Friday, February 12, 2010

My Review of Brothers And Sisters 4x05: "Last Tango In Pasadena"

Written by Jason Wilburn And Molly Newman
Directed by Bethany Rooney

Sarah: “I can’t believe you flew six thousand miles to see me.”
Luc: “I can’t believe you can’t believe it.”

And doesn’t that make for an interesting discussion. Is it suspicious that Luc decided to pursue Sarah so much that he flew over to America or is he really just a big old romantic at heart? Either way, this episode wasn’t particularly subtle with the impression that Luc was making on the Walker family.

Sarah herself clearly likes the guy but not enough to introduce him to Paige and Cooper as her boyfriend. There’s a degree of sense in Sarah’s logic. Both she and Luc haven’t known each other that long and it’s sensible for her to approach him with caution but at the same time, she’s also put Luc within her family’s orbit.

To try and briefly keep Luc away from Paige and Cooper, she did kind of railroad Nora into letting him stay with her. Nora had a right to be less than keen with taking Luc in and it made sense that she would be the last person to be taken in with his charms given her current worrying over Kitty’s health.

However if you’re one of those people who finds yourself watching a television series and can’t help but complain when a particular character (regardless of gender) is objectified a hundred fold, then this episode will give you a lot to complain. Or maybe you’ll think the Walker’s ogling of Luc is perfectly fine.

It’s a funny moment when Justin was being taught how to dance by Luc when Kevin interrupted them with his jaw literally hanging out. Kitty can definitely be blamed for this one, given that she texted everyone to come to the house and gaze at Luc’s manly French physique.

Gilles Marini doesn’t really do it for me and while the ogling got a little silly, there was also a fun side to it as well. Luc himself wasn’t particularly bothered with everyone eyeing him up and the Walkers themselves had fun watching him getting out of the pool. Saul even went as far as to flirt with him in French and honestly, that’s the most that Saul has contributed all season so far.

Plus there was the fun of Luc’s dancing as well. Okay, the writers here were definitely capitalising on the actor’s previous bout on Dancing With The Stars but I found it interesting that Luc had more chemistry dancing with Justin than the latter has in general with Rebecca. Similarly Rebecca herself had more chemistry dancing with Luc than she’s ever had on screen with Justin. I can’t be the only one who picked on that, can I?

Of course with everyone else being impressed with Luc, Nora’s hostility towards him wasn’t going to go unnoticed and in this week’s argument both her and Sarah had it out over Luc and Kitty. One of the things I like about this show is that you do get to see both points of views and here’s the same.

With Nora, she was right to tell Paige and Cooper about Kitty’s illness. They asked an honest question and Nora did do her best to cushion the blow as much as she did. Maybe it wasn’t her place but I do think that she made the right call. And both Cooper and Paige were able to handle it better than Sarah expected them to do so.

As for what Sarah said, she was right too. Nora needs to let up a little when it comes to Kitty. I know she’s worried about her and no-one begrudged that but Sarah’s idea of keeping things fun isn’t a way of denying Kitty’s illness either. It’s good that towards the end of the episode both women were able to put their differences aside and focus on Kitty.

Speaking of Kitty, this was probably her lightest episode so far this season. Most of it revolved around her excitement to go to a Republican bash and then being happy (after some initial disappointment) when she realised that Robert had actually planned a surprise dinner and fireworks for her instead. I can safely say that Robert is definitely staying in my good books with this episode.

As for the less engaging stuff of the episode, Ryan – why are you here? You’ve been missing for the previous two episodes and here you’re reduced to a line or two before disappearing. Unless the writers do actually have something interesting lined up for him later on, I really cannot fathom as to why Luke Grimes was made a regular this year, I really can’t.

Another thing I can’t fathom was the writers’ decision to suddenly make Holly scammed by a fraudulent. Maybe it’s a nice way to remind viewers not to put your financial eggs into one basket or maybe it was another in series of failed attempts to get viewers to care about Holly. Okay, it was the latter and no, I don’t especially care that Holly got screwed over.

