PARENTHOOD “Seven Names” Review

Parenthood (NBC) Seven Names

PARENTHOOD “Seven Names” Season 2 Episode 7 Review – Adam is forced to fire people, Sarah inadvertently hurts Amber, Crosby and Jasmine announce their engagement, and Joel and Julia struggle to find a workable balance in their marriage in the “Seven Names” episode of PARENTHOOD.

Crosby and Jasmine: I’m disappointed we don’t get to see Jasmine say yes. All that build-up and first the promo guys ruin the cliffhanger and then we miss the acceptance altogether? I call shenanigans. I’m not sure if Crosby’s worries are just nerves or if his proposal really is too much about Jabbar and not enough about Jasmine, but I like that the possibility is raised because it makes for a more interesting story.

Sarah and Amber: My favorite relationship on Parenthood is Sarah and Amber. It’s messy and frustrating, contentious and occasionally heartbreaking, but at its core, it’s loving and, as Amber says, based on respect and knowing each other as people. I think Sarah is in an impossible position here, but I’m glad she tells Kelsey’s mom about the frat party, no matter the consequences to Amber. There are exquisite scenes here, though admittedly I would be happy to watch Lauren Graham and Mae Whitman read my cable bill.

Sarah and Gordon: Sigh. The more the writers try to force this down my throat, the more I feel like gagging it back up. The limo driver is holding flowers and Gordon thinks Sarah can drop everything and leave for a couple of days on the spot? Ugh. I like that Gordon tells Sarah what a good guy Adam is, but Adam’s right that Sarah doesn’t really know him yet. I miss Mike.

Adam: The show is heavy-handed in showing how close Adam is to his employees and his saintly tendencies, but I like the critiquing of his “I’m laying you off” speech by Kristina and Haddie. “You can’t ask someone to take care of you emotionally when you’re firing them.” Heh. Kristina also has a point when she says, “Forget the beer; we need to get wrecked” and the funniest part of the episode is Max in the background asking what getting wrecked means. I think we’re getting a lot of foreshadowing of Adam losing it at some point, and I for one can’t wait because he truly can be too much the guy who handles everything. Sarah, at least, seems to be finally realizing that.

Haddie: I do believe we have a potential new love interest for Haddie. I don’t think she will be punching Alex in the groin per Kristina’s suggestion, but she does have a great comeback in their last scene of the episode and all that antagonism generally means future love in television land. “Poverty isn’t contagious, you know?” Hee.

Julia and Joel: Raise your hand if you knew Julia’s embracing Joel’s work would go to hell before the third commercial break. I like that their story feels honest and real because Julia–rightly or wrongly–is accustomed to being the sole breadwinner and as such having her schedule catered to, so changing that is a big deal. Likewise, Joel needs to work for his own sanity and that’s important and will require compromise. Unfortunately, Joel and Julia have a tough time with compromise and they tend to swing too far one way or the other and Julia needs rules while Joel wants to take things as they come, so the resulting fight is raw and I like that their unresolved issues come up in a very well acted scene.

“Jasmine, welcome to crazy-town” is a fitting end to “Seven Names.” While this is a mostly downer episode of Parenthood with several characters unhappy, the ending celebration is sweet and happily cluttered with just the right glance exchanged between Crosby and Adam. Some threads I thought were dropped earlier in the season are picked back up and will hopefully continue to be woven into future episodes.

What did you think of the episode? Do you think Adam is headed for a breakdown? How bad do you think Julia and Joel’s problems are going to get? Let’s talk about it in the comments.

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