Thursday, February 10, 2011

My Review of Brothers And Sisters 5x04: "A Righteous Kiss"

Written by Stephen Tolkin And Cliff Olin
Directed by Ken Olin

Justin: “Too bad we missed it, that’s kind of our play.”
Rebecca: “Romeo and Juliet? A pair of star crossed lovers who take their lives.”
Justin: “Nobody’s taking any lives, we’re still here. We have a chance to make this right.”

Okay, overreaction much? It’s not that I don’t take Justin and Rebecca seriously, it’s just that I really don’t like it when TV series compare relationship to that Shakespearean play because the connotations are really bad but I guess truth be told, Justin and Rebecca probably never were going to be one of those happily ever after types of couples.

However this episode does something really extraordinary – it parts Justin and Rebecca on the best terms possible and for that, I have to respect it. No histrionics, no melodrama, just a couple who painfully realise that they won’t last and part nicely. If only this could happen a little more often.

Rebecca never stopped loving Justin but relationship wise, she couldn’t go back to him and they certainly couldn’t go forward as a couple. I think Justin probably knew that as well given that he seemed resigned to Rebecca’s decision to take a job working in New York. I don’t think I’ve ever felt bad for them as a couple (apart from their miscarriage last season).

I really liked that Nora didn’t interfere with them either. She offered support to Rebecca but advised her to do what was right without any judgement and she was able to get Justin to break down about his marriage and grieve for it. Now if only we could see Kitty doing the same, we’d be fine.

I’ve read a lot of complaints about Rebecca’s decision to leave Holly behind this episode but I think in a bizarre way that she did do the right thing. Holly was getting worse with Rebecca around and when she does manage to get her memories back completely, then the writers can make the effort to fix their relationship but for now, I think the distance that Rebecca decided to put between them was a wise move.

Holly went through a crappy time in this episode. I’ve never been her biggest and while I struggle to wonder as to why she’s still on the series, I do have to admit to feeling bad for her. The painful realisation that William was dead was pretty nicely acted along with her getting Rebecca into being honest about their relationship as well.

That being said, how long can this amnesia plot be sustained for? Four episodes in and I want a snap recovery and after the previous episode, I also didn’t want to see another moment with Holly telling Rebecca that she feels nothing for her either. I know Holly doesn’t mean it but it didn’t stop it from sounding cruel nonetheless.

Still including Nora into this plot as well has made it a little bit more interesting though. I liked that she was sympathetic enough to Holly’s plight, even if I have difficulty ever believing that Nora would love her. Then again, I’m supposed to believe that Kevin and Robert had the best friendship ever, despite the poor development of that.

Speaking of Kevin, for the love of God can the writers please give him and Scotty something to do? Seriously, goading Kitty and wading into Saul’s love life just isn’t as interesting and it feels like they’re given naff all at the moment. However, there was a positive outcome on the Saul front in a way.

Charlie might not have been able to handle Saul admitting to HIV but it was only because he had lost a partner through AIDS and didn’t want to go through the same pain again – it made sense and it was nice that he was able to convey that without being a dick to Saul. Plus any episode that actually bothers to give Saul a love life, no matter how fleeting definitely merits praise of some kind.

I liked Saul a lot in this episode and even though I wished they had kept Charlie for at least one more episode, I am hoping that this is a sign of things to come. Ron Rifkin had every right to complain about his character getting little to do and here’s hoping the writers have better storylines for him in the next few weeks other than running the restaurant and supporting Nora.

As for Kitty, why are the writers rushing things with her and Jack? I know TV has to take certain things faster than in real life situations but she’s only known the girl for two days and they’re already smooching? Can’t she just grieve and can’t Jack just step back and be a friend for a bit? I know it’s probably going to be a fling thing but it’s something of an issue with me at the moment as a viewer. It’s not like Jack is unlikeable but this storyline is just ham fisted at best.

As for Sarah and those snotty moms, well here’s hoping we never see them again as well. The Cooper in Romeo and Juliet plot wasn’t exactly the most riveting thing they could’ve done with Sarah this week but at least Luc got to be the cool parent with Cooper and Sarah got a chance to tell Gloria and her little minion exactly what she thought of them but other that, it was pretty dull plotline. And for the love of sweet Jesus, knock it off with the age difference with Luc and Sarah – it’s boring.

Also in “A Righteous Kiss”

Okay, Cooper’s even gotten more onscreen action with Margaret (the girl who played Juliet) than Saul did with Charlie in this one. Network ageism and homophobia at work?

Kevin: “Are you sure, what’s that sound?”
Kitty: “I’m just pounding a very stubborn pole.”
Kevin: “Ooh I once spent a weekend in Aspen with a guy from Warsaw.”

Scotty got in on the act of admiring Jack this week when he said hi to him on the phone. Jack also gave another anti mobile rant as well. I can see that becoming a bigger issue with him and Kitty in later episodes.

Kitty (re carving): “How do I know when it’s finished?”
Jack: “When it feels like silk.”
Kitty: “Yeah, well, silk I know.”

Holly (to Nora): “You don’t get it. The more I remember, the more I realise I’ve lost.”

Holly’s story about Daniel the soldier was interesting enough. It’s not too surprising that she was married before I guess. It was also a nice device for Rebecca to relate something personal back to her mother as well.

Kitty (to Jack): “Are you saying I talk too much? There’s nothing wrong with talking you know.”

Holly: “I remember enough to know that anybody who says that they had a perfect relationship with their mother is lying.”
Rebecca: “You’re right. Our relationship isn’t always perfect.”
Holly: “Thank God for that.”

Anyone else think that maybe Kevin was written a little too stereotypically gay in this one? I don’t know, even the Kevin wouldn’t have been that bothered about stitching to be honest.

Sarah (to Luc): “Come here, you sexy French beast. Let’s go home and do some naked co-parenting.”

Standout music: NLX’s “Find Love” was pretty much the only track to stand out. It was also good to end the episode with too.

Kitty (to Jack): “Sorry, I ran away like that. I do talk too much. I think it comes from a family where if you didn’t talk, they didn’t know you were there.”

Chronology: A day since “Faking It”.

I liked “A Righteous Kiss” better than the last two but mainly for Justin/Rebecca and Saul/Charlie if I’m being perfectly honest. The show seems to be lacking a sense of focus right now and that’s somewhat worrying as a viewer but this was a good episode though.

Rating: 8 out of 10.

No comments: