The first Parenthood of 2014 introduced some new plot lines and continue the train wreck that is currently Julia and Joel. We also got to see Crosby at a school fundraiser, which was definitely worth the price of admission. Zeek makes a friend, and Camille decides to extend her trip. Will she ever return?
Drew has his hands full when Amy, his high school door friend knocks on his door. Natalie, who just gave him the “just friends” speech is suddenly more possessive than she’s ever been. Really, Natalie? You’re going to put your head in his lap now, really? Amy and Drew have a heart-to-heart about how their relationship ended, and when she asks him if she can stay a little longer, he says yes.
Hank learns a bit about Asperger Syndrome when Adam loans him a book on the topic. After Max throws a tantrum at Hank’s studio over a change in plans, Adam loans him the book to help understand Max. Hanks starts to see shadows of himself, and goes to Sarah’s for a drink. This is a not a surprise to anyone who’s familiar with Hank’s character.
Sarah gets a new view of her neighbor, Carl, when he invites her to a black-tie dinner. She makes it clear she will be only his plus one, and that he’s not getting lucky at the end of the night. Her guard begins to waver when she begins to learn more about him, and realizes that he’s the guest of honor at this event. Her neighbor turns out to be a well-respected neonatologist, although you’d never guess it by looking at him.
Zeek has begun to flounder in Camille’s extended absence. After a scene with empty cereal boxes and lumpy milk, we find Zeek at a diner. He brushes off the conversation a fellow retiree attempts to start, but returns the next day and makes more of an effort. As they discover all that they have in common, Rocky asks when Zeek’s wife passed away. When Rocky learns that Camille is just on a trip by herself, he tell Zeek he’s a fool (in not so many words). Camille is considering extending her trip by a week, and Zeek ends up telling her to go ahead and do it. I was really hoping that he’d head to the airport to go finish the trip with her, but that wasn’t in the cards this week.
Julia continues to be tormented by her kiss with Ed. She confides in Adam, who gives her a pep talk about the situation. He points out that the problem isn’t with Ed, and that she needs to focus on her relationship with Joel. She seems to understand this on some level, but doesn’t do anything proactively. She tells Adam that Joel “isn’t seeing me.” Adam tells Crosby to keep an eye out at the upcoming school fundraiser for Ed. Crosby does well, and politely excuses himself from a lecture on silent auction rules when Ed gets close to Julia. Joel beats him there, and ends up punching Ed. Joel confronts Julia about her relationship with Ed, and she denies that there is one. When Joel confirms that Julia is sober, he tosses her the car keys and goes off on his own.
I’m not sure where all of his rage is coming from, or why he’s suddenly checked out of his marriage. It turns out that Julia is fairly needy, but since he’s been working full-time, he’s been all but vacant at home. The next few episodes should be interesting in their house.
We didn’t see Amber at all in this episode, so there was no movement her break-up with Ryan. From the previews, it looks like Ryan is packing and ready to move on. Maybe 2014 will bring a man to Amber who’s worthy of her awesomeness.