Brothers & Sisters

Season 2 Episode 13

Separation Anxiety

Aired Sunday 10:00 PM Apr 20, 2008 on ABC
out of 10
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Episode Summary

Isaac has an important question for Nora. Rebecca begins to question whether William Walker is really her father or not, so she decides to have DNA tests done. Robert and Kitty visits a fertility clinic.

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  • Without You Written by David Marshall Grant And Molly Newman Directed by Gloria Muzio

    Kitty: "Leaving a family and the life you built is a very drastic way of avoiding the realisation that you're afraid to be alone".

    Nora: "Oh my darling daughter. That is the biggest load of bullcrap I've ever heard in my life".

    The first episode that viewers to get post-writers strike feels oddly enough like a season premiere of sorts. Things have changed since we've last seen the Walkers (which in my case is a week ago) and while some of them are surprising, I don't think there is anything way too drastic yet.

    The episode opens on an interesting note as everyone seems to be heading towards a television to watch Robert. Sarah and Graham postpone getting frisky to watch and Holly and David can't even have a quickie on the couch without Justin and Rebecca invading their privacy.

    You'd think Robert's election was really that exciting, wouldn't you? Even Kevin is perched at Tommy and Julia's to see what looks like a victory for Robert. Kevin makes a joke about the country not being run right so even for Kitty, I wouldn't expect him to be thrilled if Robert is victorious.

    Then comes the non-shock – Robert isn't. Instead his presidential campaign seems to be finished as Taylor has beaten him during an all important moment. Instead of a victory speech Robert has to thank everyone for his support while attempting to be cordial about Taylor beating him.

    As someone who has wanted this saga to end, I'm a bit relieved that Robert's lost. I don't hate the bloke and I definitely don't hate the political aspect of the show but perhaps the writers should've done smaller stuff with Robert first in order to seal his credibility as a politician.

    The presidential campaign was inevitability with a character like Robert but I felt it came too soon with him and in certain episode it dominated too much screen time. The writers are clearly invested in Robert as a character so I can't imagine that they'll keep him on the backburner all that much either.

    In fact, instead of politics, Robert's next big challenge might have to be parenthood. After agreeing to consider the prospect of becoming a parent again, it doesn't take long for them to actually see the two of them at a fertility clinic in their bid to become parents.

    The nice thing about this is that it seems Robert isn't doing this to purely placate Kitty. He seems to be open to the idea of more children and like with any situation, some humour is derived from the visit to a fertility clinic. Thankfully though the humour doesn't take a tasteless.

    Instead there's a focus on Kitty's fear of needles. Of course she snaps at Robert for telling the doctor that but as soon as a needle comes her way, she does admit to being a little scared of them. A snippy Kitty makes me hope that when/if she does get pregnant that we don't have to see this grouchy side to her all the time.

    I also can muster sympathy for Robert because he's the poor sod who has to inject Kitty with hormones in order to procreate. By the end of the episode Robert is able to do this without Kitty even noticing, never mind hurting her. Had he not been, he could've always gotten Justin to give him some pointers.

    While the baby plot could be a lot of fun with these two, the episode also go to lengths to remind viewers that Robert is still thirsty to further his political career. There is a great conversation between him and Isaac where he admits that he still wants more, even though Kitty has tired of campaigning.

    It's also interesting that as soon as Taylor wiggles the temptation of Robert getting the chance to go for the Vice President position, Robert is hooked. You can't blame Robert for wanting to go further but as an audience member, I'm probably more exhausted that Kitty is. Fortunately there's also another big plot of significance as well to deal with. Nora and Isaac have been enjoying each other's company for a good while now, so it's time for an obstacle to come their way. Luckily for us it's not in the shape of cheating or Nora's tendency to pry.

    It is however in the shape of a professorship in Washington. Yes, Isaac still has a career of his own and Nora automatically assumes that she's getting the heave ho. Imagine then how she reacts when Isaac ends up asking her to go to Washington with him. Thanks to her children and their penchant for interfering, Nora ends up agreeing to it.

