Wednesday, April 07, 2010

My Review of Brothers And Sisters 4x12: "The Science Fair"

Written by Alison Schapker And Monica Breen
Directed by Laura Innes

Nora: “I’m such a fool.”
Sarah: “No, mom, you’ve done nothing wrong but he’s shown you who he is. An untrustworthy jerk that doesn’t deserve your affections.”

And this episode basically confirmed what was feared when Simon went AWOL in “Nearlyweds” – that he’s a scumbag. See, Sarah, I was able to come up with a snarkier description and I didn’t need to resort to swearing. Then again, neither did Sarah but the fact remains – Simon bad!

Not only did he try to pull a fast one with Nora’s cash but his lying was utterly rubbish to begin with. He couldn’t even keep them in a straight line and it was sort of clear when you watch the first scene he appeared in this episode that Nora was a bit sceptical of his little reason as to why he didn’t contact her for six weeks.

But the problem was that while Nora showed a good level of scepticism, there was still the lingering feeling that she was going to succumb to Simon’s lies again and he’d manage to steal even more money from her. And this is why I love Sarah. It might be interfering by another name but the woman’s nosiness paid off and saved Nora’s backside in this episode.

She managed to find out more about some of Simon’s previous affairs with older women and while Kevin wasn’t particularly helpful, at least Sarah tried to wizen her mother to who Simon really was. I should’ve suspected that when Nora was dismissing Sarah’s findings that there would be something behind it.

The scene where Nora pretty much tore Simon to pieces without raising her voice was some great acting on Sally Field’s part. I wouldn’t have dubbed it ‘Bond Girl’ like an enthusiastic Sarah did but it certainly served as a lesson to Simon that no matter how good a conman you might think you are, your luck does eventually run out.

Having Saul outside pretending to be police was a funny moment but while it was nice that Nora got her own back, it just leaves her back to square one. I can’t believe that in the space of four seasons, Nora still hasn’t been given a relationship that has lasted more than four or five episodes. Then again, that’s more than anything Saul has gotten. Do the writers even remember Henry because I certainly do?

While Sarah was acting as the perfect daughter and trying to watch her mother’s back, it’s too bad her own was so annoying this week. What is it with American kids on TV? They’re either written as too cutesy, precocious or just plain brats and Paige most definitely fell into the latter category this week.

I know that she’s a teen and teens are apparently supposed to have ‘despite parental figures’ as a default setting on them but what irritated me in this whole episode was that Paige acted like a total brat to Sarah and no-one actually took her aside and reprimanded her for it? I’m not saying that someone should’ve yelled at her but a little respect for Sarah wouldn’t have gone a long way.

Not letting Sarah near her science project was fine enough, seeing as Kevin, Scotty and Justin were more or less helping on that score either but I found it incredibly frustrating that when Kevin wrecked the project at the bloody science fair, it was Sarah who had to bear the brunt of Paige’s anger.

On the plus side we got a really good scene with Kevin and Paige where he admitted that he failed her and talked more about his own school troubles. Kevin has the potential to be an awesome father but he spent most of this episode getting everything so wrong that someone as non-parental as me was thinking, ‘come on, already!’

I knew with the swimmers stuff that him and Scotty would get competitive, especially when it turned out that Scotty’s ones were more viable and good to go than Kevin’s. Also, Kevin made the idiotic mistake to actually get competitive with another child’s science project. Matthew Rhys deserved a lot better with this episode, he really did.

Then there was Justin and Rebecca as well. Some more arguing between the pair of them because he can’t tell anyone that he’s failing. Except that he told Kevin at one point and nearly came to blows with him as well during the science fair too. As much as Justin has his difficulties, I was on his side during that argument as well.

But Justin getting tested – for dyslexia? Rebecca got him to look at that young lad’s sensory integration project and it’s like a thunderbolt struck him. Maybe that is the reason why he finds studying so hard. I know myself that studying in libraries is utterly pointless because the information never stays in. I literally have to pace the floor and recite things aloud from study notes to keep anything in. Maybe that’s something Justin could try as well.

And for Holly – again I’m on her freaking side. What Ryan did for Kitty last week was a great thing but what he’s done to Ojai wasn’t and Saul had no right to ask her to drop the investigation. Ryan knew what he was doing when he decided to play his hand at sabotage and Holly had every right to be mad at Saul for asking her to let the whole thing slide.

As for York, I really couldn’t give a flying frak about this guy, so why should I care about his vendetta with William? Apart from the fact that York’s spell in jail was another in a long line of examples of how much of a dolt William Walker was, why should I care? Because Holly has someone managed to deduce that York’s interest in acquiring Ojai has more to do with revenge? The writers need to try harder with this one because it’s not sticking.

Also in “The Science Fair”

Can I add “tween” to another in a list of recent terminology that I really loathe hearing on TV? Though at least the show’s keeping up with the times.

Paige (to Kevin): “I know what a pun is; I just didn’t get a charge out of it.”
Scotty: “I like you, Paige Whedon.”

I don’t think I’ve ever heard Paige or Cooper being called by their full name. I have a friend who absolutely loathes it when people do that.

Sarah: “Have you ever argued with a tween?”
Scotty: “I have. I live with one.”
Kevin: “Says the Miley fan.”

Holly (to Dennis): “The Walkers come with a whole of family drama. I’m getting real tired of it.”

It looks like Sarah might have scored a new love interest with Roy. He seems a little less bland than Luc. Also no Robert or Ryan this week.

Sarah (to Nora): “Googling’s not spying, it’s social networking.”

Paige: “So my science project’s was all about your dorkiness?”
Kevin: “Yeah, kinda.”

Standout music: “Perfect Moment” by Darden Smith.

Simon: “You called the police?”
Nora: “Marilyn did. Gosh, I’m so sorry about the files she’s charged.”

Chronology: Six weeks since “Nearlyweds”.

Not really the series at it’s best. “The Science Fair” had some good points about it but essentially it was filler to the heavier episodes that we’ve had in the last couple of weeks and not as exciting as a result.

Rating: 7 out of 10.


Nat said...

I loved Nora in this episode. I thought it was realisitc how she hesitated but then did the right thing with turning him into the police so calmly.

I'm not really sure I like the storyline of Justin possibly having dyslexia. Studying is hard for most people (especially something like medicine); maybe he's just not cut out for it, though of course I want to see him succeed.

Funny how in one scene Roy was more interesting than Luc was in 4?!

shawnlunn2002 said...

I'd like to see Justin do well in the medical department too but I guess we'll have to see what the writers will cook up for him later on.

Nora certainly had her moments in this episode and it was gratifying seeing Simon get his due though.

I like Roy but too bad it won't last.