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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 will miss Rob Lowe on the show so much. I think he made the show! I still will continue to watch next season because all the characters are strong and make up a great show!

I will miss Rob Lowe on the show very much, he made the show interesting and I think he was the mellow one. However I will still continue to watch the show next season because I think that they have a very strong talented cast and it will still be good!

My feelings are if they are going to kill off my Eye Candy, Rob Lowe, what will they give me in the place of him? And while you are at it, give Nora a sexy man who is a real man, which is what she needs. Holly and Nora need to go on a vacation together, maybe a cruise for meeting the opposite sex. And the same man likes them both, etc. Kitty needs to get on with her life by sponsoring a homeless shelter, and finding a very talented writer and artist, who happens to have the same blue eyes as Rob Lowe. Sarah and Luc are boring in their so call family environment. They are dull together.
As for Scotty and Kevin--I enjoy them--and their life together feels real.This show needs a new face lift, with Nora and Holly in the lead, wearing pretty summer dresses, and Nora needs a new hairdo.
Well, this is just a Country Girl's opinion....

I was actually devastated by the occurrence and sobbed!. Not that Robert was a key character, but he was loved by all. I think that I felt the pain Kitty will feel!

Each week I ask my wife, "Why in the world are you watching this dysfunctional group of whiney misfits,” and yet, there I sit for an hour paining over their outrageous behavior.

Like so many others, I hate that they killed off Rob Lowe, and yes I agree with another reader, enough with the Kevin and Scotty face-sucking. I’m okay with the story line, but all of the kissing is a bit much for me. I suppose it is just my own discomfort over my attraction to the mailman, but… ha. Okay, so I’m a secret fan. I am glad that they will be doing a story line on HIV, but for crying out loud, do you think they might actually have one “normal dinner” that doesn’t end with everyone storming out of Nora’s house?

It struck me as odd that Robert & Kitty were in a Cadillac Escalade SUV which has at least 12 different types of front, side, and overhead, airbags yet I saw none deployed. I feel that had the accident been real the injuries would have been survivable. Just a thought.....

I LOVE B&S! I guess a time jump will fit the picture, but I am still unsure about Rebecca and Justin being apart. Their relationship is in and out of falling apart. I LOVE them together! I'm definitely NOT HAPPY about Rob Lowe leaving B&S! He's GREAT and will be missed! I just dont like the fact that he was killed off the show. Too tragic. That stuff can really happen and its seems to be the easy way out for ridding of characters (Like Mischa Barton on The O.C.) READY FOR SEASON 5!

I really didn't want Rob Lowe to leave. I missed him terribly when he left West Wing and now he's leaving Brothers and Sisters. I wish he didn't keep leaving these wonderful shows. He was such a important part of the fmaily. Wish he had more time in the episodes.

I couldn't catch much of what was being said, but I love the show and am glad they didn't leave it with a "cliff-hanger". Also, kudos to Sally Fields for not being one of the many Hollywooders who fill their faces up with "jello". I want to see the person as they truly are.

I would have been completely satisfied if the show ended with Saul & The Ladies dancing under the geyser of Narrow Lake...Buuuuuuuut Nooooooooo! Why must a really great thing happening be followed so closely by disaster and devastation it's not realistic IMHO! I'm a happy ending kinda gal...and when it comes to The Walker Family...crappy things are always happening. I will miss Rob Lowe...he was a great talent in this show....can't wait for the fall and season 5 :)

WOW...what an amazing performance by Rob Lowe. I was in amazement how after his last breath he somehow made his eyes go dark and lifeless. (I cried, which i never do) The acting in this show is flawless. Sally Feilds is always consistent and believable. I have been a fan Calista since Alley McBeal, I just love her. Thank you to everyone that makes Brothers and Sisters possible it is by far the best acting on TV...

The scene in the final moments looked too real but one only knew that there was going to be death and utter destruction.

Too all people that are threatening not to watch the show because Rob Lowe is not anymore, well, he made the decision to leave not the show.
I think giving Saul AIDS was pretty pathetic. How about showing a Middle aged Man dating? Really rotten.

Oh yeah, DArlene's solution for the season finale is the best! Yeah just have some dumb, old deer be killed off. Why should it be the human who suffers? Just remove one piece of fauna from the planet. That's all. "Robert" is too precious and can't possibly have "Kitty" suffer another loss. Oh no, no, no, no, no! Deer are expendable. Humans, god forbid!

Is Rob going over to NBC for a permanant gig in Parks and Recreation? If you have not seen him on it, he is hilarious as a ultra positive and energetic City Govt Auditor. Steals every scene!!

I had heard that Rob Lowe was leaving the show at the end of the season and the coming attraction from last week let us know how, so I was not that surprised. I will miss him.

I love this show but there are a few things I question. Why, if Kitty wanted a child so much, do they rarely show her with her son? If they were all meeting for dinner with family members, why wouldn't the baby be with them? Kevin and Scotty's relationship bothers me. They seem like they always have some kind of disagreement with each other, instead of compromising and trying to understand each other a little more. I just don't think the chemistry is there.

I like Holly and I hope she doesn't have any devastating problem as a result of the accident. I think it's big of Nora to accept Holly (sometimes) in their lives.

The only part of the story line that did surprise me was when Saul refused help at the end. I figured they brought up the aids/hiv testing because they were going to make a story of it, but then I was relieved when he said he got a good report from the doctor. Then at the end of the show he led us to believe that he did not have a good report after all. It's going to be kind of hokey next season if he gets full blown aids after not even suspecting he might have had it over the last 20 years.

I've got to admit, I don't follow the tabloids so when I caught a Yahoo headline this afternoon (I hadn't watched the Tivo'd episode yet) about Robert leaving in a dramatic ending, it made me sad. It made me even sadder when I finally just watched it. I really had no idea. :-( Random question - whose family is NOT dysfunctional in same way???

Sorry to see Rob leave program; heard he'll be in another program so something had to happen to his character in order for him to leave. I'm glad to read how the wreck happened because program didn't make it clear what happened. Hard to see someone pull glass out of his hand. Injuries were believable. I felt a few minutes before ending that there would be a wreck with someone dying; didn't expect the extent of the wreck. Well done.

Well written!
I will miss Rob Lowe on the show. I think he is a great actor and is so underrated. I don't think the show was writing well for him anymore. He had great stuff when he first came on but most of his scenes since have been the same over the past couple of seasons. He must have gotten bored. I have felt he was being wasted.
I wish there was a way he could have stayed.
I am happy to know that Gilles Marini will be more of a regular part of the show.
=) FUN.
I REALLY hope that Saul doesn't get SCARY sick and they have to put us through the torture of seeing that. I'd like to see them play this out as someone who can be healthy and living with HIV/AIDS. It would actually be a nice change. I know many people who are HIV and these days they are living regular healthy lives. I hope they show THAT...show HOPE writers!!!!

It was a really touching season finale. I had read that Rob Lowe was going to leave the show but it didn't make it any easier to watch the crash scene.
Yes, you are absolutley right about all of the small details from the ending. It will be good to see where everyone's characters are going to go after such a dramatic ending. I will miss the show during the summer.

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