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Parenthood Recap: Family Ties

I was so glad to settle into a new episode of Parenthood last night, and eternally grateful our NBC affiliate had the good sense to stop weather coverage to air the whole episode (there was a cut-in at the top and middle of the show, but it was quick). This week’s story had more storylines going on than in the past two episodes, which made it more interesting to watch. It was good to see so many of the characters move forward with their story lines this week. Adam gets baked at work, Jasmine is welcomed to the family, Zeek builds his relationship with Max, in addition to all of the Haddie drama.

Central to the plot, of course, is the fact that in the last episode, Haddie moved into her grandparents house. Her mother, Kristina, is still furious, and this tension makes for some tense scenes with Camille, her mother-in-law, this week. Kristina and Adam are trying to find their footing in this situation, and they are second guessing themselves, but they are showing a united front to Haddie.

Meanwhile, their son, Max, is ready for the Braverman ritual of camping with Zeek. Kristina has prepared a guidebook for Zeek, to help him have a good time with Max, who has Asperberger’s syndrome. Zeek, of course, laughs at  it, until Max has a melt down while out in the woods. He smartly calls Adam (who is high, but comes down to earth long enough to help), and Adam is able help Max calm down and look forward to what’s in store the next morning.When they return from the trip, Zeek tells Adam that he has a new understanding of what it’s like to raise Max, and that he’s a wonderful kid. I loved how that story line played out, because it showed that while Zeke is incredibly old school, he can see that how Max is being parented is right for Max.

Jasmine is also officially welcomed to the family by the Braverman women at a formal engagement party. She voices her concern at the formality of the event to Crosby, who simple answers, “You know this isn’t about you, right? It’s about Julia.” Meanwhile, Julia is frantically planning a “fun and spontaneous” evening. Her husband Joel just looks on, shaking his head, because it’s just so planned. But it’s that scene that tells you what the party is really about — Julia wants her home to be a gathering place too. She wants her home to have the same fun and positive association that her parents’ and siblings homes do. With here very type-A personality, that’s not going to happen, but the family plays along, giving each other knowing smiles the entire time.

We finally get a little movement in the story on Adam’s work situation, where the shoe company has been taken over by a young genius no one over thirty understands. He calls Adam in on a Saturday because ‘he’s figured it out”, and is ready to share. After an “edible” lollipop- which I learned means it’s actually a marijuana lollipop, Adam totally sees his point of view. Adam provides endless amusement to his brother and brother-in-law, who are hanging out while Julia throws Jasmine’s party. When Adam gets the munchies, Julia gets to have that “fun and spontaneous” party right in her very own kitchen. All the Bravermam adults are in the kitchen (except Zeke, who’s camping), munching and dancing, like they tend to do. It takes her a little bit to let go, but I think the next morning she woke up thrilled that her family had fun at her house.

Last night’s episode wrapped up with Haddie telling her parents she’s moving to her grandparents’ permenantly. After she makes that announcement, Adam finds Kristina crying in Haddie’s room. Krisitna reminds Adam that her own mother ran off with her father at the tender age of sixteen, and her story did not have a happy ending. The Haddie story is going to have to crest soon — I don’t see Haddie just living at Grandma’s and dating Alex and everything being perfectly fine. Something is going to have to happen, but the question is, what?

In the preview for next week, John Corbitt (from Northern Exposure & Sex and the City)  stars as Sarah’s ex and the father of her two kids. I’m excited to see him, but sad already that he’s going to be a swarmy jerk who probably lets his son down. But he’ll still be pretty to watch.

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