Brothers & Sisters

Season 3 Episode 22


Aired Sunday 10:00 PM Apr 26, 2009 on ABC

Episode Fan Reviews (8)

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  • Hard Choices Written by Molly Newman And Michael Foley Directed by Michael Morris

    Scotty: "I can't believe you're leaving me with these crazy Walkers."
    Julia: "Oh I always have Facebook."

    Isn't that relieving to know? Social networking can keep you in touch with the people who go and leave you. Scotty might not see another Walker spouse but he can always contact her if the Walkers ever drive him that much to distraction.

    With Balthazar Getty's exit from the series, it was always inevitable that Sarah Jane Morris would be likely to follow suit and as a farewell episode goes, it's something of a mixed bag for Julia. It's not the best exit episode for a character but it's not the worst one either.

    Because of Tommy's fraudulent activities, Julia fond herself in the unenviable predicament of facing foreclosure of her own home and naturally enough, it freaked her out. Julia even cited the fact that she realised she was one of those clueless wives as well to add to things.

    The Walkers might have their faults but both Kevin and Nora (while overstepping the mark as well) did go out of their way to try and help Julia as best as they could. Their motives might not have been all that altruistic but they were hardly deplorable either.

    Kevin was the very person who managed to stall Julia's foreclosure, even though Scotty raised a good point about Kevin dipping into their savings. I know there were some people who thought Scotty was being a little selfish but I think he had a fair point to make.

    Back in the first season, we knew that Julia worked and although she did lose her son and struggled to cope with that for the longest time, I had assumed that off-screen she hadn't jacked in her job. I had hoped that was the case as well but it seemed that she chose not to work and now was suffering from lack of employment.

    Even without Tommy shafting her, it made no sense for her not to go back to work after she had sorted herself out. The fact that she refused help from her parents this time around should've been a bit of a hint that the Walkers offering to help her out was going to be a mixed bag.

    She was grateful for Kevin managing to stall the foreclosure on her house but when Nora suggested that she worked at the centre, you could see that Julia was less than pleased about the idea. A part of me was hoping that it was due to the fact that she was aware the centre really couldn't afford to actually hire but it was clear she wanted a break.

    For the last couple of weeks, Saul has made some valid points that Nora seemingly doesn't want to hear. In this episode, he came to the accurate deduction that Julia needed to move on. Too bad that Nora and Kevin weren't so receptive to the idea.

    Although Kevin does care a great deal about Elizabeth (and not just because he's biologically responsible for her), parts of this episode did feel a little out of character for him. I understood that he might have been a little sad to lose his niece but I think Julia raised a point.

    Both Kevin and Nora did go out of their way to help Julia but both of them also wanted to have some control of the situation. Moving away for now could be the best thing for Julia. The writers themselves have never really tried to define her out of her relationship with Tommy like they have done with Robert and Scotty.

    The meal the Walkers threw for Julia as a goodbye was a nice one. Julia welled up a little, admitted she was going to miss them and I think as a character, she will be missed. The show isn't going to fall apart in her absence but I do think she will be missed. I'll even miss her a little.

    Then again as an exit, this could always be a little temporary. If the writers ever do bring back Balthazar Getty on a regular or recurring basis, there's no reason why they can't pull out Julia as well instead of giving Tommy more and more love interests. Fans can live in hope right?

    I live in hope that at the start of next season that the writers will find some way of getting Ryan off my screen because I'm beginning to dislike the guy more and more with each passing episode. Plus Luke Grimes is really injecting no depth into this character at all.

    For the last few episodes we've had to listen to Ryan drone on about his hatred towards the Walkers because he thinks that William was responsible for his mother's death. I should care, even feel sorry for Ryan but I don't and even Rebecca has begun to realise that Ryan is bad news.

    Holly on the other hand virtually treated him like a Godsend due to his anti-Walker stance. What the hell is wrong with that woman? She wormed her way into their family business and she continues to whinge when one of them doesn't agree with her. This week Sarah incurred her wrath so Holly decided to get Ryan to apply for a position in Ojai to which Holly would feign indignation before agreeing to hire him. As part of the pretence, Holly then suggested that Rebecca should get shares as well to which Sarah foolishly agreed to.

    In my opinion, neither Ryan nor Rebecca should have that amount of clout in the family business but for once, Sarah was being altruistic. It's just too bad that Ryan's irrational hatred is going to make her regret her decision to take him on. Even Rebecca got freaked out during their dinner date.

    When it comes to Rebecca, it's amazing that it took her this long for her to realise that Ryan was a touch unhinged. Holly noticed it and used it to her advantage and David noticed it in the previous episode and warned Rebecca about her new roommate. At least now she's in the know.