    That's the funny thing about the Walkers, as much as they whine, moan and generally annoy the hell out of each other; they also really can't live without each other as well. Kitty and company deplore the way Nora shoehorns her way into their private affairs but at the same time, they're not cool with the idea of her shacking up with Isaac.

    The nice thing that it's not actually down to resentment towards Isaac. No-one seems to have a problem with Isaac but that doesn't stop them from taking it in turns to dissuade Isaac either. Excluding Sarah, you've got Kevin, Tommy and Justin taking Isaac on the golf lesson from hell.

    Tommy is the only person who actually has an interest in golf so he uses Isaac's winning streak to grill him for information. Justin and Kevin more or less do the same and while it's predictable that Isaac trumps every obstacle that they raise, it's also really funny.

    Kitty even gets in on the hand by playing the emotional card. She lets Isaac know that there's more to Nora than he knows and taking her to Washington is a bad idea. While she is being a tad selfish, she isn't explicitly lying either. After all Nora did hesitate when Isaac asked her. It was clear then that she hadn't thought things through.

    Of course it would take a birthday party to actually bring this out of course. The not so lucky person to have their tempered with a family showdown is Rebecca. Then again, it could also be a rather twisted way of really welcoming Rebecca into the family and at least Nora praised her towards the end.

    Nora's verbal smackdown of her children was satisfying. Sure I understand that while they were being selfish they also had a point but so does Nora. She's at that stage in her life where she should be letting them get on with their own lives while she gets on with hers but Kitty was right in saying that Nora wasn't ready to go to Washington with Isaac.

    In a later scene she more or less admitted this and changed her mind. I think despite him begging her later on, Isaac understood why Nora didn't go with him. I'm a little disappointed that the writers couldn't have extended Isaac's stay on the show but there is the possibility that he might come back. He and Nora did work very well with each other.

    Working less well on the other hand would be Sarah and Graham. I don't know what it is but as soon as Sarah admitted to Saul that she had feelings for Graham, the alarm bells went up. Maybe Sarah's not a promiscuous woman by nature but I was really hoping as a viewer that she and Graham would be a casual affair.

    Sadly that seems not to be the case with Sarah's confession. Plus judging by her disregard for Tommy's friendly little warning, I think not only is Sarah playing with fire but it looks like she will get burned by it too. I love Sarah but if Tommy's warning and her later scene with Saul is anything to go, then I think she could be in for a fall.

    Saul wasn't best pleased when Sarah told him to make a decision because her emotional involvement with Graham was clouding her judgement. Saul also had another scene with Nora where for the fourth time she tried to get him to open up. We don't have that many episodes left so Saul should get a move on.

    Elsewhere, I sense a bad plot ahead with Holly and David. For the last few episodes David has been behaving in a suspicious manner towards Rebecca and when he gives her a significant present, Holly flips out and argues with him. David isn't exactly being subtle either.

    He thinks he's Rebecca's father and even Rebecca thinks it too. Thanks to Holly's evasive behaviour and Justin overhearing a certain argument, Rebecca decides to actually do something about it by getting a DNA test. At this rate, it's likely that David could be her father.

    Given how intense the build up has been and the lack of straight answers on Holly's part, it's hard not to dismiss it. That being said if David is Rebecca's father then nearly a whole year of important storylines has been invalidated and with a show as phenomenon as this, that would be a cruel twist. Would the writers actually dare to go ahead and do that?

    Also in "Separation Anxiety"

    Rebecca's official birthday seems to be April 1986 as she turned 22 in this episode. She's also a Taurus.

    Kevin: "What's going on in New York?"

    Julia: "Still too close to call".

    Kevin: "That's no way to run a country".

    I just realised that not many people actually seem to visit Tommy and Julia. I think this is the first time Kevin has been seen at their place.

    Robert (to the doctor): "She hates needles".

    Kitty: "I don't hate needles".

    Robert: "She hates needles".

    Kitty: "All right I do".

    Isaac: "I got one. Who's going first?"

    Tommy: "You".

