TV Recaps

‘Parenthood’ Recap: One Step Forward, Two Steps Back

Photo: One Step Forward, Two Steps Back
Photo: One Step Forward, Two Steps Back

This was the next-to-last episode for the season. How is that even possible, with a show this stellar? That said, last night’s episode was one of the quieter of the year, but my suspicion is this week was merely a set-up for next week’s season finale.

Best/Favorite Moment

Surprisingly, my favorite moment of the night included my least-favorite character, Julia. At a family dinner, Julia slipped out, overcome with stress at the thought of permanently adopting Victor. Crosby followed her out and gave perhaps the best brother-sister pep talk of the season. He, in a word, nailed it.  Crosby has become a rock-solid, go-to-guy and his evolution from Season One has been, without question, the most complete. And this scene, ranks as one of the very best of the year. I even liked Julia in it, and that’s saying something.  And woohoo Crosby, because his one-on-one with Julia helped convince her to say yes to Victor. I’ve had a huge problem with her waffling on letting Victor stay. This is an intelligent woman who should have known adopting an older child from a tough background wouldn’t be a cakewalk.  This is supposed to be a hard-nosed lawyer, who knows how to fight hard and play dirty, when necessary.  And why aren’t she and Joel getting a professional child psychologist involved to help them?

Worst/Cringe Moment

One the up side, we finally have a resolution to the rather dumb vending machine at Max’s school storyline. On the down side, Kristina had to interfere in her son’s school life to make it happen.  Max, still on his crusade for the vending machine, hit every brick wall possible. So Mommy went to the PTA meeting and found the way to reel the resistant parents back in: “Let’s stock the vending machines with fresh fruit and low-sugar snacks! ”

Seriously? Nobody but Kristina thought of this? Give me a break.   Furthermore, this is the Kristina that annoys me–the helicopter Mom that can’t let her children handle anything on their own.  Max is a smart kid. And even with his challenges with Asperger’s, sometimes life is about disappointment.  Must she fix everything for him?

But instead, Mama Bear Kristina made it all work out, in a nauseatingly sweet ending, with the new vending machines getting installed and schoolchildren…..wait for it….. showering Max with Skittles.  Gag. This was, without doubt, the biggest cringe-worthy moment of the season.  It felt like a scene from Annie.  I was waiting for them to all break into a rendition of The Sun’ll Come Out Tomorrow.

Character We Wanted to Slap This Week

I’m well aware I’m one of approximately two people who feel this way. But Mark, as a character, bugs me.  (Love Jason Ritter. Don’t misunderstand.) And last night, Mark confronted Hank over Sarah. Actually, he sort of stalked-waited for him outside of Hank’s office, which is a bit creepy in itself, isn’t it?  And when Hank walked out, he accused Hank of manipulating Sarah and he then announced he was going to “take Sarah back”, as if Sarah were a wayward puppy that misbehaved and wandered away.

While it was actually refreshing to see mild-mannered Mark actually stand up and FIGHT for something, because my biggest complaint about Mark has always been he’s too much of a wuss, I still wanted to slap him.

And yes, it’s true that Hank didn’t play fair at the beginning. But it was one kiss. He didn’t hold a gun to Sarah’s head.  And, what’s that saying? All’s fair in love and war? At least Hank went after what he wanted. Whereas, Mark, who’s always been a wuss, just walked away from Sarah.   Seriously, tell me again why  people are rooting for Mark?  He LEFT Sarah. Walked away from her. IN.A. PUBLIC. RESTAURANT.

The fact that Sarah would even consider taking him back tells me that maybe what Sarah really needs is some me time.  Maybe she shouldn’t be with either guy. Let her figure out her life and her head. Because while I like Sarah, she’s a ditz when it comes to men.  And maybe her problem isn’t too many men to choose from, but herself.

Character We Loved This Week

Crosby. Crosby. Crosby. Not only did he say exactly the right things to Julia when she needed it most, but he has been more than fair regarding his Mother-in-law, Renee, living with them. Renee is, quite simply, a bitch. Crosby has bit his tongue and kept the peace more times than he should have.  Even when Renee turned down a job that would have allowed her to move out, Crosby kept his cool (mostly).  He’s also stayed polite when Renee has criticized how they feed Jabbar, how late they let him stay up, etc. etc.

And yet, Jasmine wants him to be even nicer and more understanding to her mother.  Last night, Crosby finally told Jasmine she’s the problem. She’s not backing Crosby up, because she’s scared of her mother.  As Crosby himself said, “I’m on the right side of this argument.”

And he is. Jasmine needs to pick her husband over her mother and tell Mom to butt out, find a job, and move out.  Don’t let the door hit you on the way out.

And so, next week is it. The season finale. That’s a long time in-between season. With no official word yet on renewal for a Season 5. Start your prayer chains, fans.