Brothers & Sisters

Season 3 Episode 10

Just A Sliver

Aired Sunday 10:00 PM Dec 07, 2008 on ABC
out of 10
User Rating
127 votes

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Episode Summary

The Walkers encounter some conflicts in the schedules on Thankgiving; leaving Nora & Sarah alone to celebrate; Elizabeth endures a medical emergency that brings the family together.

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  • A different kind of thanksgiving

    Loved this episode from the beginning to the end. In beginning there were some classic Walker family scenes with everyone interacting to each other by phones and not having guts to tell Nora about their Thanksgiving plans. What seemed weird was Kevin being so calm about being Elizabeth's father while Justin was far more upset about the whole paternity thing. I would've liked to see more of Kevin's thoughts about it. Kevin with Scotty I absolutely loved. The scene where Kevin is signing papers and Scotty gets more and more nervous about the operation is so adorable.

    Hopefully Tommy and Kevin will make up after this long period of not communicating to each other. This episode gave it a good start. The ending scenes were very emotional just trying to show us the one big happy family.moreless
  • A Matter Of Paternity Written by Molly Newman And David Marshall Grant Directed by Michael Schultz

    Justin: "Look, you gotta put a good face on this, right? Just act like this'll be fun. You know, it's you and mom hanging on Thanksgiving, you know, a couple of single girls, ladies night, you know? That way she won't freak out on us."

    Sarah: "I hope you all get salmonella and die."

    Clearly evading Christmas for this season, the writers have decided that Thanksgiving can only be served with problems rather than fun. The first pops up in less than five minutes when 80% of the Walker children decide they have other places to be this year instead of with Nora.

    First off all, Kitty and Robert are entertaining the latter's family for once and Kevin and Scotty have decided to spend the holidays with friends as well. The fun part is watching both Kitty and Kevin trying to claim moral superiority while being united in their cowardice in not telling Nora that they have other plans.

    It's not much better either when they start talking to Tommy. Apparently for one episode only, Julia develops a serious backbone and effectively tells Tommy's other siblings that it's her parents who'll be getting them this year. I'm always surprised by how good Sarah Jane Morris can be and that's because the writers don't give her enough.

    Justin's also planned not to attend Nora's Thanksgiving bash this year as well. Instead Rebecca's practically forcing him to spend it with her and Holly and unlike Julia; Rebecca's pushiness is more of a nuisance than an amusement.

    Given that I detest Holly, can take Robert's family in small doses (bar Jason, who can bother us anytime) and have no interest in Julia's, it seems that the only people who have a valid excuse not to attend Nora's mammoth of a meal are Kevin and Scotty.

    The unfortunate person however is Sarah, who not only has to face up to having a meal with just Nora but even got wrangled in trying to spin it so that she didn't freak out. Rachel Griffiths' flair for comedy came back when Sarah started chucking spuds at her siblings. It's a little hard not to laugh at that scene.

    The part that I find funny is that while Nora did seem clearly disappointed that the majority of her children had other places they'd rather be, it's not like she overreacted or anything. We've seen Nora flip out over other stuff but this didn't bother her as much as her children assumed it would. That can only be a good thing of course.

    Of course because it's unlikely that a family like the Walkers can go five minutes without interacting with one another, it was pretty obvious that something would have to pull them together. Also given that Tommy and Julia aren't as vocalised as everyone else, what better than to have a tragedy centred on them?

    I don't mean that in a horrible way because both Balthazar Getty and Sarah Jane Morris are nicely served by this episode but after this, both of them will go back to having little or nothing to do. Failing that, Tommy will go back to being a bit of a jerk and Julia will be a cipher again.

    However the tragedy centring on Elizabeth did succeed in bringing everyone together in the hospital. Livers can be a tricky so Elizabeth suffering from a damaged one not raised the drama but it brought back some uncomfortable truths for Tommy on the girl's parentage.

    While there's a part of me that would've been happy had we never found out who Lizzie's bio-father was, I suppose that it was always going to be revealed at some point and it was interesting to see how the possibility of fathering a child hit home for both Kevin and Justin.

