The Braverman dynamic has always been incredibly complex and real. They are a very large group of people who love each other tremendously. They also get angry and resentful and sometimes they make terrible choices. They speak to each harshly at times and hurt each other’s feelings. But, what makes Parenthood so special is watching these family members navigate those bumps in the road. This week’s episode is setting the stage for some really difficult situations, which means we will have an opportunity to see Parenthood do what Parenthood does best – deal with them.
Julia and Joel are at a crossroads with Victor. He is behind in reading, possibly even more than a grade level behind. (Is this a surprise to someone?) Both parents have been working with him, hoping to help him improve and don’t want to jump to holding him back if it can be avoided – particularly because it would mean he was in the same grade as Sydney, something Julia would really like to avoid. Julia’s decision to confide in her new BFF, Ed, is not a choice Joel was particularly pleased about. Ed convinced Julia that it’s better to just make the decision to hold Victor back now, rather than wait longer and allow him to get more comfortable in his class, only to take him out later. Julia presents this idea to Joel who is furious that not only is Julia discussing their private business with random members of the PTA, but she is also giving up on their progress. He reminds her that Victor’s teacher merely wanted to begin a conversation and didn’t say that it was her recommendation to hold Victor back. By the end of the episode, it seemed that Julia had come around a bit and was recommitting herself to working with Victor in the hopes of helping him catch up to where he needs to be. But, what’s the deal with Ed? Will he continue to cause issues between Joel and Julia? Will Joel’s new colleague, Pete, be somewhere for Joel to turn when he is frustrated with Julia? Only time will tell….
Meanwhile, Kristina is spending money left and right, with the expectations that donations will come in and will cover her reimbursement. Adam is not as confident and is uncomfortable with how much of their personal income is being invested in this campaign without any guarantee they will get it back. Adam takes it upon himself to play with the budget, and action that does not make Kristina happy. Everything Adam has done up until this point has been a sign to Kristina that he does not really support her endeavor. The dialogue between these two is always some of my favorite. Kristina is feeling her own doubts at this point and having them reinforced by Adam’s behavior is making it worse. Ultimately she expresses her fear that she jumped into this too quickly as a way to say f*** you to cancer and maybe it was a mistake. Adam apologizes for not being more supportive and hands over his credit cards. What I love about these two is that their arguments never seem clear cut. Each person’s side is always legitimate and I always find myself relating to both sides of the argument. I am glad Adam found away to give Kristina what she neeed, but Adam made some good points about fiscal responsibility as well.
In Adam’s attempt to save some money, he hired Sarah to take Kristina’s headshots. Kristina isn’t thrilled about the idea of using Sarah who has very little real experience, but Sarah convinces her, basically reminding her that she has little mayoral experience but that doesn’t stop Sarah from supporting her. Sarah ends up getting a perfect shot and both Kristina and Adam acknowledge that Sarah is good at this. Sarah, however, needs some honesty about her talent from someone who knows what he’s talking about. She takes the proofs to Hank for a critique, and in his super awkward Hank way, he reassures her that she is good. I really love these two and I am anxiously waiting for Hank to figure out how he’s going to say all the things he so badly wants to say.
Speaking of couples I love, Ryan and Amber continue to be the most adorable. While I don’t necessarily think getting married is the right move at this exact moment, watching them bust in on Drew’s roommate was one of the most enjoyable scenes of television this week. It was a ridiculous scene and would not have gone over well in a real college dorm situation, but Matt Lauria was so fabulous, it didn’t matter. And besides, there aren’t really people out there like Drew’s roommate, are there? Ok, I get that sometimes assholes sexile their roommates for more time than acceptable. But, using his sheets?? Is there a guy out there who would do that? Please say no.
Crosby seems to be coming into his own as a new father. The breast pumping scene at the beginning of this episode really nailed it. Crosby being so fascinated, Jasmine feeling unsexy and animal-like. But I was really moved by this moment: Crosby recognizing how beautiful new life is and how incredible the power of feeding a newborn is. I knew I would, but I am really enjoying watching Crosby go through this transformation.
And finally, is there a bigger saint out there than Camille? I don’t think I’d have lasted ten minutes married to Zeek and she’s been doing it for over 4 decades. He is infuriating. Did he really suggest to Crosby that the reason he’s having a harder time with Aida than he did with Jabbar is because girls are complicated? I can’t even dignify that stupidity with a response. And if I were Camille and Zeek was constantly blowing me off and buying junk cars to make into a project while ignoring me and the conversation I’d been trying to have, I would go completely insane. So kudos to her for learning how to deal with him and for finding a way to have her voice heard even when he’s being impossible.
“Thank you, Budget Boy” – Kristina as she walks away from Adam, angry that he stuck his nose in her budget
“Say it, let’s practice” – Ryan helping Drew’s roommate learn Drew’s name, so he’d stop calling him “Bro”