Sunday, March 28, 2010

My Review of Brothers And Sisters 4x11: "A Bone To Pick"

Written by Cliff Olin And Brian Studler
Directed by Chad Lowe

Robert (re Kitty): “I hope there’s more time to start over.”
Nora: “You have started over.”
Robert: “Do you think she knows that?”

As episodes go, this continued a theme. The threat of Kitty’s survival and the chance miracle of a certain someone being able to save her as the Walkers themselves worried about her, when two other people weren’t scrapping in the hospital themselves.

Needless to say both Robert and Nora were going to have some choice words with Kitty concealing her bad news from them. The best part is both of them articulating their worry and frustration without going overboard. They could understand why Kitty chose to hold off telling them, even if they weren’t pleased.

And then there’s the chemotherapy. It didn’t work and Avadon was pretty convinced that other forms of it would be equally unsuccessful. Nora was right to ask the question and raise some concerns over the also risky bone marrow operation but in the end that was the final option for Kitty and the one she also went with.

Because television is so formulaic, even with the best of shows it was going to be obvious that none of the Walkers themselves would be a match. By that logic, it had to mean that Ryan could be the only viable candidate to help Kitty. The other problem was actually persuading him.

Ryan’s long dropped the pretence that he cares about the Walkers and he didn’t exactly hold back when Nora cornered him about helping Kitty. The truth is that while I don’t especially like Ryan, he did raise some pointers here that even his biggest detractors would have a hard time disagreeing with.

After the whole debacle of “Let’s Call The Whole Thing Off” none of the Walkers have actually interacted with him all that much, except for Saul and no-one really took stock of the burning resentment that Ryan has in relation to William. Even Nora dismissed it when Ryan let rip on her.

Plus it didn’t help that Robert got a security guy to drag Ryan to the hospital instead of just telling him about Kitty’s condition beforehand and Nora did badly sell it too. The effects of a bone marrow transplant would’ve still had some effect on Ryan. It’s not like he’d feel right as rain straightaway after going through the procedure either.

But obviously Ryan was going to change his mind and that was going to be down to Nora talking about Evan growing up without a mother in order to get Ryan to help. It was also neatly designed to show us as an audience that Ryan isn’t all that bad. Do I like him now? I don’t know. I liked that he helped out Kitty and that the Walkers did express gratitude but I guess it depends really.

Is this a real turning point for Ryan as a character? Does he suddenly become more relevant, more integrated to the show instead of skulking in the background? Will being around the Walkers actually loosen his grudge against William or are we just going to go back to square one by next week?

If so, then nothing’s really changed. This week, not did he get to be hero for Kitty but he also had to deal with the consequences of his little wine sabotaging as well. I have to hand it to Holly, she was a lot more generous with Ryan than she needed to be but it’s pretty obvious that York is certainly going to let Ryan hang for this one. Next time, Ryan pick your allies better.

Speaking of allies, Robert and Kevin’s completely synthetic brotherly dynamic almost nearly came to an end as well. Having Robert followed – really Kevin? How did you expect that not to go wrong? Louis handed Kevin something pretty damning in regards to Robert and it actually blew up in Kevin’s face.

Robert having an affair would’ve definitely made him into something of a hate figure and because this guy is a male equivalent of a Mary Sue on this show, of course the mysterious woman would have to be a therapist. The fight between him and Kevin should’ve been funny but it wasn’t, given the circumstances.

Robert already told Justin that he feared for Kitty’s life and even confided in Nora about it too. The therapist reveal only solidified that along with Robert wanting to remarry Kitty as well. Blimey, two weddings in one season, on top of each other as well. I’ll curb the cynicism a little because the second wedding was sweet, I’ll give you that.

Even sweeter was Kitty (again obviously) coming out of the bone marrow transplant successful. I swear if Calista Flockhart doesn’t get an Emmy nod this season, then it’s a damn shame. I know there are some slightly cheesy moments but the acting throughout this whole storyline really does sell things.

I mean the scenes where she’s worrying about her own mortality to where she’s delighted that she’s going to be around to see her kid grow up are nice, affecting moments. Also, this episode isn’t thoroughly depressing either. The writers get to have some fun with Kitty and a previously unknown sex scandal with a really famous politician.

For legal reasons the writers were never going to reveal who the guy is and I can’t be bothered to guess (maybe it was a Democrat) but I knew well that Sarah would blab as soon as she started reading Kitty’s letters. Thank goodness they don’t know serious government secrets or else the US economy would be totally screwed over.

Also keeping with the political stuff – Robert withdrew his candidacy for governor. I didn’t see that one coming and if this had been last year, I would’ve been utterly glad when it was eating up too much screen time but the producers had gotten the balance right this year. That being said, I’m not exactly devastated to see that plot line done away with, though I guess it might mean something for Kevin’s working future with Robert.

Also in “A Bone To Pick”

It’s odd that Tommy wasn’t in this one. We should’ve had at least a brief scene with him in it, even if he did get tested for the bone marrow transplant.

Nora: “Kitty, is this really what you want?”
Kitty: “I wanna live.”
Nora: “Okay. What do we do?”

Ryan’s sideline gig as a crime mastermind/saboteur got confounded because the dolt didn’t bother to check the security cameras.

Robert: “I think I’m being followed.”
Kevin: “Why would you say that?”
Robert: “Because there’s a guy following me. He’s not very good at it.”

Kitty (to Sarah): “Okay, I’ll make you a deal. You go get my shoe box and I promise I won’t die.”

Kitty really does have a lot of shoes that she’d even put Carrie Bradshaw to shame.

Nora: “I never thought I’d say this but I’m glad your father cheated on me.”

Justin: “Sarah, this would be more fun if we could gang up on him.”
Sarah: “Kevin, you fight like a girl.”

Scotty and Rebecca hadn’t much to do in this one and Holly only had one scene this week. Plus, no David.

Nora: “So you’re gonna do it?”
Ryan: “Couldn’t let another kid grow up without a mother.”

Justin: “I can’t believe my sister’s sexual past is a part of our country’s history.”
Kitty: “It wasn’t all about the sex. That part only lasted a month.”

Standout music: “She Has No Time” by Keane.

Sarah (re Robert): “Nice metaphor.”
Nora: “I think it’s beautiful.”
Scotty: “I think I lost my place as favourite son in law.”
Kevin: “Definitely.”

Chronology: There was a three week time jump in the last five minutes of this episode.

“A Bone To Pick” definitely had it’s heavy moments and while it won’t wrap Kitty’s cancer storyline up in a neat little bow, it does manage to bring her out of the woods at least. From where she progresses storyline wise from here, is anyone’s guess.

Rating: 8 out of 10.


Nat said...

It was a good episode, though I think it was meant to tie up Kitty's cancer storyline. Sure there'll be some ramifications but I don't think we'll be hearing much of the C word for the rest of the season. Its a shame in a way as its a story that could've had some longevity.

The Ryan stuff did bother me a little, they haven't talked to him all season and now they expect him to give bone marrow. I'm no expert but I think its meant to be quite a painful procedure.
Nora did make some good points though, they had at least tried to be nice to Ryan with the job and everything.

I'm pretty sure the famous politician was meant to be a democrat, Sarah said something about her swapping sides!

shawnlunn2002 said...

I hear from the latest Radio Times that politics is the next step for Kitty, which should be interesting.

Ryan, Ryan. I saw his point but was glad he helped. Still not sure if that bodes well for him for the rest of the season in terms of getting stuff to do though.

Kitty did a democrat. Haha.