Brothers and Sisters

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Joe R: C+ | Grade It Now!
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Pain, Pain, Go Away

Tommy returns home to see Julia seeming happy enough as her parents -- Beth and Ben, played by Tess Harper and the dad from Life Goes On -- have come to visit. Tommy's not thrilled, and Ben can tell. I'm not sure their relationship was ever any good, but they're both rocking supremely insincere smiles at the moment. Not doing as well with the faking a smile is Julia, who is suddenly vaguely pissed again, asking Tommy why he's home from work. He hands her an orchid, because she wore an orchid in her hair on their honeymoon. Julia's happy for the flower, but you can see on her face that this isn't a fix -- Sarah Jane Morris is actually doing a really good job with this character right now; the show just isn't going in a direction that will let her run with it, unfortunately. This isn't Julia's story of depression and grief and emotional problems, this is Tommy's story about having a wife he can't manage at the moment. It's a pity. Anyway, Ben obnoxiously asks what Tommy did wrong, since men only bring their wives flowers if they've blah-blah-blah you know the cliché. Tommy takes Julia into the kitchen asking why her 'rents are here unannounced. Julia says his family always drops by unannounced, but Tommy correctly says his family also goes home at night. Um...considering the Walkers' collective history with Lady Liquor, maybe they shouldn't be going anywhere after an evening out. Julia bluntly says that her parents can stay for as long as they'd like. The "and that's that" is unspoken.

Walker Manse. Nora enters Justin's room with a glass of ginger ale (classic Mom maneuver, I like it) and asks how he's doing. Justin tries to get away with a simple "I'm fine," but Nora's not having that. She very seriously and sincerely asks him to explore the possibility of taking pain medication. "You realize you're talking to your son Justin?" Justin asks. "The youngest one? The one with the drug problem?" Yes, yes, Justin, you and your drug problem are very special. Of all the Walkers, you are the very best at being a recovering drug addict, we promise. Nora says she's spoken to all his doctors -- his pediatrician included! -- and they all they that if the dosages are low and monitored, he should be okay. Justin freaks, though, asking if she talked to his rehab facility or his sponsor. ...Because they'll totally advise him to suffer? Nora's like, "I remember your rehab. I was there. It's not like I don't know this." She tells him that what happened to him falls outside the boundaries of normal life, and when something this fucked-up happens to you, there are no rules about how you're allowed to respond; you have to do anything you can to survive. Justin, ever more desperate and agitated, says "anything" is not an option for him, and he hobbles away from her. Nora sighs, right into the opening credits. I begin making a shopping list for supplies I'll need for the "bravest little toaster in the Army" parade I'm planning to throw for Justin.

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Brothers and Sisters

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