Brothers & Sisters

Season 3 Episode 1

Glass Houses

Aired Sunday 10:00 PM Sep 28, 2008 on ABC
out of 10
User Rating
157 votes

By Users

Episode Summary

The Walkers go to the beach for a family vacation but things turn ugly; meanwhile, Kevin arranges a getaway weekend for him and Scotty but things take a turn when a face from the past contacts him.

Trouble awaits the Walkers as one of them get fired and one get blackmailed!moreless

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  • Season premiere

    A great episode to start season 3. The scene in the very beginning showing the commercial-like Walker family is really funny and it's releaving to find out that it was Nora who wrote it not Sarah:P The real letter Sarah writes in the end is much more like her. Justin and Rebecca are together and I think they're good together. The family finds out about them as well as finding out about the existance of another sibling-Ryan. I don't know yet if I like that storyline much, probably depends what's gonna happen next and if we're gonna see this Ryan. Tommy decides to fire Kevin and this makes their relationship difficult-it's gonna make a good storyline I think. On the whole I think it was a good idea to start season 3 with an episode where the whole family was together cause that's the true meaning of the series itself.moreless
  • Now Is Not The Time For Humility Written by David Marshall Grant And Molly Newman Directed by Tucker Gates

    Robert (to Sarah): "Nobody can slide the knife between the ribs quite like the people who love us".

    There are plenty of similar quotes I could've used to describe the common theme in this episode but I think Robert's sarcastic remark to Sarah in the final quarter of this opening episode probably conveys everything really.

    Three season premieres in and there's an overwhelming sense of familiarity and this opener not only has to deal with the Ryan reveal from last season's finale but there's a series of other problems to contend with as well.

    First off all, there are Kitty and Robert's plans to adopt and this episode opens on an incredibly cheesy note with Sarah reciting some maudlin letter of recommendation. Aside from the desperate need to vomit, the Sarah that we've come to know would never write something as vomit inducing as this.

    Which means the only person who would have written this dreck has to be Nora, right? We've bared witness to her writing back in Season One with "Dora" and the sentiments in the letter just reeks of her handiwork. Essentially what Nora writes in that letter might be true and sincere but her wording is just downright terrible and kills the tease for me.

    As for Sarah, she's been way too stressed with work to have actually wrote the letter that Kitty especially assigned her and Nora makes a point of telling Sarah to familiarise herself with the crappy prose in question. The only thing is you already get the impression that Kitty's aware of Nora being the culprit.

    Notice how she didn't really flinch when she walked in on Nora, Sarah and Kevin talking about Ryan and then changing the subject. I know Kitty tends to be self obsessed at times but even I thought she knew more than she was letting on during that scene.

    Then there's the lunch scene with her and Sarah. Kitty probed her sister about the letter and Sarah typically tried to change the subject by venting about her renewed hatred of Holly. Just the way, Kitty looked at her; you could tell that she was waiting for the right moment to bust her for not scribing the letter.

    The right moment did present itself when Sarah and Kitty were at the Laguna house with the rest of the Walkers. Sarah really should've came clean earlier on, seeing as her main thing in this episode was try and tell the truth about a variety of different topics surrounding the family.

    Of course, while I can understand that Kitty might have felt hurt that Sarah didn't write the letter, I did think she overreacted too much. Sarah should've been more honest in telling her that she didn't have the time but it did feel like Kitty was taking it too personally.

    Also compared to everything else that was unfolding in this episode, the letter just didn't seem as important to me as it probably should have. Worse still, even Robert who should have the more objective approach made Sarah feel rotten over the letter too but he did at least point out to Kitty that she conceals her worries a little better.

    Now this is something about Kitty I can relate to. I can sometimes put on a brave face, so therefore people often think I have fewer problems than I already do and while I do find that annoying, I still think that Kitty was too hard with Sarah. The scene at the door was really painful because to me, Sarah (who then did write a predictably heartfelt letter of recommendation) was like a puppy that was repeatedly getting kicked around here.

    When Kitty wasn't venting about the lack of trust, Nora was also in a particularly sour mood with her as well. Sarah and Kevin did the right thing in "Prior Commitments" by telling Nora of Ryan's existence and it was only right for Sarah to want to tell everyone else. Now Nora might have been right as well in not wanting to rock the boat with Ryan, because I'm not even sure I want Ryan drama right now on the show either but given that the Walkers cannot keep a secret to save their lives, was she really that stupid in thinking this was going to stay hidden?

