Parenthood Recap: Mud Baths, Breakups, And Hot Carl

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Oh, Parenthood, oh Bravermans, how we’ve missed thee. It was like there was a big hole in our imaginary family life. Let’s quicklike remind you about your peeps were up to last we saw them pre-winter Olympics revelry that filled their timeslot on NBC.

Sarah and Hank were shooting a catalog together with Sarah in charge, and it turned out swell. Drew’s girlfriend didn’t go back to college after her visit, instead bunking down with Drew in his dorm because she’s depressed.


Julia and Joel are splitsville, and the kids are destroyed. Crosby and Jasmine’s house is literally toxic with mold so they are camped out with the parents. And said parents, Zeek and Camille, are still figuring out what the next chapter of their lives will look like. Now you’re up to date and ready for this week’s recap. Go you!

Zeek and Camille

The real estate agent shows up at the door, but it’s Crosby (Dax Shepard) who receives her to his dismay and finds out that not only is the house for sale, it has multiple offers “with fingers crossed.”

Crosby and fam are still staying with the ’rents while their house is in detox. Max (Max Burkholder) is thrown into the equation, as well, with baby Nora, because Adam (Peter Krause) and Kristina (Monica Potter) are off galavanting.

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Crosby reverts back to his disgruntled teenager mode when he confronts his parents about the ol’ house being, oh I don’t know, PRACTICALLY SOLD without telling any of the grown-ass kiddos. “You can’t just sell it out from under us,” Crosby says with a snarl.

“We don’t have to run anything by you or anyone else,” Camille (Bonnie Bedelia) says with absolutely no remorse. Good for you Camille!

Zeek (Craig T. Nelson) struggles to find his socket wrenches, which spirals out of control into Crosby’s tantrum about what his parents are planning to do to HIS childhood home. “You wouldn’t move out of here in a million years, what’s going on?” he says, exasperated, only to be schooled about love and commitment by Zeek Braverman.


Zeek and Camille have been through a lot during their 47 years of marriage, including her sojourn in Europe. “I realized I love her a lot more than I love this house,” Zeek tells his son. “If selling the house makes her happy then that is what I am going to do, so that is about it son. That’s the ballgame right there.” Camille 1, Crosby 0.

Adam and Kristina

Hot Tub

Adam and Kristina hit the hot tub to relax in their rental cabin in the Montecito mountains, thanks to a generous friend who wanted them to take some time for themselves after the crazy couple of years they’ve had almost dying of cancer, losing their jobs and running for mayor.

But Adam can’t just relax like that. He jumps out of the hot tub in the middle of said relaxing to call suddenly single Julia (Erika Christensen), who is doing an expiration date purge in the pantry and binge-watching “Orange is the New Black.” After that, the trunks come off and we assume sexy time starts. Scene end.

Mud Bath

Next we see the lovebirds, they’re getting all kinds of dirty in mud baths. It’s been a rough couple of years, Adam laments amid the muck and mire. “Thank you,” Kristina says full of love for her rock of a husband. “I don’t know if I ever truly said thank you for everything you did for me. Going through that together, I don’t think I’ve ever truly said thank you.”


“You don’t have to,” Adam says, admiring the toxins dripping off of him. They clutch their mud-soaked hands. Love.


The next morning, Adam and Kristina race to the summit for the view, take it in and text. Well, Adam texts Julia because he’s worried about his sister. And Kristina totally understands, because she’s awesome. And they decide to go home and get up in everyone’s business again.

Sarah and Hank, and Hot Carl

Sarah (Lauren Graham) and Hank (Ray Romano) edit photos back at the studio. Hank tries to edit out the best part of the photos, like the old sea-crusty taco truck next to the surfers half out of their wetsuits. He doesn’t get it. Sarah asks him to sleep on it just before she juts off to meet Hot Carl (Josh Stamberg) for dinner, to which Hank is clearly miffed.

Sarah and Hot Carl go out for tacos. Hot Carl didn’t take her to any ol’ taco joint, oh no. He picked the restaurant after polling co-workers because he was so taken by the taco truck in the photos, which Hank hated, so he could be unbelievably thoughtful and tie tacos into the date.

“Wow, you should take someone on a date here,” Sarah says, completely unaware that she is on a date. She is also preoccupied with what her sister Julia is doing all single and sad.

Hot Carl

“What should I call this?” he asks. Carl doesn’t back down. “I like you. I like that you think of your family here, your sister. And you have no idea how beautiful or funny you are. I guess I am falling for you. That is why we are here.”

