Thursday, June 02, 2011

My Review of Brothers And Sisters 5x20: "Father Unknown"

Written by Molly Newman And Gina Lucita Monreal
Directed by Matthew Rhys

Olivia (to Kevin/Scotty/Justin, re Daniel): “Who’s baby is that?”

Why, it your new baby brother of course, Olivia. Seriously, it’s going to be interesting to see how Kevin and Scotty broach that topic with Olivia in next week’s episode. It’s amazing that they’ve gone from having no kids to two very different kids in the space of a season.

What’s been less amazing has been the pacing and overall storyline in how Kevin and Scotty have landed in their current predicament. Still, for all the issues I do have about this story, I bloody well cannot deny the acting in this one and I’m gonna work my way from good to amazing here.

First of all, Roxy Olin, you’re one of three people on The City who I didn’t want to punch but as an actress, you’re not exactly the most impressive this show has produced. You are however not actually awful either, so there’s something to be had with that. You just might not have been my first choice for Michelle, that’s all.

In terms of Michelle, I think there’s some grey area worth exploring here. I don’t believe for one second that she’s an evil person but what she did to Kevin and Scotty, letting them believe that their own child was dead is arguably the cruellest thing any character has done on this show and there’s not much competition if I’m being candid.

For that alone, I can see both Kevin and Scotty’s viewpoints when it came to Michelle this week. I can see that because of her past and their friendship, Scotty wanted to give her some benefit of the doubt and while he did appear too calm at first with Kevin over her actions, I liked that he actually had some anger towards Michelle because being totally compensating towards her, even I couldn’t see someone like Scotty being that way.

I also think that he had the right with Michelle – placate her a little in order to get Daniel and I understood his anger when Kevin more or less blundered his plan but if it had been me in this situation, I think my reaction would’ve been a lot closer to Kevin’s reaction rather than Scotty on this one.

Kevin had every right to go apeshit in this episode. Michelle stole his baby – worse than that – she pretended the child was dead and had somehow managed to play Kevin and Scotty off each other, even if that wasn’t her intent. Kevin might not have done the right thing by reading her the riot act but I definitely can’t hold it against him either.

Both Matthew Rhys and Luke Macfarlane absolutely nailed this episode. By far, it’s one of their best episodes, both for their characters and for them as actors. I don’t enjoy seeing Kevin and Scotty fight but the acting between the two of them was absolutely riveting stuff. I am seriously going to miss these two as a couple on my TV screens.

However fighting aside and a wonderful scene between Kevin and Nora where they gave each other hope, the best part for this episode was the fact that Michelle did the right thing in the end and gave Justin baby Daniel (lovely name) back to Kevin and Scotty. Explaining it to Olivia aside, I’m glad they got their baby and while I’ve droned on about wanting storylines away from parenting, at least this one is finally resolved.

Another parenting storyline resolved in this episode was Sarah’s bio-dad. Of course it was going to turn out to be Brody and while I hate that this show has done the same damn plot again, there were some stuff in this episode surrounding the storyline I kind of enjoyed, almost against my will but there you have it.

I enjoyed the exasperated Justin exploding and getting Nora to see sense and tell Sarah about Brody and I also loved that Sarah decided not to let the reveal affect. Of course with Brody likely to resurface in the last two episodes of the series, I think it’s pretty obvious that she will let her feelings for her real father more than known and that’s probably something she didn’t inherit from Brody.

Keeping with Sarah, it’s interesting that an episode that centred on the identity of her father would also be the same one where she refused the idea of a prenuptial agreement between her and Luc. Maybe Saul was being pushy but I think he made a lot of sense and while I don’t believe Luc is a gold digger, it wouldn’t hurt Sarah to be financially sensible nonetheless.

If the episode had one flaw, story wise, it was probably down to some of Saul and Luc’s bickering over prenuptial agreements and song choices but even that was far less grating than Luc’s sulky behaviour in the previous episode. In terms of singing though, I think I prefer Saul’s voice rather than Luc’s.

Also in “Father Unknown”

Michelle named Daniel after her own father and Saul gave Sarah a handkerchief from William for her wedding.

Nora (re Brody): “Are you saying he’s Sarah’s father?”
Justin: “No, I’m not. I’m saying he might be Sarah’s father.”

I just noticed in the last few weeks that Justin has really become the glue that’s kept the Walkers from falling apart. I also think it’s why I’ve enjoyed his storylines a lot more recently too.

Luc (re song): “I like it, in a lullaby kind of way but I like it.”
Saul: “Lullaby? Lullaby? Okay, you want something different, kid, have at it.”

Scotty (re Michelle): “I don’t believe she’s an evil person, Kevin. Neither of us know what it’s like to carry a baby inside our bodies.”
Kevin: “I’m sorry, I can’t listen to this. We have a son, Scotty.”

Matthew Rhys made his fourth and final director credited episode here and it was his best one by far.

Nora (re prenuptial agreement): “You know about that?”
Sarah: “You know about that?”
Justin: “I’m so happy I don’t know about that.”

Michelle (re Daniel): “How do you know his name? Please, Scotty, tell me you did not go to the police?”
Scotty: “Michelle, did you honestly think we wouldn’t try to find you?”

Olivia was away on a camping trip with Cooper and Paige and Sarah was trying to get Nora to go to a Mexican cruise during the episode while Kitty and Seth are still in Boston.

Kevin: “Apparently you already had a meeting. Why didn’t you tell me you were negotiating with her?”
Scotty: “Because she called me.”
Kevin: “Scotty, he is my son too. Why didn’t you tell me?”
Scotty: “Because I knew you’d screw it up like you just did. I thought if I could show her a little understanding, she would bring him back safely. Now we may never find him.”
Kevin: “You are absolutely right, absolutely, so good luck living with that.”

Standout music: Allie Moss’s “Dig With Me” played towards the end of the episode.

Kevin: “Sarah gained a father, we lost a son.”
Nora: “Don’t say that, there’s always hope.”
Kevin: “Mom, I’ve been through this. I’m too scared to hope.”
Nora: “Well then, I’ll hope for you.”

Nora: “I need to tell you something.”
Sarah: “What? Mom, you’re scaring me.”
Nora: “Could you sit down please?”

Chronology: Three days since “Wouldn’t It Be Nice?”

I really should hate “Father Unknown” for the mishandling of one big storyline and the unnecessary rehashing of another but the performances in this episode were actually some of the best we’ve seen this season, so for that reason alone, this episode rates highly with me.

Rating: 9 out of 10

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