I know we have a new episode of Parenthood (and it’s a big one) in a few days, but I was able to watch last week’s episode and I wanted to make a few comments about it. I’m not going to get into the little stories but I do want to touch on the two big ones.
Haddie and Alex
I really liked this relationship from the very beginning. I have been rooting for it with every fiber of my being. There is this very strong love and respect I have for the character of Alex and I think he made Haddie a better character because he brought a level of maturity to Haddie that was desperately needed. But lately they have been growing apart. Watching what is happening in this relationship is one of the reasons I love Parenthood so much…it’s very realistic. You have Alex, who’s 20 years old, working full-time, has a significant amount of baggage in his past, and has had to grow up much faster than most kids should have to. His life is at one level. Then you have Haddie, who’s 17, a senior in high school, planning to go to college, looking to enjoy her final year of high school with her friends, still has A LOT of growing up to do, and is still, in many ways, a very young, naive girl. Her life is at a another level. For most couples, a three gap in age isn’t a huge deal. But when you have two kids this young in a relationship, those three years could seem like 20 years to more mature adults. And it’s not just about the age difference, it’s about their life experiences up until this point. Even though he’s only 20, Alex is extremely mature for his age and has had a past most people in their 30s might experience. Haddie is very much a regular high school senior with the only drama in her life really being to help her parents manage Max. So in all realism, what happened tonight, was just a matter of time.
With everything Alex has been dealing with so far this year, he has been distancing himself from Haddie a little bit. This is where his maturity kicks in. He sees the vast difference between himself and Haddie. She a giddy senior who wants to celebrate her dominance at the top of the high school food chain before she is chum once again in college. And he doesn’t begrudge that. But that is not where he is at. He also has more adult issues he has to face that Haddie just can’t quite understand. And in fairness to her, how could she? So slowly but surely over the last few episodes, we have been seeing Alex pull away. It all came to a head in this episode. Alex tells Haddie that he doesn’t think they should see each other any more because they are at different stages in their lives right now. Haddie completely proves his point when, in typical Haddie fashion, when someone tells her something she doesn’t want to hear, she storms off like a brat instead of talking about it like an adult would. Several times, Alex tries to talk to her about it so she would understand, and all she did was walk away from him. We have seen her act like this several times over the course of the series. She even acted that way earlier in the episode. When her mom noticed the distance between her and Alex, she tried to talk to her and Haddie rudely interrupted her, wouldn’t listen to her, and kicked her out of her room. And she wonders why a guy like Alex would break up with her.
The most heartbreaking part of this scene came when Haddie walked up stairs and slammed her door, leaving Alex in the family room with Kristina. Kristina knows what is going on but in typical Kristina fashion, is nothing but a class act. You can see that Alex is having a really hard time with breaking up with Haddie and he can’t bring himself to tell her what is going on. Compounding this is when Kristina tells Alex that they all consider him family. And can I just say, thank God I still had a box of Kleenex from when I was sick, by my bed because I just lost it. His lip started going and tears started to fall from his eyes. He tells Kristina what a wonderful mother she is and how much he appreciated how great they have been to him. Then she starts to tear up and I start crying like someone who’s team was the best team in baseball and lost in a game 5 to a wild card team that shouldn’t have even been in the playoffs to being with….but I digress. Needless to say, I was bawling! He hugs and kisses Kristina good-bye and tells her to tell Mr. Braverman thank you and to tell Max to keep working on his jump shot. I know this is a small point, but I always loved how respectful Alex was by calling Kristina and Adam, Mr. and Mrs. Braverman. So many kids just assume they can call adults by their first names and I think it’s incredibly disrespectful. But I’ll save my Andy Rooney rant on horrors of our youth for another time.
While I think this relationship unfortunately was headed down this path, I was still sad to see it happen. I hope this isn’t the last we see of Alex. Maybe he can start dating Amber!!! But they already went down that road so it’s probably not likely. But I need to see more of Michael B. Jordan on my screen because he is sensational!
This was doomed to end badly wasn’t it? I know Crosby makes a lot of choices that I don’t agree with, but I have to say that this wasn’t one of them. In this case, I 100% agreed with what he did and, as usual, hated the way Jasmine handled it. But to be fair to both, this was a lose-lose situation. I don’t know how this could be handled without someone getting hurt.
