After a long absence from the Sunday night line up, Brothers & Sisters is back. While we have no idea how much time has lapsed due to the time-space differential in Walkerlandia, Olivia is settling into her new home and showing off her new literacy, when her brother shows up and ruins it all. He's been off for the last six years or so, but Olivia almost recognizes him, and that's enough for him to file for custody. Yes, despite the fact that we were lead to believe that the adoption was complete. The adoption counselor has some splainin to do, so Kevin and Scotty haul her into the restaurant where she backpedals and covers her ass and tries to make it sound super-duper that the judge will hear the case the very next day.
Apparently Kitty is still mooning after her personal barista. Sarah gives her a dirty, dirty pep talk (from one cougar to another), and then Kitty goes to find Seth. He's not thrilled to see her darkening his doorway, but once she explains that it was the Big C rearing its ugly head he feels guilty. But not guilty enough to mention that he's dating one of her students. Gross! Kitty runs out feeling old and wrinkly. Also, smart. She heads over to Sarah's to feel superior and Sarah convinces her to crash the date. Because it worked in 12th grade. No, really. That's the logic. So Kitty gets in touch with her inner high school student and I get too embarrassed by her behavior to watch. Then Sarah and Luc join in the hijinx and I die of the horror. But, of course, it eventually works and Seth comes back to her aging arms.
Nora is still watching after Brody's dog and denying that she has any feelings whatsoever for the man. Then she loses the dog and kills a bunch of trees postering the neighborhood. While she searches for poor lost Lily, Nora offers to invite Olivia's brother over to hang out. Obviously that doesn't go down very well with Kevin and Scotty, but Nora rides into the sunset on her high horse about watching out for Olivia and her needs.
Kevin and Scotty head to court to try and keep Olivia. The judge won't throw the case out even when her brother lets loose with some anti-gay vitriol couched as different values. Nora invites him to dinner anyway. Justin decides to talk to his fellow soldier man to man. That goes about as well as the war. Which war? I don't know, pick one, they all went really well, right? Then Brian (the big brother) tells Olivia that she couldn't see Scotty or Kevin or any of the lesser Walkers if she came to live with him. Olivia doesn't look thrilled about that. Later, Lily the dog comes home with a stray, and Olivia learns a valuable lesson. She tells Nora to take her to the courthouse, she's got some testifying to do. She tells the judge that she wants to be a Walker and she wants her brother to be one, too. The brother looks filled with horror at the prospect. When the judge finds in favor of Scotty and Kevin, Brian storms out. Nora follows him and accuses him of storming out a lot. She recommends he be a big brother instead. So Brian decides Nora is right, which is like the gateway drug to being a Walker. Then he goes to dinner with Olivia and her two daddies and doesn't catch the gayness. Yet.
While the show keeps billing this as a two-hour special, this is really two separate episodes coming together to kill me and also let the network fill some dead air. So in the next episode, Justin turns 30! But he doesn't want to celebrate it. So he cancels a ski trip with "friends" because he finally realized they were imaginary. So all his brothers (well, not Tommy, obvs) and sisters (well, not Kitty because she's in Boston with the barista) throw themselves into party planning. Even though Justin keeps saying he doesn't want a party.
Brody finally shows up to reclaim his dog. Just as Nora thinks she's going to get some lovins, something upstages both that and Justin's big day: Nora's and Saul's mom dies. That's right, Ida is no more. Nora throws herself into funeral planning; Sarah uses the death as an excuse to avoid planning her wedding; Kevin shrugs because Ida never liked him; and Brody mills about trying to get Nora to eat and admit her feelings. Nora snaps at Brody and he tries to flee the scene, but Sarah catches him and guilts him into staying.
Saul is feeling guilty because he never told his mother he was gay. But he also feels bad that his mother disapproved of him for being gay. Then, while cleaning out Ida's room, Justin and Luc find a letter written to Saul. He won't open it though, because he thinks it will just be a stern lecture about his lifestyle from beyond the grave, which would be both spooky and annoying. But, of course, it's a heartfelt and beautiful letter hoping Saul finds love and happiness even if he can't share his life with her. This makes Saul feel worse. Naturally.