A tiny bit of me thinks that maybe I should care given that Holly kept harping on about wanting to give Rebecca the best wedding ever or when she lectured David to pull his finger but I just can’t be bothered. After enjoying her scenes with Rebecca in the previous episode, I pretty much wanted to fast forward all of her scenes in this one. Figures.

Something else that frustrated me this week was Kevin and Scotty. After one episode where we didn’t have to have them arguing about having a kid, Scotty had to come up with the worst idea ever – use Michelle as a surrogate. Okay she suggested it but Scotty for some insane reason actually thought it was a good idea.

While there’s nothing wrong with him wanting to take an assertive role in his marriage to Kevin, this was the worst time to do. It’s not like I think Michelle is the devil incarnation (though after having the misfortune to watching The City, Roxy Olin definitely comes across as a pain in the arse), Kevin was right to allude to the fact that she was a flake.

I really wished for this one that Kevin had actually stuck to his gun because so far, both of them haven’t shown that they’re ready to start being parents. They should wait and obviously they should try and get a surrogate without the kind of baggage that Michelle has. This whole plot seems to have disaster inscribed all over it.

Also in “Last Tango In Pasadena”

Wow, the writers can’t even be arsed to actually show Joe on screen. He must’ve left massive skid marks when Sarah opened the door to let in Paige and Cooper.

Michelle: “Are you thinking what I’m thinking?”
Kevin: “I don’t know.”
Scotty: “What are you thinking?”

Since her last appearance in the first season, Michelle seems to be trying to sell bags for a living. Kevin sensibly refused to finance her.

Kevin (re Michelle): “I’m not comfortable with her being our surrogate.”
Scotty: “Why?”
Kevin: “You have to admit she’s a little flaky.”

Scotty (to Kitty/Rebecca/Justin): “Oh hey, give this to Kevin.”
Kevin: “What for?”
Scotty: “The drool on your chin.”

It wouldn’t have killed the writers to have actually shown us that Scotty and Michelle were close in Seasons 2 and 3. Something about their closeness just came across as extremely false to me.

Kitty: “You never do anything halfway, do you?”
Robert: “Not when it comes to you.”

Sarah: “Sometimes men can be so stupid.”
Luc: “They’re all fools when it comes down to love.”

There was some nice continuity with Kitty and Robert’s helicopter experiences in “Valentine’s Day Massacre”.

Robert: “I’m starting to think that my surprise isn’t as my cover story.”
Kitty: “I don’t know. I guess I was hoping for a night without cancer.”

Standout music: Gotan Project’s “Santa Maria”, which was also used in the third season of Nip/Tuck.

Luc: “So who will be the girl?”
Kevin: “Her name is Michelle.”
Luc: “Good for you.”

Chronology: None specified since “From France With Love”.

It’s hard to maintain the standards that this season has been setting out so far but at least they’re trying. “Last Tango In Pasadena” was another enjoyable hour with the Walkers and Luc could be a good addition if kept on (okay, I’m aware of a certain spoiler but bear with me here).

Rating: 8 out of 10.


Nat said...

I enjoyed the Walker family time together, but the ogling got really ridiculous as did the dancing; maybe since I didn't watch DWTS it was lost on me, although I found it just as tacky when Ricky Whittle danced on Hollyoaks after his SCD appearance.

Rebecca does have a lot more chemistry with Giles Marini, though he was annoying me with his weird and uneven accent, I can't tell if its real or not but I'm guessing not completely.

Great to see Paige and Coop again, hope we get to see more of them this season, their scene with Kitty and Evan was adorable.

The Kevin/Scotty and Michelle thing was ridiculous, I mean really. The whole friendship felt fake (does she know Kevin was sleeping with her boyfriend at the same time?) and the idea of them using her as surrogate is stupid- not loving it if they go down that road.

Robert and Kitty had a nice storyline, I loved the fireworks idea.

shawnlunn2002 said...

I'm mixed about Luc. He seems nice enough but Gilles Marini doesn't do it for me as an actor. I hope he's becoming a regular next season, he ups his game though.

Michelle irritates the fuck out of me. There's no way in hell her and Scotty have a deep friendship, that girl is too freaking vapid to have anything deep with anyone.

She was aware of Kevin and Chad sleeping together. She warned Kevin about Chad in Love Is Difficult.