The Braverman family is starting 2012 a little stressed, embarking on a family road trip of epic proportions. Zeek is circling the troops to visit his mother for her 86th birthday. It’s interesting to see him nervous about visiting his mother, and hilarious to see him organize the family. After passing out envelopes with itineraries, maps, and order forms for lunch, along with “mission specific only” walkie talkies, the entire Braverman clan, sans Adam’s wife and two of their children, are on their way.
Kristina is home with Max due to his behavior earlier in the day, something that Adam defends to Zeek, who thinks the punishment is a bit extreme. They do successfully get on the road, and a view into each car proves to be sort of hilarious. Haddie’s texting, and not talking to Adam, Crosby’s sitting in the back seat with Sydney and Jabar, and Sarah and Amber are giving Drew a hard time. Camille is trying to calm Zeek down, who’s annoyed that Adam and Kristina are setting boundaries with Max “on my time.” You have to wonder what this woman, Zeek’s mother, is going to be like as the adult Braverman children start to reminisce about Grandma Blanche.
Things reach a peak over lunch, when Zeek puts Crosby in charge of watching the easy chair strapped to the back the truck making the trip, and continues to badger Adam about the decision he and Kristina made in regards to Max. Camille gives a little background on how Grandma Blanche has cut Zeek down all his life, and as Zeek then tries to defend his mother, he notices the chair is missing. Where the hell is the chair?
Back at home, Kristina is dealing with after-tantrum Max. He’s mad at her, she’s kind of miserable about the whole thing. After cleaning his room, Max makes dinner for two- macaroni and cheese, and a big bowl of carrots. What mother wouldn’t love that?
From there, things go from bad to worse for awhile. Zeek throws another fit that evening at the hotel, and then he and Camille are long gone in the morning. It’s interesting watching the children act as parents, and in Zeek’s case, the patriarch feeling like the son again. The Braverman kids head home in a huff, but after a few miles, they turn around and head back toward their destination. Kristina has a change of heart, and flies with Max and Nora to be with the family. She has a few minutes with Zeek before everyone arrives, and their moment changes the tone of the show. Grandma Blanche gets dropped off, the rest of the clan arrives, and the mission of the day is accomplished: the entire family is together.
After her party, Blanche starts to make little comments about Zeek, and the entire family sees what’s been stressing Zeek out. Crosby comes to his defense, which then leads Blanche to talk to Zeek privately. He tells her that his kids are the best things that he’s done with his life, and he wanted her to see that. She tells him she loves him. It might be a little too late, but I think it kind of made it all worth it for Zeek.