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Parenthood Recap: Qualities and Difficulties

I’d been looking forward to this episode ever since last week’s episode closed with Max overhearing his dad (Adam) berate Crosby (Adam’s brother/Max’s uncle) for turning things upside down for his family. In his tirade, he screams to Crosby, “Get it through your thick head, your nephew has Asperger’s!” and doesn’t realize that Max is standing right there.

This week’s episode opens in those following minutes, which Adam and Kristina sitting across from Max, trying to figure out what to say next. Kristina is crying, Adam is still pissed at Crosby and they don’t know what to say. Max is very quite and deduces that he’s the only one in the family who has this “disorder” where his “brain doesn’t fire quite right”. How do you explain Asperger’s to someone who has Asperger’s?

Adam and Kristina go to talk to a professional, who at first appears to be a bit judgey. Adam is still obviously testy and defensive, Kristina still shaken by the whole thing. They know they didn’t handle it well, and they’d rather not relive that part. The therapist steers them toward a script, which explains the “qualities and difficulties” a person with Asperger’s may exhibit. Adam immediately dismisses it, convinced that filling his kid with “positive spin” is not the way to handle the situation.

Meanwhile, Crosby is still bemoaning his situation. Jasmine refuses to speak to him, and Adam is actively avoiding him. Crosby feels badly, and doesn’t understand why people aren’t giving him a chance to make it right. Adam, in serious Papa Bear mode, tells Crosby that he isn’t even on his radar. That it what done is done, and now Adam’s priority is to get his family back in balance, because without Gaby, things are in tilt.

An interesting side story tonight was the effect that Jasmine and Crosby’s split has had on the rest of the family. Sydney has been looking forward to a weeknight sleepover with her cousin Jabbar, and now Julia (Crosby’s sister) isn’t sure Jasmine will want to host it. Jasmine reaches out to Julia and says to bring Syd over, but once they get there, Jasmine breaks down. This is where, for one of the first times, viewers get to see the softer side of Julia. This Julia puts her own anniversary dinner on hold by exchanging glances with her husband, who is already distracting the children so the women can talk.

We see Sarah briefly this episode — she has a sweet exchange with her daughter’s English teacher when she presents to him “something” she’s written. She’s also attempting to become “more than a bartender” and is interested in becoming the bar’s manager until she learns the pay is actually less than what she’s currently making. My fingers are crossed that she hits success with writing, AND Amber’s English teacher (they went on a date once, but it’s weird because he’s Amber’s teacher).

We didn’t see any of the other Braverman grandchildren, and there was only one big scene with Zeek and Camille. They knock on Adam’s door to try to build a bridge between him and Crosby. Adam, still defensive, lets them have it — and blames his parents for making things too easy for Crosby. To almost illustrate that point, Crosby gets into a fight over the music blaring from his houseboat, and Zeek has to bail him out of jail. Raise your hand if you have a sibling or a cousin who, well into adulthood, is still really an adolescent?

Adam eventually comes to a resolution with his family. He and Kristina do sit down with Max again, and talk to him about Asperger’s. This episode made it obvious that while they’ve been dealing with Max’s diagnosis, they hadn’t really accepted it or embraced it. It was almost like they were dealing with it to keep it a secret from Max.  I think opening the dialogue can only improve their family dynamics.

What did you think? Are Crosby and Jasmine doomed? Will Jasmine stay on the show?

 

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