Tuesday, April 22, 2008

Brothers & Sisters: DNA Drama is Better With a Happy (and Non-Incestuous) Ending

I haven't exactly been mysterious or vague about who my favorite member of the Walker clan is, have I? If you go look at the very few posts that I've ever made about this show, it should be pretty damn obvious that I'm on Team Rebecca and wouldn't hesitate to cut you if you try to bring her down.

Suffice it to say, I'm not too incredibly happy with where the show seems to be headed in terms of Rebecca's story. She isn't an angel and she's definitely made some bad choices en route to becoming an accepted member of the Walker family, but I've always wanted her to get that familial love that she so obviously craves. They've been blatantly hinting at the possibility of a paternity scandal since the moment Ken Olin left his cushy chair behind the camera and stepped into frame as Holly's long-lost ex-boyfriend, David. I've seen it coming for miles, and it finally came to a head in Sunday's return-from-hiatus episode.

Holly unknowingly admitted to Justin (who was hiding in the Pantry of Secrets) that she can't be certain of who Bec's daddy really is - probably William, but still might be David. Sigh. Holly, I swear to God, I want so desperately for you to not be such a sneaky, lying whore. Why do you keep doing this to me? To Rebecca?

Long story short, Justin tells Becca about the paternity issue and he questions her on whether or not she wants to have a DNA test to find out for certain. She says she doesn't - she's afraid to, really. And why shouldn't she be? She's finally got this great family - psychotic and bitter as they may sometimes be - and she finally feels like she's a part of something special; why take a test that could make all of that disappear? I don't think I'd want to, either. But Justin tells her that he'll go with her, and they can do it together so she won't be alone. She agrees, and we're left waiting in limbo for the results of the test they did to come back and set the tone of this show's future.

Set the tone of this show's future? That probably sounds a little heavy to some of you, but to me it really is that serious. Because, to me, I can already sense what path they'd go down if Rebecca turns out to be David's kid instead of William's - the path of a Rebecca/Justin romance. And that's just, ya know, gross. I don't care that they wouldn't be related to one another in any way and therefore are not being incestuous - it's still gross. If you've ever referred to someone as "my sister" or "my brother" and actually meant it literally when you said it, it will never be okay for y'all to hook up.

And it will never be okay for me to watch this show again if they do that.

I'm totally serious, you guys. I will be forced to walk away from this brilliant show that I so desperately love. I don't want to, but I absolutely refuse to watch a story line that is far too soap opera-ish, EVEN FOR ME. And I watch Days of Our Lives, people!

What's more, it just feels like such a cop-out to have Rebecca end up being David's daughter in the end. Emily VanCamp's presence on the show would become virtually unnecessary, because this is a show about the Walkers - if you're not a Walker, married to a Walker, or dating a Walker then you have no place in their world. Look at Joe, for example: he and Sarah got divorced and now the once-constant staple at family dinners who had his own semi-intriguing stories is rarely ever seen at all. If Rebecca's not a Walker, then there's really no point of Rebecca being on the show. I love her, but Brothers and Sisters is about exactly what the title says - it's not about the life and times of a girl who we once thought was a Walker but really she isn't, but we follow her around and update you on her life anyway because she's a cool chick. She is a cool chick, that's for sure, but she's a cool chick who has no place on this show if she's NOT A WALKER ANYMORE.

How stupid would that be, really? On top of making her multi-layered character pointless on this show anymore, taking away her Walker status makes all of the story growth over the past year and a half entirely worthless. They will have, in essence, wasted all of that time having the core Walker clan adjust to Rebecca's presence, deal with their emotions about her, face their anger toward William about his affair with Holly, and eventually all get to a point where Rebecca is now practically considered a full-fledged member of the Walker family - despite passive-aggressive digs from Sarah, Kitty and even Kevin from time to time. What was the freaking point of it all if she's just going to end up being a non-Walker again in the end?


This is why I refuse to believe Ken Olin is stupid enough to go down that road. He may be suffering from a bout of narcissism right now and therefore writing himself into more and more episodes in order to share the screen with his wife, but I still don't think this brilliant man who did such great things on Alias is suddenly mindless enough to undo a year and a half of story progression here. I think it's actually much more interesting to pose the paternity question, let it float out there in the Walker world for a little while, and then have the DNA test show that nothing has changed and William is still her father.

Think about it for a minute, if you will. It seems like such a great story to have Sarah, Kitty, Tommy, Kevin and Nora all figure out that Rebecca had a DNA test because Holly admitted she slept around too much 21 years ago and suddenly those emotionally-stunted Walkers are forced to really re-consider how they feel about Rebecca. It becomes a question of whether or not they want her to end up being a Walker anymore. They've gotten to know her pretty well by now, and she's becoming such a fixture in their family circle - Nora already thinks of her as one of her own. Sarah and Kitty give her shit, but it's becoming the equivalent of your basic sibling rivalry and the way sister's just typically treat each other like crap sometimes. They all had such a hard time coming around to Becca's Walkerhood that it would seem so fitting for them to suddenly realize how much they actually do accept and love her when forced to consider that her Walkerhood may be null and void soon.

I would love to see the Walkers rally around Rebecca in the limbo days of waiting for the test results. It would seem like a full-circle gratification for Rebecca if these people - from whom she's only ever wanted total acceptance - were to tell her that no matter what the results say, she'll always have a place in their family. For her to know that they consider her one of their own, regardless of the obligation of DNA, would be so emotionally fulfilling for this girl. And such a better story, in the end, than stripping her of her Walkerhood altogether. Let them all rally around her, every single one of them anxious about the DNA results because now they've all had epiphanies about wanting her as a sister for real, and then finally the news arrives: Rebecca is, in fact, William Walker's daughter.

It has so much more depth and emotional drama than any story that revolves around her being David's daughter ever could. It would be so fabulous to watch it all play out - the initial reactions of the clan when they find out through the Walker grapevine that Becca may not be one of their own; the incessant brother/sister phone calls venting and talking through their feelings about it all; family discussions around the island in Nora's kitchen as they all realize they're a little sad at the prospect of losing Rebecca; the fabulous moment of Walker redemption when Rebecca finally gets the love and acceptance she's always longed for - and not just because Nora demands it be so, but because they want it that way.

Some people are saying that it's been so obvious that she's David's daughter since day one that it has to end up being that way when the results come in. I say the opposite - it's been so damn obvious since day one of David's story that we were going to have a paternity scandal that it has to end up being a moot point in the end. This should be a story line about emotional growth and familial bonding - not a story line about breaking a young girl's heart yet again. Despite how much she really likes David, I think we all know it would shatter Rebecca to find out the Walker's aren't really her blood. She doesn't deserve to have the rug pulled out from under her like that again, I don't care what kind of shenanigans she's pulled since we met her. No one deserves that much heartbreak.

Plus, I really don't want to have to stop watching this show because of a Justin/Becca romance. Keeping her a Walker will solve that problem before it starts, kthnx.

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