Brothers & Sisters

Season 1 Episode 3

Affairs of State

Aired Sunday 10:00 PM Oct 08, 2006 on ABC
out of 10
User Rating
252 votes

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Episode Summary

William Walker's indiscretions are made painfully public, and Nora shocks the family as she reveals that she's not as naive as they all think she is.

Justin decides to tell Kitty about their father's affair, and the Walker siblings all feel the burden of their very own secrets.moreless

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  • The Other Woman Written by Jon Robin Baitz And Craig Wright And Emily Whitesell Directed by Tucker Gates

    Onto the third week of this excellent new series and things are certainly coming around to a certain niche as we get to see how useless it is trying to keep secrets in this family. It also doesn't pay lying to people who are especially smarter than you are as well.

    Take Nora who like any other mother can be an absolute volatile hurricane when crossed but at the same time, her children are desperate to shelter from the more unsavoury aspects of William's band of deceit, mainly because they love but mostly because not many of them want to take on the aftermath.

    It's pretty honourable and natural that they are eager to spare her feelings but only three episodes into the series; I somehow doubt Nora is as naïve as they would like to think she is. This episode certainly proves she isn't either.

    When Saul decides to consolidate Ojai Foods and other aspects of William's assets, Nora is quick to spot that there's a house previously unaccounted for in Silver Lake and what is more she wants to have a look at it. It doesn't take a genius to figure out that the very house in question has Holly as a tenant.

    Kevin seems pretty oblivious about Nora's eagerness to look at the house but Saul goes into overdrive in the very hopes of putting her off but short of telling Nora the house is crawling with ants, Nora is determined to see the property and meet it's owner too.

    If you were Holly, you'd probably be nervous of the wife of your dead lover coming over to visit, especially when that wife has the legal right to throw you out in the street, so it's not much of a surprise that the tension between Nora and Holly is ratcheted up that you could cut through it with a knife.

    It also really doesn't help that during that little visit Nora was acting like she was trying to catch Holly and Saul out in a lie. I know some of her enquiries came across a little innocent but the way in which she conveyed them made me think that she knew more than she was letting on and Saul did very little to not draw attention to Nora's spidey sense either.

    This more or less then became confirmed when Nora held a pool party for Paige and invited Holly so she could quiz her about her career and the woman's love life and during the slap up meal itself, Nora came out to everyone present that she's known all along that Holly was screwing around with William for a long time in a way that almost made me feel a bit bad for the name and shamed Holly who reacted by bolting out the door and not a minute too soon either.

    Warren was the one who did make the fatal mistake of asking at dinner why only him and Nora were engaged in conversation while everyone else was visibly silent and Nora then launching at her annoyance of the way her family try to "deal" with her only highlighted how she isn't so stupid.

    Episode wise this is a terrific week for the brilliant Sally Field who just continues to show how perfect she is for this role and there's a wonderful moment between her and Kitty in which she goes into details about how long she's known about William and Holly as well as expressing her anger for the fact that while William loved her, he couldn't give up Holly for her either.

    She also offers some rather sage advice for Kitty on how to deal with Jonathan (sadly not Mafia style advice because I could see Jonathan gagged and bound in some cement boots) and there's something incredibly euphoric about the way she jumps into the pool at the end of the episode fully clothed.

    As for Holly I'm still no big fan of the woman's and while and the naming and shaming wasn't especially nice, it's not Nora went for the jugular and threw the woman out of her house. Holly did spend the first two episodes acting like she was so entitled to William so her protestation to Saul at the end of not wanting to be invisible feels a little hollow.

    Also Holly still has Saul in her corner and strangely enough, Nora is a lot more forgiving of Saul than you'd expect her to be at the time, even though Saul continues to make an ass out of himself by withholding information about Ojai Foods finances when Nora asks if there's anything else she should know. You kinda wish that Sarah or Tommy would do the honours there but they seem to busy squabbling among them to be honest with their mum.

    This week in the business we had another case of Sarah and Tommy butting heads like rams when Sarah made the conscious decision to fire the Ruika brothers. In fairness, Sarah is trying to stop Ojai from going under and Tommy mouthing at her to keep two layabouts doesn't really help matters.

    It's just a shame that the layabouts in question happen to be cousins of the very people who do all of Ojai's publishing and packaging at a cheaper price so Sarah has to face getting mind games thrown at her while Tommy doesn't hold back on the collective "I told you so" to his sister.

    I like Tommy and Sarah; I really do but their constant fighting feels more like schoolyard stuff than differing business ethics and if they don't start working together, then their arguing over how to stop Ojai from going down the toilet is going to wear very thin. Luckily for me, both Sarah and Tommy are awarded better plots outside of the business too.

