Parenthood

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You're Bound to Lose Control When the Rubberband Starts to Jam

Who should be worried is Damian, now idling in his stupid van outside of Zeek's house, when he gets a visit from Grandpa, himself. "You know who I am?" Zeek asks. Damian is less frightened than I would recommend. "You're Amber's grandfather, the Viet Nam vet," he says with a touch of condescension. Zeek cuts to the chase. He's sure Damian's a real nice guy, he says, "but, you left your sock in my house when you took my granddaughter's innocence. Here's your sock." Heee. Now Damian is starting to look a little concerned. Zeek pulls a $20 bill out of his wallet and says Damian needs to fill his tank and clear off. Setting aside how unlikely it is that Damian will be to get anywhere near filling his tank with $20, Damian gets the point. "Sir, I just want to let you know, that I am a student of philosophy," he says, with Shakespearian inflection. "Live and let live. I mean no harm." Oh, really? "I am an irrational hard-ass with rage issues," Zeek says. "Don't piss me off." Awesome. Damian, who looks like he has swallowed a bug, takes the $20, and Zeek disembarks, flashing him a sarcastic peace sign that quickly turns into another kind of two-fingered salute.

Over at Adam and Kristina's, Julia has dropped by for a visit. Adam is not there, but Kristina welcomes her in, offering tea. "Hi, Max," Julia says, seeing Max reading at the kitchen table. Max does not respond, until finally, goaded by Kristina, he gives a short treatise on pill bugs. Aunt Julia gets the most sickly possible smile on her face, as if someone just died, listening to Max and imagining her own future as the parent of a child with Asperger's. I initially watched this storyline and understood where everyone was coming from, but now that I am rewatching, I sort of hate it. Julia finally gets to the point. "This is going to sound stupid," she says, nervously holding up the rubber band ball. She explains about the ball, and says that, basically, she would like to know some of the first signs of Asperger's Kristina noticed with Max. Now, here, Monica Potter does some amazing acting. She pulls off, somehow, the perfect balance between weirdly-thrilled and sisterly-compassion. Pulling herself together, she sends Max upstairs -- not without an initial refusal and subsequent sticker promise -- and immediately tells Julia she doesn't think she has anything to worry about in regards to Sydney. Julia explains further about how Sydney counted all the bands, knows the colors, "and she's so utterly fixated on it she cannot make eye contact anymore." Kristina reassures her again that there's probably nothing wrong and gives her Dr. Pelikan's number. Julia is so upset and embarrassed that her icy veneer cracks a little. Kristina again tells her not to worry and hugs her, but...

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Parenthood

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