Brothers & Sisters

Season 2 Episode 2

An American Family

Aired Sunday 10:00 PM Oct 07, 2007 on ABC
out of 10
User Rating
202 votes

By Users

Episode Summary

Kevin, Nora and Kitty go to pick up Justin who has just returned home from the war. McCallister finds that he’s getting closer to Walkers. Meanwhile, the truth is revealed between Sarah and Rebecca and Tommy is not able to get the hang of being a father.moreless

Who was the Episode MVP ?

No results found.
No results found.
No results found.
  • Very well written...

    Justin returns home and is against taking drugs to ease the pain of his injuries and getting pampered by his mother. Kitty goes head to head with a political radio speaker when he makes some nasty comments about her family, which gets Robert involved.

    I think the greatest thing about this show is how well written the dialogue is. There are hundreds of other shows out there with unique families with secrets and quirks, but this one is just like every other family. How close it is to reality makes me love it even more.moreless
  • I'm giving this a 10 because Justin is home!

    Yay Justin is home and out of Iraq, but still hurt and I can see why he doesn't want drugs but he is going to be in so much pain, I don't see why they can't give it to him but monitor the amount he has! Kitty was so funny when she was talking to that guy from the radio, and as soon as she hung up of course robert rings and that was funny too. When Kitty, Nora and Kevin were in the car yelling at the radio, at that guy, well I could't stop laughing at what Kevin said.

    I liked how Robert stuck up for her and all the Walkers too. Shows that he really loves her and her family and he wants to be married to her.

    And it's about time Rebecca told the truth but it's a little too late for Sarah and her husband, if she had known that at the start I don't think they would be getting diviorced now. Or maybe they would but not this soon. As for the new girl that works for Tommy she hit the nail on the head with Saul. That he's gay I don't know why he just wont come out of the closet as the saying is. I mean it's not like the family will hate him, look at Kevin!!!

    Until next weekmoreless
  • this shows made my day!

    so here's what pretty much happens.

    kitty heard from robert that justin is going home.

    and then nora,kitty,and kevin are going to pick him up in the hospital.

    and that radio shows in the car they heard??that was so original,fresh and so funny!!

    and sarah has to deal that her husband is back to his ex wife.

    it's almost painful to watch that sarah and joe couldn't get back together,because they are my favorite couple.

    and why joe is such a jackass?i remember him as a sweet nice husband but the writers seems changed his personality!

    and tommy realize that something's going on in his marriage with julia.

    and last but not least,is seems the writers doesn't wants to give her a hard time,lol!

    she's just meeting her friend,lena. and finally she's come clean to sarah for what happened between her and joe,and once again,one of the walker furious at her.moreless
  • Family Values Written by David Marshall Grant And Molly Newman Directed by Gloria Muzio

    Nora (re Justin): "I was afraid of this. He's not the same boy I said goodbye to four months ago".

    Kitty: "He couldn't be. It's not possible". With Justin being noticeably absent from the opening episode, it was only fair that for this week he would play a more active role in things. That in itself is ironic given that on the physical side, Justin is far from being active.

    Given that his unit got hit with a sniper last week, Nora is in full overprotective mother mode and she isn't venting her aggression out on dough, Kitty is able to give her some solace by telling her that Justin is on the way home. For Nora, this is like all of her Christmases have come at once.

    It also means that another Walker family trip is in order with Nora, Kitty and Kevin heading to the military hospital where Justin is recovering. I love any excuse for a Walker family and even when there's a serious reason for one, you're guaranteed some set of comic mishaps to heighten interest.

    This time round, there's some gentle teasing about Kevin's prowess followed by conservative radio host Luther Reeves openly voicing his concerns about a Walker/McCallister merging. What are the odd that he manages to offend everyone in the car? Let's just say reasonably high.

    Due to her unabashed liberal stance, Nora is the first to feel the vitriol from Luther's mouth. He doesn't approve of her unashamed record of protesting against the war and happily labels her a "harpie" on live radio. As much as this Luther guy is a jerk, I will admit that Nora's reaction to this did make me laugh quite a bit.

