Brothers & Sisters
For Brothers & Sisters star Matthew Rhys, directing his fellow actors hasn't gotten any easier with practice. "I'm still in that uncomfortable place of finding it an enormous amount of work," Rhys tells TVGuide.com of directing Sunday's episode, his third attempt behind the camera. (He plays Walker sibling Kevin on the show.) "I get very discombobulated trying to do both."
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And the job doesn't get any easier when the guest cast includes an actor on the level of Beau Bridges. "[Beau] was exceptionally gracious and welcoming. I was suitably terrified because I regarded myself as the young whelp who, quite frankly, wasn't possibly good enough to clean his boots, let alone give him advice on how to act a scene. I was just there as a cheerleader to thank him for his time."
The episode (airing Sunday at 10//9c on ABC) kicks of Bridges' multi-episode arc as Brody, a minor league baseball manager who used to date Nora (Sally Field) before she married William Walker. Brody arrives in Pasadena to talk with Nora after receiving a visit from Sarah (Rachel Griffiths), who believed Brody, not William, may have actually been her father.
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"Whether it's a folly or not, or misguided trust, they have certainly given me some big ones to deal with," Rhys says of the pivotal episode. "But to be perfectly honest, it's rare that a week goes by that is light for the Walkers — that doesn't have to have some sort of family trauma or drama."
While Nora seems more than disinterested in getting involved with Brody again, it's clear by episode's end that her feelings on the matter aren't steadfast. But given that Nora's romantic track record is far from sterling, could Brody be the one to turn that around?
"He was an incredibly prominent part in Nora's past life, and his mere re-entry into it upsets her equilibrium enormously," Rhys says. "She's been unlucky in love for the last five seasons, and no one ever wants to see their mother go through that. So I think it would be a good move on the show's behalf to have her settle down."
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For once, Rhys says, the Walker children won't get overly involved in their mother's love life. "I think all their feelings, with regard to Brody, begin and end with Nora really," he says. "I think if they see her happy, and indeed she is happy, then I'm sure they're happy. As long as she's not messed around, that's all they care about."
But while Nora explores her happiness, there may yet be more dark days ahead for Kevin, who was rocked earlier this season when he learned that his husband Scotty (Luke MacFarlane) had cheated on him. Although they've worked through the infidelity, some lingering pain may resurface as the couple finalizes plans to adopt a young girl named Olivia.
"[The adoption story line] made for a very quick reconciliation, in a way," Rhys says. "Forced or not, they both wanted to be a loving united front for her. ... They did certainly rush things. Whether or not for good or for worse, I can't say. But I think any major trauma of that size, when it is dismissed as quickly as it was, usually does raise its ugly head later."