Rewinding 'Parenthood': "Solace"

Members of the family turn their backs on each other.

Tonight’s episode opened with Amber waking up next to Steve in the country club gazebo. This would have been shocking if last week’s coming attractions didn’t already show it, so instead I was left wondering how a ritzy country club like that had such laxed security. Steve seemed slightly shocked when Amber pushed him away, shouting about how it was all a mistake and that he shouldn’t tell anyone. At home, Sarah didn’t catch on to Amber’s nervous behavior, believing that her daughter was sleeping over at a friend’s house.

Sarah had other things on her mind, however. Shocked by Camille’s announcement that she was going to clear out the family clutter in the attic, Sarah showed up at Adam’s office. She tearfully told him that “dad cheated on mom”, but his reaction was entirely different. He referred to his dad as “a son of a bitch” several times throughout the episode. They both agreed on not telling anyone else about it, but Adam still told Kristina.

Kristina and Adam tried to make the best of things with their unwanted houseguest, but Zeke seemed as if he was being a pain on purpose. First, he rejected their breakfast for fast food doughnuts that caused Max to make a scene, and then he depressed Haddie by correctly guessing the reason why she broke up with Steve. When the family brought him along on a trip to the pet store, Zeke obnoxiously tried to get Max interested in a dog, when all the boy wanted was a tortoise. (“His name is Miles..., he’s thinking”, said Max in the episode’s best scene.) Later on, when Miles the tortoise suspiciously disappeared, Zeke kept bringing up how they should have gotten a dog instead, which was the last straw for Adam. He told his dad what Sarah had told him, but Zeke partially blamed Camille for his unfaithfulness, adding that “When you’ve been married for forty-six years…, until then leave me the hell alone.” The anger between them was short-lived, though, as he watched his son console a grief-stricken Max. After he declared that he found Miles hiding in his shoe, Zeke and Adam patched things up for the most part.

As they dealt with their awkwardness, Sarah went to an equally awkward art gallery opening with her gussied-up mom, who spent the night flirting with art teacher Matthew. Though she tried to prevent them from going off together, they did. Later on, Camille revealed to her daughter that they went to another art gallery, an Irish pub, and then back to his place for port wine. While it wasn’t said what happened next, I got the hint that Camille isn’t really ready to start dating yet.

Meanwhile, Julia tried to solve her parents’ financial situation, thinking that was their only problem. Despite the fact that Joel has some knowledge about real estate, she wants help from Timm, a guy who once was her date to the prom and once tried “to steal her away” from Joel. They still invite Timm to dinner, where he says he can get Zeke back forty percent of what he invested, in between flirting with Julia and subtly insulting Joel. In a clever twist of writing, Timm has exactly the same personality as Racquel, but Joel doesn’t deal with the situation as well as Julia does. As he was washing the dishes, Joel told his wife to ask someone other than Timm for help, but she flat out denied him, saying, “My parents’ marriage is in the balance, I don’t know what else to say.”

A bad week got worse for Haddie, as even her grandfather knew why she broke up with Steve. To cheer her up, Kristina told her to have a slumber party with her friends. This made her feel better, as her friends, including Amber helped her break apart Steve’s CDs. (In real life, it is a bad idea to break CDs in half because they shatter into sharp, glass-like pieces.) Though Amber didn’t want to come to the sleepover, she still felt so guilty for being there that she told Haddie what her and Steve did at the country club. She didn’t believe her at first, but after hearing Amber’s multiple apologies, Haddie became so angry that she sulked in her room for the rest of the episode.

The only person who had any sort of happiness this week is Crosby, who bonded with Jasmine by doing laundry and eating dinner together. He even looked into buying a house, even though he called his new found family “a work in progress”. Crosby was unconcerned with his parents’ problems, thinking that they would soon get back together again. His biggest problem was getting his piano out of Camille’s attic, stating, “The whole point of parents is to keep your crap in their attic.” Eventually, Adam, Joel, and Drew helped him carry the piano downstairs and into a truck. As Crosby played the song that he practiced “over ten thousand times” for a sixth grade piano recital, various members of the family danced with each other.

Next week seems to be a mixture of both family peacefulness and strife as Max gets involved in a walk to benefit kids with Autism and Amber is bullied because of Haddie.

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