A lot of storylines got play on tonight’s Brothers & Sisters, called “Thanks for the Memories,” but perhaps because so much was going on it all felt a little disjointed. I think that mainly I am suffering from a lack of seeing our whole Walker family together under one roof, even if just for a wine-infused dinner or a great phone tree. However, it looks like that will sort of change next week when Tommy returns—but now Kitty will be gone!
The “Thanks for the Memories” title was really all about saying goodbye to Holly Harper. I was always a fan of the dynamic that both Holly and daughter Rebecca brought to the Walkers, so I was sad to see Rebecca and Justin’s marriage end earlier this season and now am sad to really see Holly leave the show to follow David and Rebecca to New York. But, times change and so do people and circumstances. What started as one of the great female rivalries on television—two women who both loved the same man (one as his wife and one as his mistress)—faced off in the years following his death and ultimately came to tolerate and then genuinely care about the other. Nora and Holly both eventually came to realize that no one else could ever understand them the way the other could due to their strange bond. In the end, it was time to move on, but not without one last round of amusing antics at Casa Nora. Letting Holly stay with her a few more days to finish going through her final boxes, Nora acted like an activities director on a senior cruise to push Holly toward her new life (and Holly called her a cross between Martha Stewart and Joseph Stalin!). Then, she helped Holly let go of the past by having her burn her old belongings in a bonfire on the beach (ummm, pretty sure you can’t do that, but it was touching and symbolic). Finally, Justin, Sarah and Saul stopped by to wish her well. We will all miss you, Holly—you always brought much needed spark, humor and passion to the show.
And now for all the other storylines that didn’t exactly connect. I know, I know…in real life a family doesn’t always bring their separate lives together…but this isn’t a typical family and this happens to be TV—so I need more family bonding time! I think we are starting to head back down that road and got some interactions this week, but a lot depends on how the next few episodes play out.
Justin in particular has seemed quite separate from the rest of the family ever since he started seeing Nurse Annie. I know I keep saying this, but these two are going to have to work extra hard to get me to root for them because I know in real life the show is catering to them being actual husband and wife. Also, I am starting to realize that maybe I preferred Justin with Rebecca because their relationship blossomed from within the folds of the Walker family whereas Justin and Annie only exist completely outside of the Walker family. On that front, tonight Justin experienced slight follow up from the risky life-saving procedure he performed last week, while Annie brought in her too-good-to-be-true doctor ex-boyfriend (and also a total tool) to save Justin from probation. I was actually expecting quite a bit more drama for Justin regarding this potential probation. It seemed like such a wasted medical drama set-up all to introduce a love triangle.
Meanwhile, over on the ‘gay side’ of family, Saul began to come to terms with Jonathan, the man who gave him HIV in the 1980’s. Saul even forgave him and the two reconnected over how different it was for them a few decades ago trying to live as gay men, versus today, where Kevin and Scotty are about to adopt a daughter. Considering Richard Chamberlain will be sticking around for a while as Jonathan, it seems like Saul and Jonathan will continue to bond. Meanwhile, Kevin and Scotty struggled with tough parental lessons already when their soon-to-be-adoptive daughter put their commitment to the test by stealing from them. I think having Kevin and Scotty take on an older child (i.e. not another mysterious missing baby like Evan) was a smart move for the show and for their characters. They are getting a troubled pre-teen who really needs their love and guidance, and she will force Kevin and Scotty to get over a lot of their own issues. Sarah seemed to get that immediately, and for the first time this season I was finally pleased to see our old-school Sarah give a great tough love speech to the apprehensive parents.
Finally, something weird is going on with Kitty. She informs Sarah (and basically dumps Seth) that she and Evan are headed to DC for an extended stay with Robert’s kids—and for Kitty to “take meetings” on her career (she must be the most in-demand woman in politics). However, we get to see a little glimpse of Kitty’s visit in DC and we find out that she needs to leave Evan with Robert’s family for a period of time. And there is definite hurt in her eyes. Uh oh, this does not seem like a good sign. I know that Calista Flockhart wanted to reduce her hours on the show this year, but is Kitty going through a cancer recurrence that she is too afraid to tell her own family about?
We may have to wait a while for any progress on the Kitty front…but what did you think about Holly’s departure? And what is up with the weird video footage Holly left with Nora that shows William filming her before they dated? Which new storylines are you liking the most and the least this year? And how much did you love the zingers that Kevin and Scotty got in about “homophobia ending without my knowing” and Paige hiding a boy in the bedroom who is “probably not Anne Frank” instead of writing her report.