Brothers & Sisters

Season 2 Episode 4

States of the Union

Aired Sunday 10:00 PM Oct 21, 2007 on ABC
out of 10
User Rating
175 votes

By Users

Episode Summary

Rebecca's suspicions arise after Justin makes an almost miraculous recovery. Kevin pushes Saul to the edge to get some answers. Nora, Sarah and Kitty decide to go to a spa. Tommy tries to make friends but ends up in an embarrassing situation.

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  • Relapse Written by Sherri Cooper And Liz Tigelaar Directed by Michael Schultz

    Scotty: "Why are you being defensive?"

    Kevin (re Saul): "He dates women. He even dated my father's mistress".

    Well it doesn't matter if Saul most of the older women in LA because all it takes is for him to show up at one of Milo's gay themed parties for Scotty to assume that he's gay The fact that Saul wasn't particularly comfortable in talking to him may have also tipped Scotty off.

    Now I don't like it when people think it's their right to out others, which doesn't make me a fan of the likes of Perez Hilton but the fact that Scotty wasn't aware that Kevin is clueless about Saul's sexual leaning is an interesting thing. It also begged the question – if Kevin knew or even thought that Saul might be gay would he have said something to Scotty about it?

    As a Walker, he's got a genetic inability to keep a secret but at the same he rarely confides anything outside of his family so perhaps. Secondly is it any of Scotty's business whether Saul is or isn't gay To that I can easily say no.

    It would be easy to attack Scotty because he can be very presumptuous when he wants to be but here his little slip up had no more to with being clueless rather than being vicious. Scotty might be many things but he's not an outright nasty person. If he was then Kevin wouldn't be anywhere near him.

    Funnily enough Kevin is quick to refute Scotty's claims that Saul might be gay even when Scotty takes an analysis at Saul's relationship history. To be honest, it isn't Scotty's place to really do that and while many of Saul's patterns can be attributed to straight men too, there's no denying that Saul could be gay.

    Saul certainly doesn't do himself any favours when Kevin asks him a few innocent enough questions and he reacts very defensively. A few episodes ago I might have rubbished the claim that Saul was gay but I have to admit that after this episode, it's very likely that he is gay (or even bisexual).

    During their argument, Kevin also throws in his own issues that he had to face when coming out. Getting anything on Kevin and William's relationship is great and I really like that while Kevin is trying to get the truth out of Saul, he's also attempting to be supportive and deal with his own issues at the same.

    Both Matthew Rhys and Ron Rifkin are brilliant throughout this entire plot. It's by far the strongest one of the whole episode and their later scene where Saul once again refutes being gay is a nice way of ending things. It's great that it was Kevin who apologised but its better that his concern for Saul is more vocalised as well. However as supportive as Kevin is, I did have a feeling that Saul would just go and say the same thing again. I'm guessing there are more twists to unfold with this plot so for the time being, Saul is going to remain in the closet.

    Then again he's not the only person in denial this week. Justin might have managed to get Nora out of his hair for a whole episode but he's another person with major problems. He's not making a faster recovery than he'd like and it's pretty much demoralising him.

    Even though at the physio, he's being told by the therapist that he's making good progress, Justin doesn't feel it. It also doesn't help when another wounded Army vet comes in and brags about being as high as a kite. I'm pretty sure they are the exact words to not say to a drug addict who has to take medication.

    Suffice to say when Justin does actually make some speedy progress, Rebecca is suspicious and asks him if he's increased his medication. A part of me would scold Rebecca but it's so painfully obvious that Justin has just gone and done exactly that. Needless to say, he's not going to come out and admit it.

    Instead he decides to make Rebecca feel as bad as she can about accusing him of relapsing and while Rebecca is a smart girl, she does manage to buy into Justin's fake indignation. It's too bad because she does actually end up admitting how much she gets on with him and Justin has made a total fool out of her.

    The end scene where it's revealed that he has another bottle comes as no shock at all. As for him getting caught, given the fact that he's practically confined to the Walker mansion and how he's been unable to hide previous addictive behaviour, I can't imagine that it will be that long before someone is smart enough to catch him in the act.

    Then again, Justin isn't the only one who seems happy to play with fire this week. The usually responsible Tommy also runs the risk of getting his hands burned. Given that things between him and Julia are souring to the point where she won't return his phone calls, was it really the smartest thing in the world for him to go and sleep with Lena of all people?

    I know Tommy's determined not to become like his father but sleeping with Lena is certainly not the way to avoid such behaviour. It also doesn't help that Holly is able to deduce that him and Lena are sleeping together all because she spotted Lena with the same blouse on as the day before.

