Brothers and Sisters: Pork and Politics

Brown and blue, mixed pastels, lavender. These were the colors of the turbans that Kitty (Calista Flockhart) wore in Sunday's episode of Brothers and Sisters. And while I can't be sure about it, I've got a hunch that there's significance to this color sequencing that could be as profound as a cure to cancer itself. It's as if the producers are communicating a complex encrypted message to us through the spectrum of Kitty's turban hues. Are you with me?

And you thought all those deeply embedded clues and auspicious details only happened on Lost.

Actually, I was feeling somewhat lost this week—wondering what it was about this show that has me coming back from more when I'm required to plod through mundane future-plot-enabling episodes like this one.

It all started over coffee. Sarah (Rachel Griffiths) and her aspiring boy-toy Roy enjoyed some free 'n' easy banter after dropping their tweens off at school. Roy showed off his emotional IQ by doling out divorce tips to Sarah, and tossing around terms like "transparency" and "the circle of trust." Burned-before Sarah seemed to radiate hope that this dude is different than all the others. One quick way to tell he is different is his utter lack of cuteness.

Robert (Rob Lowe) and Kevin (Matthew Rhys) met with an advisor about the unsavory job of campaign fundraising. Robert publicly punted on going for the governorship, but still needed to keep his Senate seat in the next election. And something was clearly off. Robert seemed dismayed by the prospect of rallying for the election, not just about having to pass the hat. Kevin, as a result, looked concerned too.

But really most of Kevin's concern in this episode tidal-waved onto his and Scotty's (Luke MacFarlane) surrogate, Michelle. She had two embryos implanted and was ordered to go on bed rest. Also, no sex for 16 weeks. Kevin fawned, fretted, and all but searched on eBay for a plastic bubble to keep her in.

Meanwhile, Sarah menu-planned her way into Roy's heart—via bundt cake and a dish called 'drunken pork.' (Wouldn't getting Roy drunk instead be a more direct—or at least traditional—first-date tactic?) Ah yes, silly Sarah invited Roy to a Walker family repast, a meal that tends to involve more staging, role play, and hokeyness than a murder mystery dinner party.

In order to give Sarah ample time to inebriate the aforementioned pork, Nora offered to go to Ojai Foods to address an accounting slip-up Saul (Ron Rifkin) had made. Uncle Saul, Sarah reported, has been "cranky" lately. And everyone knows cranky CFOs make boo-boos on spreadsheets, and that make the IRS grumpy. Saving the day, Nora donned a pair of I-can-be-all-businessy-too-you-know glasses, and pitched in to help out the family biz.

Kitty, painfully under-accessorized and wearing head-to-toe earth tones, lunched with Buffy, a perky former political chum. Between forkfuls of Romaine, Kitty let slip her interest in running for Congress. Buffy nearly clapped her hands with glee upon hearing this news, since Kitty seems to have the Midas touch when it comes to undertakings she's wildly unequipped to handle (See: Radio show host, Communications Director, best-selling author, political pundit.)

But Robert's hardcore political passions seem to have suddenly waned. He was tossing back a beer in his office (hint: he doesn't care any more) when Kitty dropped by. And then he went off on an I'm-so-over-this-political-mumbo-jumbo tirade. Oh, and just in case anyone might miss the point, he said, "I'm saying I don't want to run. I'm done. I'm done running for office. We're done running for office." (An expression that, it turns out, is only slightly more annoying than "we're pregnant.")

But wait, we think to ourselves! Kitty ain't done running for office. No-oh, nuh-uh. Well, this is a bit of a sticky wicket, hmmm?

Kitty kept her mouth shut, though, because, well, if she said then and there that she was actually thinking of running herself, the promise of a "why didn't you ever tell me that?" argument would be lost.

At Robert's I'm-outta-here press conference, Baby Evan attempted to claw at the podium mics but failed. And Kitty was outed by a member of the press about her intentions to run for office herself.

Later, Kitty, while pushing a stroller and sporting her brown turban with blue accents (note it!), asked Buffy why she leaked the news that she was running for office. Then she unconvincingly blathered on that she wasn't going to run. No siree! She was NOT going to do it.

Okay? Got that?

Back at Ojai, Saul stopped by the office—and flipped when he saw Nora working at his desk. They had a spat. He called her a housewife. Whatever. He's emotional and petulant. She has a save-the-world complex. Yawn, yawn, yawn.

Unsurprisingly, surrogate Michelle had to be moved to Sarah's house for the night, since that's where the dinner party was going down, and more wackiness can always ensue if you add a woman on bed rest to the mix.

But before the first dinner roll could fly, Sarah discovered at a PTA meeting that Roy ain't so perfect after all. They disagreed over a school policy to search student backpacks, leaving Sarah convinced he wouldn't show for dinner. All that boozed-up pork, wasted! Sarah schlumped in the middle school hallway (where her heart had likely been broken before), and declared to her ever-present mother that she was finished with men.

But before you get excited about a girl-on-girl plot line, you should know that Roy still came to dinner. As did bed-restin' Michelle's barely-legal boyfriend, bearing a zombie movie. Saul had a tantrum about being old and washed up, Kitty lectured him on life and declared her political aspirations, and Kevin fretted like a Jewish mother that Michelle would laugh-abort his unborn child. We got absolutely no indication of how the pork turned out.

And through the mayhem Roy showed that despite his non-cuteness and backward backpack-searching attitudes, he may not be half-bad after all. Even though he's a Republican. (Hey, we also liked Tony Soprano, a conniving murderous adulterer. So go figure.)

Saul tripped into Nora's house the next morning, giddy—clearly the victim of vicious unexplained mood swings. Why so chipper? The prospect of sex, of course! He told Little Sis he joined Silver Studs, a cheesily-named gay dating service "for men of a certain age." High on the thought of getting some play, Saul apologized to Nora for yelling about her meddling in his work, and thanked her for her help.

At which point large neon signs seemed to indicate that Nora will be getting more closely involved in the family biz again.

My guess? Saul meets Mr. Right, moves to Palm Springs to open an antique store, and Nora steps in to fill his spot as Chief Housewife Officer. I don't want to give the impression that I have insider insight into where the story line is going here, I've just been watching this show for a long time now, and let's just say Roy's not the only one who's transparent.

Final scene: Kitty and Robert. A hurt-looking Robert wondered why Kitty didn't tell him she wanted to run for Congress. For a gal who changes careers faster than Barbie, how can he expect her to keep him constantly updated? Anyway, so was he angry? No! Those two showed that their divisive days are behind them. Why not, he suggested, set her sights on his Senate seat? It'd be kinda like when Sonny Bono's wife took over his political gig.

Robert vowed to help Kitty get there. Together they'd be unbeatable!

Someone call Buffy to leak the news. Game on.

Comments (1)
Jan 19, 2010
As long as Tommy is not in the episode it is a winner.