At the funeral, Nora loses it and storms out, unable to give a eulogy to a mother who never really liked her. Brody cheers her on for finally being honest. Later he tells Nora the truth: He got fired from his job. He came back to Pasadena to get Lily and also her. Then they kiss. Awwwwwwww.
Meanwhile, Scotty's mother had to invite herself to meet Olivia, her only grandchild, and she is determined to make Scotty and Kevin suffer for that fact. Also, Olivia can't stand her. Kevin gets Scotty's mom drunk and tells her to practice the fine art of zipping it.
The wake is, of course, at Scotty's and Saul's café. Everyone clears out except the Walkers, who drink all the wine and laugh and tease and remind you (maybe) of why you watch this show even when it is two hours long and you have other shows to watch, you know?
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Lulu Bates a.k.a. Melissa Locker would rather be sleeping (next to Gilles Marini). You can follow her on Twitter @woolyknickers.
After a long absence from the Sunday night line up, Brothers & Sisters is back. While the promos for this episode keep billing it as a super special two-hour episode, upon closer inspection this is just two episodes aired back to back instead of on consecutive weeks. Basically, they just wanted you to have a Dana Delany palate cleanser before forcing you to eat your vegetables. The Walkers are the vegetables in this analogy, yes, even though The Senator is long gone. (See what I did there?) Anyway, shut up and eat your veggies: Olivia is holding Kevin and Scotty hostage in the café. She insists that they keep their eyes shut so they can't see her face and she won't have to kill them if she doesn't want to. You know, usual foster kid stuff. What? I get all my stereotypes from Law & Order: Perverts. Oh wait, Olivia's not holding them hostage, she is just trying to surprise them with her B+ on spelling. Seems that Scotty and Kevin missed that article on Tiger Mothers because they are super thrilled that their darling adoptee
got a B has failed to get an A. Granted, she only started reading ten weeks ago, but really THAT IS NO EXCUSE. Scotty then not only rewards Olivia with words, but also with gelato. (Kids these days! When I was a young'un we got good old-fashioned ice cream and WE LIKED IT.) While Kevin rubs the B+ paper all over his face and moans slightly in glee, Scotty ushers Olivia into the kitchen for her snooty treat.
The phone rings and while Kevin is trying to gloat, Sarah who has raised two geniuses of her own, ignores him to talk about Kitty and how her house is untidy and how this is clearly a sign of deep mental distress and not of single motherhood. I mean, newspapers on the counter! That is the first sign of schizophrenia. Go check it out in the DSM, I'll wait. Sarah has used her considerable business skills to make a diagnosis of depression. If there is one thing she learned at Wharton it was that untidy counters plus watching re-runs of Full House equals depression. Kevin is starting to lose his parental glow as he hears the bad news, but he doesn't think the Kitty situation is as dire as Sarah does. After all, wouldn't you feel a wee bit sorry for yourself if you just had traumatic bone marrow something or other and were forced to eat kale? I mean, gah: KALE. Is there any better reason to watch Full House than forced kale eating? I mean, sure, Uncle Jesse is a hottie, but nobody without a death wish watches Dave Coulier. And don't even get me started on Candace Cameron.
Since Kevin is talking on the phone to one Walker the laws of science insist that another Walker call immediately. So Nora calls and Kevin is compelled by physics to answer. Nora is actually calling to talk to Scotty, but Kevin can't help but answer the phone, even though it is not his phone and he is already on the phone. Next time someone says that you can't fight Mother Nature, remember this and nod knowingly. Nora is calling about dog food, because she still has Lily, Brody's dog, and is still pretending she doesn't like her and is still pretending to be annoyed that Brody left her, even though we all know Nora is delighted to have the company and if she didn't have the dog she would be snuggling with a body pillow and dusting the philodendron. So Nora prattles on about dog food while Sarah prattles on about Kitty's diet and Kevin is stuck in the middle BY CHOICE (or genetics!) and accidentally mumbles something about kibble to Sarah and she gets offended and blessedly hangs up. Then Nora starts yelling about the dog some more and hangs up too and Kevin tells Olivia how happy he is that she is adopted. Is that an appropriate thing to say to your recently adopted child?
