Brothers & Sisters

Season 2 Episode 2

An American Family

Aired Sunday 10:00 PM Oct 07, 2007 on ABC

Episode Fan Reviews (14)

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out of 10
203 votes
  • 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.
  • 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 week
  • 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.
  • 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.
  • 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.

    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!
  • Wow, I am speechless, this has got to be one of the best episodes of Brothers and Sisters I have ever seen.

    An American Family. I was completely blown away by this episode, once again it tops my favourite TV viewing of the week. I have so many favourite scenes from this episode, but I would explode if I mentioned them all. One's that stand out are Kevin trying to open Sarah's jammed window, and Kitty on the phone to an outspoken republican radio host who makes fun of the Walkers, oh that was so funny! But the one that topped off a great episode was the ending scene with Nora holding Justin who was in severe pain after his nerve-block wore off. I always love these kind of moments where her children's weaknesses bring out the strengths in Nora which we love so much. :)

    Once again we're seeing similar scenes from Season 1 with the 2nd episode of the season beginning with a funeral, with sad music and no dialogue-- just like William's funeral, but thankfully it wasn't Justin's funeral, and Kitty was just being overdramatic by crying, thank God! :D

    The whole Sarah/Joe/Rebecca storyline is beginning to annoy me, was it possible for Becca to keep her mouth shut? It's not like Sarah and Joe's marriage can be saved beyond this point, and as Sarah said, she only told her to make herself feel better, and too late. But a big yay and cheer for Holly, standing up for her daughter. I've always loved Holly, being the fiesty character of the show, this was wonderful to see her once again stand up for her daughter, it proves how much Holly loves Becca. Big thumbs up to Patricia Wettig in this episode, and also Dave Annable and Sally Field. :)

    Basically, if you just want a summary here, it was yet another awesome episode, every plot was exciting and interesting in it's own ways, and the actors truly shined.
  • Why the show is awesome!

    The show is awesome for many reasons, the acting, writing, and Sally Field as I have always loved her despite the Emmy speech she gave. First, you have to feel for the Walkers as Justin comes home after being injured in Iraq. He tries to adjust back to homelife. Second, Tommy is trying to adjust as a father. And seems he can't do anything right in his wife's eyes. Rebecca lets the cat out of the bag to Sara about she & Joe but it is too late. As Sara is separated from Joe and Joe is back with his ex. Senator Robert is getting to know the family despite them getting on his nerves. Very great show and hope it will last for many more years to come.
  • And the story goes on...

    So guess what... Justin is back! Well, he never really was one of my favorite characters, but if that means less time for that annoying Julia then bring it on! This episode was like most Brothers & Sisters episodes, had that very amazing emotional part of it that just caught my attention, and of course I'm greatfull for that as always.

    A radio show host is pushing Kitty's, Kevin's and Nora's buttons and they decide to fight back. Saul is getting closer to coming out, while Julia is still being a very annoying person as her relationship with Tommy crumbles. Sara and Joe are having a huge problem with their relationship and McCallister is forming a stronger one with the Walkers. Meanwhile, Rebecca, other than giving her friend a job at the viniard, also is sorting out her problems concerning her scandal with Joe.

    Episode Quote (courtesy of Robert): My future in-laws are very different from me and different from each other, so they are by definition, my greatest asset. Because they remind em that we are all part of a larger American family. And that no one is irrelevant and no one should be ignored and I think the bigger question is not why I feel apart of them, but why you don't.
  • Justin Returns :D

    It just gets interesting with every episode. First of all I'm thrilled to see Justin back although I feel bad about his injury and how hard it must be for him to cope with it. Joe is such an a$$! I'm not even pissed off at Rebecca for flirting back it's just the fact that he went back to his ex wife but whatever. Sarah's a Walker so I know she'll definitely get through this but I just feel so bad for the kids. Nora is always hilarious so of course she made me laugh in this episode with her Nora attitude especially with the whole Kitty fighting the radio scene haha. Loved this episode and can't wait until the next.
  • Kevin, Kitty and Nora go on a road trip to pick up Justin from the military hospital.

    This was another amazing episode of Brothers & Sisters. This episode was very well written with the perfect blend of drama and comedy. The road trip with Kevin, Kitty and Nora was absolutely hilarious. Sarah's story line was very interesting, and Rachael Griffiths was great in this episode. I especially loved the scene between Kevin and Sarah when Kevin was helping her with the window and when they were having identical phone conversations with Nora and Kitty was also really funny. I loved Justin this episode. The whole cast was great in this episode. All in all, this was another amazing episode of Brothers & Sisters, and from what I've seen so far of this season, season two is going to be really, really good.
  • The beginning of this episode nearly broke my heart!

