Brothers & Sisters

Season 3 Episode 18

Taking Sides

Aired Sunday 10:00 PM Mar 08, 2009 on ABC
out of 10
User Rating
109 votes

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Episode Summary

Even in the wake of a life threatening medical crisis & the excitement surrounding the birth of his son; Robert remains steadfast in his drive to run for governor; Despite the damage that it may do to his marriage. Saul & Sarah go to extremes to hide Tommy's legal troubles from Nora; Ryan gets a bit too close too fast for anyone's good.moreless

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  • Nora throws yet another disastrous Walker dinner party.

    This was another dramatic episode of Brothers and Sisters what with Tommy appearing in court, Nora throwing Ryan a meet your half-siblings dinner party which was the inevitable disaster when he let the cat out of the bag to Nora about Tommy. Robert finally had to admit to his health frailties. Justin and Rebecca went through all sorts of turmoil, I suppose it was inevitable they would split up although now Ryan seems to be keen on her. The show was beautifully acted and written like so many Brothers and Sisters episodes. I, for one, can't wait for the next installment.moreless
  • Fairly intense...things are finally moving.

    So things have started moving nicely for the first real time this season. Ryan has met everyone, Tommy has been found out and the Justin/Rebecca relationship came to an unsurprising end...something I don't think will last long. However Ryan seems to have swooped in to get it just me, or is he creepy? I'm don't like him but I like what his character has brought to the show.

    The reaction to him was unexpected and...quite nice, something Nora noticed. Tommy and his legal troubles were bound to re revealed to Nora...the scene when she finally learned the truth was by far the highlight of the episode. It was very intense with Kevin trying to get them not to listen to Rebecca, Justin not standing up for her, Nora disgusted at Tommy and of course the slap.

    To be honest I couldn't care less about Tommy, I think this episode proves that he's an ass. I'm glad Julia told him not to come home and that Nora gave him that smack. Sarah pleading with Holly was interesting...I still cannot stand the latter. B***h!

    I also enjoyed the scene where Nora told Saul how disappointed she seemed overdue. Plus the ending was great with Rebecca telling Holly to do what she wishes with Tommy and the break-up.

    I like how this season is going now, sadly there's only about 5 episodes left.moreless
  • Divided Written by Michael Foley And Beth Schwartz Directed by Michael Morris

    Nora: "You remember Ryan?"

    Rebecca: "Yeah, of course, of course. What brings you by today?"

    Ryan: "Oh, you didn't get the memo? It's bring your illegitimate child to work day."

    Rebecca: "Oh, yeah. I went to that last year."

    Actually, Rebecca you went to that two years ago followed by the first Walker dinner from hell. Last year, you were too busy finding out that David was your real father and calling Holly every name under the sun as a direct result. Gee, some continuity here writers.

    It's amazing that it takes Ryan's fourth appearance on this series to actually meet all of his siblings and to firsthand experience a typical chaotic Walker family dinner. If Ryan's with this show on a regular basis next season, he'll have plenty more of them to look forward to. He might want to start asking Scotty, Saul and Julia for survival tips.

    Nora taking Ryan in all of a sudden seemed like a bad idea on paper but then again, it was her impulsiveness to give him a plane ticket before even telling the rest of her children that she had been in contact with the lad.

    It was pretty obvious that from the word go; just about no-one wanted to actually meet Ryan. Justin gave him more or less the look of avowed hatred during the brief seconds they interacted in the previous episode and it seemed only natural that his dislike for Ryan would grow rather than deflate.

    In fact Rebecca even made a point at the start of the episode for Justin to go easy on Ryan. To be fair, apart from Luke Grimes's acting (which isn't brilliant); there isn't much reason as to why Justin should rationally hate the bloke. Unfortunately by the episode's ending, Rebecca added further hostility between Justin and Ryan.

    Assaulting Ryan with all the Walkers (minus Kitty, who was exempt from this week's family meltdown) was a bad idea in the making. Nora should've tried the approach that Saul said Henry wanted to – have Ryan meet each of his siblings separately in a different setting. Damage control basically.

    Having them all meet at once however wasn't the smartest of idea. At first they looked at him as if he was contagious and then they went into the charm offensive that regardless of whatever dislike you might have for the character, you can't blame him for being a little nervous with them.

