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Old 12-21-2009, 05:54 PM
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The Everwood Rewatch Fest: "My Brother's Keeper" (S2, Ep. 3)

We'll keep this up for one or two weeks and then go on to the next episode. After you've watched the episode, you can comment on it anyway you'd like, big or small. You can focus on certain characters, scenes, quotes, or the episode as a whole. You can tie the episode to the rest of the series, or comment about it as a self-contained episode. It's all up to you! You can always give your thoughts after the one week period, as all rewatch threads will stay open for more thoughts and anymore discussion. Thanks!

My Brother's Keeper

Written By: Vanessa Taylor
Directed By: Michael Schultz

Quote:
Original Air Date—29 September 2003
The entire Abbot family is turned upside down by the return of Dr. Linda Abbott, who has been practicing Eastern-based medicine in exotic locations the world. Edna, who is blinded with pride, doesn't see her daughter's loneliness, and loses sight of her own life with Irv. But Linda encounters the most resistance from her brother Harold when she announces her decision to join his practice. Meanwhile, Andy learns that some 'tweens may be practicing unsafe sex, and is shocked at their parents reaction to the situation. Finally, Bright asks Ephram to keep an eye on Amy, whose odd behavior has everyone worried.
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If you haven't already, please feel free to comment on our previous episodes:

S1

The Pilot
The Great Doctor Brown
Friendly Fire
The Kissing Bridge
Deer God
The Doctor Is In
We Hold These Truths
Till Death Do Us Part
Turf Wars
Is There a Doctor in the House?
A Thanksgiving Tale
Vegetative State
The Price of Fame
Colin the Second
Snow Job
My Funny Valentine
Everwood Confidential
The Unveiling
The Miracle of Everwood
Moonlight Sonata
Episode 20
Fear Itself
Home

S2

The Last of Summer
Extra Ordinary
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Old 12-22-2009, 04:33 PM
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There's, like, six good things about this episode, one bad thing, and one REALLY bad thing.

The REALLY bad is the MEoW. It sucks. That's...about all I'm going to get into on this one. There's a noticeable drop in the quality of the MEoWs in S2. Not that the S1 MEoWs were perfect, but "The Kissing Bridge" dealing with sex and STDs very well, "Vegetative State" dealing with marijuana so nicely, or "Episode 20"? Those were great. Most of the MEoWs in S2 are awful, and there's no real classic MEoWS as there were in S1. Although at least S2 doesn't have the Amanda MEoW story. Score one for S2 MEoWs! *thumbs up*

The bad thing is the flashback. Man, we could have found out so much about Edna, Harold as a youngster or even Linda as a youngster. We don't. The child actors aren't great (and I'm pretty lax when it comes to child actors), neither is the actress who plays Edna and the writing is even worse. None of the characters FEEL like Harold, Linda or, especially, Edna. And it's not just the acting. Little Harold is written so awkwardly. Even Harold at his most pretentious doesn't speak like that. And EDNA is so disappointing. "Here, just say a bunch of military terms every second word and you'll have the character down pat". Bah.

Now the good:

(1) Saying that, though, I LOVE the Harold/Linda dynamic we see that's not in flashbacks. Those two were fun. And mean, heh. They seem like siblings, but not, and I think that makes sense with how out of touch Linda has been with her family. Harold is hella mean to Linda, but I also kind of agree with him. Maybe I'm just more of the family type like he is, but not coming home for your father's funeral, or at least coming back in the general vicinity of it? Or THREE YEARS? That's just..messed up. The ending is great between them. Happy ending.

(2) BRIGHT AND EPHRAM! YUS! And aw, Bright caring about his sister. Always good. Bright and Ephram rule.

(3) Awkward Abbott dinner! Yay. "Shove it", Harold being snotty, Rose just watching, and I love Linda's explanation of why she wants to come home.

(4) The Ephram/Andy scene! Love it. Ephram: "You know, you're getting better at that." Andy: "I practice when you're not at home." Hee. The visual of Andy knocking on Ephram's door when Ephram isn't there gives me great pleasure. AHH! That whole scene! So great. Smiles all around at the end! They're getting along! Madison, stay out of the house, these two are fine as is!

(5) The bar scene. Harold: "Milk. 2%." Edna's apology too. I agree with her that Harold will always be the one to stay, but I don't think it's fear. Part of it is obligation, and I think he regrets it sometimes, he regrets not being able to leave and having to be the one to stay when no one else would, but he also knows how great his life is because he did. Edna telling Harold about her failures as a mother is great, and I like that Harold is still so upset about what happened in the flashback. Aw. Now if only the flashback was any good...

