Brothers & Sisters Recap: An Ideal Husband

Brothers & Sisters Recap: An Ideal Husband

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The Walker-Wandells in happier times.

First of all, I think we can all agree that after that episode, there is no real threat of Kevin and Scotty breaking up.  Everyone please lay down your torches and pitchforks, the scheduled looting and pillaging of ABC headquarters will not be necessary; management appreciates your enthusiasm.  Kevin and Scotty not breaking up is not only important because they are the most visible, committed male homosexual relationship on network television, but also because no one has put their names together as one of those ubiquitous couple nicknames.  Granted, “Scevin” sounds like a skin rash and “Ketty” just sounds like “Kitty” but still, their relationship remains pure!

Anyway, as expected this week’s episode was mostly focused on the aftermath of Scotty’s confession of infidelity.  We open on Nora putting Scotty and Kevin’s marriage on a pedestal for her radio listeners,  because none of the Walkers yet know that there is trouble in Casa Gay.  And there is trouble: Kevin is sleeping on the couch because, as he snaps at his husband, “I don’t want to sleep in our bed.”  Scotty is doing his best to talk it out, but Kevin is stonewalling him; this makes Scotty try harder, as he makes Kevin espresso in the morning and brings it to him like a puppy, which of course only serves to irritate Kevin more.  At first I thought that the drama of the family not knowing was going to be dragged out to serve as the climax of the episode, but lo and behold, before the first commercial break, Sarah and Nora have been clued in.  Both show up to help prep Cafe 429 for a large charity event, and Sarah quickly realizes that Kevin has been sleeping on the couch in the office; in a moment of levity, both immediately assume that he has done something to make Scotty banish him from their bedroom.

Sarah, Nora and eventually Justin and Saul make clear the point that most avid watchers of Brothers & Sisters would make: it is almost completely unbelievable that Scotty would cheat on Kevin.  In the past, he has been all but saintly when dealing with his husband, who can be a real boor at times.  The writers are smart enough to have the characters make this point, so we don’t sit at home rolling our eyes and wondering why they’re ignoring it.  Sarah gets hit hard by the revelation, bringing up memories of her first husband’s infidelities and causing her to question her engagement to Luc (by the end of this hour, she’s re-committed to him which means basically nothing happened whatsoever in their arc).

Nora, meanwhile, says very clearly that they will simply have to make up, as this is one Walker marriage that she will not allow to go down in flames.  She confronts Kevin and reminds him that Scotty is not like William, because Scotty told Kevin the truth whereas William lied to her for years (I imagine the writers are trying to think of more things that William lied to her about even as I type this).  Kevin doesn’t accept this at first, but he finally confesses to Nora that he knows that his actions played a large part in Scotty’s cheating.  It turns out that the fateful night was on the opening of Cafe 429,  just a few months after the car accident, Robert was in a coma and Michelle had just miscarried.  Kevin was unable to bring himself to go to the opening of Scotty’s restaurant because he was too busy hating himself, so he lied to his husband and told him he had a job interview; instead he drank alone in a bar.  Scotty, on the other hand, did some things in a bar while he wasn’t alone.  Nora encourages him to tell Scotty the truth, and to take responsibility for his part of the drama, and try to move forward.

Saul, meanwhile, is taking the news very hard.  When Scotty tries to explain himself, Saul hisses “I have never in my life been so disappointed in anyone.”  That’s way harsh, Uncle Saul.  However, while Nora gives Kevin hope, Saul comes around and counsels Scotty.  Perhaps even more than everyone else, Saul put Scotty and Kevin’s marriage on a pedestal because it represented a dream life that he never had the opportunity to live; when Scotty broke the illusion, Saul was deeply hurt and lashed out.  Saul realizes that he can’t choose sides that easily, because Scotty is his family too.  The two agree that neither of them will give up hope that they can have the relationship they dream of.

All of this, however, is really second fiddle to the big scene where Kevin finally confronts Scotty after punching the waiter that he thought Scotty slept with (luckily, Justin was there to bean the right guy directly afterwards).  After an episode of the two warily circling each other while everyone talked about them, they finally come face-to-face and let each other have it.  Kevin is in pain, and can’t understand how Scotty could have done this to him; Scotty cannot deal with the pressure of always having to be perfect for his husband and angrily says that he makes mistakes as well.  This scene, and this whole storyline, is interesting because Brothers & Sisters has opted to make the Scotty/Kevin romance the one that people look up to.  The whole hour is peppered with people referring to them as an ideal couple, the paragon that others want to achieve and for the relationship that others admire to be a gay one is wonderful.

On a final note, I will freely admit that I was one of those who rolled my eyes a little bit when I heard that there was going to be an infidelity from Scotty.  “Really?” I thought, “Hasn’t this show done cheating enough already?”  While that’s still true, I don’t think they’ve done a relationship recovering from cheating (unless you count Kitty and Robert, which is a little more borderline…and also justified, given how much a douche Robert was being when that happened).  The episode ends with the first tentative steps towards a reconciliation; I’m interested to see where it goes.

And your after-dinner drinks:

– “It’s rosé.  Call it brunch.”  “Fine, pour me one.”

– Justin didn’t have much to do this episode, but he did it well.  I find this character so much more engaging minus Rebecca.  To be fair, I find Rebecca much more engaging minus Justin.

– There was one other subplot in this hour, bringing about the end of the Kitty/Jack romance to which I will bid adieu without regret.  There was nonsense about Kitty moving to Vietnam with him to which I literally wrote in my notes “this entire storyline is batsh*t!”  Only I didn’t use the asterisk.

– When Kitty counsels him to talk it out with Scotty, Kevin yells that of course she’s on his side, she did the same thing to Robert with Alec.  Alec mention, two thumbs up!

– “Kevin’sinthepantryKevin’sinthepantry!”

– Major props to Matthew Rhys and Luke MacFarlane for this episode; both did an excellent job.

  • Claven

    Hi Paul – like your blog on Bro’s & Sisters. What is going on with this season so far?! I used to say to myself after every episode of the 1st and 2nd season “God I love this show!”. So far this season, haven’t said it yet. Hope the story lines pick up soon (wish they would give Nora a love interest that lasted for more than a few episodes). Heavy sigh.

    • http://www.wdwsmmaos.blogspot.com Paul

      Hmmm…I think we’re getting a bit of slow-burn this season. The show is moving away from some of the soapier elements and getting back to more believable drama, which is having the effect of making it a little more slow-moving, IMHO. The show-runner changed at the end of last season, and I thought the show demonstrated a significant uptick in quality. I agree we haven’t had a really classic episode full of zingers and tears yet, but I’m hopeful that all the groundwork being laid will pay off in the end.

  • http://culturemob.com/author/mikeshowalter Mike Showalter

    I’ve spent most of this season making fun of the show, because to me it had really lost its way after last season’s ending. Losing both Rob Lowe and the winery meant two key anchors were gone. They basically had ripped out all of the primary plot conventions that kept the show organized, created a location for conflict, and moved the character development forward.

    That’s why I think the key recent change is Nora’s radio gig. The writers now have a way to give every episode a narrator, sort of the same role that John Corbett played as Chris on Northern Exposure. Using Nora as public & family narrator will give the show a center it’s been lacking.

  • anonymous

    ” Kevin and Scotty not breaking up is not only important because they are the most visible, committed male homosexual relationship on network television, but also because no one has put their names together as one of those ubiquitous couple nicknames.”

    I hate those nicknames. I watch daytime soaps and on the soap boards almost all couples except for some of the older ones have a ridiculously stupid couple name. It drives me crazy.