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'Brothers & Sisters' season finale: Highway to destiny

B&S_Robertfinale The question we have all been pondering for the last five months -- exactly how Rob Lowe's character Robert McCallister was going to exit the show -- was finally answered on last night's "Brothers & Sisters" season finale. The beloved senator met his demise on a stretch of highway with Kitty by his side after a big rig lost control and collided into their SUV. My and many viewers' assumption that he would die by heart attack proved too obvious. The show acknowledged the theory by giving him an arrhythmia scare the night before the accident, but it was a sharp metal beam that crashed into his driver's side window that finally did him in.

Even though we knew Robert's moment was coming, it didn't keep those last dramatic five minutes from being any less shocking. It was the first time we'd really seen any of the Walkers in grave physical danger and the initial sight of Kevin, Scotty, Saul and Holly bleeding and hurt was pretty startling. From the moment Justin and Rebecca pulled up to the wreckage, the camera seemed to stretch their (and our) feeling of dread as they encountered each mangled car and began to heard screams from familiar voices. They came upon Saul's overturned car first. Scotty sat up dazed while Kevin pulled shattered glass from his hand. Saul stood a few feet with a gash across his forehead, a reminder of his new reality (more about that later). Sarah and Nora emerged shaken but unhurt as they rushed to get more help for Holly, who sat unconscious in her car. Then came Robert's and Kitty's SUV, nestled against the belly of a big rig.

Robert's last minutes were brief and so, so sad. The jutting beam and a giant bloody head wound kept him still as he recalled his fears on the day that Evan was born. Kitty's strength quelled his fears back then and as he sat dying, and while she pleaded for him to hold on and keep talking, the light went out from his blue eyes. If there was one thing Robert consistently stood by during his time on the show, it was his dedication to his family, so it was fitting that the comforting memory took him through his last breaths.

To dramatize the ending, most of the episode kept a relatively mellow pace except for the revelation of two big pieces of news that will inform some of the stories next season. The first was Saul's discovery that he has HIV/AIDS. While preparing the menu for his and Scotty's upcoming restaurant, the subject of getting tested came up after a man from Saul's past requested his friendship on Facebook. He learned that the man was currently an AIDS activist living with the disease, which set off alarms that he should finally get tested after all these years of being in the closet. Scared and still reeling from a lifetime of shame and hiding, Saul lied to Nora when he first got the test results. But the news sank in at the sight of his own blood after the accident -- the results were positive and he and the Walkers would be facing a whole new challenge come Season 5.

The other piece of news was the breakthrough at Narrow Lake, which after the closing of Ojai Foods now belonged to Sarah, Nora and Holly. Never one to give up on a good mystery, Nora continued to fund more digging with the hopes of finding the land's true value. Her efforts paid off. Narrow Lake contained an aquifer, a body of rock capable of yielding groundwater -- a gold mine in a state that frequently suffers from water shortage. Their financial future was secured at that moment, and as the ladies danced in the geyser, one of the season's big mysteries was finally resolved.

Since the show plans to flash forward a year during Season 5, the questions raised in the finale set the stage for the time jump. Kitty will grieve over Robert's death and we'll find out whether she won the election. Justin will volunteer in Haiti while Rebecca stays behind to take on a new job, leaving their relationship vulnerable. Kevin and Scotty will be new parents, and Saul will fight a new battle. It's yet to be seen what injuries Holly will sustain from the accident, but it'll probably affect her somehow. Sarah and Luc will explore their relationship further and Nora will continue to be the rock holding it all together. I think flashing forward is a brilliant move for the show. After a lackluster third season, "Brothers & Sisters" proved its mettle with the fourth, and this new perspective will give viewers even more incentive to watch. Rob Lowe will be sorely missed, but the Walkers will trudge through as these startling new events leave the future precariously and excitedly open with possibilities.

What are your thoughts on the season finale? Feel free to chime in below!

-- Enid Portuguez

Photo: Rob Lowe in his final episode as Robert McCallister on "Brothers & Sisters." Credit: ABC

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Comments () | Archives (163)

I hated to see him leave the show but how he did leave was great,everything was out in the open with Kitty and was good between them and he died right along side of her.