    Worse still is that Ryan then had to hear about Tommy's embezzling and make the mother of mistakes by blurting it out to Nora. I know there's a small suspicion that Ryan might have deliberately known that Nora was blissfully aware of Tommy's blunder and told her as an act of spite but I'm willing to cut him some slack with that.

    I genuinely think that Ryan might have been oblivious but Nora certainly dropped him in it when she told everyone else that Ryan was the only one who was being honest with her. We've been down this road, Nora likes to pretend that everything's fine but gets seriously annoyed when no-one informs that things aren't.

    Tommy should've told her a long time ago about his little cock up and so should Saul when it looked like Tommy was going to go ahead with his plan to oust Holly. The fight between Tommy and Nora was certainly one of the harshest ones (reminded me a little of Claire and Ruth's spat in Six Feet Under's "Hold My Hand") but did Tommy have a point?

    For all of William's deceits, Nora has lived comfortably off it. She's never had to starve and while Tommy's plan was beyond stupid, inexcusable and downright reckless, no-one else in the Walker clan has even tried to get Holly out of their lives.

    I know this show isn't The Sopranos, so I'm not expecting Holly to be sleeping with the fishes anytime soon but all the Walkers ever do is gripe about the woman. Tommy actually tried to get rid of her and while Holly's never broken the law and while her self-entitled attitude doesn't give Tommy carte blanche to break the law in order to oust Holly, I still have no degree of empathy for Holly.

    Even in this episode, she continued to be as much of a pain in the ass as Tommy has been over this whole thing. I hate seeing her lording over the Walkers, I hated her condescension towards Sarah during their meeting (though to be fair, Sarah should not have gone to see her) and I totally hated her at the arraignment as well.

    Holly didn't turn up because she wanted to resolve, she did it for spite. No doubt that Tommy should be punished for his actions but Holly must be the thickest person on the planet if she can't see why he would do it. Even David had the sense to tell her to knock off it off as well.

    As for Justin and Rebecca trying to keep out of it, this episode gave me a satisfactory moment. They broke up for the simple fact that when the chips were down, they had to side with their respective families. You can't exactly blame them for doing that but the shock they conveyed when they chose opposing sides made me laugh.

    Did Justin really think Rebecca was not going to take Holly's side and was Rebecca that stupid that she didn't think Justin would side with his own family (he was pretty much on Tommy's case throughout the episode)? Both questions are rhetorical, though the answer is obvious: they did. Shame on them.

    Tommy might have put his foot in it by randomly mouthing off at Rebecca about Holly but even though I could understand Rebecca choosing to side with her mother, I couldn't care enough to feel for her. In fact, there's a part of me that was actually glad when Justin told her to shut up.

    As for the argument, I felt like I was watching their last scene from "Owning It" again. The dialogue was certainly similar, only this time, Rebecca actually did us a favour by dumping Justin. I'd like to say that's the end of their relationship but there are six episodes left and as far as I know, Emily Van Camp will be back next season.

    However one thing I didn't like was Ryan siding up to Rebecca. If viewers can't stand Justin and Rebecca as a couple, then don't expect them to endear to Ryan and Rebecca. In fact, if the writers make the same mistake they did in Season Two with Rebecca mainly being around Justin, then they really shouldn't solely have Ryan interacting with Rebecca.

    Ryan got a nice scene with Sarah and seeing as he has five siblings (four if Balthazar Getty really is leaving this show for good), it would be prudent for the writers to establish individual relationships with each of them, though for the time being, I doubt Ryan is going to get any respect from Justin.

    Ryan and Nora's scenes weren't the strongest of this episode. It's hard to really figure out Ryan's motives. Does he genuinely want to get to know this family or like Holly, does he feel compelled to be in their lives solely to piss them off? I'm sure if I'd buy into Ryan as a villain but it was the original route the writers were going to take with Rebecca before chickening out.

    Thankfully not everything in this episode was dedicated to decimating Tommy. Okay, on the last part of that, Julia was justifiably furious with him and maybe she's allowed to kick him out for the time being. It's interesting how both Tommy and Justin, booted out by their significant others will now have to accept Sarah's hospitality until she gets sick of the pair of them. Still, gotta love Sarah in a crisis.

    As for Kitty, I'd like to say that she had a lucky escape but she didn't really. She might not have had to deal with Ryan or fallout out from Tommy but she did have problems with trying to get Robert to actually relax.

    For a side plot, this was a lot more interesting that the majority of the stuff happening in the episode. Even the addition of Courtney, Sophie and Jack added because it served as further proof that Robert has delusions of indestructibility and gets pretty hacked off when he's told the contrary.