    He's also not particularly pleased with the idea of both Kitty and Robert having gay brothers who are dating each other. In fact Luther even goes to the extent of voicing disgust over the possibility of Kevin and Jason shagging in the White House. I don't know why Luther gives a damn. Even if Robert does win the election (fingers crossed he won't), I can't imagine we'd ever get to see that particular scene with the lads.

    If I were Luther, I wouldn't be so heavily fixated on such things. Robert's a nice guy and talks a good talk but as viewers we have yet to actually see whether or not Robert is remotely capable of taking on the role of president. I'm pretty sure Hilary and Obama would have something to say on the matter.

    Also it's not very likely that Robert will win the election. Part of this show's key success is that the Walkers are for the most part a very relatable family. Having Robert become president might take away some of that and maybe I'm in a minority but I would rather see Robert tackle local politics in an effective manner rather than see him be president. That would be a lot more interesting from my perspective.

    Anyways when Luther isn't attacking Nora and Kevin, Kitty then ends up being on the receiving end of the man's mouth. You know when good characters try to do the right thing but end up making idiots of themselves? Well ignore that because while it may appear that Kitty made the Luther situation worse, the reality is that she didn't.

    Watching that scene at least twice, it's definitely Luther who is at fault. Kitty doesn't really give him anything to go on so he deliberately misconstrues whatever she does say to make herself and Robert look bad. Unfortunately given how alarmingly fast news seems to travel, Robert is soon on the phone and he isn't best pleased.

    It also means that Robert has to do the unenviable chore of publicly trying to grovel to Luther but at least Robert then has the sense to play the radio host at his own game. I liked Robert defending the Walkers became while they are far from perfect, they do make for some great allies and Robert clearly knows that.

    However what I didn't like was Robert acting like he had a major mess to clean. There are plenty of things that Kitty could've actually said that really would've done damage and none of those surfaced during her phone call with Luther. Robert should perhaps count his blessings instead of moralising.

    Besides when it comes to moralising, there's always the rather charm free Travis to do that. This week Travis is quick to point out that Kitty's personal life might be a hindrance to the campaign and even has a go at Robert for attending a military funeral at the start. I'm not really sure about the latter but Kitty's response to the former was nicely timed.

    As for the Justin segment of the episode, is it much of a shock that it would be the highlight of the whole thing? Hardly! In the hospital Nora got to be aggressive with the receptionist in her determination to see her son, much to Kitty and Kevin's annoyance. Still she was stressed and the receptionist wasn't exactly being all that helpful in the first place.

    At least when she got to see Justin, she relaxed a little. Seeing the concern played with his family was definitely a touching moment. Kevin showed some strong emotion at his brother's condition when he didn't jest about the female population being safe for a bit and Justin also had to remind Nora that he wasn't keen on a particular brand of sweets.

    However it was Justin's return home that caused the most stress. With a nerve block for the pain and insistence that he didn't exert pressure on his legs, Nora once again got super protective on her son. In all fairness she was only doing what the doctors had advised her to do but you could see a showdown between her and Justin coming even before he got out of the car.

    The last thing Justin wants to feel like is an invalid and while he evaded alcohol at his own party, he did want to have some fun with Paige and Cooper. When Nora put the kibosh on this, Justin didn't react all that well. Although Nora was right in her own way, I can see why Justin got so easily irritated by her. That being said, if he isn't careful he could put himself in more pain. Perhaps listening to Nora wouldn't be the worst thing he could do.

    The last scene however between Justin and Nora in the episode is one of the most powerful moments of the series. With Justin refusing to take drugs as the nerve block wore off, Nora tries to comfort him. Both Dave Annable and Sally Field play a blinder during that scene together.

    Justin's return home was always going to be hard but here you do get the feeling that things will get worse. He won't accept Nora's help and although he's able to confide in Robert of all people, I can see his refusing to take drugs being a problem if his pain intensifies in the later weeks.

    As for Sarah, she's also got some pain to deal with. Getting Kevin to help around the house with manly chores is a great reminder that she no longer has a man in her life. Kevin also not keen on the idea of being his sister's labourer tells her to be amicable with Joe, which to Sarah's credit is what she wants to do anyway.

    Last week, Sarah was keen to get her marriage back on track and had her ego dented when Joe refused to take her back. This week Joe does excel himself by not only bluntly pointing out that he's not wearing his wedding ring but that he's also gotten back together with his first wife Paula.

