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RECAP & REVIEW: Parenthood “Let’s Be Mad Together” S5 E5

25 Oct

Parenthood is having another great season.  This is the type of show that can go for 10+ seasons because there is always something new and real going on with each of these families and I’m invested in all of them…even Zeke and Camille’s storyline is great.  So let’s jump in.

Kristina/Adam/Max

Max has really been flourishing working with Hank and learning how to become a photographer.  And as it turns out, he’s really good.   As it also turns out, not surprisingly, he’s not always appropriate when snapping photos of people.  Max is now on the yearbook staff and he’s role is to take pictures for the yearbook.   The problem is, Max doesn’t want to take traditional yearbook photos.  He wants to get real moments with real people.  And I can’t disagree with him.  And you can do that for the yearbook but maybe he could be a little more subtle.  And maybe he can pick better moments.  While the picture of the crying girl was a beautiful picture, it wasn’t appropriate because of the way he did it.   And she asked him not to do it and he kept doing it anyway.  This resulted in the parents calling the school and the head of the yearbook having to bring in Kristina and tell her that Max is being moved to layout.  It results in lots of back and forth over what’s right and wrong, feelings are hurt and it ends with Kristina telling Max he’s being moved to layout and that it sucks.

It’s always hard to comment on stories about Max and his behavior because I’ve never been around a kid with Asperger’s and it’s slightly unfair to make judgments and assessments without that knowledge.  And I certainly don’t want to be ignorant or disrespectful but I will try to comment without sounding like a jackass!   You all know how much I love Kristina and specifically Monica Potter.   But the one time Kristina gets under my skin is when it comes to Max, she thinks he should be able to do whatever he wants because of his condition regardless of how it impacts other people.   I think, she thinks, Max deserves exceptions and I take an exception with that.  Again, this comes down to me not understanding Asperger’s very well and as such, I don’t know what Max can and can’t control.  I don’t know how much leeway he should be afforded.   I know that Asperger’s kids have a hard time with social connections.  But from the little I do understand, they can read clues that can reveal how people around them are feeling.  Max knew this girl was crying and upset but that didn’t stop him from taking her picture even though she asked him not to.  So when he was moved to layout from photographer Kristina wasn’t happy and thought that because Max was so good he should get to be the photographer.  She even called in the principal to back her up regarding how good Max was on student council.   Unfortunately that backfired on her as well because the principal confirmed that Max was very hard to deal with and made the experience not as fun for the other students.  So he backed the yearbook supervisor and Max got demoted.

It has to be tough for the parents.  And I love Kristina for wanting to fight for her kid.   And she should.  But that doesn’t always make it right.  And I think part of it comes back on her.   She always fights so hard for Max to get to do what he wants to do, I’m not sure if he’s learning that whether he likes it or not or whether he thinks it’s fair or not, his actions have consequences.  He has to use what he’s been taught to assess situations to make better decisions.  It’s can’t always be that he gets to do what he wants when he wants.  Kristina was trying to explain this to him when Hank started butting in.  Hey Hank, mind your own business!  Let Kristina handle her son.  I think he gave her horrible advice because he told her how good he was and that’s what he should be doing.  All that did was fire up Kristina to keep pushing for Max and I don’t think this is a fight they should win…and they didn’t.  How about, no one said Max could stop taking pictures.  He just can’t take them for the yearbook any more.  Ok Hank, then you hire Max and you have him take pictures.   Find another way.   But Kristina likes to push the square peg in the round hole when it comes to Max, regardless of how it impacts everyone else.   Remember the vending machine?  Ugh.   But you can tell how hard this is on her.  You can tell that she hates if Max is negatively impacting other children’s experiences.   But I think it also kills her that Max can’t have those experiences the way other kids can.   So what’s the right answer?   I have no idea.  But in this instance, I think the school was right and Max will have to find another way to channel his new-found talent.

Joel/Julia

When did the second strongest couple on the show become the most fragile?  I know, I know it’s been happening for a little while now when they adopted Victor, Julia lost her job, Joel went back to work, Sydney and Victor aren’t always getting along, Victor is struggling in school, Julia is struggling to find her place again, Joel’s trying to re-enter the work force again.   Yep, it’s all building up.  And I think you see each person judging how the other person is handling their former role and it isn’t going over very well.

Joel does comment on the way Julia is handling the kids or he says nothing but has a tone and exasperated look on his face.  Julia meanwhile is trying to tell Joel how to stand up for himself and he’s not being strong enough with Pete and how she would see people like him get taken advantage of.    So neither one is really appearing to be there for the other.  And the thing I hate most about this, is that it’s all leading to either Joel or Julia cheating with Penny from Lost or Roy from The Office.  Or maybe they both cheat.  Although it would be an interesting story.  Not that I’m rooting for one or both of them to be unfaithful, but it would be fascinating to see how it all plays out.

I think they biggest problem is, they aren’t taking care of each other.  They are so worried about Victor and Sydney, about Joel getting this business off the ground, that neither of them is taking the time to talk about how all this is impacting them.  I think Julia is being so driven about helping Joel because she feels like she isn’t contributing anymore.  She had a major career at a law practice, on the partner track, and now she’s packing lunches and settling Windex fights, and it isn’t enough for her.   There are many people where being at a stay at home mom is completely rewarding and fulfilling…it’s one of the hardest jobs out there.   But for Julia, she needs more, and she isn’t wrong for feeling that way.    With Joel, he has the stress of this start-up company and being the only person bringing in a salary right now, I think he’s putting a lot of pressure on himself to make sure this works.  But instead of each of them putting the kids to bed, grabbing a glass of wine, and talking about this, they are keeping it bottled up and everyone once in a while, like last night, sometimes it spills over and out.  Eventually, it will just explode.   Explode meaning affair.   It’s coming people.  It’s just who’s it going to be and when.