So it turns out that Sarah was talking about Kitty to Kevin while Kitty was actually in the house. Then she starts cleaning Kitty's house... and I don't know about you, but when I go to someone's house it is usually to interact with him or her. Instead, Kitty and Evan are watching television while Sarah talks smack about her in the other room. Kitty comes out to get Evan a snack and Sarah tells her that she misses hanging out with her. Um, Sarah, SHE'S RIGHT THERE. Go hang out with her! Sarah claims she is worried about Kitty, so Kitty smiles and pretends that she is still lovelorn over the barista and that's why she is such a Debby Downer. Explicitly not because she lost her husband last year, sort of this year, is a single mother, has no job, and just faced yet another complication from her cancer. No no, none of that, but she is a wee bit upset over the fact that she ditched her puppy-dog-eyed grad student to go tackle cancer treatments alone. Sarah suggests that she maybe tell Seth about her feelings? Kitty claims she can't handle getting a door slammed in her face and then tries to change the subject to Sarah's impending nuptials that she has failed to plan. Sarah isn't falling for that trick, though, and instead gives Kitty some helpful fashion tips (cropped Dolce & Gabbana jacket! Form-fitting cashmere sweater!) that will guarantee that Seth will fall helpless in her arms like Silly Putty. Very sexy Silly Putty. Kitty looks intrigued by this notion of dressing Walker slutty (cashmere sweater?) and actually telling a guy that she likes him. Sarah provocatively snacks on a carrot and gives Kitty her best "Go for it" eyes.
Nora has managed to misplace Lily. Justin, who is loitering around Walker Manor for no apparent reason, is no help, but does catch on that perhaps Nora is caring for Lily because she secretly cares for Brody? Nora taunts him right back that he is just teasing her because he can't handle the fact that he is turning 30. Justin denies any correlation and I am apt to believe him because, well, there is no correlation. Nora then realizes that the front door is open and Lily is long gone. Oh the shame!
Olivia is working on her homework alone in the cafe. Now that she has been reading for ten whole weeks she has no need of further assistance. Then some creepy looking guy comes in with an air of Lutheran about him. He says hello to Olivia and she stares at him crookedly. He asks if she recognizes him and then she realizes it is her brother, Brian, who she hasn't seen since she was five. She runs to give him a big hug. Scotty and Kevin come back into the dining room to find their daughter hugging a strange man in a button up shirt. Olivia introduces them and they try not to be skeeved out, but it's difficult. Brian explains that he was fighting in Afghanistan but is back now and wanted to find Olivia. He gives no explanation as to how he knew where she was living. I mean, cree-pee!
Brian hands Olivia his card and turns to leave, as Kevin follows him to ask him about his intentions. Speaking in weird hushed tones, Brian tells Kevin he hasn't contacted Family Services yet, but instead just stalked the crap out of Olivia to see if she even remembers him and now is planning on filing paperwork to be her guardian and make them a family again.
Kevin is not exactly thrilled by the news. Obviously they head straight to the adoption/foster care coordinator's office. She gives them the usual lines about Olivia's mystery brother "falling through the cracks" and she is truly sorry. Sorry doesn't cut it in this case. Kevin demands answers to such questions as: Where the hell has this kid been for the last five years of Olivia's life? The foster care coordinator looks abashed but has few answers. The brother was in the army, she knows that much. The only thing she can offer the already grieving parents is a moved up court date so that this issue can be resolved ASAP instead of being dragged out over the course of weeks like an actual court case, which would then run into this show's summer hiatus. Kevin and Scotty agree that they want this resolved