Sunday night’s two-hour Brothers & Sisters event was as much a mid-season premiere as it was a stunt for sweeps. The many sub-plot horses were assembled at the gate, and from the looks of things, it’s going to be a tight race to the finish line.
The focus was clearly on Kitty and Robert, as they both awaited the birth of their babies. For Kitty, that meant waiting with bated breath for very pregnant birth mother Trish to call her when it was time. For Robert, that meant announcing his candidacy for the governorship. Robert’s focus on his career has been the overarching issue for the past few weeks, and here we finally saw some consequences of it. He apparently worked himself into a heart attack. He was prepared to refuse open heart surgery if it meant sidelining his campaign. And when word got out that he was in the hospital for something more than the birth of his son, he ordered Kevin to downplay the issue to the press with some lie about a minor irregularity. The episode ended with Kitty deciding, apparently, to leave him.
Now, ditching your husband while he recovers from double bypass surgery is a bit harsh, but frankly this was a long time coming. Kitty may have been more willing than she would admit to put herself second to Robert’s dreams, but she is not about to do the same to her son. Nor should she. The only thing I didn’t buy about Kitty’s interactions with Robert in this episode was the fact that she didn’t go off on him in the prep room when he was refusing the operation. Instead, she coddled and sweet-talked and guilted him, as any good Walker woman would. But Kitty’s always been different. She should have twisted those tubes around his neck and made him swear on his beloved quail rifles that he would have this operation, take time to fully recover, and get down to the business of being a father. And I could see Kitty doing that. Alas, it was not to be…
Elsewhere in the Walkerverse, Rebecca returned from New York with David in tow, which Holly was none too happy about. Patricia Wettig was stellar in this episode. Her fights with David dripped with all the rough history these two characters must have shared, never more so than when David finally gave his perspective on what it was like competing for her attention with William Walker all those years ago. Great scene, which made the fact that David had apparently convinced Holly to walk away from Ojai on her own terms that much more believable.
But then, Holly did what she shouldn’t have done. Always looking for a grand exit, she went to Tommy’s house, presumably to quit and deny him the pleasure of firing her. When Julia had to go join Tommy at the hospital, Holly offered to stay to watch Elizabeth. And her curiosity just could not be squelched. Holly went through all of Tommy’s stuff and found the evidence she needed to prove that Tommy had purchased the new Ojai orchards with embezzled funds, all part of a grand plan to force Holly out of the company. With a little bit of evil coursing through her veins once more, Holly called the Feds, and by episode’s end, Tommy was being arrested.
Now, I buy this reversal from Holly. What I don’t buy is that suddenly she has renewed feelings for David. If she had, in fact, walked away, I would understand. After all, he was the one trying to show her that she could be just as fabulous without those Walkers to lean on. But she let her darker impulses drive the ship, and so her little smooch with David just rang all the more hollow. I’m not so sure he’ll be sticking around when he finds out what she’s done.
Rebecca continued to be in the middle of all the Ojai business. Justin had come around and forgiven her for her suspicions–which he finally shared with Sarah, who shared them with Saul, before Holly brought the law down on Tommy. Rebecca couldn’t afford to be that relieved, since soon Justin was going to find out that not only was she right, but her whistleblowing was about to send his brother to the slammer and possibly destroy his father’s life’s work. I think it’s clear that both Harper women are going to be single before season’s end.
The most welcome development, however long overdue, was Justin’s epiphany that he wants to become a doctor. Everyone marveled at how calm he was in the ER, and how much he knew about Robert’s surgery. Well, duh, people; he was an Army medic! He was doing tracheotomy’s with a bottle opener and a bendy straw in the hills of Afghanistan, for crying out loud! This made perfect sense, but why didn’t anyone else say to him at some point in the past season and a half, “Gee, Private Walker, ever think about med school?”. I just hope the bulk of that happens off-screen. If his future studies and impending bachelorhood wind up leading to some atrocious Grey’s Anatomy cross-over, I’ll pluck out my eyes before you can say “McScruffy”.
As for the rest of the Walkers, Nora worked her usual maternal magic; Sarah played the Jimminy Cricket role, trying to convince Tommy not to go through with his evil plans and to make things right; and Kevin realized just how much he loved his right-wing son-of-a-bitch brother-in-law. The last one was a bit hard to swallow. My greatest hope is that once Kitty and Robert hit Splittsville, Kevin will get a new job and start being a man with a brain in his head and a spine in his back again.
And, of course, the biggest new piece was put in to play in the final minutes of the episode: Ryan Lafferty, the true half-Walker, showed up on Nora’s doorstep. I’m sure this will work out just fine…