    Kevin: "Take your time. Hopefully I can pull a muscle before it's my turn".

    Once again, Kevin's displeasure of sports is touched. Also I know golfing attire is bad but not even Tommy, Kevin and Justin can make it look good.

    Holly: "It's great that we both have men in our lives".

    Nora: "Thankfully not the same one".

    Kitty (to Isaac): "I just know a few things about my mother that you don't and if you did, you'd know you're asking too much".

    Is it me or is Rob Lowe trying to make himself look younger. The haircut in this episode would give that impression.

    Nora (to Saul): "You've given so much to this family. Turn the page. You don't owe anything to anyone".

    Tommy (re Graham): "Could you get a room?"

    Sarah: "We had a room until you came in".

    For once in quite a while this was one of the few episodes this season not to feature Scotty. Unless he was at Rebecca's party but I don't remember him there.

    Kevin (re Nora): "This is really happening. She's leaving".

    Sarah: "I think she's already left".

    Sarah: "Rebecca there are many reasons to celebrate this last year. Not least those bangs have gone out".

    We've had three main characters birthdays celebrated so next season can we please get a birthday for Kevin, Tommy, Sarah and/or Justin?

    Nora (to everyone, then Rebecca): "Well take a look in the mirror my darling children. I try to change one thing in my life and you all launch so many covert actions, you might as well be in the CIA! Oh God it felt so good to make a decision for myself without taking everyone else's feelings into account. No, I'm doing this for me and frankly it's about damn time! None of this applies to you, sweetie. You're fine. Happy birthday".

    Justin (re Holly/David): "Have you ever asked her point blank?"

    Rebecca: "I've thought about it".

    Standout music: "Summerbreeze" by Emiliana Torrini and "Georgia Girl" by Collective Soul.

    Robert: "Maybe we should continue this examination in the bedroom".

    Kitty: "You're such a Republican. If we were Democrats, we'd be doing it on the couch".

    Chronology: Three months exactly since "Compromises".

    "Separation Anxiety" is an appropriate title for US viewers who had to wait a lengthy period to see the episode. It's also successful in ushering in some new directions for the series that should end the second year on an interesting note.moreless
  • The Walker's are back.

    This episode is the first new episode to air since the 100 day strike. It opens with Sarah and Graham going to bed together, Tommy, Kevin, Julia and Lizzie watching about the presidential race on the television. Then we see Rebecca and Justin going back to Holly's and they find her and David making out on the coach. We then jump to see Robert and Kitty, during the presidential race (which everyone is watching), preparing to go out in front of the TV cameras. Nora watches the race in bed and Isaac comes in. We then learn that Robert has suspended his campaign to become president. Nora tells Isaac he can stay for a while if he wants, but he has already fallen asleep. Then we jump to 3 months later.

    We discover in this episode that Robert and Kitty are seeking fertility treatment in their hope of having a family together. Isaac has been living with Nora for the last 3 months. Isaac asks Nora to move to DC with him. Nora and Isaac have a romantic meal together, during which everyone except for Justin turns up. They are all there to see if Nora is really going to move, then Justin turns up. Nora then informs her children, that she will in fact be moving to DC with Isaac. The next day Isaac and the boys play golf and they all ask him questions. Nora and Holly bake a cake together for Rebecca's 22nd birthday. David gives Rebecca her birthday present, it's a necklace. Which we later learn belonged to his mother. Kitty tells Isaac that she doesn't think that her mother could cope without her family around her and that it is too rushed. Justin over hears a conversation between David and Holly about the necklace which he gave to her.

    Kitty tells Nora that she thinks she is trying to place William with Isaac. Nora has a go at all the kids and tells Rebecca "None of this applies to you, have a happy birthday" David asks Holly outright was William Rebecca's father and she tells him that there is a slight possibility that David maybe her father. Nora and Isaac both agree that she can't go with him to DC. Justin tells Rebecca about the argument between David and Holly and who the necklace really belonged too. She tells Justin she has asked her mother before and she said that David wasn't her father and Justin suggest that she gets a DNA test done to find out either way for sure. Justin and Rebecca take a DNA sample of David's and take them to be tested. Isaac catches his plane back to DC and Nora's obviously upset by it. At the end we see her all alone at her big empty table eating a meal for one. Overall, it was a pretty good come back for the show. It wasn't the best eve episode, but it was lovely t see the whole Walker gang back together and back on our screens.moreless
  • Nora might just make a drastic decision and the Brothers & Sisters do something to stop her.

