Thursday, February 17, 2011

My Review of Brothers And Sisters 5x05: "Call Mom"

Written by Veronica Becker And Brian Studler
Directed by Michael Morris

Kevin: “You have an amazing gift, mom, amazing. Maybe the most precious there is.”
Nora: “You really think that?”
Kevin: “No, I know that and this is your chance to share it with people beyond our family. You told me you wanted to.”

After a noticeable lack of discussion in the previous, not only was it nice for Nora’s radio job offer to come back into the fray but it also managed to result in easily one of the best storylines we’ve had so far this season. Yes, it’s not like it’s a massive thing but this episode certainly treated it like one.

Nora being offered a Dear Mom gig on KPPQ seemed more than a little apt for her. After all these years, Nora was finally given the opportunity to expand her advice beyond her children and despite Alexandra being a worthy piece of competition for her with the gig, I never had a bloody doubt that Nora would bag the job.

To be fair, I don’t think anyone who watched this episode would’ve either. The Dear Mom slot was designed for Nora, who relies heavily on being emotionally connected with her own kids problems that the more clinical sound bites from Dr Alexandra Kirby were always going to slightly pale by comparison.

The episode might have a brief moment where Kevin’s first attempts of helping were scuppered by Alexandra but I did love the fact that Kitty unloading her dilemma with Robert and Jack managed to give Nora the opportunity she needed so badly to shine. This show has written tonnes of touching and insightful speeches from various characters but both Kevin and Nora were on fire this week.

I’ve complained terribly in my last two reviews about how Kevin was being sorely underused in this show and this week, it felt like a reward of sorts. He was absolutely the best person to really help Nora this week and it was great where her own on-air advice actually furthered his own storyline as well. I love it when that sort of things happens to be honest.

I’m not gonna lie and say I want Kevin/Scotty pursuing the parenting storyline is a great idea (even if it’s fostering this time) because I still think that there are other storylines the writers could run with but I did like that Nora was able to get through to Kevin where Scotty couldn’t. Now they can both be on the same page when it comes to being parents, which could be a good thing.

As for the reveal of Scotty’s adultery at the end of the episode – that caught me by surprise. Mainly because in the last four episodes and this one too, there was nothing to suggest that Scotty might have strayed, so it’s a little hard to digest that he actually did. I really wish the writers had built that one up better but if we’re lucky the next few episodes will fill in the blanks and give both Matthew Rhys and Luke Macfarlane really worthwhile material to play with because while I don’t like cheating storylines, this could be an interesting one if done right.

Getting back to the radio station stuff as well for a minute, was it a bit of a fix that Alexandra would unload on Nora at the last minute about her rocky relationship with her own kids? I mean, she did spend most of the episode undermining Nora but I suppose less realistic things have happened on this show and Nora did push the issue as well, so maybe it’s no wonder Alexandra confided in her. It’s not like Nora knows when to back off, does she?

In other storylines, it’s nice to know that the writers are finally showing us some awareness in relation to Kitty and Jack. Don’t get me wrong – this is still clearly being written as a rebound relationship but it was nice to see Kitty actually show some doubt about Jack and even nicer that Nora was able to give her advice that really helped her as well.

I actually do like Jack as a character and I was sort of pleased when it turned out that he was former investment banker who became disillusioned. It certainly made his previous disdain for city life and modern technology a little more believable as well and again, pointers for him not being a jerk with Kitty too.

As for Sarah and Luc, this was a bit of a weird episode for them. Sarah had to make the mistake of thinking he was cheating but surprisingly, very little drama really emerged from it. I get that Luc’s a nice guy but even I think it’s slightly unbelievable that he wasn’t at least a little hurt that Sarah didn’t trust him. After all, she did barge into a work function and made an eegit out of herself because she got the wrong end of the stick.

The proposal on the other hand was surprisingly effect. I’m not their biggest shipper and even I liked the way Luc proposed to her. It was sweet without being sickening and if it begins to put an end to Sarah’s hang ups about dating a younger man, then I’ll be more than happy for the two of them to make it down the aisle. Seriously, the writers do need to progress Sarah to the point where she does feel secure with Luc, preferably sooner rather than later.

Last but not least, Justin made a smart move or three this week. He didn’t get judgemental with Kitty dating Jack, he made an effort to go to the same place he used to with Rebecca to get a date shake and he didn’t hook up with the waitress who clearly wanted him. Justin might have had the least to do this week but he did it well, if that makes any sense at all.

Also in “Call Mom”

I’m pretty sure that this is the third episode in a row which has opened with Sarah and Luc. Can we please now open an episode with Kevin and Scotty?

Nora: “So ask me something. Ask me anything.”
Justin: “Okay. How long after I eat can I go swimming?”
Nora: “Oh, come on, be serious.”

Clearly Alexandra Kirby is the Michael Moore of self-help books. Moron Proof Mothering? Womb Envy?

Kevin: “As soon as my head hits the pillow, I’ll be asleep.”
Scotty: “That wasn’t exactly what I had in mind.”

Alexandra: “I’m so excited to have a challenge. People are usually too scared to compete with me, you know. Oh, this is going to be a fun day, don’t you think?”
Nora: “Oh, fun day.”

On a shallow note, you can keep shirtless Luc. I’ll happily take Scotty and his wife beater any day and Kevin looked pretty scrumptious in this one too.

Justin (re Jack): “I think it’s great and the best part, he’s not remotely your type.”
Kitty: “What do you mean not my type?”

Alexandra: “What are you apologising for, sweetheart?”
Kevin: “I’ve been distant lately.”
Alexandra: “Are you depressed?”
Kevin: “No, no, I think I’m disappointed.”

Kevin pretended to be Devon when calling Nora/Alexandra and Kitty went by her proper name – Katherine as well.

Sarah (re models): “It’s Wednesday afternoon. Why don’t these people have jobs?”
Scotty: “These people are too beautiful to work.”

Nora: “There’s a wonderful saying. You have to give up the life you planned to find the life that’s waiting for you.”

Standout music: “Only You” by Matthew Perryman Jones, which played during Luc’s proposal.

Scotty: “It’s not the problem, Kevin.”
Kevin: “Okay, tell me what the problem is so we can fix it.”
Scotty: “We can’t.”
Kevin: “What are you talking about?”
Scotty: “I did something, Kevin. There was someone else.”
Kevin: “What do you mean?”

Chronology: A few days since “A Righteous Kiss” and this episode didn’t feature Saul, Holly or David in it.

I really enjoyed this one. “Call Mom” definitely had all the elements of the show that I love – great comedy, nicely earned drama, lovely character moments and some surprising bits of sweetness, even if the last scene was a head fuck. More episodes like this one please.

Rating: 9 out of 10

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