Rewinding Parenthood: “Man Vs. Possum” (full episode)

The second episode of NBC’s Parenthood aired this past Tuesday night, and though its title was “Man Vs. Possum”, you wouldn’t know that unless you read it in the TV listings. It turned out to be an apt title, however, because the show opened with Adam chasing one down in his backyard late at night after hearing strange noises. Instead of calling Animal Control, he puts it upon himself by Googling “trapping and killing possums” while at work. (Is anyone surprised that it wasn’t spelled opossum instead?) But that’s Adam’s main problem, he tries to solve every problem he comes across. He tries to get childish Crosby to “man up” and tell his girlfriend about his illegitimate son, he tries to cure his own son’s Asperger’s disease as if it were a bad cold, and he doesn’t resist his father’s suggestion to use his connections to get Sarah a job interview with a hip ad agency.

Sarah, however, is a downer. She doubts herself, albeit for good reasons, all through her job searching, but finally cheers up during her job interview. She’s beaming afterward, but reality sets in as she not only discovers how her brother got her the opportunity, but also doesn’t get hired.

Meanwhile, as Julia frantically tries to spend more time with her daughter by driving her to school, an annoying mom rudely gets in her way. Later on, she goes home to find this same woman, Racquel, baking cookies and bonding with her PTA-dad husband. If I was married, and some woman was as all over my husband as this woman is, then I wouldn’t have acted as coolly as Julia did.

Crosby bonded with Jabbar over pancakes at a restaurant, but he seems to be only willing to be a part-time father. Jasmine seems to be using him as a part-time babysitter, however, as he lies to his girlfriend about where he has been.

During all of this time, Max has been causing chaos at home. He’s especially intelligent, he can tell you all about cockroaches and how many hit singles the Bee Gees had, but he refuses to change his pirate costume and he seems off in his own world. Still Adam doubts Max’s diagnosis when he and his wife, Kristina, meet a kooky couple whose son has it. After inviting them to eat a dinner that hasn’t been prepared yet and showing them an unusual set of note cards, they recommend expert Dr. Pelikan. Dr. Pelikan, played by Everwood’s Tom Amandes, uses a lot of flowery language to explain that Asperger’s is incurable, and that instead of getting Max to accomplish regular goals, they need to “meet him where he is”. In a desperate bid for attention, Haddie states that the drugs she and Amber got in trouble for were hers. I know she said it was stupid and that she was sorry, but why didn’t her parents say or do anything about it? And why on earth did they bring her bag of marijuana with them to the school fundraiser?

The school fundraiser was the turning point of the episode, as Julia showed up Racquel by outbidding her in an auction war over the best parking spot. As Sarah learned that Amber was telling the truth about the drugs, Crosby made an even bigger fool of himself by smoking some of it in the parking lot.

In the end, Sarah tried to make things right with her daughter, by convincing the school principal to not push her a grade back, and Adam finally let loose by donning a pirate costume and playing outside with Max.

Some questions are still left unanswered for future episodes, though. Is Zeek having an affair? Is anyone going to do anything about Haddie? Will Racquel still make a play for Julia’s husband? And what happened to the possum?