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'Parenthood' - 'Rubber Band Ball' Recap

by Jane Boursaw, posted Apr 21st 2010 10:01AM
(S01E08) "I am an irrational hardass with rage issues. Don't piss me off." - Zeek to Damien

First of all, a big Woot! that 'Parenthood' was picked up for a second season. That's awesome! And second, many thanks to Danny Gallagher for allowing me to take over the reviews on this show. Not only do I love it, but my daughter does, too, so it's always fun to watch stuff together.

This episode is probably my favorite so far, because the issue of trust went a long way with various characters. Things were said that probably weren't all that easy for the person saying them, but in the long run, it helped to glue the family together even more, and also forge a lasting relationship with another family.

Let's talk about Sarah's apology to Amber for going out with her teacher. In the comments last week, Erica H. mentioned that she didn't like the fact that Sarah told Amber about the relationship right before the SATs. I totally agree, Erica - it was a dumb move on Sarah's part. That's one reason I love 'Parenthood' -- it doesn't claim to have perfect characters, and parents make mistakes, too.

Sarah made another one when she chided Amber for making the same mistakes that she'd made. You get where Amber is coming from when she says that makes her feel like her whole life is a mistake. A kid WOULD feel that way, so parents need to be mindful of their words and how they'll affect their kids.

I had to laugh at Zeek's handling of the situation with Damien. Damien didn't seem like a bad kid, and it was great that the writers didn't stereotype him into this seedy goth character. Zeek said Damien had to clean up, so he gave himself a bath with the garden hose. You can't fault the kid for making an effort. I also loved the scene where he and Amber were eating cake together outside, just talking, not making out or anything.

Even better was when Sarah told Amber, "I've decided that I'll just try to get along with you and trust you," and then Amber told Sarah that she was going out -- with Damien. Baby steps. But even better than that was when Amber came home and told Sarah that she'd told Damien to go back to Fresno. She couldn't help getting this jab in: "It had absolutely nothing to do with you. I hope you're happy." And yes, Sarah was happy, because she'd trusted Amber to do the right thing, and that's exactly what Amber did.

It worked a lot better than this hokey speech Sarah gave to Damien: "If you love someone, set them free. If they come back, they're yours. if they don't, they never were." To which Damien replied, "It's not that easy." Of course, it's not. Life is messy.

It was interesting how things played out with Julia and Kristina. I'm not so sure it won't come back to make waves at some point -- in fact, I'm quite sure it will -- but the fact that Julia trusted Kristina to be OK with the fact that Sydney was gifted instead of having Asberger's was a big step. The reason I'm sure it'll come back to haunt them is that Kristina herself told Adam that she was weirdly happy that another kid in the family might have Asberger's.

I can see how that'd be the case. Then they wouldn't feel so alone and isolated. But the whole thing came back for laughs, when we learned that Max had stolen Sydney's rubber band ball. Hey, it wasn't stealing in his mind.

Another trust issue played out with Crosby and Jasmine. I sort of wanted to punch her in the face when she revealed that she'd told her family Crosby abandoned her and Jabbar. I guess it seemed easier at the time, but I'm glad she finally came out with the truth, not only for Crosby, but also for Jabbar, so he wouldn't have to deal with her side of the family always being angry at his dad for something beyond his control.

I'm also really glad that Crosby's whole family was able to come to the party, instead of him having to play 'Survivor' and "just pick four." Family is really important to them, and that particular day was all about Jabbar.

Oh, and I hope Jasmine doesn't keep dredging up the playdate incident. It's over, Crosby knows he made a mistake, move on. Those two belong together. Too funny when he told her, "I have to admit, I kinda like it when you screw up. It makes us feel a little more ... " I'll finish the sentence -- on equal footing.

We had some nice interactions between Zeek and Adam. First they were in the car talking about sex. "The Braverman men," said Zeek, "we're strong in the sexual department, son." Yeah, we get that. We got it when you had that little man-to-man talk with Drew a couple weeks ago! At first I was a little ticked that Zeek didn't just come out and say why they were on this little road trip: he's broke and needs money, and would Adam buy the raw space and help him out?

