Brothers & Sisters – Episode 5-8 Review

Brothers & Sisters deviates from it’s typical structure and takes on a more sitcom-like format. With many characters MIA, “The Rhapsody of the Flesh” sticks to humor and only two story lines. While not a particularly bad move, since it is actually very funny, the episode ends up being forgettable fluff.

The action centers around Luc’s mother, former actress Gabriela Laurent (Sonia Braga), Nora’s blossoming love life, and Justin’s sudden inability to fight off female coworkers at the restaurant. The first two are pretty much one story line though, in my opinion,, which is a shame because writers really had room to add some more drama with so many other characters missing. Kitty isn’t even mentioned, let alone seen. Others missing are Saul, David, and Holly. Because of all this, the episode does end up feeling a little empty. I would’ve preferred that writers really developed Luc’s issues with his mother, instead of pushing it mostly to the side in favor of Nora’s romance.

However, I have to say that I do enjoy Justin’s story line. Sure, I was a little confused at first since he made such a big deal over the nurse he dated last episode, but that must have just been his transition girl. This episode, though, I’m too busy laughing to really care. Okay, it’s corny, but the “Captain Happy” bit is absolutely hilarious and makes me chuckle every time it’s mentioned. And honestly, I’m just thrilled to see Justin happy for once. When’s the last time that happened? My only complaint is that I wish Kevin and Scotty were given a little more attention than “there’s good days and bad days.”

Meanwhile, Luc’s mother Gabriela shows up on Sarah’s doorstep, much to Sarah’s utter shock since Luc just said he told his mother not to visit. The whole episode, it isn’t revealed exactly why he hates his mother so much, just that she’s self-centered and oversensitive. At first, though, Gabriela is the perfect picture of a warm, loving mother who only wants to give her son her blessing on his engagement. But when Nora invites Gabriela to stay at her place, and offers to help mend fences with Luc, her flaws start to show. Gabriela wants to make Moroccann food for Luc because she thinks it’s his favorite, when it’s actually hers. And she quickly switches gears to fixing up Nora with Dr. Karl when Nora makes the mistake of telling her about her feelings for her coworker.

The night quickly turns disastrous when Luc doesn’t show up to the dinner, which devastates Gabriela. But Dr. Karl does show up, and he instantly recognizes Gabriela from her film, The Rhapsody of the Flesh. When she sees Dr. Karl comfort Gabriela, insecure Nora is upset since she thinks the doctor is taken by the sexy European woman’s charms, and quickly gives up on her crush. Meanwhile, Gabriela has mixed up a very potent “tea” that has everyone drunk by the time the night is though.

However, the night isn’t completely destroyed until Justin stops by, and has no clue what in the world is going on. Sarah tells him to distract Gabriela, forgetting to tell him that she’s Luc’s mother, in order to get Dr. Karl and Nora some alone time. However, given Justin’s state of mind lately, he and Gabriela end up making out on the living room table. And are caught by Luc. Horrified Justin realizes his mistake, as well as his inappropriate behavior lately, and makes apologies all around. Embarrassed Gabriela insists she was only trying to help Nora’s romance. She starts to leave, but Nora says there was no harm done and gives her some motherly advice. When Luc stops by, he and Gabriela finally have a screaming match over their issues, which ends up clearing the air…and breaking some of Nora’s dishes. But Nora doesn’t mind too much, since she and Dr. Karl also had a talk that reveals he has feeling for her too.

Clearly, the story definitely has its funny moments, like when innocent Justin walks in and Sarah gets him involved in the horrible evening. But no matter what side of her is shown, I can’t bring myself to like Luc’s mother at all. Even when she first greeted Sarah, I got this very fake vibe from her. I don’t know whether it was bad acting, or Gabriela’s character isn’t written realistically, but something is just off. I actually hope this is the last we see of her. I also quickly grow tired of Nora’s “everyone is better than me” insecure attitude. Instead of feeling sorry for her, I only get annoyed, probably because I know she’s better than that. Supposedly her confidence was broken during the skipped year, but that’s something I’d like to actually like to see explained more, if just so I can better understand what exactly made her this emotional mess. Can we get some flashbacks, please?

While definitely not a normal Brothers & Sisters episode, “The Rhapsody of the Flesh” actually makes me long for more of the show’s trademark drama instead of the comedic fluff overload. Here’s hoping “Get a Room,” airing December 5th, delivers.

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