    Naturally in the midst of a weekend vacation in Kevin's boss's house did it get revealed. Justin's initial reaction of Sarah being off her trolley was nicely silenced by Kevin actually producing details on Ryan in order to get everyone to believe in her but even Kevin was hostile with Sarah after things imploded.

    Of course the breakfast meal the next day then just had no-one virtually talking to each other and Nora making a point of Sarah admitting she was wrong. For once, I really did want to scream at Nora. Maybe Sarah could've handled her series of reveals far better than she did but everyone really reacted too harshly towards her.

    However when she wasn't talking about Ryan or admitting to writing a recommendation letter, there was the debacle at Ojai. Merging with Holly and Tommy's winery was always going to be a nightmare and this episode certainly didn't waste any time in showing just how bad things could get.

    Due to finances going as badly as they could, Holly seemed gleeful in making some cuts. Both Saul and Sarah feared that they were due for the chop and probably right so but unfortunately it turned out that Kevin's legal firm were the ones getting the heave ho. If Tommy and Holly were loved characters before, then the episode is certainly going to bring a lot of hate their way.

    From a logical perspective, you can almost understand Tommy's reasons for having to effectively fire Kevin but it still doesn't make him any less of a dick and his attempts to smooth things over after Sarah blurts it out certainly fail to give Kevin any real solace in the episode. Still there is a good scene between Matthew Rhys and Balthazar Getty when Kevin issues Tommy with an ultimatum of sorts.

    However even though it's Tommy who was the one who actually came up with the idea of firing Kevin, Nora decides that it's Holly who deserves to take the heat for it. Personally given that Holly effectively lied about Rebecca being William's child, I was looking forward to a confrontation scene between her and Nora. This is where the episode doesn't disappoint.

    While Holly might have delighted in accusing Nora of seeking attention and constantly expecting things to go her own way, it is thankfully Nora who gets the better of Holly here. Revealing that William had a son with Connie might have been done with the utmost of spite but given how much of a pain in the ass that Holly has become, can you actually blame Nora?

    The only problem is that even though Holly is virtually unnecessary as a character, we're still stuck with her for the foreseeable future and because Nora took such delight in telling her about Ryan, I don't doubt for a second that Holly will find some way of repaying her. In other words, Nora might have actually shot herself in the foot in a bigger way than Kevin did by inviting his family to that Laguna beach house.

    Speaking of Kevin, when family fights aren't breaking out in his employer's home and he's not getting sacked by Tommy, there are some things in his life that are actually working. Namely his marriage to Scotty as the two of them seem to be in utter bliss but given that they haven't been married too long, I can see why.

    Although Scotty doesn't have a lot to do in this episode (although arguably more than Saul), he is the voice of reason during some of the more chaotic moments and his peace keeping ways do spark a more flirtatious side to Kevin's nature in at least brief scene in this episode.

    As for Justin, he and Rebecca make the feeblest of efforts to try and hide their relationship. However that pretty much got blown to smithereens when Paige and Cooper spotted them kissing and spied a blackmailing opportunity in sight. As Sarah succinctly told Kitty, her little angels have morphed into monsters and Justin is the one who pays for it dearly.

    Being blackmailed to fix a TV remote and get cans of coke is one thing but taking the heat when Cooper smashes a whale statue is another. Of course, Justin spied his own opportunity during everyone else's rowing to tell the family about him and Rebecca being a couple. Their lack of a reaction is surprisingly weird but then again, they barely flinched when Saul told them he was gay and that wasn't that long ago.

    Of course, Rebecca herself isn't best pleased with Justin being so casual in outing them as a couple but at least she seems more realistic about the fact that they're likely to be doomed. I know that can be said about any couple in general but given the somewhat more unconventional way these two became an item, I can't help but blame her for having fears. She should and so should Justin come to think.

