Brothers and Sisters

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Sars: B | Grade It Now!
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Wasting away again in Arti-ritaville

In class, Nora is reading the end of a story; it's basically the scene from the pilot in which William keels over into the pool. The class claps politely, but Coyote is unenthusiastic: "It's a little confused." He prates on for a bit about reliable narrators and credibility, "somebody that the reader can trust -- or not -- as a truth-teller." Do you guys get it? Sure? Because I can explain it if you -- you're good? Great. Nora's like, yeah, kind of like how we have to decide whether to trust you. Coyote doesn't get it. Nora lists all the different Coyotes they might believe in: the man of letters, the nurturing teacher, "the disingenuous L.A. casanova-slash-pedophile"? Coyote invites her out into the hall to talk further. Fine, she says. The class titters as they leave.

Once outside, Coyote's like, what's up your ass, and Nora's like, don't play dumb -- Juliet? Twenty years old? You're a pig. Coyote's like, okay, we went on a few dates, but "frankly I'm not all that interested in hearing about the travails of growing up lonely in Malibu anymore," and also, I never promised you anything. Nora tries to whatever him, but he's like, I invited you to a "dull faculty party," so what's with all the outrage? Oh, except that he finds the outrage "wildly sexy." What a peach this guy is, Jesus H. Nora's like, you do? Um, I mean, shut up! What about Juliet? Coyote says he's going to teach Juliet to write a coherent sentence. Nora: "Oh, is that what they're calling it nowadays?" Seriously. Coyote adds that that's between him and Juliet, but Nora -- and he's about two inches from her face as he's saying this -- is smart and funny and he can't stop thinking about her. Then he asks her out for dinner. Nora: "Dinner? Are you nuts?" Good answer! Go to the nearest pay phone and call Treat Williams! The power of Sars compels you! But no. Coyote merely agrees that he is in fact nuts. We cut away before we hear Nora's answer. Please, show: no.

Over to McCallister HQ. The Senator and Kitty make small talk about Castroville, in which Kitty denies drinking anything at all and McCallister wonders how you can bury dirt, since you bury things in dirt (don't ask). Kitty gets heavy shortly thereafter, remarking in an offhand tone that she's screwed, because she's "falling in love with a saint." McCallister is brought up short: "You're what?" There's some cutesy-poo "oh, I just meant that" blah blah she says it again, but with her hand over her mouth. Kitty: You aren't 14. Stop it with that kind of thing, for real. Long silence. McCallister, looking at the floor, begins the story of the helicopter rescue, namely that it isn't a story, so much, or a rescue: "I don't remember what really happened." It was bad, he says; heavy fire, guys getting hit; he remembers calling off the extraction, but his co-pilot wanted to stay. "It was happening very fast, and then we went down, he was killed, I blacked out," and after a short pause to collect himself, he admits, "Kitty, it's all a blur. But the last thing I do remember was trying to get the hell out of there." Kitty regards him gravely. See, this isn't the most shocking reveal in the world, but it's well done, and it should stand alone; topping it up with the whole teenage-non-father story is unnecessary and makes the character unsympathetically saintly. McCallister gritting out that he let people believe what they wanted, that he was a hero, when he wasn't -- that's plenty. (And for a speech we see coming in, like, minute two of the episode, Lowe does a super job with it.) "I'm not," he concludes, "not even close. And yeah. I love you too." Kitty just stares at him, her expression softening into fondness a bit. From the stage, McCallister is announced, and the two of them begin to smile at each other.

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Brothers and Sisters

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