Justin: "So there's nothing you can do for me?"
Kevin: "No, we can apply for an exemption but they are mostly giving them to people who are supporting families"
Justin: "So because I'm a bellboy I have to go to Baghdad?"
And just when things were going so well for Justin too! I know we've seen Justin somewhat lose it in episodes such as "An Act Of Will" and "Family Portrait" but they were minor compared to what happens with Justin this week.
Once the guy finally got a semblance of a life with a job, a hot but caring girlfriend in Tyler and finally the ability of endearing himself back in Tommy's good books, a registered letter from the army is the equivalent of someone throwing a hand grenade into Justin's apartment. In other words, "Crap" and "Double Crap".
Seeing as his previous military experience haven't exactly done the world of good for him, Justin's pretty quick to flip and honestly I can't blame. Why is that politicians in high ranking positions can choose to step down of their own accord but people in the army don't have the same choice?
Justin's first course of action in order to get out of reporting for active duty is by far his sanest ploy. When one of your older brothers happens to be a lawyer, it makes perfect sense to get free legal advice and see if the legal system can get him out of his unenviable pickle.
It's just a pity for Justin that Kevin is forced into telling them that really isn't anyway of getting out of his contract with the army. For Justin, it's really not a good time to be straight and childless but if he had been watching the latest episodes of Weeds, he could've went down Andy Botwin's route and applied for Rabbinical school or provoke a dog into chomping off one of his toes. Heck even I don't want to see Justin in the army as much as he does.
Still Justin attempts to deal with his setbacks in another and despite Kevin's stanch wishes against the idea; it doesn't take Justin that long into getting his dealer to make up a fake passport. See, even being a fugitive is far more preferable than going back to the army. It really makes you wonder why Justin joined the army in the first place if it was going to end scarring him the way it has done.
Another thing Justin acquired of his dealer was drugs and plenty of them because when faced with big problems, Justin does like to go into a state of oblivion. Perhaps he should change dealers because aside from being strung out, this guy seems rarely blissed out ala Claire Fisher.
Worse still is that he ends up and presumably screwing former bit on the side, Fawn and in quite the predictable moment Tyler walks into Justin's apartment and witnesses the entire event. You feel bad for Tyler here as she did seem to genuinely care for Justin but even she has had enough of him, which means that Justin manages to lose both his job and his girlfriend in one swift blow. Needless to say, it gets worse for Justin after that.
So what else could happen that would be bad for Justin? Well maybe he could have gotten his fake passport and arrested at the airport or if the writers were going to go to the extreme, Justin might have attempted suicide. Instead the present day antics of the episode with Justin being rushed into hospital after taking an overdose. This episode really has been a case of bad times all round for Justin but after initial reservations, Dave Annable's acting has really gone up a notch.
However while the present day Justin stuff is gripping, it's really the past events that give audiences a better understanding as we flashback to September 11th 2001 and Nora is naturally panicking when she fears for Kitty's life and Justin and William can do nothing to relieve.
With two 9/11 related movies and tonnes of media stuff in regards to one of the most famous tragedies to happen in this century, having it provide a backdrop for this episode could've been an ultimate disaster but in actual fact, it's a totally brilliant move and it only enhances the enjoyment of the episode. It's proof that this show's polemic slant works so well as well.
In flashbacks Kitty turns out to be perfectly safe and arrives home so she could her family out of their worry but in later scenes with Justin, she breaks down and admits how freaked out she really was by the entire experience. Not that you can blame her. I remember being in school when my Business studies teacher told us what happened. It's not exactly an event anyone will forget, no matter how the years progress.
If I had reservations about Calista Flockhart being able to deliver when given heavy, emotionally wrought material then I needn't had bothered. She played an absolute blinder during the flashback scenes with Justin and I love how this episode really commented on their closeness as siblings too. It shows that William was pretty perceptive on that note.
It also became apparent during those scenes that while Kitty never actually forced or told Justin to join the army, the very thought of losing people he loves and a sense of doing the right thing were definitely what made Justin sign up. The last flashback of this episode then revolves around a family meal and Justin breaking the ice by telling everyone that he's enlisted. Nora, true to her form wasn't best pleased with that decision on her baby's part.
It also bites Kitty in the ass during the present day when after she tells Nora about Justin having to go back, the first thing Nora does is to accuse Kitty of wanting Justin to get hurt. Eight episodes in and I still hate that trait of Nora's and my (somewhat reasonable) political views are similar to hers.
It was also a shame that Nora had gone there again because this was building up to be one of those episode where there was a fun camaraderie between the pair of them. In her success of not scaring Dave off, Nora arranged a proper date with him and Kitty advised against early nookie and the scene where Nora stumbles in early and gets busted by Kitty is nothing short of hilarious. I'm pretty sure in a few episodes time, the role between Nora and Kitty on the dating front will reverse but one thing that seems constant is how more enjoyable some of their lighter scenes together tend to be.
I also appreciated the fact that Kitty was quick to defend herself and explained that she only intended to tell Justin that she was going to be there for him. That also helped out a lot when Kitty, Nora and Tommy (who has had nothing else to do this week) are the ones who find Justin strung out and get him to a hospital.
Between flashbacks and overdoses, there were some other pressing matters and the one involving that bloody secret account really needed resolving before tedium set in and thankfully when she leaves the moralising at home, Sarah proves she's a smart cookie. Maybe she should become a decoder as it might be better than working for Tommy and Saul.
