Brothers & Sisters (4.01) “The Road Ahead”

If parties stayed this convivial, ABC wouldn’t have a show.

After a summer off to go to their room (in their fabulous
beach front mansions) and Think About What They’ve Done to our favorite
dysfunctional family, TPTB returned last night with a new episode of Brothers & Sisters. And like a mischievous twelve-year-old, they
decided to screw with the audience by opening with an inexplicable in-episode
cliffhanger of Justin and Rebecca maybe getting in a horrible car
accident, then cutting to Saul and Nora picking out photographs. The pics might be for a wedding or a funeral, but we’re pulling for the latter — unless Kevin and Scotty were in the other car..

It takes a while to orient ourselves to the
fact that Nora’s planning an engagement party for  non-siblings Justin and Rebecca. Though thanks to the example set by Mackenzie Phillips and her papa, perhaps the world would be ready for a sibling wedding. Just not a same-sex sibling wedding since that’s exactly what those against same-sex marriage think will happen anyway.

But Nora isn’t planning the part alonge. She’s doing it with … Holly. Which will turn out to be my
favorite part of the show. Saul calls Holly Nora’s arch-nemesis, which
typically only super heroes get.

Nora’s secret identity is Boniva, out to save seniors from
calcium loss.

I kind of doze off as the Senator Pretty Boy and Kitty do an interview and it’s obvious
their characters still don’t like being married to each other. The audience
doesn’t like it either. Can we drop them off a cliff or something?

We cut to the one scene we’re
getting with Sarah before she goes
on maternity leave via a fabulous Parisian vacation. They have her try
internet dating, and it’s suitably sad and pathetic enough to make you flee the

Sara’s internet dates are fairly lame … and cliche.

We then cut to our boys Scotty (Luke Macfarlane) and Kevin (Matthew Rhys) meeting with a
surrogacy agency, leaving us to wonder how they got from missing scheduled
appointments for sex, to deciding they have time to raise a child. On the other hand, if they’re already not having sex, they’re definitely ready for parenthood.

Kevin’s really into propagating, but Scotty seems to just want a brochure.
Baby Walker? He’s just not that into you.

Looks like a nice bank

Wow – I knew surrogacy was pricey,
but the best case scenario is $137k, and likely more?

I’m sure that with the current
unemployment rate, uteruses are renting cheaper than that, right? Or is this
the discounted rate? And what about adoption from overseas? Shouldn’t the guys at least discuss this? And shouldn’t the viewers see it? 

The scene does give us the best line of the night, with Kevin asking “How
much for a baby without leather seats and a DVD player?” Also, evidently
gaybies come with Owner’s Manuals.

I can’t program my VCR – and you expect me to read this?

Once Nora arrives at Holly’s to see
the party planning, you know we’re headed toward some fun, and they immediately
start arguing about money and presents. Saul and David sit them down and lecture them that it’s not about them, and
they promise to play nice.

And they do. Until this happens.

So the party is moved to the Walker

Next up we have Rebecca and Justin meeting at school while he’s studing. He gives her
his great-grandmother’s engagement ring via a fairly creative anatomy
lesson that is actually kind of sweet. Points for that, and the
continuity from the bent nail he proposed with in Mexico.

They are still a creepy
couple though.

Next up we have Kitty’s Plotline with her marriage being
saved by major illness. The writers have basically decided to rip off Elizabeth Edward’s life, except we know
that Kitty was the cheater here.

This followed by Justin not only getting the news he isn’t smart enough for med
school, but he’s only in because Senator Pretty Boy called up the regents.

We knew from putting up with the
Walkers that Scotty had amazing patience, but after hearing Kevin enter the
loft singing, we decide he was just wearing earplugs all this time. Kevin says they can
manage a home equity line of credit to buy their baby, and have enough left over to buy him Marc Jacobs baby clothes.

Scotty doesn’t
like the idea of financing a human life or the fact the Kevin isn’t really listening to him.

Kevin sings out loud to his iPod. Selfishness showing.

Somebody is coaching from the sidelines.

In fact, he’s a little concerned
that Kevin may see the whole thing as a bit like shopping, and is concerned
they might not actually be ready to be parents.

Kevin is naturally put off by Scotty thinking things
through, and I realize we’re come up with a weird new gay archetype – the Headlong Rush Gay, exemplified by Luke
from As the World Turns. Kevin is suddenly reminding me a lot of our Oakdale gay – privileged,
flighty, demanding and entitled. Scotty’s just as cute as Noah, but with more
depth and facial expressions.

Last season, Scotty and Kevin were never even able to have sex
with each other. So how did we get to this point, and wouldn’t that have been a
better use of a flashback/forward than the “car accident” we started with?

rather they sell the loft and move to a place with a doorman to stop Sarah from
interrupting them.

This is worthy of a flashback. And a parallel.

Tension builds and ebbs with Holly
and Nora planning the engagement party as they argue over the placement of white baby grand pianos and who’s d*** is bigger, so to speak. It makes for riveting drama and a nice opportunity for recapper snark.

