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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)

Did you see the (actual) stagehand running over with a fire extinguisher to put out one of the car fires? Thought that was a little art-meets-reality moment. :-)

guess what? i am in Pakistan, and i love the show!!!!!! cant get over robert's death :(

love the show!!!!!

I love the show but i agree with one reader. The Gay stuff needs to go. I watch this show with my 11 year old and he says that gross and i agree. We shouldnt have to see that.

I read that Rob Lowe was leaving the show because Kitty was going to go part-time on the show, and Rob figured that his part would be shortened. I really think Rob Lowe's part should have been left alone, and his part should have been lengthened instead of shortened. I love all the characters on the show, but his was the best. He gave the show intelligence, grace, and logic: and he wasn't hard to look at either. I will miss him tremendously, but I also read that the network was working on a new show for him ( I hope that is true).

I just loved the ending, you get to look into next season and having closure in this one. While I love Rob Lowe on the show and he will be missed, it is just another chapter for the WALKERS to have to explore. I love how this dyfuncational family operates, unlike most "tv families" I look forward to next season and will watch the reruns over the summer.

I have been watching this show since day one, and have fallen in love with the Walker family, this is my favorite show of the week... This week's final episode was very moving, I cried as if I had lost a family member myself..It was a very moving episode, I am anxiously awaiting next year's season.. I am going to miss the character of Robert.

I'm so sad to see Rob Lowe leave the show. I love him on and off the show! Thanks for sharing all this, it sure answered many of my questions that I had and makes complete sense!!!

Why are they letting Rob Lowe get away, I think this is a big mistake.

I will miss Robert very much!!!!!!! I love Brothers & Sisters, I can't wait to c it next season. This was the best season finale ever, it was so real. Saul, what can we say that was great also, can't wait till next season. (I must repeat that again.) Nora will come back and once again prove to be that strong anchor that holds a family together during good and bad times. This show is so close to real life we comment about the drama but, it is everyday things that happen in families, thank you ABC.

TO TONI AND SARA - YOU PICKUP ON THE FACT THAT I DID NOT LIKE THE KISSING SCENES BY KEVIN AND SCOTTY BUT IF YOU WILL READ AGAIN I ALSO SAID I WOULD NOT BE WATCHING B&S FOR THIS REASON BY CHOICE. THE WALKERS ARE A VERY UNTYPICAL FAMILY NOT THE NORM IN REAL LIFE BUT A HINT OF REALITY. YOU ARE SO RIGHT SOME OF THE BEST MOVIES ARE NOT MY FAVORITE SIMPLY BECAUSE OF THE HEAVY SEXUALLY STUFF THAT TAKES AWAY FROM THE STORY LINE BOTH STRAIGHT AND GAYS. I CHOOSE NOT TO WATCH(BROKE BACK MOUNTAIN)I.E.SARA AND LUC OVERDONE IN THE SACK. I LOVED THE BASE STORY LINE OF B&S(ALL THE FAMILY) BUT IF I AM UNCOMFORTABLE WATCHING THIS WITH BY FAMILY I CHOOSE NOT TO DO SO. CHOICES U R RIGHT

The show was awsome. The final season was exciting. I love this show.

I loved the show the first year, I was so happy that a clean show was on about the drama of family. I think rob Lowe will be missed a lot. I get sick when I see Kevin and Scotty kissing and believe that it will eventually bring the show to its end. I have always loved Sally Field and we have watched her for years and didn't have to watch her kissing another woman and she has lasted for years.

I had no idea Robert was leaving the show. I loved him and his character. He will definitely be missed.

Ok, what if Robert survived the accident in the next season? Maybe he'll come back to life and end up in the hospital? We never know what's gonna happen especially the viewers didn't like Robert to go off the show. Let's all send the writer emails to keep Robert in the next season.

My husband and I watch this show religiously. I wasn't too shocked that it was Robert that dies, but sad to see him go. I almost thought it was going to be Tommy. I agree that Justin and Rebecca need to get their act together, Justin is the biggest whiner baby and I am getting really bored with his character. I am not too fond of the showing of "affection" of Scotty and Kevin. It makes me uneasy. It is not a natural thing and feel it goes a little too far. I do look forward to the new season, I just hope it gets a little more unpredictable.

I thought it was really good but sad. I wonder now if Kitty will blame Justin for not saving Robert. I mean, the guy bleed to death. He could have told Kitty how to try to stop the blood and then check the car. By the way, I used to like rebecca but not any more the chick is selfish. Hymm it will make a good season next year.


I can't believe they killed off Rob Lowe to go to Parks & Rec with Amy Poehler? Whaaaat? I cried my eyes out on the finale. This is the best show and I can't wait until the next season. Go ABC! Great cast, excellent writing. Rob, you will be missed!!

I am totally sold on this show! It never fails to entertain! From Nora's overprotective nature, to Kitty and Sarah's over-dramatic response to life, I'm hooked! I hate to see Robert leave the show, he's a great actor. It's something about the tone of his voice that just captivates you everytime he speaks. His character served a major role in the family dynamics and I don't believe Kitty's character would be as strong without him. I do wonder if Alec will return to comfort Kitty in her grief? My heart goes out to her, the last year of her life has surely been chaotic. Hopefully she will get a break from sorrow in the coming season. Kevin irritates me, as if he were my very own sibling. The show is becoming more and more about the homosexual lifestyle (Kevin and scotty's marriage, now their adoption, Saul coming out the closet, and now his HIV status). I get that the show takes place in California, a state known for it's liberality, but I'm hoping the show will focus more on the familial dynamics than homosexuality. As a straight male viewer, it can be a bit much to watch!

ANN - TYPING IN ALL CAPS IS SO SILLY - SO, YOU'RE TRYING TO YELL YOUR POINT? SO DUMB! Who cares if you're not going to watch anymore? Move on from this post! We won't miss you and your "OMG I can't stand to see anything sexual on TV - It's SOOOO offensive" conservative views. And by the way, I know all kinds of messed up families that this show represents - just because you live in a bubble and have never experienced said dysfunction, does not mean it doesn't exist. Good riddens!

 
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