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Parenthood 5×04 Recap – Leaving the Comfort Zone

The best part about a show with a big ensemble cast is the opportunity to mix and match characters and give different actors the chance to work together. It’s especially fun to watch an episode like this week’s In Dreams Begin Responsibilities and see the uncommon pairings of Drew with Adam and Crosby or Zeek with Sydney and Victor. The fact that the former of these scenes was totally ridiculous is irrelevant, because the enjoyment received from watching it negates the silliness of the actual dialogue.

Let’s dive in. Drew is in a tough spot. He has feelings for a girl in his dorm who doesn’t seem to reciprocate his feelings. He hopes that making an effort to like the music she likes (or the music he thinks she likes) will help her see him as more of a boyfriend and less of a friend. So, he hits up his uncle Adam for some tips on Joni Mitchell. Crosby finds them and joins the conversation and the three of them discuss which songs on the album are sure to get him past the “friend zone.” The whole scene would be vomit-worthy if it wasn’t so sweet watching the dynamic between these men and their nephew. Drew doesn’t have a father to go to for male perspective, so even it was terrible advice, it was nice to see him confiding in his uncles.

Meanwhile, I want to know who uses words like “compatible” and “soul-mate” to describe a friendship. I don’t actually believe it’s possible to say the things Natalie said to Drew without knowing what kind of message she was sending out. And furthermore, I really don’t believe it’s possible for a girl not to understand why a guy would lie about liking the music he thought she was into. It was so brutal when she asked him why he did that and forced him to acknowledge that it was because he’s into her. And then I found her reaction to be extremely strange. It was a long pause, and then she basically thanked him. What was she thinking during that pause? Is there something holding her back from admitting that she’s interested too? Or is she really not interested? What do you guys think? I’m confused on this one.

Amber and Ryan are as in love as a pair can be as they plan their dream wedding. They bring Sarah to their special spot on the lake, explaining that this is where they want to have their ceremony. It’s a bit of a hike and there’s not much space, but since none of Ryan’s family is coming, it shouldn’t be a problem. Sarah tries hard to keep her judgments to herself, but as the episode wears on she finds it more and more difficult to hold back and finally all of her doubts come pouring out. As is often the case when people hold in their thoughts too long, they don’t come out exactly as precisely as they could have and she ends up insulting Amber and pushing her further away. It’s mostly interesting to me that Amber is so confident that she is different from her parents. My experience with children of divorce is that they are the most cautious, the most unwilling to give their hearts away. They tend to be the most skeptical and unsure about the merits of marriage. It’s fascinating that Amber doesn’t seem to be going down that road. Perhaps it is her awareness that her mother is thinking these things that forces her to automatically take the opposite side, but her willingness to jump into marriage so quickly would be surprising to me even if she weren’t 19, which she is.

As sweet as Ryber are – and this week they were actually too sweet, even for me – it’s hard not to take some of Sarah’s concerns to heart. Amber didn’t learn that Ryan’s father was dead until she pushed him for info on why his parents wouldn’t be attending the wedding. That’s a big piece of information to be missing when it comes to a fiancé. I am a big fan of this couple and I want them to make it work, I just can’t think of a good reason to get married right this second. I’m very excited for the scene they showed us from next week when Ryan confronts Sarah. I loved what Sarah said about how it’s not so easy to leave our pasts behind. She’s right in worrying that Ryan can’t just let that all go, and that whatever he’s hiding will probably find its way back to the surface. Maybe next week some of it will begin to come out and Ryan and Amber can move forward with openness and honesty.
In other Braverman news, Victor is still struggling to read, and now Zeek is aware of the situation. First of all, I find it hilarious that Julia dropped her kids off with her father as a punishment. Second of all, Sydney’s really not very nice. She’s young and probably doesn’t understand the impact of her actions, but I would have appreciated a scene where Julia (or Zeek) asked her to be patient with Victor and explained how grabbing the book away from him makes him feel.  Zeek is not always my favorite character (in fact, I often can’t stand him), but it was really nice to see him coming through as both a father and a grandfather. Finding something that interests Victor that he is really good at is going to be key for his confidence.

And then there’s Adam and Kristina – each of them finding themselves outside of their comfort zones this week. Heather is asking Kristina to take money from a developer who Kristina does not support. Kristina feels icky accepting the donation and knows how it will look to her voters, but without it, her campaign is dead. Adam can help by asking a former Luncheonette musician for some money, but Adam doesn’t really know how to go about bringing it up. He manages to find a way and gets the cash Kristina needs to be able to turn down the developer. Additionally his former client inspires Adam to start his own label, an idea that Crosby thinks is insane. Should be interesting to watch them try to launch this new part of the Luncheonette, as I am certain Adam is not going to drop the idea.

 

Final thoughts:

I loved the band that Crosby was loathing. I thought their song was awesome and the only reason to think they were douchey was because the label guy told us they were. If they were really so difficult to work with, it would have been helpful to see some of that. It seemed to me the suit was being unreasonable.

Max approaching Kristina with his $20 of support was my favorite scene of the night. From revealing that Hank pays him to be quiet to explaining that he’ll support his mother until he has a chance to evaluate all the candidates, it was a gem of an interaction.

 

Any other thoughts? share em in the comments! See you back here next week!

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