Parenthood Season 5 “All That’s Left is the Hugging” Review

Parenthood Season 5 Episode 10 All That's Left is the Hugging (3)

Parenthood returned for one last new episode of the year. Hooray!

I really hope that last night’s election post-mortem between Kristina and Adam is the last we’ll ever have to hear about the election. As much as I disliked the storyline, it was fun to see Adam and Kristina blow off a little steam by throwing cake at each other and then pelting a Bob Little billboard with a dozen eggs. With several other couples standing on shaky ground, Adam and Kristina provided a nice reprieve from the Joel/Julia, Amber/Ryan stress.

From the first time we saw him with his drunken date, I figured there would be something between Sarah and her neighbor/tenant. I should probably learn his name now that Sarah has done the deed. The heat went out in Sarah’s building and the residents were out with their pitchforks and calling for her head. Okay, that’s an exaggeration, but I thought it was nice for tenant/neighbor to offer Sarah a reprieve, decent conversation and a little loving. Despite proclaiming that the two could not sleep together again, I’m certain this is only the beginning for this pair.

I would like to mentally reject all of the Julia/Joel shenanigans. To be more accurate, I should say the Julia/Ed shenanigans. I’m so frustrated with Julia that I find myself only rooting for the couple to the extent that it’s what Joel wants. I knew this was coming, but it didn’t make it any easier to watch. I suppose it’s only a matter of time until Joel sleeps with his boss. Great. I hope in the midst of all this marital discontent, the couple doesn’t lose sight of how much Victor needs them.

Speaking of troubled couples, Amber was still dealing with the fallout of Ryan’s jealous beatdown. Although some of the band members were angry that they lost a week in the studio, the guy on the receiving end was actually pretty cool about it. It was nice to see Uncle Crosby and Uncle Adam checking in on their niece and wanting reassurance that she had never been physically harmed by Ryan. Although Ryan has not hit Amber, his treatment of her could be considered psychologically abusive. Amber returned home to find Ryan waiting for her and unsurprisingly, an argument ensued. It’s really hard not to overlook Ryan’s red flags when he’s being so sweet and kind, but this guy is undoubtedly troubled. I was so happy to see Amber finally put herself first and accept that she is responsible for ensuring her safety and happiness. Given everything we know about Sarah, she would have never been capable of making this kind of hard decision at Amber’s age. It’s nice to see that certain cycles aren’t always destined to be repeated.

I’m glad that Ryan turned to Zeek for guidance and that Amber found the courage to tell her mom what happened with Ryan. I was genuinely surprised to see how calm and supportive Sarah was, which was exactly what Amber needed. Just when it looked like things might get better, Ryan announced to Amber that he reenlisted and is returning to Afghanistan. What a gut punch. Ultimately, this is probably the best for this couple, but I hope the writers don’t kill Ryan off screen while he’s “on duty.” I don’t know how things could get better for this couple if Ryan is just returning to service instead of working on readjusting to civilian life, so it is hard to feel optimistic for this couple’s future. I’m torn because I really like Amber and Ryan, but the timing just wasn’t right.

I can’t really say that I’m all that invested in Drew’s tragic love life. However, whatever becomes of it should in no way be tied to Natalie or Amy. Ugh.

As always, Parenthood provides an hour of heartfelt, solid entertainment. What did you think of this week’s episode? Where do you stand on Joel and Julia? Sound off below!