(6) Nina telling Andy that Carl was having an affair. "He wasn't just having an affair. He was having an affair with a man" Andy: "Oh." HA! I love the hug. I was yelling at the TV throughout the whole scene, "ANDY! She needs a frickin' hug!" So, yay, he clues in and gives her one. Andy is pretty awesome in general in this ep, it's just that he's surrounded by the Absolute Suck that is the MEoW.

Hee, Andy breaking confidentiality WHILE he's telling Nina that he told the parents he wouldn't is absolutely hilarious.

Ah! I am totally stupid! I never got that the Bright saying there's a surplus of college girls that want to hook up with high school guys, and Ephram saying it doesn't work like that is foreshadowing of Madison. Just got that! Wow. That's even funnier now.
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Old 12-22-2009, 07:37 PM
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Quote:
The REALLY bad is the MEoW. It sucks. That's...about all I'm going to get into on this one. There's a noticeable drop in the quality of the MEoWs in S2. Not that the S1 MEoWs were perfect, but "The Kissing Bridge" dealing with sex and STDs very well, "Vegetative State" dealing with marijuana so nicely, or "Episode 20"? Those were great. Most of the MEoWs in S2 are awful, and there's no real classic MEoWS as there were in S1. Although at least S2 doesn't have the Amanda MEoW story. Score one for S2 MEoWs! *thumbs up*
Agreed. It just felt too much of a retread of The Kissing Bridge, with Andy trying to save the town from sexual teenagers. Mimoun 1, Taylor 0. I did like however, the theme that you should come out into the open and disclose these types of situations, as difficult as they may be. Which seemed to be a season long thing, with Amy and her diner outburst, Linda and her HIV, Nina and the divorce.

And on the writer front, I'd like to point out that Vanessa Taylor was all over the Linda arc. She first introduces her here, is the first one to tackle the "outing" in The Burden of Truth, and then closes out the arc in Do or Die. Obviously the other writers tackled some of the other important stuff, but she in particular had the majors down.
Quote:
The bad thing is the flashback.
I'm gonna have to disagree big time. Was there a missed opportunity to delve into the Abbott's past? Absolutely. But we could say that about all of the other characters who didn't have the last name of Brown. I think it was an important time to go back to, to see when the change happened, where Harold was left to take care of his family, thus fostering his intense family-comes-first demeanor. As for the actors, they didn't bother me at all, but I personally loved the younger Edna. I could actually see her growing into Debra Mooney, gravelly voice and all. The writing for her was perfect too; it brought to mind Deer God and The Price of Fame to be specific. I noticed that when she's put into foreign or emotional situations, she falls back on her military lingo, but after awhile, she softens it up, which is exactly what she did here.

Completely agree about numbers one and two. Number 3 always amuses me. "Did you know that Edna considers domesticity a sign of weakness?" "I consider not clocking you on your ass a sign of charity." Edna for the win! And yeah, I really liked Linda's explanation. Other shows should totally reference Everwood when it comes to family dynamics. It doesn't get much better than this!

"Milk. 2%" Who does that, really? Harold, you are in BAR for crying out loud. I do agree with the obligation thing, but let us not forget that he was also dating/engaged/married to Rose around the time when he would've been able to leave. Whether or not she'd leave with him is a big thing to consider as well. I just don't see him being the guy to give up the girl in pursuit of glory or an adventure. Sure he may make a snide comment here or there every once in awhile about Everwood being a miserable little town, but he, on some level had to have loved it somewhat even back then. I do believe I'm rambling here though, so I'm gonna stop. Lol.

I think we got some good insight into how Nina thinks of things in this episode and it stayed true to the end of the series. When something bad happens to her or her family life, she'd try and sweep it under the rug. I can see why some people think of her as a not-so-strong female character, but she has her moments, i.e, when pushed/annoyed. Can we consider this then poor character development? I don't think so. I mean, yeah, we can sit here and say she needs to change, the writer's need for her to change, but change is not that easy. And you need something at the core to define a character, this is unfortunately her trait, but it's not her only trait, and that kind of muli-layered attention is rare today.

Quote:
Hee, Andy breaking confidentiality WHILE he's telling Nina that he told the parents he wouldn't is absolutely hilarious.
Heh.