    Childish comparisons aside, either way what mattered was finding out who it was in order to do a transplant on Elizabeth and to be fair, it certainly could've gone either way. Both Kevin and Justin had that 50/50 chance and either choice would've stirred up a lot of material for the writers to explore.

    Because of the ongoing feud between Tommy and Kevin, perhaps it was apt that Kevin would be the father. Justin's reaction to finding this out was brilliant. His total conflict of being both relieved and disappointed was extremely well played but biology or not, it's Tommy and Julia who are Elizabeth's parents.

    The next half of the episode then centred on Kevin getting prepared for surgery. We don't get a lot of a reaction from him but we can certainly see how it affected Tommy. Tommy chose to flip out during the very moment that Sarah took pleasure in taunting Kevin over food.

    However in spite of his caustic comments to Nora, I don't think he was totally out of line. He was powerless over the well being of his child and given that he and Kevin weren't on the best of terms, it certainly made things a lot harder for him. Plus it didn't help that Nora was a little too full on at times as well.

    I did however love his scene with Kitty. I know there are some viewers who might not have liked that she compared Tommy's situation to her own with the adoption but I think Kitty did raise some good points and I also think that part of her conversation might have inspired his later scenes with Kevin.

    As operations went though, did anyone really think that something bad was going to happen to either Kevin or Elizabeth? I guess with Elizabeth there was an element of touch and go but at the same time, I don't think the writers would be that cruel and have Tommy and Julia lose a second child.

    Also killing Kevin would be like suicide for this season. He and Scotty are the only relationship that the majority of viewers are invested in and regardless of him being gay Kevin is without doubt the best character on this show so killing him off would be a massive mistake.

    I did of course enjoy his scenes with Scotty, prior to him going in surgery but then again, any scene with Scotty nowadays is awesome. The fact that Scotty has been in three episodes in a row is also awesome. Plus, in spite of all the bravado, we also saw Scotty more fearful for Kevin's safety as well.

    As for the later scenes with Tommy post surgery, I think they might have been the best ones we've had between them, apart from their scrap in "Bakersfield" of course. Tommy admitted that firing his brother was wrong and Kevin finally forgave him. After all, he did admit earlier that he had been faking it.

    However I do wonder how Kevin and Tommy are going to deal with the fact that they know the former is Elizabeth's bio-dad. Will Kevin play a bigger role in Elizabeth's life or will he just stick to being the cool uncle? It might be better if he stuck to the latter. After all, I'm sure we can go a few seasons before him and Scotty become parents, though you never know with this show.

    Speaking of Scotty, anyone else notice that there was a bit of a power struggle with him and Nora when it came to looking after Kevin? I can see both perspectives but I did find myself siding with Scotty a little more. However I do prefer him and Nora as allies rather than enemies, so don't make them enemies, B&S writers.

    Another strong point of this episode was Robert taking a backseat as well. His role was largely dominated by entertaining his own family and then later showing up at the hospital to celebrate Thanksgiving with the Walkers. Yes, even Kevin getting surgery will not stop Nora from getting her meal, though at least here, Sarah did manage not to assault anyone else with potatoes.

    If there was one element of this episode, it would go to Rebecca. Her pushiness towards Justin felt a little forced. I don't see anything wrong in her wanting to spend Thanksgiving with Holly but I did have a problem with her forcing Justin's hand in the matter.

    In fact, even during the hospital scenes it became more apparent about how mismatched Justin and Rebecca are. He completely ignored her and she spent more time going on about her own father abandonment issues, which would have been more sympathetic if this had been a more lighter episode.

    Also when I thought this episode might be a Holly free zone, she showed up in at least one scene and still managed to annoy the crap out of me. So, given the context of her conversation with Rebecca, I can take it that David will be resurfacing later in the season. This show certainly knows how to keep it in the family and yes, that pun was intended very much.

    Also in "Just A Sliver"

    The opening scene with Kitty, Kevin and Robert all working at the same time was amusing but bizarre. Surely one of them could've worked in another room or the kitchen?

    Kevin: "Could you keep it down, please?"

    Kitty: "Sorry, Kevin but this is my home, not your office."

    I'm actually surprised that they didn't use the plot of Thanksgiving as another means to try and get Kevin to connect with Scotty's family. I hope we do see them again.

