'Parenthood' Recap: Hug It Out
'Parenthood' Recap: Hug It Out
Eva Des Lauriers
Eva Des Lauriers
Contributing Writer, BuddyTV
After a three week hiatus and fresh off a well-deserved Golden Globe nomination for Monica Potter, Parenthood is back with an excellent episode. It has everything Parenthood viewers love: laughter, crying, dramatic twists, and whole lot of hugs.

"This one stung"

Kristina may have lost the mayoral election, but at least she gets to eat a sheet cake with her face on it. Adam wants Kristina to admit that she is upset about the loss of the election, but she continues to show a brave face. They do throw cake at each other to blow off some much needed steam, continuing the whole being adorable thing.  

Kristina and Adam take advantage of Kristina's clear schedule by enjoying family time at the park with Nora. We haven't seen much of Nora this season and I forget how old she is getting. A mom recognizes Kristina and makes it awkward by promising her vote if Kristina can fix the playground slide. When Adam tells her Kristina lost due to low voter turn out, he should really have snapped a Z in the air he is so sassy.

The Heat is On

The heat is out in Sarah's building and her tenants are not happy. To save her from a tenant mob scene, sexy neighbor whose name I cannot remember pulls Sarah in to his apartment where they share a glass of wine, witty banter and eventually sleep together. Nothing wrong with the heat between them, am I right?

Sarah later rethinks her decision and awkwardly tells him they cannot sleep together again because she is trying to focus on her career and herself and vents some old ex-boyfriend stuff out. This is just the beginning for these two, I can feel it.

We Can Work It Out

Meanwhile in please-don't-break-up land, Julia pleads with Joel not to sleep on the couch after their epic fight at the election event. Julia apologizes again and asks Joel to agree to work on their relationship for them and the kids. He concedes and we all breaths a huge sigh of relief. For now. 

They have a nice evening at home when Joel surprises the family by being home early and prepping dinner. It's a really sweet moment on what is hopefully the road to recovery for the two of them. Sydney later tells them that her friend's parents are living in two different houses. It is immediately awkward because the parent is Ed and his wife and this is a nerve spot for them.

After several calls and texts from Ed, Julia goes to Ed's house to tell him to stop calling her since it is inappropriate. He is clearly upset about his divorce and though she tries to set a boundary, they end up kissing instead. Though I called this during the first episode, I'm still yelling at my television. They were just getting back on track! Ugh.

Facing the music

Amber shows up to the Luncheonette nervous to face the band that her fiance beat up last week. Oliver is pissed because it costs them a week in the studio, but the actual guy that got beat up is nice about it.

Adam and Crosby call her up to the studio where they check in on her. She assures them he has never been violent with her and they make it clear that Ryan is not allowed at the Luncheonette until the issue blows over. Adam encourages her to tell Sarah, which we all know won't be pretty.

Amber gets home to find Ryan there. They get into an argument about the bar fight and all the various red flags that Amber has noticed but brushed aside. He is apologetic and sweet and I feel for the guy who is obviously going through stuff, but I am on Amber's side on this one. She is taking care of herself and no longer overlooking his issues only because she loves him. (Side note, how great of an actress is Mae Whitman? She really shines in this episode.)

Being a Bro

Drew's roommate tries to "be a bro" and tells him that he saw Natalie making out with a frat guy at a party. Drew plays it cool, but we all know his sensitive self is wounded by the info. He confronts Natalie about it over a study session and she says that Drew is sweet, which gets boring. She just wants no-strings-attached sex. To be fair, she has been honest about that from the very beginning. I'm not seeing a happy ending here for Drew.

Drew goes to talk with Crosby about his problems with Natalie. Crosby points out that Drew is a one woman kind of guy, but that he should enjoy his freedom and youth while he can. It's a hilarious uncle-nephew talk while Crosby is bouncing his newborn child around. 

Drew talks to Natalie about sleeping together and agrees to the booty calls but wants to set up rules. Natalie realizes that Drew's feelings are likely stronger than hers and calls the whole thing off. It's a bummer until he gets a knock at the door expecting Natalie, but it's Amy! What? This should be interesting, if not a little random since I thought that storyline was put to bed for good.


Zeek and Ryan have a heart to heart about the bar fight and Amber. Ryan admits that he doesn't understand how to live a civilian life yet and that part him wants to go back to Afghanistan because his work there was important and his life made sense. Zeek encourages him in his stern way to decide as soon as possible. I really appreciate their friendship.

Amber tells her mom about the bar fight in a signature Parenthood scene where I'm crying immediately. Sarah is surprisingly calm and supports Amber, knowing she is tough enough to handle anything, but that she wants better for her in the end. 

After talking with her mom, Amber tells Ryan that she wants to work it out, that she loves him and knows they can get through this together. In a horrifying twist, where again I am sobbing, he tells her he has reenlisted and is going back to Afghanistan. She is devastated and their future is, presumably, doomed. It seems like it is the best thing for these two, but I still feel for them nonetheless. 


Kristina visits with her cancer friend, Gwen, where they talk about the campaign and Kristina finally admits that she is upset about the result. The election was so close and her friend encourages her to keep trying and then they get high together. Amazing.

Adam finally gets Kristina to vent her frustrations by taking her to a Bob Little billboard with a full dozen eggs. They yell and throw eggs at the billboard and it is so delightful. I am so glad that they have a good relationship going right now. It would be too much if they were having issues, too.

Phew, I'm emotionally exhausted. Parenthood is on another break until January 2 where we will get to see if Julia will tell Joel about the kiss, how Amber is doing, and what is going on with Sarah and sexy neighbor.

Parenthood airs Thursdays at 10pm on NBC.

(Image courtesy of NBC)