Thursday, February 24, 2011

My Review of Brothers And Sisters 5x06: "An Ideal Husband"

Written by David Marshall Grant And Michael J. Cinquemani
Directed by Bethany Rooney

Kevin: “You did this, you ruined our marriage. Everything we fought for, for what, so you could be groped by a twenty four year old?"
Scotty: “I get that you’re angry.”
Kevin: “I am not angry. I’m in pain and you put me here. The person who was supposed to love me more than anything.”

One thing I will always commend about Brothers And Sisters is Kevin and Scotty’s relationship. Now I love most aspects of this show, if I didn’t, I wouldn’t have stuck with it as long as I have but Kevin and Scotty are without a doubt my favourite couple and this is something that mostly strikes a chord with a large percentage of the show’s viewers. They seem to be the only couple that are mostly universally loved on the series.

Every other couple – Kitty/Robert, Justin/Rebecca, Tommy/Julia or recently, Sarah/Luc have more or less generated mixed reactions but Kevin/Scotty seems to be universal in that respect. So, an episode that deals with the consequences of a reveal that threatens their marriage is definitely going to be one that will have most fans up in arms.

I love Kevin/Scotty but I also love a TV programme not to insult my intelligence as well, so because of that, this is a successful episode. The ending indicated that Kevin and Scotty will pull through things but it doesn’t mean that it’s going to be an easy ride and if that means more screen time for Kevin and Scotty, then who I am to complain?

Fan adulation for this marriage aside, it’s actually incredibly how much meta-textual adulation there is as well. Nora gushed about Kevin and Scotty’s marriage on her radio slot and encouraged Kevin to talk to Scotty after finding out about the latter’s adultery while Kitty encouraged forgiveness. Similarly, Justin was disbelieving and impartial, Saul openly disappointed with Scotty and Sarah convinced that no Walker can hold a marriage. All of them had valid points in their own way.

There have been times when I’ve grown about the Walkers being overly involved in each other’s lives but this week, having all of those viewpoints coming out did more good narrative wise than it hindered. I actually loved the fact that Saul admitted that he saw Kevin and Scotty as some kind of hope for a loving gay union in the same way that I loved Justin trying to understand Scotty’s viewpoint without being disloyal to Kevin’s own heartbreak as well. Now, that’s some writing.

Kevin had every right in this episode to be mad with Scotty and he was mad because he was hurting. Everyone holds Scotty to such a high standard that something like him sleeping with a sleazy waiter like Marcus is going to be a shocker. I liked that Scotty was genuinely sorry for putting Kevin through this and yes, he was better to admit it now than have Kevin find out some other way but I was still on Kevin’s side here.

Kevin might have accidentally punched the wrong guy but at least he managed to get his physical anger out in some way. And points to Justin for actually punching Marcus’s lights out because for the small bit of screen time the guy was given, he definitely came across as an unpleasant little so and so.

As for the cheating angle itself – I still wished that previous episodes had built it up better but I actually think the flashbacks did a good job of explaining a lot of stuff. Scotty’s one night with Marcus wasn’t premeditated and both he and Kevin were going through a rough patch, what with Robert’s death and Michelle miscarrying. I’m not giving Scotty a free pass on this one but I’m not going to vilify him either. He made a mistake and on this show, he’s in good company.

In terms of the acting, both Matthew Rhys and Luke Macfarlane pulled a blinder here. It’s definitely in the echelons of the series best dramatic performances and despite the fact that Glee seems to be getting all the buzz nowadays when it comes to prominent gay characters/storylines, Kevin and Scotty are still light years ahead with them and that’s my humble opinion of course.

I also loved the way Nora was used in this episode too. Her interfering didn’t go overboard and she gave Kevin a nice chance to vent his feelings out as well as admitting his own faults, such as the distancing he did with Scotty between seasons. The fact that he chose to get pissed in a bar on the same night as Scotty’s restaurant opening was worrying.

I do hope like many people that Kevin and Scotty pull through but at the same time, I’d almost take this angst a bit longer because for the first time this season, both characters are centre stage and that in of itself pleases me ten fold. Plus the fact that the episode ended with Kevin opening up to Scotty as well gave me hope for them.

It’s also through Kevin and Scotty that this episode showed Sarah expressing reservations about her proposal. I guess there’s always going to be something, issue wise with her and Luc but apart from her reticence to announce it, I was really glad that this episode mostly ended with them telling the family they’re due to be married. Even Kevin in his current state was happy for them, so perhaps that’s a good omen, eh, Sarah?

As for the least thrilling part of the episode – Jack. I guess I should’ve seen him being a flake but I’m glad his flighty behaviour was enough for Kitty to end the relationship. It’s nice that they parted on good terms but relationship wise, it wasn’t a big one for Kitty. I’m sure she will find love again but perhaps for the time, she could enjoy her own company for a bit and Evan’s too. Seriously, where has that kid gone to?

Also in “An Ideal Husband”

Nora’s talk of commitment issues at the start of the episode in relation to Kevin was pretty damn perfect. The Kevin from the first season was a commitment phobe.

Scotty: “Kevin, I know how upset you are.”
Kevin: “Yeah. It’s kind of an appropriate response when you find out your husband was with someone else, don’t you think?”

Why didn’t Kevin just lock his office door if he didn’t want anyone to notice? The ‘Barbara’ lie was easily see-through as Sarah demonstrated with precision.

Scotty: “I told you nothing happened in our bed.”
Kevin: “And I told you, I don’t want to know any details.”

Justin: “I get it, Sarah, dudes cheat but Scotty’s not that dude. There has to be an explanation.”

Frustrating as Sarah can be, I think I understood where she was coming from when Cooper mentioned about her Joe. I mean kids really do know how to make you assess a certain decision.

Kevin (to Scotty): “You know there’s a lot of things we’ve wanted recently that haven’t worked out the way we’ve hoped. Dreams don’t always come true.”

Luc: “Sarah, I just proposed. You’re already taking about divorce.”
Sarah: “No, I’m just saying that nothing’s ever guaranteed.”

And briefly in this episode, we actually saw Kevin working too. Well, mostly be surly with a judge over the delay of his client. I have to admit, I thought the judge was a pain in this one.

Kitty: “Did you say no?”
Sarah: “I said yes and then I said no.”
Kitty: “Why?”
Sarah: “Because no marriage lasts in this family.”
Kitty: “Oh please.”
Sarah: “There’s a curse, the Walker curse.”

Nora: “You have every right to be angry, Kevin and the fact you wanted to take the guy’s head off means something.”
Kevin: “Yeah, that should I lay off the bourbon.”
Nora: “Well that too, but it means that you really care enough about your marriage to fight for it, literally.”

Standout music: “3 Wishes” by Dave Thomas Junior.

Scotty: “Do you wanna come home?”
Kevin: “No.”
Scotty: “So what do we do now?”
Kevin: “There’s something I have to tell you.”

Chronology: The next day from where “Call Mom” left off and for the second week in a row, no Holly or David either.

I loved this episode. “An Ideal Husband” is definitely going up as one of my favourites from the series. All the Kevin/Scotty focus, the way the other characters were utilised as well, how could I not love it? It’s also an episode reminiscent to the series at it’s best too.

Rating: 10 out of 10.

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