Your Weekly Badass Braverman Parenthood Recap
There are a few plotlines expanding in this episode, but by far our favorite moments were with Zeek (Craig T. Nelson). The episode opens with the Braverman patriarch in all his faux-bachelor glory, eating ice cream out of the container between cigar drags on the front porch as he fetches his morning newspaper wearing mandals, boxers and a bathrobe.
He then waves hello at a jogging neighbor as he pees in the bushes. Women always think married men left to their own devices will have sex with loose women and drink excessively, but this is probably closer to the truth.
In other Braverman news, Crosby (Dax Shepard) is terrified that his son Jabbar (Tyree Brown) is gay, solely based on him wanting to take a ballet class with his mother. Nothing will bust out a liberal man’s inner homophobe like his only son developing an appreciation for tights.
Big bro Adam (Peter Krause) tries to paint the picture in a different light, cheekily pointing out the ratio in Jabbar’s favor of being the only boy in a class with all girls. “I’m not concerned about whether or not my 10-year-old is going to get laid,” Crosby says.
But isn’t he? Crosby certainly seems concerned that the fruit of his loins won’t be getting laid by girls one day.
And then all that worry about his son becoming someone’s stylist melts away as soon as he sees Jabbar in ballet class. His frown turns upside down and is replaced by a big proud papa smile and we totally forgive him.
Manchild Carl (Josh Stamberg) invites Sarah (Laruren Graham) to a party at his place, to which Sarah declines because she will be way too busy smothering her father with potato salad and complaining about watching football. He tells her that even if she doesn’t go to his party, she should go to “a” party because “a woman like you should be out on Saturday night.” We’re liking Sexy Carl more and more.
Zeek pretty much pushes her out the door to get a life. Sarah womans up and goes to the grownup cocktail party wearing a dress. She has polite conversation and actually enjoys herself and it didn’t hurt a bit.
Julia (Erika Christensen) and Joel (Sam Jaeger) get a message from the principal at Sydney (Savannah Paige Ray) and Victor’s (Xolo Mariduena) school that he would like to meet with them, and Julia immediately starts freaking out because that is what she excels at.
Julia corners Victor’s teacher to get a preview of what the meeting will entail. “I can’t sleep,” Julia yells out as the teacher walks away. And then the teacher lets her know that, yes, they want to hold Victor back. Julia’s voice cracks and she tears up more than is really necessary.
Ed (David Denman) walks in with a huge squash for her, which is not a euphemism. He reaches out and gives her the big hug. The embrace lasts a little too long. She takes off to find Joel, and Ed is left scratching his head alone.
Not unexpectedly, things don’t go so well with Joel. He’s pissed that she couldn’t wait to have that conversation when he would be there, like usual. Joel comes up with the plan to tell the principal to go screw himself.
Joel proposes putting Victor in private school even though they can’t afford it, which brings up the hot button issue of Julia quitting her fancy lawyer job. “All these decision you are making are bad decisions,” Joel says. “You are not helping here.”
Julia tells Joel that the kids are picking up on the tension and that Sydney’s asking about the fighting. “We’ll just have to do a better job,” Joel says. He tells her that he will be there for his son, which we’re not sure what means, but we do know the score: Ed 1, Joel 0.
Amber’s (Mae Whitman) gargantuan engagement ring continues to be a source of troubling sighs and deep stares into the ether. The enormity of the gesture just doesn’t suit this little indy rock gal who lives in a shit-fab apartment.
Kristina (Monica Potter) sees the ring and Amber can’t quite get hip with her aunt’s gushing, explaining that she is uncomfortable that her ring is bigger than anyone else’s in the family when she has peeling paint in her kitchen.
Kristina advises she talk to Ryan (Matt Lauria) about her feelings. “Are you sure it’s just about the ring?” To which Amber gives an unconvincing “yes.”
Amber is fiddling with her ring as she and Ryan leave a movie theater, and that brings up The Talk. “I can’t stop thinking about how much money it was,” she tells him. But he wants her to have it because he loooooves her so much.
“But it’s our money now,” Amber tells him, and she wants a say in what they spend it on. He seems a bit jumpy when she suggests returning it, which obviously he probably can’t do because of some devious thing he did. Next we see them, he’s coming back from returning the ring and is brooding a bit. That oughta do it.
But the big developing intrigue centers on the Kristine Braverman for Mayor plotline. Bob Little (Jonathan Tucker), Kristine’s former boss and now rival, is stooping low. Just as the race heats up with Kristina inching in on the polls, all heck breaks out on the family’s front porch as the local press hounds Adam as he returns from his morning jog.
Remember that time when Adam punched some asshole in the supermarket after he called Max (Max Burkholder) a retard? Well Bob remembered, and he didn’t miss the chance to Go There, painting a picture of Adam as a crazy person who resorts to fisticuffs over baguettes. This we will point out takes balls.
We all know Bob sexually harassed the shit out of innocent little Amber who was all of 19 at the time and working as his assistant. But he knows Kristina, virtuous Kristina, will not drag her niece through the dirt to square up.
Sure, Kristina is mad as hell, but she remains determined not to stoop to Stupid Bob’s level. But she does storm into Stupid Bob’s office. “There are some things that I could share about you…” she dangles.
Stupid Bob smugly tells her he knows she won’t do it. Which is mostly true. But remember how she wasn’t going to talk about Max’s Asperger’s at the mayoral election debate, and then she totally did. So we sorta see what’s comin’ here.
Kristina lets Amber in on the sitch, and Amber is ready to roll. “There is no way we can let him get away with this,” Amber says. She’s even up for the media harassing her she feels that strongly about getting even with Stupid Bob.
They pinky promise that Kristina will at least think about it, but we get the feeling Amber isn’t really thinking how that would play out for her, even though she’s a tough snickerdoodle who can probably totally take it
Then Heather (Jurnee Smollett-Bell) shows Adam and Kristina a picture of them cheering at a kids’ soccer game published on some gossipy political website—we loathe those—used to make it look like they are indeed red-eyed, out of control people punchers. Adam brings up fighting back and Heather bites, immediately sniffing out that there is a skeleton in Stupid Bob’s closet aching to be dragged out in the press.
And then Kristina starts preparing to drop the F-my-niece bomb on her front porch in front of reporters. And one of them is real-life reporter, KTLA’s handsome Emmett Miller. Kristina explains that the man called her son a retard. And she points out that intolerance like that of the little bitch who got his ass kicked is one of the reasons she is running for mayor.
“What do you think of Bob Little’s tactics in this campaign?” Emmett, playing Emmett, asks, to which Kristina has no comment. She’s still not going there, because she’s Kristina.
Kristina gets positive reinforcement from the public. And she and Adam feel proud that they didn’t go for the jugular. And Adam feels awesome for being portrayed in the press as a badass.
And then Heather texts that Kristina’s dropped four points again in the polls, which puts leaves her trailing by six. “You can win this thing,” Adam tells her being all supportive and cute.
But can she afford to continue to travel the high road? Prolly not. And besides, she’s been known to exorcise her inner badass when push comes to love for her family.
The Bravermans are back next Thursday, Nov. 21, 10 p.m. on NBC. It’s go time for Kristina: election day. Amber confronts Ryan about whether he’s taking pills again and he says no he isn’t, but then erupts and beats the crap out of someone to show how in control he is. And Julia and Joel fight in front of Peet.