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Brothers and Sisters: The, Commitment



As promised, last night's Brothers and Sisters featured the commitment ceremony between Kevin and Scotty that all the cast members were gabbing about on Friday, preceded by an uncomfortable visit to Scotty's parents, who refused to attend. I've clipped that scene below.

I clipped the commitment ceremony, AFTER THE JUMP...

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  1. This cynical gay guy cried several times during the episode. It's too bad the show was packed with too many storylines, likely because they had to make up for the writers' strike. I can't wait for the expanded season in the fall, especially how they're going to deal with the uncle's late coming out.

    Posted by: scar2 | May 12, 2008 9:27:10 AM

  2. A wholly satisfying conclusion to the season. While the storylines may be far-fetched, the dialogue is always spot on. Moreover, the actors are uniformly fine, talented, and believable.

    Kevin and Scotty's wedding was beautiful, truthful, and endearing. I cannot wait for next season.

    Posted by: rudy | May 12, 2008 9:34:18 AM

  3. The contrast between the two sets of families was perfectly done and all too realistic. But overall, it was just a so-so episode.

    Posted by: crispy | May 12, 2008 9:34:47 AM

  4. Loved it. Can't wait to see what marital problems they will have -- probably Kevin will have minor regret and wish he'd stayed with the Senator's brother. But then, he'll realize what a treasure he has in Scotty.

    Posted by: Marc in Chicago | May 12, 2008 10:28:16 AM

  5. I've adored Sally Fields my whole life, so I knew this show would be a treat for me. All this other stuff is really icing on the cake. Sweet, scrumptious, sexy icing!

    Posted by: sparks | May 12, 2008 10:48:09 AM

  6. I loved how Kevin kept insisting that it wasn't a wedding but a "union". Too true. A little while back, I was surprised to learn that many straight people believe that gays can get legally married. It's nice that a show can teach and entertain at the same time. And it even got me a bit vaklempt! Not a huge fan of Kevin, but love Scotty.

    Posted by: TroyTooner | May 12, 2008 11:00:06 AM

  7. I enjoyed the episode but I wish it hadn't been almost buried in the other storyline that seemed to elbow its way onto center stage.

    I was very conscious of how the writers were showing how confusing it is to gay people to try to define themselves, their relationships and their formal commitments when our society, culture and government work so hard to ensure that we are "other"; a very confusing and undefined "other". "Married"? Not really. "Partnered"? Yeah, but isn't it more than that? "Unioned"? Careful Sally Fields might jump up on the reception table to give her toast Norma Rae style.

    I think they did a very good, subtle job of getting that point across.

    The shame of it is, those who are anti marriage equality, rather than recognizing that official relationship status confusion is imposed upon gay and lesbian couples, will see two men who are confused about what their relationship itself means and what their commitment itself means. They will see two men who don't seem to know what they want for their relationship rather than people who know what they want but are in limbo as to where their relationship stands legally, socially or culturally.

    The writers really seem to have an understanding of these complexities yet they are able to present them in a thoughtful, interesting, serious yet funny, sensitive, non-preachy way.


    Posted by: Zeke | May 12, 2008 11:31:24 AM

  8. Oh, and I was especially glad that they had the scene with the Kevin and Scotty's parents. The scene where Scotty's father rushed out to give his cufflinks to Kevin to pass on to Scotty was VERY special to me. That was MY father. Contrary to the myth that we almost always hear about loving, accepting mothers and hateful homophobic fathers, in my case it was just the opposite when I came out. My father was supportive but then had to draw back because my mother was making his life hell for being loving, compassionate and even (heaven forbid) accepting of me.

    My parents didn't attend my wedding specifically because of my mother's refusal to "endorse" my lifestyle. Interestingly enough they've attended all three of my one brother's weddings, but I digress. My father told me that he would go but it would just cause too much disharmony at home. He gave me his cufflinks and his blessing so I SOOOOOOO related to that scene. That was the part that had me and my husband blubbering like babies. I had to call my parents a second time on Mother's Day; this time for a late night "I love you" to my Dad.

