'Parenthood' Recap: Suitcases Full of Pain
'Parenthood' Recap: Suitcases Full of Pain
Eva Des Lauriers
Eva Des Lauriers
Contributing Writer, BuddyTV
Season five is finally hitting its stride. We got multiple sibling scenes, hilarity, crying and plenty of drama. I've enjoyed this season overall, but this is the Parenthood I've been missing. Amber organizes an event for Ashes of Rome which leads to a huge moment between her and Ryan. Camille lets the family in on her plan to go to Italy. Julia is starting to lose it and is getting dangerously closer to Ed in the process. Drew and Natalie take it to the next level, only to have Drew left confused sweetly bearing his heart on his sleeve, as usual. Max and Hank become official BFFs.

Italy or Bust

In the first family dinner scene since the premiere (sans Joel, who is working, of course), Camille announces that she is going to Italy with her art class for a month. Everyone is excited for her until it becomes clear that Zeek isn't going with her. Cue: awkward silence and side conversation about the delicious broccoli. 

Camille prepares everything for Zeek to get by on his own for the entire month, including a spreadsheet and graphs. Meanwhile, the four siblings (another sibling scene! Thanks, Parenthood writers) are at a coffee shop sharing theories as to why Zeek isn't going. Julia remains quiet and frustrated until she exclaims that they should be proud of their mom for taking care of herself after taking care of everyone else her entire life. The sibs are surprised at her outburst but don't say anything about her odd behavior.

Julia takes Camille a suitcase for her trip. Julia starts crying and instead of telling her what is really wrong, she writes it off as happy tears for being proud of her mom. Meanwhile, Adam drills Zeek about why he isn't going to Italy. Zeek goes on about how he doesn't want to sell the house, but ultimately reveals that he wasn't invited to Italy. I don't know how to feel about all of this since I can really see both sides of the issue between them.

After a quick hug and a heartfelt kiss, Camille gets in a taxi and is Italy bound for a month. Within minutes, Zeek already misses her when he sets off the house alarm and doesn't know how to turn it off again.

Best Friends Forever

Max is spending his afternoons at Hank's studio. He finds a picture of Sarah and drills Hank in his usual way for information about their relationship. Hank attempts to deflect the questions, but Max is persistent as always. Hank reveals that that both he and Sarah came to the relationship with too much baggage, or "a suitcase of pain." 

At the family dinner Max announces to the group that Hank is his best friend and that he told him about his and Sarah's relationship. Sarah becomes upset and goes to see Hank the following day to address her concerns. They argue, charmingly, as usual. Hank becomes annoyed at all the fuss and says Max shouldn't come by anymore.

Hank later shows up at Sarah's and tells her that he likes Max and believes in his talent. He agrees that he can still come by and they share a nice moment in the hall. So much witty banter between these two. I wouldn't be mad if they got back together.

Ashes of Ryber

The recording for Ashes of Rome is not going well and Adam and Crosby are stumped. Amber suggests that they organize a live performance at the studio while they are recording to infuse energy into the tracks. The guys agree this is a good idea and Amber offers to organize everything. We haven't seen her in her work setting for awhile, so the change up is a nice one. As an aside, she is more excited about this idea than she has seemed about her wedding. 

Ryan shows up while she is talking with the band and lurks like a creeper. It's unclear whether or not he's jealous or enjoys watching Amber in her element. I'm guessing the former. She tells him she's changed her mind about the wedding now that she and her mom have made up. He's on board, but they still have not decided what kind of wedding they want.

Amber confides in Kristina that she is stressed, and asks her to share her engagement story. Kristina does (day after valentine's day, sweet, romantic, raining). They both cry. I cry. It's such a sweet moment. Amber seems concerned about the state of her own relationship. 

The event goes extremely well. Tyson Ritter, who plays the lead singer of Ashes of Rome, wrote a new song called "Need a Little Air" exclusively for the show. Amber is thrilled with the turnout and Ryan says he's proud of her, though he constantly lurks this episode and it's creeping me out.

Back at home, he re-proposes with a huge diamond ring. He tells her that while his first proposal was impulsive, he's had months to think about it since and he really wants to spend the rest of his life with her. The sweetness is quickly soured by her concerns over the cost of the ring. He says he used his combat pay and he wanted to buy something special with it. She doesn't seem convinced but they kiss anyway. I'm not sure about these two.

Mixed Signals

Meanwhile, Drew is falling hard for Natalie after they have their first hook up. He believes that they are together, but she is stonewalling him around every turn i.e. "text me the deets" and bringing a gang of friends to the Ashes of Rome event that he thought was a date. 

They do talk about it at least, and she admits that it was just a hook up since she doesn't want a boyfriend right now. He agrees that it's totally fine with him, but he's pretty deflated by this news. He becomes even more confused when she shows up at his door the next day and kisses him. Youths. 

Julia & Joel are Headed for Trouble

Julia is becoming more and more frustrated by her stay-at-home mom status. She blows up at the kids for not listening and scares herself with how angry she is. She calls Joel, but he is busy at work and can't really focus on her, though he tries. She calls Ed and he comforts her, saying her call is the best thing that's happened all week. Though I've predicted this from episode one, I still don't like where this is headed. 

We'll see how this plays out with Julia and Joel on next week's episode. 

Parenthood airs Thursdays at 10pm on NBC.

(Image courtesy of NBC)