Brothers & Sisters is back, and the Walker siblings are acting like spoiled brats. Plus, the writers seem to be pulling out all the storylines calculated to drive me around the bend. Wait, I’m talking like it’s all about me. Dammit! I’m acting like a Walker child!
Their parties always turn into spoilers
Remember Robert’s miraculous win in Michigan? That was about as good as it got — we open the episode with him conceding to his opponent. Cut to three months later, and Robert and Kitty are at a fertility clinic. Kitty really wants a kid, but she really hates needles, and Robert is going to really hate giving her hormone injections every day.
While discussing hormones and crabbiness, Robert lets slip something that leads him to reveal that Isaac is planning to ask Nora to move to D.C. with him — but it’s totally a secret! Yeah, of course, Kitty says, dialing Sarah. The news spreads to all the Walker children, and they all confidently dismiss the possibility. Mom couldn’t live without us! No way will she move away! We’re way too important to her!
But they’re all nervous enough to crash Isaac and Nora’s romantic dinner, which leads Nora to make a snap decision — I’m going! The kids are gobsmacked, and immediately set about inexpertly sabotaging and being obstructive. It starts with the boys taking Isaac out for a "friendly" golf outing, then quizzing him on everything from his mortgage to his prostate. Later, Kitty tells Isaac that she fears Nora is making a mistake — she’s all about family. If she moves, she’ll regret it. Isaac takes her seriously and feels Nora out, but her mind is made up. After a bunch of passive-aggressive bitchery, ("I wanted to break it to them gently that their grandma was abandoning them…" "We thought we should practice doing things in your absence…."), Nora blows up. To hell with you leeches, I’m doing something for me! Whoo-hoo!
As you can tell, I thought the Walker kids were just appalling. Yes, it’s a big step for Nora, but she’s a grown woman and she deserves to live her own life. The kids weren’t thinking about her happiness — they were worried about who would host the parties, who would make the homemade pasta, who would babysit the kids. They were treating her like property, and she should get as far away from them as possible.
But does that happen? Noooooooooo! Kitty apologizes, then says she needs her mom, and Nora folds. Oh, sure, Nora couches it as "I need to learn to be alone with myself," but it seemed like a defeat. She’s putting her children’s desires in front of her own again, and those kids going to keep using her. It’s completely maddening.
In other news, Nora and Holly work together on Rebecca’s birthday party. It’s kind of bizarre seeing these women together, but I like it. David gives Rebecca a gorgeous necklace, which Holly recognizes as one that belonged to his mother. That’s a gift a father would give a daughter! She fumes. Justin overhears this, and I start foaming at the mouth because it would suck if Rebecca was suddenly not really a Walker. The writers disagree — Holly admits that it’s possible that David is Rebecca’s father, and Justin tells Rebecca what he overheard. Rebecca decides to get a DNA test, and Justin goes along for moral support.
Finally, Sarah is still having fun with Graham, but she’s iffy about the China deal he’s putting together — it would mean a substantial investment, and she’s worried she can’t be objective about it because she’s having so much happy naked fun time with him. She tells Saul to make up some excuse to void the deal — she doesn’t want to be the bad guy so she can keep bonking Graham. Saul thinks it’s a great deal, he’s been championing it from the beginning, and now Sarah wants him to play the heavy so she can keep her boy toy? Sheesh.
- Kevin, talking about the Republican practice of winner-take-all primaries: "It’s so Darwinian for people who don’t believe in evolution."
- Kitty gets Robert to spill about Isaac’s plans while they’re at the fertility clinic: "You’re going to tell me, Robert, or I’m going to inject you with so many hormones that you will, in fact, grow boobs and sing soprano."
- Kitty, on the fertility treatment side effects: "When Robert lost the election, I thought he was going to do that thing, you know that thing that they do, they gain weight and they grow a beard? Well, it turns out I’m going to be the one looking like Al Gore."
- Nora’s response to her kids’ passive-aggressive nastiness deserves to be quoted in full: "Stop it! I’m not moving away because I need to replace your father or I’m afraid to be alone or whatever else I can think of — I’m leaving to get away from all of you! You think I don’t notice all the eye rolling and sighing, little looks you give each other every time I open my mouth? You’re constantly complaining that I’m manipulative and I’m controlling and I’m trying to invade your lives, Well take a good look in the mirror my darling children! I try to change one thing in my life and you all launch so many covert actions you might as well be the CIA. Oh, god, it felt so good to make a decision for myself without taking everyone else’s feelings into account. No, I’m doing this for me, and frankly it’s about damn time."
- What made Nora’s speech that much better was this little tag at the end. She’s finished yelling at her kids, then she leans over to Rebecca, smiles and says "None of this applies to you, sweetie, you’re fine. Happy birthday." Rebecca is completely shell-shocked.
Highlights, thoughts and odds and ends:
- Sally Field nailed it again: The look on Nora’s face, when she makes that split-second decision to go with Isaac, is just brilliant. You can see surprise chase panic, and end up with joy. It’s brilliant.
- This better not be the last we see of Isaac.
- Holly introduces Nora to the joy of ordering in. For that alone, Holly is to be praised.
- Please, please, please, don’t do this to Rebecca. It would be devastating for her to find out everything that she’d thought was a lie is actually true, and the family she’s become a part of isn’t really hers.
- While I do think all the Walker kids were acting like spoiled brats, I did laugh as Kevin started to lose it when he realized Nora had (gasp!) ordered food instead of making it herself.
- I usually like Sarah, but she may have been the worst of all of them this week, blithely assuming Saul would do her bidding just to keep her from being uncomfortable. That’s not how an adult acts, Sarah.
- Robert fakes at least one of Kitty’s hormone injections. Is that because she’s whiny when she gets the shot, so he was planning on sneaking up on her later? Or did he make an executive decision that he’s not going to do the treatment?
- Speaking of executive decisions… Robert gets a call from Taylor, his former rival for the Republican nomination. Kitty assumes he’s going to offer the VP spot. Robert says not to worry about it, but he’s already told Isaac that he’s missed presidential politics.
Should Nora have gone with Isaac? Was it healthier for her to stay? Which Walker kid annoyed you the most? Will Robert accept the VP offer, and will Kitty find out he hasn’t been doing his injection job? Is David really Rebecca’s father — and how pissed off would you be if he was?