened at Robert’s office when the governor paid him a visit and said she’d changed her mind — she would be running for re-election, now that she told her husband about her affair and he forgave her. They threatened to make each other’s lives miserable (finally, Robert behaves like a Republican — KIDDING!) and Robert needed a pep talk from Kevin about how he represents change to stay in the race. He also needed an aspirin for a headache, which would end up saving his life. After his speech (and so many shots of water bottles that my sister actually thought Robert might’ve been poisoned), he collapsed in the parking garage on his way to the hospital to see the birth. Rob Lowe was fantastic in that scene — and in the lifeless ER shots that followed. I actually thought he might he die. It seemed like a perfect regret-filled ending to Robert and Kitty’s marriage, to have Kitty see his speech on TV and essentially tell her family that she was going to leave him. He still wasn’t putting family first when the doctor told him that he needed a bypass that would involve months of cardiac rehab — and he balked. Only when Kitty gave him no choice (she wasn’t going to let him miss the rest of Evan Walker McCallister’s life) did he relent.

addCredit(“Ron Tom/ABC”)

This episode was Calista Flockhart’s best work of the series, if you ask me. It should be what they submit for Emmy consideration — with timecodes for that waiting room outburst to her family, her "Just give me one more minute" speech/prayer to Nora, and the final moment, when she saw Kevin on TV lying about the seriousness of his friend Robert’s condition and assuring the press that he was still in the race and she sat down with Evan and told him it’s "just you and me now." (Confession: I thought maybe instead of Kevin’s statement, she would see the TV pundit announce Robert’s death.) I’ve always enjoyed Kitty’s scenes with Nora, but last night was the first time I remember truly liking Kitty solo. I like that she’s no longer letting Robert get by on his charm, and that she’s returning to the strong woman we knew when she first met Robert.

The other big development in last night’s episode was Tommy’s arrest for embezzlement. Rebecca and David returned to California, and though it looked like he’d actually convinced Holly to let Tommy buy her out and walk away from the Walkers, everything changed when she went to Tommy’s house and Julia started talking about how happy her husband was. (If I’m being perfectly honest, it crossed my mind that Holly might be going there to, like, shoot Tommy. What? It’s sweeps, people!) Tommy just happened to call Julia to tell her about Evan and Robert, and when Julia needed a last-minute babysitter for Elizabeth, Holly volunteered so she could snoop through Tommy’s papers. Of course, she found exactly what she was looking for — proof that he’d taken $2 million from the company to buy Crawford. Sarah and Saul had finally managed to talk Tommy out of selling his soul and integrity with this shady deal to boot Holly, and he called off the board meeting he’d scheduled to vote her out. But it was too late: Holly had all the ammo she needed, and after she confronted him, he was shown at home with his papers being seized by the authorities.

Of course, Tommy’s takedown is bound to come between Justin and Rebecca. She wasn’t sure whether or not to warn him, and after David told her love was all that mattered, I thought she would. But, she didn’t. She just made Justin promise that no matter what happens, they’ll make it through. It was a big night for Justin: After a pep talk from Nora, he decided that he wants to be a doctor. (I don’t see him in med school. I see him being an EMT.) And, he met Ryan, who showed up at Nora’s house while Justin and Rebecca were there making dinner and avoiding talking about Tommy.

So, what do you want to see happen between Kitty and Robert? (Should Kitty be a single mom? We’ve already seen her do the world’s quickest diaper change.) What do you hope happens to Tommy? (In the preview for next week’s episode, Julia and Nora look mighty pissed at him…) And anyone else think we’re in for a Rebecca-Justin-Ryan triangle?

