Parenthood S04/Ep02 “Left Field”

This week we begin with Kristina trying to fill the void of her first child flying the coop by looking to purchase a puppy.  Adam is not so keen on this idea and does not think they should jump to a decision on this right away.  He wants to think it over since getting a puppy will be a lot of work.  Kristina seems pretty hell bent on the idea and accidentally mentions to Max that buying a puppy might be a possibility.

Drew is getting ready for his first day of senior year and Sarah and Zeke are both wishing him well in their own ways.  Drew, true to any 12th grade boy form, is anxious to get in his car and get away from all the hoopla, reminiscing, and advice.  His excitement of driving to school with his girlfriend for his last first day of high school is squashed when she breaks up with him.  Admitting she met someone else over the summer, she kills him with the age old, never, ever going to happen, I want to still be friends.

Meanwhile, over at Julia’s, they are preparing for another first day of school, Victor’s first day. It is clear he does not want to go to school and he tells Julia he isn’t feeling well.  Joel wants to make him go, but Julia insists if he doesn’t feel well he doesn’t have to go.  So Sydney leaves with her backpack and lunchbox; but no new brother.  Joel can’t help but notice Victor is fine playing video games and watching TV all day, except when Julia calls to check up on him, he suddenly remembers his illness.

Crosby becomes annoyed at Adam’s cell phone interrupting their staff meeting.  He asks Adam why his phone goes off all the time.  When Adam explains that he and Kristina sync their online calendars and the beeps are events / appointments on their shared calendar.  Crosby cannot believe this and he looks at Adam’s phone.  He does not understand at all why this would be necessary.  He then really lays into Adam when he sees the event ‘Funkytown” on the calendar, which Adam admits is sex.

After school, Drew swings by the photography shop to pick up Sarah, where he ends up telling them Amy broke up with his so he could shut his mother up from asking so many questions.  Hank a man of so little words as it is, had no interest in discussing Sarah or Drew’s personal life.

Despite Jasmine taking the time to make a nice salmon dinner for her family, Crosby suggests they table that dinner and go out for pizza much to Jabbar’s delight.  Jasmine trying to play it cool and not “controlling” as she has been accused of in the past, goes along with the idea.  I say “controlling” in quotes simply because Crosby’s lack of discipline and sense of schedule would drive me bonkers too — BUT admittedly Jasmine has never been a favorite character of mine and I hope these two meet somewhere in the middle.

Since Kristina mentioned a dog to Max, he has been researching the idea.  The family finally goes to visit a puppy at two crazy ladies’ house (one whom I think was Napoleon Dynamite’s grandmom, though not confirmed.) Adam has had about enough of all the dog talk, since he doesn’t really want one anyway, plus these crazy ladies’ interrogating him about what kind of dog parent he will be.  It’s the overpriced cost that puts him over the top and they leave.  Back at home Kristina convinces him that the should get the dog, but they then find out it’s too late, that puppy was sold.

When Victor claims to be sick again, Julia drives him to school. He does not want to get out of the car.  You can see Julia’s heart breaking for him, so she told him she would wait in the car, all day, right there.  He questioned what she meant and she told him that she would not leave the school grounds.  He gets out of the car to brave his first day at a new school and Julia stays the day attempting to get work done in her car via blackberry.  When Victor’s class comes outside for recess, he see that Julia kept her word and she is still there.  This was one of my favorites moments.  I think Julia is a character that is misunderstood, and sometimes unliked.  This storyline has shown her in a light that sometimes, due to her superstar husband, goes unnoticed. Julia is a mom.  When she is up all night trying to catch up on work, Joel finds her burning the midnight oil.  She admits what she did, staying at school all day, and Joel calls her amazing.  And today, she was.

Hank winds up alone with Drew in the shop and he uncharacteristically starts to talk to him about the Amy situation, even though he chastised Sarah for even getting involved at all earlier.  We see a more gentle side to Hank than we have yet to experience and he ends up consoling Drew with one simply sentence: It’s ok to be sad.

Since they lack a shared electronic calendar, Crosby and Jasmine’s wires got crossed and neither picked up Jabbar from school.  When this comes to light, they both rush to the school.  Jasmine has had it and tells (yells?) Crosby that grown-ups and parents keep calendars and schedules and stay organized because they have to, or they will end up leaving their kids at school.  Crosby makes this up to Jasmine by syncing their calendars and marking down and time to apologize to her.  Which she receives via text message.

We started the episode with Kristina and we end with Kristina. The last scene was one of the most heartbreaking we have seen in Parenthood – and that is a pretty tough competition since there have been plenty of episodes that provoke tears.  With no dialogue, only a musical montage, we see Kristina go to her doctor’s appointment (that we first learned about in jest when Crosby was looking at Adam’s phone calendar), find out she has breast cancer (or at least a lump), and tell Adam in the parking lot of a place where they are going to buy a dog.

I don’t know how they will proceed with this storyline, but I know that the Bravermans will stand strong together, like they always do.

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