Zeke/Camille

You all know I’ve never liked Zeke’s character.   But this season I’ve felt a little better about him (he’s been so great with Victor), except when it comes to Camille.   I think this is such a great storyline.  You have two people who have been together for a really long (I’m guessing at least 40 years) and now they are looking for their “Act 3.”   Actually Camille is looking at that and Zeke is perfectly happy living out his life doing what he’s doing in their home.   But that’s not enough for her.

I think the part that’s most upsetting to me is how disrespectful Zeke is to Camille.  Camille has brought up the idea that it might be a good idea to sell their huge house and downside and maybe take some trips together.  Zeke basically said no and walked away and wouldn’t talk about it.   Then he goes out and buys a car, without speaking with Camille, and the car needs to be completely rebuilt, it’s a year-long project, and it’s a complete slap in Camille’s face.   How can he do that to her?   How could he be so disrespectful of his wife’s feelings and so dismissive of her feelings?   My heart broke for her.   When she opened up to Julia about how she feels like she lost her voice in their marriage and she doesn’t know how to get it back…that was awful to me.

I’ve heard of people who have been married, 25, 30, 40 years getting divorced after all that time and I never understood why.   After seeing these last few weeks, now I get it.   Camille is still young and there is a lot she wants to see and do.  She should go do it.  If Zeke is going to be like this, then if I were her, I would plan a trip, pack a bag, and go without him.   Maybe take Sarah or Julia with you.   But I would go and leave him behind with his damn car.    I just don’t understand how he can hurt her like that.  And I’m sure it’s tough.  That’s his home and there are so many memories there.  I can understand not wanting to leave that.  But it will happen at some point.  Don’t you want it to be on your terms?   Maybe he doesn’t.  Maybe he wants to spend the rest of his life in the home where he and his wife built their family.  I completely understand that.  What I don’t understand is not telling your wife how you feel and not having a conversation with her about it and then slapping her in the face buying that car so it forces her hand.  Especially since it’s such a great project for Victor.  She’ll look like the bad guy and that’s not fair.   But I wonder if she leaves him.  Again, I think that would be another great storyline.

Sarah/Amber/Ryan

Not a whole lot going on here except that Amber is still mad at Sarah for not supporting her.  Ryan is mad with Amber for not cluing him in.  And Sarah is still walking around looking miserable.   Seriously, this woman needs some happy in her life.

I see both sides to this.  I can see Sarah being concerned for Amber.  And instead of being pissed at her, Amber should understand that her mom is only looking out for her.  Amber, historically, has not made the best decisions in her.  In some cases, they’ve almost been catastrophic decisions.  So for her to be so angry at her mother for wanting her to take a step back and really make sure this is what she wants to do, seems ridiculous to me.

On the flip side, one of Sarah’s concerns is Ryan’s lack of family and his zero desire to have any of them there.  How is that any of her business?  She can ask the question, but if Ryan says no and he has his reasons why, then respect that.  It doesn’t make him a bad guy.  It just makes him someone not close to his family.    Although the one thing I will say, I think Ryan should be more open with Amber about his family.  She is going to be his wife so I think she does have a right to know what’s going on.   So he should at least clue her in.   The fact that she didn’t know his father passed away, is a bit strange to me.   Sarah doesn’t need to know that, but Amber does.

Eventually, Ryan goes to see Sarah and gives her a brief history on his background….father is dead, mother remarried a guy 6 months later that beat the tar our of him while still grieving over the death of his father.   So he said good-bye to that abusive situation and started his life anew.  And he tells Sarah “not everyone has a family like yours.”  He’s right.  And I think that’s one thing the Bravermans don’t get is that they think they have this great family and either everyone wants to be a part of it or everyone else has the same type of family life.   No and no.  But I think this is the wake up call Sarah needed.  Although it appears next week she is still pushing Amber to cancel the wedding.

The Lunchonette

They are starting their new label with the douchbag lead singer of the band whose former label dropped them.   They were having creative differences but Crosby worked it all out and now they are good to go.   And that’s really it for that story.  Oh and Jasmine and Crosby are still crazy tired and worn out keeping up with their new baby girl.

What did you think of Parenthood this week?   What did you think about Max?   Was it completely unfair or justified?  What do you think will happen with Joel and Julia?   Camille and Zeke?   Let me know!

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1 Comment

Posted by on October 25, 2013 in NBC, Recaps and Reviews

 

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One response to “RECAP & REVIEW: Parenthood “Let’s Be Mad Together” S5 E5

  1. Marsha Turner

    November 9, 2013 at 8:48 pm

    Your review is excellent, however, I would like to give you a different perspective of Zeke. It seems most reviewers take Camille’s side and I totally understand that, but Zeke has a side too. Remember Zeke has been through the Vietnam war, and that affects how he looks at life as well. The Vietnam war was like no other, and the men who made it home, came home changed. Zeke’s personality is very strong and his voice is louder than Camille’s voice, but I think there are reasons for it that we cannot understand unless and until we have walked in Zeke’s shoes. Should he be a better listener to Camille? Yes, he should, but she should also be a better listener to his voice. His home for him has always been about peace and safety, I think, and Camille wants to take that from him.

    This storyline is a sad one, because neither side communicates their real feelings with the other. Don’t you think Zeke might have gone to Italy with Camille, if she had asked him? I think he would have. Men who have lived through the Vietnam war are often not great communicators. They hold in so much, and that out of the need to mentally survive. I think both Zeke and Camille are to blame for where they are. The key is can they find their way back? Do they really want to find the way back?

    Great blog!

     

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