The fallout from the Great Amy Abbott Revelation means nobody is speaking to anybody, except Justin, who suggests everyone get the hell over themselves long enough to meet their suddenly sister (or step-daughter, if we're Nora) and bask in her pretty, pretty hair. So Nora invites Amy to a family dinner, and it is a three-ring circus of awkward. Which it would have been even without Amy, because they always are, but this time Kitty's a no-show, Kevin wants to test Amy's DNA, Sarah keeps poke-poke-poking about what a home wrecker Amy's mother is, and Amy eventually calls the lot of them "whack." Indeed, Amy Abbott. Ultimately, Nora realizes she's still really, really pissed at her dead husband for being such a philandering horse's ass behind her back all those years. And so she throws her wedding ring into the Pacific.
Meanwhile, McCallister and Kitty take his kids out to dinner, and daughter Sophia freaks out on Dad's new girlfriend, as you might expect. Kitty tells the Senator he may be rushing things and ends up accusing him of trying to cobble together a new family for political purposes. And now the Senator "has to find out where [he's] at" regarding their relationship. Kevin gets fed up with Chad's closety ways for the fiftieth consecutive episode, and for the fiftieth consecutive episode, Chad relents, this time agreeing to take Kevin to a movie premiere. Chad's agent meets with Kevin and tries to scare Kevin about the responsibilities he's in for if he's the one man Chad comes out for. Nice button to push on the fella with intimacy issues, sir. So Kevin begs off, on schedule, and Chad gets pissed and storms out. And Tommy and Julia embark upon a subplot about wanting (or not wanting) to find out which of Tommy's brothers' sperm is responsible for their unborn twins, but it kind of doesn't go anywhere. That's okay, though. Neither are we.
Previously on Brothers and Sisters: Saul told Nora that William and Holly had Rebecca; Sarah knew and didn't tell Nora; Tommy and Julia used Kevin and Justin's sperm to conceive their twins; Kitty began dating Robert, who had two kids, Sophia and Jack; Kevin dated Chad, who was having trouble remaining a closeted actor; Rebecca freaked out on Holly about her paternity, but eventually began a tentative bond with Justin. Who ARE all these people?
Okay, okay. I know who these people are, and if you're reading this, you probably do too. But isn't it nice to have bright, shiny, new recaps for this show? I think so too.
We begin as the morning sunlight meets Nora "A Widow For One Year" Walker as she wakes up. Taking a cue from pretty much every other one-hour drama on ABC, Nora has also taken up the duties of Wistful and Theme-Conscious Narrator. Nora's voice-over (NoVO?) is actually reading from a short story Nora has written for the class she's taking, but the story, about a lonely widow named "Dora," is a familiar one. "Each day would bring with it some disturbing revelation," says NoVO, and we see that the last disturbing revelation -- her late husband's love child, and the fact that half of her children and her brother Saul knew about this and kept it from her -- means she's not taking anyone's calls. We see Sarah "Mean and Tall" Walker trying to call her mother, but Nora lets the call go to voicemail. "Family dynamics were strained," says NoVo, as we hop to the Ojai Foods offices, where Kevin "Scotty Doesn't Know" Walker and Saul "Uncle Misappropriate" Holden are signing some sort of business-related legal documents. Kevin's still pissed about Saul spilling the beans re: Rebecca, so he rushes right out the door without any time for small talk. NoVO: "The fallout could be felt for miles." Which takes us to the kitchen of Holly "adulterysomething" Harper and her daughter Rebecca "Why Can't I Just Call Her Amy Abbott?" Harper. Rebecca is -- are we sensing a theme yet? -- angry at her mom for concealing her paternity all these years, and she stomps out the door with a grunted "Don't."
Now we're in Nora's classroom, where she's finishing reading her selection to the class. She takes off her reading glasses and looks to the class for approval. And, because they're a bunch of know-it-all undergrads, all Nora gets is snotty eye-rolling. "Pedantic," says the malcontented girl with Gina Glocksen hair. "What a soap opera," says another classmate, this one a) afro'd, b) adenoidal to an unbelievable degree, c) in possession of the gay last word syndrome, in which the last word? Of everything you say? Goes up one octave? Like you're asking a question? "I was waiting for an evil twin to appear? Or for someone to get amnesia? Or something?" Nora's incredulous that anyone would think her -- I mean "Dora's" -- story to be over the top, considering the story was "coming from a real place." Adenoid?Boy tells "Dora" not to get defensive, and Nora tells "Joel" that her name is not Dora and that his story about "incest at the White House" wasn't exactly subtle. The professor, played by Peter Coyote, offers some constructive criticism, telling Nora that while it's good that she has a lot to say, she doesn't need to say it all at once. "You've packed a lot of incidents in here, which makes it all a bit disconnected," says Coyote. "But it's the emotions behind the incidents that matter." That seems like it should be a meta statement, but I can't say I've ever had a problem with the show piling on too many "incidents" and short-changing the characters. Except poor Uncle Saul, who's spent sixteen episodes trying and failing to get some from Holly. Anyway, Coyote advises Nora to concentrate on what "Dora" is feeling, what she's "really going through."