    Julia: "What's going on?"

    Tommy: "Everybody's picked this Thanksgiving not to go and nobody's told mom. She's gonna freak out."

    Kitty: "Sarah, I'm sorry but you can't."

    Sarah: "You want to make a bet?"

    Kitty: "What about Mr Fluffy?"

    Sarah: "I can't believe I'm having to spend Thanksgiving alone with my mother and a decrepit cat?"

    Since when Sarah look after other neighbours' cats, which to be fair, she didn't really look after?

    Justin (re Nora): "She didn't mean that."

    Kevin: "It was aimed at us all."

    Sarah (picking up a potato): "No Kevin, this is aimed at you."

    Tommy: "How close is mom to you and don't be obvious?"

    Justin: "Two big pumpkins and a turkey."

    Saul was supposed to spend time with Ida but given that he told Justin about seeing someone, maybe he was lying to Nora.

    Saul: "If you cook it, they will come."

    Nora: "I cook it and they'll forgive me."

    Sarah (to Kevin): "Your iPod."

    Justin: "That's great. Now he can listen to show tunes all night."

    Kevin's hatred of shrimp came up when Sarah decided make everything she ordered from the Chinese with the addition of shrimp.

    Scotty: "Kevin, I think what you're doing is incredible. I don't think I'd be so brave."

    Kevin: "That's because you're not a morning person, honey."

    Scotty: "Payment? You're giving them a piece of your life, isn't that enough?"

    Kevin: "Oh no. No good deed goes unpunished."

    Standout music: "Glorious" by Melissa Etheridge stood out the most for me.

    Nora: "When are you two gonna start on solid foods? You're disappearing."

    Tommy: "Yeah, it's the 'sick baby diet'. Works like a charm."

    Sarah: "You know, everyone in this building is on some kind of drug and we can't even drink. It's not fair."

    Chronology: November 2008 obviously, given that it's the Thanksgiving period.

    For a seasonal episode, this was certainly one of the strongest we've had. "Just A Sliver" delivered the goods on the drama but we really could've done without Holly's scenes in this episode more than ever.moreless
  • We finally get to know the biological father of Elizabeth.

    After Elizabeth being rushed to the hospital and the whole family ends up there, we get to know that Kevin is her biological father. Tommy says to Kevin that he has kind of known, just a feeling. I just loved the end of the episode when everybody is set around the hospital table, and Kevin enters in a wheel chair. Loved Melissa Etheridge song played in the background, so meaninful and beautiful. I would say this was one of the best episodes so far, so touching, and real. I totally loved it, ending up together even though they all had plans to be away from each other.moreless
  • We find out who the biological father of Elizabeth is

    In this episode of Brothers and Sisters, the following happens. Everyone apart from Sarah makes other plans for Thanksgiving, but none of them have told Nora yet. Soon Nora arrives home and Kitty tells her what is happening. During the night baby Elizabeth gets ill and so is taken to the hospital. After tests are run, we learn that her liver is failing and she may need a transplant. Since the best match is from a parent and so both Justin and Kevin are called in. They both get tested to see who the father is and who can give Elizabeth the transplant if she needs it. We soon learn from the doctor that she needs the transplant and that Kevin is the biological father of Elizabeth. Both of them come through the operation fine and Nora organises a Walkers Thanksgiving meal, for everyone in the hospital. A wonderful end, to what could have been a tragic episode.moreless
  • when elizabeth was born she was medicated and dosages of those now takes effect... undergoing on such her liver starts to fail and julia and tommy isn't her match and they to see who's the father of elizabeth... is it kevin or is it justin?moreless

    this episode started very funny. as usual, the siblings made a plan of their own on thanksgiving day only to find out that they have planned exactly the same thing on that day... the first part was really funny, the way how they planned nora the bad news knowing nora would prepared a sumptuous dinner for them... the start of the episode didn't gave me any hint that something very wrong will happen... yes tommy's daughter was admitted for kidney failure... i was really moved by tommy's emotions... i can't imagine myself undergoing the same thing. at first, he found out that he can't have baby and when they made some adjustments to it... now he is caught up with the problem of losing her and what's really bad and hard about is... he can't do anything about it... this show is really amazing. i can't even remember how many times i cried on this episode..

    love this show so much!moreless

Trivia, Notes, Quotes and Allusions


  • TRIVIA (2)

  • QUOTES (16)

    • Justin: Look, you gotta put a good face on this, right? Just act like this'll be fun. You know, it's you and mom hanging out on thanksgiving, you know, a couple single girls, ladies' night, you know? That way she won't freak out on us.
      Sarah: I hope you all get salmonella and die.

