Parenthood Recap: They're Still Here
Parenthood and the Bravermans are going into next week’s season finale head on. To recap, happenings of late include Julia rebounding with Max’s teacher, Mr. Knight, and not with Ed the homewrecker. Plans are moving forward for the charter school Kristina and Adam are trying to open for high-functioning special needs students like their son Max.
Hank and Sarah’s relationship continues to evolve. Crosby and Jasmine are getting closer to moving back to a spore-free home as the toxic moldiness is killed. And Camille and Zeek found the house of their dreams for their golden years.
The charter school crew made up of Adam (Peter Krause), Kristina (Monica Potter), Julia (Erika Christensen) and Mr. Knight (Zachary Knighton), tours a building while looking for a home for their dream school. We will now call Mr. Knight by his first name, Evan, because Julia totally got naked with him last week after the album release party at the Luncheonette. So, as you can imagine, he and Julia have their own awkwardness going on, which Kristina and Adam have no clue about.
They volley around some ideas for the name of the school. Evan suggests the Braverman School, but Adam immediately nixes it because it would go to Max’s head and he would go around telling everyone that the school is named after him. Aspies aren’t usually very humble.
Julia confides in Sarah (Lauren Graham), who is a little shocked but supportive. When they realize there is a pattern emerging of Adam’s siblings sleeping with Max’s teachers, we, too, remember the ol’ Crosby sleeping with Max’s tutor thing and breaking up his marriage temporarily.
“It’s their fault,” Sarah tells her holding back her laughter. “They should not hire such attractive people.” True.
Julia being a Braverman, she of course shows up at Evan’s front door unannounced to tell him that they can’t have sex again. “I don’t want you to feel like I was taking advantage of you,” she says, eliciting laughs from Evan who isn’t feeling as slutty as Julia about the sitch. They agree not to tell Adam and Kristina. And she gives him a good ol’ one arm embrace to seal the deal, and then leaves. Smooth.
Kristina swallows her pride and goes to see Mayor Bob (Jonathan Tucker), her old rival, to ask for help getting the building she wants for the charter school. She busts his balls, but manages to convince him by telling him it’s a chance to make himself look good.
“Just do it because it’s the right thing to do,” she says before leaving. “It’s really that simple.
Fungus Among Us
Crosby (Dax Shepard) is screwed. Joel (Sam Jaeger) goes over to talk to Cros about his construction-related problems, which turns into him trying to get Joel to fix his house for him because he does not have man hands. Joel complains to Peet (Sonya Walger), his sexy architect boss who Julia was sure wanted to get naked with her husband, because she totally did want to get naked with her husband. Peet’s advice is to just go grab his tools and get it over with because he’s going to do it anyway.
“Because you’re a family man,” Peet tells him. “Because it’s what matters to you. It’s probably why you haven’t responded to me. God knows I’ve give you enough signals.” To which Joel is visibly stunned into awkwardness. Julia was so right about this one.
Joel shows up again to save Crosby from himself. “Just the way you’re holding that saw offends me,” he says, only half-joking. Crosby is not the handiest Braverman, the point driven home as he collapses into Joel’s arm, drenched in sweat and despair.
Later, over a beer, Crosby updates Joel on the Bravermans—the familial house selling, the school in progress, etcetera. Joel explains the limbo he’s in. “I visit my old life, and I get these little pieces,” he says, “but, yeah, I don’t recommend it.” Us neither.
Joel turns up unannounced to talk to Julia. He’s obviously getting a bit nostalgic and finally softening a bit. They don’t say much, but plenty transpires.
Drew (Miles Heizer) and Natalie (Lyndon Smith) continue to flounder around the dorms, sniffing around each other and making snide comments because she slept with Berto, Drew’s roommate, after his ex-girlfriend showed up and didn’t leave.
They finally talk honestly. Natalie admits she was hurt when Amy showed up and all of a sudden her keeping-things-loose fuckbuddy wasn’t keeping anything down the hall loose anymore. He disappeared, and she suddenly realized she was more attached to him than she realized.
“So I was pissed, and I went and slept with your stupid roommate,” Natalie says. “But it was never about Berto, it was always about you. And I wish I had never done it.”
“OK,” Drew says. But it’s totally not OK. She asks if he wants to meet up with her later at the weird screamfest college thing kids do after finals called Primal Scream. Nope. He’s not interested. Buh-bye.
Drew caves and meets up with Natalie that night at the football field seconds before the big scream. So they exorcise their lungs, and then Drew spills his guts. “I don’t want to just be friends,” he says in his cute sincereness. “I don’t want to sleep around. I want you to be my girlfriend.”
She says yes. Now everybody screeeeeaaaammm!
Hank You Very Much
Hank (Ray Romano) awkwardly asks Sarah if she wants to talk about the outpouring of feelings from their previous meeting when Hank told her that he cares about her as more than a friend still. Clearly Sarah is slowly becoming smitten once again because of his personal growth and commitment of late.
Sarah confides in Adam about Hank uncharacteristically professing his feels. “I can’t promise you that the guy can love you the way you want to be loved, but I’ve got to root for him,” Adam says, based on Hank’s dedication to Max. He’s also cheering for Hank because he wants to believe that Max has a chance at a normal life, too.
Amber (Mae Whitman) drops off Max (Max Burkholder) at Hank’s studios. As she leaves, she gets a phone call and collapses on the pavement outside. Her former fiancé, Ryan (Matt Lauria), who left her and re-enlisted in the marines, was in an accident and is in San Diego having emergency surgery. Hank offers to drive her, again showing he is capable of empathy.
Back in the waiting room, Hank and Amber sleep uncomfortably in wooden chairs. Amber finally gets to see Ryan. “You’re here,” are his first words from his hospital bed, post-surgery when he sees Amber walk in the room. Tears all around.
Kristina gets the call that her friend Gwen (Rose Abdoo), her chemo confidant, is fading fast. It was Gwen who helped push Kristina to start carpe dieming her ass off after beating cancer, pushing her to run for mayor and then to open the school. She always had wise words for her friend. Sadly, Gwen is done seizing her days.
Kristina is a blubbering mess, trying to talk to Gwen during her final visit about the school instead of about cancer, dying or any other such ugliness. But then she caves.
“I want to thank you,” she tells her, struggling to let her go. “I love you.” Fuck cancer.
Gwen dies. “Was she scared?” Kristina says, grieving aloud to Adam later. “Did she feel alone? And I am still here. I am allowed to hold the kids, I’m allowed to be a mom, a wife, a sister, a daughter. Why do I get to be here and she doesn’t? It’s not right, and I’m mad. I’m mad.”
Kristina frets about opening a parting gift from Gwen, one Gwen’s sister brought by after her passing. Along with a small oak tree seedling to plant at the new school is a check to add to the school’s fund. “I guess we’ve got the name of our new school,” she says. Kristina isn’t the only one Gwen Chambers gets to school.
Tune in next Thursday, April 17, 10 p.m. on NBC for the “Parenthood” season finale.