    I used to like Joe a lot and I even sympathised with him during the Rebecca debacle but this episode really brought him out in a negative light. Getting back with ex-wife and then screwing Sarah on the spin cycle doesn't make him come across as the nicest of guys. It's no wonder Sarah is annoyed with him after that little reveal.

    It also doesn't get any better when Rebecca decides to salvage her conscience by telling Sarah about her involvement with the kiss with Joe. Sarah reacts pretty appropriately, even when Holly points out on two occasions that Sarah and Joe's marriage was dead in the water way before Rebecca factored into things.

    With this episode putting Sarah and Rebecca on the outs with each other, there is a nice moment between Rebecca and Holly. Holly isn't the most likeable of people but she's not a total hypocrite either so while she is sympathetic with Rebecca, she does point out that actions more or less have consequences.

    Rebecca also has another part in this episode thanks to the arrival of her friend Lena. With Lena desperate for work, Rebecca thinks the best place for her unemployed friend to gain employment would be at the winery, where guaranteed in no short Lena will also get suckered into the Walker family drama in an instant.

    It also doesn't help that Lena's hiring comes at a time where Tommy and Julia's marital problems are really being foistered onto us as viewers. Julia's now in the mode of blaming Tommy for everything that can possibly go wrong and Tommy is also getting sick of it. With Lena instantly becoming a sympathetic ear for Tommy and some flirting between the two of them, I don't think it take much to figure where this storyline is heading.

    Also in "An American Family"

    The opening scene of the episode with the military funeral was a nice tease but I still knew it wasn't Justin's funeral.

    Nora: "You certainly are being secretive young lady".

    Rebecca: "Yeah I guess I'm really part of this crazy family".

    This is another one of those episodes with the word 'family' in it. Given how strong family is in this show, it's appropriate.

    Kitty: "Travis, do me a favour. Never have children".

    Travis: "That's too late, I already have three".

    Kitty: "It's a Rhinoceros".

    Kevin: "I don't get it".

    Kitty: "Republican by name".

    I'm not actually sure I get the meaning of what Kitty was trying to explain about Luther either.

    Sarah: "You're not wearing your ring".

    Joe: "Sarah I took it off a month ago".

    Luther: "What was that? Did you just say that Abraham Lincoln was gay?"

    Kitty: "No".

    This time last season Kitty, Kevin and Nora were also on a road trip to collect Justin. I wonder if this will happen next season again.

    Travis: "Man to man. Is there anyway you can get out of this wedding?"

    Robert: "No. I'm madly in love with her".

    Holly: "What's going on?"

    Sarah: "Rebecca's in confessional mode. Do you want to fill her in?"

    Rebecca: "It's nothing she doesn't already know".

    Lena mistook Saul for being gay after he didn't want to set up by her aunt in this episode. She's also a bit of a backgammon expert.

    Tommy: "It's been a while since someone said something nice to me".

    Sarah: "I know the feeling".

    Nora: "What are you trying to prove?"

    Justin: "That I'm still me".

    Standout music: "Born" by Over The Rhine and "Ashes And Wines" by A Fine Frenzy. Both were excellent choices for this episode.

    Justin: "Last time I was stoned I didn't know what I was feeling".

    Robert: "That's the point of being stoned".

    Justin: "Now I know what I'm missing".

    Nora: "This whole thing makes me want to move to France".

    Robert: "It would be so helpful if you would".

    Chronology: A few days after "Home Front".

    This is another show that is off to a flying start. "An American Family" continues to demonstrate the sheer honesty of the program with the way the writers are handling Justin's plight. Here's hoping this array of excellence will be a constant this season.moreless
  • Whilst Tommy and Sarah deal with their marital problems at home, Kitty, Kevin and Nora go on a road trip to collect an injured Justin who finds returning home even harder than last time. Meanwhile the Walker's big mouths cause big problems for Robert.moreless

    This is seriously turning into one of my absolute favourite shows, with each episode just getting better and better. This episode, like the last, blew me away. Once again, the show managed to mix the drama and comedy so well. Its so rare that you laugh out loud and cry all in one episode.