Comments (87 total) Add your comment
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  • Jennilyn

    Yikes! I watched with my sister too, and she kept yelling, “You can’t kill Sam Seaborn…” Which lightened the mood considerably for me. I kept thinking that Holly was going to kidnap Elizabeth when she was babysitting…

  • Jennilyn

    Yikes! I watched with my sister too, and she kept yelling, “You can’t kill Sam Seaborn…” Which lightened the mood considerably for me. I kept thinking that Holly was going to kidnap Elizabeth when she was babysitting…

  • Sandi

    Disappointed with ABC in how they advertised this episode for 2 weeks long, indicating a death. NOBODY DIED!! A heart attack and a red line for Robert?? Puh-lease!! This is not a death. This was obviously done to stir up ratings. What bothers me most is that a network like ABC loses credibility with their viewers when they are dishonest with them, as they were with this episode. I know ABC resps read these comments, and I hope others also let them have it in this forum. Ken Olin is looking better…but soembody needs to tell that guy to lose the really bad facial hair…as it ages him poorly. The actress who plays Holly (Patircia Wettig) had some great scenes last night. I can’t wait to see the next few scenes between her and Nora (Sally Field). I wonder how quickly in TV time Justin will become a doctor….say less than 1 year??

  • Leila

    I hate the fact that they teased us for two weeks that someone would die and then boom… Nothing! I kept holding my breath for those weeks wondering will it be Robert or the birth mom (forgot her name). Then to find out at the beginning of the show most likely Robert (hoped he did die, I confess). Whenever Kitty is around him she becomes this blabbing idiot. She sacrifices too much of herself for him and he has yet to reciprocate. Hope he does die in these coming weeks. I am tired of his antics.

  • Jelana

    I agree with Sandi, I would have enjoyed this episode so much more if not for the grossly misleading promos from ABC. I kept waiting for someone to die — for real, not a flat line. At the end instead of saying, wow — what a good episode, I felt duped.

  • Leila

    Further more, what’s with Kevin’s all of a sudden undying love for Robert? What’s up with that? I thought could Kevin be possibly longing for Robert? Yikes! Hate Holly, but a bad seed is needed on the show.

  • MandiHeather

    I totally thought Holly was going to shoot Tommy! Especially when she went to his office to ask him a question and he said “shoot”… That would have been an interesting storyline.
    Rob Lowe did fantastic. It was a little scary for a while. I thought the guy who plays Kevin did a great job as well.

  • Lauren

    I thought this whole episode was boring and a complete disappointment…I was already losing interest and I thought this episode was gonna make the show much more exciting but instead made me not want to watch the show anymore….

  • jen

    ha, i also thought that either robert was poisoned with all the water shots. also, no you aren’t crazy, i also thought that maybe holly was going to tommy’s house to kill julia or that baby

  • Rachel K

    I thought a kidnapping ploy was in the works too but I guess Holly’s not that crazy. She kinda scared me with her crazy mood change at the end because she had gotten what she wanted. I hope Holly wins out over Tommy, because let’s face it, he did something illegal but, I hope that everyone leaves her because of it. A perfect example of you can’t have your cake and eat it too. While I was blown away by a lot of the characters last night I was truly moved by Kevin’s scene with Scotty when he talked about how he thought he was going to watch Robert die. I can’t imagine how horrible it would be to watch someone have a heart attack in front of you and I was blown away by that performance.

  • Lin

    When it looked like Robert might be assuming room temp, I must admit my first cynical reaction was, “Hoo, boy, something else for Kitty to whine about!” I hate the way they’ve changed her character from a sharp, savvy woman brave enough to buck her family on politics, to a harpy dumb enough to be shocked, shocked that her politician husband is . . . political. Also hate to see still more characters added, since we already see too little of most of the (very good) actors on the show.

  • brandi

    Lauren, were we watching the same show? This was a fantastic episode. I felt as though it was definitely worth the two week wait.

  • Brian

    OK, we’ve gotta remember that this is a TV show, but so many things really strain credulity. Have you ever seen someone right after bypass surgey want to do anything in the future except to keep breathing? Does any national politician’s wife expect them to have time for family as a priority during an election cycle? I love Flockhart–one of maybe six real actresses around these days. But somebody in scripting needs to take a get real pill.

  • Elly

    Love this show. How about that scene where Nora is comforting Kitty while Robert is in surgery, which has to mirror what Nora went through with William. Nora’s concern for her child and her memories of her own pain are right there on her face. Sally Field gives such great subtle performances.

  • Elizabeth

    After Robert pulled through, I still thought Tommy was going to take the dirt nap, but I’ve read ahead so I knew that wasn’t happening. Then I thought Trish was leaving a little too soon, so she might, but no one died… technically.

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