Let's start things off with the biggest moment in the show so far--Brian is Nick's half-brother! I was impressed that the writers pulled the trigger on this secret so soon, and halfway through the episode no less! They could have easily teased us with this storyline for the rest of the season, but I'm thrilled that they didn't. I also hate it when a major twist or revelation is introduced at the very end of an episode; it's much more fun to witness the fallout in the same week while it's still fresh. Nick has a more brotherly rapport with Patrick, but his arguments with Brian make the revelation a more realistic choice for a sibling.
In spite of the news about Brian, Tripp was the real bastard this week. It's disturbing that Tripp can suddenly turn on the man that he treated like a son for decades. He really seemed to hate Brian, but perhaps he was simply taking out his issues with Letitia on her son. Still, he treated Nick with more paternal compassion. Tripp and Nick were the ones having a heart-to-heart after the truth came out, not Tripp and Brian. Why was Tripp so eager to make Nick feel like a part of the Darling family?
The flashbacks with Dutch (played by the incredible Peter Strauss) gave me the opportunity to see a happier version of Letitia--at least at first. Letitia looked like she was truly in love with Dutch, almost more than she is with Tripp in the present. Why did she choose that moment to tell Dutch that he had another son, and why did she let Brian hate his father for so long? As Brian said, things would have been different between him and Dutch if he had known the truth. Letitia did everyone a disservice by keeping such an important secret. I have to agree with Brian's claim that Letitia acted out of self-interest by lying. What else could she be hiding?
Patrick spent the episode heavily medicated, but that didn't stop him from making some important decisions about his romantic life. I think he must be incapable of ending things with Carmelita; he's tried and failed several times now. The "firearms chapter" might not be over for Patrick, especially once Ellen discovers that Patrick lied to her. In other Darling goings-on, Juliet returned from her trip, but only made a brief appearance. Her twin brother continued his pretend life as Jeremy Babeson. Sadly, Clark the driver wasn't around to help Jeremy act poor. After last week's dinner, I wouldn't have expected Lisa to lift a finger for the Darlings, but she came through with some nude paintings for Jeremy's fake art career. I still think it's hilarious that he regards everyone as poor; he even called the expensive ants "low-budge"!
Simon made another move against the Darlings by asking Karen to discuss "merging resources" over dinner. What happened to Karen's big plan to destroy Nick's marriage? I guess there's nothing wrong with a little companionship during a long-term scheme, and I am talking about Blair Underwood here. I'm starting to believe that Karen is the smartest of the Darling siblings. She's the only one who realizes what Simon is capable of. Her warning to Simon about not doing to Tripp what he did to Darling Plaza was right on the money. Simon is proving to be a real menace. Why was he discussing business with Patrick while he was drugged? Sure, Karen did the same thing, but she's family. I can't wait to see this ex-wife and child that he mentioned. His comment about the Ghanaian princess being his "primary partner" made me wonder if she's involved with his plans somehow.
The flashbacks also made it clear why Dutch might have defected to Simon Elder's side. After learning of Letitia's deceit, Dutch was convinced that he needed to distance himself from the Darling family. It's a shame that Nick didn't hear his father out, though. It might have prevented him from taking a job from Tripp later on. Now it's doubtful that Nick will be resigning anytime soon. He admitted to Lisa that the money is too tempting to pass up. Being a small-time philanthropist isn't enough for Nick, now that he has access to the Darling Foundation funds. Finding his father's killer is no longer at the top of his list of priorities.
Dutch's watch changed hands several times in this episode, and it finally made its way to Brian Jr. There were a lot of sad and dramatic moments this week, but Brian's farewell to his son was my personal favorite. I hope I haven't seen the last of Brian Jr. It isn't often that I find a child actor to be so genuine and adorable. Brian continues to lose family members at an alarming rate. His wife and daughters are gone, his biological father is dead, Tripp despises him, and his son is off to Brazil. Nick is all that Brian has left. Will loneliness and desperation bring Nick and Brian together?
All in all, I thought this was the best episode yet.
My favorite lines of the night:
Nick: "How about a thank you?" Brian: "Send yourself a gift basket."
"Hospitals freak me out anyway. It's like Death: 'I'm coming for you, Karen, here I come!' It's just the way they hit me sometimes." --Karen
"I got your charitable giving right here." --Patrick
"It could have been Karen." --Lisa, after Brian is revealed to be Nick's half-sibling
"The firearms chapter of my marriage is over. I hope." --Patrick
"She must really love you. You know, to shoot you like that." --Carmelita, on Ellen
"I think he's still a little stunned by the one-day turnaround, but he'll get over it." --Karen, on Freddy
"No one says everything." --Tripp
"They are my children to me, but like, the ones that I give away." --Jeremy, on his paintings