Then Nora’s mom arrives, and they realize they
need to explain how Rebecca and Justin met, and that their romance is just plain
creepy, which we told them when they introduced it.

Meanwhile, back at Senator Prettyboy’s office, Justin and the Senator fight about
the fact that the Senator didn’t just write a letter of recommendation, but used his pull to get him in. Justin says he didn’t ask for that, but the Senator, being a
man of power and privilege, says the distinction is lost on him. Hey, if it was good enough to get George Bush an oil company, a baseball team and elected leader of the free world, it should be good enough for Justin!

Back at the Walker manse, we learan that Nora’s mother, Ida (the wonderful Marion Ross) is attending and leads to an amusing scene where she bonds with Holly, not realizing this is the woman who stole her daughter’s husband. It also gives Ida a nice chance to add fuel to the Holly/Nora rivalry as she inadvertently tells Holly just what Nora has been saying about her.

We also learn that Ida will be providing the episode’s social commentary on race, sexism and homophobia. Regarding Nora’s biracial baby Evan, she remarks “Say
what you want, they do make cute babies.” Personally, I suspect she must be a teabagger but then she tells Scotty and Kevin she supports gay marriage, which
stuns our boys.

She thinks those “Defense of
Families people are kooks – gay people can’t have families” which sets Kevin off. And puts
Scotty’s guard up. 

Grandma is a live wire. Don’t touch it, Kevin.

It leads to an exchange that I’m
going to gloss over, because it’s really beneath the writers. Yes, grandma is
out of touch. She doesn’t get gays can adopt. She makes a joke about anatomical
plumbing in reference to surrogacy. Yes, we get it, old people are ignorant and
a problem. Let’s bring on the death panels.

Holly never shies from dumping gasoline on a fire.

Elsewhere in the Walker manse, Rebecca and Justin start fighting
so loud it drowns out the replacement white piano Holly shipped in. Nora
tells them to can it and go outside for gifts, which is what Holly wants and puzzles Nora.

We learn gifts have to be outside because there is where Holly gives them the car we saw in the opening minutes of the episode. Naturally this leads to a
classic Nora/Holly argument centered around a gift moratorium they each think
the other broke, the best part of which is when Holly outs herself as the
mistress to Ida saying, “I am the tramp that William was fornicating with. I was the
floozie, and I was so good he gave me an endowment.”

It turns out Justin and Rebecca’s fight was all about his feeling overwhelmed by everything which leads to everyone trying to talk him into prioritizing his life and delaying a wedding. This leaves Scotty doing his thing
as peacemaker and taking Ida for a walk around the pool.

Meanwhile, Holly is
trying to talk Rebecca out of marrying Justin. Maybe the universe is trying to
tell you something, kids.

Later, Kitty is with Evan at the pediatrician when the doc notices she’s looking a little pale and should get some tests. Uh oh, spaghetti oh!

Lovely sight first thing in the morning.

Back at the Walker/Wandell loft, Kevin wakes up and finds Scotty
knee deep in the legalese of surrogacy. More importantly, we see they both sleep in boxers and t-shirts,
which surprises me for some reason – I always thought of Kevin as a boxer brief
kind of guy.

Kevin reminds Scotty he’s married to lawyer, and he doesn’t have to
worry his pretty little head about big words like heretofore and binding arbitration.

Kevin is seriously pissing
me off at this point. He’s always been selfish and condescending, but this
episode he’s taken it to a whole new level.

I remain too irritated with Kevin to find this adorable.

He finally asks Scotty, in the
least supportive and coldest way possible (legal metaphor) if he’s getting cold
feet. Scotty says as the prospect of parents becomes more real, he’s getting more scared. Kevin tells him it’s normal
to be a little scared. But Scotty’s big-scared.

Even scared, he’s open, honest, and adorable.

Kevin then gets even more
self-centered, and says he guesses after two years of failing to commit to
Scotty, it’s his turn to wait. And Kevin walks off. Asshat.

She’s happy and clueless, he’s panicked. Sounds like any engaged couple.

The episode finally circles back to the start and we catch up to Justin and
Rebecca driving to the beach, interspersed with a gruesome scene of a giant
needle inserted in Kitty’s neck.

Hey, I like the idea
of torturing Kitty, but would prefer to just hear her screams from off screen.
Also, Nora and Ida discuss who is the worse mother.

Sadly, they have great reaction time.

We cut back and forth between scenes of Justin and Rebecca being all googly-eyed with each other and the maniacal driver about to run a stop sign and kill them both. Or so we hope.

Alas, the car accident is narrowly
avoided thanks to superious handling, which makes me believe that the whole thing was really product placement for
Honda, and wasted valuable Scotty and Kevin screentime.

Please sir, may we have some more?

Or even more Holly and Nora.

OK, I watched it all again, twice,
today. I find I got snarkier about the show the more I thought about it. What
about you guys?

Opinionated. You'll love to hate me