    The Good:

    • Justin returning home full stop- its so great to have him back

    • The scene in the hospital, the light and witty banter, the loving hugs and sentiments and when Justin's face lit up when he saw his family, it was the cutest moment ever. I loved this whole heart warming scene. Ditto for the scene when he came home

    • Dealing with Justin's trauma over the war- they made this so realistic, Justin pushing his family away and only confiding in Robert, another war veteran. Even though I've never been to war (obviously!), I know that coming home to the nest can be difficult and the instant reaction is to push family away especially over-meddling mothers.

    • The last scene with Nora and Justin in pain- so heartbreaking. Both Dave Annable and Sally Field were excellent in this.

    • Kitty/Kevin/Nora's rant at that bloated conservative- whooo!! After what he was saying about them it was perfectly justified and oh-so-funny! And what does it really matter is Lincoln was gay Seriously!

    • Robert's defending of his mad family-in law- I'm so glad he did that, it was a perfect way to clean up Kitty's PR mess.

    • Some sweet Holly/Rebecca moments and giving a friends for Rebecca to sound off against

    The Bad:

    • Not enough on Tommy and Julia- I hope this doesn't go back to the usual sidelining of the pair that we had last season

    • Joe getting back with his old wife- I hate that they're painting him to be the bad guy, he was so sweet last year. Its sad to see both, especially Sarah hurting though

    • Rebecca telling Sarah about Joe- secrets always have to come out in this family but Sarah was right that it was selfish to tell her (and stupid in my opinion, why dig up the history if its irrelevant now?)

    • The funeral fake-out at the beginning, they're getting old now and when the episode synopsis already says that Justin is coming home, it's a bit redundant.

    The ???:

    • Rebecca's friend Lena getting a job with Tommy- in TV-land a man hiring a pretty young blonde girl usually means that something will happen between them, I hope they don't lead Tommy down his father's path.

    Another top-notch episode from Brothers and Sisters, I enjoyed it immensely!moreless
Phill Lewis

Phill Lewis

Justin's Doctor

Guest Star

Tom McGowan

Tom McGowan

Luther Reeves

Guest Star

Sonya Leslie

Sonya Leslie

Private 1st Class Mandeville

Guest Star

John Pyper-Ferguson

John Pyper-Ferguson

Joe Whedon

Recurring Role

Emily Rose

Emily Rose

Lena Branigan

Recurring Role

Denis O'Hare

Denis O'Hare

Travis March

Recurring Role

Trivia, Notes, Quotes and Allusions


  • TRIVIA (1)

    • Goof: Kitty tells the radio talk show host that her mother Nora is a Gold Star Mother, which isn't true. Gold Star Mothers have lost a military child in war.

  • QUOTES (19)

    • Robert: Oh, um, you know, about the other thing... my answer... when soldiers stop dying.
      Staffer: What?
      Robert: That's when I'll stop going to funerals.

    • Robert: Look, I don't share many of my future mother-in-laws views either... but she's not un-patriotic and she's certainly not treasonous, your words.
      Luther: And I stand by them.
      Robert: Well I'm not going to give you an education on discourse, but if you think that I came on here today to distance myself from Kitty or her liberal mother or her gay brother or my gay brother for that matter, well Luther you have got to be nuts.
      Luther: Well that's extremely disappointing because I believe America's looking for a leader who has the courage to stand up for what's right, and to point out what's wrong.
      Robert: And I think America's looking for somebody who knows the difference. And the only way to do that is by listening, not antagonizing. My future in-laws are very different from me, and very different from each other, and so they are, by definition, my greatest asset, because they remind me that we are all part of a larger American family, and that no one is irrelevant, and no one should be ignored. And Luther, I think the bigger question is not why I feel a part of them, but why you don't.

    • Robert: (to Kitty) I know this is going to come as a surprise to you, but I agree with Nora.

    • Justin: Everyone here, they don't know what I saw, they don't know what people are capable of. I'm just not sure I'll be able to forget.
      Robert: Don't. You shouldn't. That's how we honor the dead.

    • Justin: Last time I came home I was so stoned I didn't know what I was feeling.
      Robert: That's the point of being stoned.
      Justin: Now I know what I'm missing.

    • Robert: (to Justin) We're raising money, your sister's raising hell. Same old same old.

