Brothers & Sisters: Episode 2.2 "An American Family" Recap
Brothers & Sisters: Episode 2.2 "An American Family" Recap
John Kubicek
John Kubicek
Senior Writer, BuddyTV
Previously on Brothers and Sisters: Kitty prepared to marry Senator McAllister, Tommy struggled with Julia's postpartum depression, Sarah was confused by Joe's mixed signals, Kevin's boyfriend left for a missionary position, Rebecca was finally starting to understand the Walkers, and Nora was going crazy with worry over Justin, who was involved in an explosion in Iraq.

We start this week's Brothers and Sisters at a military funeral.  Thankfully it's not Justin's (Dave Annable), but Kitty (Calista Flockhart) and the Senator (Rob Lowe) are there, and he tells her that Justin is coming home to a military hospital in San Diego.  She calls her mom, and Nora (Sally Field) is elated that her youngest son is coming home.  Sarah (Rachel Griffiths) guilts Kevin (Matthew Rhys) into doing manly chores at her home by talking about the "months and months and months" of sexlessness he's in store for with the reverend in Malaysia.  They both get calls from Kitty and Nora about Justin, then pass the phones to each other.  Tommy  (Balthazar Getty) and Rebecca (Emily VanCamp) also get calls.  The Walkers are either on the greatest cell phone plan of all-time, or the majority of their paychecks go to pay the telephone company.

It's time for a Walker car trip, which is always welcome on this show.  Kevin, Kitty and Nora are en route to San Diego.  They're listening to conservative radio, which drives Nora and Kevin insane.  The radio host starts talking smack about Kitty's family.  He calls Nora a "harpee" and compares her to a terrorist.  Nora fights to call in, but Kitty stops her.  When the host goes off on Kevin and McAllister's brother "doing the gay fandango in the Lincoln bedroom," even Kitty goes off  and steals her brother's phone to call in herself.

Kitty gets on the air and defends her mother's patriotism and brother's sexuality.  Then Kevin and Nora get on the phone and call Abraham Lincoln gay.  Kitty finally goes off on the Rush Limbaugh clone about how he has perverted conservative beliefs into an ideology of hate.  I love that even the Republicans in this family are liberal.  When she hangs up, she immediately gets a call from the Senator, who rightfully reads her the riot act.  One of his aides asks if he can get out of the marriage, but the Senator's response is, "No, I'm madly in love with her."

When the Walkers get to the hospital, they find Justin, a cast on one leg and hooked up to countless machines, giving them a slight wave.  I hope you have a box of tissues handy.  Justin cracks some jokes and the family uneasily goes along with it.  The doctor sits Nora down to explain that Justin will need to start rehab, but there will be a lot of pain and due to the history of narcotics, Justin is refusing any drugs.  Basically, the doctor says to prepare for a long, drawn-out recovery with plenty of arguing.

Tommy and Julia keep bickering about their daughter.  After giving those two virtually no subplot in the first season, now that they have one, I kind of wish they'd go back to not being on screen.  Nothing against these actors, but the characters are the only weak part of an otherwise brilliant show.  Joe and Sarah meet up, and he drops the bomb that he's seeing his ex-wife.  Later the Sarah-Rebecca rift continues when Rebecca confesses her complicity in last season's kiss with Joe.

Rebecca invites one of her girlfriends, Lena, over to the empty house and promises to get her a job at her mom's winery.  She gets hired by Tommy, and marital problems plus a hot blonde new co-worker equals a predictable future subplot.  Saul walks in and Lena tries to hook him up with her aunt, and when he balks, she tries setting him up with one of her male friends.  Tommy claims his uncle isn't gay, which we know to be false.  I really wish they'd hurry up with this "Saul coming out of the closet" story, because it could become really awesome and finally give Ron Rifkin a storyline worthy of his talents.
When the Walker clan gets home with Justin, he is already refusing the wheelchair against Nora' orders.  Sally Field is in store for another Emmy-winning season if this plot keeps up, with Nora struggling between pacifying Justin because he's her baby and giving him the tough love she knows he needs.

Justin is trying to have some fun with his nephew, and Nora is trying to get him to admit he's hurt.  He raises his voice and tells her to back off, and so it begins.  The Senator arrives, and while Kitty is worried that it's to yell at her, it's because Justin called him.  They have a nice man-to-man talk about the things he's seen and how Justin isn't himself after seeing the horrors of war.  The Senator says it's OK to remember, and the show continues to turn him into the single greatest person of all-time.  The third season, with Kitty as the First Lady, is going to be awesome.

The next morning, Kitty convinces the Senator to go on the radio show she called into to stomp out the fire.  McAllister continues to be awesome by defending the Walkers and preaching about how no one should be ignored.  That night Nora hears Justin in pain because the nerve blockers wore off, and she holds him tight, promising "We'll get through this."

-John Kubicek, BuddyTV Senior Writer
(Image courtesy of ABC)