Brothers & Sisters

Season 3 Episode 5

You Get What You Need

Aired Sunday 10:00 PM Oct 26, 2008 on ABC
out of 10
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114 votes

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Episode Summary

Rebecca's trust in her mother is put to the test when she discovers something about Holly; Scotty's disapproving parents comes for a visit.

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  • Opportunities Written by Cliff Olin And David Marshall Grant Directed by Chad Lowe

    Kevin: "Wow, talk about hitting the ground running."

    Kitty: "Welcome to politics."

    Wow, if ever there was an episode where a career change came like a thunderbolt then it would certainly be this one. Unfortunately the writing was on the wall last week with Robert's offer and all this episode did was lead the way for Kevin to accept it.

    First off all, there was his current job. For all the woes that losing the Ojai account brought to Kevin, he was fairly confident that Carter was going to make him partner. By his own admission, Kevin has admitted several times over that he's certainly worked for such a promotion and here was where he should've reaped the benefits.

    Things were looking great when Carter pulled him aside for a discussion about attending drinks, which to Kevin had to have meant that he was about to become a partner in his own firm. Even his snarky co-worker was grudgingly telling him that he was a shoe-in.

    Unfortunately for Kevin, his hopes got dashed impressively quick. Carter only invited him for drinks to gently let him down that the senior partners had chosen someone else to promote instead. My bet that it's the snarky co-worker but it's obviously enough to sour Kevin's general mood.

    And of course, having Kevin's mood being especially soured certainly didn't help with the arrival of Scotty's parents. If ever there was any proof that Scotty is more vocalised than Julia in this series, this episode should serve as great evidence.

    After "Prior Commitments", I was hoping that we would see more of Wally and Bertha and this episode doesn't disappoint in that regards. Wally's still a reasonably sweet guy and Bertha's general hostility is still intact. However both of them are united in their love for Scotty so they're not all bad.

    Bertha does hinge a lot on wanting to see certain celebrities while in the LA area but it's the chance to meet Kitty and Robert during a meal that brightens her day. Needless to say, it's not exactly a walk in the park for Kevin, whom Bertha does seem to actively dislike throughout the episode.

    In fact, Bertha's general dislike for Kevin does speak volumes over the dinner. She makes no effort whatsoever to engage with him and her gushing over Kitty and Robert does become somewhat cringe inducing as the episode goes on. The last thing we need is more people stroking Robert's ego.

    However being a Walker means lacking a filter and Kevin does eventually get sick of Bertha and lets her have it. While Bertha was generally being insensitive and did arguably deserve some of the things that Kevin said to her, I do think that Kevin himself could've handled things much better.

    He even admits later on to Scotty that most of his anger stemmed from not making partner. I can understand why such a thing is an issue for Kevin but I can understand why Scotty would be mad at Kevin for being so flippant at the dinner table. Still, it is nice that at the same time the writers do continue to wonderfully flesh them out as a married couple.

    Also to Kevin's credit, he did make the effort to try and put things right with the Wandalls. He got there with Wally but Bertha herself is still unwilling to give him a chance. Yet at the same time as a viewer, I really do hope there are more occasions in which Scotty's family surface.

    As for agreeing to become Robert's communications director, the only advantage I can see so far is that Kitty will now be able to dedicate her time fully to becoming a published author. Kevin himself has no real political or media experience in spite of his intelligence.

    Plus him and Robert fundamentally disagree on way too many issues that I can't see them being a happy working relationship. It also didn't help that Robert laid on the smugness when he learned that Kevin hadn't made partner in his firm. In other words, I'm not sure about this plot.

    Moving on from the Kevin, another unsure thing is Justin and Rebecca. The fact that they've managed to go five episodes without sleeping with each other is wonderful by TV standards but it also means that the fact they're not having sex would become an issue as well.

    During a drunken moment, Rebecca opened up to Holly about Justin and for once, Holly actually came across as a fairly humanised character. Of course when Justin and Rebecca would end up getting it on, it would come after a bout of nasty sex.

    And what caused such sex? Fighting over Holly of course. Rebecca had the good sense to tell Justin about Holly digging into Ryan and when Holly actually admitted it, Rebecca ended up respecting her. I even respected the fact that Holly told her that she wanted a sense of control by tracking Ryan down.

