Brothers & Sisters Episodes

2006, TV Show

Brothers & Sisters Episode: "Tug of War"

Season 3, Episode 3
Episode Synopsis: Sarah and Saul react to Holly's latest power play; Kevin experiences discrimination at work for the first time; and Justin encounters a soldier with whom he served in Iraq.
Original Air Date: Oct 12, 2008
Guest Cast John Prosky: Ron Robinson Wylie Small: Connie Robinson Christine Avila: Anita Lewis Rick Worthy: Off. Collins Mitch Pileggi: Browne Carter M.J. Karmi: Cynthia Carter Carmen Corral: Maggie Lewis
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Season 3, Episode 3
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Aired: 10/12/2008
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Brothers & Sisters Episode Recap: "Tug of War" Season 3, Episode 3

For a show that has relied heavily on huge Walker wars so far this season, it seems a little odd that an episode titled "Tug of War" would be the least explosive of the three aired thus far. But a tug of war is often a painful, grueling battle, similar to the battles of many of the characters in this episode. Justin deals with having to face his time in Iraq head-on no matter how much he may wish not to, Kevin battles to find a balance between achieving his goal of becoming partner and being true to himself and his husband, Sarah and Saul both search themselves and battle their own feelings while also battling Holly and Tommy's plans for Ojai, and Robert battles bees. OK, so maybe all of this episode's battles weren't symbolic.

Before we go further, let me first apologize for posting this recap so late. I had some DVR malfunctions, so I had to wait to watch the episode online. If you wish, you can all gang up on me in a true Walker shouting match, as long as we make up in time for the credits to roll. Again, I'm sorry, and the recap won't be tardy again. Since it is late, however, I will be succinct.

Tommy and Holly continued their reign of terror at Walker Landing/Ojai Foods in an effort to cut spending and increase revenue. The latest plan involves losing the Ojai name and rebranding everything with the Walker Landing label and charge more, since that brand targets a different market. Sarah and Saul are outraged by the way Tommy and Holly want to cast aside the "family name" (even though it is Walker Landing) and the history of the company. Furthermore, Walker Landing wants to take 500 acres of Ojai's land and expand the winery. At this point, Saul has had enough, and decides to resign and head to retirement, claiming "the company's changing and I'm too old to change with it." Sarah protests, again blaming for Saul for creating this mess and now leaving her holding the bag. But Nora defends Saul and tells Sarah if she feels so strongly, she should speak up (with Nora's support) at the board meeting or stop martyring herself and quit as well.

Meanwhile, Kevin informs Scotty he must join him at a client dinner, despite how horrible it sounds. The good news is that if Kevin lands the client, he's well on his way to finally being made partner. The bad news? At the last minute, Kevin's boss suggests Scotty stay home to avoid any awkwardness with the client. Fine, no real harm done. Until the client asks about Kevin's wife, prompting him to lie repeatedly. Though the firm lands the client, Kevin bemoans the fact that he went back into the closet for the sake of advancing his career. When Scotty tells him to get over it or draw a line in the sand (of which the latter was really the only acceptable answer) Kevin agrees, but in the moment of action, Kevin again said nothing for fear of blowing his shot.

Justin spent time at the Army recruiting center, but he was repeatedly reprimanded for going off the script. Specifically, he was told to stop mentioning 9/11 (the reason he enlisted) so much because the current recruits don't relate to it as much. (Hard to imagine how much time really has gone by). Justin meets another soldier who sought him out because Justin rescued him in Iraq. He invites him to dinner to say thank you, but Justin was less than enthused. Even more so, he has no interest in talking to Rebecca about it. She nags and nags (meaning well) to try to get to know him and his friends, but he is unresponsive. When he takes her to the dinner, they quickly learn it's a huge party in his honor, which makes matters worse. When Rebecca keeps at him to tell more stories, Justin flips out and heads to the bar. When he gets home, another fight occurs because he drank, and Justin reveals that he didn't want to be honored because he saved a stranger when his best friend died just a few feet away. Justin confesses to Nora the next morning that he doesn't want to talk about it with Rebecca because he's afraid of pushing her away. But Nora insists he let her in, which he finally does, telling stories of Charlie, his friend who died and the other men in his unit.

Back at Walker Landing, the board agrees that Tommy's proposal looks solid, as do the numbers, but they are concerned that Saul resigned so suddenly. They also are afraid of the risk when the company is in a "precarious position." When the board is all but ready to shoot down the proposal, Sarah speaks up and says that what they need to get out of the "precarious position" is a vision. The vision William Walker had, and the vision Tommy has. She convinces the board to accept the proposal (though Nora votes against it, refusing to let the name go away without a fight), but Sarah also quits. Tommy is furious with her, but she says that everything she said is true, and that she doesn't have that vision. Though her "timing sucks," Sarah has made up her mind and is moving on as well. But Tommy does go back to Holly to refigure some of their plans, noting that Ojai does need to be respected, and that the name will stay as a sub-brand of Walker Landing.

Finally, Kitty, who spent most of the episode off-screen in New York meeting with publishers returns to find that Robert and Kevin had become chummy. Kevin helped Robert get rid of the neighbors' beehives, and Robert told Kevin to man up and play the politician's when he was struggling with the decision to disinvite Scotty to the client dinner. (The ends justify the mean, Robert said.) Kitty, however, received four offers on her book, but has to decide whether or not she wants to give up her position on Robert's staff to see it through.

At the end of the day, it was nice to see the Walkers smiling again. Saul, Sarah and Kevin shared a toast to Ojai, Kitty and Robert shared in the celebration of Kitty's success and Justin shared his stories of Iraq with Rebecca. As the show often does, it reminded us that while we all face our own internal tug of wars, the battle is much eaiser when you have your family helping you pull.

What were your thoughts on this episode? Based on the previews it looks like Kitty is going through with publishing the book since Robert offered Kevin her job. Do you think he will take it? What do you think Sarah will do now that she's unemployed? Was Rebecca's nagging so realistic that you were starting to get annoyed with her like me? Share your thoughts below and check back next week for more!

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For a show that has relied heavily on huge Walker wars so far this season, it seems a little odd that an episode titled "Tug of War" would be the least explosive of the three aired thus far. But a tug of war is often a painful, grueling battle, similar to the battles of many of the characters in this episode. Justin deals with having to face his time in Iraq head-on no matter how much he may wish not to, Kevin battles to find a balance between achieving his goal of becoming partner and being true to himself and his husband, Sarah and Saul both search themselves and battle their own feelings while also battling Holly and Tommy's plans for Ojai, and Robert battles bees. OK, so maybe all of this episode's battles weren't symbolic.

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Premiered: September 24, 2006, on ABC
Rating: TV-PG
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Premise: The ongoing saga of a well-to-do but down-to-earth California clan of diverse personalities, from a liberal gay lawyer to a conservative talk-show host, and how their lives change after the death of a patriarch reveals that the family business is in trouble.

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