Thursday, April 14, 2011

My Review of Brothers And Sisters 5x13: "Safe At Home

Written by Michael J. Cinquemani And John Kazlauskas
Directed by Richard Coad

Saul: “Nora, surprises are supposed to be fun.”
Nora: “Not in this family.”

That may be the case when it comes to the Walkers but for a 100th episode, is it me or could this episode have done with more surprises? I know, there’s Tommy with a new fiancée, Sarah and Luc setting a wedding date, Kevin and Scotty being fatherly with Olivia, a mystery with Brody, a failed relationship for Justin and no Kitty and yet somehow this didn’t feel like a landmark episode.

That’s probably down to the fact that all of the stuff I’ve mentioned in the first paragraph seemed rather standard and could be slotted into any episode in the past five years. 100th episodes are supposed to feel bigger but this didn’t and aside from my major issue with the exclusion of Kitty, I did actually like the episode.

Let’s talk about Tommy and his fiancée first – Rose. It was probably the second biggest hook of the episode. It’s been yonks since we’ve seen Tommy on screen and he seemed really happy with his new woman and wanted money from Sarah to help get a real estate scheme off the ground.

I don’t actually blame Sarah for being a bit put out by it. Tommy hadn’t contacted her in months and did spring it on her but at the same time, Sarah didn’t exactly give him or Rose a half decent chance to explain themselves before launching on the defensive, so in some ways, she was just as bad as Tommy.

Interestingly enough despite their squabbling ruining yet another Walker meal, it actually took them a far shorter time to make up with each other than usual. Hell, Sarah even caved in a little and gave Tommy a job at her media company and Rose showed zero qualms in relocating from Seattle to Pasadena either.

Now as for Rose – I kind of hope she’s harmless. I know the show could make her into a Holly Mark 2 and she certainly did seem to have too much of an interest in the Walkers family tree but she seem sincere enough in wanting to get to know the Walkers and with her lack of boundary issues, she might actually fit in with them pretty well too.

Plus in her defence, both Nora and Sarah were initially rather standoffish with her and that was she ended the episode by showing Tommy that Nora and William lied about when they were married. Maybe she was being harmless again or maybe she’s evil. I doubt we’ll have to wait long to get our answer though.

As for Nora and Brody – I know this show well enough that without Saul’s goading and Rose’s prying, I would’ve easily guessed that they were lovers. Significant ones too if Nora’s general evasiveness was anything to go by in this episode. I can also wisely deduce that it probably won’t be long before Brody re-enters Nora’s life as well, especially given the uncertainty of the show’s future at the minute.

Speaking of uncertainty, I liked the way that Kevin and Scotty are handling becoming parents. They might want to dial the pushiness with Olivia down a notch but both of them have their hearts in the right place and did make an effort to deal with Olivia’s dyslexia as well quite well.

The episode sort of highlighted Olivia’s difficulties well enough but not in a manner that was too patronising and although Nora’s eagerness to meet her was atypical, it was nice to see Olivia being introduced to her grandmother. Again, though I like seeing Kevin and Scotty as parents, I do want other storylines for them too.

Meanwhile I saw Justin and Annie’s break up coming a mile and to be fair, I can’t say I blame Annie for ending things. Justin let his jealousy of Rick get the better of him and Annie put the kibosh on their relationship. She did however do it in a rather nice way, so Justin should count himself lucky that Annie showed more maturity in this episode than he did.

Last but not least, Sarah and Luc were the sort of low point episode wise for me. I don’t hate them as a couple but I don’t care about their sex scenes and I wasn’t too bothered about them setting a date for their wedding. I did however enjoy Luc getting Justin to call Nora so he could spend some time with Sarah. That was pretty clever on his part but overall, their bits were the weaker point of the episode.

Also in “Safe At Home”

I know ABC’s promoting for this show is rubbish at best but they should’ve made an effort with this episode.

Saul: “Tell me why you are giving me this photo?”
Nora: “Because I think it’s a good picture of you.”
Saul: “That’s ridiculous, you keep this. You’re the one who’s obsessed with Brody.”

Actually it’s Nick Brody and it’s that picture of him with Saul and Nora that set Rose’s spidey senses off.

Nora (re Olivia): “Kevin, give her some space, don’t push.”
Kevin: “Hi pot, this is kettle, you’re black.”

Rose: “Tommy told me everything about you.”
Nora: “Well, that’s funny. He’s told me nothing about you.”
Tommy: “Surprise.”

Tommy and Rose have only been together for six months and they’re engaged. That is pretty fast, even for these impulsive people.

Rick: “Control yourself, Justin, I’m taking my shirt off.”
Justin: “I’ll try, she-hulk.”

Olivia (re supermarket sweep): “Do we have to play that game again?”
Scotty: “Was it lame?”
Olivia: “Kinda.”

What was the name of the gecko that Kevin and Scotty bought for Olivia? I can’t pronoun it, let alone spell it.

Tommy: “Are you serious?”
Sarah: “Come on, what could be more fun than fighting with you every day?”

Chronology: I think it was still January but I know that Nora/William was revealed to have married on June 15th 1967, rather than January like Tommy believed.

Rose: “What is his name?”
Nora: “Brody. His name was Brody.”

Standout music: The Weepies “Add My Efforts” during the start of the episode.

For a 100th episode, “Safe At Home” is rather charming but at the same time, it should’ve been bigger and more eventful and it should’ve featured Kitty as well. It just seemed so weird to celebrate a landmark episode and not have her in it.

Rating: 9 out of 10.

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