    As for them being a couple, this is the part that is weird for me. What they're doing isn't incestuous given that they're not related but even several months after the writers revealed that Rebecca wasn't a Walker, it still doesn't sit that well her and Justin have become a couple. Maybe I'll get used to it throughout the season but I doubt I will. I just don't think this was the wisest of things to do with both characters. Also I can't help but wonder that what Rebecca said about being expendable if she becomes an ex-girlfriend like she has become an ex-sister is going to wind up becoming prophetic as well.

    Also in "Glass Houses"

    The opening scene replete with Rachel Griffiths' cheesy voice over also had a cheesy gathering of the Walkers.

    Robert (re birth mothers to Kitty): "Honey, we're asking someone to give us their child. There's no time for humility".

    How come Saul wasn't at the beach house with everyone else in this episode?

    Holly (to Nora): "I know this is hard for someone like you to stomach but the family circus is over".

    Scotty: "You know what? I'm glad we're hosting this. It's the least we can do after everything your family's done for us".

    Kevin: "You're so much nicer than I am. When I make partner, I'm going to buy you two whales, Moby and Dick".

    Is it me or does Paige seem a little old for something like Hannah Montana? I have a niece around the same age as her and she's more into the Twilight books.

    Nora (re Kevin): "Tommy, he's your brother".

    Tommy: "I know".

    Kevin: "You forgot, 'just married'".

    Scotty: "I forgot that little detail".

    So I've heard rumours on the set that Matthew Rhys and Balthazar Getty haven't been getting along on set due to the latter now dating Sienna Miller. How true are they?

    Sarah: "That's not fair. You don't even know what's been going on".

    Kitty: "Then why don't you tell me?"

    Kevin (re Ryan): "Mom, the cat is out of the bag".

    Nora: "Well, put it back in".

    Given the title of this episode, I'm actually a little disappointed that it wasn't one of windows that got smashed in this episode.

    Tommy: "Sarah, you are like a dog with a bone".

    Robert: "You make politics look tame".

    Kitty: "Yeah, let's go".

    Tommy (to Kevin): "I know this feels cold and ruthless but I'm doing this for the right reasons. I'm doing this for the family".

    In the UK this show has gone from Channel 4 to E4 to More4 in three seasons. It's bad commercially but being paired up with ER's final season can't hurt it rating wise.

    Sarah: "You're not gonna let me off the hook here, are you?"

    Robert: "Is that what you came here for?"

    Sarah: "You're the head of this family. I think you should decide".

    Nora: "Would've been nice if you came to that conclusion much sooner".

    The actor who's playing Kevin's boss is Mitch Pileggi, best known for his role as Agent Skinner on The X-Files.

    Kitty (re Sarah): "How can I rely on my sister if she doesn't know I have any problems?"

    Robert: "Maybe she doesn't. You put on a very brave face".

    Nora (re William): "He had another lover and they had a child together. A boy called Ryan".

    Holly: "I don't believe you".

    Nora: "Yes you do".

    Standout music: I'll go with REM's "Everybody Hurts" that plays at the end of this episode. I think it was painfully appropriate for Sarah and Kevin more than anyone else.

    Robert: "Is everything okay?"

    Kitty (reading Sarah's letter): "Yeah, it will be. I hope it will".

    Chronology: This episode takes place a month after the events of "Prior Commitments".

    Okay, "Glass Houses" probably isn't the best premiere episode this series has done, especially not compared to the very high standards of "Patriarchy" and "Home Front" and while that opening scene was terrible, there was certainly a lot in this episode that did hold my interest and even the Holly/Nora spat was fun to behold. Basically, these are my reasons for the high rating this episode is getting.moreless
  • Season 3 is off to a strong start

    We open with a reading of Sarah's letter for a birth mother, which she wrote on behalf of Kitty. We learn that Ohio foods have decided that they have to fire their legal's system which is basically Kevin and his company. Kevin is trying to track down who the family believe is their fathers child named Ryan. We learn that only Sarah, Nora and Kevin know about Ryan. Justin and Rebecca are keeping their relationship a secret until Cooper & Paige see them kissing. So they blackmail Justin. We learn that it was Tommy's idea to get rid of Kevin. Kitty's learns that Nora wrote Sarah's letter for her. Soon all the cats are out of the bags and everyone knows about Kevin loses Ohio and Justin & Rebecca's relationship. At the end of the episode Kitty tells Sarah that the problem in their relationship is trust.moreless
  • Snippy, snarky, catty ... this episode has all the things we love and gets s3 off to a cracking start.