    • Kitty: Every thanksgiving, when mom asks Kevin if he would like a piece of pie, Kevin always says the same thing and then he proceeds to eat half of the pie all by himself. So here's to Kevin, who this year, gave new meaning to the phrase, "Oh, just a sliver."
      Kevin: That is the worst, most tasteless toast I have ever heard.

    • Sarah: You know, everybody in this building is on some kind of drug, and we can't even drink. That's not fair.
      Robert: And that's not sparkling cider.

    • Sarah: Everybody grab a chair and assume your usual positions. Oh, except for Justin. We decided to let you sit at the big person's table this year.
      Justin: Yes, I made it. (hugs Saul) Uncle Saul, I made it.

    • Rebecca: How do you do it? How do you just pretend like he doesn't exist?
      Holly: I know he exists. I'm just glad he doesn't exist here.

    • Scotty: Payment? You're giving them a piece of your liver, isn't that enough?
      Kevin: Oh no, no good deed goes unpunished.

    • Sarah: Joe's got my kids, Saul's gone to grandma's for thanksgiving, and you've all just simultaneously decided to form your own little satellite states like a Balkan uprising and my neighbour flies to Texas, leaving me with his geriatric cat. Now you just expect me to believe that's... a "coincidence"?

    • Kitty: Sorry, sorry I'm late but here is the lime jello with walnuts and bananas and I have no idea what that has to do with Thanksgiving but I'm not going to eat it.

    • Scotty: This hospital has the worst food I ate. It's not even food. It's some horrible facsimile of food.

    • Nora: If you guys don't take some of this food it's all going to go to waste. How about some onions-
      Justin: Mom, Holly already has all this stuff.
      Nora: Well how about a turkey? Tell her it's a gift from me.
      Justin: Mom she doesn't want your used turkey.
      Nora: It's not used. It's brand new. It has no cooties.
      Justin: It's more about the psychological cooties.

    • Scotty: You're an attorney …
      Kevin: Not if I'm on life support. As my husband, you'd be charged with pulling the plug or not.
      Scotty: Okay, this is all starting to get a little too real.
      Kevin: It's a good thing we are married. If it was up to my mother, she'd never pull the plug and I'd be a vegetable for all eternity

    • Kevin: Hopefully I'll just end up with a scar and nothing else.
      Scotty: I like scars. I think they're sexy.

    • Kevin: (to Scotty): Wow, you look like you're in the first-class cabin on Swish Air.

    • Sarah: You're not her mother, you're her grandmother. Therefore you have an older and much less desirable liver. There. I said it.
      Nora: Yes, you certainly did.

    • Kevin: It's not like he doesn't know it's either you or me.
      Justin: Yeah, that's true … I'm pretty sure he wants it to be me though.
      Kevin: Wow. Truly delusional.
      Justin: Well, let's face it. I have better hair, and your nose on a girl … tragic.
      Kevin: Do you want to talk SAT scores, pretty boy?

    • Kitty: (to Justin): Let me tell you something … Kevin and I are going away with our husbands, and husbands trump boyfriends.

  • NOTES (3)

    • International Episode Titles:
      Czech Republic - Jen jeden plátek (Just One Slice)

    • Original International Air Dates:
      Norway: Wednesday, April 8, 2009 on TV2
      Australia: Monday, April 20, 2009 on Channel 7
      Latin America: Wednesday, June 17, 2009 on Universal Channel
      Czech Republic: Sunday, May 1, 2011 on Universal Channel

    • Music:
      Duet by Rachael Yamagata
      Glorious by Melissa Etheridge
      Someone Else's Life by Joshua Radin