PARENTHOOD: 2.18 “Qualities and Difficulties”
Before I jump in and discuss Max in this episode, I want to remind readers that not only am I not someone who has a lot of background in Asperger’s, but I am also not a parent. Please chime in in the comments to share your own thoughts on the episode from that perspective, if you have it.
I didn’t know what to expect with this week’s episode of Parenthood, knowing that it was the week that Adam and Kristina had to tell Max about his autism. I almost wish last week’s episode had ended with their silence as they sat him down on the couch to discuss it, because I kinda forgot the opening scene was probably mere moments after Max heard the news himself on the stairs. That’s why Kristina responded with tears, and Adam was having trouble expressing himself in a light that wouldn’t potentially break his son.
But I will say that Adam’s insisting not to position the discussion in a positive light bothered me. Sure, I guess you could call it “spin,” but isn’t it more important to look at how their son would react to what they’re saying than potentially looking at spin? No one wants to hear that something’s wrong with them. Why would Adam be so opposed to positioning it in a different way?
I knew something bad would happen when he took Max out of school. I didn’t think it would be that horrendous breakdown which was so hard to watch, though. Personally, I almost wanted to see the day be perfect, but the aftermath be hard to handle. What does it really mean to break his routine? What would happen the next time Max got ready for school? Would he expect to get to skip school the following day? The following Thursday? Of course, at that point, I guess we wouldn’t have gotten that heartbreaking scene in the middle of the amusement part, and that definitely made its point with the viewers.
Meanwhile, we have Sarah, who, contrary to predictions last week, was neither writing a song or writing a good-bye letter to her parents. She was writing a story–or a play, if you believe Mark. Don’t think we didn’t notice that Jason Ritter suddenly appeared in an episode of Parenthood only days before The Event comes back from hiatus. Part of me almost wonders if they rewrote Sarah’s plot, just to add some cross-promotion and to give Ritter a fallback option in case The Event bites the dust. I mean, who starts a play with “Mom and Dad” with a suitcase next to her?
Anyway, it’s a interesting change for Sarah, though I’m not entirely sure where it will go. Could it be that they’ve really run out of things to do with her? I hope this actually goes somewhere, because I’m tired of her half-baked storylines that fall through after a few episodes. You know, like any episode where she’s dating someone, or when she worked with Adam trying to be a designer.
Then there’s Crosby and Jasmine. Honestly, this was the first episode I actually felt bad for Jasmine. Crosby really did treat her like crap, and he’s not giving her any time to get over it. Not very fair of him. I’m glad the family is still trying to be close to Jasmine–after all, Jabbar is still their nephew–but I don’t know how I feel about everyone taking sides. Adam seems a little too angry (mainly because he’s mad at himself for letting Max’s Asperger’s slip out), but Camille and Zeek? Where’d that come from? Why are they pro-Crosby? Not that much time has really passed, Mom and Dad. Let Adam cool down.
Personally, I like the way Julia and Joel are handling the situation, and in general, I just love them. I swear, if they ever make Joel a jerkface who cheats, even seasons down the line (fingers crossed there will be more seasons), I’ll really be mad at the show, considering his wonderful speech. Man, I really like those two.