You know what I love about Parenthood? It’s consistent. I finish every episode feeling completely satisfied. The character portrayals are detailed and layered, the plot moves at a slower, but interesting pace. It’s difficult to find anything bad to say about it, not that I’m really trying. So let’s talk about what happened with all the characters this week.
Adam had a fantastic storyline this week. I’ve been saying for a while that he’s going to crack, and he finally did. Not in an overly dramatic kind of way, just in a normal way. It was like watching someone you know go through a hard time. It began in the supermarket. A total jerk in the checkout line was rude to Max when Max pointed out that he had seventeen items, not ten and words were exchanged. Adam smartly sent Max to get more chips to remove him from the situation, but things escalated when the jerk customer called Max a retard. So Adam punched him in the face. I had the same reaction as Kristina – good! The guy deserved it. But for Adam, it was a sign of a deeper problem. How angry he is. He’s got so much on his plate with his family, and Max’s Asperger’s, and Sarah at work, and Gordon’s irresponsibility and empty promises, and having to let people go. He’s been reaching the breaking point for a while, and this episode did a great job of showing the subtle ways that anger can bubble over.
Meanwhile, Haddie made a move on Alex, the cute guy at the homeless shelter. He brushed her off, and then later explained it’s because he’s a recovering alcoholic – sober only five months. Alex is cute and smart, but he seems to be quite a bit older than Haddie (she’s only a Junior) and would bring more challenges to a relationship than I think she can handle. She’s a pretty sheltered kid who’s had one boyfriend – if Alex is going to date a Braverman, it seems like he’d be more Amber’s speed. Still, I like the back-and-forth between Haddie and Alex. It shows her in a more mature and intelligent light than we usually see, since her near-constant bickering with Kristina has not always made her incredibly likable. Do you want this relationship to turn into a romance, or stay strictly in the friend zone?
Sarah really screwed up and disappointed her kids this week. I was so against Billy Baldwin coming on this show, and now I feel like an idiot for having that attitude – his character is fantastic. I love that there are two sides to the coin when it comes to Sarah and Gordon’s relationship. There’s the irresponsible side: He’s her boss. Adam doesn’t really trust him. They went out drinking champagne in a limo while the company is in the process of laying people off. They stayed out all night and Sarah’s kids were worried sock. Then there’s the positive side: He seems like a really nice guy. I mean, he fished that girl out of the pool a couple weeks ago, and he helped Sarah feel better when her beeping shoe idea bombed. Sarah and Gordon have a great rapport. And the relationship is helping Sarah to realize that she is worth it. She is worthy of the nice, rich, intelligent guy. And that’s a really interesting character development.
Crosby made a big leap this week by agreeing to sell his boat. I really liked how this storyline played out. Crosby’s boat signified so many things. His independence. His coming of age. His identity for so many years. But I liked how the show surprised me when he didn’t end up using Jabbar to convince Jasmine that he should keep it. He made the grown up decision. In the end, all he really wanted was for Jasmine and his family to acknowledge what a big decision it was. How much it meant to him. It was a small and sweet way to show how much Crosby has changed since we met him in season one. And seeing all four siblings meet for drinks on the boat and joke about how they’d used the boat in the past for romantic purposes was pretty hilarious.
There’s wasn’t a lot of Julia and Joel time this week, which is fine since we’ve had a lot of them lately. And I’m looking forward to an upcoming storyline focusing on Zeek and Camille’s marriage. The scene between Adam and Zeek this week, where Adam talked about how he always had to keep control because Zeek was always losing it was tough to watch. It was raw and emotional and I ended up feeling bad for both characters even though I’ve never particularly liked either of them. And that’s pretty impressive.
What did you think of the episode? Are you digging Parenthood‘s subtle style as much as I am?