Brothers & Sisters

Season 3 Episode 11

A Father Dreams

Aired Sunday 10:00 PM Jan 04, 2009 on ABC
out of 10
User Rating
111 votes

By Users

Episode Summary

Elizabeth's illness & her uncle's sacrifice cause a volatile & emotional confrontation between Kevin & Tommy that could make or break their relationship as brothers; Saul reintroduces a high school crush to Nora; Justin finally decides to leave the nest. Kitty prepares for her upcoming promotional tour for her book by doing mock interviews with some of Robert's employees.moreless

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  • Kevin after the surgery

    This episode was mostly about Kevin dealing with the fact that he's Elizabeth's biological father. The dreams he had were in my opinion not that good but I liked seeing how he was affected by all this going on with him. Nora and Scotty taking care of Kevin was funny to watch and it seemed almost logical he'd have to escape the house:)

    I liked how Justin's storyline was developed. He didn't talk about it that much but you could see from his behaviour how he was feeling.

    Kitty and Robert were kind of boring. Didn't see the chemistry there. I liked the conversation Scotty and Kevin had about having kids. I just wish that they would've let us hear Scotty's opinion on Kevin having a daughter as well. It seems like Scotty has never said a word about it which is weird because usually people are affected by such facts about their significant others. The ending scene with Kevin and Elizabeth was just really sweet as well as the song by the Weepies that was used there.moreless
  • In Dreams Written by Jennifer Levin And Michael Foley Directed by Tom Amandes

    Kevin: "Oh my God, look Scotty I can explain everything."

    Scotty: "Great. How about explaining to me what part in sickness and in health means leaving me at home with your mother."

    It turns out that doctors are not the only bad patients you can nowadays. Nope, former lawyers turned communication directors are also similarly troublesome as Kevin proves that sometimes, instead of TLC, space is probably the better remedy instead.

    Given that he's had about thirty six years to know that Nora can really take her Mama Bear routine to extremes, I did wonder why on Earth both Kevin and Scotty elected to have the former stay and recuperate at the Walker mansion. Did Kevin just want trouble?

    Recuperating from major surgery can be a handful but Nora herself actually made it a lot worse. I know it's in Nora's nature to get all overprotective and criticising anyone else who tries to pull their way but I actually did find it more annoying than usual here and so did Scotty.

    It's because of Nora's attitude towards Scotty that irked me. In the previous episode, I could feel that some tension between the two was building up and this week, Nora seemed to do everything to egg it on. Scotty literally couldn't anything right in her eyes and it certainly irritated him to no end.

    However unlike Robert, Scotty did actually manage to bite his tongue for a lot longer, which means that he must be the most patient man on Earth. I think anyone else would've snapped at Nora way before the first break.

    In fact it wasn't until Kevin made a prison escape that Scotty did end up venting at Nora and even then he was incredibly calm. He didn't exactly say anything that no viewer themselves wasn't thinking when it came to Nora this week and her reaction was to make a tearful phone apology as a result.

    Kevin's brief escape did put him in the dog house with Scotty for a little bit but Kevin did insist upon the fact that he bailed for reasons other than Nora suffocating him and I believed him. After all, Kevin pretty much had a lot on his mind and it played out during a series of dream sequences.

    Dream sequences aren't exactly something the show has done at all in its first three seasons so the ones on board here managed to be funny, surreal and insightful all at once while staying perfectly in character.

    It made sense that the common theme of all of Kevin's dreams was Elizabeth. He's just found that he's her bio-dad and there was no way that wasn't going to plague his subconscious in a big way.

    Having Nora and a soldier Scotty fighting over fluids was certainly hilarious given that both were battling for taking care of Kevin in this episode. Then having the one dream where everyone was laughing at a pregnant Kevin is definitely something that would a lot of people wake up in a cold sweat.

    Of course the sex dream with Julia was always going to be the one that would irk many viewers. The last thing viewers want is for Kevin to explore the possibility of having some sexual feelings for women, especially if the woman in question is Julia.

    I don't mean that in a horrible way but given the tension between Kevin and Tommy, it would be a horrible plot. The only problem is that Sarah Jane Morris who plays Julia showed more chemistry here with Matthew Rhys in a fantasy sequence than she has done with Balthazar Getty. That's not a good thing when you think about it.

    I have to admit that I did get a supremely immature laugh when Julia checking up on Kevin nearly scared the crap out of him. It was perfect comic timing and never did I see a TV character so desperate to get out of the same room. I am also glad as well that Julia didn't actually figure out that Kevin was having a sexual dream about her too though.