I'm glad it came out eventually, and Adam was man enough not to chide his dad about not telling him (unlike me, who was yelling at the TV, "Why didn't you just tell him in the first place?!"). But of course, Zeek's a guy and like he said, he's supposed to be helping Adam out, not the other way around. That whole scenario is probably how it would have played out with a real-life dad and son -- another reason why I love this show.

On the girls' side of the family, we had a really nice conversation between Sarah and Camille. Sarah went to her mom broken up about how things were going with Amber, and her mom said just the right thing: "You're the brave one. You took risks. You always took a chance. You declared your independence early on and you went for it. You have to honor that person that you are, because I do." Someone needs to make a poster out of that, because it's just beautiful. It also shows that no matter how old a person gets, it's never too old to get some wise advice from their parent.

One last thing: I had to laugh when Zeek wanted to watch 'Ice Road Truckers' in the hotel room. Yeah, I can see that.

What was your favorite storyline in this episode of 'Parenthood'?
Sarah and Amber learning to trust each other.17 (11.6%)
Zeek telling Adam that he was in trouble financially. 1 (0.7%)
Camille's sweet words to Sarah. 12 (8.2%)
Julia asking Kristina about Asberger's, then telling her that Sydney is gifted. 19 (13.0%)
Jasmine telling her family that Crosby didn't abandon her and Jabbar. 63 (43.2%)
Zeek telling Damien to fill up the van with gas and get lost. 32 (21.9%)
None of the above; I'll tell you in the comments.2 (1.4%)

[Watch clips and episodes of 'Parenthood' on SlashControl.]

[Follow @jboursaw on Twitter.]

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I agree, this was a great episode.

What I especially love about the show is that it just feels real - you never get the feeling that a character is written just to add drama, they all react quite natural.

I was completely sold on this episode during the scene with Adam and Kristina in their bedroom, discussing how they would feel good having another child with Asperger's in the family. Their interaction felt just... right.

Kudos to the actors, the writers, the team. Your show is a winner...

April 23 2010 at 9:03 AM Report abuse rate up rate down Reply

I loved Damien washing himself in the bushes with the garden hose. Very funny, very 18 year old rocker bum. I have this icky feeling that Camille and Zeke are getting separated once the whole money thing comes out.

April 22 2010 at 12:47 PM Report abuse rate up rate down Reply

I really enjoyed this episode! The pacing of the stories was less rushed than previous episodes. In the previous eps. it seemed that the writers tried to cram too much into the hour. I hope that the slower pace continues.

April 22 2010 at 11:23 AM Report abuse rate up rate down Reply

Okay folks, before I choke on the words: Thanks must go to Danny Gallagher for understanding this wasn't a good fit going forward. So, thanks.

Another great episode with the ensemble really paying off well. Sure, they don't use everyone equally every week, but they don't have to, they can let the plot dictate who we follow, and I rather like that larger free form aspect.

April 21 2010 at 9:53 PM Report abuse rate up rate down Reply

This is a good bulding episode. I am glad we will see Adam's other child next installment. She can really feel left out with all the attention on special needs boy. I have a gifted child and I know it is not the same challenge but it is still a challenge. Every day. This show is the best thing this season.

April 21 2010 at 6:49 PM Report abuse rate up rate down Reply

I loved that the turning point for Amber's feelings for Damien seemed to be wrapped up in his misprounciation of the word "marauders"! His ignorance kind of indicated that she had moved on from him, maybe just a function of time, or maybe her being exposed to her English teacher.

April 21 2010 at 2:13 PM Report abuse rate up rate down Reply
Couchtime With Jill

This was my favorite episode of Parenthood to date. I'm so happy it was renewed for another season! I review it every week at my blog, http://couchtimewithjill.blogspot.com/.

April 21 2010 at 11:34 AM Report abuse rate up rate down Reply
1 reply to Couchtime With Jill's comment

Plug your damn blog somewhere else! This is a totally classless move to advertise your crap here.

You are not wanted here.

TVSquad/Weblogs Inc. should ban these entries.

April 21 2010 at 3:26 PM Report abuse rate up rate down Reply

Did anyone get a sense that Camille knows about Zeek's money issues? It seems like she was trying to get it out of him in the kitchen and when she asked if anything else happened, he told her no and hugged her. It seems like she had a disappointing look on her face.

April 21 2010 at 10:20 AM Report abuse rate up rate down Reply

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