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Brothers & Sisters Recap: A Righteous Kiss

Farewell Rebecca. I mourned the loss of your character in Season Two, so it's nice to officially say good-bye.

So tonight’s the night that we finally say goodbye to Rebecca on Brothers & Sisters.  Until sweeps at least.  I’m guessing she shows up with a new boyfriend the next May.  She isn’t my favorite character, and I think that she was at the center of the worst story this show has ever done with her de-Walkering, but as Emily VanCamp walked away at the end of the episode I found myself strangely sad.  I thought they handled the relationship with Justin well these past two episodes, and even though I’ve never enjoyed the two of them together I’m glad the writers had enough respect for the established history to have them come to a mutual understanding.  But I’m getting ahead of myself.

I enjoyed this episode more than last week’s, though it remained something of a hodge-podge of quality.  I don’t plan on wasting ink on her story later, so let me just say that Kitty’s complete and total isolation from the rest of the family is not doing the character any favors.  The arc remains completely predictable and while I’m not going to complain about seeing a hot handyman in a tank top walk around for a few minutes every Sunday night, the dialogue these two are working with is absolutely dreadful.  This week we learned that Kitty talks too much and handymen can quote Ghandi.  Also, they spent some time making out and not watching Kitty’s infant child.  Nothing against Jeremy Davidson, but he’s being given nothing but cliches and platitudes to spout out; bring back Alec from the park please.  And bring Kitty back to Pasadena.

The dinner party substitute of this episode was Cooper’s elementary school production of Romeo & Juliet, and I’m sorry but I’m not so sure elementary school students would be capable of performing a full length Shakespeare play.  Nor, really, should they be studying it, because if you’re going to teach something, teach it right, and Shakespeare is a dirty, dirty man.  I’m all for giving kids a healthy relationship with sex, yet somehow I doubt most parents would be down for explaining the double entendre behind lines like “my naked weapon is out.”  But I digress.

Sarah has volunteered to make costumes for the production in an attempt to ingratiate herself to a couple of society mavens who can get Cooper into an excellent school.  These women, incidentally, are named Gloria Pearson-Davenport and Bitsy Fairbanks; the writers are just purposely making up ridiculous names now.  Remember Buffy McCreary from last season?  We can tell where this is headed fairly quickly, as Gloria and Bitsy act like high school mean girls to Sarah and Luc tells her to stand up for herself.  Sure enough, by the end of the episode, Cooper (as Romeo) has planted such a kiss on Juliet that the entire set has fallen over and the two harpies are reprimanding Sarah for her child’s behavior.  She lays them out as you would expect, though I thought the whole speech lacked a little bite.  Perhaps if Sarah had done a shot before she did it, it could have reached greater heights.  It’s a minor quibble really, the storyline was fun, if not surprising at any moment.

Moving on, you could knock me over with a feather, but Saul got a storyline!  Like, all to himself!  I have to say that this arc alone elevated the episode, not simply because Ron Rifkin is amazing but because this stuff is actually groundbreaking.  Having an older man experiencing coming out and having his first open relationship, while dealing with the news that he’s HIV positive?  How often do you see that on network television?  Answer: never.  Saul, it turns out has been seeing a man named Charlie for a few weeks, but when pressed by Kevin and Scotty to invite him to Cooper’s play, we find out that Saul has not revealed his status to his new beau.  Eventually, he caves and invites Charlie, and we see that the two are crazy for each other.  However, when Saul reveals his secret over a drink, Charlie ends the relationship; he’s already loved a man with HIV, and nursed him until the end of his life and he doesn’t have the strength to do it again.  Stephen Collins does a nice job with a one-off character, and it’s great to see Saul say at the end that he’s thankful for Kevin and Scotty pushing him to take the chance.  Hopefully, it means we’ll see more developments for him this season.

However, the show really spun around Rebecca’s decision to leave California and move to New York.  It turns out she’s been offered a job as a photographer (that one…if she’s not getting a job in business she’s not qualified for, she’s getting hired as a photojournalist!), and even though she loves Justin she feels that she needs to go.  As she says, they can’t move back, only forwards.  Furthermore, Holly still maintains that she doesn’t feel anything for Rebecca; after her disappearance last week, she winds up on Nora’s doorstep in a haze, demanding to see William.  Nora takes her to the hospital and even though Rebecca does her best to re-connect with her, Holly remembers nothing of their relationship.  Rebecca turns to Nora for motherly advice and Nora tells her that she needs to do what’s right for her, be it move to New York or stay and work on her relationship with Justin.  Ultimately, she decides to move on, and as I said above it was nicely handled.  I still expect that the series will end with the two together, but it does, at this point, feel like a real break up.

All in all, a solid outing.  The Saul story line really brought up the quality and importance, but the Kitty stuff is really inexcusable.  Bring her back to the family, one phone conversation with Kevin in the teaser is not enough.  Even if it did bring this exchange:

Kitty: “I’m just pounding a very stubborn pole.”

Kevin: “Oh, really?  I once spent a hot weekend in Aspen with a guy from Warsaw.”

Hello, 10 pm!

And some dessert wine for you:

– Best Rebecca moment Ever: kissing Sarah’s now ex-husband.  Tramp!

-Worst Rebecca moment Ever: her bangs in Season Three lose to the whole de-Walkering thing by a hair.  Heh.  Get it?  A hair!  Sorry, it’s late.

– I cannot understand Luc when he speaks too fast.  He reprimands Sarah in the beginning of the episode with “If Sarah Walker were here these…” something I absolutely couldn’t understand.  Maybe it was cursing in French.  Any ideas?

– Best line of Sarah’s take-down, when listing of Gloria’s various extra-marital affairs: “I think you’re probably the last woman in Southern California who actually has a milkman.”

– Second light Kevin/Scotty week in a row; it’s cool, I realize it’s an ensemble cast, but I miss them.

– Oddly, this was a very light Nora week too.  Why, I don’t think Sally Field cried even once!

– We’ve got a full 22-episode season now…ABC ordered four more B&S scripts last week.

– What’s your favorite thing that Saul did in preparation for his date, according to Kevin and Scotty at the Homo Summit?  I’m going with trimming his cuticles.