    The other sets of dream though did seem to concentrate on Kevin's search for Elizabeth until he finally had one where he got to be a good father to her. You do wonder if this could foreshadow future events with Kevin wanting to take a more active role in Lizzie's upbringing but mainly it's just probably his brain trying to come to terms with everything that's happened.

    The questions of what to tell Elizabeth about her parentage when she gets older did raise further debate. Julia had the point of mentioning that actually telling her truth would be the wisest option but Tommy seemed too determined to dismiss the idea.

    Now I do feel sorry for Tommy a little bit (he couldn't help his child when it really mattered) but I do think that he overreacted as well in this episode. When Kevin tried to explain about his dreams, Tommy simply just stormed out, which is something that he can be a bit too fond of doing when things aren't going his way.

    Then there was getting Kevin to sign a contract that would forbid him from telling Lizzie the truth of her parentage. What the hell was the point of that? Kevin might have expressed his dreams but not once did he actually imply that he didn't view Tommy as Elizabeth's true father, though him and Scotty did later discuss the idea of eventually starting a family.

    Tommy's motives might have been understandable but they were also selfish and surely he shouldn't have tried to get Kevin to sign a contract like that while he was recovering. I did however like the scene with Kevin and Elizabeth at the end, which was cute and heart warming in its own manner.

    Of course getting back to selfish parental behaviour, Nora did push the boundaries this week with wanting to take care of Kevin and even another outsider discovered that she does overindulge in the nurturing process and by that, I was of course referring to Roger.

    Nigel Havers is a good actor and a surprise piece of casting for the show (can we have some British actors?) but I'm not really sure I'm all that sold on the character of Roger just yet. I'm gonna make an assumption that we'll have him for a few more episodes so by then I'll have more to form a better opinion.

    On one hand, he did seem to deliberately goad Nora about the idea of her centre being similar to a womb and he wasn't particularly graceful in the way he accused her of being too close to her children either. Both of those assumptions would've made him into an utter prick if they weren't valid.

    Something that was a lot more predictable however was the sort of romantic history between the pair of them. Nora's resistance in wanting to meet with him as well as her attempts to downplay his achievements were giveaways but even at her most frustrating, Nora does get a wealth of great moments.

    Her drunken, tearful apology to Scotty over her treatment towards him on the phone was one thing but when Saul entered the fray, I think we got one of the best scenes with those two in the series history. I loved that Nora poured her heart about flirting with Roger in order to make William jealous.

    I also loved that Saul tried to boost her confidence by suggesting that Roger might actually fancy Nora. I'd be incredibly surprised if nothing did happen with them and seeing as George didn't stick around long enough for something to happen there, I think it's fairly safe to assume that Nora will more than likely get some love action with Roger.

    Also her grilling Saul about his boyfriend was priceless. Of course Justin wasn't going to keep that one a secret and now that Nora is aware that her brother is dating, it shouldn't be long until we actually meet Saul's mystery bloke.

    Getting away from sickness and prospective new dates, I really loved Justin's plot this week. Thanks to Cooper's unintentionally shaming Show And Tell, Justin got backed into a corner and forced to reassess himself. I really did feel for Justin during that scene with Cooper at school.

    Maybe Tommy and Sarah's career intervention wasn't the best timed but it certainly went better than expected with Justin even moving into his own place and Nora giving him her blessing. I liked that Nora did that, it showed some growth after the way she behaved for the majority of the episode.

    Then there was Kitty and Robert. Oddly this plot didn't annoy me but it did emphasise that Kitty has moved on career wise from being Robert's right hand woman and no amount of brain sex is going to deter her.

    It's also nice that we're back into the book plot as well as Kitty was going through interviews she had and clearly putting her foot down to Robert that her career also came first. I can't help but not love Kitty for that. Also in "A Father Dreams"

    There was a lot of episode clips in the reprise segment of this episode.

    Nora (to Scotty): "Does he know where he is?"

    Kevin: "Yeah, I'm in my childhood bedroom with my mother and my husband talking about me as if I wasn't here."

    When I saw the promos, I did think that Scotty dressed as WW2 soldier might have had more to do with Kevin's politic beliefs rather than a fantasy of theirs.

    Scotty: "Your mother will think I'm hurting you."

    Kevin: "You are and don't worry, I yanked the plug out of the monitor an hour ago."

    Nora: "Scotty, don't be silly. It's nothing I haven't seen before."

    Scotty (re Kevin): "Well hopefully, it's something you haven't seen in a long time."

