Brothers & Sisters Episodes

2006, TV Show

Brothers & Sisters Episode: "Troubled Waters"

Season 3, Episode 16
Episode Synopsis: Part 1 of 2. The joy of a new arrival for the Walkers is tempered by a serious health crisis that affects their inner circle. Meanwhile, Rebecca needs help from her father when she becomes privy to information that could bring down the family business and lead to prison for one of their own. Directed by Ken Olin.
Original Air Date: Mar 1, 2009

Full Episode
click to playclick to play
Season 3, Episode 16
Paid | Amazon Instant Video
Length: 44:00
Aired: 3/1/2009
Also available on Amazon Instant Video and VUDU
play more info

Brothers & Sisters Episode Recap: "Troubled Waters" Season 3, Episode 16

The waters were troubled for plenty of Walkers in this episode, but for viewers, the two-hour Brothers & Sisters movie event was probably just troubling. The episode — which saw Kitty and Robert's adopted baby born, Rebecca and Justin reunited, Tommy land in hotter water than he ever imagined, and Robert's campaign hitting several dire speed bumps — rarely dragged and delivered plenty of dramatic, emotional punches. But what about that mysterious death? Read on for your (probably unsatisfying) answers.

After kicking off with Nora running through the hospital halls to see one of her "family" being revived via crash cart, the episode backtracks to settle in at the Walker dinner table. Justin's hungry and avoiding talk of Rebecca, Sarah's bragging that Greenatopia's success is the reason for the rack of lamb, Tommy's insisting that Sarah's news is roast chicken-worthy at best, and Kitty and Robert are still fighting about her article being killed. Just before the lamb can be served, however, Robert tells the entire family of his plans to run for governor. "Keep a lid on it, Walkers," he warns, fearing of leaks to the press. Robert only has a moment to celebrate as Nora informs the group that she visited Ryan Lafferty. Thankfully, it didn't turn into a trademark dinner-ruining brawl.

Meanwhile, Holly seeks advice from her lawyer, who breaks the bad news to her that Tommy's deal to acquire Crawford Orchards has closed, and she has little leverage to seek litigation. On top of that, ex-boyfriend David (played by Ken Olin) strolls back into her life, thanks to Rebecca, who has drug her "deadbeat dad" back to California with her. Holly and David have a round about how their relationship ended (again), and he storms out. Rebecca explains why she left for New York, only to learn that Holly already knows the truth about Tommy and is doing her best to stop it.

And then, Kitty gets a call from Trish, the mother of the baby Kitty and Robert are adopting. Trish is in labor, setting off a game of Walker phone tag to let everyone know the baby is coming and to get all the necessary items to the hospital. Bad news is, Robert's plans to run for governor have leaked on the Internet, and he's forced to make the announcement immediately. (That's a headache!) Robert promises Kitty he will be there in time for the birth, and that the baby is his first priority. That puts Kitty at ease momentarily, since Trish is only dilated to three centimeters. But things only get worse when the incumbent gov' — a fellow Republican — storms into Robert's office to inform him she is planning to run for re-election. (Get that man some aspirin!) A nasty game of political "Who wears the pants?" ensues, ultimately ending with Robert threatening to play dirty if the governor doesn't back down. After all, he knows all about her affair, having counseled her through it.

The distraction gives Robert no time to talk to Kitty before his announcement, which is all sorts of bad, considering that Trish is suddenly fully dilated and ready to begin pushing. When Kitty looks for Robert in the waiting room, she instead sees him taking questions from the press. In her fury, she tells everyone that her marriage is "over," because politics will always be Robert's only priority. Nora urges Kitty not to miss her baby's birth just because Robert's not there — she needs to have her first moment with the baby.

Cue the Coldplay-backed montage of Kitty cheerily witnessing the birth of her son while Robert sweats, vomits and collapses in the parking garage on his way to the hospital. Robert is rushed to the ER, where they determine he had a heart attack, but that his headache (and aspirin!) may have saved his life. Robert urges Kevin to keep the story from getting out, just as he crashes. He flatlines, Nora runs in, the music swells, the paddles charge and Robert's dead. Until he's not. That's right, folks. The "shocking death" lasted about 30 seconds. (Likely the reason that recent ABC promos downgraded it to just a "death.") Kitty learns of Robert's condition, and everything from before is forgiven. Unfortunately for Robert, that means Kitty makes the calls when it comes to Robert having open-heart surgery. Robert is unwilling to lose that much time on the campaign trail, but Kitty — who lost her dad to a heart attack on her birthday — isn't going to lose Robert on their son's. Stints and experimental surgeries are off; Robert's having a bypass.