    With Tommy the lack of an exploration of Julia and himself is a bit of a nuisance even though I get that they are pretty happy with one another so it's nice that it's Tommy who manages to get Paige to get past her fear of going into the family pool in a rather touching but slightly funny scene. Tommy as a whole could do with a bit more fleshing though.

    Sarah on the other hand when she isn't trying to save the business she's attempting to get Paige to snap out of her pool fear but the forceful way in which she tries to do it is rather annoying. I mean the kid had to see her grandfather die in that pool, I say let her get over in her own time.

    Although I don't find Joe particularly exciting, he had the better attitude in regards to dealing with Paige's issues. Sarah might like to be able to fix things but they are certain things that are off limit and trying to force someone to overcome a fear is one of them.

    Then there's Sarah's whole stance on William and Holly. Out of everyone she seemed the quickest to want to tell Nora about it when she wasn't prying into Kitty's recent bad decisions and childishly getting her own back on Kevin when he had the sense to stay out of her and Tommy's latest bust up. Sometimes I think it's Rachel Griffiths who makes me like Sarah more than the writers do.

    Speaking of Kevin, this week he was actually being openly flirtatious with Scotty during the pool party. He might have resented the way Sarah had invited Scotty but he certainly wasn't complaining when Scotty did show up bearing tasty gifts.

    Compared to last week, Scotty comes across as a bit less annoying and I have to admit there is a bit of a chemistry between Matthew Rhys and Luke McFarlane so if the writers are hooking them up (and it does look like they are), they could potentially work and the conversation they had on the art of monogamy is something that can be addressed to anyone gay or straight, male or female.

    Note I said female in that last sentence because at the end of the day we're all capable of cheating despite many sources trying to pinpoint it on mostly men. Kitty went out to dinner with Warren and had a **** session about her father being a cheater but then after a few drinks she cheated on her patronising dolt of a boyfriend with the guy that even Lila the makeup artist has realised she wants.

    Then to add to the embarrassment, Warren showed up at the pool party before Jonathan's arrival had Kitty fall into the pool. I'm not sure if Kitty should be with Warren either but I'll gladly take him over Jonathan any day and a part of me was thrilled when Jonathan discovered what Kitty had done and he dumped her. Kitty really didn't do a lot to actually try and sway his opinion which really make me determined to believe that she doesn't really love him. If she did she might have fought harder to hold on to him. Anyway Jonathan did get to leave with his dignity intact so Matthew Seattle must've been pleased with that development if nothing else.

    Then again Kitty and Kevin weren't the only people with problems this week. Justin having learned at least something from last week decided to do his best to stay away from getting wasted and high and thanks to his family in a way that effort got squashed pretty fast.

    Not only did Kitty break his confidence and tell the rest of the siblings about Holly, but then he had to witness Nora get her revenge on Holly during the meal so the only way he could actually deal with anything was to have Fawn over so he could get off his face with her. I'm sure Fawn is a nice enough girl in her own right but she's clearly not a good influence on Justin either and it doesn't seem to take him much to actually spiral back into drugs, does it?

    Also in "Affairs Of State"

    Is it me or shouldn't this episode's title be the reverse? People tend to say State Of Affairs more often?

    Kitty: "Just like a Democrat. Live by the polls, die by the polls"

    Warren: "Ha, like you haven't changed your looks since the numbers came in".

    Red, White And Blue seems to get 400 million viewers and while you can't really make politics sexy, Warren and Kitty could be considered eye candy for casual viewers.

    Lila: "Man why don't you two just hump and get it over with"

    Kitty: "Hump? Lila the last time somebody humped in America it was 1983 in a Porky's movie".

    Sarah: "Thanks for backing me up there, girlfriend"

    Kevin: "Sorry wasn't feeling it".

    Warren seemed to generate a few nicknames here such as "Unibrow" from Joe, "Man Whore" from Kitty and "Cheese Fest" from Justin.

    Warren: "And what did he say?"

    Kitty: "It doesn't matter what he said. What matters is that I'm sitting here thinking the same things about my Dad".

    Kevin: ****

    Sarah: "No but payback is".

    Sarah seems to have the makings of an excellent **** hag with Scotty. His email address was funny –

    Sarah: "I'm just trying to save the company"

    Tommy: "Yeah, 'I'm' just trying not 'we'".

    Kevin: "No you may not, you're just a witness but it's what men do right? And speaking as a gay one I've never been able to master the art of being faithful"

    Scotty: "Oh that. That's too bad but then you can't be faithful to anything until you know why you should".