    Whenever Holly gets righteously moral, my mind goes to two places. Regarding this plot, I believed that she had every right to lecture Tommy on how sleeping with an employee could damage both his marriage and the winery business. That being said, Holly does overstep the mark a few times with the way she mentions William that you almost wish Tommy would channel Sarah and give her a verbal ass kicking.

    Now as for Lena, I know I should hate her but I don't. Sleeping with Tommy was a bad idea and if it continues, she'll basically be the new Holly in the show but she doesn't strike as an altogether nasty person. She did actually sympathetic when Tommy was explaining his marital woes to her. However much as I love this series, I really wished the writers hadn't gone there with these two. I knew they were going to but I still wished they hadn't.

    Thankfully this episode isn't totally devoid of fun. Sarah might be brooding about her ten year anniversary coming up and Kitty might have her own problems with Robert but that doesn't stop both women from embarking on a relaxing weekend at a spa. Of course, that also includes a weekend with Nora who scores an invite with little effort on her part.

    It doesn't matter where the Walkers go, they seem unable to escape their problems but outside of the mansion, they become a lot more amusing. The girls might have able to enjoy massages and the works but bring them to a quiet room and they'll make sure the damn place is noisy in seconds.

    If Nora isn't trying to dispense unwanted advice to both Sarah and Kitty, then Kitty irritates one of the employees by using a cell phone in the room. Needless to say that all the noise they manage to contribute gets them kicked out of the very room itself. Even if this lot were in a monastery, they'd still manage to cause a racket.

    However getting kicked out of the quiet room isn't the end of their antics. Nope instead Nora encourages her daughters to gatecrash a wedding and funnily enough, Sarah is the only one who needs seriously persuading in the matter. Part of the reason for the spa weekend was to cheer Sarah up so you can't accuse Kitty or Nora for shirking that responsibility, can you?

    Plus once they are at the wedding, Sarah is also able to meet a fit bloke named Cliff but the chances of her engaging in any fun get killed by her lack of self-esteem. Too bad because Cliff is really hot and it's not like Joe is pining for Sarah. It was funny though that Sarah was trying to get into the wrong room.

    As for Nora, her issues seem to be the fact that everyone thinks she's a general busy body. Given that she rarely leaves her children to get on with their lives, she's only got herself to blame and even when she vows not to give advice on certain matters, both Sarah and Kitty is able to break her down.

    For Sarah she wants to move on from Joe. Not screwing Cliff meant that she had difficulty but after listening to Nora, she's able to call Kevin to start getting the divorce proceedings cracking. At least we know that every now and then, it actually pays to really listen to Nora.

    Kitty on the other hand has her own beef with Robert. One minute she's happy to help Sarah, the next minute she doesn't want to hear anything regarding divorce. Mainly because her and Robert haven't been communicating that well and Robert doesn't help by ignoring her attempts to engage in better conversation with him.

    Personally, I'm willing to bet that what Courtney said to her in "History Repeating" hit a nerve and if so, then good. Robert can be lost in his own little world and if he does become president (which I'm still hoping he won't), then he might even pay less attention to Kitty.

    The one thing about Robert that doesn't bother me is that his people drew up a pre-nuptial agreement. Honestly I'm in favour of them and I think it's less about his faith in Kitty's commitment to him and more about being financially solvent. Not that Kitty is the gold digger type anyway but you can't blame Robert's people for being practical.

    Even Kitty sees the logic with the pre-nuptial and while she has a nice moment with Robert, it turns out that he doesn't even want her to sign it anyway. Maybe Robert doesn't think Kitty would cripple him financially. Looking at the amount of shoes she has in her closet, I would be a little worried.

    Also in "States Of The Union"

    Is it safe to assume that this episode's title has more to do with the relationships of certain characters, rather than Robert's politics?

    Sarah (re Nora): "Did you get rid of her?"

    Kitty: "Define 'rid'".

    This is another one of those episodes where we've had multiple Walkers on the phone at the same time. We've also had that in "Patriarchy" and "Valentine's Day Massacre".

    Milo: "You can catch up".

    Saul: "Yeah because I don't anyone here".

    Kitty: "Bill needs to be incarcerated".

    Sarah: "Bill needs to give me his phone number".

    Nora does seem to get fairly absorbed into those kind of statistics things. She was going on about men finding divorced women hot.

    Kitty: "That's all you have to say".

    Robert: "That and I have to take a leak. How that for communication?"

    Kitty: "What happened to the girl who used to knock back bourbon and danced on bars?"

    Sarah: "Apparently she crashes weddings".

