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Recap: Parenthood, Episode 3.16, “Tough Love”

The Braverman family was back on the silver screen last night, picking up story lines from last week and inventing a few more. Zoe’s about to burst, Crosby discovers that Zeke has health issues, Drew discovers his mom is trying to conceive,  Max learns what it’s like to be picked last and Amber learns that she is the chosen one.

Sarah & Mark: You know how you don’t want to find out that your mom is serious about her boyfriend? By finding her ovulation test in the bathroom. Sarah tells Drew that she’s serious about Mark, and in typically Drew fashion, he doesn’t say a whole lot. Sarah sets up a man-date for them. Drew opens up to Mark, and the poor kid is struggling in so many ways. How much is he struggling? Sarah calls Seth.

Dax Shepard and Cello  Player
"Did you know my mom calls me goose?" (photo by Byron Cohen, NBC)

Crosby: Did you know Crosby’s allergic to cats? The pharmacist didn’t. He tried passing off Zeke’s medications to Crosby, which piqued Crosby’s curiosity. As much as he tried to talk to Camille and Zeke about it, neither one of them tells him much. Only as Crosby apologizes for being nosy does Zeke let him know about his irregular heartbeat.

Adam & Max: The latest challenge for Max is P.E. class. As he realizes he’s going to be the last one picked for teams, Max refuses to play basketball. He likes the sport, he dislikes the people. The good news? He’s found a friend in the other boy who’s sitting out during class basketball games. The scene when Micah shows up at Max’s house is so touching, not only for the boys, but for their parents.

Julia & Zoe: Julia is hovering, Zoe is trying politely not to suffocate. They both need a friend, they’re sort of stuck with each other. The question is: can they make it work in that way? That’s really all there is to say about that.

Amber & Bob Little: Amber takes her first business trip, as assistant to political candidate. Hattie notices as Amber packs her suitcase, that it appears that she’s packing for more than a business trip. Amber & Bob chat it up in one scene, and are making out in her hotel room when Aunt Kristina knocks on the door. AUNT KRISTINA TO THE RESCUE. The age difference isn’t awful, but he’s running for office and Amber is his assistant. Could Amber use a boyfriend? Yes. Could she use a local scandal? Hell no. Keep your pants on until the election is over, kids.

And there you have it–I laughed, I cried, I sighed–and I bit my lip when I saw the previews for next week. What did you think?

3 replies on “Recap: Parenthood, Episode 3.16, “Tough Love””

I am so conflicted about the Amber/Bob Little situation.

The Con List:

– I hate that smarmy, socially maladjusted look that Bob is always wearing.

– He is running for political office, so he is either an idiot, or he’s some sort of power-wielding sadist.

– The tone surrounding this entire relationship is one of Doom and Scandal and Horribleness.

The Pro List:

– Amber  could use a conventionally succesful guy? Maybe?

– If they actually care about each other, is it really so wrong to pursue it? Ill-advised, yes, but not sinister.

– I really want Amber to be allowed to make decisions that bring her happiness, for once.


Sadly, I’m pretty sure this is another “Amber’s Vagina Gets Her Into Trouble!” plotline.

I feel conflicted, too – I want to like Bob, but what a skeeze promoting her and then putting the moves on her.  However, I was (mentally) yelling at Kristina when she busted in and ordered her to come home.  While I agree that sleeping with the boss/employee is (usually) a not so smart move for either party, Amber is not a kid, and should be allowed to make her own mistakes here.

In fact, now that I’m thinking about it more (too much), I wonder if Kristina’s extreme reaction comes from her previous experience with Bob – she worked for/with him on another campaign, right?  I wonder if something similar happened with another assistant and she had to clean up the mess last time?

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