PARENTHOOD: 4.14 “One Step Forward, Two Steps Back”
After last week’s incredible episode of Parenthood, I was left with a loss of words. The show handled Drew’s storyline so well, even if I did hate the final result. My only irritation was that of Sarah, who seemed oblivious to anything going on in her son’s life, even after Mark pointed it out. While I realize that was supposed to symbolize a very real perception of the secret life of an American teenager (see how I did that there?) that even the parents don’t see, in the end, we have Sarah, who is so wrapped up in her own world to take notice of anyone else.
This week builds on that Sarah irritation, with promos and previews dedicated to the love triangle between Sarah, Mark, and Hank. We’re only lucky the entire episode didn’t revolve around that.
What really stood out to me in this episode was not that story of Sarah, but everyone else. I loved seeing Julia’s reaction to Victor’s attitude toward her. While Joel so blindedly fought forward to get Victor as part of the family, Julia stepped back, wondering if it was really right. Not only because it hurt her, but because Victor deserved a mother/son relationship that was loving and nice. I was particularly impressed with Crosby — yes, I said that right — when he gave her his pep talk. That was rather adult and helpful of him, which is unusual to say the least.
Speaking of Crosby, I was also rather impressed with him when he chose to open up a discussion with Jasmine’s mother. Now, he certainly couldn’t handle criticism, and he handled the second half of that conversation terribly, but he was smart to bring it up. I also think he has a point to tell Jasmine that she needs to learn to stand up to her mother. Jasmine gave no support in that conversation — even during the calm discussion that started it — leaving Crosby on his own. While Crosby certainly had his faults, Jasmine isn’t 100% innocent either.
I was also pleased to see Ryan reappear on the show. I was wondering what would happen between him and Amber by the season’s end (which is next week), and I’m glad he’s back. Here’s hoping for more.
But before we get there, let’s take a moment to think about that horrible direction we’re going in for Sarah. Personally, I think this is the weakest storyline of the show, and it just needs to go away, not stretch out as the series’ ongoing “Will they won’t they” storyline. I could care less who she picks (but if she doesn’t pick Mark, she’s a moron). As much as I really enjoy Ray Romano on the show, I think it’d be the smartest decision to pick neither of them, just so we can give Sarah a fresh start if this series continues.
And hopefully it will. Because here we have another week with yet another great episode. And I rarely get to say that.