Brothers & Sisters

Season 3 Episode 2

Book Burning

Aired Sunday 10:00 PM Oct 05, 2008 on ABC
out of 10
User Rating
134 votes

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Episode Summary

Tensions rise between Kevin and Nora; meanwhile Holly entrusts Rebecca with full access to her two million dollar trust, which makes Rebecca question her mother's motive. Kitty & McCallister meet with a social worker, who then joins them for a 'typical' Walker dinner. Holly begins to investigate a former Walker's 'Secret'!A book that Kitty wrote is discovered by her family and they all read it,angry about the way they were potrayed in the book they mess up the meeting with the social worker which could possibly destroy Kitty and Robert's chances of having kids.Robert gets angry and raises his voice at his family especially Nora.moreless

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  • Filter Written by Sherri Cooper-Landsman And Jennifer Levin Directed by Laura Innes

    Kitty: "Look, Sarah said that everybody is going to be on their best behaviour".

    Robert: "Great, so we're all on the same boat – mad at you and pretending we're not".

    Well, given that Kitty spent a reasonable amount of time being furious with Sarah in the opening episode, maybe it's a little fair that we get an episode where everyone else is reasonably pissed off with her. Okay, not really but this is one of those episodes where you can see both sides to the argument.

    Like many people, the idea of publishing a book is something I would like to eventually get round to doing. Unlike Kitty however, I don't plan to write anything about my family life or the trials of being knee deep in a political campaign but that's probably good seeing as I've no actual experience in the latter.

    Yes, Kitty has decided to turn her attentions to writing a book and as plots go, I'm all for it. Anything that defines Kitty career wise outside of Robert has to be a good thing for both the show and the two characters alike. Naturally though, this causes more trouble than it should.

    First off all, Kitty made two monumentally silly blunder – not telling everyone she was going to write a book on them and the fact that she was reckless enough to leave it lying around for a family member to see. You just know when one Walker stumbles across a big secret, the rest find out within the space of minutes.

    The first person to uncover Kitty's prose is Kevin and judging by his reaction, I just knew this wasn't going to be a fun reading experience for him. In fact his reaction is pretty comical but it's nothing compared to the rest of them.

    Nora, who's been on such good terms with Kitty just of late, is the second person to uncover the not really damning manuscript and she really flips out. Being described as a 1950's housewife is hardly confidence boosting but maybe she should be glad that she wasn't compared to Bree from Desperate Housewives.

    When Justin makes the mistake of trying to defend Kitty, Nora reveals the pages that have her describe him as impulsive and critical of his decision to join the army. To be fair, it's here that I actually do agree with Kitty – Justin is impulsive and his decision to join the army was pretty reckless but I still why he'd be so hacked off at Kitty for expressing those thoughts on paper.

    Kevin is more or less described as cynic while Tommy is seen as a 1950's Alpha male as such. In fact, Sarah seems to have gotten the least damning of thoughts, even if there is a dig about her attempts to juggle both motherhood and being a career woman but compared to her siblings, she handles the book far better.

    Robert on the other hand was the first person to be aware that a book was surfacing but it was halfway through the episode before Kitty admitted that she was the one who writing it. His reaction wasn't that great either but compared to the Walkers, he at least kept his annoyance to a minimum.

    Finding out about Kitty publishing a book on the election and the Walker family also meant the subplot about the adoption. Seeing as we didn't get much about this in "Glass Houses", it was good to see something on that and Carla made for one fairly hard lady to impress.

    When Kitty and Robert weren't contradicting each other on issues of travel or the ownership of firearms, the other obstacle in the way were a bunch of wrathful Walkers. Come on, there was no way that Sarah's warning for everyone to button it was actually going to work and true to form it didn't.

    Snide description comments from each family member was funny despite the immaturity of it but it was Nora single handed efforts in getting rid of Carla that managed to make everything spill out into the open. Naturally everyone got to have a go at Kitty but it was Robert who really shocked everyone.