    Justin on the other hand was less impressed with Holly's motives and took to slagging her off to which Rebecca actually defended her mother for once. Both Justin and Rebecca then later decided that it should be Nora and Holly together that should hash out the Ryan stuff and not them.

    It's a good idea but these two must've been hopelessly dumb if they thought that Ryan might actually be something that would result in a civilised discussion between the warring women. In fact, their last spat bordered on being soap opera like all over again.

    After humanising Holly during her scenes with Rebecca, it makes sense now go back and vilify her with Nora. We know that Holly has a burning hatred for the woman and she certainly had no problem in admitting that she took delight in watching Nora panic. However throwing the thing about Sarah blurting to Rebecca about her parentage was Holly's own fault. What she would do to Ryan isn't just but at the same time, the writers do need to stop ending every episode cliff hanger on him and just add him into the mix already.

    When Nora isn't having shockers about Ryan and the depths of Holly's spitefulness to contend with, she's too bust trying to get people to take her seriously. Given her lack of business experience, is she really that surprised that she would have to work extra hard in order to acquire a grant?

    The company she was with were able to diminish her confidence and if it wasn't for Sarah's little pep talk, I'm pretty sure that Nora wouldn't have had later success in persuading Goldschmidt into giving her a grant. Her homemaker speech certainly provided the most compelling argument the series has done, so hats off to Nora for getting the financial backing that she needs for this centre.

    With Kevin changing careers and Nora starting up one, work woes are certainly hanging over Tommy, Sarah and Saul in equal measures. Tommy for the main fact that because of Rebecca, he slightly feels like Ojai has become more of a Harper than a Walker business.

    There's a great scene with him and Saul where Tommy conveys some of his loneliness and even tries his best to persuade Saul to come back to work for them. Saul refuses but he does insist upon Tommy that whenever he wants rid of Holly that Sarah would be happy to come back.

    It's interesting to see that Saul's hatred of Holly has become as venomous as Sarah's but perhaps Tommy does have a bit of a point about Holly's general helpfulness around Ojai. Still like the previous episode, this is a fairly good moment for Tommy who is feeling increasingly isolated from his own family.

    As for Saul, what are the odds that he'll end up working for Nora? While he might not want to go back to Ojai while Holly's still there, it's clear that he's bored to tears of being retired. Plus, maybe him and Nora would make for a good working relationship. They certainly have a good enough rapport anyway.

    Sarah's work related problems also included her boredom at being a stay at home mother. With Paige and Cooper both acting up, it would take Sarah to ask Nora on how raising five children didn't drive her to the depths of despair. Nora's answer is kind of clichéd but its believable no less.

    Of course, Sarah's other problem is finding the right job and seeing that Joe isn't as present as he used to be, she might have no choice but to accept something decent until something great enters the picture. Either way, I do hope that ditching Ojai isn't something that has bad consequences on her long term.

    Also in "You Get What You Need"

    Given this title, I'm surprised a certain song didn't make it into this episode. That being said, that might have been a bit too obvious.

    Rebecca (re Holly): "I have no idea what she's gonna do."

    Justin: "She has no right to do anything. I mean, my Mom has been agonising over this whole situation for months. She doesn't want Ryan to know."

    Rebecca got some credit in this episode for her expertise on the meeting at the winery. I guess she'll be sticking with Ojai for a while longer.

    Scotty: "You've met my parents."

    Kevin: "I have and they scare me. I won't antagonise them by French kissing you in front of them."

    Nora: "Be creative, set a goal."

    Saul: "Okay, I'll take a nap."

    Nora had problems with power point presentation this week. I personally dislike power point but it does come in handy.

    Kevin: "And can you guys bring an autographed picture of yourself."

    Kitty: "God, Kevin. If you ask me for one more favour, you are gonna have to say yes to Robert's offer."

    Kevin: "No chance but I do love you. Thank you, bye."

    Sarah: "We could swap. I'll get the grant and you get the kids."

    Nora: "We've been making that deal my whole life. I'll pass."

    Loved Kevin's little shout out to Saturday Night Fever when he thought he was going to make partner.

    Holly (re Justin): "And how's the sex?"

    Rebecca: "Mom!"

    Holly: "It's obvious that something's going on."

