PARENTHOOD “Slipping Away” Review

Parenthood (NBC) "Slipping Away"

PARENTHOOD “Slipping Away”" Season 2 Episode 21 - Amber spirals downward while Haddie accidentally reaches out and calls her parents at a very inopportune time, leading both to be “Slipping Away.” Meanwhile, Crosby is still fighting the good PARENTHOOD fight to get Jasmine back with a lot of help from his brother-in-law and Sarah tries to get her play workshopped.

Talk about an awkward opening. “It sounds like she’s hurt.” Nice try, Kristina, but no this can’t be rationalized away. Haddie just had the worst butt dial ever. Why on earth did it take so long to hang up? All that moaning and Adam and Kristina yelling–yikes. Anyway, once the call is out of the way, Kristina rocks the entire episode, and I know I don’t say this often, but I just love her here. Adam not so much, but he does end strongly. I’m sure it’s incredibly difficult to learn your daughter is having sex, but it’s not a terminal illness and Haddie’s still doing well in school and with soccer, and, as Sarah noted, she’s happy. I love Kristina opening up to Haddie about her bad first experience at fifteen because it’s a lovely moment between the two of them and such an incredible juxtaposition to Sarah and Haddie. While Adam is pretty much off his rocker picturing his daughter sleeping with Alex for much of the episode, his putting a bandage on Haddie’s boo boo is sweetly touching and heavy with meaning.

“I don’t want this. Do you want this? This is terrible.” Why, yes, Amber, it is terrible. In fact, right now-and you have no idea how much it hurts me to say this-you’re terrible. Getting high at work and everywhere else, embarrassing Julia, and blaming Sarah for thinking your life is over because you didn’t get into college when really, that’s how you feel, not her? All absolutely awful. While we’ve seen glimpses of this Amber before, I didn’t realize the depths her need for self-destruction could reach, especially once she turns to drugs. Amazing work by Mae Whitman to make this character I love so completely abhorrent. Terrific work by Lauren Graham, too, as she tries to come to grips both with how to deal with Amber now and how she didn’t deal with Amber before. That’s not easy and I love the talk between Adam and Sarah where she gently but firmly puts things into perspective for him even as she’s wrestling with her own fear and pain. As for the car accident–shudder. Is it next week yet?

“Sometimes a Hail Mary doesn’t work, but when it does, it’s amazing.” Oh, Crosby. This shouldn’t take a Hail Mary. This should take a long, grinding drive down the field yard by brutal yard as the clock winds slowly down. No shortcuts for either you or Jasmine this time. Do the real work; reap the real benefits and listen to your sister and brother-in-law. The tile color won’t matter even a little and it shouldn’t be just about giving Jasmine her dream. It’s about building a life together-a life you both want and are willing to work toward. I do love Julia and Joel as the voices of reason as they try to talk sense into him while giving him what he wants even when they think he’s at least half-crazy. I’m just ambivalent on the Crosby-Jasmine issue. I like them together, but if they reunite without dealing with their issues, I will be very unhappy.

Of course, shortcuts might work just fine for Crosby and Jasmine since we learn all it takes to get the artistic director of a theater to read a play is tell him you really, really want him to. Or maybe, as the oh-so charming Gilliam said, Sarah’s breasts were finally put to use. Whichever; you have to love the TV version of a writing career where Sarah is now a cross between Arthur Miller and Wendy Wasserstein and her play will most likely be read to near-universal acclaim. Of course, it’s ridiculous and feeds into the Braverman entitlement, but I’m glad Sarah has something positive in her life right now and I would love to have Steven Weber stick around.

On the flip side, I’m officially over the Adam has a younger boss thing. Corey is now just irritating me and I want him to go far away and take his edibles with him. There has to be a better job for Adam. There also has to be some job for Camille. I miss her when she’s not in episodes. Sydney and Jabbar are too adorable together with their secret handshake and I hope the Jasmine/Julia friendship is further explored next season. Drew continues to break my heart and I hope he gets bigger and better stories next season (please let there be a next season).

Once again Parenthood has me welling up on multiple occasions and even clenching my fists once or twice. This rollercoaster of an episode is alternately draining, heartbreaking, heartwarming, and infuriating. Well done, show. Next week is the season finale and judging from the previews, it will be more than intense. I would bet money that Haddie is not the owner of that pregnancy test, by the way. At least, I hope she’s not.

What did you think of “Slipping Away?” Do you think Crosby’s Hail Mary will work? How badly do you think Amber is hurt? Sarah as a playwright-yay or nay? Let me know in the comments.

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  • http://twitter.com/SarcasticLauren Lauren Hathaway

    There was an EW article a few months ago about why the blogger personally couldn’t watch Phood week to week. That it was just a little TOO real, sometimes. Too heartbreaking without enough cheerfulness. This weeks ep falls directly into that “too real” category.

    Adam/Haddie’s last minute love fest didn’t invoke enough happy to make up for an ep that is solidly 99% sad. Honestly, can’t they find one relationship to be on an upswing and shine some light on it to balance out the downswings? They usually do, is this just a result of pre-finale story climaxes?

    It was just one hit after another, and while I love this show, I love the actors, the characters, the stories, AND the heartbreaking moments…I have to say this episode was too much of a downer. I’m glad they warned of the car crash via previews because if I hadn’t been prepared for it, I would probably be even MORE depressed by the episode :-p

    Though I will DEFINITELY be checking that my phone is locked from now on! hahaha

    • Michelle StJames

      I think we definitely have a case of pre-finale syndrome here. We have to bottom out before getting something uplifting next week.

      This episode definitely was a downer: I was filled with dread for Amber the entire episode and Adam–sigh. That was a whole lot of hand-wringing. I will say I think Kristina and Haddie’s relationship is solidly up. Kristina may not be thrilled Haddie’s having sex, but she was solidly there for her daughter.

      Hee to the phone thing. I can’t even imagine the horror–I’m not sure there could be enough therapy in the world to get past that. I’m very glad they didn’t tell Haddie what they heard. :)

  • Anonymous

    Great recap and thanks so much.

    I really, really, really hope that Hattie is not pregnant. As someone said, maybe it was you here or maybe I read it somewhere else, why can’t TV just let teenagers have sex responsibly without getting pregnant. Teenagers do have sex, and as you mentioned, do well in school, play their sport etc. and NOT get pregnant.

    Mae Whitman is indeed great. What an actress. Don’t like the way her story is going but it is totally understandable. Makes it more real than just having a ‘happy ending’.

    Is there a doubt that this show will be renewed? I sincerely hope not.

    Thanks again.

    • Michelle StJames

      Thanks!

      I’m absolutely with you about not wanting Haddie to be pregnant. You’re right–there are a lot of teens who do have sex responsibly and live their lives well, etc. That’s one reason I loved Kristina telling Haddie she had sex at fifteen. It may have been a bad experience, but she wasn’t traumatized, she didn’t get pregnant, and she’s not bitter. She just wanted something different for her daughter.

      I hope we see Haddie and Alex navigate the changes in their relationship that come with sex and deal with those emotional consequences (both good and difficult) instead of going the teen pregnancy route. It would be much more realistic to me. Honestly, I don’t think Haddie’s pregnant. My money’s on Kristina because of the scene several episodes agao where she walked in on Joel and Julia having sex. It felt like foreshadowing to me.

      There’s always doubt about shows with so-so ratings getting renewed, but I’m actually pretty confident about Parenthood’s chances.

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