Thursday, February 18, 2010

My Review of Brothers And Sisters 4x06: "Zen And The Art Of Making Mole"

Written by Brian Studler And Geoffrey Nauffts
Directed by Michael Schultz

Tommy (to Nora): “Nothing is hard for you, everything’s perfect. Well, guess what? I’m not you.”

And of course, Tommy would have to return and some chaos would have to ensure. And things up until that point were actually going pretty smoothly – everyone was getting along but Nora’s knack for not leaving things alone had to kick in, didn’t it?

It’s not that I’m siding with Tommy here that much but once again; Nora should have left things alone and let him be the one to break the news about Tommy and Julia getting a divorce. There should be certain things that should be off limits for Nora to break to the family. And once again, it happened during a dinner meal.

With Balthazar Getty’s name in the credits, Tommy had to come back at some point and US wise, they were approaching sweeps so here made some sense. The reintroduction itself was played for comedic effect when Luc thought that he was tackling a burglar instead of the forgotten Walker child.

At first everything was okay as well. Tommy only got some soreness from being tackled by Luc but the news of his return sparked no anger from anyone. Even Kevin was past his issues with Tommy and there was a lot to be impressed with. Tommy seemed rather mellow, was offering to cook but he was also being evasive about Julia and Elizabeth.

You could practically see him trying to dodge a bullet when Nora was probing him about their progress and I just knew that she would turn around and phone Julia while Tommy and Kitty were out getting ingredients for mole. Needless to say, Tommy’s reaction to Nora’s phone call was predictable.

Of course he would blow up and tell her to butt out and naturally this would bleed into Nora being unable to keep her mouth closed during dinner. At this point, you would think that she would’ve waited for a private moment to tell everyone about Tommy’s lack of contact with Julia and Elizabeth but she didn’t.

Everyone else’s reactions however seemed muted by comparison. Kevin was mad but he didn’t really go to town on Tommy being so feckless and Sarah and Justin didn’t seem to say much either. In fact it was Kitty who vocalised her thoughts on Tommy’s abandonment and she did it without being shrill either.

In this week’s touching Walker moment, we had both Kitty and Tommy outside talking about a book she was compiling for Evan. The conversation more or less had Kitty encouraging Tommy into trying to play more of an active role in his daughter’s life, even if his marriage to Julia was effectively no more.

Moments like that are great for the series. No histrionics, just a simple conversation and Tommy did actually listen to Kitty. Now all he has to do is actually keep his promise to be there for Elizabeth and make up properly with Nora. It sort of felt like things were unresolved with him and Nora in this one. I’m betting however he’ll be back for Justin and Rebecca’s wedding so I can wait to see them clear the air better.

I suppose another stronger element to this episode was exploring the kind of relationship that Tommy and Nora have. Her relationships with Kevin, Kitty, Sarah and Justin do seem so defined that with Tommy, when Nora talked about letting him go to William, I bought it. Tommy and Nora don’t seem to have as strong a relationship as she does with his siblings. At least Nora acknowledged it and tried to make some amends.

It’s relationships like Tommy that also bled into the surrogacy plot this week as well. We know that Kevin’s been Tommy’s biggest critic and it was part of the reason why he wanted everything to be legal when it came to Michelle. Maybe he could’ve conveyed his intentions better but he was right.

Both Scotty and Michelle should’ve been mature enough to realise that was where he was coming from. Scotty might like the idea of having a close friend as the surrogate but he was being too naive about Michelle. Maybe she’s not the worst person in the world (still having a task buying their close friendship though) but he overreacted with Kevin as well.

Kevin should’ve told him about the document beforehand but Scotty should’ve expected one to have appeared. Of course then it took Scotty and Kevin to look at Tommy’s fractured life to get their own into perspective. On the flipside, Michelle’s still the surrogate but at least her and Kevin seem to be on the same page with each other – for now.

Speaking of Paige, I don’t often praise the kid enough but I liked how quickly she adjusted to Sarah and Luc as a couple. The reason why I liked it was because if she could adjust to her father remarrying his first wife, then why would it be hard for her to accept her mother dating someone else? Joe and Sarah have been seperated for long enough for this not to be an issue.