    Rebecca: "There's no sex happening. That's what's going on."

    Nora (to Goldschmidt): "The problem is that no-one values the experience of a stay at home parent which is truly a shame because basically running this big enterprise as you put it would be a day at the beach for me."

    Nora got very bored when Goldschmidt kept yammering on about golf during their meeting.

    Kevin: "Can we please stop and have a real conversation?"

    Bertha: "I thought we were having one."

    Kevin: "No, that would require you to stop being so passive aggressive. You can fawn over my sister and her husband because they're in your pantheon of Republican God."

    Scotty: "You're going to work for him?"

    Robert: "Try to be a little less enthusiastic."

    Kevin: "Yes I am because someone has to cross the aisle or nothing gets done."

    Standout music: "Outside" by Aqualung and "Let Go" by Toby Lightman.

    Kevin: "I was trying to get your parents to like me."

    Scotty: "Like you?"

    Kevin: "Well now they hate me more than ever."

    Scotty: "There's such a thing as cause and effect."

    Holly: "You know it's so amusing watching you panic when things don't turn out exactly the way you planned and God forbid that I upset your perfect little apple cart."

    Nora: "Well, at least I have an apple cart. You know, Holly, I really think it's your jealousy that makes me pity you the most."

    Chronology: The next day after "Everything Must Go".

    "You Get What You Need" marks an improvement in this series over the last week. It's not up to the excellence of the first season but there was more to enjoy in this episode than there was less. Still, the Ryan thing is getting dragged out quite relentlessly now.moreless
  • Kevin gets some bad news at work

    In this episode of Brothers & Sisters, the following happens. Scotty's parents are coming into town and he and Kevin have arranged to have a meal with them. We learn that Kevin will not be made partner. He is also still considering Roberts job offer, for Kevin to replace Kitty. Justin & Rebecca spend the night together for the very first time. Kevin ruins the meal with Scotty's parents. Soon everyone learns that Kevin didn't make partner, so he agrees to go and work for Robert. Justin and Rebecca get their mothers together, so that they can deal with the whole Ryan situation.moreless
  • Nora tries to get backing for a non-profit. Justin & Rebecca take it to the next level. Scotty's parents come to visit, but Kevin doesn't make partner, and acts like a jerk. He takes the job offered from the Senator. Ryan is living in Bakersfield.moreless

    You Get What You Need was a decent episode of Brothers & Sisters. The scene with Justin & Rebecca was great. They were kind of stuck in a Brother and Sister or best friends relationship. Justin was stuck in the friend bag, and usually once you are in that bag you can never get out. But all the tension about Rebecca's mom, Holly, and Nora Walker, and the newly discovered Ryan, and the passion boiled over. Rebecca is so beautiful. It seems she is getting along better with her mother, too. Both of those characters had the potential to be good vilains, with suggestions of skeletons in their closets. The whole mother/daughter dynamic is a tricky one.

    Kevin Walker was being rather insufferable meeting Scotty's parents and being so caught up in making partner. It was a great moment when he did the triumphant Saturday Night Fever disco move when he thought it was in the bag. I think it will stir up some great drama with him taking Kitty's job now. That will be good for the show, though it is hard to imagine why the Senator would want to subject himself to the inevitible hissy fits. There is the potential also for forcing Holly out, with Uncle Saul offering his services for such an endeavor. It seems like her character may be undergoing a rehabilitation, though, so I wonder what direction the writers will go with that.

    Finally, I am intrigued by the new character Ryan who lives in Bakersfield. I would love to see Calista Flockhart in Bakersfield, also Emily (Rebecca) and wonder if they will do locations here. Will they drive through the Bakersfield sign by the Crystal Palace? Get off 99 at Merle Haggard Blvd? Oildale Dr? How about driving down Rosedale Highway with oil derricks pumping away? I live in Bakersfield, so I am excited to see the title of the next episode is Bakersfield.moreless
  • Scotty's parents come to visit Kevin and Scotty, and Kevin receives devastating news at work.

