The stellar season of Parenthood continued this week with another great episode. This week’s episode was the one I’d looked forward to the most since Kristina’s breast cancer diagnosis. Although the moment in which Kristina revealed her diagnosis to her family was brilliantly handled by the cast, it was preceded by a lot of great moments with other members in the Braverman clan.
Welcome back, Ryan! I was thrilled to see Zeek’s bond with Ryan continue to grow this week. There is a really great story that could be told through Ryan’s perspective and I appreciate that the Parenthood writers have committed to developing his character over multiple episodes, rather than just doing a one-off didactic episode with no follow-up after Zeek brought Ryan to the Braverman house to help with the sprinkler system.
I also think I picked up on some chemistry between Ryan and Amber. Although Amber has not been at the center of any major story lines yet, I’ve enjoyed her serving as a support to Adam and Max. As previously seen in past seasons of Parenthood, the scenes between Amber and Max are pretty great.
Another great decision by the writers was to ship Haddie off to college. I’ve never been a huge fan of Haddie but the choice to send her away to college coupled with her mother’s devastating cancer diagnosis has helped the character a great deal and given another layer of authenticity to the show. Having also gone away for college, I completely understood Haddie’s feeling of helplessness and how a distance that may only be a few hours away on a plane suddenly becomes a huge divide when you want to be there for your family.
Speaking of authenticity, Julia’s struggle to balance her career and family was also well handled. How amazing was Erika Christensen during the mental breakdown at breakfast? Julia and Joel have done a great job at helping Victor feel welcome to the family but taking on such a challenge requires sacrifices. As we saw with Julia, those sacrifices have consequences.
As an attorney, I couldn’t help wondering why Julia would not have a junior associate helping her out – especially with something as straight forward as admissions. If her firm has multimillion dollar cases, they should have junior staff to support an attorney with 9 years of experience! But I digress.
I think it’s time to officially start a pool for how many more episodes Sarah and Mark have left together. The more drawn she is to Hank, the more she tries to reassure herself of her current relationship. Mark may be young but he’s not clueless. I give this relationship one more episode.
As for the other Bravermans . . .
I love that Zeek went to bat (pun!) for Victor getting a little playing time. Victor actually scoring was great to watch, as was Joel’s need to remind Victor to drop his bat as he rounded the bases. I also enjoy that every time Nora appears on screen, she seems to be offering food to someone. So adorable. Crosby did a great job of handling the salary issues with Adam. He is yet another character that has displayed a great amount of growth this season.
And as for the scene for which this episode was named – I simply don’t know where to begin. In a word, it was amazing. As soon as Haddie walked into the restaurant I felt the tears coming. The choice to focus on the family reactions rather than hear Kristina’s words was so powerful and effective.
I really can’t say enough about how great this season of Parenthood has been. What did you think of this week’s episode? Sound off below!