This week’s episode of Parenthood was one of the first in a while that hasn’t had a strong focus on Kristina’s cancer battle, and it was just as strong as all the other. Of course, cancer still looms over everything for Adam and Kristina. The reason Kristina was so adamant that Max attend a school dance was because she doesn’t truly know how much time she has to see big events like that. It was a sad moment, but one that didn’t dominate the whole episode. The bigger focus there was Max struggling to be a team player now that he’s on the student council, and that was a good storyline.
Adam explaining to Max that because his mother is sick, they’re going to do things for her was very sweet. But it was Kristina telling Max how to ask a girl to dance, and showing him how to dance, that was very sweet. No middle school is playing lovely jazz music, but it was a beautiful moment.
I also really liked Julia and Joel’s storyline. Julia was such a career-driven person, it makes sense that becoming a stay-at-home mom would be a rough transition for her. She seems bored, and I think her stress about Joel taking a big job because she’s scared that it means she can’t go back to work anytime soon. Someone needs to be at home, to help the family through a big period of change. And she felt like a terrible person for being bored with her new role. Julia can be painted as the difficult one in this relationship too often, and Joel is one step away from a saint. But what I like the most about this relationship is how they always make it work, and the writers make that process feel very natural.
Amber and Ryan’s relationship is becoming deeper and more complex, and continues to be a highlight of this season. We didn’t see a lot of them this week, but those two always deliver amazing work.
Crosby’s issue with the loud, angry neighbor was funny, but also carried some more weight because he is trying to handle everything about The Luncheonette on his own. This is a thing that Adam would normally deal with. Poor Crosby, he just wanted to be able to handle everything on his own but the issue was bigger than just a screaming crazy lady – The Luncheonette is built in a residential zone. It sounds like this could be a project for Julia to fill her extra time with!
The most frustrating storyline is Sarah’s, but it’s frustrating in the same way that you’re annoyed when one of your pals is acting like an idiot. It’s not bad writing, Sarah’s just making some bad decisions. She’s not acknowledging that she might have feelings for Hank and isn’t treating Mark with the kindness and devotion he deserves. But it’s not so black and white; Hank’s situation with his kid is sad and anyone would feel bad for him. But not everyone would cancel their important plans to help him out. But man. You’ve got to feel bad for Mark, none of this is fair to him. It’s a sticky situation, and I’m tired of seeing Sarah screw things up, but the acting and writing is still great.
The previews for next week show some drama coming up for Sarah and Mark, which we’ve been building towards all season. Man, this season has been amazing. What did you guys think of this episode?