    Nora's Big Decision: Isaac offers Nora an opportunity to come with him to Washington, so they can both finally settle down. The Walkers know Nora would not do such a thing, for God's sake, she's Nora! But the unexpected happens and she actually decides to go with Isaac. The Walkers now try to convince her to stay and some even go to Isaac and try to convince him not to take Nora. The whole idea was sort of fun. I love Walker quarrel scenes, especially if all five of the "children" are involved alongside Nora and there are innocent people in the middle of the war.

    Kitty and Robert: Four months later and Robert has lost the position for Republican Presidential Candidate. We see Kitty and him settling down and getting ready for the baby that is to come. We get a surprise at the end of the episode though and it's too good to spoil! Robert is finally appealing to me, which is good because I think he'll be part of the series for quite some time.

    Sarah and Graham: Let's face it, the real reason that Graham is working with Sarah is because he's good with business, but let's face it, if Sara and he had any sort of falling out, he'd be out of the door before a rumor can spread through the Walker siblings. So four months later, what's the happy haps? They are both together and Graham has a huge business plan that could make the company earn a whole lot of money. Graham has yet to appeal to me as a character, but I'm predicting some good character development in the next few episodes.moreless
  • One of the funniest ever!

    This was one of the funniest shows ever and that I am glad that the show, after a pretty rocky start in the first season, really lightened up a whole lot as it became the show that we all know and love now. As the family comes and ruins Nora and Isaac's dinner date, much to their surprise and their discouragement. As Robert and Kitty as the said, since he is a US Senator from Calif, it would be wise that they would be living in DC. But other than that, loved it when the men tried to play golf with Isaac. Another funny show as this is what family is all about!moreless
  • The Walkers are back!

    Let me just start out by saying that I absolutely loved this episode. Watching it reminded me just how much I love this show. I love how Sarah, Kitty, Tommy, Kevin and Justin all ambushed Nora and Isaac's romantic date at her house. That part was absolutely hilarious. The part where Justin, Tommy and Kevin were golfing with Isaac was really funny too. The kids' reaction to Nora possibly leaving was great. As a whole, I thought that this episode had the perfect balance between drama and comedy. It was also a very touching episode. I found Julia's comments on being pregnant pretty amusing. I loved all of the references to previous episodes. I'm also really glad that Robert dropped out of the presidential race because I thought that story line was really boring. All in all, I absolutely loved this episode. I thought that it was a very well written, very well acted episode, and I can't wait to see the next episode of Brothers & Sisters.moreless
Evie Peck

Evie Peck


Guest Star

Bruno Oliver

Bruno Oliver

The lab technician

Guest Star

Ken Olin

Ken Olin

David Caplan

Recurring Role

Danny Glover

Danny Glover

Isaac Marshall

Recurring Role

Steven Weber

Steven Weber

Graham Finch

Recurring Role

Trivia, Notes, Quotes and Allusions


  • TRIVIA (3)

    • It's Rebecca's twentisecond birthday. Which would mean her birth year is 1986.

    • Since Robert is a US Senator, he and Kitty would spend more time in Washington, DC than California. So it wouldn't make sense that Kitty would lament her mother moving there.

    • It would have made more sense and been easier for Rebecca to test her DNA against Justin's to see if they were related, than to discretely collect disgusting remnants of David which may, or may not, have enough usable DNA to test. That would have confirmed if William Walker was indeed her father.

  • QUOTES (22)

    • Justin: I'm sorry your party was so lame.
      Rebecca: It had some funny moments.
      Justin: I especially liked the part where everybody yelled at each other at exactly the same time.
      Rebecca: You're right, it was horrible.

