After starting the season off with a year time-jump forward, Brothers & Sisters decided to jump the plot forward a bit more.  The result was an episode that seemed to be set at least two or three weeks after than the last one, and one that forewent any kind of on-screen plot development.  Instead we got a good old-fashioned farce.  Let me say, I have no issues with television shows doing farce well…Frasier was absolutely brilliant at it, and produced some of the funniest stuff I’ve ever seen.  However, I couldn’t help but feel like a lot of plot was thrown out as exposition (a classic case of writers telling me something happened rather than dramatizing the actual event) to make way for Walker hi-jinks.  The hi-jinks have their place, and I enjoy them, but there needs to be a balance.  A quick run-down of things that happened off-screen: Luc is going to China for two months to paint a mural, Sarah has officially taken over her mother’s radio station, Kevin and Scotty are looking into becoming foster parents again, Nora is falling for Dr. Karl and Kitty is ready to start her guest-lecturing gig at Wexley University.

Now that all that pesky exposition is out of the way, we can get to the bulk of the episode: the writers needed to find a way to get all parties into the same hotel.  How was this accomplished?  Easy!  Kitty starts hooking up with a 27 year-old barista who works at a coffee shop near campus.  Before you can say “abstinence-only education” she’s got Seth in a room at the Hotel Velone and is sending him out for pizza and more condoms (he only brought two).  Nora and Dr. Karl, meanwhile, are recording promos for the radio station and hear that Hotel Velone is having half-price rooms and book themselves in so they can take their relationship to the next level.  Sarah has already booked a room for her romantic last night with Luc before he heads off to China for two months.  And Kevin, who’s been emotionally eating in preparation for the social worker’s visit to his and Scotty’s apartment, accidentally bogarts a Cafe 429 employee’s pot brownie (for medical purposes, of course).  High as a kite and paranoid as hell, Scotty has to drag him to the hotel to get Sarah’s help in calming him down.  Why Sarah?  Because she was the only one who knew how to calm him down the last and only time he got high when he smoked half a blunt before college, and wound up hearing people speaking in Spanish.

Now that all the players are in place, let the lunacy commence.  Sarah accidentally kicks Luc in the face, knocks over the ice tray, breaks some glass on the floor and then Luc steps on it!  Kitty sends her boy-toy out for pizza, and he winds up spilling the sodas he bought all over Nora in the elevator!  Kevin’s high high high!  Sarah sees Dr. Karl checking into the hotel, and thinks that he’s having a nooner with a woman other than her mother, so she calls him up and threatens him if he doesn’t treat Nora well!  Kitty finds out that Seth the barista is actually a grad student, and she thinks in inappropriate to be getting all cougar-iffic with him!  Dr. Karl gets nervous around Nora and she reads him the riot act not realizing that Sarah went all mob-enforcer on him!  All of these things were amusing…I’ll freely admit that I laughed quite a few times in the course of all of this, if only because the cast, particularly Sally Field and Matthew Rhys, was as game as ever and clearly having a good time.  However, there were absolutely no stakes in the vast majority and even the parts that did have them weren’t all that riveting.  I’d almost be tempted to say that the story-line that had the highest stakes was the Kevin arc, simply because being high allowed Matthew Rhys to take everything REALLY seriously.

Ultimately, what were we left with?  Kevin and Scotty are still awaiting the social worker’s visit.  Dr. Karl apologizes to Nora and admits that he’s just as screwed up as the rest of the Walkers; they head over to Walker HQ and get it on.  Luc leaves for China.  And Kitty decides to have a little fun with Seth the barista and not worry so much about the fact that he’s only 27.  Which she shouldn’t be worried about…she should be worried about Evan.  I mean, seriously, Kit.  It’s any time of day at all, do you know where your child is?

And some final points:

– Do you think it’s intimidating to read your first script on a show and realize that you have to dump ice water onto screen legend Sally Field?  Ryan Devlin, what did you think?  If the producers wanted to be evil, they should have had him film that scene his first day of shooting.

– I love the continuity of Kevin and Scotty’s Liza Minnelli pillow.  I’m pretty sure that thing has been there for three seasons now.

– “I’m completely falling head-over-heels!”  “In love?”  “No, down the stairs.”

– I’ve never thought of actually trying to scare somebody sober.  Does this actually work on the paranoids?

– “I oughtta just jump.  What floor are we on?”  It’s always good to check.  You don’t want to mess that up.

– “That depends if you think a cannoli, two bear claws and a linzer tort constitutes breakfast.”  I do think that constitutes breakfast. It also probably constitutes the fast track to diabetes.

– No Justin, no Holly, no Uncle Saul this week.

– Next week looks like more broad comedy, but the thought of the Walker siblings trying to out-Christmas each other has some real potential.

Culture Brothers & Sisters Season 5 Episode 9 Recap: Get A Room