The next morning, the haze of this new information continues to settle over the four siblings, and it feels heavy. Jonah and Bree chat in her room while she holds her teddy bear, which kills me, and Paige and Molly talk about their vacillating shades of guilt next door, as they try to take in accepting this person who has contributed to their biology, while still thinking of their real dad in Massachusetts. Paige wraps up the contradiction: “The curiosity is so natural, but sometimes, you can’t help but feel like you’re betraying your own family.”
They then head to City Hall, where they can obtain birth certificates and death certificates and other such things, but first Bree has to sign a form declaring that she has a right to these documents. Meaning, she has to call herself, officially, a child of this person. She decides to be completely honest, and lists his relation to her as “sperm donor.” This throws the city employee at first, but once she becomes hip to the situation, she grants their request and is super kind, and in fact appears rather amused about what this unsuspecting dude has coming. They get a copy of the birth certificate, which gives them the address of where he grew up. The also confirm that he’s not dead. And from all this information they now have, they also find his current address.
Last step: Bree is going to write one important letter, and this is something she has to do herself.
As she struggles to figure out what to say, the half-sibs have one more idea they want to check out: going to the local public library to scour through old local high school yearbooks to see if they can locate a picture. On top of all the emotions that have already been packed into this episode so far, we have also visited two beautiful libraries. This episode is just too much.
Somewhat surprisingly, the half-sibs help Bree look through the yearbooks in the history room, which Paige likens to “the Forbidden Section in Harry Potter,” even though they run the risk of finding his picture first, an idea they’ve all been leery of. It seems curiosity is winning out for everybody. And sure enough, Paige and Jonah soon discover him. Immediately, they all crack smiles over how much he looks like the rest of the males in the family.
It’s interesting that the reaction to the picture is so different from the reaction to the name. This reaction seems positive right away, like all the siblings suddenly are able to take a big breath of air. It’s like the name alone simply added to all the information they already had but without surmounting to a real person. So it almost seemed like too much, too much information without any release. But when they saw a picture of him at the same age they are now, looking like a handsome nerd, looking just like a part of the family, they were like, oh, okay. And suddenly, it wasn’t so scary anymore.
The only one who seems a little creeped out is Jonah, even though he says he’s cool. But he seems disturbed as Paige and Bree snap photos of the yearbook page with their phones, warning them to not show it to Hilit. Molly tells Jonah that she doesn’t know if it’ll help, but he can tell Hilit that “a little hate dissipates when you see it.”
Bree says, again, how glad she is that they’re all there. And as they lean back in their chairs, somehow relieved, having accomplished what they came for and feeling maybe a little weird but surprisingly not traumatized, Paige says this: “Thank God for our real families, man.”
Now that she has a face in her head and not just a bunch of random facts, Bree’s letter to the donor suddenly flows out, as she explains who she is, the journey she’s been on, and the expectations that she has–mainly, that she doesn’t have a lot of expectations. And then for some reason, since they have his address and it’s nearby, Bree thinks it’s a good idea to deliver the letter in person, handing it in at the office of his apartment complex. All the other half-sibs back away from this idea, probably because they all realize that it’s a really bad one. But Paige soon relents, saying she’ll drive Bree if she needs her to. Molly almost goes, too, but backs out at the last minute.
When they arrive at the apartment complex, suddenly, Bree freaks out. She feels like she’s being creepy, and then feels embarrassed about being creepy, and asks Paige to drive away. They drop the letter in a normal, non-creepy mailbox. Much better idea, Bree. She’s still shaking and crying, but it doesn’t feel as awful as sitting in front of his apartment did. Bree and Paige then hug a lot, like the good sisters they are.
Next week, we’re going to have a family reunion with the rest of the half-sibs, where Bree and the others will share their news with everyone. It’ll be interesting to see how the rest of them react. At this point, I’m not sure whether I myself want to see Bree meet the donor at the end of all this or not. In terms of the story arc of the show, seeing Bree and all her half-siblings supporting and loving each other is enough for me.
What were your feelings on this momentous episode? Do you feel Bree is going too far, or are you proud of how far she’s come?