    • Holly: Oh, I should never have let the Walkers host her birthday. Their parties always descend into a brawl.
      David: It makes you wonder how somebody as sweet as Rebecca could be related to them.

    • Nora: Even now, if I have news or - or something happens to me, good or bad, I just never feel like it's actually happened until I... Until I tell all of you.
      Kitty: Maybe that's why we're so lousy at keeping secrets.

    • Nora: Stop it! I'm not moving away because I need to replace your father, or I'm afraid to be alone, or whatever else you can think of. I'm leaving to get away from all of you! You think I don't notice all the eye rolling and sighing and little looks you give each other every time I open my mouth. You're constantly complaining that I'm manipulative and I'm controlling and I invade your lifes. Well, take a good look in the mirror, my darling children. I try to change one thing in my life, and you all launch so many covert actions, you might as well be the CIA! Oh, God, it felt so good to make a decision for myself without taking everyone else's feelings into account. No. I'm doing this for me. And frankly, it's about damn time! (to Rebecca) None of this applies to you, sweetie. You're fine. Happy birthday.

    • Kitty: Leaving a family and the life that you've built is a very drastic way of avoiding the realization that you're afraid to be alone.
      Nora: Oh, my darling daughter. That is the biggest load of bullcrap I've ever heard in my life.

    • Holly: (about the necklace David gave Rebecca) It's a family heirloom. What are you trying to say to her?
      David: Happy birthday? Why are you so touchy?
      Holly: Because it is the kind of necklace you would give to a daughter. I just don't know what you're trying to imply.
      David: I'm broke. I forgot to go shopping. I had it at my place. What do you think I'm trying to imply?

    • Isaac: (about Robert's presidential campaign) There's always next time.
      Robert: Why would I ever put myself through it again? I was never home, I was always exhausted, hoarse. I had to listen to the most insulting things said about me on a daily basis.
      Isaac: You never had more fun in your life.

    • Tommy: (after he walked in on Sarah and Graham kissing) I'm just not used to you conducting business with a guy's tongue down your throat.
      Sarah: You have a problem with Graham?
      Tommy: No, he seems like a nice enough guy.
      Sarah: So then what?
      Tommy: It's just business and pleasure, they don't... They don't always mix.
      Sarah: Oh, well, I seem to remember pretty famously that you mixed your business with pleasure, so maybe you shouldn't be the one to judge.

    • (Kevin, Tommy and Justin are still with Isaac on the golf course.)
      Kevin: I... I can pick up after a quadruple bogie, right?
      Tommy: Yeah.
      Kevin: Thank God.
      Tommy: So, you're basically kicking our butts, Isaac.
      Isaac: Just lucky.
      Tommy: No, you're good. You're good, and, uh, you're in good shape, your health's good, yeah? Prostate's fine and everything?
      Kevin: Oh, Jeez, Tommy, come on.
      Justin: Even I think that's nosy.
      Tommy: Excuse me, because I don't want Mom spending her golden years taking care of a man in poor health?
      Kevin: Isaac, you know, I'm so sorry. Tommy's clearly mad 'cause his game sucks compared to yours.
      Tommy: Oh, screw you, Kevin, what, 'cause I actually care about Mom?
      Justin: Okay, you guys are being a little intense. I'd like to dial it down and ask him a few more real estate questions.
      (The brothers squabble.)
      Isaac: Hey, hey, hey, listen, fellas, listen. I know how much you love your mother. Which makes me very happy because I love her, too. That's why I'm going to take very good care of her.

