For Better Or For Worse
Original Air Date: May 1, 2011
Karen Belgrad – Associate Editor
After last week’s covert hijinks, this time we get a somewhat more serious episode, with the exception of a few randy Frenchmen. And the return of Kitty!
Most people will see the title and think this was a wedding episode, but despite some seating chart work, this episode was wedding-free. Instead we dealt with the notion that, for better or for worse, our parents and siblings are our family. Let’s do the run down, shall we?
While dropping off Luc’s impossibly good looking cousins off at a hotel, Justin runs into his (season one) girlfriend Tyler (played by returning guest star Marika Dominczyk). They’re both equally surprised to see each other, as the last time I believe they were in contact was when Justin cheated on her after learning he’d been called back to war (the first time). Their chemistry is palpable, and far more believable than any of David Annable’s other romantic pairings. He proclaims his three year sobriety and asks her out, she declines, but quickly changes her mind. And then she cancels on him. When he sees her back at the hotel, she admits she’s separated from her husband, he admits he’s divorced. And when she says she could use something could in her life, the two share a steamy kiss. I’m so glad she’s back, as nobody ever sizzled with Justin, or called him on his behavior, quite the way she used to.
Olivia is acting out now that Daniel has become a permanent member of their family. She’s fighting at school and mouthing off to Kevin and Scotty. How she feels is pretty understandable, and she is just a kid. Her alienation feelings culminate with her running off to her old group home in the middle of the night. And once again, Scotty slays it, as he explains to her that she is just as important as Daniel and they are all a family. But the tears really come when he tells her that she’s the only one who can explain and relate to Daniel the feelings of coming into a new home and family. Yes, the whole thing reminded me of Lilo & Stitch’s “Ohana means family. Family means no one is left behind – or forgotten.” But, then again, ABC is owned by Disney.
Sarah is having a hard time accepting that Brody is her birth father. She sees him to tell him that she doesn’t want him to contact her or Nora anymore. She then reenacts the “You’re a doorman. Doorman.” scene from Knocked Up (which I’d link to, but this is a family site), when refused entry into a night club (she forgot her ID) to crash Luc’s bachelor party. Kitty, who’s only job this episode was to comfort Sarah, tries to make her feel better and reminds her of all the fully formed sibling memories they share, but Sarah gets upset and says nobody understands. Later, she asks Saul why he couldn’t have been her father. (Ummmm. Because then he would’ve slept with his sister? ) He reassures her that William loved her and Sarah promises to never use the “half” word again, not even to tell time.
Brody, who is a bad listener, showed up on Nora’s doorstep immediately after Sarah told him not to. They hash it out, as neither really wants to be apart or hurt Sarah. With a trip down memory lane via flashback, complete with young Nora, William, and Brody actors, we revisit exactly what happened to lead them to where they are today. Big bad William Walker (who seemed much nicer in the pilot) basically emotionally blackmailed both of them. He convinced Brody that he’d be a better father than him, so Brody lied. He refused to sign Sarah’s birth certificate until he was sure Brody was gone from Nora’s life. The two realize what could’ve been and end up falling asleep in each others arms on the couch.
Which is exactly how Sarah finds them, thankfully fully clothed, when she pays her mother a surprise late night visit. Nora wakes up, just in time to see a distraught Sarah leave the house.
And that was that for this week. If you missed the last fifteen minutes due to preemption, you can watch the whole episode on abc.com. And believe me, the last few minutes, including Sarah’s hurt face were worth the whole hour.
So what did you think of this penultimate season five episode? Wasn’t Christine Garver as a young Nora amazing? I wonder if that was her real speaking voice , or if she was digitally altered, as she sounded just like Sally Field.
And if next week turns out to be not just the season finale, but the series finale, what do you want to see happen?
Those are my TwoCents! Share your TwoCents, comments, and feedback below!