Parenthood Recap: Uncomfortably Numb

Last we checked in with Parenthood and the Bravermans, Camille was headed to Italy, Amber and Sarah made peace, Julia was embarking on an inappropriate friendship and Drew like likes someone at the dorms.

We’re here to plot it out for you.

True Drew



This week, right out of the gate, sweet, sensitive Drew (Miles Heizer) is getting it on with his co-ed crush who showed up at his dorm door drunk and ready to roll. He tried to talk her out of it, of course, but a persistent sexy woman is hard to hold off.

The next morning, when they see one another in the communal facilities things are awkward. Natalie (Lyndon Smith) was aloof, hung over and the encounter was not at all the way Drew imagined the morning after the best night of his life so far would be.


Drew resorts to being lurky to entice his not-girlfriend into going on an actual date with him to the Ashes of Rome concert at the Luncheonette.

Natalie and mood killer friends.

Natalie and mood killer friends.

Drew divulges to his uncles that he got some with “Joni Mitchell Natalie.” She shows up moments later with an entourage of friends, not exactly a romantic date. She even goes so far as to explain that what happened with them was just a hook up. They’re definitely not together. Heart. Crushing.

The uncles pat themselves on the back for getting Drew laid, totally missing the context of the situation, because they’re stupid men.

And of course because Natalie’s a dumb, drunkard college girl, she shows up at Drew’s door again and they get it on after Drew stumbles through some hot talk about how he’s confused because they’re together and not together and blah blah blah. That’s called Moves, and they’re working.

Put a Ring on It The Ryan Way

Ashes of Rome makes Crosby’s (Dax Shepherd) life hell again. Frontman Oliver Rome (Josh Ritter) is perfecting his role as a pain in the ass again, and the band’s drummer is clearly hot for Amber.

“This is exactly why labels gave artists drugs in the ’70s,” Crosby says, playing back takes from Ashes of Rome recording session. Amber suggests staging a live show to record the band to get Oliver’s ego to rise to the challenge of recording great songs.

Days later, Amber (Mawe Whitman) delivers eats and more on the job for Ashes of Rome at the Luncheonette, leading to an awkward moment when her fiancé Ryan (Matt Lauria) walks in and finds the drummer’s hands all over his girlfriend in a somewhat platonic way. But strangely, angsty Ryan moves on rather quickly and just wants to talk about rushing down to City Hall to tie the knot.

But, Amber explains, she is thinking maybe they could have a regular ceremony like the original plan with pretty pictures and everything. “Whatever you want to do,” Ryan says. “So what do you want to do?” And then Oliver Rome needs sea salt. Rock stars are very demanding at the most inconvenient times.

Amber Proposal Story Kristine

Kristina (Monica Potter) drops in at the Luncheonette and has a heart-to-heart with Amber. She tells Amber about her Uncle Adam’s (Peter Krause) marriage proposal, which, of course, is terribly romantic. “It was so simple and so pure, it sounds corny, but it was beautiful,” Kristina says. “And it just made sense. I am sure you feel the same about Ryan.”

But, clearly Amber feels a little let down with her own story she’ll have handy to tell the grandkids.

As the concert unfolds at the Luncheonette, Ryan sees Amber in hipster mode for the first time, mingling and working the room. Oliver is MIA only to reemerge a shell of a man struggling to tune his guitar. But he rises to the challenge, his ego showing up to save the day. Amber’s bosses, her uncles, pat her on the back.


Ryan walks in again as Amber gets her hug on with the band’s drummer, which plants the seeds for tension in paradise.

Soon after, Ryan surprises Amber with a ring and an actual thoughtful, well-rehearsed proposal. “I love you and I want you to be my wife,” he says bearing the ring he spent his combat pay on. “I’ve never been so sure of anything, ever.”

Ryan, never so sure of anything else, ever.

Ryan, never so sure of anything else, ever.

But…she doesn’t really say yes. We are left with her looking stunned at her ring.

Cheating Hearts

Julia (Erika Christensen) likes talking to Sustainable Dad Ed (David Denman) too, too much. We even see her listen to his voicemail twice, smiling, always a dead giveaway of infatuation. She makes a mad dash for her husband Joel (Sam Jaeger), showing up at his office half naked under a heavy coat, to save her marriage and redirect her inappropriate thoughts.

Julia, thinking about doing her taxes, and Ed.

Julia, thinking about doing her taxes, and Ed.

Joel rallies, throws the work aside and gets down to business on his drafting table. It’s not as hot as it should be though, which scares Julia even more. She’s a by the book kind of gal, a rule follower, like the number one rule of marriage which is do not fuck other people, particularly playmates’ fathers.

Back in her non-sexed up life Julia is ready to snap, freaking out at the kids over the little stuff and totally sweating all the big stuff. So she calls Joel, who is too busy to talk to Julia about her impending nervous breakdown/mid-life crisis. And immediately Ed comes to the rescue, making her laugh via text photo. Uh-oh.

After a few tearful breakdowns, Julia turns to Ed, to which Ed makes a vaguely lecherous move over the phone. And that is the official start of something.

Shutter to Think

Max (Max Burkholder) and Hank (Ray Romano) are still chumming around together at the photography business, keeping the uncomfortable chatter to a minimum. But then Max finds a photo of his Aunt Sarah (Lauren Graham) in a drawer and quickly wonders aloud if maybe Hank, who fits the profile, is a serial killer who is going to chop off Sarah’s limbs and have tea parties with her torso.

Parenthood Recap: Uncomfortably Numb

Frustration ensues as Sarah’s ex-flame and ex-boss, cranky Hank, explains why his relationship with Max’s Aunt Sarah did not work: It’s because she’s flakey and they’ve both got baggage, or as he affectionately calls it “a suitcase of pain.” Awkward.

Max goes on to divulge all this at the Braverman family dinner. Not good. He also announces that he and Hank are best friends. Awkward. Soon after, Sarah attempts to talk to Hank about boundaries and Max’s TMI dinner conversation, to which Hank gets, you guessed it, cranky and threatens to shut out Max from his life.


Hank shows up at Sarah’s door with a change of heart on his sleeve. He will be Max’s best friend. And he will not keep creepy pictures of her in his drawers

That’s Amore

Camille (Bonnie Bedelia) is lining everything up so putzy partriarch Zeek (Craig T. Nelson) can take care of himself like a big boy while she is away in Italy. The family is thrilled that she is able to jet set, but they are shocked to find out that Zeek isn’t making the trek, which of course they blame on their father being stubborn, which is usually the case.

The adult kids mull over their mom and dad’s sitch. Julia takes Camille’s side. “Dad can damnwell deal with it and so can you,” she says, projecting her own problems and swiftly excusing herself to grab some sugar.

Later, when Julia takes her mother a suitcase for her trip, Camille tells her that going to Italy is about remembering that she is a separate person in the marriage. She has lost herself in the relationship and is determined to find herself in Italy with pizza and a paintbrush

Adam visits Zeek with his Concerned Face on. “Maybe you need to think of what mom wants for a change,” he says, to which Zeek tells him to stuff it and divulges their marital problems.

Adam gets it. Except he wants his father to suck it up and go to Italy. “I’ll tell you the real reason I am not going to Italy,” Zeek says talk-shouting. “I was not invited.”

Arrivederci Zeek.

Arrivederci Zeek.

Next we see Camille leaving for Italy. Zeek nearly immediately sets off the house alarm and can’t remember the code, which sadly, is his anniversary.

Ooh, awkward. Tune in next week for more family-style discomfort.

TV Show: Parenthood

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