Wednesday, January 2, 2013

Parenthood: Keep On Rowing(S4E12)

Well, after a nice long break, we finally are back with new episode starting on Tuesday, apparently!  I think I heard about Parenthood coming back, but completely forgot.  Good thing for OnDemand, amirite?

Let’s get right into this heavy on character development episode, with a side helping of plot, shall we?

In the most lighthearted pieces of the evening, Sarah and Hank are still dating awkwardly, and after the urging of the Braverman girls, Sarah tells Hank to ask her out on an official date.  He does so, incredibly awkwardly yet again, and they set a date for Thursday.

Of course, Sarah goes home and spots Drew messaging Mark on Facebook, and pangs of jealously run through.  On the date, she is all distracted, while Hank is lightheartedly complaining about the $17 salads.  Sarah asks if he still feels jealous when his ex is with another guy, and they commiserate over their shared experiences.  Hank decides that the fancy pants place is really not them, and so they go back to his house to play War and eat Chinese on the floor.  As you do.  Hank gets super cute too, expositing how he’s not great at eye contact, but with Sarah, “I find it hard NOT to look into your eyes.”

The next morning, Sarah awakes to find Hank gone, and she starts packing up to go.  Just then, Hank walks back in with breakfast, and they share another tender moment.  I’m kind of growing on them as a couple, I think, cause I wasn’t feeling the urge to snark on their relationship the whole time, which was definitely a first for me on them.
Adam and Kristina had a bit of a heavy start:  on the girls night out, Kristina inadvertently pulled out a full lock of hair, and got fully depressed over it.  She when home, and decided that she was over that mess, and shaved her head fully bald.  Adam is slightly shocked when she shows off her newly shiny head, and Adam is only slightly taken aback, but in Kristina’s heightened sense of emotion, she takes it entirely the wrong way, and runs out crying.

The next day, at the grocery store, and apparently several other places we weren’t privy to, Kristina is given more weird looks than a devil in a convent, and is not terribly impressed.  She is surfing the web when Adam finds her next, and they talk about how apprehensive she is about her whole life changing so massively, while Adam tries to comfort her.  When she leaves the room, he sees that she was looking at wigs online.

The next day, Adam and Sarah are looking for wigs for Kristina, and Adam finds one that he thinks looks just like her old hair, and brings it to her.  Again, Kristina takes this gesture completely the wrong was, and is fully convinced that Adam thinks she is hideous and doesn’t want to be seen with her.  Kristina can’t be dissuaded of this, and runs crying out of the room again.

Later, Adam is at the Luncheonette, when Amber runs into the room spouting something about Marlese and a firetruck, and Adam flies out of the room to find…Kristina in the alley in fancy clothes with a limo and new, red hair!  She is in a much clearer state of mind, and apologizes for being a raging ball of emotion lately, and asks him out on a date night, to be ended at a very fancy hotel for a ‘trip to funkytown,’ to paraphrase Kristina. 

In the hotel lobby, Kristina is looking very posh waiting for Adam to come back with their drinks, when a wild Ryan Hanson appears!  He hits on her a bit, being especially complimentary on her hair and how young she looks.  Kristina laps it up until Adam spoils the fun by butting in, but she makes the best of it by setting Luke(Ryan Hanson’s character name) up with their server.  When they finally make it up to the bedroom, Adam is getting all ready with his Hugh Hefner jacket, but Kristina has had an incredibly long day, and so is exhausted.  They decide to forgo funkytown, but do enjoy the video Amber shot earlier in the day, and are generally super cute.

Crosby and Jasmine, on the other hand, had a bit bigger of an issue:  Jasmine’s mother lost her job, and after a butter-up pancake breakfast, Jasmine wants Crosby’s permission to lend her mother $5000.  After a quick counseling session with Adam, who gave him the always good advice: “money to family is a gift, not a loan.”  He also tells him to man up and treat the woman who gave birth to his wife with the respect she deserves, and give her the help she needs, numbnuts.  I may have added the numbnuts.

Crosby goes home with the full intent on giving Jasmine’s mom the money.  Jasmine, on the other hand, decides to drop a bomb:  she wants her mother to move in with them, at least temporarily.  Crosby is hella pissed, and they get in an argument that ends in Crosby cleaning out his man-cave to make a bedroom for Jasmine’s mother.  He bitches and moans through the rest of the episode, but does manage to put on a happy face when Jasmine’s mother finally arrives.  And it looks like he’ll deal, especially since Jabbar is so happy to have her there.

And in the most depressing story of the evening, Julia and Joel are still having Viktor issues.  After an excellent job on a math test, Viktor wants to show it to his mom.  “But wait,” you may say, “that’s Julia!”  And you’d be right, but Viktor, in showing the social graces of a damp dish towel (I think he’d fit in well at a video game con, I’m just saying), says he means his ‘real’ mom, his bio-mom.  Julia puts the kibosh on that, mainly for reasons of the court-ordered persuasion, and Viktor pouts.

He pouts at home, he pouts at school, he doesn’t finish dinner and storms off to his room.  Sydney tries to figure out the special rules for Viktor again, and instead of, you know, telling her that Viktor and her are different, and need different things, and THAT’s why his rules are different, Julia tells Sydney to shut up and eat her broccoli.

Later, Viktor is practicing his batting with one of those spinny balls on a stick, and Sydney comes out and taunts him with talk of his bio-mom not loving him, and that’s why he doesn’t ever get to see her.  Viktor tries to get her to shut up, but she persists in being a brat, no thanks to her parents keeping her fully in the dark.  After a short interaction, Viktor’s grip on the metal bat fails, whether purposefully or on accident, and goes flying toward Sydney.  It misses her, but smashes through the patio door, where Julia and Joel finally figure out something may be up.  Joel picks up Sydney and rushes her away while Julia grabs Viktor by the arm and drags him off, yelling the whole way. 

Julia and Joel ‘discuss’ that night, and Joel is concerned Julia is more mad at him, and less at the action, which Joel believes to be fully an accident.  Julia is not impressed, and wonders out loud if they can have one child endangering the wellbeing of the other.  The next day, Viktor takes an especially long time getting ready for school, and when she tries to go in his room to help him, finds the door locked.  Viktor is sitting on his bed fully ready, but will only go to school with Joel.  They end on a camera swoop around a defiantly silent Viktor.  Cue sad music.

This was a pretty good episode.  The heavy storyline was tempered by the lighter things, and it the pacing worked well for me.  The story arcs, if they go as I think, are fairly predictable, but the realness of the dialogue and the chemistry of the cast is really fantastic.

Next week: Amy’s preggo, surprise surprise, and apparently wants an abortion.  I REALLY hope they don’t go that route, cause a lot of respect will be lost for this show if that happens.

Oh, and bald Kristina, according to Max: “Max loves it, he says I look like Bane from the Batman movie”  

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