    I know there were some viewers out there who might have thought that Robert might have stepped a line with Nora but I have to agree with him. He was as annoyed about Kitty writing a book behind his back as the Walkers were but he kept his feelings out of it because the adoption process mattered more.

    Nora has a right to be angry with Kitty but she should've tabled his feelings until after the dinner. The Walkers knack for a Mob mentality when it comes to confrontations can be wearing at times and while Kitty should've consulted everyone about her writing, what she wrote did a) have an element of truth to it and b) wasn't intentionally malicious.

    It was also pretty obvious that no-one in the family actually read the full manuscript either because I'm pretty sure that Kitty would've written plenty of stuff about her family that would've made them smile rather than glare daggers at her. Of course the resolution to this story however is good.

    When it comes to Robert, he admits to the book being a good thing but because of it, Kitty now has to look for a new line of work. I did say earlier on in the review that the idea of Kitty having a career independent of Robert was a good idea and I meant it. This book plot is a good move as far as I'm concerned.

    On the Nora side of things, we at least had her apologising and while I didn't like her overreacting so much, I did understand why she was angry. That being said, I never really got the impression that Kitty didn't take her seriously but I think a part of those feelings are likely to kick start another arc with Nora.

    Nora wasn't the only one who was feeling left out in the cold. Holly might enjoy playing Queen Bee at Ojai but it's got to be very lonely where you're working in a company where nearly everyone hates your guts and also to learn that you weren't the only mistress your one true love had on the side. In fact, neither Holly nor Nora should be surprised if William had an entire harem at this point.

    Holly tries to remedy the William situation by grilling Saul for information on Connie as best she can. Luckily Saul has long since wised up to Holly and pretty much tells her to get lost in a glorious scene. I thought Nora telling Holly about Ryan last week was satisfying but Saul's little moment comes close to usurping it.

    Of course that doesn't really deter Holly. She's clearly on a mission to humiliate the Walkers as best she can and hires an old friend by the end of the episode to track down Ryan. For Holly, this is a much welcomed step into villain territory, seeing as the writers have probably realised that viewers just will not sympathise with the woman.

    However by doing this, she further vilifies herself to the audience and knowing Nora, it won't be long before Holly has more than one of Sarah's cakes thrown into her face. Now that she's actually trying to hurt the Walkers, she is slightly becoming more interesting to watch.

    Her lack of concern about Kevin being fired was one thing but acting like a total **** to Sarah was another. Sarah might have made mistakes but Holly shouldn't be so quick to act smug. Sarah was right to rub in her face about Rebecca hating her guts and Ryan's existence. Holly really doesn't have anyone in her life.

    She also proved that she wasn't above trying to buy Rebecca's affections by giving her the two million in a trust fund. It's nice to see that Rebecca had the good sense to question her mother's motives; she also had the smarts not to refuse the money either, especially when she was able to put it to some use.

    Rebecca's clearly a better person than her mother because not only does she admit to Justin about feeling weird accepting the money; she also decides that Nora deserves it more than her. If that isn't a wonderful slap in the face to Holly, I don't know what is but more importantly, it's nice that Rebecca and Nora's rapport is still intact.

    Also while I'm still not on board with her and Justin as a couple, I do appreciate the fact that there's an element of weirdness between the two of them when it comes to them having sex. For the time being, we're not going to see any nookie with the pair but I reckon that close to sweeps that we will.

    On a final note, there's also the Ryan issue. Nora clearly doesn't want to be pestered but Kevin seems eager to meet his latest sibling and Kitty is more at least with pretending that he doesn't exist. Nora on the other hand actually doesn't want Ryan to become collateral damage in the way that Rebecca's presence back in the first season did. Weren't they the good old days?

    Also in "Book Burning"

    Rebecca seems to have changed the colour that she was using to decorate her apartment back in the last episode.

    Saul (to Holly, re Ryan): "This is driving you crazy, isn't it? Good! Now you know how Nora felt about you".

    Although I'm glad that Saul got a great moment in this episode, I am hoping for more on his coming out this season.

    Kitty: "If you love me you'll be there early".

