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REVIEW: Parenthood “Just Go Home” S2 E15

13 Feb

Two HUGE, blow out fights and one very calm resolution and you have “Just Go Home”, this week’s Parenthood episode.  This show is really starting to hit its stride.  I still think they forget about Joel and Julia way too much but I’ll talk more about that in a different post.  At first I was a little disappointed in how quickly and easily the Haddie/Alex storyline wrapped up but upon further review after re-watching the episode, it was fine and completely appropriate.  I’m also thrilled with how it wrapped up.   I was thrilled to see Sarah, Amber, and Drew take front and center again and it was nice to see Lauren Graham showcasing her talents.   Also we get the introduction of John Corbett as dead-beat dad Seth.  But the storyline of the episode revolved around Crosby and Jasmine.  It was storyline I bet some people didn’t even realize was being built because many times writers have more isolated couple issues and then they get dropped.  What happened between Crosby and Jasmine has really been building all year and had one of the best fight scenes I have ever seen on TV.   My husband and I both found ourselves on different sides of who was right in this situation and it may surprise who I backed and who he supported.   Let’s break it down:

Haddie/Alex/Kristina/Adam

Let’s get the boring out-of-the-way shall we?   Kristina and Adam miss Haddie and Haddie misses her parents.  But both are so stubborn, no one is budging.  Camille has trying to be Switzerland between these two sides for over a week now but she finally opens Haddie’s eyes to some very obvious information that has been staring her in the face.   You aren’t living with your parents because they won’t let you see Alex.  But Alex won’t see her unless her parents approve it.   So why exactly is she living with her grandparents?  Haddie finally realizes this too and while Kristina, Adam, and Max are having dinner, she comes home, luggage in tow, and asks what’s for dinner.  It’s a really nice scene because Kristina and Adam really want to burst with excitement but contain themselves and they enjoy dinner as if nothing ever happened.  If that was how this wrapped up, I would have been pissed.   But it wasn’t.  They sat down and had a conversation with Haddie about Alex.   It was the conversation they should have originally had with her before all this craziness started.  It was like they were channeling one of my earlier posts because they laid out the same exact scenario I suggested…grades must stay up, she has a strict curfew, she is not permitted to hang out at his apartment, they will know where they are at all times and have approved date locations.   Sounds perfectly reasonable to me.  And Haddie agrees with them 100% and gives them the biggest hug she can manage.   Later, Alex is in the park shooting some hoops when Haddie shows up, along with Max, Kristina, and Adam in their warm-ups ready to play ball.  Adam walks over and shakes his hand and Kristina hugs him.  Then a 3 on 2 game breaks out.  It was a great scene.

I was slightly surprised, especially after last week’s episode, that Kristina would go for this.  She spent the whole episode last week talking about how her gut was telling her what a bad idea this is and she knows it isn’t right.  She is crying her eyes out because of what happened to her mother and doesn’t want to see her daughter go down the wrong path.  Now, what could be a day or two later, she’s okay with them dating?   It doesn’t make sense.  I still think it’s the right thing to do and should have been what they did from the beginning.  But how did she go from being so dead set against this to being on board?  If there was a conversation with Adam about it, I wish we would have seen it because I thought it undermined the character.  In any event, I’m glad Haddie is back home and reasonable compromise was made in regards to the Alex situation.

Sarah/Amber/Drew/Seth

Looks like the sheer mention of daddy Seth’s name sends the Holt family into utter chaos!  Amber and Drew are fighting and they are really getting into about their father.  Drew tells her how he went to see him and that he was invited to his dad’s gig and he’s going to go.  Amber is floored by this and thinks it’s a bad idea.  She asks if he told mom and when he says no, she threatens to tell Sarah herself if he doesn’t.  A couple of things with this fight.  Amber has mentioned several times how she remembers what it was like with their dad but he has no idea.  She can’t be more than 2 years older than him right?  And it’s possible she is only a year older than him.  So how is it she can remember so much about how bad it was but he can’t?  I don’t know if I follow that.  But they have written her that way since the beginning so I believe she remembers how bad it was.  I’m just not so sure Drew doesn’t.  I just think he’s a boy desperate for a relationship with his father who is apparently a lot more ready to forgive him than the Holt women.  The other thing that surprised me a little was how ready Amber was to throw Drew under the bus to Sarah.  I know Amber has done a huge amount of growing over the past year, which has been wonderful to see, but is she that far removed from when she was moving in with Damian that she forgets what rebellion looks like?  And as Drew reminded her, look at all the times he covered for her.   She couldn’t return the favor?  I know she is playing the protective older sister but I was a little shocked she would so easily want to blow his cover.  Now, I do think Drew was wrong for not wanting to tell Sarah and if you are so afraid to tell your mom the truth, you should know something is wrong with what you want to do.  All this is for naught because Sarah finally hears the fight and comes up to investigate.  They both pull the “nothings wrong” card and thank God she doesn’t buy it.  Amber looks like she is about to cry and asks Drew if there is something he’d like to tell mom.  He’s pissed at her for that and now Sarah is freaking out that something is wrong.  Drew eventually tells her that he saw Seth and he was invited to his concert and that he is going whether she likes it or not.  Well that was uncalled for, I think.  Zeek is also hanging around listening to this whole thing and I blame him for part of this but I’ll get to that in a minute.  Sarah is livid that Drew went to see Seth without her knowledge and explains to him, rather vociferously, that he is not to see his father until Sarah has seen him to make sure he is in a condition with which it is appropriate to spend time with their children.  There is much shouting and finger-pointing back and forth and it ends with Sarah telling Drew he is not to go to the concert and storming off to see Seth to objurgate him for not telling her he was in town and for seeing the kids without her permission.

