Season 3 of ABC's terrific ensemble drama Brothers and Sisters
finds the pampered Walker family of Pasadena in fine neurotic form. Happily, the art of deep in-person conversation (and confrontation) is alive and well among the Walkers and their extended family, which continues the welcome echoes of one of its ancestor shows, thirtysomething
.As it turns out, the Walkers have a lot to talk about. The sharkish Holly (a fearless and delightful Patricia Wettig) is a much bigger character this season, and that raises Brothers and Sisters
' complexity level accordingly. Holly, mistress of the late William Walker (Tom Skerritt, in flashbacks), is now running the Walker family business, Ojai Foods, which results in extreme tension for Walker's widow, Nora. Sally Field continues to bring great depth and nuance to her performance as Nora--a not-so-traditional housewife facing her late husband's betrayals (and the viewer learns of more this season), yet finding that adversity really does make her stronger.
The rest of the stellar ensemble includes Rob Lowe as the uber-ambitious senator husband of Kitty, played by Calista Flockhart, who shows welcome restraint. Sarah (Rachel Griffiths) contends with her new single life by plunging into a new startup venture--and finding she's pretty darn good at it. The three Walker brothers include Kevin (Matthew Rhys), Tommy (Balthazar Getty) and recovered junkie vet Justin (Dave Annable), the last of whom is delighted to discover that the comely Rebecca (Emily VanCamp) is not actually a blood relative. Much of season 3's sexiness comes from this new, hot couple. And there's drama with Tommy, too--which will change the Walkers' lives forever. The six-disc set is what such sets should be: a bounty of great extras that the committed Brothers and Sisters fan will not want to miss. These include deleted scenes, silly bloopers, and wonderful interviews with Field and Wettig, as well as a mini-doc on a real-life food and wine company based in Ojai, Calif. The whole experience adds up to some grand sibling revelry. --A.T. Hurley