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<i>Parenthood</i>: The Best and Worst Braverman Pairings of “You’ve Got Mold”

Well, I think I may have just switched my allegiance from Team Joel to Team Julia. I know, I didn't see it coming either. While I still respect and understand Joel's decision (especially for sticking to his guns and knowing himself well enough to know that he's confident in his choices), the guy really could have given counseling a try for a little while, no? Again, I know. For weeks I have been saying the show needs this shakeup, which I still stand by, but jeez… poor Julia. I mean, was there anything sadder than her plea, "Don't give up on me"? Hell -- and this is the most shocking thing of all -- poor Sydney and Victor. Anyway, I'm getting ahead of myself, but Joel and Julia's collapse was the biggest thing to happen in "You've Got Mold." Some other story lines did take place, too, so here are all the best and worst Braverman pairings from last night's new episode:

Best: Joel and Julia
Well, this was a doozy. Joel finally went to a counselor with Julia…but only to come up with a way to break the news to their kids that he'd be moving out. In case that wasn't enough of a stab in the gut, Joel said he wasn't sure if they would be reconciling in the future or divorcing. There seemed to be a glimmer of hope when Joel couldn't muster telling his children he was leaving, but that didn't last long. He explained that he was moving out and Sydney and Victor, understandably, did not take it well. There were tears and adult contemporary music. It was all very emotional. The next day Joel and Julia cordially said their goodbyes like two awkward roommates rather than husband and wife. Faced with the prospect of sleeping in her bed alone and coping with her kids' sadness and anxiety, Julia takes them over to her parents' house where she finally has the chat she had been holding off: her marriage might be over. Zeek and Camille, of course, comforted her. Braverman hugs always look the nicest, don't they?

Best: Zeek and Camille
For a while there it looked like Zeek and Camille would be heading down the same doomed path as Julia and Joel. Camille is still deeply immersed in her online art class (the Bravermans are getting the Internet!) and Zeek feels her continuing to slip away. Then Zeek did something even more romantic than whisking her to Italy: he told her that he didn't want to lose her and that in their marriage she was the one who made all the sacrifices and that if she wants to move, he would do that for her. The nicest thing about this moment was that you could tell Zeek truly meant it: he wanted to make Camille happy. It wasn't a panic move about losing her; it's that he knew she deserved the happiness and adventures she's seeking at this stage in her life and he can be a part of that. Damn, when this show is good and on-point with relationships, it's so, so good.

Best: Crosby and Jasmine
This isn't the best Crosby and Jasmine storyline the show has ever had, but I'm just happy to have one that doesn't involve the lead singer of the All-American Rejects. Instead, this time their unwelcome guest was the mold invading their home. After getting an estimate from, presumably, Vamonos Pest, Jasmine, Crosby, and their kids hole up in a hotel until they realize that costs a ton of money. (I mean it was so obscene, Crosby almost had a pretend heart attack.) With that, they are forced to face an even more upsetting fate than a mold-riddled house: staying in your parents' guest house.

Worst: Sarah and Hank
A lot of you defended Hank in the comments section of last week's post, but I still stand by my feelings on Hank: he's still really annoying and still takes up way too much screen time from far more interesting characters. Anyway, Hank and Sarah finally worked together and Sarah eventually got her way and had the photo shoot on the beach and it all went swimmingly. There was no major (or more accurately, new) drama; just the usual Hank and Sarah banter where he's mopey and she's whiny and the cycle will, inevitably, repeat itself. I wish I cared more about either of these people, but I really don't.

Worst: Adam and Kristina
I know you don' like reading that Adam and Kristina are the worst anything as much as I don't like writing it, but this wasn't one of their stronger outings. Since Haddie apparently no longer exists and Nora's only storyline this week was to -- quite literally -- snore (more like Snora, amirite?), their focus was 100 percent on Max and his education. Turns out, one of his crappy, impatient teachers keeps sending Max to the library when he doesn't feel like dealing with his outbursts in class anymore. Kristina and Adam have a meeting with the teacher and the principal, but it all falls on deaf ears. Coincidentally (but really, not that coincidentally at all), Kristina spent a portion of her week helping out the fellow parent of a high school child with Asperger's and saw firsthand how it was only going to continue to be a struggle. Then a light bulb went off and she decidesd she wants to start her own school for kids like Max. Oh brother. I love Kristina's tenacity as much as the next fan, but she can be a little too saintly and exhausting sometimes, can't she? The minute this all went down, all I could think was, "Oh great, another storyline on par with the lame, dragged-out mayoral campaign plot" and "Come on, other frustrated (read every) parent on the planet, it's so easy to just start your own school!"

Worst: Amber and Seth's Absence
Seriously, Parenthood you bring Seth back into Amber's/our lives and then we don't see either of them this week? The show isn't coming back until February 27, so you could have given us just a few minutes to check in on them and see how they're doing with their father/daughter bonding, dammit.

Watch the full episode here:

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