Thursday, June 09, 2011

My Review of Brothers And Sisters 5x21: "For Better Or For Worse"

Written by Stephen Tolkin And Matt Donnelly
Directed by Michael Morris

Nora (re Brody): “Saul, if I open that door, I don’t know if I can close it again.”

And when it comes to resistance, I think every single Walker would systematically fail within a minute and it certainly didn’t take Nora too long to fold with Brody as well. I’m not criticising her for it, but it’s noteworthy though.

Once again, Sarah was responsible for reintroducing Brody into her mother’s life. It made sense that she would face off with Brody and insist that he stayed out of her life after she told him that he was her father but did she really think Brody was going to go through with it? Come on, Sarah, you can’t be that naive.

It’s amazing – I’ve waited for ages for Sarah to get a storyline where she could have a legitimate reason to angst over something and now that it’s here, I can’t seem to take her side, even if I can understand her reactions throughout the episode.

The anger she displayed in relation to both Brody and William lying to her made sense and her meltdowns in front of Luc and Kitty both made sense but I still found myself wanting to snap some sense into her as well. The comment she made to Kitty about being a half-sister annoyed me to no end.

I loved that Kitty just didn’t take that one lying down and read Sarah the riot act there and then. It’s moments like this that made me Kitty in the last few episodes and it’s also moments like this where Sarah finally realised that she has a family who loves her, so the obvious making up scene with Kitty and Saul was a nice result.

Less nice was her attempts of emotional blackmail with Nora and Brody. I thought in this incident, Sarah was being selfish. Brody might have abandoned Nora once but it was clear over the last few weeks that he was trying to make up for it and it was stupid on Sarah’s part to try and put her own mother in a contest with her and Brody.

Then again, this was just history repeating itself with Nora and Brody. In flashbacks, William basically did the same thing as well, but he managed to really up the ante. I guess it was too much to hope that we could go a year where the writers didn’t continue to vilify William but apparently not.

In this one, he basically threatened to make Nora and Sarah homeless if Brody tried to fight him for the two important women in his life. I liked that we got (what I assume) are the last flashbacks this show will ever give us and it was also nice that it rounded off Nora and Brody’s complicated history as well.

But I’m not sure if I like the assertion that Nora just stayed with a man who continuously lied and cheated on her for the last forty years because the man she really loved didn’t fight for her. I might not be the biggest fan of William’s but until his introduction, it was always clear that Nora loved William during the marriage but now this episode pretty much seems to have retconned that all together.

I suppose in that respect then, I should be glad that Nora and Brody have finally found each other again and taking Sarah’s disapproval out of the mix, they’re making up for lost time. Everyone seems to be on the Nora and Brody love train in this episode and probably by next week, Sarah will succumb to it as well.

Speaking of love trains, aren’t I glad that the writers decided to bring back Tyler for this show? I don’t know why they did but I am so grateful for it. Out of the women Justin had been with, not only was Tyler the one he had the most chemistry with but she was also the one who was a stabilising influence as well as a lot of fun too.

I love the fact that the actors still have the same spark with each other and that Tyler didn’t initially just at the chance to hook up with Justin. I also liked that she admitted to him that she was separating from her husband too. Now this is definitely a love match I approve of.

Continuing with the lovers of the episode, why did this one have to deal with Olivia’s jealousy over Daniel when it could’ve been a romantic subplot for Kevin and Scotty? I suppose it was a story that needed telling and it was done effectively enough but with one more episode left in the series, it’s sad that Kevin and Scotty haven’t had much in the way of storylines and scenes that aren’t about parenting.

Also in “For Better Or For Worse”

It’s not just Gabriella – Luc’s cousins are annoying as well, but the show thankfully did not dwell on them or the bachelor party for too long.

Sarah: “You’re my father.”
Brody: “Sarah, it’s not that simple. I could be your father.”
Sarah: “No, you are.”

Great casting in the flashbacks with the actress playing the younger Nora looking like a ringer for Sally Field.

Kevin (to Kitty, re Daniel): “You know I thought I’d feel weird about not being his bio-dad but I totally feel like his father.”

Nora: “I don’t want to stand in the way of miracles.”
Brody: “No, I’m glad you came, slugger.”
Nora: “I hate it when you call me that.”

Seth was still in Boston with Evan, hence their lack of appearance in this episode and Kevin/Scotty’s singing to Daniel was pretty infectious.

Brody: “Maybe we were meant to run into each other. You know, destiny and that kind of stuff.”
Nora: “”Destiny my foot, it’s a random universe.”

Justin: “Is it that obvious I came to see you?”
Tyler: “It’s pretty obvious.”

Why did Sarah and Kitty have to try (and fail) to crash Luc’s bachelor party? Pasadena has to be big enough for them to amuse themselves?

Sarah (to Kitty): “Do you know what it’s like to wake up one morning and realise that your entire life is built on a lie? I think Dad knew I wasn’t his.”

Standout music: Ingrid Michaelson’s “Men Of Snow” played during the last few minutes of the episode.

Brody (to Nora): “We never had a chance. Bill had us both, puppets on a string.”

Chronology: A couple of days since the events of “Father Unknown”.

“For Better Or For Worse” wasn’t bad but we’ve had a slew of great episodes in this last few weeks and this one wasn’t as good as it could’ve been, especially considering that the next one is the series last. Here’s hoping it goes out on a high note.

Rating: 7 out of 10

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