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RECAP & REVIEW: Parenthood S2 E18-21

20 Apr

I am BRUTALLY behind on recapping Parenthood.  Possibly because I was BRUTALLY behind on watching it.  I was finally able to catch up this weekend.  I recommend to anyone who watches this show and if there are any of you out there who cry as much (or as easily) as I do, DO NOT watch 4 Parenthood episodes back to back to back to back.  I had a migraine for the rest of the weekend!   There is a lot to cover and I wanted to catch up before the season finale tomorrow night so I will make this as quick and painless as I can!

Crosby/Jasmine

I have made my thoughts pretty clear that I can’t stand Jasmine any more.  I also don’t think she and Crosby should be together.  In all honesty, I’m not sure why Crosby is pushing this so hard.  They weren’t that happy leading up to the break up and there have been many times that Crosby has had issues with Jasmine’s parenting philosophies.  So why is he buying a house and doing all these things when she has made it very clear that they are over?   And why is he pushing so hard?   She can still be in your life….as a Jabar’s mom and as a friend.  But you don’t have to be with her.   I mean I HATED what she did with Jabar and his school project.  The project was supposed to be about his family so Jabar was putting pictures of himself, Jasmine and Crosby.  Of course this bothered Jasmine and she wanted to have included pictures of things that were special to just her and Jabar.  No Crosby.  How selfish can you be?    Suck it up.  This is a school project for your son about his family.   His ENTIRE family.   And this has been the problem with Jasmine the whole time.  She still treats the parenting situation with Jabar like she is a single parent and she isn’t.  He has a father who is very involved in his life and she wants to completely ignore or push back on that.  I hate that.  And I really dislike her for it.

Speaking of annoying, there are times where Crosby can be really bothersome and I can understand where Adam wants to throw him through a wall sometimes.  Crosby makes bad decisions and then puts on the puppy dog eyes and expects everyone in his family to drop everything and support him even when he is being a douche.  And then whines like a 5 year if no one supports him.  Like this house thing.  Everyone needed to be at this house (if you can call it that.)  He also wants Joel’s help in fixing it since he is a contractor.   That makes perfect sense.  But he is being so particular and Joel is very politely trying to explain to him that while he is trying to create this house to Jasmine’s exact specifications of what she would want, he may not have the money to support that dream and what if he does all this and she still says no?   I can understand Joel giving Crosby a break on things with this remodel but Crosby is making plans based off a budget he doesn’t have and a finance who doesn’t want him.  It’s ridiculous.   I think it’s in both Jasmine and Crosby’s best interest to move on and find other people.  Because they certainly don’t bring out the best in each other.

The best part about this whole thing with the house was that it brought Adam and Crosby back together.  I had no problem with Adam being mad and Crosby for what he did and Crosby certainly deserved it.  But I also agreed with Sarah that at some point, you have to forgive and move on.  He’s his brother and they need to find a way to work it out.  Luckily, they did.

Joel/Julia

Finally these two are given some real material to use.   J&J have been trying to get pregnant for a few months now and it isn’t working.  So Joel goes to get tested and it is stinking hilarious!!!!   He calls Julia from the “deposit” room and he is having a hard time getting things to work properly so he can do his thing.  Like how nicely I phrased that?   So Julia offers to give him phone sex so he can do his business.   But when he is ready, she gets ready to start and realizes she can’t so she tells him “good luck” and hangs up on him.   I loved it!!!!

Unfortunately, it was not all laughs and jokes.  After Joel is found to be fine, Julia decides to get tested and news isn’t as good.  She has so much scarring that she won’t be able to get pregnant again and both break down and cry.  It was such a sweet and personal moment for them I almost felt like I was intruding while watching the scene.   Julia tries to put on a brave face for everyone and, as is typical in many situations like this, is more concerned about making sure no one else is weird about the news and making sure they are ok.    But her breaking point came when her parents came to visit.   Julia was with Sydney and you could tell that since she realizes she is only going to have Syd, that she is pushing really hard to have Julia and Sydney time/events that are going to be just for them.   But Syd starts to question, like a normal kid, why her mom is always wanting to institute all this Julia/Sydney time and activities.  So Sydney says no to having her mom teach her how to play golf and that they have enough stuff to do together.  This hurts Julia and she walks into the kitchen.  Camille follows (after Joel presumably tells them what is going on) and she kindly touches her daughter on the shoulder and Julia just loses it.  She completely breaks down in her mother’s arms and cries like a little girl who just lost her best friend.   My heart broke for her.

