Previously on: "Brothers & Sisters" #2.02 "An American Family"
Justin returns home from Iraq, a conservative radio talk show host attacks the Walkers, Becca's friend joins the family business and turns on her gaydar, Sarah is shocked to hear Joe has moved on, while Tommy and Julia continue to fight for no apparent reason.
A satisfying follow up to the solid season premiere begins with a military funeral that promos for the episode led us to believe could be Justin's. Of course, only the naive among us would actually think Justin was getting killed off, yet producer Ken Olin felt the need to defend ABC's marketing department and their decision to cut the promo is such a misleading way.
On their way to San Diego to pick up Justin from a military hospital, Kitty, Kevin and Nora listen to a conservative talk show host trash their family, one of their sins being Kevin's homosexuality.
My personal desire to slam that microphone up that nitwit's piggy throat aside, I really enjoyed the scene, especially Kevin calling him Lucifer and Nora (I want her to be my mother #2) shouting from the car window: "You tell him, Kitty!"
Justin suffered a severe injury to his leg. He will recover, but due to his substance abuse problem and fearing repeat addiction, he stubbornly decides not to take any painkillers, which of course causes him great pain.
Joe reveals to Sara he has gotten back together with his ex-wife (you didn't forget his older son from the first marriage who showed up a couple of times last season, did you?). She realizes that despite all effort she invested to salvage her marriage to Joe, it may all have been one giant error.
Although Joe seems to have given up on the marriage a little too fast (and I say that with respect to what his character used to be like in season 1), I find this to be quite a compelling storyline. What do you do when you're over 40 and your marriage suddenly crumbles? How do you start over?
Meanwhile, Becca tries to explain herself to Sara, but does she really regret what her kiss with Joe had triggered or is she only trying to make herself feel better? I'd say a bit of both, but Sara quickly sees through her. There is a little Holly in Becca after all.
Speaking of Papa Walker's love child, her BFF Lena arrives in Ojai and gets a job with Tommy and Holly. She erroneously (or not!) assumes Uncle Saul is gay. If he is indeed gay (or bisexual) Saul will obviously have to come to terms with himself, and given his age, if written well, that could also be very compelling stuff.
Finally, Justin comes home and the entire family is there to make him feel better, but he is too preoccupied with his pain to realize how fortunate he is to be back home surrounded by such a loving, if crazy family.
Contrary to his campaign advisor's wishes, Senator McCallister puts the radio talk show host in his place with a nice little speech about diversity within the Walker family reflected in American society.
Although I fully agree with the message, I found the scene very unrealistic. A talk show host like Lucifer, pardon me, Luther never shuts up and never listens to anyone but himself.
The episode closes with a simple but powerful scene of Nora embracing her son Justin who shudders in pain.
Next time: Scotty (Luke MacFarlane) returns and former Mrs. McCallister makes her first appearance.