Brothers & Sisters #117: "All in the Family": Dinner Disaster
Since its modest beginnings "Brothers and Sisters" has evolved into a truly glossy, profound and elegant drama, appointment television filled with guilt-free pleasure and "All in the Family" just set the bar even higher.
As the episode opens, Nora's refreshing "Sex and the City" (or "Grey's Anatomy"?) style voiceover is ridiculed by her class peers and compared to a soap opera, mirroring criticism of people who have never seen the exceptional cast of "Brothers and Sisters" bring to life its (at times) pretentious story lines.
Taken aback by her son's genuine desire to get to know Rebecca, Nora finds strength to open her heart and home to Holly's daughter and welcome her to a family dinner. Kevin's bizarre table manners and your typical Walker shouting match turned the event into a bitter disaster.
Meanwhile, an Old Hollywood schmuck warned Kevin about the repercussions of his client Chad's decision to come out. For the first time in Jason Lewis' lackluster 6-episode run I actually felt sorry for his character (as I do for most closeted actors in Hollywood) whose growth got squashed by Kevin's inability to commit.
The episode did remind me how much of a challenge it is to find credible child actors who deliver beyond a cute presence. Hopefully the upcoming story lines between Kitty and the Senator will give the wooden boy who played Jack McCallister a chance to practice his acting chops. Yes, I know he is only a child.
As the episode closes, Dora - Nora's ridiculously obvious alter ego - comes to terms with her inability to send to hell the man she blames for all the mess in her life (and still loves from the bottom of her heart) and says one final goodbye with grace, tossing away the symbol of their union.