    The first episode of the season is always a tough one and this ep really came through with the goods. It managed to reintroduce all the characters thoroughly, which is no mean feat, set up the tone of the season and also give us the feeling of a typical episode full of all the things we love, mainly being squabbles amongst the walker clan. The walker family pair off in conflict: kitty and sarah, tommy and kevin, justin and rebecca, nora and holly.

    And in between these main conflicts we are also reintroduced to their relationship dynamics - the look between kitty and robert at the laguna beach house when they were sitting on the couch was a nice touch, and the moment between kevin and scotty over pomegranate martinis was great.

    I thought the episode managed to very cleverly keep up the ongoing storylines, eg kitty trying to adopt, sarah struggling at work, while keeping them in the background, letting the fun stuff take centre stage.

    The highlight of the episode for me, where it really showed off its chops, was the morning after at laguna where sarah joins the breakfast table. Kevin is at his snippy best and the tension between everyone is palpable. It is commendable when just a look between characters or a flick of a newspaper says so much.

    But of course all this would be nothing if what the writers were touching on wasn't based in truth. The walkers may be family to the extreme but it is easy to recognise yourself in these characters, who hasn't been unintentionally slighted or felt misjudged? If this ep is anything to go by then we are in for a good season!moreless
  • Picks off where they left off!

    The third season didn't disappoint as the Walkers go on a vacation. Glad to see the family together. But this vacatio is anything but a day at the beach. It leads to family conflict, a family feud, and so many broken hearts and lives in the process. Justin was caught with his pants down after his affair with Rebecca was leaked out. While Kitty and Robert continue to have their infertility problems. Trying to adopt a child. Kevin & Scotty try to renew their relationship. But a blast from the past comes back to haunt them. Can't wait for the second show of the third season to come.moreless

Trivia, Notes, Quotes and Allusions


  • TRIVIA (1)

  • QUOTES (9)

    • Kitty: When do you stop expecting someone to change?

    • Scotty: You know what? I'm glad we're hosting this. It's the least we can do after everything your family's done for us.
      Kevin: You're so much nicer than I am. When I make partner, I'm going to buy you two whales. Moby and Dick.

    • Kitty: (to Robert, regarding Nora's letter) Get a load of this: a better grandmother I could not wish for your baby. A better friend I could not wish for the world. Okay, the world?!

    • Justin:(After being caught by Cooper and Paige, kissing Rebecca) Oh crap.

    • Robert: Nobody can slide the knife between the ribs quite like the people who love us.

    • Kevin: (telling his brothers and sisters about Ryan) Mom, the cat is out of the bag.
      Nora: Then put it back in!

    • Sarah: (voiceover) Dear birth mother. I'm Sarah walker. Kitty Walker McCallister is my sister. There is nobody who would make a better mother than Kitty, not just because of who she is but because of who she wants the rest of us to be. She has so much hope for the people she loves, even when the road we're on turns steep and uncertain. No one I know understands family more than she does, that we're here to help each other and that part of that means that we must be patient with our differences. She also knows that it's only by giving that we gain the things that truly matter. It's funny. I'm her big sister. But often I forget that because the truth is, that most of the time, I look up to her.

    • Robert: I don't understand. Of all the horrible things I've seen your family do to each other, what about this is so terrible?
      Kitty: It's not just about the letter. Sarah has a completely unrealistic view of my life. She always has. She thinks that everything comes so easily to me and that is not how it is. I have struggled in my career. It took me forever to meet you.
      Robert: Aww, but it was worth the wait, wasn't it?
      Kitty: Robert, I'm serious. How can I rely on Sarah to help me if she doesn't even know that I have any problems?
      Robert: She probably doesn't. I mean you put on a very brave face.
      Kitty: So what? She's my sister. She should know me better.

    • Kitty: Well, that was a quick trip. I don't even have any laundry.
      Robert: I think your family has enough dirty laundry for all of us.

  • NOTES (4)


    • Paige: No, I wanna watch Hannah Montana now! Hannah Montana is a TV-show on Disney Channel featuring Miley Cyrus as the rock star Hannah Montana.