    On a really positive note, my mother has come around almost completely; especially in the last few years. She and my dad have promised that nothing could keep them away from our recommitment ceremony in a couple of years on our 20th anniversary. My mother has even taken to calling my husband her "son in law" or "son".

    For those people who think some people are hopeless, my mother is living proof that NO ONE, not Sally Kern, not James Dobson, not Tony Perkins and not even Fred Phelps is hopeless.

    Posted by: Zeke | May 12, 2008 11:58:37 AM

  9. WOW Zeke. I too blubbered like a baby at the cufflink storyline because I have one also. My partner's uncle had cufflinks made for his wedding to my partner's maternal aunt in 1929. The links are hammered gold disks in which are set diamonds on one side and birthstones on the others.

    He loaned these cufflinks to my partner's father when my partner's parents wed in 1940. They were given to my partner when his uncle passed. His aunt told him to wear them at his "wedding," even though I suspect that she knew he is gay.

    The year after we met, my partner's mother developed very severe Alzheimer's. The last time I saw her she said to me, "Make sure you get the cufflinks." I thought it was a moment of confusion but later learned it was a moment of supreme clarity and blessing. At the time, I did not know to what she was referring.

    For our fifth anniversary (we will be celebrating our thirtieth this year) my partner gave them to me and told me the story of the wedding cufflinks. Coincidentally [?], the birthstones are also those of my partner and my birth months.

    Although we will not have a son, I loan the links to all the men who marry into the clan. They are blessed and convey these blessings to those who wear them.

    Posted by: rudy | May 12, 2008 1:30:51 PM

  10. To me, they just don't have any natural chemistry. I don't think I could personally handle anyone as nervous as Scotty either. Is it a cliche to point out his emotionally distant father and overbearing mother? The rest of the show is turning into pure soap opera.

    Posted by: anon | May 12, 2008 2:47:09 PM

  11. Scotty is a bit nervous or anxiety-ridden, isn't he? He should just drink a lot. Maybe next season he will start drinking heavily. That always helps anxiety disorders.

    I love Sally Field too, but I thought last night even she couldn't rescue an episode that tried to cram way too much into a one hour segment.

    Posted by: Chad | May 12, 2008 3:15:21 PM

  12. I fortunately saw the program, Brothers & Sisters last evening on ABC. For all intents and purposes it was a wedding although it was called a commitment ceremony but as I live in Massachusetts, it is a wedding. Unfortunately, my spouse who lives in Rio de Janeiro and I cannot be married here because it is not legal on the Federal level and knowing the narrow minded bigots in the EUA, it probably never will be but we are hoping to marry in another country. It was wonderful to see the program and also wonderful to see it here in the EUA. Surprise!!! Surprise!!!.

    Posted by: LAWRENCE | May 12, 2008 6:53:09 PM

  13. With permission Andy...

    Zeke and Rudy: I wanted to simply thank you both and say how I loved your stories about commitment and cufflinks. You've given me an idea for my own commitment ceremony - that is, when our useless, gutless and increasingly clueless government decides to implement its own agenda!

    Brothers & Sisters is doing a brilliant job at raising political consciousness about same-sex relationships and the complexities of working out who "we" are if we are not "them". British sociologist Jeffrey Weeks suggests that living with diversity is the challenge of our age, and I'm inclined to suggest B&S capture this dilemma wonderfully.

    Posted by: SeanR | May 12, 2008 7:48:12 PM

  14. With all the attention given to the illegitimate children of their father, no one seemed at all phased by legal ramifications involved with Kevin & Scotty's partnership. Given that Kevin is a lawyer, there was no mention of the paperwork I'm sure he had drawn up for Scotty to sign before the ceremony.

    Posted by: michael | May 12, 2008 8:00:24 PM

  15. I really enjoyed the show and indeed shed a few tears. The show's producers really did it too fast and too short but they felt pressured to get the deal done in the last episode.

    Riddle me this: I have not been a loyal watcher of every episode [forgive me!]. What credendtials, if any, is does Kitty have to perform the ceremony?

