Parenthood

Episode Report Card
Al Lowe: A | 1 USERS: A+
YOU GRADE IT
Water, Water, Everywhere
ks. Adam and Kristina try to act like they're not being weird, but their forced normalcy, sitting in the kitchen, makes Haddie look to the source, Max, who is playing on the floor. "I got kicked out of school," he says. Haddie's cynical face falls. "Oh," she says. "You know what, big guy? That's their loss. That school sucked." Max does not look up.

Playing on a different floor: Crosby and Jabbar. Little man is handing it to Crosby, Candyland style. "One more," he says, after beating Crosby yet again. Crosby says there's only so much defeat he can take. "I can play even easier," Jabbar offers. This is the cutest kid ever on television. Seriously, I am fully Team Jabbar. Crosby asks if there's anything else he wants to do, seeing that they have a solid six hours before Jasmine returns. "Ooo," Crosby has an idea. "ESPN, anyone?" Ha! But Jabbar says he doesn't really watch sports. "We can watch more SpongeBob!" the kid says, but Crosby suggests they not be too hasty to do that. "I would hate to see you O.D. on Bob," he says. Finally, Crosby suggests they go for a car ride. "That's what my dad used to do," he says, leaving unspoken that this is what his dad used to do to burn off the hours with the kids before bedtime. Not that I would know anything about this, now. Jabbar says okay, but asks if he can take his Candyland board. "Oh, would you?" Crosby jokes, and tickles the kid into adorable squeals.

At Dr. Pelikan's office, Adam and Kristina review the ordeal of the fish tank. "Were there any...?" the Unseeable Pelikan asks. Kristina: "Survivors? No." He says that as Max's school has suggested he "find a new placement," meaning "you don't have to go home but you can't go to school here," he suggests a therapeutic school, Footpath. This has also been recommended to Adam and Kristina, but they cannot get the director of the school to call them back. Pelikan says he's sure the lady will call them next week sometime. "My son, Max, doesn't have a school to go to," Adam says. "What am I supposed to tell him?" Pelikan has no answer for this, but smiles blandly. He reminds them that Footpath is not only really hard to get into, it's super expensive, double the tuition of even a private school. Adam says the money doesn't matter, and Kristina smiles. What if, Kristina says, Pelikan called the school on their behalf to grease the wheels? "Don't make us come and sit in your waiting room on a daily basis," Adam says, not really joking. Kristina: "Because we'll do it. We will."

On the streets of San Francisco -- oh, only instead of Karl Madden and Michael Douglas, it is a middle-aged slacker and a cute five-year-old -- Crosby and Jabbar go up and down the hills in Crosby's old convertible. "What do you think of these streets?" Crosby asks. "They're like roller coasters, right?" Um, yeah, they actually are, and Jabbar is feeling it. "Can you take me home now?" he asks in that sort of half-pitiful, half-secret-emergency voice that every parent MUST learn the hard way. Crosby, though, doesn't get it, until: "Now I remember why my mom says I can't eat chocolate," Jabbar groans. "I'm intolerant." Aw. "You're what?" Crosby yells over the car noise, but his only answer is the tell-tale splat of lactose on the dash.

Joel is overseeing bath time at home when Julia comes in. Sydney is actually taking a bath in her swimsuit, practicing her "swimming." Julia smirks. "Question," she says, turning to Joel. "Yes, counselor?" he asks. She wonders if "we" are at all concerned that Sydney has had five swimming lessons and all she can do is blow bubbles. Except... the way she asks it, by snarkily imitating her own child blowing bubbles like someone in a mental hospital, does not appeal to me. "Uh, we are not concerned," Joel says. "I know you were on the swim team and you were really, really good." Julia corrects him, here: "I was not just really, really good. I was All-CIF." Joel is impressed. "You Bravermans are so cocky," he jokes as they go in to watch Sydney splash around. "Mommy, look," she says, doing her bubbles routine again. "I'm swimming!" Julia can't take it. "That's not swimming, baby," she says. "Don't let anybody tell you that that's swimming." Which... maybe she's so insistent about it for safety reasons? Like, she doesn't want her daughter to throw herself into a pool thinking she can swim, when she actually can't? I don't know, but it's bitchy. The bitching has only just begun, though, for now she notices some writing on Sydney's hand in the style of the ultimate tramp stamp. "Just like Raquel's!" Sydney says. "It means 'abundance!'" Julia's teeth nearly pulverize as she turns a gritting smile to Joel. "Swim time's over!" he announces.