To set it up, Jabbar has been hanging out with Max at school, which I think was really cool. I wasn’t sure if he was aware of Max’s Aspberger’s but apparently he was not. They have been having lunch together and Max announced to Jabbar that they are best friends and are supposed to have lunch together everyday. Jabbar’s adorable friend comes over to ask if both Jabbar and Max want to join them for lunch at their table. Jabbar wants to go but Max doesn’t since they sit at the same table everyday. Also Max wants Jabbar to quiz him on multiplication tables which Jabbar is growing very tired of quickly.
Jabbar tells Jasmine about this and she tells him that he doesn’t have to do whatever he doesn’t want to do. Again, this is where I want to drop kick her out of 10 story window. While I agree that Jabbar shouldn’t be saddled with this and should be allowed to have lunch with his friends, she is very well aware of Max’s situation. What she should have done was have a conversation with Crosby about how they can explain this to Jabbar and then handle the situation from there. Instead, she tells Crosby to tell Adam that Jabbar won’t be having lunch with Max all the time and has the right to sit wherever he wants. You know, for someone who constantly berates Crosby for his lack of maturity, she keeps showing over and over again how incredibly immature and childish she is.
Crosby goes to talk to Adam but before he gets the chance, Adam tells him how much he admires and appreciates Jabbar and the way he has been with Max. He confides in Crosby that they have been so worried about Max’s transition to main stream schooling, that Jabbar’s friendship with Max has been a God send and has made the transition so much smoother than they could have hoped. He also tells him that Max considers his cousin, his best friend. Well as soon as Crosby hears this, he changes his mind about talking to Adam about this. Instead he decides to talk to Jabbar about what is going on. He tells Jabbar that while he understands how frustrated he must be, sometimes we have to do things for family that we don’t always want to do. He tells him that sometimes Max has trouble making friends and that right now, he is his only friend. So he asks him to hang out with him a little longer and then if it’s still bad, they can reevaluate the situation again. Jabbar agrees. I liked the way Crosby handled this. He didn’t ignore Jabbar’s concerns and validated to Jabbar that he understood and respected how he felt, but then explained a very difficult situation and asked him to be the bigger person and that if it didn’t work out, they would fix it. The only mistake Crosby made is forgetting that he was trying to rationalize with a 6-year-old.
Jabbar has lunch with Max again, but it goes badly when he finishes eating with Max and goes to leave to meet up with his other friends. Max isn’t finished yet so he yells at Jabbar not to leave. Jabbar tells him too bad and walks away. Max gets up and grabs him and starts screaming at him. A really bad fight breaks out and ends up with Max shoving Jabbar to the ground. Crosby, Jasmine, Adam, and Kristina are all summoned to school to address the situation and everyone except Crosby is very confused. Jasmine is yelling at him for not telling Adam and Kristina that Jabbar won’t be having lunch with Max anymore. Then making the situation worse, Jabbar said that Crosby told him he needed to have lunch with Max because there was something wrong with Max. That doesn’t sit well with Adam and Kristina and Crosby tries to explain that that is not what he told Jabbar at all. A huge fight breaks out between Crosby and Adam while Jasmine and Kristina have words. It ends with Adam and Kristina storming off and Jasmine yelling at Crosby that if he only did what she told him it would have been fine. Well she’s an idiot.
I have to say, I hate the way this worked out. Adam is at the Lunchonette and Crosby shows up. They are cross with one another until Adam tells Crosby that their loan came through and they are officially in business. The next thing you know, Crosby is playing the drums and Adam is singing on a mike and everything is just fine. I was hoping they were going to have a talk so Crosby could explain his side of the story and Adam would understand what Crosby really did which was try to look out for Max’s best interest. I hope it gets addressed next week and that doesn’t get left hanging and I hope Jasmine gets cut from the show very soon.
Parenthood is off to an AMAZING start this season. If you are watching, what are your thoughts on this episode and the first 4 episodes of the season. If you aren’t watching, what is the matter with you???? You better start watching because this is a solid hour of TV every week. And with this TV season not being very strong, you should check out Parenthood!