    Kevin: "If you love me you won't sit me next to Tommy".

    Nora: "My criminal record is now public knowledge!"

    Justin: "You know, it's just a misdemeanour Mom".

    Nora: "Says the drug addict".

    Speaking of Nora's bout with pot, any chance we'll Emily Craft back on this show? Nora could do with letting her hair down and Emily's perfect for that.

    Holly (to Rebecca): "When you're ready to have a real relationship with me, I'll be here for you but this is not why I'm giving it to you".

    Robert (to Carla): "We tell each other everything. No secrets, no lies".

    Kitty: "Just love".

    This is the second episode to be directed by ER actress Laura Innes. That show is paired with on More4 on Thursday nights.

    Nora (to Justin/Sarah): "I don't believe in book burning but this book should be burned".

    Kitty (realising): "Oh my God. You told them about the …"

    Kevin: "They learned about your treachery all by themselves".

    Kitty's book is going by the title of "A Family In Politics" which is obviously appropriate for both Robert and the Walkers in equal measure. Robert also labelled it as "smart", "human" and "relevant", which are good descriptions for the show itself.

    Kitty: "Well, everybody dig in, don't be shy".

    Nora: "I've been called many things. Shy isn't one of them".

    Nora: "I am considerate. I consider all my children all the time. And you don't know what it's like to feel betrayed by one of them".

    Robert: "No, no, I know how you feel. I know how all of you feel because the minute you have a feeling you start spewing with complete disregard for anybody else like a bunch of children. You're adults, get a filter".

    Kevin is struggling for clients now that Tommy's fired him from Ojai. I'm guessing career woes are heading his way.

    Kitty (to Robert): "You stood up for me and now you're cleaning? What are you, gunning for "Husband of the Year"?"

    Rebecca (re Holly): "If I take the money, I'm just as bad as her".

    Justin: "Wow".

    Standout music: Coldplay's "Lost" played at the end of the episode quite nicely, so I'm going with that.

    Nora (to Kitty): "And it wasn't the words, let's face it, you've called me worse. I guess I had just started to believe that you valued me and you looked up to me and then I read your description of me. And it felt like you still just saw me as the person who made your lunches".

    No Scotty in this episode, Joe was mentioned, Julia barely had any lines and eight months have passed since "Holy Matrimony".

    Taking the issue of writing to an interesting place, there are plenty of prose worthy of a "Book Burning" but Kitty's manuscript in spite of the initial trouble it cause isn't one I'd like to see get acquainted with fire. A very solid and engaging episode.moreless
  • Yet another good episode from the Walker family....

    In this episode of Brothers & Sisters the following happens. Justin is worried about his relationship with Rebecca as they haven't slept together yet.

    Robert hears a rumour that someone is written a book about his Presidential campaign, only he doesn't know that it is Kitty. Kitty has the Social Worker coming over. All of the family turn up for the evening meal, after they have all read Kitty's book. Rebecca is given her trust fund by her mother. Justin & Rebecca talk about their feelings and decide to wait a while before they sleep together. At the end of the episode Rebecca gives Nora her trust fund money (all $2million of it), for her to give to Ryan. But Nora says that she'll hold it for Rebecca for when she changes her mind. Kitty & Robert have passed with the Social Workers and are now on the road to getting the child which they both long for. Robert tells Kitty that if she published her book then she will have to resign from her job.moreless
  • Really a classic episode!

    This is really a very classic episode for all the ages to come. As another social dinner to get the Walker family together. But this time, they are with a social worker. Who will be sitting with them to see if they are a fit family. A lot of tension as they shoved food down their mouths. Along with lots of being nervous. Around the social worker. A little fight starts to ensure. Really a great episode with emotions, wit, and charm. Despite not including Rebecca, still, season three. Is on it's way to being one of the best season to come. Can't wait for more!moreless
  • The Walkers gather for another classic family dinner.

