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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)

This show was very heart wrenching and I can't stop thinking about it. Excellent Job - writers of Brothers and Sisters. I love this show, looking forward to next season....

I love this show and this was one of the best written and directed season finales I've seen on any show in a long time. I love how disfunctionally functional the Walker Family is and they always leave you wanting more. I figured they were going to kill Robert off but it didn't hinder the shock. I was in tears. I too am sad to see Rob Lowe go but I think his departure will create a great plot for next season. I can't wait to see what's to come.

I love this show and anything that goes with it is great by me. I think that Sally Field is exceptional in her role and Rachel Griffiths addition is good. I like the fact that Justin and Rebecca are together. I look forward to the next season.

I thought the show was great, from beginning to end...I empathize with Nora, trying to be the rock that keeps her family together. I agree with iamarealtor about the music...I notice this on more and more shows...you can't hear the dialogue because they are blasting the so-called background music. They need to tone it down and remember while it for effect, if we can't hear what is being said, there is no need to have effects! Can't wait for summer to be over and the new season to begin. I will miss Rob Lowe's character immensely. He brought a real classy calmness to the Walker bunch. I will him well in all his future endeavors.

I am so sad to see Rob Lowe leave.... I think that he and Kitty made a great couple!!!

The Finale was AMAZING though, and I just cannot wait to for the next season.

This is a great show!!! I love it. It is a entertainment. It gives us a glimpse of what life is like for other dysfunctional families. Too bad Rob Lowe wanted out. I was really starting to like his character.

Rob Lowe requested to leave the show, the show did not write him off. I think he will be on Parks and Rec if I remember correctly.
I am a straight, middle aged woman. If you don't like the "intimate" nature of what one commenter called "the gay couple" then don't watch. Does it bother you to watch "intimate" nature of the "straight couples?" Probably not. Gay people are here, they've always been here and always will be. I find it refreshing to have an honest portrayal of a gay couple. I don't like overboard "intimate" scenes of any couple on any show, and the intimate scenes between the two are not too much.
If you only watched the show for Rob Lowe, you missed out on LEARNING a lot. This family is full of drama because they are portraying what lots of folks deal with in life, only it's all concentrated on one family for this show; that way alot of people can identify with different parts of this show. I say GREAT JOB to the Brothers and Sisters writers, actors and directors. My only complaint is Rebecca and Justin; I do agree they need to "grow up" and hope jumping ahead a year won't find them broken up because that would be typical. It would be nice to see a couple survive separation and grow together.

I watched the show the first season and have only caught it here and there over the past few seasons, I tuned in last night and it was a great show, I knew the characters and I knew that they were going to kill Robert off since he has a new show coming out.

According to E!'s WATCH with KRISTIN, the reason Rob wanted to leave the "Brothers & Sisters" was because "Rob felt he was being underutilized in the ABC family series and had asked to exit the show."

Now then what will Rob be doing??? Well, he's joined the cast of NBC's "Parks and Recreation" so don't miss Lowe too much, he'll still be on TV, just on a different channel now. I love when actors show different sides to their acting abilities and take up different roles. I think it's pretty cool.

I will miss Rob Lowe on B&S. I saw him on the streets of NY a couple years ago and he stood out in the crowd of people walking down the street. His blue eyes and tanned face just popped out at you. I think he's a class act and will be sorely missed.

I am very sad to see Robert leaving. He was my favourite character on the show and it won't be the same without him.

I will miss Rob Lowe. It was the best season finale in a long time. I thought he was going to die of a heart attack. The scene at the end was devastating. I love this show. September is a long time away, can't wait.

I love, love love this show- it's so real..life happens, they all come together as a family. They also are realistic about life and eachother and very funny. Very sad that Rob lowe is leaving...he really makes the show! Rob Lowe in a suit..very well worth watching...

What a weak plotline--too bad a show filled with such talent can't have better writers.

Rob Lowe was the main reason I kept watching the show. I had been switching channels when the gay couple kept displaying more and more intimacy; but now I just won't watch the show. Way too much gay stuff for me.

This show is the best show in tv,I love Sally Field and her character, She is the best,, All the cast fits and makes it worth staying home and enjoying Sunday nites,,
Thanks ABC for this show and D-housewives.

I must have been hiding under a rock! I never knew Rob Lowe was leaving the show. Why?! That family needs him. He's the calm in the middle of the storm.

It was sad to see Kitty having to watch her husband die, especially after everything that they have been through for the past four years. It was not surprising about Saul, especially when they brought out the HIV/aids patient from his past. I hope in season 5 that they will not have Kitty being involved with anyone, because I think that the writers should show that in real life people don't get remarried the moment that someone passes away. That is unless you are not really in love with that person, then all bets are off. I love the show and I look forward to the knew seasn in the fall.I hope that Rebecca and Justin finally get their acts together and realize that just because you both are doing different things in your lives, does not mean you cannot share a life as man and wife. I know that this is just a show, but in a way it is about a family that shares values, beliefs, and above all love.

I've been dreaded this episode since the beginning of the season, because I never wanted to see Rob Lowe leave. He was such a great addition to the show since its first season and was the reason why I started watching it in the first place. Seeing as he appeared in this episode more often than the previous ones, I knew he would be gone by the end of it. It'll never be the same without him.

But on a more lighter note, I'm looking forward to Kevin and Scotty's new child! I have a feeling they'll be more interesting in the next season.

Everyone is talking about missing Rob Loew . The reason he left is because he's starting a new series . So be happy , he's not gone

I'm a fan of Brothers and Sisters. I think it's great that Sally Field found such a complicated character like Nora.

Sorry to see Rob go. He was fabulous. I hope it doesn't hurt the ratings because it's one show I must see.

Here goes! Keven and Scotty have the dullest relationship of all the Walkers. I'm interested in how all the other ones evolve but not K and S. Does anyone remember when Kevin had that fling with Robert's brother who was a missionary? That was an interesting and volatile set up. Without any knowledge of what the writers decided, I feel that some PC gays got to the writers to have K with S instead of the missionary so that they could set them up as parents. Well, I not interested in the child they are going to have along with the duo. The straights are more interesting that the gays? Well, that's a switch. I keep hoping that the missionary would come back but I fear the writers have taken the choke on that angle.

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