    Little things I loved here was seeing Sarah and Kitty's different taste in men and Scotty reminding Saul about the dinner party in "Affairs Of State".

    Sarah: "I love Greg".

    Cliff: "All women do. I'm trying not to get a complex. He's on wife number three and I'm still single".

    Lena (regarding her wine): "I finished mine too".

    Tommy: "Yeah my mother's presence has that effect on people".

    Lena: "I think everyone's mother has that effect".

    Josh Stamberg who played Cliff in this episode also appeared as a gay character in Seasons Three and Four of Six Feet Under. Nice bit of casting but too bad he was wasted on one episode.

    Rebecca: "Did you up your medication, Justin?"

    Justin: "Of course not. I can't believe you asked me that".

    Kevin: "But you don't have to hide anything".

    Saul: "Kevin you have to understand. I'm not hiding anything. I'm. Not. Gay I'm not gay".

    Standout music: "The Sea" by Morcheeba and "Everybody Wants To Rule The World" by Tears For Fear.

    Rebecca: "Did you already start watching?"

    Justin: "If I say yes would you think less of me?"

    Chronology: Not long since "History Repeating".

    Okay this isn't one of the strongest episodes from the series but despite the predictability of some of the main plots, I did enjoy "States Of The Union". Kevin and Saul's antics were particularly the most intriguing.moreless
  • Great episode

    Justin taking more drugs behind Rebecca's back, not good. But I knew it was going to happen, he's a drug addict and they should keep the pain killers away from him. Silly Rebecca and Nora. As for the spa get away I thought that was quite funny. I knew Sarah had the wrong door when she was with that guy. And Kitty and the pre-nup was funny too, how just was hinting to Robert but he wasn't taking the bait. And Nora in the quiet room, actually all of them in the quiet room, was so funny. It was like that lady was following them just to tell them to shut up. But it was funny too.

    I do think Saul is gay though and I don't know why he wont come out. It's not like it was back in the day and can't he see how they treat Kevin? Does he think they would be different around him?

    Kevin, Kevin, Kevin. All I can say is naughty boy and didn't he learn from his father? Silly, silly boy!

    Until next week!!moreless
  • Kitty and Sarah begrudgingly take a spa trip with Nora. Rebecca takes care of Justin, and is suspicious when he makes rapid progress. Kevin confronts Saul over his sexuality and Tommy struggles to deal with his marriage problems.moreless

    An enjoyable episode of Walker fun and mischief, but not my favourite. There seemed to be a lot of conflict and despair in this episode without many of the sweet family moments that make this show brilliant. Still I guess they can't be happy all the time and this episode definitely showed that.

    For once all the siblings had a storyline, as did Saul, Nora and Holly which was nice to see. I loved the antics of the ladies at the spa, their conflict and eventual resolution. Justin's storyline was inevitable but very strong in execution. I'm not sure if I love Saul's storyline but Kevin confronting him was interesting and it was nice to see some screen time between the two away from the Ojai problems. I really didn't like Tommy's storyline, I thought it pain over possibly losing Julia was well done but I'd be really disappointed if he did sleep with Lena (I think he did, though it wasn't entirely clear cut) why can't the husbands in this show not stay faithful??

    • I love Kitty, Sarah and Nora together, the forced mother-daughters bonding was funny as it usually is. The wedding crashing was hilarious and typically Walker style.

    • The argument between Nora and her daughters was hugely interesting. It focussed on Nora's role as a mother and she feels her life essentially will and always will revolve around her children and her children not seeing this as the case. This is true for many families, not least my own, so I really related to this fight. The struggle between parent and child is always going to be there in families such as the Walkers and I felt that it was really well done.

    • Kitty's storyline was fairly dull, I would like to see a week without her drama taking centre stage as to be honest there's only so far they can take it. Also Robert's a bit stupid for not having a pre-nup. He off all people should know that marriages can go wrong. I think it was a bit sappy on the writer's part to have them not sign a pre-nup.

    • Sarah knew about Julia leaving Tommy- we usually get to see these types of scenes so it feels weird that we didn't get to see it

    • I was really rooting for Sarah to get with that guy. I think she could really use some fun after what she is going through with Joe

    • It's a shame that Justin is getting addicted to the medicine again, but its understandable. I thought his reactions to her accusations were really believable as was his behaviour the next morning.

    • Kevin and Saul's storyline was interesting in places. Kevin is probably the best person to deal with Saul's confusion over his sexuality as he won't inform the whole Walker clan. I felt Kevin was a little harsh with Saul though.

