Thursday, January 27, 2011

My Review of Brothers And Sisters 5x02: "Brief Encounter"

Written by Molly Newman
Directed by Jonathan Kaplan

Nora: “You think I’m gay?”
Kitty: “Yeah. Aren’t you?”
Nora: “No, I’m not a lesbian, I’m a florist.”

Without a doubt the above quote comes from one of the most amusing scenes we’ve ever had on this show but as funny as it is, I just gotta face palm (Picard style) Kitty for a bit. Nora’s gay? The show barely focuses on Saul’s homosexuality, so why would they make Nora gay at all?

Of course, it’s all a rather stretched out misunderstanding. Nora spent too much of the time acting evasive about her new job, Kitty overheard and misunderstood a phone conversation and came to the wrong conclusion after she decided to follow her mother to a mystery woman’s house.

Also in typical Walker style, Kitty then decided to tell everyone her theory about Nora having a girlfriend before actually asking her mother what was going on in the first place. It’s the type of thing that the show’s done to death at this rate and while it was funny, it was also very stupid as well.

Kitty had the flimsiest of proof going and made a blunder. Not the worst going though but still pretty bad. Nora’s protests of her heterosexuality in response to Kitty’s false findings though were brilliantly acted out but the thing I don’t get was why she felt the need to hide her florist job in the first place?

There’s no shame in working in a florist, though realistically with a house like Nora’s, I’m not sure if working in one would keep her afloat but every little helps I guess. However, I do find this Zoe woman a pain in the arse and this week we only had to put up with her on the phone and it’s a little too contrived that Nora would bag a radio gig opportunity with Zeke in the manner she did.

Zeke might have liked Nora giving her children a verbal dressing down in public but I reckon he’d quickly change his mind if he made the mistake of getting on her bad side, which would be a likely plot point. I’m going to assume that Nora will take the job – if not by next episode then soon enough, because it’s definitely clear that working with Zoe is going to drive her nuts pretty soon.

As for Nora’s dressing down of her kids again, I agreed with most of her comments but I think the ones with Kitty were a little harsh. Kitty’s just buried her husband, I think she’s entitled to a little moping and to be fair, Kitty did spend more of this episode house hunting and prying into Nora’s private affairs than she actually did mope.

Also I do want to see Robert’s death affect Kitty. I don’t need scene after scene of her lamenting about Robert, but I don’t want his death swept under the carpet either. He was a crucial part of the show and there does need to be a certain level of respect attributed to him as well, that’s all I’m saying.

Speaking of respect, there’s a reason why I’m glad that Paige does not appear in every episode of this show and this episode sort of reinforced that point. She’s not the worst kid on TV but she can be a little annoying and her teen rebellion storylines aren’t that much interesting to watch. Like Nora, I also don’t think Sarah should’ve let her gone to that celebrity launch for Luc’s underwear either.

Some of those scenes actually focused more on the Walkers than women gushing over Luc, so I have to commend the episode for that but Paige getting drunk made me laugh because compared to the likes of Skins, it looks so lightweight and tame by comparison. I did like the later scenes with Paige and Sarah connecting a little more and it’s nice that Luc is sort of taking a Scotty type calm role within Sarah’s chaotic family world. For that alone, I will commend him as a character.

However when it comes to commending, I actually am finding myself oddly engrossed in Holly’s amnesia storyline. I don’t know why because in the back of my head, I don’t have much investment in her and David as a couple and now really is the perfect time for the show to get out of both of them but for some reason, this storyline is working.

Maybe I should cite it to Justin’s involvement and the fact that Holly’s lack of feelings towards Rebecca is both sad and kind of chilling. Plus, it’s also Justin in a noble type of role, even if he is desperate to be back with his wife but overall this plot is a lot better than I thought it would be.

As for the Kevin and Scotty segment of the week – Kevin, you dolt. I probably would have some similar mistrust about Matteo as well but without Nora’s powers of perception, it was blindingly obvious that the lad broke into Scotty’s restaurant because he wanted to reach to him and Kevin. Sometimes Kevin doesn’t really think and he’s usually one of the smarter Walkers.

I did like the later scenes where Kevin actually did listen and allowed Matteo to talk about his father. Also, even though I was surprised that Matteo didn’t end up living with Kevin and Scotty, I don’t mind the twist of him being sent to his grandmother. I think I really do need a few more episodes of Kevin and Scotty together without a child being added into the mix for the time being.

Also in “Brief Encounter”

We’ve been there and done that over Sarah being critical over Paige’s choice of attire. Remember Season 3, writers?

Sarah (re Nora): “Where would she go so early?”
Kitty: “Well, I’m thinking that maybe her bed wasn’t slept in at all.”

I had to laugh at Paige picking Luc’s suit, if only for Sarah’s reaction. Now that was one thing I did agree with Paige in this episode about.

Kevin (to Matteo): “You had a good lawyer. I can’t be your lawyer anymore, now I’m your victim and you’re about not getting any money. Intent is intent, so don’t think you’re so smart.”

Nora: “I’d love to go house hunting with you. Anytime, you name it.”
Kitty: “Tomorrow.”
Nora: “Tomorrow’s not good for me.”
Kitty: “You busy all day?”

If this show has jumped a year, surely Nora has to be older than 63, right? Also where the heck was Saul this week? I also found Justin and Kevin’s reactions to the idea of Nora being gay more amusing than Scotty accidentally downloading granny porn on Kevin’s phone.

Kitty: “Why are the police calling you?”
Scotty: “Maybe your phone’s tapped.”
Kevin: “Scotty, it’s not illegal to look at grandmas doing it.”
Justin: “Are you sure?”

David: “I can show you these and give you a sense of who our daughter is.”
Holly: “I can’t feel something I don’t feel. Sorry.”

Standout music: Simon Lynge’s “The Future”, which was played at the end of the episode.

Nora: “No, Kitty, living in limbo and avoiding the future is not going to help you one bit. Neither is inventing a fictional life for your mother. You need to take the first painful steps for your new life.”

Chronology: No specific time has been mentioned since “The Homecoming”.

“Brief Encounter” wasn’t a bad episode but it’s definitely not one of my favourites. The Nora mishap was amusing but the show has done funnier and I could’ve done without the Paige plot as well. Other than that, the rest was fine.

Rating: 7 out of 10.

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