Getting Holly interrogated by the forensic accountant seemed to be a bit of a bust as the woman didn't seem to know anything and when she thinks that Saul was pumping her for information, Holly lets him have it before Saul is able to worm his way back into her affections. I'm not really sure if I buy this relationship. Sometimes I wonder if Holly is with Saul because unlike William, he might actually let her in.
Still Sarah has some fun on her own cracking that damn William related code and while it isn't Rebecca or his favour pet or the first girl he slept with, the combinations of SKTKJR manages to do the trick. Pity Sarah didn't have someone in the room with her at the time but her reaction to Holly's lies is spot on.
Okay we all knew that Holly was holding and maybe there's an element of truth behind her claims that she was at first protecting Rebecca but there was also the fact she was lying to a man she claims she now loves and while I don't particularly care how she feels about Sarah, Holly should've known her lies would've came back to get her.
Sarah wasn't particularly accommodating to Holly's excuses either and in no uncertain terms told her to stay out of their lives. You have to wonder that without Saul and Rebecca (who no doubt will pop up eventually in the season), why the writers would keep Holly on for a long term. Patricia Wettig is a decent enough actress but Holly's hardly a long term sounding character.
Sarah was also pretty quick to tell Saul that he needed to get his priorities in order and if anyone from the Walker clan will force Saul to choose between Holly and his family, it'll more than likely be her. Then again Saul seems to be the kind of guy who likes to have his cake and eat it, so Sarah might have a fight on her hands.
Thankfully the business side isn't the only obstacle for Sarah as her attempts of trying to include Gabe in the family falls on deaf ears. He's a sullen 14 year old so naturally while he may not see Sarah as Cruella De Ville, it's somewhat understandable that he isn't so quick to embrace her, Paige and Cooper as his own just yet.
While Sarah thinks she is being reasonable (to which she is), Gabe acts like she's invading a territory that only his biological mum can do and with Joe not around to factor, it's pretty obvious that he's not so eager to tell her what happened during a fight in school. Fortunately for Sarah she is able to get the truth out of him eventually and there's a really neat moment where the two of them do connect. I personally have no problem with seeing more of Gabe and I like that while his relationship is a bit fractured, neither party vilified. That makes for a more interesting dynamic between the two of them.
Speaking of dynamics if Kevin was hell bent on saving his relationship with Scotty, then perhaps he should've gotten Kitty to write him up a speech because amazingly enough, Kevin's attempts of damage control only spark more damage. Now I've put my foot in my mouth but nowhere near as bad as Kevin does here.
Although he doesn't intend to be insensitive the money issue reared its ugly head when Scotty took offence over Kevin's jest now that he's been compensated and refused to take the check. Kevin on the other hand still posts the check and gives an incredibly heartfelt apology. Even though Scotty does seem to care for Kevin, it's clearly not enough and as a result, he dumps the lawyer. In some ways this might not be a thing but it was nice to see Kevin in a relationship and hopefully we won't have to wait too long until he enters another. That being said let him grieve for losing Scotty for a little bit first. Also in "Mistakes Were Made Part 1"
SKTKJR – Sarah, Kitty, Tommy, Kevin, Justin and Rebecca, which finally places the order of when each Walker child was born.
Tyler: "Is it something in the room right now? Can you eat it?"
Justin: "Yes and yes".
Justin opened this episode by seducing Tyler. He's also the only character so far that an episode has primarily opened and ended with too.
Cooper: "But I'm wailing on my sticks"
Sarah: "Did your Dad teach you that phrase?"
Paige: "No I did and I regret it".
Kitty (re Scotty): "If I were you I would beg him on bended knee to take you back"
Kevin: "Bended knee? Cool. Whore!"
Sarah told Gabe that all of the Walkers had a plate of their own as kids that they were responsible for like Paige and Cooper. I'm surprised she didn't offer to make Gabe one.
Kevin: "I'm not sure I can, Justin. It's called a stop loss. It's basically a back door draft"
Justin: "I know! Get me out of this!"
Kevin: "You signed a clause when you enlisted saying they could do this".
What the heck was up with Nora's wig in the flashback scenes? Did ABC one of them from the Ugly Betty set or what?
Dave: "You're missing your husband?"
Kitty (to her family): "The plane was really empty. There were like six passengers. Someone said to the flight attendant, 'we're here for you' and she started crying. It was weird".
I actually had a neighbour in our town who died in the 9/11 attacks. I didn't know her very well but one of my sisters did.
Tyler: "I never want to see you again"
Justin: "I guess that means I'm fired then, huh?"
Tyler: "Yeah that means you're fired".
Gabe: "The kid called me a **** I guess I shouldn't have hit him"
Sarah: "No. He wasn't worth it but I'm glad you told me".
You have to wonder given that Sarah was the one to unlock the accounts, whether or not they should really pay the forensic accountant.
Holly: "Rebecca had to live her whole life thinking her father was a nobody. A mistake … I don't know how I'm going to tell her that I've been lying all these years"
Sarah: "I don't care what you do. Just stay the hell away from my family".
Kevin: "Please tell me this is the part where you let me off the hook"
Scotty: "It's not".
Standout music: "See Through This" by Flunk, "St. Augustine's Road" by Mt. Egypt and "Philosphia" by The Guggenheim Grotto.
Nora: "Justin, what's the matter?"
Justin: "Nothing's the matter, I enlisted today".
Chronology: Two months since "An Act Of Will".
This was undoubtedly the very episode that made me really want to review this series. "Mistakes Were Made Part 1" is an incredible piece of television that is virtually flawless from start to finish. It also highlights the strong cast, the brilliant writing staff and the superb use of music. Part 2 will have a lot to live up to but I'm going to doubt that I'll be disappointed this time next week.