    All things considered, this was definitely one of the best episodes ever of Brothers & Sisters. The whole story line about Kitty's book was great. It absolutely hilarious watching everyone flip out about what Kitty wrote about them in her book. Everyone was great in this episode, especially Justin, Kevin and Nora. The family dinner with the social worker was absolutely hilarious. It had me in stitches. It was definitely one of the best of all the family dinner scenes that they've ever had in the entire history of Brothers & Sisters. I especially loved the part where everyone started stuffing food in their mouths in a panic when Nora and Kitty started fighting. I was really worried that I wouldn't ever be able to watch Brothers & Sisters now that they de-Walkered Rebecca, but so far I have been absolutely loving season three. There were only two things that I didn't really like about this episode. The first being that Scotty wasn't in this episode. I really missed not having him around. The other thing that I didn't like about this episode was the part where Robert lashes out at Nora when they were having the family dinner with the social worker. I thought that he was way out of line, and I was so glad that Nora stood up to him. It was really nice seeing Nora realizing that she liked Kitty's book after all at the end of the episode. In closing, this was an extremely well written, well acted and well made episode of Brothers & Sisters from everyone involved, and I can't wait to watch the next episode of Brothers & Sisters.moreless
  • I'd like to see a quiet dinner with this family. Oh, no, wait, I wouldn't.

    As ever, a Walker family dinner is the stuff for wild antics and this was no exception. It was great seeing everyone react to how Kitty thought of them, even when she was right. I was impressed that Sarah actually took it calmly and tried to keep everyone in line which was commendable of her. The scene of Robert giving the speech while everyone reacted to the spicy food was good and how Nora got the social worker away was better. And I was so happy to see Robert finally stand up to Nora and tell them all to sound like grown-ups for a change.

    I also greatly enjoyed the scene of Saul and Holly at the beginning with Saul getting the killer burn of Holly now knowing how Nora felt learning about her. That Holly tries to buy back Rebecca's love wasn't surprising but I loved Rebecca giving that money to Nora, a great warm touch. Seeing Holly looking for the new kid is a bit troubling but it's matched by Robert letting Kitty know how much he loves her...even while telling her she can't publish the book. Overall, a nice comedy episode that still shows the way the family bonds even when fighting which is why we love them.moreless

Trivia, Notes, Quotes and Allusions


  • TRIVIA (0)

  • QUOTES (6)

    • Nora: (referring to her short stories) They are the only things that I've done in a very long time that aren't all about you kids. I need to feel that there's more to me, that I'm... talented, and important.
      Kitty: Mom you're the, you're the most important person in this family.
      Nora: No, your dad was the one you respected and admired, I was just the one who drove you back and forth to ballet class. And then you started the adoption process, and you wanted my advice and my help and my chicken paprika.
      Kitty: And then you read the book.
      Nora: It wasn't the words, let's face it, you've called me worse. I guess I had just started to believe that you valued me and you looked up to me and then I read your description of me. And it felt like you still just saw me as the person who made your lunches.

    • Nora: Well we aren't politicians, Robert, we're human beings. And we don't know how to hide our feelings and pretend that everything is all hunky dory.
      Robert: It's not pretending, it's being considerate.
      Nora: I am considerate. I consider all my children all the time. And you don't know what it's like to feel that you've been betrayed by one of them.
      Robert: No, no, I know how you feel, I know how all of you feel because the minute you have a feeling you start spewing with complete disregard for anybody else like a bunch of children. You're adults, get a filter.

    • Kitty: Look, Sarah said that everybody is going to be on their best behavior.
      Robert: Great, so we're all on the same boat-- mad at you and pretending we're not.

    • Kevin: Oh, don't even get me started. I'm the obsessive cynic hiding behind identity politics. You know why I'm obsessive? I'm a gay man living in a country where I can't legally marry the guy I love in 48 states.

    • Nora: My criminal record is now public knowledge!
      Justin: You know, it's just a misdemeanor Mom.
      Nora: Says the drug addict.

    • Kitty: I can't believe that we are even having this conversation. Why don't we just open up a foster home for all of Dad's illegitimate offspring?
      Nora: There's only one. Please. God!

  • NOTES (5)