“Brothers & Sisters” Finale Recap: “Prior Commitments”

New recapper
reporting to you
, just in time for the big Brothers & Sisters finale. I feel like a
relief pitcher sent in at the bottom half of the 9th inning. Wow, listen to how
butch I sound with all that sports talk. I hope my father’s reading this. Papa,
can you hear me?

Before we get to the recap proper, I want to send ABC a big
“we heart you” for not shying away from a gay wedding, during May sweeps no
less. We all know how sweeps months typically mean big goings-on in the TV
world as part of the networks’ no-holds-barred efforts to drive bigger ratings.
Frankly, all those TV finales through the years have merged in my mind into one
big wedding/massacre/childbirth/amnesia/trial extravaganza — and that’s just
the sitcoms.

But the fact we’re actually getting a big sweeps finish for
a primetime series revolving around two men getting hitched is something truly
remarkable — and definitely worthy of celebration. I’m thinking Kevin-Scotty
floats in all Pride Parades this year, or maybe creating a new national holiday
in their honor, something that’s even gayer than Earth Day. Who’s with me?

We open mid-angst at
the Walker
family manse
during some special family meeting (tellingly sans Rebecca or
Kevin) that Nora’s called, and you know it’s something serious because they’ve
bypassed the usual wine for hard alcohol. What? You didn’t actually think those
tall glasses of OJ everybody’s drinking in this scene weren’t laced with
something stronger. I can spot a Harvey Wallbanger when I see one.

Everybody’s fully immersed in their problems from last week
— Sarah and Tommy squabbling over what a back-stabbing beyotch Holly is, Kitty
waiting to talk to her fertility doctor about McCallister’s tireless campaign
to knock her up good and proper, etc. Oh, and Justin’s sulking, because at this
point the poor doofus has no idea what he’s supposed to feel about Rebecca, and
can you really blame him?

They decide not to wait for Kevin and get on with Nora’s big
announcement which is … Sarah’s not a biological Walker either! And she’s gay! In fact, she
and Kitty have been sleeping together for weeks, are getting married, and
already pregnant with quintuplets, two of whom will be raised Republican, two
Democrat, and one Libertarian, thereby doubling all dramatic finale storylines
and tripling the show’s ratings!

Of course that didn’t actually happen, other than in my own
weird imaginings, but it’s just a reflection of how, even though it’s been
handled pretty well, I’m still not on board with the whole faux-incest
storyline and don’t know if I ever will be. I worry this is going to give
network bigwigs the idea they can save big bucks on hiring romantic interests
for their shows simply by monkeying around with existing characters, even if
they’re family members. Are you really ready to see Bree hook up with Andrew?

Anyway, Nora tries in
her own delicate way
to break the news about Rebecca, but before she can
get it out we hear from Justin — clearly the type who likes to remove band-aids
in one quick, excruciating swipe — who blurts out, “Rebecca’s not our sister.”
And for those slow on the uptake, he further explains, “Dad wasn’t her dad.”
Next he’ll explain that Holly’s not their mother.

Mouths drop, then the freak-out erupts, with lots of “OMGs”
and Sarah being only too happy to blame it on Holly. Just then, Kevin (Matthew
Rhys
) finally arrives, and seeing them all gathered, assumes Scotty (Luke
MacFarlane
) spilled the beans about the upcoming nuptials and they’re meeting
to help with the planning.

He proceeds to assign wedding-planning duties, announcing
that Tommy can throw in free booze from the winery, Scotty can do all the
cooking himself (!), and since Kitty writes speeches for a living, they’d like
her to officiate at the ceremony. Because nothing is quite as touching at a
wedding as a statistic-filled, focus-grouped, sound-bite-friendly political
diatribe written by a paid hack from a failed campaign.

Kitty, surprised, asks if Kevin is engaged to Scotty, and he
jokingly responds no, it’s somebody he met just last night, which I figure they
all know is a joke because it’s not like Kevin’s suddenly become a lesbian.

When Kitty questions if he and Scotty are getting married,
Kevin draws the distinction that it’s “not married … committed,” which I, in
all seriousness, appreciated they threw in here because I think it’s important
to emphasize for the general public that while it might look for all intents
and purposes like a marriage, it’s still technically a depressingly “separate and
even then not equal” arrangement in most states.

Kevin explains that they’re going to have the ceremony that
coming Saturday at the Walker house, since he and Scotty don’t want a big
“fairytale shindig” — a plan which bewilders me because if it were me, I’d want
a huge, glitzy wedding with tons of guests so that I could finally start
recouping the $34,789 I’ve spent on other people’s wedding gifts.

When Kevin wonders why everyone’s less than forthcoming with
their good wishes, they drop the Rebecca bomb on him.

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