The night is not going so well for Crosby, either. He shows up at Adam's, desperate. "You've dealt with kid puke before, right?" he asks the second Adam opens the door. Adam: "Uh huh." As they stand over the convertible while Crosby sprays it down, Adam listens as his brother laments the difficulties of parenthood. "Come on, man," Adam says. "You had Jabbar for like, half a day?" Dude, exactly. But then again, Crosby has a good point -- Adam had time to prepare for his role as a father. "My kid," Crosby says, "came out talking and walking -- a three-foot-tall Candyland Master." Adam distractedly tells him to give it time and Crosby snaps that that's easy for him to say. Adam sighs. "You know what, Crosby?" he says, staring blankly down the street. "However hard you think it is, having a kid? Just double it." Crosby's upset -- Jabbar will be coming over again, and he has no idea what to do with him. "What am I supposed to do?" he asks. "Take him to the studio?" Adam asks if Crosby wants him and Kristina to watch the kid. "Dude, seriously?" Crosby asks, excited. Adam: "No, jackass, he's your son! Grow a pair! Deal with it." Awesome. First of all, there is nothing better than doling out a well-deserved "jackass." Secondly, it's the truth -- a hard one, but still. Crosby asks what it is that makes the whole parenthood thing worth it. Adam shakes his head. "What makes it worth it is the connection, the bond you feel," he says. "They're yours. You're a part of them." Crosby is worried he won't feel that connection, though. "You will," Adam says, and leaves his bro to do some more scrubbing on the stank.

Back at the Braverman compound, Sarah is struggling to go to sleep. This could possibly be because she is having to share a bed with her teenage daughter. Oh, did I mention it's a TWIN bed? People, no. No one would do this. Wait -- no one but college kids hooking up in a dorm would try to share a twin bed. Obviously, it isn't working and they are both miserable and squealy. Elbows fly, covers are thrown, Sarah falls out of bed and threats are scream-whispered in that tone reserved for very tired people very late at night. Finally, Amber says that this does it, she is asking her grandfather tomorrow if he will move his office out of the guest house so that Sarah can sleep there. "You can't do that," Sarah insists, through faux-sobs of tiredness. "Why are you being such a weenie about this?" Amber asks. She says every time she brings up Grandpa, Sarah gets all weird. "You're usually so ballsy!" she says. "What's going on?" Sarah can't answer. None of this would happen if, I don't know, someone would buy a cot or an air mattress. Or, get this, sleep on a couch. And, is Sarah sleeping in all her clothes? This scene is dumb.

The next day, Adam is at work when Julia arrives wanting to take him to coffee to bend his ear. She wants to go to Berkeley Coffee, of course, since the people there give her all kinds of free stuff ever since she set Sarah up with Jim. Obviously, by the way she is chattering, Adam says, she has had a few too many. Plus, he says, he has to leave early today for Max's school thing, "so is it okay if we just talk while I answer some emails and just half-listen to you?" She says that will work. She gives him the rundown of the swimming situation: "Joel has Sydney in this Zen swimming class, which is basically a joke," she says. "And then there's Raquel, which..." Adam interrupts: "Raquel? The hot one?" Ugh. "Oh, is she hot?" Julia says. "I hadn't noticed." Adam rolls his eyes, but Julia doesn't even care about Raquel, reall

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Parenthood

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