Episode Title: “Safe at Home” (Season 5, Episode 13)
Original Airdate: January 16, 2011 at 10:00 PM
Synopsis: Tommy (Balthazar Getty) returns home with a special surprise while Kevin and Scotty (Matthew Rhys and Luke Macfarlane) spend their first weekend at home with Olivia (Isabella Rae Thomas).
Review: After a string of less than stellar episodes, Brothers & Sisters returned to what made the show great: big mystery. Last week we saw that William had Nora (Sally Field) followed before they were married. And that point is brought up a lot in this episode (the series’ 100th). The bigger mystery though is the surprise that Tommy brings home with him…a girlfriend! Rose (Cara Buono) jumps into the middle of the Walker family and seems weird to the rest of the family.
Sarah (Rachel Griffiths) and Luc (Gilles Marini) have set a date for their wedding, and Tommy reveals to the family that he and Rose are engaged as well. Trouble also brews when Sarah finds out that Tommy is in need of money from Sarah for a business venture between Rose and Tommy. A Walker family dinner is ruined again after this incident, as it brought back many fond memories from the earlier seasons.
Kevin and Scotty are spending their first weekend with Olivia to see if she’s a good fit for them. While Kevin is out bonding with Tommy, Scotty and Olivia go shopping and she still feels awkward around them. Nora also gives Olivia a phone, although she won’t reply to Kevin’s text messages. We later learn that she cannot read, and this is part of the reason why she was frustrated with the two. Olivia probably is the best fit for Kevin and Scotty and they finally seem to be happy together after the tragic events from last season.
Meanwhile, Justin (Dave Annable) is having trouble with Annie (Odette Yustman) seems to be having feelings still for Dr. Rick (Rob Kazinsky). When Dr. Rick substitutes in during a softball game, he gets into a fight with Justin leaving Annie caught in the middle. In the end, Annie decides it would probably be best that her and Justin remain friends for the time being.
Finally in the end of the episode Rose finds out that Nora had lied to her children about her wedding date when she discusses the Walker family history with Tommy. This leads into the mystery surrounding William following Nora and her relationship with a man before their marriage.
Overall this episode added some of the things that made the first few seasons of Brothers & Sisters great. It seems as though Tommy is going to be back regularly now, and with a new mystery arc unfolding, the show can go back to its roots. Hopefully the final nine episodes of the season get back on track with higher ratings so the show can go out on a high note – be it for the season or forever.
If Brothers & Sisters can continue to have strong episodes like these more often and bring Tommy back into the fold, I think the show could last a good season six. The show still has better than average ratings for ABC, and with the lack of promising shows for the fall, I think we could very well see the show on the fall schedule again.
On another note, this begins Calista Flockhart’s absence from the show as she asked for more time off to be with family. She left the show last week with some confusion to what she really is doing in Washington, D.C. We are in store for two big mysteries to end the season, and this one could be the biggie!
Final Grade – 8.0/10