Adam/Kristina/the kids

Lots going here as usual.  First, Max finally finds out he has Aspbergers and Adam and Kristina have to explain to him what that means.  I think overall, it was harder on the parents than it was on Max but it was really nice they talked as a family and now maybe they can work a little differently with Max now that he is aware what his challenges may be.   They get very concerned though when they get called into Max’s school.  They think that maybe he’s acting out now that he knows but that isn’t the case at all.  They wanted to see A&K because Max is doing so well is school academically, that they worry he may not be challenged enough and will need to find another school to challenge him.   This is both amazing news and scary news.  Adam wants to mainstream Max while Kristina wants to keep him at the school he is at.  She is so afraid of how mainstream kids will treat Max and is worried that all his social progress will go backwards.  Adam thinks he’ll be fine and for the sake of his academic career, they should try it.  I can completely understand how this situation would be so tough.   On one hand, you want your child to flourish academically.  But on the other hand, he is getting to the age where kids a brutally cruel and you want to protect your child any way that you can.  But you know what, ANY kid will have that struggle and at some point, you have to let them go and give new opportunities a try to see how he can handle it.   Ironically, the one person who was able to help Kristina realize this was Gabby.   They bumped into each other (at Kristina’s BFF’s house) and as a result, Gabby came to see her.   They talked and Gabby told her that Max is much stronger socially now and that she thought it was a great idea for him.   They hugged and Kristina also forgave Gabby for what happened.   Kristina really is awesome.  She’s just a wonderful person and mom and I have so much respect for her.   Jasmine could learn some things from her!!!!    Eventually Kristina agrees with Adam and they decide to mainstream Max.   Yeah!!!!

Things are also going well for Haddie and Alex…that is until Prom Night!!!   A&K seem to have settled in on Haddie’s relationship with Alex, that is until Adam remembered how prom night worked.  Adam was freaking out over Haddie’s prom.   Now to some degree I understand this.   He reminded us about his prom night and his thoughts were all about getting his date’s dress off…nice.   He is worried this is how it is going to be for Haddie.  I get that but he went a little over the top in my opinion.  He looked miserable the day/night of prom.  He kept standing in a corner glaring at Alex and Haddie.  How awful.  It’s your daughter’s prom.  At some point, you have to hope that you raised her right and allow her to go out and make her own decisions.    I also have to wonder if A&K’s constant worry about this leading to Kristina asking Haddie about having sex Alex didn’t lead her right to it.  You know what they say?   When you try so hard to prevent something from happening, you just might be the person that causes it to happen.  Did that happen here?  Could the idea not have even been in Haddie’s head and because her parents asked her about it and were weird with her about, Haddie started thinking about it?  I don’t know.  I would think as a teenager, the thought was already there.  But who knows.  So guess what happened?  That’s right.  Haddie and Alex had sex on prom night!

The worst part of this whole thing though was that not only did Haddie get found out but the WAY in which A&K found out was both horrifying and hysterical at the same time.  Basically, Haddie butt dialed her parents while having sex with Alex and they could both hear her having sex through their car’s bluetooth connection.  Oh.  My.  God.  That has to be a parents 2nd most horrific way of finding out your child is having sex (the first being walking in on them.)  But I give Kristina a whole lot of credit for how she handled this.  She confronted Haddie and Haddie lied through her teeth.  Kristina never told her what she heard.  Eventually, Haddie came to her mom and told her the truth.  Again, one of the best facial actors in TV hit it out of the park.  You could see the devastation on her face yet her also trying to keep it together because she doesn’t want to freak Haddie out to the point that Haddie never tells her anything again.   She cries but pulls it together and has a nice conversation with her daughter.   And Haddie asked her how she knew, Kristina never told her as to not embarrass her but just said it was a parent’s intuition.  Great parenting!!!  I love Kristina.   Adam on the other hand didn’t take it so well and I can understand it.  He couldn’t look at Haddie or talk to her and he was really upset about it.  I don’t blame him.  Eventually Haddie goes to Kristina in tears that her dad is so upset with her and she doesn’t understand why he is acting like this towards her.   Really Haddie?   Your father just found out that his baby girl and only daughter just had sex for the first time at 17.  What do you expect him to do?   Throw you a “way to give it up” party?  He needs sometime to absorb this and you need to respect it and give him that space.   Are teenagers that self-absorbed or that stupid to not understand how their actions can devastate their parents and they aren’t always going to be happy with the decisions they make….especially decisions that can have life changing impacts?   Eventually things work out between in probably the sweetest moment those 2 have ever had.   He goes to pick her up from soccer and when he sees a cut on her arm, he gets the first aid kit and fixes it for her.   He then tells her, he doesn’t ever want to see her get hurt.  Guess who bursts into tears?   That would be me.  She finally gets it and they go have ice cream together.  Love it!

Sarah/Amber/Drew

Sarah has written a story.  After Seth left and reminded her how she was always the talent in the family, she began to write.  And write and write and write.  She ended up writing the first act of a play.  She has no idea if it’s any good so she goes to someone for an opinion she can trust…Mark Cyr (Jason Ritter.)   Is awful of me to pray that The Event gets canceled so I can see Jason Ritter back on Parenthood as Sarah’s other half?   I don’t think it’s a stretch since the Event isn’t doing so well but it’s still awful isn’t it?  I don’t care.  I want him back on Parenthood full-time!!!  You hear me Jason Katims!!!  Anyhoo, she brings it to Mark and leaves it with him to review while insane chemistry floats between them.   When he brings it back to her, she doesn’t let him get a word out and already debunks the work as horrible.  He finally gets her to stop talking long enough to tell her that it is really, really good.  But he tells her there is one catch.  It doesn’t read like a book.  It reads like a play. Sarah is stunned but excited at the time.  It is such a wonderful moment and I am so happy for Sarah because she is finally starting to find something that works for her and no one else.