    The smart thing for Rebecca to have done would've been to go to Sarah immediately about Ryan and tell her to watch her back. By going to Justin, she's probably accomplished that goal in a messier way. Justin would definitely want to protect Sarah but I also think Justin is going to enjoy slightly being right about Ryan.

    As for Holly, she might think she's won with getting Ryan on side but something tells me she'll soon realise that she's created a monster of her own if Ryan starts getting above his station, idea wise. That could be satisfying, seeing Holly suffering from Ryan's wrath but in the space of eight episodes; I think it's safe to say that Ryan simply doesn't work at all as a character.

    Another thing that continues to not work is Kitty and Robert. At the start of this arc, sympathy was mostly generated for Kitty but now I've gotten to the stage where I do feel sorry for Robert, if not as much as Kitty.

    At the start of the episode, Kitty and Alec were behaving like a couple in the sandbox and Sarah quickly suspected that Kitty was having an emotional affair and told her to stop going to the park. Such sensible advice to give and advice worthy of following, except that Kitty kept seeing Alec.

    She went to view his house and was so gushing around the place; I'm almost surprised the realtor herself didn't mistake Kitty for Alec's partner. Then there was the car crash they got into. It was very authentic looking as well and Calista Flockhart played a blinder when Kitty went into retreat post-crash.

    As for Robert finding out about Kitty and Alec – the guy must have the most amazing deductive skills going. For all he actually knew, Alec could've gotten his injuries from a series of things or could've been the other driver but Robert immediately assumed that Alec was involved with his wife.

    Alec did himself no favours by the look he gave Robert when the two of them made eye contact as well. The confrontation between Robert and Kitty was one of the best ones the series has ever done. Kitty was having an emotional affair; Robert had a right to be angry about it.

    To make things worse though, Kitty then made the affair into a physical one by kissing Alec outside his new house. It's almost at this point as if Kitty actually wants out of her marriage and is too cowardly to say so. Acting out like this is a good way to kill things with her and Robert. Does Kitty really want out of the marriage because to me, nice as Alec is, I don't believe for a second that Kitty's in love with him?

    Still I also don't believe that Justin and Rebecca are the real deal either but thanks to Rebecca seeing the light on Ryan, she's probably inches away from throwing caution to the wind and taking Justin back as well.

    Also in "Julia"

    To state the obvious but Julia is the only character to have an episode directly named after her. That's kind of cool.

    Nora (re Julia): "I don't want to force myself on her but do you think I should stop by?"
    Kitty: "Well, how is that not forcing yourself on her?"

    Kevin and Nora's competing over the ponies was a little silly. Elizabeth looked like she could've fallen off either one of them.

    Kevin: "What are you doing?"
    Nora: "I'm carrying in the adorable little toy pony I got Elizabeth."
    Kevin: "That is so unfair. Where did you get yours? I had to go to like three stores to find mine."
    Nora: "Oh, honey, don't feel bad. You can't compete against the world's greatest Grandma and I have a coffee mug that proves it."

    Julia (to Nora/Kevin): "I'm one of those wives you read about who don't know how to handle their finances or what their husbands are up to until it's too late." Julia mentioned the fact that she was a kindergarten teacher back in "Patriarchy" when she was talking to William.

    Sarah: "You're having an affair."
    Kitty: "Okay, an emotional affair at best and please don't say it. I know that it's worse."
    Sarah: "Can be."

    Holly: "You are a Walker."
    Sarah: "Do you want me to apologise for my name or change it?"

    Another thing that annoyed me about this episode was that Sarah was actually being nice to Holly even when she disagreed with her.

    Nora: "What did you do, lose the receipt?"
    Kevin (to Elizabeth): "You can never have too many ponies, isn't that right, sweetheart?"

    Kevin (re Ben): "Well, I've played golf with the father. He's not lovely."
    Nora: "Yes and her mother smokes but that's not the point."

    The job Julia did end up getting was in Seattle. Both Scotty and Sarah made some jokes about the place.

    Julia: "It's not my fault I'm a single mother, Kevin."
    Kevin: "I didn't say it was."

    Saul: "Nora, you have to let go, even Tommy. Julia needs to move on."
    Nora: "How do I do that?"
    Saul: "Start wishing her well."
    Nora: "I could give her a dinner."
    Saul: "There you go."

    Standout music: U2's "Magnificent" was the big one for me when Robert spotted Alec in the park.

    Julia: "I want to toast you. I never got to do that at one of these dinners."
    Kitty: "That's because Kevin never lets you get a word in edgeways."

    Nora: "I've been dreading this."
    Julia: "I know, me too."

    Chronology: Clearly it's got to be May 2009 or late April at best.

    "Julia" is not the strongest of episodes we've had but it's certainly a solid episode with some nice moments. It's a pity that the title never got as much development as she could've gotten but maybe one day it could happen. If Tommy comes back.