Parenthood Recap: Poopiest Episode Ever
“Let’s Be Mad Together”
Last we left the Bravermans, Max was hanging out with Sarah’s non-boyfriend, non-boss Hank to learn about photography, Camille kept trying to talk to Zeek about selling the big, beautiful, dilapidated house, Amber and Ryan continue to be annoyed with Sarah’s marital misgivings, and Adam wanted to start a DIY record label.
Now let’s recap the shit out of this Parenthood thing…
Crosby (Dax Shepard) is overwhelmed by fatherhood, but recording studio partner/brother Adam (Peter Krause) doesn’t have time for that. He got the rights to the songs they recorded for Ashes Of Rome with a lil’ sweetheart deal.
We know how persuasive Adam can be. But, well, er, he traded Crosby’s studio time for the songs. Crosby isn’t real cool with that because he’s the one who did the 72 hours of dealing with the singer’s manic crap.
“He is a great singer, but he is insufferable and I will not work with him,” Crosby says about Oliver Rome. Oliver is played fabulously by rock band All-American Rejects’ Tyson Ritter. Adam says, yes, yes you will, and you will man up in the process. We love Tyson Ritter as Oliver Rome. He is horrible.
Max (Max Burkholder) looks for real moments for the yearbook—no posed pictures, puhlease. He takes pictures of a girl crying. Her and her friends get all mad and the crying girl’s parents want Max fired. Welcome to journalism buddy!
Zeek (Craig T. Nelson) finds a realtor on the premises of his falling-apart home taking photos and freaks out. “This place is a goldmine,” she says, calling it a handyman special. Zeek promptly tells her to get the hell off his handyman special, but amazingly doesn’t use those exact words.
Super Sarah (Lauren Graham) uses a plumbing snake to work on tenant Carl’s toilet (Josh Stamberg), which is not a euphemism. The toilet explodes. “Job well done,” her obviously soon-to-be boyfriend tells her. Quit shopping for bespoke shoes you metrosexual and fix your own damn toilet if you want to impress chicks, Carl. Did your father teach you nothing?
Man of the house Joel (Sam Jaeger) is now his boss Peet’s bitch, instead of Julia’s. The sexy construction bossette, also known as a female architect named Meredith Peet (Sonya Walger), is working Joel hard, which Julia (Erika Christensen) sees as clearly Peet looking to work Joel hard. That is a euphemism. Brrrrrrrnnngg. Super Sarah calls Joel for toilet advice. Ah, shit.
Crosby meets again with Ashes of Rome. Oliver promptly schools them about the music biz and says he doesn’t want to be part of the Katy Perry sausage factory, man. He is an artist with words. They agree to mutually take chances on each other with a nice firm “whatever” from our Oliver.
Kristina meets with the yearbook advisor Mr. Carlson (William Duffy) about Max not showing empathy to the girl crying because her dog died. Max is being demoted to doing layout and learning Photoshop. But Max is a photographer, Kristina (Monica Potter) explains, a photographer with a clinical diagnosis for not having empathy. Max doesn’t get the Cutest Hair types of photos. He’s an artist. Mr. Carlson doesn’t care.
Tough guy Ryan (Matt Lauria) shows up to talk shit, and Sarah assumes he’s there to talk about her opinions about his rush to marry Amber (Mae Whitman) and why she and said daughter are not speaking. But he’s actually there to take care of the toilet, so that sort of stinks. Now he knows.
Oliver and Crosby have another meeting of the minds while laying down tracks. He wants “a splish of Kanye West, a splash of Daft Punk and a little sprinkle of T.Rex, but still us,” Oliver explains. Oh my god, this guy is killing us because we totally know this guy. Crosby no happy.
Max shows Hank (Ray Romano) and Kristina his photos, which “capture the agony of high school.” Kristina tries again to explain empathy to her son who has Asperger’s, to which Hank shows maybe he has Asperger’s, as well. Maybe Hank would be a good journalist, too. Then Kristina tries to explain empathy and crying girls to Hank. Max is a protégé, Hank says, to which Kristina has mixed emotions: pride and frustration. She’s screwed.
Peet continues to be all lady crazy. Joel wants to talk about boundaries, to which she invites him out for dinner and martinis. She’s going to be a tough sell, apparently.
Ryan tells Amber she probably should have mentioned that she’s not talking to her mother to avoid having her apologize to him over a toilet and not have any idea what she’s talking about. Awkward.