    Given that Courtney's last appearance didn't exactly paint her in a good light, I liked that she was kind to Kitty and even made the effort to take an interest in Evan. Kitty was right about telling Sophie and Jack the truth. It might be scary but it's a lot worse to lie to them as well, especially when it comes to health.

    I've spent much of this season complaining about Robert that I'm tempted for one review only to give him a reprieve. However Robert was still frustratingly stubborn in this episode and the private moment when he cried could be interpreted as anything. Was he crying because of his health? Because he had to admit vulnerability and how they could force him to re-evaluate his goals for governor? Maybe he was crying because of the anti-climatic way they killed Edie off in Desperate Housewives. It's anyone's guess really, though I'm personally aiming for the second one.

    Also in "Taking Sides"

    Brilliant opening scene with Kevin, Sarah and Tommy all deflecting Nora's calls as they met up with each other in court.

    Nora: "Sarah, it's an office. The only thing you have to know is does it have any windows."

    Sarah: "Just because Greenatopia is doing well, I can't take the risk that Kyle and Ethan aren't suddenly going to turn into Donald Trump."

    Speaking of Kyle and Ethan, where the heck are they and why haven't we actually seen Sarah working at Greenatopia since five episodes ago?

    Justin: "The last thing I need is another sibling."

    Rebecca: "I'm sure you said the same thing about me but look where that got us?"

    Justin: "If you really think that I'm going to be dating Ryan in a year, that's really weird and gross."

    Julia: "What if you go to jail, then what? Did you even think about us?"

    Tommy: "Can we do this at home?"

    Julia: "No, we cannot."

    Tommy: "Julia!"

    Julia: "I don't want you there. Don't come home."

    How come Sarah was there for Tommy at court but Saul wasn't? I don't know why but that surprised me a little.

    Sarah (re Tommy): "He was there for you when you were at your bottom."

    Justin: "He wasn't there for me. He didn't even speak to me."

    Nora: "I've good news. Everyone's coming to dinner tonight."

    Ryan: "Oh wow, everyone. What did you do, threaten them?"

    Ryan mentioned that he had an interest in cooking. Maybe that'll give him and Scotty something to talk about.

    Kevin (re Tommy): "He's due back in court in ten days and Sarah's appointed herself as leader of the Free Tommy Walker Campaign."

    Kitty: "Oh, what does that entail?"

    Kevin: "So far, just bed and board."

    Sarah (re Nora): "You've gotta watch her. She's very good at rewriting history."

    Ryan: "I guess history gets rewritten a lot around here, doesn't it?"

    Sarah: "Touché."

    Apart from being a support system for Holly and Rebecca, how long do the writers intend to keep David around?

    Nora: "Your father, your father. What he did was unforgivable. I despise him for it."

    Tommy: "Really? Well, you sure love living off it, Mom."

    Nora (to Saul): "You've asked me to see all the ways you've grown and changed over the last year. Right now, all I can see are the ways you haven't."

    Standout music: "As Much As You Lead" by Lex Land.

    Justin: "Thank you, Sarah."

    Sarah: "Don't go overboard. You're gonna have to fight Tommy for the couch."

    Chronology: March 15th 2009, seeing as the 25th was the second time Tommy would have to appear in court.

    "Taking Sides" is something of a conflicting episode. There are some strong performances and good moments but between Tommy vs. Holly, it's actually hard to pick a side in all of this.moreless
  • Nora trys to get everyone together so that they can met Ryan

    In this episode of Brothers and Sisters the following happens. Nora rings around all of her children to get them all to go out for a meal, so that they can all met Ryan, their half sibling. We soon we see that Tommy is in court and Julia, Sarah and Kevin are all there to support him. Tommy is granted bail. Julia seems really angry at Tommy for the situation they are in. She then confronts him about it, and the fact that he did it. Julia then tells him not to come home. We also learn that no one has told Nora about Tommy and the court case as Tommy wants to do it himself. But then Nora turns up at Ojai to see Tommy, and she has brought Ryan with her. Robert returns home from his hospital stay and his near death experience, and he still looks worse for wear. Roberts other 2 children come to visit and he is still hiding the truth from them about his true condition. Another family dinner is arranged for that evening and so everyone has to attend. Soon the question turns to Tommy as everyone wants him to tell her as soon as possible. Ryan overhears about Tommy's arrest and believes that Nora has been keeping it from him. So he, accidently tells her. So Nora confronts Tommy about it. It gets so heated that Nora slaps Tommy. Tommy walks out, Nora apologises to Ryan and then she also leaves. After the dinner ends, Rebecca and Justin end their relationship. She then goes round to her mothers in floods of tears and asks her not to go easy on Tommy and for her to do whatever she has to, to get justice. Robert then makes the decision that he should tell his kids the truth and he does so the next time he sees them. After he leaves, we see Robert break down in tears. Justin admits to Sarah that they have broken up and that he has thought about using drugs again and so Sarah invites him to stay with her and he accepts. Ryan goes round to see Rebecca to make sure that she is ok, and she invites him inside.moreless
  • Holly: 1. Tommy: 0

