Saturday, February 27, 2010

My Review of Brothers And Sisters 4x07: "The Wig Party"

Written by Marjorie David And David Marshall Grant
Directed by Ken Olin

Nora: “We’re here for you.”
Kitty: “I know. You’re sitting on my hand.”

Families sticking together, that’s what this show is all about, eh? Here, that always amplifies because you’ve got Kitty battling one of the hardest things in the world and her family trying the best they can to be there for her.

Chemotherapy does take a lot out of people suffering from cancer and there are times when it’s not always successful, so I can understand to a degree why Kitty considered the option of abandoning chemotherapy but I did find myself siding with Sarah and Nora more though.

Both Nora and Sarah probably could’ve handled Kitty’s reveal a little better but I don’t blame them for worrying. As options go, chemotherapy is Kitty’s best one and I’m not all that big into herbal alternatives. A lot of the times, they’re pretty much ineffectual but the episode did seem to greatly emphasise that Kitty wanted to be in control of her illness.

If this were me, I’d want to feel that way too – it’s a gut instinct not exclusive to a certain type of person (I think I tuned out when Kitty was having that type argument with Sarah) and Kitty found that out in one of the worst ways ever at that charity dinner for Nora’s research centre.

The losing her hair scene was particularly a poignant moment for Kitty and Calista Flockhart continued to sell it brilliantly, especially when Nora and Sarah both made it clear that she wasn’t alone. A lot of people have commented on certain boards that this storyline has not only seen Calista bring her A game but also Sally Field and Rachel Griffiths and it’s hard not to agree with them.

All three actresses have been brilliant this season and there was the moment where Kitty took control by shaving her hair. I don’t know if Calista did it for real or was wearing an impressive bald cap on her head but it looked convincing either way. As much as I know that Kitty will survive this, it still hasn’t affected the impact of the storyline either way.

The only quibble I could have with the plot was that it didn’t include Robert as much as it should’ve. I could easily predict the kind of reaction he would’ve had if he had known that Kitty was going to give up chemo (she didn’t in the end) but that doesn’t mean that a scene where the two of them discussed the issue at hand shouldn’t have been included nonetheless.

At least Robert has been a good support system for Kitty when they’ve had scenes together. Her illness has certainly put a lot of his political storylines into perspective and I’m fairly certain that Kitty’s illness sparked his justified castigation of conservative new rival, Barry Henderson in broad daylight.

I know there’s supposed to be a degree of severity of Robert’s rant given that it streamed on YouTube and will inevitably spark criticism from Henderson’s but it’s not like Robert said anything really damaging. In fact, Robert was surprisingly restrained, even when he was letting rip on Henderson. How much damage control is Kevin really going to have to do with this one?

Speaking of Kevin, while there was no Michelle to worry about this week, we did get another reminder of how expensive surrogacy happens to be. This plot is reminding a lot of David and Keith’s in the final season of Six Feet Under and I’m beginning to wonder why it’s so important for Kevin and Scotty to focus on surrogacy. Why aren’t other options, such as adoption or fostering being considered as well?

This plot did get something of a jolt when Scotty’s father, Wally was added into the mix as well. It was nice that he was supportive of the pair wanting to have a child and even better that he made a financial contribution as well. Don’t stick up your noses – there are plenty of people who’d sell their grandmother for a Captain America comic. Not me of course but they do exist.

The other part of Wally’s return that struck a chord was Scotty’s reaction to his parents breaking up and his father being a cheat. Bertha’s not the nicest woman in the world and while I’m not advocating adultery, I can see why Wally might have done the dirty. The episode also went to painful lengths to differentiate between Wally and William, not that it needed to.

I like Wally a lot more than I like William and I also liked that while Scotty was understandable upset, he didn’t act like a baby over it either. He felt sorry for his mother but sort of seemed to understand why his father strayed. Plus it did help that Kevin seemed to be there with some helpful nuggets as well. Plus, I appreciated the fact that baby issues aside, Kevin and Scotty weren’t arguing over anything major in this one.

As for Justin and Rebecca – look, there’s needs to be a rule for TV in general, one baby plot per season please. Kevin and Scotty got their first, so surely Rebecca being with child was something they could’ve left for Season Five. I know the writers need to come up with new ways to create tension between her and Justin but why this?

The funny thing was that Justin actually deduced that Rebecca was pregnant and she denied it, which made no sense. Why not just tell him? Why does it need to be something else to create a rift between them? I’m not becoming a shipper of this pairing but I do often get a little tired of seeing them constantly arguing as well. Unless it’s a hysterical pregnancy or Rebecca’s going to lose the baby.

Moving away from babies and onto the big ones, it’s nice to have one little scene that showed Paige and Cooper taking to Luc. That being said, Luc, do not play football in the house, especially when Sarah and Saul are discussing an Ojai business plot that other episodes have blathered on about. On second thoughts, maybe you should play football in the house, Luc.

With Luc’s only contribution for the episode being a big kid to Sarah’s, Nora at least seemed to be getting another love interest with oncologist, Simon. He’s cool with his motorcycle, flirty ways and a little young for Nora but not in the sense that a certainly wretched C word can be doled about. I’m not gonna get attached because love interests for Nora don’t last and I can’t see Simon bucking the trend either.

Also in “The Wig Party”

How long has it been since Nora opened her centre? There was talk here about it being an anniversary but surely a year cannot have passed?

Kevin: “What am I supposed to do? Steal campaign contributes?”
Scotty: “It’d be money better spent.”

I laughed when Kevin had the stuffing scared out of him by Wally in his superhero costume. Wally endeared himself by being a comic book geek.

Saul (re Luc): “The kids love him.”
Sarah: “That’s because he acts like a kid.”
Saul: “That’s okay.”

Nora (re Kitty): “My daughter has lymphoma.”
Simon: “I’m sorry.”
Nora: “Yeah. I come here and I talk about cancer, I go home and I talk about cancer. Why didn’t I try to save the whales instead?”

I don’t know, Nora – maybe you were scared of getting crushed by Free Willy? That line had me in hysterics, funny stuff.

Kevin (re Wally/mystery woman): “Oh my God, he’s sleeping with her.”
Scotty: “You’re cut off.”
Kevin: “I haven’t started drinking yet.”

Simon: “Nora, when are we gonna have that second date?”
Nora: “Second? That was a date?”

Because of Nora getting a new love interest, I’m wondering when we’re actually going to see Saul’s boyfriend on this show again.

Justin: “Are you pregnant?”
Rebecca: “Are you serious? Why would you ask me that? That’s crazy!”

Robert (to Kevin): “It’s your job. You gotta pick your battles, this one’s mine.”

Standout music: “Never Say Never” by The Fray and I’m not really a fan of them.

Sarah (to Nora): “How can you tell Kitty to risk and do scary things when you’re not prepared to do them yourself?”

Chronology: A few days since “Zen And The Art Of Making Mole”.

“The Wig Party” is a satisfying episode, not the best we’ve had in the season so far but it’s keeping with the really high standard of this season and that’s a good thing of course. Now all we have to do is wait for Rebecca to reveal her pregnancy.

Rating: 8 out of 10.


Nat said...

Good review, a sad episode, though more hopeful than I had expected, thought we were going to get another cry fest.

Sarah and Nora should've been more tactful, but then thats not really their way, especially Nora.

Roberts rant was quite mild I thought, I'm sure he'll get just as many supporters as he would lose from his rant.

shawnlunn2002 said...

Sarah and Nora's hearts were in the right place but maybe they should've approached it better. I'm sure we'll see the consequences of Robert's rant sooner than later.