Better late than never. I was out of town this weekend, so I was just able to watch the milestone 100th episode of Brothers & Sisters called “Safe at Home.” While not a bad episode, I didn’t think this episode packed a big “100th episode” vibe. If anything, last week’s episode with Holly leaving the show seemed more like a 100-episode milestone than tonight’s supposedly major return of Tommy with a surprise. I think the only people surprised about Tommy coming home with a girlfriend were the Walkers. Also, how are we really supposed to celebrate 100 episodes of a close-knit family without Kitty Walker?! The very first episode of the series revolved around Kitty coming to visit her estranged family in Pasadena and then choosing to stay after patriarch William dies suddenly. And here we are a few years later—having been through deaths, divorces, cancer, affairs, economic collapse, drug rehab, baby miscarriages—and we get no mention of Kitty’s mysterious disappearance to DC?
Sorry to start off on a harsh note. Again, it is not that I didn’t like the episode—actually, there was one development I was especially pleased about—but I think for a 100th episode it did not meet expectations for a show that I KNOW can pull out all the stops with some amazing family drama. The big news in this episode is that Tommy is coming for a visit from Seattle. As you should recall, after Tommy’s little meltdown a few seasons ago, he ended up moving to Seattle where his ex-wife took his daughter. Tonight, Tommy returns with a surprise—a new girlfriend who we later learn is his fiancé. Rose is a loud Italian who wants to jump right in as a Walker; the problem is that the Walkers are not expecting her and are rather taken aback. I don’t blame Nora and Sarah for feeling blindsided by this news—I mean, how did Tommy think they would react without any prior notice (come on Tommy—I know you have been gone a while, but you must remember what your family is like). It doesn’t help matters that Tommy then immediately launches into a plea for money from his wealthy sister Sarah…money for him and Rose to invest in some house flipping projects. This does not sit well with Sarah, and the tension comes to head at an infamous Walker dinner with everyone yelling at everyone.
I want to take a moment to discuss Tommy’s fiancé, Rose. Apparently Tommy and Rose are slated to appear together on a few episodes this season, so we should be getting some more development on them. I love the actress playing Rose—Cara Buono, who is most recently known for playing Dr. Faye Miller on Mad Men. Had it not been for her distinct Italian voice, I would not have even recognized her as a brunette! I am not sure what to think of the character Rose, though. I like pairing the Walker family with a loud and nosey Italian because I do think it gives Nora a run for her money and Sarah a strong-willed force to reckon with. I am not sure if she is on the level or hiding some ulterior purpose from Tommy and/or the family. Her whole “family tree” angle on researching weirdo facts on the Walkers seems strange…and she definitely gives the vibe that she is purposely digging up facts to stir up trouble. But why??? And is she playing Tommy for money?
While Nora and Sarah are busy wrapping their heads around Tommy’s news, the men of the family are dealing with their own new relationships. Kevin and Scotty are hilariously panicked and overly self-conscious about hosting Olivia for her first weekend visit. I love that they completely decorated a room for her already, and then they stress out over the yellow color and essentially attack the young girl about her thoughts on the color yellow. Kevin and Scotty are trying so hard to make Olivia feel comfortable, that it takes them a while to pick up on the signs that Olivia’s troubles center around the fact that she cannot read. The good news is that by the end of the episode they realize the problem and Olivia and her pet gecko seem to start adjusting to Walker life.
Now for my favorite development of the night, which ironically is my least favorite storyline. It is no secret that I have NOT been a fan of the Justin-Nurse Annie relationship. The fact that they are married in real life and have no onscreen chemistry is sad. So, I was certainly getting irritated at Justin’s jealousy over Annie’s past with Dr. Rick (who manages to be more obnoxious every time we see him). This week a stupid hospital softball game stirred up a childish fight between Justin and Rick, and Nurse Annie didn’t take Justin’s side about whether he was safe. Just as I was rolling my eyes for the 100th time this episode over this continued forced relationship, the show actually ended it! At least for the present moment, Justin has realized that Annie is not over her ex and that they should stop seeing each other. Hoorah! Let’s hope this storyline is officially over so that Justin can get involved in some better plots and maybe date someone who I can actually stand.
A few favorites from episode #100:
- The priceless looks on Nora’s and Sarah’s faces (disgust, surprise, contempt, nausea…you name it) when Tommy says of Rose, “Can you see why she is the light of my life?”
- The brothers grabbing coffee and swapping cell phones to check out pictures of each others’ “women” and/or potential adoptive daughters.
- Tommy texting like a middle school girl: apparently “143” stands for “I Love You” (1 letter, 4 letters, 3 letters). Seriously?
- Sarah texted “weird” regarding Rose. Just “weird.”
- Rose informing Nora of her family tree: “Did you know your maternal grandmother had an aunt who was killed by circus dogs?” (Rose); “Noooo, but now I do unfortunately” (Nora).
- “aaaand Vodka” (Scotty adding to his grocery list after a failed attempt at his shopping game with Olivia).
- The one and only great line ever uttered by Nurse Annie, which occurred at the dinner blow-out: “Maybe we should check YouTube later?” (telling Justin to quit being a baby about the softball game).
- “Wow, I wish we knew that before we got it” (Scotty talking about the bug-eating gecko gift they bought for Olivia).
Looking ahead, we now know that Sarah and Luc plan to get married during May sweeps (surprise!) and that these two literally are incapable of having jobs because they spend all their time in bed together. It also seems like Tommy MIGHT move back to Los Angeles with Rose to take a job working for Sarah. I guess he no longer feels the need to live near his daughter in Seattle? And, Rose is either purposely or innocently shedding light on family secrets with her “genealogy research.” Her first sketchy clues involve learning about Nora’s old high school boyfriend, Brody, and a marriage license for Mama Walker with fishy dates. All of these mysteries and we still need to know what exactly is going on with Kitty and Evan in DC!