Brothers & Sisters – Episodes 17 and 18 Review

 After a month-long hiatus, Brothers & Sisters returned this week with two episodes in a row. Since they have separate titles, Olivia’s Choice and Never Say Never, I’m thinking they’re just individual episodes that happened to air in one night, instead of an actual two-parter. So instead of writing two individual reviews and mashing them into one post, I’m going to break them down by character.

So Olivia’s Choice starts off with more adoption drama, with Olivia’s brother returning to become her legal guardian. Meanwhile, Kitty tries to win Seth back from his new airhead of a girlfriend, which predictably does not go well, though she wins him back in the end. Then in Never Say Never (seriously, does every show have to do a Bieber reference?!), we say good-bye to Nora and Saul’s mother, Ida, who dies of a heart attack. Also, Luc and Sarah argue about the wedding, while Scotty’s mother visits, driving Kevin out of the house, then helping Justin with his upcoming thirtieth birthday issues.

Justin: Personally, one of my favorite scenes from Olivia’s Choice has to be the beginning, where Justin and Nora are teasing each other. In my opinion, Justin is most likeable when he’s funny or lighthearted, which does not happen often enough. Even though his birthday is brought up in both episodes, for the most part it takes a backseat to other drama. In Never Say Never, he worries he hasn’t accomplished as much as he should have. A list of goals he wrote when he was a kid, and some advice from Kevin, makes him realize that he’s a dreamer, and in reality, he has a lot to be proud of.

Kitty: Absent from Never Say Never, Kitty’s love life once again becomes an issue in Olivia’s Choice. Surprised by her lingering feelings for Seth, she confesses this to Sarah, who pushes her to get back together with him. Kitty’s ready to give up when she finds out that Seth has a new girlfriend his own age, another student who took Kitty’s class. Sarah reminds Kitty of a time in high school where Sarah was in the same situation, and the motivational speech persuades Kitty to win her man back. As I’d expected, she makes a fool of herself at the restaurant, while Sarah and Luc watch from another table. Seth takes her back when she’s finally honest with him about her feelings.

Sarah: Her relationship advice to Kitty in Olivia’s Choice was laughably awful…literally. I wonder how Sarah could possibly think telling Kitty to fight for Seth that way is a good idea, but I’m glad she does, because her whole “doing the robot” speech, dance moves included, is hilarious. The entire scenario is a bad sitcom plot, yet I can’t help but love her anyway. She’s given a more serious role in Never Say Never, where she fights with Luc because she hasn’t started planning the wedding. She eventually confesses that she doesn’t want another big wedding, and it’s wrapped up with Kevin offering to be their planner. Honestly, I’m just glad this wasn’t a lead-in to more drama with them.

Saul: Absent from Olivia’s Choice, he of course shows up in Never Say Never. Though upset over his mother’s death, he can’t help but remember how she disapproved of his lifestyle choice, and so doesn’t want to open a letter she left him. Encouraged by Kevin and Scotty, he opens it, and breaks down because it reveals his mother did believe in him. This makes him agree to buy a vacation house with his boyfriend, Jonathan.

Kevin and Scotty: Olivia’s homophobic older brother Brian returns to get her away from her gay adoptive parents. Naturally, Kevin and Scotty are worried, determined to fight for Olivia. However, Kevin is upset when Nora is more concerned about what’s best for Olivia – which might be staying with a blood relative, even if he is homophobic. Poor Olivia is torn, because she doesn’t want to hurt her brother or her new family by picking a side. Her decision is made, however, when her brother says she won’t be allowed to see the Walkers if she stays with him, and Nora takes in a scruffy mutt Lily (Brody’s dog) brings home. Olivia tells the judge what she’s learned about acceptance through her new status as a Walker, which helps Kevin and Scotty win the custody battle.

Then in Never Say Never, Scotty’s critical mother visits and tries to be a good grandmother, but her stereotype of Olivia doesn’t go over well. Clueless on how to improve her relationship with her son, Kevin bluntly tells her what she’s doing wrong. All I have to say on this is that I couldn’t stand Scotty’s mother, almost as much as Luc’s mother. I hope bringing in irritating in-laws doesn’t become a trend for the season (looking at you, Brody).

Nora: Throughout both episodes, Nora must figure out where her relationship with Brody stands, especially since she wonders if she’s nothing more than a doggy daycare service to him. At first she complains about Lily, but panics when the dog goes missing. Lily returns with a friend, who may or may not become Nora’s new pet. She and Brody bond in Never Say Never, when he reveals he’s lost his job and is ready to settle down, with her.

I’m so thrilled Nora’s finally with a guy I like. But based on the promo for the next episode, he’s definitely keeping a secret (of course), so unfortunately he might not be staying. While I am really curious about the secret he’s keeping, I hope it’s not enough to make Nora dump him.

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