I don’t blame Sarah one bit for being angry about this.  You can tell all the different emotions she was feeling in that argument…betrayal, fear, anger, sadness.  I think most of her ire was due to the fact that Seth was with Drew without her knowing and maybe slightly, the fact that he didn’t call her to tell her he was in town.  Well Sarah isn’t messing around and she goes to see Seth right away.  When Seth sees Sarah, he looks pleased to see her and a little surprised.  Sarah looks like she is seeing her high school crush all over again for the first time but you can see her compose herself and do what she came there to do…which was drill him about his intentions.  When he offers her something to drink, she asks if it’s vodka.  He starts to laugh but she isn’t laughing at all!  He denies it and she asks about anything else.  He tells her he’s been clean for  several months.  There are some very awkward moments between them and you can see all the confusion on Sarah’s face.  As she told her dad, this was the love of her life therefore this must be brutal for her.   There’s probably a part of her that wants to throw him on the bed and have her way with him but then the other part of her wants to throw him out of the 2 story motel window for being so horrible to their children and to her.  He ruined their lives.  He seems sorry and sincerely heartbroken about what he did but I’m still not buying it yet.  He explains to her that Drew called him and came to see him and he thought it was alright with her.  But now that he sees that wasn’t the case he tells her no more behind the back stuff and will be honest.  He has invited Drew to see him play and he would like to see him.   She tells she has to think about it and as she walks out the door, she warns him, hurt them again and I will kill you.  It is so nice to see Lauren Graham back in action!!!  After thinking about it, she lets both Amber and Drew go but she stays behind.   They go to see the show and Drew wants to stay but Amber wants to get out of there as fast as she can.  She still hasn’t forgiven her father for what he did to all of them.   They get home and thank their mom for letting them go and head to bed.

I’m not sure where this storyline is going, but I hope whatever direction it goes in, it gives Sarah the opportunity to do something in her life for her.  It sounds like the Seth years weren’t so great and everything she has been doing up until this point, have been for Drew and Amber.  But I can only imagine how upset she is that she has to live with her parents at this stage in her life and I’m sure she would like to make a career for herself and life for herself so she can finally get some much-needed (and deserved) happiness.  If she gets that with Seth, great.  If she doesn’t, I don’t want to see them put her down a destructive path with him.  Although it would be interesting, I think she’s been through enough already, even if most of it was off camera before we met them!   As for Zeek’s involvement in all this, I don’t think he was wrong to encourage Drew to have a relationship with his father, but he should have let Sarah know about his advice to him.   That way, Sarah could have talked to Drew and Seth about it and avoid this situation entirely.  Actually, knowing what Seth is (a drug addict) and knowing what he put his daughter and grandchildren through, he should have checked with Sarah before giving Drew any advice at all and let Sarah decide how it should be handled.  I appreciate what Zeek was trying to do but he is part of the reason things went down the way that they did and he should have been more open with Sarah since they are her children.

Crosby and Jasmine

Sweet Mother in Heaven.  Now THAT was a fight and it was coming for a long time now!  The funny thing is after that fight, I was on Crosby’s side and my husband was on Jasmine’s…ha!  Now, my husband hasn’t watched every episode of Parenthood so he hasn’t seen Jasmine in all of her controlling beauty but his point is valid that based solely on what he say, Crosby was wrong.   I think the only thing Crosby was wrong about was his timing and the way he did this, but I certainly understand it.

