Thursday, March 10, 2011

My Review of Brothers And Sisters 5x08: "The Rhapsody Of The Flesh"

Written by Molly Newman
Directed by Matthew Rhys

Gabriella (to Nora): “Only Americans find an excuse to frown on pleasure. It’s crazy.”

Okay, nice to know that sometimes cultural stereotyping can go both ways on American television from time to time but as episodes, this one promised fun and I ended up feeling bored and that’s never something I want to feel when watching this one. Not one plot this week made me care or amused me and that’s worrying.

Gabriella for instance – that should’ve worked. Not only did we have a great guest actress with Sonia Braga (who I enjoyed in her Sex And The City and Alias guest spots years ago) but Gabriella finally offered some much needed back story on Luc and even that wasn’t enough to make me care anymore than I should’ve done.

Luc having issues with his mother also should’ve given him something outside of Sarah but if anything this episode unwisely decided to try and draw comparisons between Sarah and Gabriella, ones that didn’t remotely ring true either. How exactly are Sarah and Gabriella supposed to be the same?

They might be both strong women but Gabriella’s got an irresponsibility about her that would drive Sarah nuts because the latter is a more practical character. I’m actually surprised (and relieved) in a way that the episode didn’t try and set up a rivalry between Sarah and Gabriella for Luc’s affections and that’s possibly the only thing good to come out of the episode.

Gabriella took an instant liking towards Sarah and the latter repaid that by making sure that Luc would come to a dinner that Gabriella was supposed to be cooking. Heck, even when Gabriella was getting a little friendly with Karl, Sarah managed to not want to rip the woman’s weave out and both she and Nora didn’t go crazy after Justin kissing Gabriella either. Maybe I am overreacting to this episode after all.

Anyways, back to Gabriella, I actually sided with Luc here. Sure, she’s a lot of fun and while no-one can be a more awful parent than Monica from Shameless; her flighty behaviour did show the obvious signs of narcissism. I wasn’t remotely surprised when Luc admitted to Sarah that his mother had abandoned him and his father but similarly I didn’t care enough.

However one thing that surprisingly got on my goat was the off-screen argument that Luc and Gabriella were having in Nora’s as well. I don’t care how fiery their characters are supposed to be, neither of them (or was it just Gabriella?) had any right to start smashing crockery in the kitchen. For some reason, that just really pissed me off.

This episode might have been a little more original if Luc and Gabriella hadn’t made up but truthfully, it falls back to me not caring and I should care because this was finally an episode that delved more into Luc but emotionally, it left me cold. It shouldn’t have because I don’t hate him at all but I didn’t care enough. Not even the emotive ending with nearly everyone watching Gabriella’s movie ignited any emotion.

And continuing with stuff that didn’t engage me – Justin, you man whore. It’s not that I disapprove of him enjoying some casual sex but Scotty is trying to run a business and Justin screwing some of the female staff could’ve caused some major problems. Luckily Angie and Kimberley didn’t scratch each other’s eyes out but it did make Justin look like a total dolt this week.

Even the stuff with Justin and Kevin comparing penis nicknames didn’t work for me at all but one of the few things that did was the continuity to Scotty’s infidelity. It’s nice that while all is actually forgiven, the storyline itself isn’t completely forgotten. Not that I want to ever see Marcus again or for Kevin to throw the adultery in Scotty’s face anytime they have a fight but I guess I appreciated the continuity.

As for Nora and Karl, wow they didn’t wait that long for them to hook up. I knew they wouldn’t but I am not going to invest in them because I know it won’t last and that’s a shame because fawning over Gabriella aside, he’s actually a likeable guy and most of his advice is reasonably sound as well. Sometimes I wonder what has to happen for Nora to get a permanent love interest. You’d think with being an executive producer on this show, Sally Field would’ve sorted that out by now.

Also in “The Rhapsody Of The Flesh”

The title comes from a movie that Gabriella did from years ago. I actually thought it was going to be a porno because I couldn’t think of any other reason why she didn’t tell Luc about it.

Sarah: “What did you say?”
Nora: “Sarah, honey, if you’re planning on buying the station then I really think you should take an interest in it.”

Sarah buying the radio station was mentioned in this episode but we’re still in the dark on whether or not she did. And who was that other guy Nora was having issues with at the start of this episode?

Scotty: “Apparently both you Walker boys find restaurant work arousing.”
Kevin: “You know about Justin?”

Kevin: “You called your penis Captain Happy? Of all the straight clichés, I never ...”
Justin: “Oh, I don’t know. Why don’t you ask Little Big Man?”

So there you have it – Justin is Captain Happy, Kevin is Little Big Man and Tommy is Magnificent Seven. Kevin’s response to Tommy’s nickname was amusing though.

Nora: “Oh, it’s just my luck. I finally find a man I’m interested in and The Rhapsody Of The Flesh shows up.”
Sarah: “You’re interested in Dr Karl? Mom, why didn’t you tell me?”

Luc: “You could not give me a real family when I was growing up and now I’ve finally found one, you come here and tear it apart.”
Gabriella: “Luc, I came here to be with your family, not tear it apart.”

Matthew Rhys directed this episode and the episode did not feature Kitty, Saul, Holly or David. The latter two were not missed.

Luc: “At least now you understand why I have all these problems with her.”
Sarah: “Well, I understand why you’re angry with her but I don’t understand why you can’t talk to me about it.”

Standout music: Sara Bareilles “Breathe Again” at the end of the episode but the song was better used in The Vampire Diaries.

Justin (re Scotty): “Funny, I don’t think he’s gonna miss me.”
Kevin: “Well, don’t take it too badly. He fired me, so I’m gonna sue him.”

Chronology: A while since the events of “Resolved”.

On reflection, I’m standing by my original thoughts – “The Rhapsody Of The Flesh” was rubbish. I didn’t enjoy anything enough to really care and I have a feeling when I get the Season 5 DVD, this will not be an episode I’ll want to watch over again.

Rating: 5 out of 10.

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