PARENTHOOD “Date Night” Review

Parenthood (NBC) "Date Night"

PARENTHOOD “Date Night” Season 2 Episode 4 – Kristina wants a night out with Adam while Crosby debates becoming a full-time dad in the “Date Night” episode of PARENTHOOD. Joel worries he has no life while Haddie continues her presidential campaign and Drew has an awkward moment with his lab partner.

I love how the Crosby-Jabbar storyline develops tonight. Crosby screws up by agreeing to get Jabbar after he’d been drinking. He should have told Renee what was going on, but given that this is the first time she actually asks him for help with Jabbar, I understand why he didn’t. I also understand why Renee called Sekou as back-up, but way to set up an explosive situation given that Sekou already didn’t like Crosby. It’s not at all a clear-cut situation and I think it plays out well, especially when Renee opens up to Crosby about her real concerns about Jabbar. “That boy needs both his mama and his daddy, so either you know what or get off the pot.” Crosby does need to “you know what,” and I think he had finally realized it when Jasmine came home. Saved by the bell for now, but this isn’t over. At some point Crosby is going to have to take the risk and fully commit to Jabbar. I’m not saying (like Adam so tactfully did) that he’s been half-assing his job as father, but like he says to Gaby, he’s let some things go even though they don’t feel right to him. That won’t go away just because Jasmine’s home, and as much as I want the two of them to work as a couple, I want Crosby and Jabbar to work more, and I’m glad Parenthood deals with this in such a nuanced way tonight.

Not to completely show my ignorance about raising an autistic child, but I thought that 80% divorce rate had been debunked. Regardless, I can’t imagine the stress having a child with Asperger’s puts on a marriage, and I do think we see that with Adam and Kristina. Kristina contributes to it, though, by needing “date night” to be perfect. Why ask Adam which restaurant he wants when she had already made her choice? Hopefully their time alone with cake smushed all over their faces shows her the best moments are often completely imperfect. I think that is the happiest I have ever seen her and I would love to see more of that because, honestly, Kristina usually stresses me out. Hee to Crosby calling Kristina a “cold war interrogator,” by the way.

I would totally watch a Zeek-Joel spin-off. Joel’s melt-down about not having a life is a long time coming and is the root of his hesitance to have another child: not that it will affect his life, but that it will mean years more of him feeling like he doesn’t have one at all outside child-rearing. I love that Zeek not only listens, but he gives real advice and has his own mini-meltdown over marriage counseling. Joel’s hobby day triumph is terrific and Sam Jaeger plays that scene very well.

I’m so glad Drew gets a storyline, even if it means he’s awkward and unhappy. Anyone else have a bad teen flashback? While Drew’s outburst at Sarah was harsh, it was also overdue–Drew definitely lets things fester for much too long. My heart breaks for both Sarah and Drew in their make-up scene. Sarah tries so hard, but Drew does need more than she can give. He just does. I hope we get to see a lot more of Sarah and Drew in the future.

Random notes: I hope Parenthood directly deals with Kristina’s seeming dislike/resentment of Sarah soon. It sort of got buried after the Steve-Amber-Haddie situation, and it could be quite the fun scene. I really wish we saw more of that horrifically awkward double date at The Swanky (hee-Kristina said Stanky) Crab. I love that Haddie won with a speech she wrote five minutes before giving it after getting help from Kristina, Amber, and Sarah, and thumbs up to the mini Gilmore Girls reunion with Vanessa Marano (Luke’s daughter April) as Holly.

“Date Night” showcases so much of what Parenthood does best: smart, believable dialogue, complicated and tangled emotions, and small moments that mean so much. I know I’ve been tough on the show this season, but this episode reminds me of why and how much I love the Bravermans.

What did you think of “Date Night?” Am I the only one excited for Zeek-Camille ballroom dancing next week?

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