    All things considered, I absolutely loved this episode, minus the Justin and Rebecca stuff. The two main highlights in this episode were definitely everything having to with Kevin or Scotty and everything having to do with Nora in this episode. Matthew Rhys and Sally Field both did an absolutely amazing job in this episode. I felt so bad for Kevin that he didn't make partner at his law firm, especially since he wasn't able to hug Scotty at the dinner with Scotty's parents like he wanted to. I also didn't like how Scotty's parents treated Kevin and Scotty at dinner. The highlight of this episode was definitely the confrontation between Nora and Holly at the end of the episode. Sally Field and Patricia Wettig both did an amazing job in that scene. They definitely have great chemistry as enemies. The only thing that I didn't like about this episode was the Justin and Rebecca stuff, especially the scenes where they had sex with each other. I just can't get used to or stand the idea of them being a couple. In closing, I thought that this was an amazing episode in every possible way, minus the Justin and Rebecca stuff, and it was an amazing episode from all of the actors, writers and directors who were involved in the making of it. I'm definitely looking forward to seeing what happens next on Brothers & Sisters.moreless
Jayne Brook

Jayne Brook

Bertha Wandell

Guest Star

Mitch Pileggi

Mitch Pileggi

Browne Carter

Guest Star

Ned Vaughn

Ned Vaughn

Michael Gradstein

Guest Star

Trivia, Notes, Quotes and Allusions


  • TRIVIA (0)

  • QUOTES (7)

    • Nora: Saul, you have all of this fabulous time now, you have to figure out what you wanna do with it. Be creative, set a new goal!
      Saul: Ok, I'll take a nap.

    • Nora: I have run a household of seven. I know it's an unpaid, unappreciated position, but I defy you to do what I did for the past forty some-odd years. I organized the schedules of five extremely well-rounded children. I ran carpools and bake sales and … negotiated and mandated and coddled all at the same time. Not to mention what I had to do for my husband to keep him well-rounded and productive. And I did all of this without taking a sick day. The problem is no one values the experience of a stay-at-home parent, which is truly a shame. Because basically running this big enterprise, as you put it, would be a day at the beach.

    • Kevin: Wow, what happened to your favorite chant, "We're here, we're queer, get used to it"?
      Scotty: You've met my parents.
      Kevin: Yes, I have. And they scare me. So I won't antagonize them by French kissing you in public.
      Scotty: I promise to make it up to you when they're gone.

    • Kevin: I didn't make partner. They gave it to someone else. And I couldn't say anything at dinner because I was so humiliated. This is by no means an excuse, but when I left work, all I could think of was getting to you. Because I knew when I see you, I would feel okay. When I got there, the only pair of eyes that I wanted to see were yours, because all I wanted was a hug.

    • (Cooper's holding a caterpillar he found in his room.)
      Cooper: Can I stay up until the butterfly comes?
      Sarah: Well, that would be a very long time.
      Cooper: Okay.

    • Kevin: I'm sorry, I thought we came here to break the ice and to get to know each other, but I feel like I'm not even here.
      Scotty: Kevin...
      Kevin: What? Can we please stop pretending that everything is fine and that we're having a real conversation?
      Bertha: I thought we were having one.
      Kevin: No, no, that would require you to be a little less passive aggressive. You can fawn on my sister and her husband because they're in your pantheon of gods, you can honour their version of an alternative family, but you know what? Maybe I'm not smart, but someday, maybe we would like to adopt.

    • Sarah: Seriously, mom, how did you do it?
      Nora: What?
      Sarah: Us. Five kids, running in different directions, non-stop bickering, how could you not go completely insane?
      Nora: I did. I went completely, entirely insane. And then... and then one of you would do something like whistle for the first time, or make a see-through umbrella out of seram wrap?

  • NOTES (3)

    • International Episode Titles:
      Czech Republic - Dostaneš, co zasloužíš (You Get What You Deserve)

    • Music:
      Slow Moves by Jose Gonzales
      Outside by Aqualung
      Fragment by Trespassers
      Afterglow by Toby Lightman

    • Original International Air Dates:
      Portugal: Friday, February 27, 2009 on RTP2
      Norway: Wednesday, March 4, 2009 on TV2
      Latin America: Wednesday, May 13, 2009 on Universal Channel
      Czech Republic: Sunday, April 17, 2011 on Universal Channel


    • Sarah: I'm stuck in my own Supernanny episode minus the Supernanny.

      Supernanny is a British reality show about helping parents with misbehaving children.