Thursday, April 28, 2011

My Review of Brothers And Sisters 5x15: "Brody"

Written by Molly Newman
Directed by Matthew Rhys

Nora: “Are you thrilled with how your life turned out?”
Brody: “It’s had its ups and downs but it’s not over yet.”

Maybe they should’ve changed the title of this episode to “Everybody Loves Brody” because it comes to making a first impression, Brody pretty much won everyone over that featured here and it’s easy to see why – Beau Bridges was just perfect casting.

In less than one episode, he made Brody into a far more engaging and nicely drawn character that even if they are plot holes and the foreboding sense of dread that he is actually Sarah’s father, it was pretty damn hard not to like him. He certainly deserves points for the cute dog and his uncanny knack of getting Nora flustered as well.

And this is why I want Brody not be a flash in the pan character. We already got our annual short lived relationship with Nora and Karl, so let Brody actually be the one that goes the distance, even if the show is retooling most of it’s continuity in order to solidify Brody’s overall importance to Nora’s past.

After all, he was the one who got away and according to Nora was deeply unreliable. Both of those issues are more or less hashed out here with Nora and Brody’s interactions but the fact that he left Lily the dog behind him in Nora’s care is a safe indicator that we at least have another appearance due shortly.

If Brody himself wasn’t likeable enough, then Lily the dog was definitely loved. Kevin couldn’t get enough of seeing her and Nora even allowed her to sleep on her bed and I was definitely relieved when she survived her operation as well, which was quite the feat given how Lily was supposed to be here.

Yes, even I’m a sucker for a dog and while it could’ve been seen as a rather convoluted way of trying to endear Brody, the episode highlighted his shortcoming as well without demonising. He wasn’t too sorry to learn that William had been a serial cheater (though he wasn’t a jackass about it either) and his commitment issues were definitely Nora’s main reason for not wanting to let her guard down with him.

It’s a fair point on Nora’s end but this episode then heavily suggested that if Brody hadn’t been so into his baseball, would Nora have actually ended up with William? Every year the show has made William look less and less good and this continued the trend but Brody himself was man enough to admit that things between him and Nota wouldn’t have worked out for them but now could be an option.

However the one thing I am unconvinced of with this episode is Sarah’s paternity. I really don’t want the show to go and change who her father is but it’s pretty likely that that’s exactly what will happen and silly as its sounds, it’s the only strike that Brody has going against him at the moment. Everything else is just muffins in comparison.

Speaking of muffins – poor Joaquin. Every little sack of flour that comes into the world will one day have a future in creating bread, cakes, pastries and of course, muffins but for Joaquin, that future came a little too soon. On paper, this storyline with Paige sounds so inane but on screen, it’s actually quite funny.

Paige desperately took taking care of a sack of flour as a baby by proxy way too seriously but when it came to getting lessons about pregnancy out of wedlock, all she had to do was learn about her grandmother being pregnant with her mother to really drill the point home. Still, Joaquin’s death wasn’t in vain. I hear the muffins he spawned were absolutely yummy. Just ignore Kevin’s reaction when consuming them though.

Paige wasn’t the only playing carer this week as Justin decided to take in a homeless, emotionally volatile army vet named Zach for his troubles. It was a nice thing for Justin to do and I like that he wanted to help Zach as best he could but he could be out of his depth. Still, points to him for being an all around gentleman this week.

As for Tommy and Rose’s departure/new job – eh, it was the weakest part of the episode but truth be told, maybe Tommy and Sarah just aren’t cut out to work with each other. Also I’m pretty sure this won’t be the last we see of them in the season and apart from one argument, Tommy’s exit went smoother than other ones.

Also in “Brody”

Brody is the second character to get an episode named after him, the first being Julia back in the third season, though Rebecca was referred to as “The Other Walker” during the first year.

Kevin (re Joaquin): “Right, so is it a boy or a girl?”
Paige: “Boy!”
Kevin: “How can you tell?”

Kevin playing with paper clips, dressing Joaquin up in a hoodie, his scenes with Lily/Brody and reaction to the muffins were comic gold from Matthew Rhys.

Tommy (to Sarah): “I don’t know what my job title is around here but it’s starting to feel like referee.”

Nora (re Sarah): “Your name came up in conversation.”
Brody: “That must have been one hell of a conversation. She wanted to know if I was her father. Where’d she get that idea?”

Brody had two marriages in the space of ten years and once spooked Ida when sneaking to see Nora. I liked his nickname for her – slugger.

Kevin (re Brody): “I like him.”
Nora: “You don’t like him. You just like watching me squirm.”

Nora: “I thought you said you had no agenda.”
Brody: “I don’t. Lily was sick to her stomach, so I let myself into the kitchen to make her a little rice to eat.”

Matthew Rhys directed this episode, making it his third in two seasons and he’s due to direct a later one as well.

Tommy: “I didn’t expect to see everybody here.”
Nora: “Evidently, Brody’s a big draw.”

One again, there was no Kitty in this episode but there was also no Luc, Saul or Scotty and I’m sure all of them would’ve loved Brody/Lily too.

Nora: “You have regrets?”
Brody: “Well, my baseball career didn’t turn out exactly as I’d hoped but if I had given up that dream and gotten married, I would’ve made your life miserable.”

Chronology: I’m going to assume it’s around February/March 2012, given when ABC aired this episode.

“Brody” was definitely an episode that felt like the show I fell in love with. The character interactions were spot, the humour flowed naturally and I couldn’t help but find myself warming to a Nora/Brody pairing but I guess it is early days and there’s more to him that needs to be uncovered.

Rating: 9 out of 10.

No comments: