Brothers & Sisters

Season 3 Episode 12

Sibling Rivalry

Aired Sunday 10:00 PM Jan 11, 2009 on ABC

Episode Fan Reviews (4)

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  • Supportive Written by Liz Tigelaar And Josh Reims Directed by Jeff Melman

    Kitty (re Sarah): "Not only did she treat my cheque like it had anthrax on it; she said some really hurtful things."
    Kevin: "Like what?"
    Kitty: "Okay, like I was being condescending."
    Kevin: "That's nothing. I say that all the time."

    Borrowing money from family is every bit as risky as going into business with them. Usually it's best not to go there but when you don't have a choice, then what do you do in the situation?

    If you're Sarah, you moan about your financial woes but would rather chuck yourself into a ravine blindfolded than to accept money from your siblings. This is of course a bad method, almost like cutting off your nose to spite your face in a way and Sarah learns that first hand.

    If you're going to moan about your money, don't do it to a Walker, especially to one called Nora. Sarah told her mother about the 120,000 that Greenatopia desperately needed for their launch and she actually expected it not to go any further than to her mother. Unless Sarah's slipped into a parallel world, she should've realised that Nora would've soon dropped this bit of information to one of her siblings and that one of them would offer to help her financially with Greenatopia. The only question was going to be who the sibling would be.

    For this episode it happened to be Kitty. Justin's not exactly rolling in cash and Tommy's too fixated on ruining Holly and Kevin's bound to Robert so Kitty had to be the viable option here and all during the build up to her book launch as well. See, Sarah isn't the only one trying to get a new career off the ground.

    I expected Sarah to be proud when Kitty offered her a cheque, I even expected her to refuse but even I thought she went overboard as well. Maybe Kitty could've handled making the offer a lot better (like maybe not doing it in front of Kyle and Ethan) but I even had to admit that Sarah was foolish in rejecting it.

    Aside from Ethan and Kyle emphasising that they desperately needed the cash, Sarah had no other option aside from a second mortgage and she did turn on Kitty a little too quickly for my liking.

    Nora's pointed out in the past that Sarah has an irritating knack for not allowing people to help her when she desperately needs it. Sarah did seem to take on board what Nora was actually saying this time around and even decided to swallow her pride by asking Kitty for the money after.

    In a way that should've resolved things but instead it just heightened them all the more. Kitty refused to give her the money; Sarah moaned about the mortgage and elected not to go to Kitty's book launch (another sour point of this episode).

    However in typical B&S style, the ladies did make amends in the end and by the looks of it, it appeared that Kitty did end up helping Sarah with financial backing for the launch of Greenatopia and with any luck, this won't be something that the women end up bickering about in later weeks.

    Kitty launches a book and one of the worse things is that not even Robert can muster enough enthusiasm to take notice. If this was his book launch, he'd expect Kitty to be as fixated on it as he would be but because it's her succeeding on her own, he has no interest.

    Maybe I'm being harsh on Robert but I really couldn't help but feel annoyed that he couldn't make the effort to care. During her TV interviews, he was on the phone and that clearly bugged Kitty and like the rest of her family, he elected to bail on her and that also annoyed me.

    Kitty expressed fears to Kevin in this episode that Robert was looking to run for governor and she was justified in having those fears. It was established last season that the election campaign was tiring so it's unlikely that Robert wanting to be the next governor would be something that Kitty would want to go through. We didn't even need the reminder that it wouldn't belong until Trish gave birth as a factor either.

    Back during my review of "Do You Believe In Magic", I raised the point of Kevin working for Robert as a bad idea. Over the last few episodes we've had some time out and now that we're back into the thick of it, I'm sticking with my original opinion – Kevin working for Robert is a bad idea.

    Not only are their politics firmly different but Robert is now getting Kevin to lie to Kitty about his governor aspirations. That's probably because Robert knows that Kitty will blow a gasket and while I don't begrudge Robert his ambitions, he is about to have another child so maybe he should be thinking about that and Kitty as well as his political goals.

    I suppose after at least three great episodes where his plots either involved his family, it makes sense to get back to Kevin's new job, which is the weakest career plot of the bunch. I mean, Kevin is pretty much the best character on this show and he's saddled in a job that he has no experience in and once again, he had to pry the truth of Robert.

    One thing I did love about this plot was Kevin confronting Robert about Kitty. Kevin had no problem pointing out that Kitty's supported him through thick and thin and that he should do the same. Why isn't Robert being more supportive to Kitty? His meeting with Gordon wasn't of urgency. He could've scheduled it after her book launch instead of during it. And Kitty more than felt his lack of support in this episode as well as one of her later scenes with Nora nicely emphasised.