    • Nora: (outside the house after arriving home with Justin) Kitty, just go inside and tell everybody to calm down. The last thing Justin needs right now is a lot of excitement.
      Kevin: Mom, he hurt his leg, okay? He doesn't have the vapors.

    • Doctor: (about Justin) He is completely against taking any narcotics.
      Kevin: Well, is that stupid or brave?
      Doctor: He's a good soldier, so it's both. And though commendable, it is completely unrealistic.

    • Nora: (to member of hospital staff) If I don't get my badge in two seconds, I'm going to start screaming obscenities that will make every sailor in this hospital blush.
      Kitty: I'm afraid she means it.

    • Sarah: (after Rebecca told her the truth about the kiss with Joe) It might have made a difference if you had told me then. Now you're just telling me to make yourself feel better, which is the worst kind of selfishness.
      Holly: What's going on?
      Sarah: Rebecca's in a confessional mood. Want to fill your mom in?
      Rebecca: It's nothing she doesn't already know. (walks out)
      Sarah: (to Holly) Apparently, your dear deflowered little girl would have screwed my husband in a heartbeat. You two. You deserve each other.
      Holly: Really. Well maybe you got what you deserve, too.

    • Travis: Man to man, is there any chance you could get out of this wedding?
      Robert: (thinks) No. I'm madly in love with her.

    • Luther: The American people are entitled to know that the Lincoln Bedroom might very well be used for sexual acts forbidden in the Bible.
      Kevin: Yeah, well that wouldn't be the first time, Lucifer.
      Luther: What was that? Did you just say Abraham Lincoln was gay?
      Kitty: No!
      Kevin: (at the same time as Kitty) Yes!
      Nora: Just pick up a recent history book Luther, if you can read.
      Luther: Well, there you go, America. The McCallister campaign thinks Abe Lincoln was gay. Reach into your pockets and take out some pennies. Look at that regal profile. Now are you going to stand for his legacy to be slandered by these people?
      Kitty: You know what, Luther, you have twisted every word I've said. You and the lunatic fringe that listens to this drivel have ruined this country and subverted conservatism into the ideology of hate.

    • Sarah: You know, the really sad thing is, I loved you, Joe. I mean, I really loved you. Nothing's ever going to make you love yourself. I wish I had known that when we met, because I wouldn't have wasted my time.
      Joe: It is exactly because I do love myself that I am admitting this is over. I'm sorry that you think it was a waste of time.

    • Rebecca: (about a picture of William) Every time I see that picture, I just want to wipe that smile right off of his face.
      Lena: At least your mom has decent taste in men, you know, good-looking, wealthy...
      Rebecca: Married.

    • Kitty: Travis, do me a favor. Never have any children.
      Travis: Sorry, it's too late, I already have three.

    • Travis: I don't want to sound callous.
      Robert: That never stopped you before.

    • Nora: You certainly are being a secretive young lady.
      Rebecca: I guess I really am a part of this crazy family.
      Nora: Yeah, I guess so.

    • (Holly walks in the front door)
      Holly: I've been trying to call you. Do you wanna talk about what happened?
      Rebecca:What's there to talk about? I let everyone believe he was a lecherous old man. And I've got what I've deserved.
      Holly: Oh, sweetie. Joe is not old and that marriage was already beyond repair.
      Rebecca:Mom, why do you do that? Why do you let me off the hook like that?
      Holly: Because who am I to judge you? But there are consequences to everything, I know, and I'm sorry you're feeling them!

    • Kitty: Are you in pain?
      Justin: No, no. They gave me a nerve block, so I don't feel anything from the waist down.
      Kevin: Great. At least the female population of Pasadena will be safe for a while.

  • NOTES (3)

    • International Episode Titles:
      Czech Republic - Americká rodina (American Family)

    • Original International Air Dates:
      Norway: Wednesday, October 1, 2008 9.40 pm on TV2
      Latin America: Wednesday, October 1, 2008 on Universal Channel
      Czech Republic: Sunday, November 28, 2010 on Universal Channel

    • Music:
      Born by Over the Rhine
      Ashes and Wine by A Fine Frenzy
      White Bird by KT Tunstall
      No Expectations by The Rolling Stones