    Does anyone else think that not only do Jonathan and Warren look rather alike but Scotty looks similar to Emmett from Queer As Folk US?

    Sarah: "There's Daddy's little girl"

    Kitty: "What the hell is that supposed to mean?"

    This episode was co-written by Craig Wright, another former playwright who has also scripted episodes for Six Feet Under.

    Nora (to Kitty): " The minute I saw that deed I knew it had never ended and I wanted her to feel as small and stupid as I did. I am so ashamed of myself but God, it felt good".

    Standout music: Pete Yorn's "Ice Age" and Aqualung's "Easier To Lie" which was a nice way of ending the episode.

    Kitty: "I just lost you forever"

    Jonathan: "I think so yeah".

    Chronology: A couple of weeks since "An Act Of Will".

    If there's one thing that is apparent with the Walkers, it's the dead cert guarantee that everyone seems to know about each other's business and can't keep it to themselves and the addressing of William's cheating in "Affairs Of State" is something that wouldn't feel out of place on a soap but luckily the superior writing keeps the hysterics at bay.moreless
  • Excellent episode. Funny but drama still in tact!

    I loved this episode it really showed how great this show will be. Nora's character finally does something which was good, kinda saw that coming though but how it was done was great to watch. kitty falling in the pool was funny and there were nice things like the pool thing! Looks like kitty has a choice to make, that should be interesting! Liked the way they all tomd each other of the affair and that no one was even suprised. This show seems to be getting better by the episode! Can't wait for next week!moreless
  • A very Good Episode

    Exactly why I watch this series. I love the family and the links between the brothers and the sisters. Calista Flockart is really amazing in this show and I have completely forget Ally Mc Beal. David Annable is still so hot. Nora is amazing, is so strong and so fragile, it's the beauty of this personnage. I love the music too, it was magnific in this episode. I love all The Characters in reality, i think that everyone has singular and have a speciality who make the show better and better. Kevin, I think he will dating with the guys and I love Kevin because it's note like in others show like gay characters, he is like everybody in the Show. and more, a serie who speaking politic ( a little ) is rare in USA.moreless
  • GO NORA!


    William Walker's indiscretions are made painfully public, and Nora shocks the family as she reveals that she's not as naive as they all think she is.

    The moment when Scotty asks Nora why everyone is so quite and she says it is because the family don't think she knows about the affair her husband William had with Holly was so shocking, funny and satisfying - I LOVED IT!

    Everyones facial expressions was classic, especially Holly's just before she storms out.

    Nora is going to be a character to watch in this series, you never know what she is going to come out with.moreless
  • Nora proves she isn't naive.

    This was another great episode of Brothers & Sisters. The whole episode was outstanding. Sally Field was absolutely fantastic in this episode. My favorite part of the episode is when Nora reveals to everyone that she knew about the her husbands affair with and then immediately followed her speech with the thing about the salsa. I thought that part was extremely funny. This whole episode was pretty funny though. The writers have definitely proven that they can mix drama and comedy together very well in an episode. Brothers & Sisters really keeps getting better by the episode. This episode definitely proves that it is worthy of following Desperate Housewives. All in all, this was another great episode of Brothers & Sisters.moreless
Laraine Newman

Laraine Newman


Guest Star

David Cheaney

David Cheaney

the caterer

Guest Star

Matthew Settle

Matthew Settle

Jonathan Sellers

Guest Star

Josh Hopkins

Josh Hopkins

Warren Salter

Recurring Role

Maxwell Perry Cotton

Maxwell Perry Cotton

Cooper Whedon

Recurring Role

David Burke

David Burke

Jack Bishop

Recurring Role

Trivia, Notes, Quotes and Allusions


  • TRIVIA (3)

    • It's only after Holly has given Nora and Saul a full tour of the house that they tell her Nora is William's widow and that they are assessing his assets. Wouldn't they have to explain that before? It just seems weird that Holly would let them visit her house without knowing what's the goal (plus, she's not supposed to know Saul).

    • In this episode, Kitty states that Canada sent troops to Vietnam. The commentator then tells Kitty that she is mistaken. The moderator is then asked to resolve the argument because his parents live in Montreal, and he states that while Canadians served in the U.S. armed forces in Vietnam, Canada did not send any troops. Technically what the moderator said was incorrect because Canada did eventually send troops, but only after the U.S. had departed. In 1973, "Operation Gallant" had Canada sending peacemaking troops to Vietnam as part of the International Commission of Control and Supervision (ICCS) Vietnam.