    In other business news, Tommy is out to get rid of Holly. There's probably an echo in the background but three years too late suddenly springs to mind. Much as I would like to see the back of Holly, the unfortunate thing is that we're stuck with her and Tommy's simply going to fail in his scheme to oust her from Ojai.

    Even if I didn't know that Balthazar Getty was leaving the show, I still wouldn't have that much confidence in Tommy. He had no problem watching Kevin, Sarah and Saul all having their ties severed from Ojai and now just because Holly is proving an annoyance for him, he suddenly wants to see the back of her.

    Holly has been going behind Tommy's back recently with her money saving ways for the company and while I'm pretty sure she doesn't want Ojai to go down the crapper, Tommy did have a point. Holly should have consulted him on that deal and no matter how petulant Tommy came across as, he had a fundamental point.

    Holly went to the board and I don't care how she puts it but it's clear that she's trying to assert her own authority in Ojai and undermining Tommy is certainly one way of getting what she wants in that regard.

    Rebecca however found herself being unwittingly used by Tommy in a bid to get Holly to make a deal that could endanger Ojai. Firstly, this made me sympathise with Rebecca because she's actually awesome in this episode and secondly, it made Tommy look like the biggest buffoon going.

    Tommy's plan is going to fail. He's willing to endanger his family business to get Holly out of it and it's going to blow up in his face. This will also unfortunately give Holly even more leverage and an opportunity to play victim, which to be honest is something she quite enjoys doing as past episodes have shown.

    It's amazing that last week, Justin had this absolutely life changing moment and Rebecca didn't factor. Rebecca got to impress with her business savvy and Justin played no part in that. It's clear to viewers and perhaps it's becoming clear to the writers that Justin and Rebecca can only awesome away from each other.

    As for relationships that I'm interested, I could get invested in Nora and Roger but given that I don't know long Nigel Havers is supposed to be on this series, it's hardly to stay totally involved. Both Nora and Roger did however manage to bug and intrigue each other extensively throughout this episode.

    Nora went from one minute responding to Roger's scathing critique about her vision by smashing one of his models (how great would she be for demolition work?) to gushing about his vision himself. Hell, Roger even managed to come up with a design for her centre that she ended up loving.

    As for Saul, enough teasing, writers. It's been four episodes since we've discovered that he's seeing someone and if you have to cut out some Robert/Holly stuff in order to introduce Saul's significant other, then get on with it. Besides we could with a breather from Robert and Holly.

    Also in "Sibling Rivalry"

    Kitty was interviewed by Regis And Kelly at the beginning of this episode about her book. I'm surprised they didn't get The View.

    Kelly: "That's what I like so much about your book is how you tied your family into it."
    Regis: "Tell me, Kitty, were they supportive? Are they supportive?"
    Kelly: "Are they still talking to you?"

    I had to laugh at that exchange but despair over the fact that Nora was the only family member that attended Kitty's book launch.

    Nora: "You're not moving into a palace for God's sake. It's not gonna take all day."
    Justin: "You're right. It's actually gonna take longer just to make that place liveable."

    Roger: "This is a tower, a warm, nurturing tower."
    Nora: "I suppose it is nurturing if you're a hot house tomato."

    Nora's demolition work certainly made an impression on Roger's crew. A few of them actually looked scared of her at one point.

    Robert (re Kitty): "I've already read the book."
    Kevin: "I don't think she wants a book report. She's probably more interested in your support."

    Nora: "I told her to be tactful."
    Sarah: "Come on, mom, Kitty doesn't do tact. Why did you have to paint such a dire picture?"

    I noticed the cover of Kitty's book has a Season Three cast shot of Calista Flockhart. It's a nice picture though.

    Tommy: "Saul I owe it to my family to get this company. This is my shot. You said you wanted Holly out."
    Saul: "I do but not like this, Tommy."

    Sarah: "Kitty, you wrote a bestseller. You're flushed."
    Kitty: "Flushed? I wrote a book, I didn't win the lottery."

    It was painful watching Kitty recite from her book with only Nora. I could tell that some of the other crowd were picking up on Nora's discomfort as well.

    Gordon: "I appreciate the Californian Quail. No matter how far they migrate, they always come home again. Isn't that right, Senator?"
    Robert: "Yeah they do."

    Kevin: "She didn't think she'd get the truth from you, isn't that a problem?"
    Robert: "Kitty keeping tabs on me through you, that's the problem."

    Standout music: Lisa Hannigan's "Pistachio".

    Nora: "I was a more powerful woman than I let myself be."
    Kitty: "Yeah, yeah. I bet."

    Chronology: A few weeks since "A Father Dreams".

    "Sibling Rivalry" might be the first genuinely disappointing episode from the season. It's not particularly awful but there's very little that keeps it together in comparison to a lot of the other episodes this season.