    • It was really sad to see the pain Tommy was going through over possibly losing Julia and how it was finally starting to affect his work. It's good to see Balthazar Getty getting some decent screen time and storylines for him to display his acting talent.

    • I hate him sleeping with Lena it was a huge mistake and it was so disappointing to see him make it. Hopefully Julia won't find out about it, but lets face it, this is Brothers and Sisters!

    • Holly did a really good thing calling Tommy up on what he has done. She is the voice of wisdom on the subject of cheating so it was good to see her try and protect both Tommy and the business.

    Overall a decent episode, though not my favourite, mostly due to the disappointing outcome of Tommy's storyline. There were many classic moments in this episode mostly with the spa girls, though Justin's storyline was also very compelling.moreless
  • One of the better episodes of season 2 so far.

    The spar storyline was brilliant, hilarious. I really like Sarah and find her storyline with Joe very interesting, she is just a likable character. Nora brings a lot of humour to the episode and is definitely one of the better characters of the show. Tommy perhaps having an affair with Lena was kind of like, just don't, I liked how Holly confronted him.

    Don't like the Saul storyline, but that's more because I don't like him, Kevin is good though. How he kept asking, saying he was there. Justin is another character I've never warmed too, but I actually did quite enjoy his story with Rebecca, who is getting better as the show goes on, still not a great character. I look forward to more, after this episode, I'm looking forward to watching it a bit more.moreless
  • I loved it, this is classic B&S stuff we're seeing here.

    I am obsessed with last nights episode, I loved it to pieces. It made me laugh, smile, sad and clench my fists. :)

    So lets start with the spa gals: Nora, Kitty and Sarah. This was my favourite story of the episode, I loved how Nora somehow managed to invite herself along, that was hilarious. Only SF could make that work! Getting kicked out of the spa in true Walker style for talking too loud was also great, and brought some much needed comedy to a bit of a sad episode. :(

    Which brings me to Tommy and Lena. Oh holy God in heaven. First Joe and Sarah, now this? Yep, I don't really like this storyline, which is a shame because I liked Lena to start with and thought they could really take her somewhere, like perhaps a relationship with Justin instead of his married brother... But kudos to Patricia Wettig in the scene where she completely yells at Tommy about the whole thing, you go Holly, for once not being the bad ass in the story, and for finally giving PW some screentime in S2. :D

    Kevin and Saul, I missed 2 of their scenes, so I'll have to go back and watch it later and report on it then, but I am loving all this Luke MacFarlane appearances, yay! :P

    Justin. Oh Justin, Justin, Justin. He's gone back to his old ways, how disappointed I am. At the same time I also think it's a clever storyline, and very realistic. People come back from wars, they develop addictions for their injuries as Justin did, so it's great to see some of this awareness stuff happening on the show. :)

    Next week's episode looks like such a treat, and such a funny episode. Channel Seven totally gave it away with their preview, obviously Kitty is pregnant, and the family gossip about it behind her back. I can't wait, but damn for having to wait a week to see it! Patience, patience...moreless
Brandon Fobbs

Brandon Fobbs


Guest Star

Shi Ne Nielson

Shi Ne Nielson

Spa Worker

Guest Star

Michael Nouri

Michael Nouri

Milo Peterman

Guest Star

Luke MacFarlane

Luke MacFarlane

Scotty Wandell

Recurring Role

Emily Rose

Emily Rose

Lena Branigan

Recurring Role

Trivia, Notes, Quotes and Allusions


  • TRIVIA (1)

  • QUOTES (18)

    • Nora: (to Kitty) Honey, maybe it does mean something. And what, worst-case scenario, Robert doesn't have enough trust in you as a couple. Maybe he senses your doubts, for whatever the reason, sometimes you have to have enough trust for both of you. And it will shift, it always does, that's what marriage is. And if it doesn't...
      Sarah: Come on, Mom.
      Nora: Well if it doesn't, then you have to acknowledge it, have the courage to let go, hurt like holy hell and move on.

    • Holly: (to Tommy after finding out about him and Lena) Everybody makes mistakes. God knows I have. But that is it. It ends now. From now on, it is no longer a mistake, it is a choice.

    • Nora: (to Sarah and Kitty) I love you, you're my children, when you're in trouble, I'm in trouble. I'm sorry, I don't know how to say, "Oh, la dee dah, I think I'll go play golf." You're everything I've ever done with my life! Believe me, I lay awake at night praying you guys will get your lives together so I can get some sleep.

