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'Brothers & Sisters': The pursuit of happiness

May 4, 2009 |  7:36 am

In the end (or at least on the episode before the season finale), "Brothers & Sisters" is about finding happiness. And one needn't be a loyal fan to see that more than a few characters are having a rough time in its pursuit.

We start with Kitty, whose emotional affair with Alec has placed her in the dog house with Robert. Every phone call is suspect, and even her surprise welcome-back-to-the-office party for him seemed loaded with distrust and awkwardness. Being a politician, Robert usually keeps his feelings close to the vest, but we are treated to some of his rage during his confrontation with Alec. The single dad tries to get a zinger in, blaming Robert's powerful status for the demise of his marriage, but it doesn't quite hit the mark. Robert means business.

Meanwhile, Kitty looks to flashbacks of her father's visit to New York for answers to her marital issues. While Kitty's great fear is becoming the passive wife that her mother was, Kevin points out she's more of her father's daughter. It was nice to see Tom Skerritt reprise his role as William Walker; his character's past plays such a profound role in the show's story lines that it only makes sense for us to see the Walkers' memories of him from time to time.

Things we learned about William in this episode: He loves surprises and is pretty cutthroat when it comes to breaking things off in a relationship. Through these flashbacks, Kitty not only decides she must end things for good with Alec but also realizes that William did go to Reno to end things with Ryan's mother, Connie. Could Ryan's theory that his mom committed suicide be correct?

It's certainly a question left to be explored since Ryan doesn't seem to be going anywhere. After Holly and Sarah's public dust-up about his hiring at Ojai, he looks ready to call the quest off, but Kitty's confirmation of William and Connie's Reno rendezvous convinces him there is more to be found. Ryan hasn't done a good job earning the audience's sympathy, so it would be tough to make his personal happiness the main objective. We just want answers!

Speaking of answers, it turns out Rebecca's answer to Justin's impromptu proposal is "yes." That certainly came out of nowhere, but it was done in the most adorable way. If you can get over the creepiness of dating someone you once thought to be your half-sibling, you deserve to be happy. However, their engagement signals anything but a happy ending for these two; both family's reactions to the news are sure to be priceless (and by priceless I mean horrific).

Nora and Sarah round out the characters most in need of a happy pill. The news of Joe's remarriage to his first wife sends Sarah into a tailspin. Holly publicly calling her out for being unhappy serves as the final blow — she's sad and lonely and needs to do something about it. Sarah's solution: Internet dating. Sigh. We'll see where that leads her.

Nora, on the other hand, is still bent out of shape about Tommy and the mystery of his whereabouts. Using Robert's connections, she tracks him down in Mexico, which will be the scene of next week's season finale. The threat of swine flu doesn't stand a chance over the existential crises we have to look forward to next week.

Do you think Tommy will return? What do you think transpired between William and Connie in Reno? Are you happy with Justin and Rebecca's engagement?

 — Enid Portuguez