While unloading the dishwasher, Crosby suggested they load it a different way and Jasmine said no her way was better.  I think Crosby was trying to bait Jasmine here because he wanted to fight about this.  Earlier in the episode, they had to go to couples counseling with the reverend who is going to marry them because her mom thought they should.  Any of you who are Catholic would recognize this as your interview with your priest mingled with a little Pre-Cana.  The reverend asked them how they view their marriage in 5 years and Jasmine knew exactly what she wanted.  Crosby, being slightly overwhelmed, had no idea, he just knew the future involved him, Jasmine and Jabar.  Jasmine wasn’t too happy.   Then later on, her mom was over and they were making wedding plans.  Turns out Jasmine and her mom, changed the date of the wedding, changed the reception from Zeek and Camille’s to another location, and adding over 100 more guests.  When Crosby questioned some of these changes, Jasmine blew him off (as usual) and told him not to worry about it because she and her mom have it under control.  Fast forward to the dishwasher scene.  You can see how Crosby was ready to snap.  And he did.

“I can’t marry someone who doesn’t let me make any decisions.”  Wow, that’s one way to start this.  Probably a little harsh since she didn’t see this coming so I can see why she would be so taken aback.  He starts listing all the things she is “controlling” with…unfortunately none of the things he lists with the exception of the wedding, are that big of a deal and forgot some of the HUGE things like how she is when it comes to raising Jabar.  Jasmine takes a step back and tells him she isn’t sure how to respond while he apologizes for how it came out.  She takes off her ring and asks if he wants it back.  He of course says no and she freaks out.  They get into a huge screaming match and she keeps referring back to the dishwasher and Crosby keeps trying to tell her that it isn’t about the dishwasher.  He feels like he is getting lost and that none of his ideas matter and that it is her way or the highway.  She starts to stick up for herself by saying that if she didn’t take the lead on things and step up, nothing would get done.  What he calls controlling is her being responsible.  He then reminds her that she didn’t find him in a ditch and that he was able to live a responsible, productive life before he met her.  He tells her that she has no idea how to compromise at all.  Then he brings up the exercise from earlier and asks when she was going to tell him about wanting 3 more kids.   Was she just going to drop them on his step like she did Jabar?   Now wait a minute.   You can be pissed but that was a low blow.  It was 100% true, but a low blow.  And he knew it and apologized right away but it was too late.  The screaming continues and finally Crosby decides her can’t talk to her anymore and goes to leave.  As he walks out the door, she turns and breaks down into tears.  Show of hands, how many of you have had fights like this??  It was an amazing scene because it was so realistic.  You have something on your mind, you don’t talk about it and let it fester, and then it explodes all over the place and the next thing you know, you have no idea what just happened.  By the way, did anyone else notice the camera constantly showing Jasmine’s left hand?  What was that about?  I know she took her ring off to give it back to him but I’m not sure why the camera kept flashing to her hand.

Let’s break this fight down a bit.  I felt bad for Jasmine because she had no idea this was coming.  And I’m sure like most people, when you get attacked like that, your first instinct is to defend yourself and attack back.  Crosby ambushed her and really didn’t articulate his point well at all.  When you start off a conversation with “I can’t marry someone who…” it doesn’t matter what you say after that because all that person heard was you don’t want to marry them anymore.  So it was a doomed discussion from the start.  On the other hand, it was about time Crosby told her how she was behaving.  But like I said before, he missed the boat by using things like the groceries and the toilet paper to argue his point.  What about when she made the executive decision on who Jabar would live with when she went to Europe for work?   What about when she undermined Crosby’s authority with Jabar when he didn’t want to do the play, Crosby thought he should, and she said Jabar didn’t have to.  Those were some of the issues he should have brought to light.  No wonder she was so confused about why he was so angry.  How could anyone get that upset over groceries!   But it wasn’t about the groceries.  It was about everything always having to be Jasmine’s way or by extension, her mother’s way.  It isn’t fair to Crosby and he has a right as her partner and Jabar’s father to have a say. I’ve said this before.  Jasmine is still raising Jabar like she is a single mom.  She isn’t a single mom anymore and not only is she with someone, she’s with Jabar’s father.  Crosby has made many concessions and has deferred to Jasmine’s judgement early on until he got his feet wet with the whole parenting thing.  Not only are his feet wet, but he’s in the deep end of the pool now and it’s time for Jasmine to let go of the life raft.

I was so glad this happened because I really think it was a long time coming.  But I really wish Crosby would have handled it differently.  If he would have calmly talked to Jasmine about what was bothering him, he may have gotten a different response from her.  He may not have, but it still would have been a better approach.  But I can be a big girl and admit that I have been there.  I have not said anything about something that was bothering me and let it fester to the point where I blow up over something that isn’t really the focus of my anger and confuse the hell out of my husband.   That’s why he sided with Jasmine….ha!!!  But as a selfish TV viewer, they way this went down was SOOOOOOOO much better than the “right” way.   That scene was just awesome to witness.   But where do you go after something like that?  If it helps them both grow and change as a result, perfect.  If not, then maybe they shouldn’t be together after all.

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Posted by on February 13, 2011 in NBC, Recaps and Reviews

 

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