    That has to be the best comeback to the issue of a parent overstepping a mark with their children. Good one, Scotty.

    Kevin: "Is it hot in here?"

    Julia: "Not really but it could be."

    Julia: "Were you having a bad dream about me?"

    Kevin: "No. Why?"

    Julia: "You said my name."

    Kevin's sex dream with Julia reminded me of that episode of Dawson's Creek where Dawson had a nightmare about Joey and Jack hooking up again. That's not a coincidence given that Greg Berlanti was instrumental on that show as he is here. Robert (re brain sex): "You know you're right. It's been a long time."

    Kitty: "Probably since I worked here." Roger: "I come bearing gifts."

    Nora: "A gift … for me … about you."

    Roger: "I knew you'd call. I just didn't think it'd take thirty years."

    Saul did seem to be flirting with Roger quite a bit in this episode but still I didn't think Roger was the mystery boyfriend. I do think that Roger picked up on Saul taking a shine to him though.

    Kevin: "Take longer next time."

    Justin: "You can't ask me to be your getaway driver and **** about it."

    Roger (to Nora): "You want to build a womb like this home. A natural space incapable of expelling its progeny."

    This episode might have delighted viewers with neither Holly nor Rebecca appearing in it at all.

    Kevin: "Have I been disowned?"

    Sarah: "Yeah by me. Thanks for letting me be the one to tell Mom that's suffocating you. Really appreciated that."

    Justin: "You're not gonna let me leave, Sarah?"

    Sarah: "Hmm, sit down."

    Justin: "This family's unbelievable."

    Standout music: Gnarls Barkley's "Run (I'm A Natural Disaster)" during Kevin and Justin's escape.

    Saul: "Why are you mad at Roger?"

    Nora: "Because I look at him and I see this pathetic, insecure woman and I hate her and I hate that's how he remembers me."

    Kevin: "It's weird. I grew up thinking I'd never be a Dad."

    Saul: "It's not weird. You're gay."

    Kevin: "No, it's not just that. I just didn't think I'd be any good at it, always putting someone else's needs first all the time."

    Chronology: I'm gonna presume that we're still in November/December 2008, though this is the first 2009 aired episode we've had.

    "A Father Dreams" is another series high. I know this season is still having problems but with episodes like this, I can't see why it can't turn itself around. More interactions amongst the actual Walkers themselves, better service to Scotty and Julia and less Holly/Robert/Rebecca and we'll be fine.moreless
  • Kevin dreams about Elizabeth while he recovers from the liver transplant.

    All things considered, I absolutely loved this episode. This definitely one of my favorite episodes of Brothers & Sisters both in terms of all of the season three episodes and overall for the series as a whole. All of the story lines were great, especially Kevin. It was great seeing all of the Walkers interact with each other. Their interactions with each other in this episode were hilarious. I especially loved all of the Justin and Kevin interactions. I also loved the whole story line with Justin going to Cooper's school to speak to this class. Cooper was absolutely hilarious in the scene where he was telling his class why he admires Justin. Scotty was great in this episode too. I loved all of his interactions with Nora. This episode definitely had the perfect blend of drama and comedy. In closing, I thought that this was a very well written, well acted and well made episode of Brothers & Sisters from everyone involved, and I can't wait to see the next episode of Brothers & Sisters.moreless
  • Lots of character development here with everyone having a significant role in the story.

    This episode was a good one to come back to after the break for the holidays. We learn a lot more about Kevin and Scotty here especially how they both feel about having children. Also it was interesting to get a bit more of Nora's past revealed in a nice scene with her and Saul sitting talking on the pantry floor. The scenes with Justin in were also excellent and I hope he can handle moving out from Nora's protection to live on his own again. Kitty and Robert were also pretty entertaining with their brain sex and Tommy and Kevin managed to work things out about Elizabeth. Overall, a prettydecent episode.moreless
Paula Rhodes

Paula Rhodes

Miss Mitchell

Guest Star

Gayla Johnson

Gayla Johnson


Guest Star

Tymberlee Hill

Tymberlee Hill


Guest Star

Nigel Havers

Nigel Havers

Roger Grant

Recurring Role

Trivia, Notes, Quotes and Allusions


  • TRIVIA (1)

  • QUOTES (16)

    • Kevin: Oh my god, look Scotty I can explain everything.
      Scotty: Great. How about explaining to me what part of in sickness and in health means leaving me at home with your mother.