    Looks like the idea of the Walker reunions = disaster has still not sunk into Nora's head. She keeps trying... and she keeps picking up the pieces.

    But we can only enjoy it because when the brothers and sisters fight it's always delightful.

    Tommy is reallty getting on my nerves so I'm glad that he's on his way out.

    I'm glad too regarding the breakup of Justin and Rebecca because I'm sorry but from the beginning I find their couple quite creepy...

    I just don't know why she went to tell Holly that she could do anything she wanted regarding Tommy. Sure she had a right to take sides and to support her mother but she still likes the Walkers. Revenge is a touch out of character for Rebecca.

    I like Ryan and I wonder what he's really up to. He seems way too nice...

    Robert's meltdown was very touching but we can feel that he and Kitty are really hitting a rough patch. Wonder if they'll make it to the end of the season...

    I can't wait to see more of Sarah. She's my favourite character on the show but I'm sorry she doesn't get more. She's so much fun and the idea of her young partners is just great. I loved her final plea to Holly.moreless
Paul Keeley

Paul Keeley

James Friedman

Guest Star

Traber Burns

Traber Burns

Judge Arthur Gray

Guest Star

Caroline Rich

Caroline Rich

The Court Clerk

Guest Star

Ken Olin

Ken Olin

David Caplan

Recurring Role

Luke Grimes

Luke Grimes

Ryan Lafferty

Recurring Role

Justine Dorsey

Justine Dorsey

Sophie McCallister

Recurring Role

Trivia, Notes, Quotes and Allusions


  • TRIVIA (0)

  • QUOTES (7)

    • Justin: The last thing I need is another sibling.
      Rebecca: I'm sure you said the same thing about me but look where that got us?
      Justin: If you really think that I'm going to be dating Ryan in a year, that's really weird and gross.

    • Nora: He's my son. He's my son, damn it. I know why he came to you. The same reason William did. Because you are comfortable dealing in lies, Saul, you always have been.
      Saul: Tell me something. What are you comfortable with, Nora? Truth? I don't think so. If you wanted to know the truth about William, all you had to do was open your eyes. But you didn't want to. You made it very clear that you were better off not knowing the messy parts.

    • Nora: Please, please, please. Just be nice tonight. Just be yourselves.
      Kevin: Be nice or be ourselves. Which is it?

    • Sarah: How do I look?
      Kevin: What?
      Sarah: Is this too fancy? With the bow?
      Kevin: I don't care.
      Sarah: You think I would know what to wear to one of these meet your new half-sibling shindigs by now.

    • Rebecca: You know I don't hate your brother and I don't want him to go to jail, it's just I don't ...
      Justin: You have nothing to worry about. In this whole situation, you're Switzerland. You're beautiful and ... neutral.

    • Nora: You remember Ryan?
      Rebecca: Yeah, of course, of course. What brings you guys by today?
      Ryan: Oh, you didn't get the memo? It's bring your illegitimate child to work day.
      Rebecca: Oh, yeah, I went to that last year.

    • Saul: I think we should go to Holly. After all, she's human.
      Sarah: That's disputable.

  • NOTES (3)

    • International Episode Titles:
      Czech Republic - Na miskách vah (On Basins)

    • Original International Air Dates:
      Norway: Wednesday, June 10, 2009 on TV2
      Australia: Monday, June 22, 2009 on Channel 7
      Latin America: Wednesday, August 12, 2009 on Universal Channel
      Czech Republic: Sunday, May 29, 2011 on Universal Channel

    • Music:
      As Much As You Lead by Lex Land (While Ryan is talking to Rebecca outside)
      Blindsided by Bon Iver


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