    • Nora: Would everyone please stop ordering me to relax. How can I possibly relax.
      Sarah: Mom, you just don't get it. The whole idea of this weekend was for us to escape our problems. Instead, you've rubbed our faces in them, and then gone and created new ones.
      Nora: Fine, so shoot me, I'm concerned. And why wouldn't I be concerned? I mean, look at all of you. (gestures to Sarah, then Kitty) You're consumed with post-divorce despair, you're caught up in this perpetual commitment phobia, Justin's in constant agony and lucky to be alive, Julia has left Tommy and taken Elizabeth with her, and Kevin... well, I don't know about Kevin! He won't return my phone calls!

    • Sarah: (to a random guy she's just met and wants to take with her to her room) I should be able to do this. I mean, my husband's moved on. He's back with his ex-wife, or his ex-ex-wife, I'm his ex-wife, not that we're officially divorced, so I don't even know what my official title is, but I'm single. And I'm off mommy duty, you know, no one's asking me to tuck them in or read them a Scratchy story, I'm at this gorgeous resort and with this very nice guy...
      Guy: Right. This isn't happening, is it.

    • Kevin: (to Saul) You know when I came out, you saw how Dad treated me, made me feel like he was doing some huge favor allowing me to remain part of my own family. You could have stuck up for me.

    • Saul: (about Milo Petersen) You know that he's an old friend of mine, right? Recently divorced.
      Kevin: Right, because he's gay.
      Saul: I didn't know that Milo's sexual orientation was any of our business, Kevin.
      Kevin: Right, because he's gay.

    • (Kitty is on the phone with Robert.)
      Kitty: So, what's your position on trophy wives.
      Robert: Trophy what?
      Kitty: Trophy wives, you know, men with trophy wives, I'm just curious about where you stand on that issue.
      Robert: Kitty, what the hell is happening at that spa?

    • Kitty: (to Nora) You can't fix everything. First it's Project Wedding, Project Justin, Project Sarah, now it's Project Tommy. Just stop.
      Sarah: Yeah, can we get back to Project Me? Mom, I need you. It's why we're here.

    • Kevin: So it was all gay men... and Uncle Saul.
      Scotty: Why do I feel like I'm being cross-examined? All I said was, "You never told me your uncle's gay." I was making small talk.
      Kevin: Small talk. This is small talk: "Nice weather we're having." This is my Uncle Saul we're talking about. I think I would know if he were gay.

    • Therapist: (sees that Justin is looking at Rebecca, who is waiting for him) Don't be embarrassed, your girlfriend will like you either way.
      Justin: Oh, no, no, she's my sister.
      Therapist: Well then she has to love you.

    • Nora: (reading from a magazine) "Men admitted that sleeping with a divorcee felt like sleeping with another man's wife," which according to Bill from Seattle is "an incredible turn-on."
      Kitty: Bill needs to be incarcerated.
      Sarah: No, Bill from Seattle needs to give me his number.

    • Saul: (about amount of people on the party) You said just a few people.
      Milo: You know what they say. Thirty's the new few.

    • Sarah: You know what you get for ten years of marriage? Daffodils, diamonds, or an aluminum paperweight. That's correct, ladies and gentlemen, ten years and all you get is a stupid paperweight. And you know, the tragic thing is? I didn't even get that.
      Kitty: Have you been day-drinking?

    • Justin: Mom, don't you have like four other kids to worry about? Seriously, I mean, mom, Sarah's going through a divorce, Kitty's planning a wedding, Tommy's got a newborn, and Kevin's in, like, a long-distance relationship with a minister, which is possibly the scariest thing I've ever heard. Do you feel like spreading it out, at all?

    • Saul: I was out of line today.
      Kevin: Me too, Saul. But I do know what you're going through. I know, I know, different generation, and I'm sure you think I had things a lot easier. But whatever it is you need from me – I'm here for you.
      Saul: Okay.
      Kevin: But. You don't have to hide anything…
      Saul: Kevin, you have to understand. I'm not hiding anything. I'm. Not. Gay. I'm not gay.

    • Scotty: Ask yourself, how many 60 year old men do you know who've never had a serious relationship with a woman? Kevin, it's time to take off your Prada shades and open your eyes.

    • Kevin: Saul, are you gay?
      Saul laughing
      Saul: I just can't believe you're asking me this!

  • NOTES (3)

    • International Episode Titles:
      Czech Republic - Státy unie (States of the Union)

    • Original International Air Dates:
      Norway: Wednesday, October 15, 2008 on TV2
      Latin America: Wednesday, October 15, 2008 on Universal Channel
      Czech Republic: Sunday, December 5, 2010 on Universal Channel

    • Music:
      Humble Me
      by Norah Jones
      The Sea by Morcheeba
      Everybody Wants to Rule the World by Tears for Fears