    • Sarah: Look Justin, there's nothing wrong with not having that long-term plan per se.
      Tommy: But playing Super Mario Brothers all day long probably shouldn't be your life goal.

    • Sarah: (talking on the phone to Kevin about Justin) Does he seem OK to you?
      Kevin: Yeah, a little crabby maybe. Why?
      Sarah: He had a disastrous morning. He was painted a total loser by a class of first graders.
      Kevin: I wish that seemed weirder.

    • Justin: (handing over Kevin's pills) Here.
      Kevin: Where's the other one? There's two.
      Justin: I just saw the one in the kitchen.
      Kevin: Well this is the antibiotic. I need the painkillers.
      Justin: Alright, this one will keep you from going septic. Unless you want to go back in the house then man-up. I'm not going back in there.

    • (Scotty is looking for Kevin's medication.)
      Scotty: Are you looking for something?
      Justin: Yeah, er... (he looks around) yeah. My trumpet. Here it is.
      Scotty: Oh you play?
      Justin: Er no.
      Scotty: Oh you played growing up?
      Justin: No.

    • Justin: Kevin, aren't you supposed to be in bed?
      Kevin: I cannot take it any more, OK? I have to get out of here.
      Justin: (referring to Nora and Scotty) What about your nurses up there?
      Kevin: They think I'm taking a shower. Let's go.
      Justin: That's your plan, to run the water and take off?
      Kevin: I didn't turn it on.
      Justin: Well please tell me you locked the bathroom door. Oh my gosh Kevin, this is like amateur hour. No wonder you didn't have a life in high school.

    • Kitty: This is crazy, what if it doesn't work?
      Robert: I've fired you before.
      Kitty: True.

    • Robert: You know I should just fire Kevin.
      Kitty: Oh yeah, now that's a great idea. You know you should get right on that.
      Robert: I'm serious.
      Kitty: Robert, you can't hire me just so you can have more sex.

    • Kitty: Oh wow. That was nice doing that again.
      Robert: Again? I think you must be confusing me with a former boss because I don't recall us ever having sex in the office before.
      Kitty: I was talking about the part before the sex.
      Robert: Oh, discussing immigration reform.
      Kitty: Well not the topic but the spirited-
      Robert: Exchange of ideas.
      Kitty: Verbal wrangling.
      Robert: Fervent cogitation.
      Kitty: Brain sex.

    • Kevin: (to Scotty and Nora) I don't care what the doctor said. I just want the two of you to leave me alone right now.
      Scotty: OK.
      Kevin: Right now.
      Nora: Pain pills make him so grumpy.
      Scotty: Yes. Pain pills.

    • Kevin: Remind me why we're here, not in our nice apartment.
      Scotty: Because your mother offered and you accepted.
      Kevin: I did?
      Scotty: Yes.
      Kevin: You have to admit she does have the PhD in tending to us kids.

    • Cooper: (talking about Justin to his classmates) What's really cool is Justin gets to live with his mom. He doesn't even have a job. And he doesn't have to go to school or anything. He gets to hang out and play videogames all day.

    • Kevin: It's weird. I grew up thinking I'd never be a dad.
      Scotty: Not that weird. Gay.
      Kevin: No, it's not that. It's just I wasn't sure I'd be any good at it. Putting somebody else's needs first all the time.

    • Nora: (to Roger): My progeny are here by choice. I'm not holding them hostage.
      Scotty: (interrupting them): Kevin escaped! He left a note but it doesn't say where he went.

    • Nora: For God's sakes, I don't know why the two of them don't just shack up and get it over with. I can't believe I have to sit there and listen to this pompous nonsense just because Saul wants a boyfriend.

    • (on telling Kevin to pull down his pants)
      Nora: Don't be silly. It's nothing I haven't seen before.
      Scotty: Well hopefully it's nothing you've seen in a long time.

  • NOTES (4)

    • International Episode Titles:
      Czech Republic - Sny otce (Father Dreams)

    • Music:
      Collar Bone by Fujiya and Miyagi.
      Run by Gnarls Barkley.
      Can't Go Back Now by The Weepies.

    • Original International Air Dates:
      Norway: Wednesday, April 15, 2009 on TV2
      Australia: Monday, April 27, 2009 on Channel 7
      Latin America: Wednesday, June 24, 2009 on Universal Channel
      Czech Republic: Sunday, May 8, 2011 on Universal Channel

    • Although credited, Kerris Lilla Dorsey (Paige Whedon), Patricia Wettig (Holly Harper) and Emily VanCamp (Rebecca Harper) do not appear in this episode.