Carl scuttles off to get another beer. And just like that, game changed. Oh, we want to be on a date with Hot Carl who is a selfless doctor saving lives in third-world countries. We really, really do.

Hank on the other hand, is not on a date with Sarah and is instead screwing her over back at the photo studio Photoshopping his ass off. “I made it better,” Hank says showing off his handy work. clearly pleased with himself and completely clueless.

Sarah accuses him of sabotage because he was mad about her going on a date with Carl. She admits that yes, the photos are about 80 percent better with his tweaks, but she is still pissed. Hank doesn’t understand collaboration. His Asperger’s is biting him in the ass again. That darned Asperger’s.

Hank calls for an emergency session with the superspensive Asperger’s therapist to talk to him about Sarah getting pissy about him editing the photos, or at least that’s what he’s saying he’s there for. The doc politely points out that that is not an emergency.

“What do I say to make it better?” Hank asks. How about listening? This seems like easy advice, but to Hank it’s big stuff. He basically ends up spending a lot of money to be told to apologize.


Hank shows up at Sarah’s to deliver his very heartfelt, eye-contact-y scripted apology. “What is happening?” Sarah asks, picking up on the awkwardness.

“Forget it,” he says. He fesses up, admitting he’s talking to the guy about Asperger’s and trying. “I’m not a people person,” he says. “I’m not like Carl. I never will be.” But he saves his spiel by explaining he’s trying to do better. Apology accepted.

Drew and Amy

Drew (Miles Heizer) returns to his dorm room and runs into his former fuck buddy Natalie (Lyndon Smith) on the way. “So, is she like living here now?” Natalie asks, explaining that Amy’s (Skyler Day) housewife tendencies are a little weird.

Drew turns to his sis Amber (Mae Whitman) for some ear bending. Drew is done. He wants Amy to go back to school. “I love her, I do, but…” Drew says.

“It’s crazy, you can really love someone but yet want them to go,” she says consoling from where she’s looking at life with her ex-fiance off to Farawaylandz. Preach, girl.

Drew and Amy

Drew settles in for his talk with Amy later, who doesn’t even have dinner ready or anything. We’re not sure what she does all day. It’s the ol’ I-only-say-this-because-I-love you talk.

“You can’t stay here,” he tells her, adding that she should talk to her parents about what happened last year, you know, the whole abortion thang from episodes of yore. They drive off to her parents house, a sad song plays on the radio, and they kiss before she heads off to face the less-cool music.

Julia and Joel

It’s the kids’ first big weekend with their dad, post-happy family days of togetherness. This also means it’s Julia’s first lonely, morose weekend by herself.

Joel (Sam Jaeger) welcomes the children to his castle, which is an apartment with an elevator hum and bunk beds. Victor (Xolo Mariduena) seems pleasant enough about the whole thing (it’s still better than a foster home or orphanage, natch), but Sydney (Savannah Paige Ray) is not so easily swayed.

But wait! The apartment building has a pool, and Joel bought swimsuits, so all is satisfactory for the time being.

Julia barely has time to be sad because her siblings keep calling to check on her. She admits to Sarah that she slept in Sydney’s bed. “It’s so quiet in here, it feels empty, it sounds empty,” she says. Sad face.

“It won’t always be this way,” Sarah says. “It gets better.”

Julia heats up her meal for one in the microwave with sad music blaring. Sarah barges in with Chinese food, turns off the sad music and decides to rock the party. Moments later, Crosby shows up with Thai food and more wine and puts on feel-good soul music so they can twist the night away.

They get drunk as Julia admits that even the dry cleaner caught on that she is having marital problems. While looking for some sympathy from the two as she calls herself the black sheep of the family, they laugh in her face with stories of sleeping with their sister’s behavioral therapist and marrying a dirt bag druggy. Then Adam drops in, as well, and it’s a big ol’ hoedown.


Julia gets something in her eyes, breaking down because all of her siblings showed up by themselves to make her feel the feels in comfort. The Talking Heads’ “Burning Down the House” blares from the stereo and it’s officially time to get jiggy.

Dance Party

“Get the back brace ready!” Crosby shouts as Adam and he alternate getting into pop and lock positions that grown men should never attempt. And just like that, all the worrisome stuff is gone and they are all better, at least until that take-out food and red wine has its way with them in the morning. That’s when Julia is really going to feel alone.

Parenthood Recap: Mud Baths, Breakups, And Hot Carl

Tune in to NBC next Thursday, 10 p.m., to watch Kristina have another—gasp!—cancer scare, and Sarah hooks up with the man who is not Hank, which Hank does not like at all.

TV Show: Parenthood

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