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'Brothers & Sisters': A good cry

October 12, 2009 |  8:10 am
I'm willing to bet there weren't too many dry eyes after last night's episode of "Brothers & Sisters." I know I asked the show for more humor last week, but nothing beats an hour of pure heart.

Kitty received her CAT scan results and the prognosis was decent but not ideal. Her cancer had not spread to her bone marrow, but it had spread enough to warrant a Stage 3 diagnosis. She was given two treatment options: the traditional cocktail of chemotherapy and radiation at home in L.A., or participate in a non-FDA-approved clinical trial in Boston. Though the decision is ultimately Kitty's, Robert and Nora had conflicting opinions of which she should choose. Robert favored the clinical trial's more aggressive approach, while Nora insisted that a strong support system along with the traditional treatment was what Kitty needed most. It was only a matter of time before these two went head-to-head, and there was no better impetus than a threat to Kitty's physical well-being.

Robert and Nora's confrontations were surprisingly formidable. Nora packed the extra punch during their argument in Robert's office, but his late-night truce lifted the doubts I had about his commitment to Kitty. For once, he let down his guard and displayed fear, sympathy and vulnerability. But even as his eyes welled with tears, Robert remained poised and resolute about working with, not against, Nora. It was a great performance by Rob Lowe, who gave us new insight into Robert without compromising consistency.
The tears continued to flow as the rest of the family was informed of the news. Kevin, always the sensitive one despite his hard-nosed exterior, was the most reactive, but Saul and Justin also had their own good cries. It was refreshing to see that kind of emotion from men on a TV show.

Kitty, on the other hand, was determined to stay strong and positive. She put on a smile while helping Rebecca shop for a wedding dress, but as soon as she had convinced herself that the distraction was working, a shadow would appear across her face. Escaping from reality was going to be harder than she had thought. Her final decision to go the traditional route in treatment, however, was made with the calm and strength that could convince anyone she was going to fight it. At least I hope that's the case.

During last night's episode, I rooted for Kitty and the Walkers more than I ever have. Her illness has given the family a chance to come together and appreciate one another again. More importantly, it's given viewers a renewed sense of why they watch the show in the first place. Whether you come from a large or small brood, "Brothers & Sisters" has always reminded us that family is the only thing constant in our lives. In the shaky world we live in, that's not a bad thing to remember time and time again. Now that Sarah's back and everyone's once again on the same page, I have no doubt we can expect the humor to return to the show.

Time for your thoughts, readers. Did you shed a tear last night? What were your favorite moments? Feel free to share in the comments.

-- Enid Portuguez (follow me on Twitter @enidrocks)

Photo: The Walkers await Kitty in the kitchen. Credit: ABC