Friday, May 13, 2011

My Review of Brothers And Sisters 5x17: "Olivia's Choice"

Written by Cliff Olin And Michael Morris
Directed by Michael Morris

Scotty: “We’re doing the right thing, right, fighting this?”
Kevin: “What do you mean?”
Scotty (re Olivia/Brian): “He’s her brother.”
Kevin: “Yeah, he’s her brother and we’re her fathers.”

I have to admit, I would’ve been incredibly surprised if this show had managed to avoid going down the route of Kevin/Scotty being threatened with losing Olivia. After all, the poor guys have lost two babies and this season has certainly piled angst on them more than usual but the handling of this storyline was pretty good if you ask me.

I’ll never understand or condone homophobia but given that this show isn’t as heavy with it as a lot of other LGBT themed shows tend to be, I wasn’t too shocked that Olivia’s brother, Brian would turn out to disapprove of his sister’s living arrangements because she now had two fathers.

There was even a point in the episode where Justin tried to reason with Brian in a civilised manner about his bigotry and Brian just gave him this comical evil look. I didn’t need Brian to be a homophobe to root for Kevin and Scotty to remain Olivia’s guardians but I guess the episode didn’t hurt from having it that way either though.

And while there are times when Nora’s interfering has been irritating to the nth degree, I absolutely loved her “meddling” in this episode. I never doubted for one second that she was on Kevin and Scotty’s side but her rationing about Olivia being the one to have a say in where she stays was absolutely right.

Yes, it’s a difficult decision for a child to make and one that shouldn’t be enforced on them but Olivia’s turmoil was nicely played and reasonably understandable. You can’t begrudge the child for wanting a relationship with her brother and you certainly couldn’t begrudge her for wanting to remain with Kevin and Scotty either, so in my book, any meddling Nora did in this episode was actually in everyone’s favour.

She didn’t vilify Brian either. Instead she made an effort for him to spend some time with Olivia and she also helped Olivia get to the hearing and make a rather nice if ham fisted speech about the Walkers and their penchant for taking in strays. Okay, it was extremely cheesy as hell but I’m going to let it slide because I liked the outcome.

Olivia got to stay with Kevin and Scotty and Brian had some sense to come around and visit his little sister at the end. I don’t know if he’ll ever accept Kevin and Scotty but I got the impression from the last scene that he realised they were the right people to be looking after his sister, so I guess that’s progress.

Olivia aside, it was actually nice to see Kevin being a lawyer again too. He managed to keep his composure when Brian was being bigoted and he certainly made his own arguments as well, which probably could’ve worked, even if Olivia hadn’t gotten to the judge either. Either way, I liked that Kevin and Scotty got to keep Olivia but now can we have some kissing between them already? It’s been seventeen episodes.

Unfortunately while the Kevin/Scotty/Olivia/Brian storyline was pretty good stuff, the rest of the episode itself kind of fell apart. I’m all for the Walkers being silly but Kitty and Sarah were a bit too immature in this episode for my tastes over the former’s attempts of winning Seth back, weren’t they?

The scenes at the restaurant which seem to largely involve finding ways to undermine and humiliate Berklee were just dumb rubbish and you know there’s something not right with the picture when you find yourself identifying with Luc’s exasperation over Kitty and Sarah’s daft plot as well.

Seth’s return was a nice point in the episode and while I’m glad that him and Kitty actually managed to cut through the bullshit in the end and get back together, I do hope that next time Kitty freaks out about her health, she does actually tell Seth about it. He is pretty mature, so don’t treat him like a child, Kitty.

As for Luc and Sarah going on about their wedding plans – why the stalling, Sarah? Well I know why – the wedding’s due to be the finale but it’s the only part of the episode I truly didn’t care. That being said though, congrats to Luc on getting some progress with his art career.

Last but not least – Nora taking in a stray dog that followed Lily home. Is she going to become a crazy dog lady now? I kid of course but as plots go, it was amusing, especially with Justin’s teasing her about Brody but also it was a little filler as well.

Also in “Olivia’s Choice”

Olivia’s the second character this season to get an episode named after her. I want a main character to have one named after them.

Kevin (re Lily): “Why are you indulging the spoiled bitch? Give her a bowl of kibbles.”
Sarah: “Kevin, I can’t believe you said that. I’m sorry that I called.”

Actually Kevin’s comments were direct at Lily, not Kitty. The price of answering two phones at once, eh?

Sarah (to Kitty. re Seth): “The only thing that man’s gonna be slamming against a wall is you.”

Kitty: “I thought of you every day.”
Seth: “Then didn’t you call?”
Kitty: “I don’t know. I guess I was lying to myself as much as I was lying to you. I wasn’t ready to accept what was happening to me and now I am finally accepting it, so here I am.”

This episode aired as a double with “Never Say Never” but More4 are airing the episodes separately.

Kitty: “No, no, Sarah, this is crazy, we can’t do this, we’re not in high school.”
Sarah: “No, we’re not but Seth practically is.”

Sarah: “Fun time is over, this is war. Just get her to join you at the bar?”
Luc: “Why me?”
Sarah: “Cos you’re my secret weapon.”

Standout music: Joss Stone’s “Free Me” during Kitty’s entrance into the restaurant.

Olivia: “Scotty is the best chef.”

Chronology: A few weeks since “Home Is Where The Fort Is” and there was no Saul and Jonathan in this episode either.

“Olivia’s Choice” is probably not the show at its best and despite some jarring moments here and there, we have had worse episodes this season and it’s nice that Kevin and Scotty have had more screen time in the last two episodes as well.

Rating: 7 out of 10

No comments: