'Brothers & Sisters' preview: A return to Walker family values?

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Whether you like the idea of skipping a year from the bloody car crash finale in Season 5 of "Brothers & Sisters" or not, we need to assure you that the time jump makes almost no difference.

Yes, you heard us right. The one-year time leap that we all made a very big deal about is not a big deal at all. In fact, at times it feels as if we are picking up the day after the accident. Let's just say, most of the family had really done very little healing in the year that has elapsed.

What is striking is that the loss of Rob Lowe, Emily VanCamp (who's not in this episode, but will be returning to wrap up her storyline) and Balthazar Getty isn't the only thing missing from the premiere. So, what is missing? It's hard to explain.

Here's how it feels. If the show were a person, it would seem that he or she has lost the glimmer in his or her eyes or the fire in his or her belly. There's a weight to the premiere that may have something to do with the losses they've experienced. Yet, it almost feels as if not only are the actors tired, but so are the writers.

Any real fan of "Brothers & Sisters" has to come to terms with its soap opera-like tendencies. We usually forgave them, because the acting and writing was so superb. Yet, there are moments in the premiere episode when we actually groaned at how heavy-handed a line was or a scene was done. For example, pay attention to the first scene in which we reunite with Holly (played by Patricia Wettig) after the accident. It's painful and not just because of the lobotomy they've seemed to give one of our feistier characters.

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There is a shining light in the dark season premiere. Justin (played by David Annable) becomes the central figure in the episode. His time away from the family has given him the ability to process what happened in the accident. He also shows a side of himself that we haven't seen much of. He's in control.

Lowe has already stated his character is gone and executive producer David Marshall Grant told us he didn't film any scenes for the new season, so we can't wait to hear how you feel about how they're writing his character off in the premiere!

If you're into spoilers, then you should read what Grant told us about where the characters land after the time jump. We do have one correction: Kitty's ( Calista Flockhart) story doesn't start where he told us it would.

There's a lot to resolve after last season's finale, so we're wondering if we should give the show a pass for the premiere and hope the Walkers recapture the fire we're missing after they get over the accident.

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Photo credit: ABC

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