And finally, I still hate that they took out Get Together by The Youngbloods. The replacement song is a fine second choice, but that's all it'll ever be. It's just too...generic sounding. *annoyed*

Question! When we get to episodes that have deleted scenes, are we going to discuss those too?
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Old 12-23-2009, 08:06 PM
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Good stuff, shadow!

Quote:
I did like however, the theme that you should come out into the open and disclose these types of situations, as difficult as they may be. Which seemed to be a season long thing, with Amy and her diner outburst, Linda and her HIV, Nina and the divorce.
Wow, good point. Never noticed that before. And it all culminates in Andy NOT disclosing something huge and life changing to Ephram in the very last episode, and having to live with it for half of S3 before it blows up in his face. Just like Linda not disclosing her secret ends up blowing up in Harold's face. Huh. Definitely a seasonal theme.

On another writer front, Vanessa Taylor always seems to write the "controversial" sex episodes, heh. Okay, not really, but she was very excited about the idea of dealing with abortion (in the commentaries, she said that it was something that brought her to the show), she wrote this one, dealt with some of the HIV story, and wrote for Tell Me You Love Me.

I'm glad that someone liked the flashback! Heh. No, I'm sure lots did. I couldn't get past Edna, especially. I agree that she tends to fall back on military lingo or things like Terminator when she's put into emotional situations, I just still never feel like the character in the flashback is Edna. I know it's a really serious situation and all, but I still didn't feel any warmth that is so much who Edna is. I don't know, I guess I just think it's impossible for anyone to replicate Debra Mooney as Edna, so maybe I'm having impossibly high standards with the actress and the writing in the flashback?

Quote:
I think we got some good insight into how Nina thinks of things in this episode and it stayed true to the end of the series. When something bad happens to her or her family life, she'd try and sweep it under the rug. I can see why some people think of her as a not-so-strong female character, but she has her moments, i.e, when pushed/annoyed. Can we consider this then poor character development? I don't think so. I mean, yeah, we can sit here and say she needs to change, the writer's need for her to change, but change is not that easy. And you need something at the core to define a character, this is unfortunately her trait, but it's not her only trait, and that kind of muli-layered attention is rare today.
Absolutely. And she's never had someone to help her change, you know? Which is why, while I'm not a big fan of shipping, the Andy/Nina scene here is nice foreshadowing to what I think would have happened with an Andy/Nina marriage. Nina would have help and support there, someone to really understand her and get her, and wouldn't let her sweep these things under the rug anymore. I think she'll try to sweep some problems under the rug with the marriage and Andy, when he becomes a better husband, won't let her. And she won't let him do the same, because yeah, he keeps his secrets too as we all know. They both like to stew in their own crises, hee.

Quote:
Question! When we get to episodes that have deleted scenes, are we going to discuss those too?
Good idea. We should. Although I might still stick to my not watching them until we get info on S3, but then I thought we'd have that info by now, so maybe I should just give in and watch them.
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Old 12-29-2009, 01:29 PM
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Some thoughts on the episode....
  • I agree with you, Shadow. I really can't stand the replacement for the song, "Come Together". It's absolutely not the same as the wonderful original.

    Buffalo Springfield's rendition is very similar to the Young Bloods version.

    .YouTube - Right Now...
  • I think that the young actors who portrayed little Harry and Linda were really a perfect match as far as resemblance and personality are concerned.
  • I love the expression that Ephram gives to Bright whenever he doesn't believe Bright's motives...just a stare. Bright always fesses up.
  • Why was Irv always looking for a fight? He looked pissed while Edna was catching up with Linda and they were discussing Linda's adventures. And then later...he was so quick to get angry at Edna about her thoughts on traveling and marriage. It's seems as if Irv wants to be angry at Edna.
  • I loved Linda from the very beginning. I felt that she exhuded warmth and goodness.
  • I love Ephram in dress shirts. Even Bright loved it: "What...do we have a date or something?"
  • Some more funny lines: Harold- "That will be very useful when I've lost all of my sheep."
  • Ephram- "I love clothes. I'm all about clothes."
  • Bright- "Isn't that the comic book that people who don't get sex read?"
  • I absolutely adore the final scene between Bright and Ephram. This was a defining moment in this series...Bright gained a lot of respect and admiration for Ephram in this episode. This was the beginning of their friendship.
  • I never noticed before...Ephram's last statement as a forshadowing of Madison. It was perfect.
  • I couldn't stand the side story of the underaged/oversexed peanut gallery and their obnoxious/in denial parents.
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Old 12-29-2009, 02:50 PM
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Well I can't even muster much to say about this episode, though I should probably at least try.

