Rewinding Parenthood: “The Situation”

In the beginning of this week’s episode, Sarah met one of her daughter’s teachers, Mr. Cyr (Joan of Arcadia’s Jason Ritter). After borrowing some nicotine gum, he mentioned Amber was one of his best students and raved about a book report she wrote. Later on, she discovered that Amber plagiarized the report that she wrote on the same book when she was in high school. Furiously declaring that she “ran out of punishments in Fresno”, Sarah then went to tell Mr. Cyr what happened. After she heard him speak so admirably about a report that her own teacher once lambasted and offer Amber a letter of recommendation for college, however, Sarah changed her mind. She did demand that Amber rewrite her report and “not let us down”, though.

Meanwhile, Julia dealt with a different problem with her daughter. Sydney has been playing with Racquel’s equally obnoxious daughter, Harmony, who won’t let her be the princess. Instead, she’s always picked to play the servant, the maid, or the cook. (I, for one, dealt with a similar problem when I was her age. Being of an independent spirit, I solved that by hanging out with the boys instead.) Anyways, Julia’s plan to get Sydney to stand up for herself backfired. Does this mean they will address Racquel and Harmony’s snobbishness in another episode?

Kate took Crosby along with her to a doctor who advised her that the best time for her to get pregnant was now. It was Kate’s desperate pleading to start a family that led Crosby to discuss things with Julia and Sarah, who didn’t know about Jabbar. Julia again cited the “serious financial and legal ramifications” of not having a paternity test, so Crosby sheepishly asked Jasmine about it. She acted very high-and-mighty for a stripper and not only denied him the test, but also told him that he wasn’t allowed to take his son to the zoo the next day. Realizing that Jabbar left his toothbrush at his house, Crosby considered having it tested without her permission, but brought it back to Jasmine. Touched by the sentiment, she then agreed to the test. Wouldn’t it be shocking if he actually wasn’t the father? Crosby then went home to Kate, who made a weird little speech before attempting to flush her birth-control pills down the toilet. That finally made him tell her the truth. She was a little shocked, but mostly offended, leaving us to wonder about next week.

Rounding out things, Julia worried about being a predictable control freak when she learned that she was practically the only Braverman who didn’t break into the merry-go-round after hours “to hook up”. Sensing her pain, Joel got her to break into a closed public pool with him.

Haddie invited her boyfriend over for a family dinner. While she does act spoiled and naive, and Steve is a tad bit obnoxious, Adam is overreacting about their situation. At one point, when the young couple had their first fight, because Steve called Love Actually “Lame Actually”, Adam declared it “the happiest moment of my life”. Steve later came up the bogus excuse that he was “masking his vulnerability with cynicism”, and they made up.

After seeing Max’s baseball team expect nothing from him, Adam and Drew teamed together to teach him how to be a better catcher. Drew really enjoyed all of this, so he was depressed when Adam had to cancel plans for the three of them to play together again. In a rare moment of good parenting, Sarah chewed her brother out for letting that happen, calling him a “half-assed father figure”. Adam didn’t realize how much it meant to Drew, but then made sure that the three got to play baseball together again in the closing moments of the episode.

One complaint that I’m starting to have about Parenthood is the fact that their coming attractions seem to imply things that aren’t going to happen in the next episode. Such was the case last week, when I said that it looked like Sarah was going on a date with her daughter’s teacher, but actually, he just showed up at the bar where she works. Keep that in mind when I say that next week they hinted that both Amber and Sarah have a crush on Mr. Cyr and that Joel might have kissed Racquel.

One thing I’d like to mention is that I’ve seen a lot of posts about who sung what song featured in the episode. If you put the closed-captioning setting on your TV when you watch the show, it’ll usually tell you the artist and song title. This week we heard “Foolin’” by Devendra Banhart.