    Did anyone catch the great article on about the connection between B&S and thirtysomething? I remember vividly watching the scene referred to in that article with the two guys in bed, that gave me goose bumps!

    Posted by: Ted | May 13, 2008 12:09:55 AM

  16. So the pendulum swings in front of society to show a wedding on tv where there were two grooms. Gay society and culture has grown and matured over the decades from pre-stonewall basement parties, to '70's disco parties, to circuit parties and now finally to wedding parties. A good part of straight society, and surprisingly gay society as well, are unfamiliar with seeing two men or women willing to make life-long committments to each other.

    Here's hoping that Kevin & Scott (my favorite character on the show) become the beacon of relational stability that all the other straight characters will look towards as an example in the future. Six Feet Under was able to pull it off with David & Keith and I hope that this formula can be shown again on network tv for the majority of society that doesn't get Showtime.

    Posted by: Ian | May 13, 2008 12:22:04 AM

  17. I also have to agree with some posters that the show is crammed with too many subplots and characters, like every episode. I know what an amazing actress Rachel Griffiths is from her work as Brenda on Six Feet Under. But on B&S she is expected to cram an emotional breakdowm in under two minutes so the show can get on to the next subplot. Starting next season I hope that instead of what seems like 4-5 plot lines per episode will get shortened down to 2-3.

    Yes that means that some characters won't be seen on a given week, but the trade off is that each character in the Walker family will be able to be more fleshed out when the actors have more time to ACT per episode.

    I don't think it was my imagination that Kitty's wedding took up and was the central focus of an entire episode, but Kevin's was a subplot crammed into the end of an episode. Kevin's wedding should have the same respect to be at the center of an entire episode, and allow the character's of Kevin & Scott to be more fleshed out in the future.

    Posted by: Ian | May 13, 2008 1:04:43 AM

  18. @Michael

    The procedure is actually very straight forward. You don't need a lawyer. So, there's no point in showing the process on-screen. There's no drama there.

    You fill out the form from the Secretary of State's office. You then sign the form together in front of a Notary Public. In affect, you're swearing under penalty of perjury that you both meet the requirements for a domestic partnership. Afterwards, you simply mail the completed form to Sacramento or drop it off in person (Fresno, San Francisco, Los Angeles, or San Diego only) with the $33 to $48 processing fee.

    They'll then send you an official certificate within a few weeks. This document is your domestic partnership "license" basically.


    My take on the B&S ceremony was that Kevin / Scotty had already gone through the legal process. And thus, Kitty was merely officiating in an informal capacity.

    Nothing in her background suggests that she's an officer of the court (which would entitle her to 'fill in' for a Notary Public).

    Posted by: John | May 13, 2008 4:54:36 AM

  19. Sorry, I keep re-watching the B&S wedding episode and thinking about the commitment cufflinks. It just occurred to me that the slang Spanish word for cufflinks (and also handcuffs) is the same as the formal word for spouse, i.e., "esposas".

    Therefore, I am inspired to change what I usually give as my wedding gift, especially for gay couples. Rather than giving crystal--which I give because it is born of fire and is beautiful and strong, yet easily damaged if abused--I will now give cufflinks. Perhaps I will have them set with crystals so that I can incorporate my previous tradition.

    Thanks Towleroadies, especially you Bubba, for indulging, and inspiring, me.

    Posted by: rudy | May 13, 2008 12:22:29 PM

  20. No hay de qué mi querido.

    It's funny how, for some of us, it was the damned cufflinks that stole the show. I'm glad to see that I'm not the only one who was really moved by the significance and power of that scene.

    The day after the episode my son asked me if I was going to give him my cufflinks when he gets married. Of course I said, A-B-S-O-L-U-T-E-L-Y!

    Thanks for sharing your "esposas" observation RUDY. I wasn't familiar with the slang use of "esposas" (perhaps it's a usage particular to Mexican spanish). That is so interesting; especially as it relates to marriage.

    I love your idea for giving cufflinks with crystals as a wedding gift for a very close friend, when his father doesn't pass on his.

    Posted by: Zeke | May 13, 2008 1:38:49 PM

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