Really, really did not like the flashback scenes. I thought the actors were all terrible, the script for Edna was ok but BabyHarold was all wrong and BabyLinda just came out sounding like a dopey fluffhead. Hmm, maybe that's why I never warmed to her character.

The MEoW was quite possibly one of the worst they ever came up with, and that's saying a lot. It never even made any sense. I don't know if the writers had to pull back on what they really wanted to have going on (gang rape? same sex experimentation? other?) but what we were given was just....boring and stupid and seemed blown way out of proportion.

Really, about the only thing I did like about this episode (aside from Irv and Edna bickering, which is always fun even if it does seem to come from nowhere) are the Bright/Ephram moments.

Protective!Bright is HOT. Um, that is all.
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Old 12-30-2009, 07:35 PM
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Agreed about the Bright/Ephram love, obviously. With Madison coming up and some really depressing stuff coming up in the Abbott household, I NEEDED these two as buddies. They are basically the joy of the season, heh. Like Hannah and Ephram/Amy in S3 being so necessary with Amanda. *shudders*
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Old 07-06-2010, 11:39 PM
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So is Amy really depressed or just sad over Colin's death? I mean, really, this is just another chapter in the emotions of Amy that we have yet to be done debating. IMO, it's just like another thing where Amy just wants to be sad all the time and doesn't want to feel any different. She just wants to mope and think about how life could be different and not seeing what she's doing to herself is very harmful.

I did like that Harold showed human emotions towards his sister. You could tell that Harold had to grow up pretty fast in his family. With Edna off to serve and him having to raise Linda. And then Linda leaving, it hurt Harold. It's now clear that Harold not only cares...he just might have a warm blodded heart!

It was nice for Bright to want to look after Amy, but to involve Ephram in it. He is right with Ephram always following Amy around like a lost puppy dog.
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Old 07-07-2010, 07:59 PM
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So is Amy really depressed or just sad over Colin's death? I mean, really, this is just another chapter in the emotions of Amy that we have yet to be done debating. IMO, it's just like another thing where Amy just wants to be sad all the time and doesn't want to feel any different. She just wants to mope and think about how life could be different and not seeing what she's doing to herself is very harmful.
I think that could be debated, definitely, but for me, it's more than just sadness. She says later in the season, which you'll see, that she doesn't want to be like this. I don't think she can help it. I don't think she knows how to get out of the rut that she's in. So, I'm not sure sure that she wants to mope, I just think she doesn't know how to stop.

Quote:
I did like that Harold showed human emotions towards his sister. You could tell that Harold had to grow up pretty fast in his family. With Edna off to serve and him having to raise Linda. And then Linda leaving, it hurt Harold. It's now clear that Harold not only cares...he just might have a warm blodded heart!
Exactly. I loved seeing that backstory, and how much it affected Harold in S1 and S2 and before that. It really shaped who he is as an adult, even though a lot of it was decades ago.
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Old 07-07-2010, 10:39 PM
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I think Amy was in her rut so long is that Harold never took her emotions seriously. He used her as one of his patients who is having stress disorder and never wanting to prescribe her anything. and him controlling rose saying she's wrong didn't help either.
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Old 07-07-2010, 10:49 PM
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I think he was in denial, which fits with what you're saying. He didn't want to believe his daughter would be affected that much, that she wouldn't be able to pick herself up. He was at a loss for what to do, I think, so he went back and forth between father and doctor.

Tough story to watch, eh? What do you feel about S2 so far? Do you think it's been noticeably darker than S1?
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Old 07-07-2010, 10:51 PM
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it is a lot darker, more intuitive than Season 1, which I like. It's good to see the human side of all these characters.

What's the deal with Nina not being in any episode hardly so far. I mean she's in the main title and gets less screen time?
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Old 07-07-2010, 10:57 PM
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Yeah, S2 isn't kind to Nina. She doesn't have her own story. In S1, a lot of her story was helping Andy along. That's not a big story in S2, so she's mostly stuck with being Andy's occasional friend when it's convenient. S3 is better for screen time.
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Old 07-07-2010, 10:59 PM
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It looks like Linda took Nina's spot in Andy's world and it accellerated quite a bit
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Old 07-07-2010, 11:02 PM
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Exactly. And Linda, as much as I like her more and more each time I see her, is certainly no Nina!
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