Parenthood Recap: Another Week, Another Slice Of Bravermans
Before we delve into Braverman brouhaha, let’s briefly run through last week’s “Parenthood” so we’re all caught up.
Drew’s girlfriend ditched college and shacked up with Drew to the dismay of his fuck buddy. Zeek got schooled by an old widower at a diner. Joel let Julia know that the demise of their relationship was completely her fault. Amber said goodbye to Ryan as he departed for dangerous lands far away instead of married life with her.
Now we’ll sort out this week for you.
Amber (Mae Whitman) grabs the bull by the balls and is going to quit being pitiful, so she decides to clean up her divey apartment. There’s a cleaning montage with cool tunes (Interpol, maybe?), and all is going well until she finds one of Ryan’s T-shirts. Cut to sad, despondent Amber.
She skips out on work, blasts her stereo as she cruises down the coast. She stops off to stare at the ocean from some big rocks. Sarah (Lauren Graham) busts her by cell after arriving at Amber’s loft with chicken noodle soup. Red flags fly high on Sarah’s mom radar.
Amber’s quest continues with the hip soundtrack as we watch her heart wrenching as she chainsmokes cigs and drinks out of a flask. She tracks down her dad, Seth (John Corbin) at a bar where he works despite his sober living.
As Amber dive bars it, she gets hit on by a sleazy dude who buy her drinks and expects some action in return. She lets him know what a dick he is and then all hell breaks loose. Seth comes out of the kitchen to the situation and sees Amber in the middle of it all. He runs after her as she tries to be her own drunken designated driver.
Amber calls her dad a stupid asshole instead of thanking him kindly. “All of a sudden you want to take care of me,” she screams letting him know it’s his fault anyway that her fiancé left her. “Because I’m afraid I’m like you. I’m afraid I’m exactly like you, in the middle of nowhere in some stupid bar.” Well, literally she sort of is, so she set herself up for that one.
Seth gets her to crash at his place and he calls Sarah to let her know. He wants to try to do the dad thing for once, he tells Sarah soberly. He follows up by making her pancakes the next morning and not getting all preachy instead of being a bastard.
Amy (Skyler Day) continues to pretend she’s at in Boston at Tufts college freezing her ass off instead of hanging out with Drew at Berkeley. Natalie (Lyndon Smith) catches on to Drew’s new roommate, tells him she misses him and hopes to see him at Grizzly Peak that night for the awesome meteor shower. She gets in the little dig. “You’re in college man,” she says. “C’mon.”
Amy finally spills her guts, explaining that she’s not just sticking around because she likes the taste of Drew’s spit. She hates Tufts, the snobby girls, the horrible roommate, the freezing weather, all of it. And even worse, she got eerily depressed. “The one thing that got me out of that scary place was you,” she says. “You’re kind of all I have.”
That’s a lot to drop in a college freshman’s lap. Drew decides not to go on the trip with Natalie and instead returns to make out with his new roomy, enabling her descent into madness in the cutest way possible.
Julia and Joel
Julia (Erika Christensen) wakes up alone and has that moment when you temporarily forgot how shitty your life is only to be remember moments later with the ol’ ugh when clarity of mind hits.
Joel (Sam Jaeger) arrives making it seem like he just went out for donuts, not letting on that their world is falling apart. All is well once there are donuts, the universally agreed upon diplomacy.
Joel and Julia continue the charade into the night, then retreat to their room for playful banter. Just joking. She starts grilling him about where he slept the night before. Big surprise, he got drunk at his office/trailer and passed out.
Julia confides in Sarah and finally admits to someone that maybe she should have pulled away from the Ed kiss a second sooner than she did. Really? You’re way more guilty than that Julia. It’s getting harder and harder to feel sorry for you.
Sarah gives encouraging advice based on her half-a-second excuse, and it would have been good advice if that is what had actually happened. But it’s not.
Adam and Christina (and Hank)
Hank (Ray Romano) shows up at the Luncheonette with an awesome photo he snapped of Bob Dylan way back when as a gift for the guys, and oh by the way, can he get the phone number for that super fancy Asperger’s doc, for a friend…
Something clicks and Adam (Peter Krause) is onto Hank, recognizing his quirks, inept social skills and inordinate focus. Looking on the bright side, Adam and Kristina (Monica Potter) see possibilities for Max (Max Burkholder) having a somewhat ordinary life a la Hank. The downside is that they are aware that they are actively rooting for Hank having the neurological disorder, which is sort of low.
Hank sees the doc and explains his idiosyncrasies. He took a test online because apparently it’s that easy to self-diagnose. But really, it is kind of that easy to diagnose. There are many telltale signs.
The doctor explains that knowing you have it can provide tools to help improve relationships with the people an Aspy cares about. It’s a jump ball, the doc says, as far as his quicky diagnosis. There’s about a 50/50 chance he’s got it, the doc says, based on his initial meeting with Hank.
No surprise, Hank totally blows it and clears out the room early. He sticks around to talk to Adam. He opens up to Adam and asks if he’s ever noticed any similarities to Max in him. Adam totally lies.
Zeek and Camille
Camille (Bonnie Bedelia) is back from her trip to Italy with her painting class, and she’s got a sassy new, sophisticated hairdo. Zeek (Craig T. Nelson) is on his best behavior, opening doors and shit. And the Bravermans are all waiting inside for a celebration, because they’re good like that.
But clearly, we viewers can see something in Camille has changed. She is not the same Milly we know and love. She is now worldly Camille who has bigger ambitions than hosting Sunday dinners on the patio under twinkle lights.
Camille immediately makes plans to go to an art exhibit with a friend, promising to be back early enough to make dinner for her and Zeek. She arrives later than promised, and instead of Zeek being a dick he surprises her with reservations at a fancy, expensive Italian restaurant.
The grandiosity of how big the world is and how little she knows about it now overwhelms her, Camille tells Zeek trying to explain her intrinsic change. Zeek is quick to point out she also missed out on Amber’s breakup and all the other Braverman drama.
“Yes, but you realize life just goes on without you and that you’re not really needed,” she says with very little emotion. It’s liberating, she says, because it means she can go away again and life goes on like usual, like if say in three months her class were to go to France, which it totally is. She’s totally going. Bonjour, bitches.
Tune in next Thursday, January 26, 10 p.m. on NBC to see if Joel and Julia salvage what’s left of their marriage and if Hank and Sarah can work together as friends, colleagues and exes.