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'Brothers and Sisters': Reaching across the aisle

October 27, 2008 |  7:35 am

Brossis290 Last night's "Brothers and Sisters" showed us that whether the Walkers are dealing with people with opposing points of view or their own inner demons, they have two ways to approach conflict.

The first is taking the bull by its horns. In Kevin's case, it's impulsively spouting his opinions and then dealing with the aftermath later. Scotty's conservative parents come for a visit at the same time Kevin presumes he'll make partner. It becomes pretty obvious early on that neither event will go as planned as Kevin's nervousness and overcompensation can only signal disaster. He doesn't make partner and spoils dinner by scolding Scotty's mother for being judgmental and inappropriate (in his defense, she wasn't exactly a peach). An apology coupled with a good dose of Kevin's sad, puppy-dog eyes usually do the trick, and suddenly, Scotty's folks become a little more tolerant of their son's gay relationship. Hopefully, Kevin's style of conflict resolution works when he becomes Robert's communications director. I'd love to see him put his foot in his mouth on CNN.

Diving head first also works best for Nora. While presenting grant proposals for her new nonprofit organization, she becomes aware of and insecure over her lack of real-world work experience. It takes a pep talk in which Nora is given a scenario she can relate to (talk to them like you would the butcher, Sarah advises) that convinces her that her 40 years of being a stay-at-home mom is experience enough. Apparently asking for a few million dollars to build a hospital is just like asking for a leaner slice of beef.

The second way the Walkers approach conflict is by actually working together to form a compromise. "Working together" usually consists of some bickering and bottles of wine, but a solution is usually achieved nonetheless. In the case of Ryan Lafferty, Rebecca and Justin bump heads before putting them together to decide what to do with a folder of information. They do what children do best in conflicts: Leave it to their moms. Ryan has recently been cast, so it's only a matter of how Nora chooses to contact him.

In the midst of their disagreement over the Ryan situation, Justin and Rebecca have sex. It seemed appropriate that their first time be angry, make-up sex considering their family lives are so contentious. It may also take some passionate argument (and tequila perhaps?) to spur anything hot and heavy with a person you thought was your half-sibling a few months ago. Does this relationship still feel weird to you?

Meanwhile, Tommy and Saul reconcile and open up the possibility of an Ojai Foods coup. I'm glad they're giving Saul a story, especially if it involves his mafia style pledge to take Holly out.

Will the Walkers regain control over Ojai Foods? What secrets do you think Ryan Lafferty holds?

— Enid Portuguez

(Photo courtesy ABC)