Brothers & Sisters Episode Recap: “Just a Sliver”

‘Brothers & Sisters’: And the baby daddy is… – Zap2it.com

Brothers and Sisters

This year, it looks like Thanksgiving will be RUINED because each of the Walker children have made plans to celebrate with their significant other instead of with Nora. True to form, none of the kids have told each other — or Nora. Common courtesy, folks — if you change plans, you let the host know, so she doesn’t go out and buy a ginormous turkey when she’ll actually only be serving two.

But before that kerfuffle can blossom into a brouhaha, wham! The Walkers get hit with a heaping spoonful of perspective. Elizabeth, Tommy and Julia’s daughter, starts throwing up blood, so they rush her to the hospital. They find out she’s suffering from liver damage — it can happen with children born prematurely, as they get a lot of drugs pumped into their underdeveloped systems — and that she may need a transplant. The best bet for a new liver would be to harvest a slice from one of her biological parents. Uh-oh.

Tommy calls Justin and Kevin and asks them to sneak over to the hospital for tests. Nora overhears (thank god Justin was a medic, not a spy, in the war — he can’t do stealth to save his life) so the can determine who the biological father is. Justin and Kevin spar over who they think Tommy wants it to be — Justin brings great hair to the table, while Kevin touts his SAT scores — but before they can get too into it, Tommy interrupts. Elizabeth needs the transplant, and Kevin, it’s you.

There follows a whole bunch of talking about feelings, and I get a little frustrated, because it’s so not about Justin or Nora or Kitty right now. I’m not saying they shouldn’t be feeling conflicted or scared or angry or whatever, but their need or desire to process should be taking a back seat to Tommy and Julia’s needs until Elizabeth is out of the woods, and to Scotty’s needs until Kevin is ok. After that, Justin can be as conflicted as he wants about not being Elizabeth’s biological dad, and Nora can feel guilty about wanting everyone together for Thanksgiving. When Elizabeth is safe, Kitty can freak out about Sarah’s terminology. But right now? It’s not about them. Right now is the time for them to suck it up and give Tommy and Julia whatever they need.

Because right now, Tommy isn’t doing so well. He’s feeling helpless, and angry, and ashamed about being angry, and everything else. (Great work by Balthazar Getty, by the way.) Kitty finally catches up with him and lets him know that yes, she does know how he feels, because she’s going through a lot of the same things herself when it comes to the adoption. (See? THAT’S a good way to process!) Tommy is relieved to find out he’s not as alone as he thought.

The operation is a success, and Nora coaxes Tommy and Julia down to the hospital cafeteria, where she’s installed Thanksgiving dinner for the entire family. Everyone is there, and now that everyone has the sort of perspective that a desperately ill child can bring, all is well. For now.

Highlights, thoughts and odds and ends

  • I loved seeing the spouses/significant others get all hard-core about Thanksgiving plans. Julia is my favorite. “Listen up, Walkers!” she barks into the phone. “You’re adults – stop worrying about your mother. Go over there and tell her the truth!” Hell yeah!
  • Justin comes in a close second, who proves his relationship bona fides by admitting that he’s doing housework at Rebecca’s. Hee!
  • Of course, ALL of the kids should have told Nora as soon as their plans changed. It’s just good manners!
  • Sarah is NOT happy to discover she’ll be the only family member joining Nora: “You’re all dead to me,” she snarls. Then she beans them with apples. She’s got good aim!
  • Kevin and Scotty go for a run before the big day, and Kevin isn’t happy about it. “You’re the one who wanted to lose five pounds so you can gain it back at Thanksgiving… ” Hee.
  • Nora proposes that she give her massive turkey to Holly, but Justin declines: “Mom, she doesn’t want your used turkey.” “It’s not used!” Nora replies. “It’s brand new. It has no cooties.” “It’s more about he psychological cooties,” Justin says. Very true.
  • Poor Scotty — I felt so sorry for him when Nora steamrollered over him when it came to getting Kevin’s things. Scotty just wanted something to do, some way to feel like he was doing something for his husband, and Nora wouldn’t let him. Again, Nora –it’s not about you.
  • The transplanted T-Day dinner? That, Nora, was a good call. And of course, they managed to smuggle in some alcohol.
  • Justin and Kevin discuss who is a better biological dad for Elizabeth. Justin:  “Well, I mean, Kevin, let’s face it: I have better hair, and your nose on a girl? Tragic!” Kevin: “You want to talk SAT scores, pretty boy?”
  • Rebecca also takes some time to delve into her issues, but at least she doesn’t do so at the hospital. She asks Holly about her father, and Holly says he would have disappointed at some point. Thanks for the unilateral decision, Holly!
  • Tommy apologizes to Kevin for firing him. Good! Now we can get over this feud, and move on to a totally different one!

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