I put off watching ABC's Brothers & Sisters when it first returned to the air this fall. I didn't do that because I don't like the show. On the contrary, I love it. But the events that unfolded at the end of last season, combined with known casting changes, made the thought of what the new episodes would be tough to stomach. I finally watched the first four hours, and it was as hard as I thought it would be.
I was fully invested in Rebecca (Emily VanCamp) and Justin (Dave Annable) as a couple. They thought they were siblings for awhile, but ever since then, I didn't understand why their romantic plot had to be so rocky. They were perfect for each other, the attraction was obvious, and it took far too long for them to walk down the aisle. I was mad as hell that VanCamp decided to quit the show then, effectively forcing the writers to end something that had been so long in building. Rebecca's recent two-episode return helped with some closure, and certainly, her leaving for a job in New York to help her grow that way that Justin had makes sense. It was tied up as nicely as possible. However, I would feel much better about the whole thing if VanCamp remained in the cast, with a promise that she would return and they would end up together. I won't rule it out, especially if the show ends in the next season or two, but it is far from a sure thing.
Similarly, I loved Kitty (Calista Flockhart) and Robert (Rob Lowe) as a couple. Between his heart attack, her cancer, and her emotional affair, I was livid with all of the troubles their marriage kept going through. Yes, I know to keep TV interesting, things have to happen. But for the McCallisters, it just seemed so much more than necessary. Lowe's decision to leave the series, coming after Flockhart's desire for a limited number of episodes this year, pushed them apart permanently. In this case, the writers chose death. Why, I do not know, as if Kitty would only appear every so often anyway, Robert could appear even less. He could leave the show, but still be her husband. I'm happy that Lowe has already signed on full-time for the upcoming season of Parks and Recreation, but he couldn't even come back and lie in the bed for the first episode, until Kitty pulled the plug? It left his death a much-less emotionally moving thing than it should have been. Not to mention, with both of their prior health problems, death felt like a huge cheat.