    • (Tommy, Kevin and Justin are with Isaac on the golf course.)
      Isaac: Looks like a beautiful course. Appreciate the invite.
      Tommy: It's our pleasure.
      Justin: Yeah. we figure we better, uh, get to know the guy who's shacking up with our mom, right?
      Tommy: That's right, just ask him a few questions.
      Isaac: I got one. Who's going first?
      Justin and Tommy: You are.
      Kevin: Yeah, take your time. Hopefully I can pull a muscle before it's my turn.
      Justin: So, how big is your house, Isaac? 'Cause Mom, you know, she comes with a lot of knicknacks and... pillows.
      Isaac: I think I can make room.
      Tommy: You got a backyard, right? 'Cause Mom loves her gardening.
      Isaac: It's more like a courtyard.
      Justin: You do have a pool, right? 'Cause Mom, you know, she swims every day.
      Isaac: Oh, kind of... a little birdbath.
      Tommy: Ouch, no pool.
      Justin: Can't afford a pool.
      Kevin: How much do you owe on the townhouse? I'm sorry, I - I manage Mom's financial affairs. I just don't want her taking on any more liabilities than she already has.
      Isaac: It's paid off.
      Justin: So, has Mom said anything to you about selling her house?

    • (Tommy, Sarah and Kitty are hiding in the kitchen.)
      Nora: Tommy, what are you doing?
      Kevin: Tommy's here?
      Tommy: (from kitchen) Uh, Sarah knocked a pot off the stove.
      Nora: Sarah's in there too?
      Sarah: Hi, Mom!
      Nora: (after a moment, annoyed) Kitty?
      Kitty: Hello.
      Nora: What is going on?
      (Sarah, Kitty and Tommy come in from the kitchen, feigning surprise at seeing Nora's candlelit dinner with Issac.)
      Nora: What is this, just some sort of colossal coincidence that you're all here interrupting my romantic dinner?
      (They all deny any bad intentions.)
      Tommy: That's not true, I came to tell Isaac about golf. Kev, right?
      Kevin: What golf?
      Nora: Too bad Justin isn't here, then I could tell everyone at once.
      Justin: (from other room) Yo.

    • Sarah: You don't think Mom would really leave Paige and Coop, do you?
      Tommy: Hello, what about Elizabeth?
      Kevin: Get a grip, she'd never leave me.

    • Sarah: Mom moving to Washington? That'll never happen.
      Kitty: Well, we never thought she'd get busted for smoking pot, either.

    • Julia: Why do Republicans have so many winner-take-all primaries?
      Kevin: Because they hate weakness. Even if you come in a close second, you have to be culled from the herd. It's so Darwinian for people who don't believe in evolution.
      Tommy: At least we're decisive. You guys are so sensitive, you split your delegates so nobody gets their feelings hurt.

    • (About the family row at Rebecca's birthday party)
      David: Does this always happen?
      Graham: I dunno, I'm new here.
      Robert: I'm gonna get us some dessert.

    • Holly: I remember the last time we were around a cake.
      Nora: All right. I threw it in your face. But I recall a bowl of peas headed in my direction. ... We've come a long way.
      Holly: We both have men in our lives now.
      Nora: Luckily not the same one!

    • Sarah: Rebecca, there are many reasons to celebrate this last year. Not the least of which is those bangs have finally grown out!

    • Nora: What made us so afraid? We always seem to take care of everyone else – never ourselves.
      Saul: I guess it all started with our mother.

    • Kitty: Isaac, this is a woman who needs her family around her. If she goes through with this move I'm afraid you're both going to regret it. And the problem is – I can't be the one to say it to her.

    • Kitty: You're gonna tell me Robert, or I am going to inject you with so many hormones that you will in fact grow boobs and sing soprano.

    • Kevin: Oh my God, it's from a store.
      Sarah: So is the lettuce.
      Kevin: This, this is really happening, isn't it? She's leaving.
      Sarah: I think she's already left. God.
      (Kevin starts to cry.)
      Sarah: Kevin, don't go there.
      Kevin: What, uh, what are we going to do?
      Sarah: Stop it. I cannot hold this family together by myself. Don't make me slap you, Kevin. Kevin! (slaps him) Come on, be a man.

    • Holly: I remember the last time we were around a cake.
      Nora: All right, I threw it in your face. But I recall a bowl of peas headed in my direction.
      Holly: True.
      Nora: We've come a long way.
      Holly: We both have men in our lives now.
      Nora: Luckily, not the same one.

  • NOTES (3)