Brothers & Sisters Episodes

2006, TV Show

Brothers & Sisters Episode: "Troubled Waters"

Season 3, Episode 17
Episode Synopsis: Conclusion. 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

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Season 3, Episode 17
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Length: 44:00
Aired: 3/1/2009
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Brothers & Sisters Episode Recap: "Taking Sides" Season 3, Episode 17

After the much-debated movie event of a week ago, Brothers & Sisters returned to its soapy best — and no one was safe. When we were last with the Walkers, they were swimming their way through "Troubled Waters." But now that they've each found the shore, they realize they're not all standing on the same side of the river. It's Tommy vs. Holly, Justin vs. Rebecca, Kitty vs. Robert, and Nora vs. the World (or at least the bulk of her family). But as the episode poignantly reminds us, in battles of the heart, most often there are no winners, only casualties. Did anyone survive? Let's find out.

With Ryan in town, Nora wants to get everyone together for lunch, but that proves futile. Sarah is "looking at an office building," Kevin "had something come up at the office," and Tommy has a "meeting with Holly." Tommy's lie about being at his embezzlement arraignment is at least somewhat truer than Sarah and Kevin's. Nora decides, however, to take Ryan to see his father's handywork at Ojai and surprise Tommy. Of course, Tommy's not there, forcing Rebecca — who, with Justin, has agreed not to take a side in Tommy's mess — to give Ryan a tour of Ojai keep Nora in the dark. (Seriously, this secret the family can keep from Nora?) In any case, Nora —desperate to get Ryan and her other kids in the same room — plans a dinner party.

Meanwhile, Tommy is released on bail and a trial date is set. Julia — who is also still in the dark, WTF? — realizes that Tommy is guilty of everything he's been charged with and kicks him to the curb (Sarah's house). Saul, Kevin and Sarah search for a way to keep Tommy out of jail, but they know that ultimately it comes down to Holly dropping the charges on a promise of restitution on Tommy's part. Kevin warns Saul and Sarah that neither of them can approach Holly, but Sarah thinks Justin might be able to influence Rebecca. Justin's not big on the idea, but Sarah serves up a big plate of guilt with her freshly baked cookies: "This is family — you can't pretend you're not involved," she says. Justin relents and asks Rebecca to maybe have mercy on Tommy. He also invites her to Nora's "meet Ryan" party, and swears nothing bad will happen as long as she is Switzerland.

Rebecca's heartstrings send her straight to Holly, who she asks to drop the charges against Tommy. She pleads that the case is coming between her and Justin, and that Holly is the only one in a position to stop it. Understanding what she's asking, Rebecca asks that Holly not do it for Tommy, but for her. Considering how Holly stonewalled Sarah, who knows if it will work? That's right, Sarah went to Holly against Kevin's advisement, promising that Tommy would return the money, resign from the board, forfeit his shares and never step foot on the premises. When Holly balks, Sarah loses her cool, but Holly reminds Sarah that none of this is her doing — that she has held up her end of the deal in saving Ojai. "Tommy did this to himself," Holly says.

Outside the embezzlement circle, Kitty brings Robert home to see that his kids had made him a "welcome home" sign. Kitty encourages Robert to tell them about his heart attack, but he is less than enthusiastic about the idea. In fact, he even plays a frame of Wii Bowling against Kitty's advice, snapping "I don't need to be put down for a nap." Ouch. Kitty tells Robert that he can continue shutting everyone else out — including her — but that his children deserve better than that, including newborn Evan. Robert finally gives in, telling his kids what happened and assuring them that he is fine. He also finally confesses that "even daddies get scared." In that moment and the sobbing that followed the kids' departure, Robert was probably speaking to himself as much as anyone.

As everyone preps for the dinner party, all the siblings are atwitter about Tommy, who has finally agreed to fill Nora in on his situation. To cover their murmuring, the gang enthusiastically welcomes Ryan, much to Nora's surprise. But things quickly turn murky when Rebecca enters, and Ryan let's his tour of Ojai slip. Tommy instantly transforms into Superprick (which he remains for the rest of the evening), telling Rebecca her mom must be proud. Justin stands silent, and Ryan heads for a beer refill, inadvertently hearing Kevin and Scotty discussing the embezzlement case.

Believing that Nora was hiding that tidbit from him, Ryan lets this new information slip to Nora. (Dude must not have gotten William Walker's secret-keeping gene.) Naturally, she storms into the dining room for a showdown. Nora's all "when was anyone going to tell me?" and Tommy is his usual "I'm doing this to save the family from Holly...oh, and screw you, too, Rebecca." Again Justin remains silent, Kevin suggests Tommy shut up and Nora slaps the eyebrows off of Tommy. And in that moment, he finally changes his tune: "Sometimes I wonder if this family is even worth saving," he sneers.

Then comes the fallout.

Nora goes all "Sally Field crazy" on Saul, who knew about Tommy's plans all along and never told her. "You always were comfortable dealing in lies," Nora hurls at Saul, who quickly defends himself by pointing out Nora's penchant for closing her eyes to the truth around her, using William as a prime example. (Is it me or is Slimeball Walker Sr. being namedropped more than ever these days?) Nora agrees that Saul's assessment was correct in the past, but that she no longer needs his protection from the truth. "My eyes are open," she says.

Meanwhile, Rebecca cries on Ryan's shoulder about Justin leaving her high and dry during Tommy's tirade. She has second thoughts about their ability to make it through this battle, and says as much when she confronts Justin. Battle lines are drawn: Justin can't help but side with his family, and Rebecca feels she has to side with Holly because no one else will. (It might have helped if she mentioned that she did ask Holly to drop the case. But of course, it wouldn't be TV if characters said the obvious thing to stop an argument.) Rebecca says that she is choosing her family, and that their relationship isn't going to work, that it never was. Oh, and she tells Holly to give Tommy everything she's got in the courtroom.

Justin, scared by his urge to start using again, turns to Sarah for help. She offers him a place to crash, even though he and Tommy might have to arm-wrestle for the couch. Meanwhile, Ryan, who is happy that he now fits into this "screwed-up" family, pays Rebecca a visit. Following the storytelling device we all saw coming five miles away, Rebecca invites him in, awkwardly admitting that she could "use the company" now that she and Justin are kaput. Forget that this triangle was completely predictable, but can this show get any more incestuous?

So, what did you think of the episode? Do you think we will see more of Kitty and baby off to the sidelines of the story? How far do you think the show will take the Ryan-Rebecca relationship? Do you feel bad for Robert? How much do you hate Tommy? Share your thought below and check back next week for more!

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After the much-debated movie event of a week ago, Brothers & Sisters returned to its soapy best — and no one was safe. When we were last with the Walkers, they were swimming their way through "Troubled Waters." But now that they've each found the shore, they realize they're not all standing on the same side of the river. It's Tommy vs. Holly, Justin vs. Rebecca, Kitty vs. Robert, and Nora vs. the World (or at least the bulk of her family). But as the episode poignantly reminds us, in battles of the heart, most often there are no winners, only casualties. Did anyone survive? Let's find out. read more

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Premiered: September 24, 2006, on ABC
Rating: TV-PG
User Rating: (1,026 ratings)
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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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