Last night's Brothers & Sisters featured 3-4 different story lines that loosely intertwined, and which were all entertaining, save for Rebecca's, which felt cliched and predictable.
Click here for a full recap of "The Wig Party." Below, we offer a brief analysis of why each of the Walker family stories from November 8 worked for us, or in one case, did not.
Kitty, Robert & Nora
The star of this episode, if you had to single one out of this consistently diverse and talented cast, would obviously be Calista Flockhart, whose own idea it was for Kitty to swear off chemo and explore alternative treatments for her non-Hodgkin's lymphoma.
Sarah and Nora are stressed about this decision and throw themselves into getting her to reconsider, but all Kitty wants is to get dolled up for Nora's Open Doors benefit.
There, Kitty's hair starts to fall out and she starts to fall apart emotionally. She delivers the obligatory "Why Me?" speech very effectively and shaves her head the next day.
Also interesting is what this is doing to Robert. When a right-wing nut enters the primary and accuses Robert of being too liberal, Robert takes out his frustrations on him.
Even when Kevin learns Robert's tirade was caught on YouTube, he refuses to back off. Some battles need to be fought, he says. Sam Seaborn lives! As a moderate Republican!
What we also enjoyed about the cancer story line was that as much as Nora worried about Kitty, she actually had another distraction - new "friend" Simon Craig (Jon Tenney).
He's a volunteer, a doctor, handsome, is strong but also sensitive to Nora's situation and hey, he owns a motorcycle. He asks Nora out! Way to go, Nora. Life begins at 63.
Calista Flockhart was brilliant last night as cancer-suffering Kitty.
Kevin & Scotty
Scotty's dad stops by L.A. for a comic convention unannounced, then tells Scotty that his mother left him because they "drifted apart." Scotty tells him about the surrogacy.
Later, though, Scotty and Kevin go to his dad's hotel and see him with a woman. Scotty presses and learns that he's been dating her for awhle and that's why his mom left.
Scotty storms off, but comes to his senses when Kevin describes his own father's failings. The next day, Scotty's dad mails him a vintage comic to help pay for the baby.
Luke MacFarlane is always terrific and it was great to see Scotty's dad come around like this. He's clearly not used to the gay aspect, but he's awkwardly trying hard. It's cute.
Rebecca & Justin
Rebecca has been in bed for a week and Justin wonders why. He's, like, a med student and all, and can't figure out why she's so nauseous and her sense of smell is "off."
Even though we've figured it out a half hour earlier, at the benefit he puts two and two together and asks point blank if she's pregnant. Rebecca says no, that's just crazy!
Then, at the end, Rebecca totally has to tell him something, but before she can, Justin interrupts and says he's sorry for trying to diagnose Rebecca and pressing her earlier.
He says he can't imagine having a baby right now! Thank goodness she's not pregnant! He leaves ... apparently not noticing the positive test she's HOLDING IN HER HAND.
We expect better, especially from these two. Dave Annable and Emily vanCamp are great, this is just subpar writing. Why can't Justin and Rebecca be happy for once? Sigh.