So she continues to pursue this and Zeek (ugh) sets her up with a friend and former Broadway actor and director, Gilliam Blount (played by the remarkable Richard Dreyfuss.)  Blount likes the play and think it has huge potential.   So Blount and Sarah start to work together to see how they can make this play come to life.  It’s so great to see Sarah doing something so challenging and rewarding and apparently be very good at it.  While Adam, Crosby, and Julia all seem to have their careers completely intact and firmly heading in solid directions (although Adam’s company seems a little dicey) Sarah was always the one who didn’t really have a direction or path to go down.   But now she does and it’s so nice to see.  And it isn’t contrived or far-fetched.  It’s been mentioned several times about Sarah’s creativity and how she was the one who wrote all of the great music Seth and his band play that people respond to.  So it isn’t crazy that she would be a talented writer.     Blount is hard on her but it’s because he sees such potential in her that he is pushing her as hard as he can.  He tells her that while he understands that she has a family to support and children to raise, she also needs to devote her attention to this.  If she wants to pursue this seriously, she has to take it seriously and it needs to be a high priority in her life.   And we see her do this a few times even when Amber comes in to see her with this darkness surrounding her that Sarah is unaware of.   Sarah knows something is off but a few times put this ahead of other things.  And I believe she is 100% right for doing so.  Not only for her sake but because no matter how much she tried to help Amber, at this point, there was no helping her.  Which leads me to what is going on with Amber who has been on the back burner slightly as of late.

Amber is waiting to hear back from college and we learn she has only applied to 2 schools.   That seems a bit light but not unheard of.  The first school she hears back from, she did not get in.   She is slightly concerned since that was her safety school.  But Sarah tells her to keep her head up because Berkley should work out with her grades and SAT scores and her interview.  Eventually Amber gets a personal call from Carly Barow telling her that the letters are going out later in the week but that she didn’t get in to Berkley.  I thought it was classy of Carly to call Amber to tell her instead of letting her find out like everyone else.  Amber is now devastated and as a result heads on a completely downward spiral.  After prom she basically breaks down when she finds out that someone not nearly as smart as she is, got into Yale (due to Amber’s tutoring) and she loses it.  She leaves prom and when she gets home tells her mom that things are going to change.  She has done it her way and it didn’t work so she is not going to school or anything and she is going to live her life the way AMBER wants to live it.  What does that mean?  That means she is now going to regress back to being the Amber we first met when the show premiered.  Lots of smoking, drinking, and hanging out with the wrong people.  And boy does she destroy everything she has worked to hard to build.

She ruins her working relationship with Julia by getting stoned at worked, acting like a jerk, embarrassing Julia and then quitting.  She then starts hanging out with loser valet guy Gary, and starts drinking and getting high with him on a regular basis.  She is starting to have sex in Julia’s office when she remembers she has to meet her mom for dinner.   When she shows up, at first Sarah has no idea that her daughter is high.   But slowly she sees the signs.  After years of being married to someone with a substance abuse problem, she can tell that Amber is on something stronger than pot.  She is furious with her and storms out of the restaurant.  Drew and Sarah both confront her about her behavior and how she is not allowed to go out with Gary anymore.   They also go through her purse to check for more drugs and that sets her off on an almost manic temper tantrum.  She runs out the door to see Gary who has shown up to take her out and her mother is trying to prevent her from leaving with him.  Sarah grabs Amber and Amber turns around a forcefully pushes Sarah to the ground while calling her a crazy bitch.  She leaves with Gary and Sarah is uncontrollably crying with Drew trying to comfort her.

It’s hard to put into words how upsetting that scene was on so many levels.  To see Amber completely fall apart the way she did, after building such a beautiful relationship with her family and pulling herself together, was troubling to watch.   To see her talk to her mother and brother like that but especially Sarah was awful.  While I understand her feeling destroyed and frustrated, I can’t feel compassion for the way she treated her family.  Sarah, Drew, and Julia were all collateral damage in tornado Amber’s path.  She has some severe making up to do after the way she behaved.  And don’t get me wrong, I can 100% understand her being heartbroken over not getting into school and feeling like a failure and loser (even though she isn’t close to any of those things.)   But it’s no excuse for her to act the way in which she did.   However, I don’t think any of that will matter considering what happened at the end of episode 21.

Amber was with Gary driving and drinking and Gary wasn’t paying attention and ran a red light while an oncoming car broadsided them sending them both to the hospital.   The season finale will tackle the fall out from that and I have a feeling that Amber will be physically ok but I am curious to see how emotionally, she comes out of this.

I am going to watch the season finale tonight and comment tomorrow so please check back for the season 2 wrap up of Parenthood.  It should be epic!!!

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Posted by on April 20, 2011 in NBC, Recaps and Reviews

 

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