Wow. What an episode, right? Even though I partially knew what was in store for us on Parenthood this week, it still tore my heart out. Those final scenes and the revelation of Kristina’s health issue were beautifully done, and so heartbreaking.
The rest of the episode was more on the lighter side, though Julia and Joel’s storyline was meatier.
I think this episode is the one that has sold me on Victor. It’s such a difficult thing, to bring a child into your home, and I really like what it’s bringing out in Julia’s character, and in her and Joel’s marriage. Julia has always been the breadwinner, and Joel has always been such a great dad. We saw Julia’s more sensitive, caring qualities come out last season with Zoe, but it’s been kicked into high gear here. Julia is putting her new son ahead of her job, she’s putting everything she has into helping Victor feel at home, safe and loved. And while the breakthrough they had was pretty minor, I liked seeing Julia have a success. Victor went to school.
I’m sure there are more challenges ahead, but considering the timeline jump, it’s good to see Victor’s relationship with his new family and his new life progressing.
First Day, Worst Day
Sarah is such a well-intentioned, overbearing mother, I totally bought her reaction to the bad news – even though the way she acted was ridiculous, she didn’t think that. Sarah doesn’t think that way. The Bravermans are all kind of like that. So I enjoyed having Hank’s outside perspective of, you know, “This is kind of weird.” It was a lighter storyline, but I’ve always enjoyed how different Sarah’s interactions with Drew are compared t her interactions with Amber. We’ve had a lot of Sarah/Amber material in past seasons and issues with them tend to stem from their similarities. Sarah and Drew are so different, so I’m glad that mother/son relationship is being explored more.
Again on the lighter side, but well done, was the Jasmine and Crosby storyline. I felt like this did a good job of continuing previous threads without repeating them. Crosby and Jasmine are two people with very different personalities who’ve chosen to share their lives together. That’s going to cause complications, and the issues they had before they were married wouldn’t just disappear. But Crosby has grown up a lot, and I think Jasmine has learned to forgive, so they dealt with them better this time.
Crosby was way out of line in this episode. I mean, really?
- Don’t suggest going out for pizza to a six year-old when your wife has already cooked a lovely dinner. I would also like pizza instead of salmon, but salmon is good for you and Jasmine prepared it and you should be eating it, dammit!
- Commit to dinner with friends! Interact with people outside the Braverman family!
- Leaving your kid at school, obviously a problem. Use the calendar that is built into your iPhone. There is no need to make that app buzz, though. That was an annoying sound.
I liked how much of Crosby’s behavior was stemming out of his fear of becoming Adam and Kristina, who are very much controlled by their own schedules because they have to be. Crosby will eventually learn that there’s a happy place in between leaving your own child at school and scheduling trips to “Funkytown”.
And then the Adam and Kristina storyline. I liked the progression of events. Kristina misses Haddie. Kristina contemplates getting a dog. (I literally know people who have gotten dogs immediately after their children leave the family home. My mom would never be one of them, but they’re out there.) Kristina slips up and tells Max that they’re “talking” about getting a dog, which is interpreted by his Asperger’s ears as “We are getting a dog right this second”. Adam looks panicked, hilarity ensues.
But then, cut together with the scenes of picking out the dog, are scenes of Kristina at her mammogram. There are no words, just a sad song, but we don’t need to hear what anyone is saying. It’s all over Kristina’s face. And the most heartbreaking of all was when she told Adam. The way Adam could immediately tell that something was wrong, and the way he hugged her – it’s little moments like those that I think make Parenthood the fantastic show it is. They get relationships and moments right, whether they’re small moments like arguing over dinner or big moments, like a major health scare.
Kristina doesn’t necessarily have cancer. The lump could be benign. It could be a cyst, maybe. But just hearing that there’s a lump is terrifying news, and it will make for an interesting storyline for the whole family. I hope that we’re somehow allowed to know Haddie’s reaction – how horrible, to leave for college all the way across the country, and then discover your mom is sick?
Another fantastic episode for Parenthood. I haven’t seen the scenes from next week yet, but I bet it’ll be another good one. What did you guys think of “Left Field”?