Why couldn't Holly have been the one to go ? She grated on me in 30-Something and continues to do so. Her acting seems like acting, if you know what I mean

rob lowe's character will not be missed. kitty can track down the guy in the park, a far more sympathetic character, on the other hand he might not be a republican and wouldn't that be fun to throw into the mix. and what is the address for scotty's new restaurant?

I LOVE this show and have from the beginning. I NEVER miss an episode and will be extremely upset with ABC if they ever cancel my favorite show. Brother's and Sisters. Yes Sally Fields, we like you. We REALLY like you!!

Beautifully written and should get many awards! Fall in love since first season of watching!

This show needs a finale that is final. Who cares in this day and age about a bunch of rich people going through trials and tribulations from being Gay to being a raving, nauseating mother of a bunch or brats with no concept of reality. This show should be on daytime soap schedules and not in primetime taking up space for something more valuable. Sally Fields is a wonderful actress who should be doing something more meaningful, the rest are simply mediocre in there roles on this show. Rob Lowe has sense enough to get out. My girlfriend forces me to watch this show with her, to spend quality time together. I am disgusted by this show and how popular we Americans find watching these morons. The same goes for Dances with the Stars, has beens and no names getting rich on our incredibly mindless watching habits. I am tempted to leave my girlfriend over her obsession with these two moronic shows.

Great synopsis. You did it better than the show. I was not that impressed with the season finale. It was sad, but I think they could have made it more dramatic. Show the accident as it is happening. Show us what was said during those moments of the accident between Kitty and Robert.

Watching Rebecca and Justin just happen to come across the accident made it less tear jerking. I expected to cry and came out with "That's it? Okay. Robert is dead." I think they could have done better.

Great show and cast! I look forward to next season!!

Wonderful Show !!!

I'm so glad that ABC gave this program a chance to build (unlike other Greg Berlanti brilliant productions) I was hesitant at first to follow the Walker family because of this cancelling so quickly routine , but i gave it a try and am very pleased.

This finale was indeed riveting ,especially the Saul surprise , he completely had me believed that he was negative when he made that call . I hope Holly will be continuing , especially with her relationship with Ken Olin's character , he is incredible both in front of and behind the camera .

Robert"s passing has made me very sad , Kitty's cancer recovery showed her powerful strength and she will endure raising her and Robert's son as he watches from beyond .

I look forward to next season and again pleased to enjoy this drama .

I love Rob Lowe and will miss his character a lot. For a minute last night, I thought, "Oh, good, it's Holly that's going to die." But alas! 'Twas not to be. Farewell, Robert. Rest in peace.

great great show. great editors for sure.

omg i really hate to see robert go he so awsome but its his choice i am just glad the walkers will be back next season i cannot live without watching the show lol

Maybe it wasn't Robert that died. Maybe it was Holly. She never did come about when Rebecca was talking to her. Maybe Rob Lowe is coming back! :)

Interesting finale!! Was curious how they would write Rob Lowe out...didn't expect that! Love the show and looking forward to Season 5.

posted by: n.davis

I will miss Senator McCAlister (Rob Lowe). I know Kitty will have lots of support from the family. Those last 5 minutes were so emotional. It took me back to a time I got a phone call loved ones had died in an auto accident. I swear this show makes you feel as if you are part of the family.

I had no idea that Rob Lowe was leaving the show, so his
death was very surprising to me.
The show is really like a night time soap opera, very
corny most of the time. And Nora (Sally Fields) drives me
insane. She is not at all like a real person. Most mothers
are NOT like this women.

I thought the ending was great, I cried. (of course) Robe Lowe will be greatly missed. I cannot wait for next season to begin!!!!

I love this show, it is the one show I can never miss. I was so sad when I watched Robert sit there bleeding and Kitty try so hard to keep him focused and talking. It was just aweful to watch. I wonder now what will happen with the little baby they just adopted and how his Daay's death will impact him.

I cried at the ending but as long as Rob Lowe is somewhere on TV, I don't mind his demise on Brothers - He's so nice too watch - very easy on the eyes.

Ridiculous. Brothers and Sisters and Private Practice-car accidents seem to be the easy way out.

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