    • Scotty Wandell's e-mail address is

  • QUOTES (17)

    • Sarah: I just hope when you look at me, you see someone that's more like my mother than my father.
      Joe: I don't see either. I see the woman I love.

    • Nora: (talking about Holly after she revealed the truth about her in front of everyone) I wanted her to feel as small and stupid as I did. I... I'm so ashamed of myself, but God, it felt good.

    • Sarah: I thought you hated the guy. Why did you sleep with him?
      Kitty: I didn't. The gin slept with him.
      Sarah: We had the gin talk five years ago. It's the...
      Both: Devil's drink!

    • Nora: (she just found out that Paige doesn't want to go in the pool anymore) Why didn't anyone tell me about Paige?
      KItty: What we don't tell you, Mom, could fill the library of Congress.

    • (while watching Kitty's show)
      Nora: Oh, my God, he's saying everything to her I wanna say, and in front of 400 million people.
      Kevin: Mom, it's not the World Cup.
      Saul: You're enjoying this too much, Nora. It's unseemly.
      Nora: (to Kevin) Why can't you meet anyone like that?
      Kevin: Like Warren Salter? First of all, he's straight.
      Nora: Like that ever stopped you before.

    • Kitty: He did love you though.
      Nora: He didn't give up anything to do it. What kind of love is that?

    • Lila: Man why don't you two just hump and get it over with?
      Kitty: Hump? Lila the last time somebody humped in America it was 1983 in a Porky's movie.

    • Warren: You don't know me, Kitty, but you're the first woman in years that sends me spinning. I see you and I drop 10 stories inside, every time.
      Kitty: Ah, Warren, you know what? We're not in the last 10 minutes of a Julia Roberts movie. Let's at work...and tonight? Let's just...relax. Hi! (laughs nervously as her fiancee approaches)

    • Scotty: And that's your dad? Of course.
      Kevin: Yup. the Unknowable King.
      Scotty: A leader of men?
      Kevin: No, not really. As it turns out, just a man. And one who has after his passing been causing us all a great deal of trouble.
      Scotty: May I ask?
      Kevin: No you may not, you're just the witness... but its what men do right? And speaking as a gay one I've never been able to master the art of being faithful.
      Scotty: Oh. That. That's too bad. But then you can't be faithful to anything until you know why you should.

    • Justin: It's too much? You want to know what's too much? She's HERE. Mom invited her here.
      Kitty: What do you mean "she's here"?
      Justin: I mean she's out there drinking mojitoes and...and wearing big jewelry!

    • Kitty: Its just that I've found out today that my recently deceased father was a cheater. And its thrown me for a...its thrown me.
      Warren: Want to talk about it?
      Kitty: To you? And hear more about your little "fiery deity"?
      Warren: You don't have to. I was just offering.
      Kitty: I had a boyfriend who cheated on me once, in college. His name was Alex Sapien. And when Tanya Cavinaugh told me what he'd done, I went. I found him and I told him what I thought. I said "the world is too fragile for people to be untrue. There's too much at stake, and life's too short for lies. And you're the worst kind of person in the world, because you wasted my heart, my time..."
      Warren: What did he say?
      Kitty: It doesn't matter what he said. What matters is I'm sitting here thinking the same thing about my dad. and I know its so silly, because I'm a grown woman and I know that's what men do, but he was my dad...and he's dead...and I can't kill him. And I can't ask him why.

    • Nora: I'm so ashamed of myself but God it felt good!

    • Kitty: I just lost you forever...didn't I?
      Jonathan: I think so...yeah.

    • Warren: God you are so hot...I knew it.
      Kitty: Warren! Please...
      Warren: Please what? Shut up?

    • Kitty: The us I saw today is so much better than the me I was last night.

    • Warren: We don't love the people we love because they're perfect. We love the people we love because they are.

    • Nora: Would you care for some more lamb?
      Warren: What's going on?
      Nora: What do you mean?
      Warren: Well, why isn't anyone but us talking?
      Nora: Oh...Well they all think that I don't know that my husband had an affair with that women Holly over there; a long one, with a cunning little cottage built for two to go with it. Yes, Warren you see they all think I'm living in the dark and they're terrified that I'm going to figure it all out tonight. And in their panic and obliviousness and their eagerness to handle me they've lost their very basic ability to conduct themselves in a social circumstance. It's very sad, but there it is...Will someone please pass the mango, peach salsa to Scotty.

  • NOTES (3)


    • Kitty: What is this, Fiddler on the Roof?
      Fiddler on the Roof is a musical and movie about a Jewish man in progrom Russia trying to marry off his 5 daughters.