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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)

Sorry to see Rob Lowe go. Not sure if I will watch the show. I mainly watched because of Rob Lowe. I am not interested in seeing the developing "new family" nor the HIV/Aids segment - and the relationship between Justin and Rebecca really is not very interesting. Although I am not into political issues, I truly enjoyed viewing Rob Lowe and Kitty each week.

Its "Dancing With The Stars" and its totally different from Bothers & Sisters. Brothers & Sisters teaches you real life lessons and actully has meaning behind it. If you dont like it DONT WATCH it. Its a wonderful show and as soon as you watch one episode you get addicted to it. Every sunday night my mom and I watch it together. If I had my way the season would never end. I enjoy this show very much and cannot wait until next season!

The ending is a conspiracy... Robert was murdered for not handing over the tapes!!!

Sara - sorry you were offended by my caps - my eye sight is bad so I type in caps. Thanks to R.bernard and Kat they express by views so much better than I did. I do not live in a bubble I am not lucky enough to live amoung the wealthy to see how they live daily but i work in the real world were small companies struggle ever day and i see none of the drama. thanks you R.Bernard and Kat. Sara sorry you were offended by my views. Sara R.I.P my last post.

I love this show. It keeps you interested and involved every week. I only wish it was on this summer as well. Rob Lowe will be sorely missed. I can hardly wait until season 6.

Great show! I adore Rob Lowe on B&S's, and see he is going to be starring on a new TV show. Perhaps Kitty will carry on the senators work and will bring down the thugs her husband was trying to bring to justice. Sally Field is the glue of this show! She is awesome and her character is a mulligan stew of personality. The characters I have grown tired of are Justin and Rebecca. Enough of the fighting already.. geez! Overall, I love this show of a family that can hardly contain themselves from letting it all hang out.. with some real live wires!

I really love this show..but everyone knows you do not get a positive AIDS test over the phone...It took from the final scene. As I was annoyed by that I lost my connection to what was going on...Kitty is losing the love of her life and I'm still by a technicality...This season has had so many ups and downs...I can't wait for the new season...I really will miss Robert as calming force in WalkerMania, but I think Luc and Scotty will fill that void....

I have continue to watch Brothers and Sisters because I think Sally Field is such a remarkable actress. I probably will not continue to watch it because while the gay couple used to be just part of the story line...it seems that it pretty much all you see in the story line now. The 2 of them constantly kissing and talking about their sex life is too much for me.

I love this show! Even though I've been a huge fan of Rachel Griffiths and Sally Field, I didn't start watching until season 2, and bought the DVD for season 1 to catch up! Flashing forward a year will be interesting, I wonder way day/time they will move the show too. It's been a perfect fit after DH but it seems like ABC is moving the show. Oh to the poster before, it has a nice balance of characters, gay/straight/etc and I commend B&S for not shying away or running from these topics. I'll miss Robert/Rob Lowe but I too love to watch the relationship of the siblings and of course, Nora. She is something else. Can't wait til September!

@iamarealtor: I switch my television from stereo to mono for "Brothers & Sisters" because you're right, the loud music makes it difficult to hear.

Rob Lowe will be missed. He was the reason I watched the show. I am bummed.

This is the first season i started watching this show and i fell in love with it. The accident was a huge shocker though. It brought me to tears.


I will miss Robert. While I read many of the comments, but not all, I suspect Balthazar Getty may be sufficiently repentant of his ways and return to more episodes. I truly wish Rob Lowe well, but he has, so far, proven unable to carry a show as its principal star. I like the show very much.

What was ironic is that the truck that killed Robert is the very same truck/company did the drilling...That's what I supposed since they zoomed into the truck's name. anyways...so sad!

I have watched the show since it started. I really like the character that Rob Lowe plays and also him as an actor. I really wish you would have kept him and not killed him off. All of the actors and characters are really wonderful. It is a great show. It really show a family the way most families are not how you want them to see you.

I didn't like the transition to the accident scene. It didn't work well, it was abrupt and somewhat contrived. Also, not expecting an ending like that, later on a Sunday night, I found it upsetting. I like the show in general and was not prepared for the ending.

I'm leaving with the guy who brought me. I only watched for Rob Lowe. He was amazing in this ep. I agree that Robert was murdered.
Skipping a year ahead is so they can have Kitty dating. But I can't get too upset about that as I won't be watching.
And the children not at yet another family event? Oh I have asked that question many times - the spouses too. But in this ep I think it was to not have children involved at all in this horrific and very realistic ending. I can give the writers a break on that one.

So many here like the show so I won't elaborate on my problems with the show. I do agree it's an amazing cast.
And I'll just celebrate Rob Lowe's 4 years on B&S especially the heart attack ep last season and this finale. Nice to see him getting some kudos here that he really deserves.

Looking forward to seeing him on Californification and P&R.
Oh yes. Check out this week's EW. There is a bit different take on why RL is leaving in an interview with him. Also in this newspaper I believe it is - May 18 - there is an interview with Ken Olin. Sounds a bit inconsistent with what's been said publicly so far.
As one who went through the Save Sam Seaborn efforts during the West Wing exit and that whole story wasn't consistent or accurately told; I'll pass on worrying too much about the behind-the-scenes going ons for this one. Hopefully it works out well for my guy.

Fantastic show! I never miss it. I just hope we will always be able to view it in the U.K
Sorry Rob Lowe has left but it opens up many doors for Kitty.
Congratulations to Claliska and Harrison.

I had absolutely no idea that Rob was leaving the show. This finale was devastating! I kept hoping that Robert would survive and not for one second did I think he would be the one to die in the accident. Although Holly has grown on me, I totally thought her character was the more dispensable one. On the contrary, Robert was a breath of fresh air. Sane, caring, generous, and trust worthy -- he was the one that always had his head on straight. No matter what!

Although I love each and every character on the show and I feel as though I know them and care for them all, I will really miss Robert. I really don't know how the writers plan to fill that hole next season. It's a pretty big hole if you ask me.

I really don't care to see Kitty dating again, it'll feel cheap and almost as if she's cheating. I think we the viewers will grieve for Robert's loss more than the characters will. And that's a sad thought.

Although I was intrigued by Sarah and Luc at first, I've now grown bored with that plot. I expected more spark and romance, a little more drama. It's become too mundane to keep my interest like it did in the beginning. I think Sarah needs to be shaken up a bit. I absolutely love the actress and think she's done a phenomenal job, the writers have been lacking when it comes to her story.

Now I've written wayyyy more than I ever intended to. Ultimately, I'm incredibly saddened by Rob Lowe's exit and wished he would have gotten more time and attention on the show. I needed at least one more season of him and Kitty really sharing their lives together, showing all the viewers that there can be really nice moments on the show without so much drama and chaos. But, don't get me wrong, I love the drama! It reminds me that my family isn't the only chaotic one out there.

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