    Kitty and Senator Robert McCallister are at a funeral at the beginning of the episode. With the US Army, but luckily for the Walker's it isn't because of Justin. He is coming home this episode and Nora and Kitty is so excited. His leg isn't okay, but Kevin, Nora and Kitty drives up to San Diego to meet him. But they stopped on the way because of a radio show that discusses the Walkers on live radio. Robert gets very upset after hearing Kitty and Kevin talking to the radio host about gay presidents. Rebecca finally comes clean about the kiss with Joe, because she promised Justin to do that, before he came back from Iraq.
    Justin returns back home with a wheel chair, but refuses to use it before he's getting in. He even invites Robert to his "reunion", to talk about how hard it was.
  • Justin's return home is dificult for the family. Rebecca confesses her secret about Joe to Sara, just as they fall apart. Tommy deals with fatherhood. Kitty and the Walkers puts a strain on Robert's campaign.

    This one will go down as one of the best.

    I think the character of Justin has become a fan favorite, and his return was going to be an emotional one. Much like in Season 1, Kitty, Kevin, and Nora made the trip to bring Justin home, and this is where things went south for the Walker's three most outspoken and quirky. Kitty calling into a very conservative radio station after the host blasted the Walker/McCallister clan, and Nora's reaction reminded me of one of my favorite lines from a movie, in The American President, Annette Bening said "How do you have patience for people who claim they love America, but clearly can't stand Americans?" The whole scene was just great.

    Rebecca finally confessed to Sara that it was she who made advances towards Joe and not the other way around. As Sara said, this was too little, too late, it was really as Sara and Joe are drifting further apart, Joe is back with his ex-wife and no longer wearing a ring, but he is still family, well he was close with Justin, and despite everything I'm sure Justin would have wanted him there.

    Poor Tommy it seems he cannot do anything right as a father in his wife's eyes. Next week's previews make it seem that Julia is leaving him, but why? I think there will be an incident, cause so far nothing too extreme to make her leave him.

    Back to Justin, so he will be fine, he has both legs, but he will need pain pills, which is a problem since he is a recovering addict. I feel like Nora could manage this though, I think that Justin is well enough to not get addicted, but then again he said that last time he came back he was so high from the war. The scene where Nora came to comfort him after he spent the day claiming he did not need her and was fine.

    A very powerful episode, and I think it was one that reminded us why we watch.
  • We got the family back together!

    Ok, I confess, I'm a spoiler junkie. I knew going in that Justin was going to be all right. That didn't make the episode any less dramatic however.
    Let's start with the car ride. Walker road trips are always an adventure...maybe they should all tour with Robert on his campaign. All of them on a bus--imagine the possibilities! Nora's indignation at the radio host's characterization of her as a terroristic harpy was priceless. And got to love Kevin insinuating that Honest Abe was gay (BTW--I live near Lincoln Highway, and I can't imagine too many people around here giving up their day to throw pennies at a Senator). I was happy to see Kitty standing up for her family rather than taking the easy road and ignoring it.
    Sarah and Joe...did I miss something? Has he always been such a jerk? The show from the start set them up as a couple having problems, but he took off his ring a month ago and is getting it on with his ex-wife, while he and Sarah were seperated and supposedly trying to work things out? Glad to see Rebecca come clean about the infamous kiss, but Sarah was right, to wait until it was too late to make a difference was just another selfish act on Rebecca's part.
    And poor Justin. Trying to deal with this injury without benefit of pain meds--admirable but stupid. Such a sweet and touching moment between him and Nora at the end.
    Another great episode and already looking forward to next week!
  • Amazing Amazing episode. The writing, direction, and especially the acting just blew it away. One of the Best shows on television.

    That was an absolutely amazing episode! I am so glad they didn't drag out Justin's return until the last 10 minutes. Dave Annabel, Sally Field, and Calista Flockhart were fantastic. At the end, Justin's pain was heart wrenching, it was hard to watch. When Kevin, Nora, and Kitty went to the hospital and met Justin the acting was so well done. The other storylines also panned out nicely and weren't distracting at all. Robert and Justin's talk was extremely well written ...and appropriate for two soldiers who could relate to each other. I loved Robert's smack down on that radio idiot, i'd vote for him! And Kitty was funny when she tried to yell at him. Robert and Kitty are great together, I hope they don't mess it up.

    I'm looking forward to watching Justin deal with his injury and emotional shakeup. With these talented writers it should be a real treat. I admire his character so much for trying to go it without meds.