However when it comes to Sarah and Luc, I’m still in the maybe category. Don’t get me wrong – he’s nice enough, brings Sarah breakfast, is patient, can dance really well as the last episode demonstrated and he’s great to have around in case of intruder but he’s kind of written in a ‘too good to be true’ sort of way. Like Robert in Season One. Still he does make Sarah happy and that alone is a good thing.

Also in terms of happy, apart from feeling annoyed with Holly, Sarah did agree with her little cheap wine scheme quite quickly. Could we actually be getting to a point in the series where Sarah and Holly will argue less and less? I doubt it but for now, Holly should be glad that Sarah agreed to the cheap plonk deal.

In other stuff, this Neil bloke who keeps trying to sabotage Ojai – I’m still not really all that bothered. This week he tried to use Holly’s dire financial state to get her to sell her share in Ojai. I’d like to think that a part of Holly did refuse because he’s a loser with a grudge but even if she financially solvent, Holly would cling to Ojai for dear life. Neil had fun taunting her about continuing her involvement with the Walkers.

As for Ryan, he had a bit more to do here than his previous episodes but it’s the same crap all over. I get that he wants to get one over the Walkers and that he’s tiring of being Saul’s pet project but whatever he’s up to, I wish he’d just get on with it because while this was a great episode, his two scene contribution here was tedious to watch.

Also in “Zen And The Art Of Making Mole”

Is this the first episode we’ve ever seen Tommy cook? He was talking about using Mexican chocolate in the recipe instead of coriander.

Michelle (to Scotty): “Maybe you should take Kevin to Megawatt. Looks like someone could use a drink.”

I can’t believe there would be a nightclub called Ultrasound. How weird would that be?

Kitty: “What are you doing here?”
Tommy: “I came to see you. How are you?”
Kitty: “I’m good, how are you?”
Tommy: “A little bit sore but I’m fine.”

Kitty (to Tommy): “Justin says you suck.”
Nora: “That’s nice Justin. Did you hear that?”

This episode had surprisingly very little wedding discussion from Justin and Rebecca. Justin talked more about anatomy than nuptials.

Kevin (to Tommy): “That’s ridiculous. We all know the key to health and happiness is donuts.”

Justin: “That’s it? You’re just gonna be nice?”
Tommy: “I’m proud of you.”

According to Ryan, apparently he has nothing against Holly. Isn’t that nice?

Justin (to Tommy, re mole): “Holy mole, this looks like something I pulled out of a cadaver yesterday.”

Nora (to Kitty, re Tommy): “Maybe he was so easy because I needed him to be. I had four other kids and there wasn’t any room for him to be other than perfect. And he was.”

Robert was missing from this episode. It was mentioned that he was in DC.

Sarah: “What about Coop? Do you think he’d mind a random Frenchman around?”
Paige: “Coop thinks anyone with an accent is tres magnifique.”

Tommy: “Don’t say that. You will be there for him, Kitty.”
Kitty: “Yeah I hope so.”

Standout music: VV Brown’s “L.O.V.E.” and “How You Like Me Now?” by The Heavy.

Sarah (to Luc): “You’re gonna be staying here with me and my kids. You realise the fantasy’s over. This is real life now.”

Chronology: A few days since “Last Tango In Pasadena”.

It’s not my favourite episode but even when the characters are doing stuff that I don’t agree with, I do think the season is delivering brilliant. Plus, pretty inventive episode with “Zen And The Art Of Making Mole”.

Rating: 8 out of 10.


kenny said...

Its outstanding Drama series. I love to watch Brothers & Sisters TV Show. I do not miss its single episode. Thanks for sharing the review of latest episode.

Nat said...

I agree Paige was very mature about Sarah and Luc, but I'm like you, he's too good to be true- makes everything about him seem fake. I know Americans have a romantic idyll about France and the French but this seems to be going too far.

Yeah the Scotty/Michell friendship does not feel genuine or believable, but in a way its nice for Scotty to have friends independent of Kevin. Just wish they were better friends though!

shawnlunn2002 said...

Given that Luc's now going to be a regular, I'm hoping they do flesh him out better. As for Michelle, I just don't like Roxy Olin. Not the greatest actress in the world.