Meanwhile, Holly learns that Tommy has scheduled an emergency board meeting — the one where he plans to kick her to the curb. Now desperate, she confers with her lawyer, who suggests she take her shares and walk away rather than bankrupt herself and the company through a long litigation process. Strikingly, it's David who finally convinces Holly that the lawyer is right. Despite their problems, he says he always loved her, and never thought she deserved to be William's "second sting." He urges her to forget the Walkers and Ojai because she deserves better. Holly agrees, and heads to Tommy's house, presumably to walk away peacefully. But when Julia rushes to the hospital to check on Robert, Holly plays babysitter ... and finds some interesting documents.

While everyone waits for Robert's results, Justin keeps the family calm by explaining all the medical jargon. Nora and Justin have a heart-to-heart, which turns into a Justin pity party until Nora snaps him out of it. While he's all "I'm a worthless drug addict," Nora reminds him that he gave up his formative years to fight in Iraq. She only wishes that he thought he deserved a chance to find out who he is the way everyone else does.

Back inside, Sarah (who found out about Tommy's problems from Justin) begs Saul to tell her what he knows about Tommy's plans. They confront Tommy, who gives his usual, "I'm doing what Dad would do," pitch about saving Ojai for his daughter, niece and nephews. Sarah tells Tommy that Ojai was about joy and integrity, and not worth selling his soul for. Saul tells Tommy that everything can still be undone, and perhaps his words sink in, because back at the office, Tommy cancels the board meeting. But it's too late. Holly, armed with the knowledge that Tommy embezzled Ojai's money to buy the land in question, has a showdown confrontation with Tommy, who begs for mercy, promising Holly he wasn't going to go through with it. She's hearing none of it, leaving him to watch in shame as all of his documents are boxed up as evidence for the legal proceedings one can assume are heading his way.

Justin and Rebecca are finally reunited, but she's worried that the Holly-Tommy war is going to tear them apart. David tells Rebecca, who admits that she's in love with Justin, that her love for him is the only thing that matters. Taking Nora's words to heart, Justin tells Rebecca that he wants to be a doctor. However, he doesn't mention Ryan as Sarah and Nora suggested he should. Rebecca simply asks Justin to vow that they will get through whatever comes their way. And what should come their way? Ryan!

With Robert's surgery a success, Kitty introduces Robert to their new son, who they name Evan in honor or their birth mother's last name. (P.S. Trish, is a trooper, walking out of the hospital just one day after giving birth. And without an epidural!) Kitty reminds Robert that everything is going to be OK — with him, with them, and with the baby. But Kitty urges Kevin —who was very touching in his own emotional breakdown to Scotty about his fear of losing Robert — to make Robert slow down. When Kevin visits Robert, however, he learns that the Senator has no plans of stopping. In fact, he's going after the governor's mansion "more than ever." When Kitty sees Kevin inform the press of such, she takes her newborn baby in her arms, and with resolve, returns to her pre-Robert's-heart-attack frame of mind: "It's just going to be us from now on," she says. And no matter how much she says it, everything is not going to be OK.

If you didn't notice above, I was more than a little disappointed with the resolution to the heavily-promoted "shocking death." It's a shame, too, because this episode had so much good in it. I think the fact that the writers had to paint a picture with Kevin's dialogue ("you did die") to cover themselves is really lame. I honestly don't mind that Robert is still alive, I just wish they could have found a more interesting way to lure viewers into their "movie event," especially since the tease was rewarded with so little payoff.

So what's next for Kitty? Are you sad or excited to see Tommy go down in flames? Will Holly ever be on the losing side? And what do you think is running through Justin's head now that he's met Ryan?  Share your thoughts on the birth, death and more below, and check back next week for more!

 

show less

The waters were troubled for plenty of Walkers in this episode, but for viewers, the two-hour Brothers & Sisters movie event was probably just troubling. The episode — which saw Kitty and Robert's adopted baby born, Rebecca and Justin reunited, Tommy land in hotter water than he ever imagined, and Robert's campaign hitting several dire speed bumps — rarely dragged and delivered plenty of dramatic, emotional punches. But what about that mysterious death? Read on for your (probably unsatisfying) answers.

read more

Do you feel ABC played fast and loose with Brothers & Sisters' "shocking death" promos?

Related Links

Other Links:
Brothers & Sisters

Are You Watching?

Loading ...
Premiered: September 24, 2006, on ABC
Rating: TV-PG
User Rating: (1,027 ratings)
Add Your Rating: 1 stars2 stars3 stars4 stars5 stars
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.

Cast

Shop

Brothers & Sisters: Season 5
Buy Brothers & Sisters: Season 5 from Amazon.com
From ABC Studios (DVD)
Usually ships in 24 hours
Buy New: $13.95 (as of 4:24 AM EST - more info)
Brothers & Sisters: Season 4
Buy Brothers & Sisters: Season 4 from Amazon.com
From ABC Studios (DVD)
Usually ships in 24 hours
Buy New: $8.92 (as of 4:24 AM EST - more info)

More Products

TV GUIDE Users' Most Popular