And he doesn’t get why she’s so upset that his family isn’t coming to the wedding. “She holds on to things and then spews them back at me all at once,” Amber says. Them all? Oh snap. Guess who just made things worse.
And Ryan has to go back to Sarah’s super building to work on the toilet more. What caused the clog? “Prophylactics.” That means Carl’s drippy, gross man rubbers. Awkward. And it’s going to get a lot worse before it gets better, Ryan says. He’s talking about the toilet as well as their mother-in-law, son-in-law thing, we assume.
Zeek and Victor (Xolo Mariduena) get down to GTO business, which means they will be practicing reading. “That car is the best thing to happen,” Julia tells her mom Camille (Bonnie Bedelia), to which she explains that THAT car is the roadblock to her Act 3.
“That’s not our Act 3, it’s his Act 3,” Camille says. She’s never travelled out of the country. She wants to do things. “It’s a lot of years with your dad,” she says. “At some time along the way I lost my voice in the relationship.”
Dinner with Peet: low lights, fireplace burning and boundaries discussion. Sure, why not? He doesn’t want to get behind, cut into the profits for his team, his wife has told him… “Is this your wife talking?” Peet asks. Mrrreowww.
Crosby abandons ship. He has diapers to pick up at the store. He walks out on the Ashes Of Rome recording session. “I hope that was a beer run,” Oliver says. Seriously, we dated this guy like three different times.
Then Crosby runs into drunky drunk Joel at the grocery market, who is staring at cakes in the bakery. He can’t hold his lady drinks. Crosby drives Joel home while he shovels cake in his face. “Life is a series of choices,” Joel pontificates, repeating Peet. Then instead of taking the diapers home, Crosby sits in the car listening to Elvis while Joel covers his face in frosting. Then it hits him! Not the cake, Elvis, and the simplicity of great songs.
Then another awkward situation with a dripping wet Carl and Super Sarah because, of course, he has to shower somewhere, and that somewhere is Sarah’s apartment.
Kristina goes to bat for Max again. “The decision has been made,” Mr. Carlson says. ASB advisor guy who is there doesn’t back her up. The only reason it worked with student council was because Max was in charge. “It’s just not fair to the other kids,” he says.
Joel has to explain the half eaten cake with no signs of fork marks to Julia the next morning. “You should not be upset,” he tells Julia, and he’s not talking about the cake. And because she is also losing her voice in their marriage, she moves on. Then she quickly changes her mind and tells Joel that Peet is taking advantage of him. Then the STEP-OFF moment happens, and Joel nearly puts his fist in the cake. “This is not you, this is me,” he says and walks away.
Crosby shows up to the Luncheonette the next day with The Beatles, Nirvana, Bruce Springsteen on vinyl—all albums recorded on a shoestring budget, he preaches to his people assembled. They were stripped down and raw, not hiding behind fancy production, he says.
“We’re getting rid of the loop, the samples, all the layers, and we’re going to record you down and dirty,” he tells the band. “Just sing Oliver, and leave the rest to us.” And it totally works.
Julia arrives to pick up Victor. Julia has her heart-to-heart with Zeek, to which he promptly shuts her down saying she is intruding. “She has a right to talk to you about whatever she wants to talk to you about,” Julia tells him about Camille, but not really completely. Julia starts the waterworks, because obviously she is talking about herself. Zeek gives her the big dad hug.
Kristina talks to Max, delivering the bad news. It doesn’t go over well. It’s not fair, and Kristina agrees, but that’s the way it is. “Sometimes in life, things aren’t fair, and as you get older, sometimes you have to deal with that,” she tells him. They agree to sit there and be mad together. She is parenting her ass off in a way that probably only parents of Aspies understand. We’re mad, too, because that really was a great photo, which does not mean what was happening was great. It captured the verb. We’d hire him.
Back to Ryan.
“My dad died when I was 11, and my mom remarried a guy from work who believed that corporal punishment was the best way to deal with a kid who just lost his dad,” Ryan explains, to which Sarah says he does not need to explain. But he does anyway.
And he loves Amber so much, and he is working so hard to get better and he wants to be worthy of the Bravermans and he knows they are rushing. But you grow up fast in the military, he says, and he knows what he wants and he wants to start his life together with Amber.
And just like that he won over Sarah, and us. And the toilet is fixed. And it’s raining on our faces.
Tune in to NBC Thursday, Oct. 31, 10 p.m. when Kristina’s campaign swings into high gear (we were wondering about all that), Sarah and Amber kiss and make up, and Crosby settles into being a minivan man.