'Parenthood' Recap: Downsizing the Bravermans
'Parenthood' Recap: Downsizing the Bravermans
Josie Rhodes Cook
Josie Rhodes Cook
Contributing Writer, BuddyTV
When last we left the Bravermans at the end of the season premiere of 'Parenthood' last week, everyone seemed to be facing some pretty major life changes. Jasmine and Crosby welcomed baby Aida, Kristina decided to run for mayor of Berkeley, and Amber and Ryan got engaged in a scene that, I will admit, made me cheer at my screen. But random attacks of emotion are not an uncommon occurrence when you're a fan of this show, and after five seasons of Braverman magic, we all know this crazy, chaotic, close family knows how to bring the heartwarming moments that make us eager to come back for more.

'I thought babies were supposed to be fun'

The newest addition to the Braverman clan may be little, but she's made herself known in a big way. The episode opens on Jabbar waking Jasmine and Crosby up, as their adjustment into new parents to Aida isn't going over very smoothly and they've slept in enough that morning that Jabbar is going to be late to school. In fact, Jabbar is having some trouble adjusting to life as a big brother as well; in a later scene, Crosby is trying to keep him quiet so Aida keeps sleeping and Jabbar is enthusiastic at the thought of going to the park with his dad. Crosby gets frustrated at Jabbar making noise and Jabbar gets upset. He and Crosby have a heart-to-heart, during which they agree to go out to eat somewhere Jabbar likes that night for dinner.

Turns out, the outing isn't quite the treat it's meant to be. Aida is fussy at the restaurant when Jasmine attempts to breastfeed her, and the other patrons complain. The waiter tells the family they have to leave, and Crosby makes a scene as they depart, addressing the other diners angrily before storming out. It looks like the Bravermans aren't the only ones that need to adjust to Aida's presence!

Later, Crosby and Jabbar bond at the Luncheonette when Crosby "jailbreaks" Jabbar out of school. They share in their dismay over how much little Aida cries, with Jabbar stating, "It hurts my ears," and Crosby countering with, "It hurts my bones." But all is well when they decide to have a father/son jam session together at the end of the scene. As much as they are both learning to adjust to life as a first-time father of a baby girl and as a big brother, we are given many examples in the episode showing that their relationship is as strong as ever.

Julia "Greens it Up"

Julia brings Sydney and Victor to their first day of school, where it's a mad-house as parents rush in with their kids to sign-up for the best parental volunteer positions before the less desirable slots are all taken. Another parent, Ed, asks her to watch his kids briefly as he runs back for their lunches, and by the time he's back and they both make it to the volunteer sign-up sheet, the only positions left are on the sustainability "green team," to their disappointment.

Later, they are going around during lunch talking to kids about being sustainable with their meals, and Ed suggests to one student that he needs to "green it up." Further on in the episode, Julia and Ed are cleaning up after lunch and bonding over their less-than-fulfilling volunteer activity when Ed reveals that he is unemployed, and Julia kindly suggests that he was instead "downsized." He talks about how inadequate he feels without a job, stating, "Working is in my DNA," and although she obviously relates, Julia lies to him about her own downsized status and says that she's still a lawyer.

By the end of the episode, however, she tells him the truth, and though at first he says they probably shouldn't hang out, it's obviously a fake-out, and they bond over a fist bump. I really enjoyed their interaction this episode, and I hope they form a great friendship over the season (though nothing more than that, please, writers!)

Kristina Wedges, Adam Wavers

Kristina starts to interview people to be part of her election campaign staff. A promising young speechwriter interviewee asks her what her "wedge" is for her campaign, and Kristina says it's education. The woman, Heather, is honest with her and obviously skilled, and she agrees to join Kristina's team.

Later, Adam and Heather have some "face time," and she asks him about any skeletons in his closet that might be used against Kristina during her campaign. He brings up the past assistant, who, he insists repeatedly, kissed HIM, not the other way around, and she further questions him on things like his work history. Increasingly defensive, he eventually reveals that he doesn't believe Kristina can win the election. "I support her doing this, I just don't know how realistic it is," he says. When Heather brings this up to Kristina later, Kristina is taken aback, and tries to wave it off as him being stressed. But Heather has a point. "If your husband doesn't believe in you, who will?"

Kristina eventually confronts Adam about this after reading a prospective speech to him, and he asks her why she's running for mayor in the first place. When she explains that is has to do with her having a second chance and not taking that lightly, he brings up the fact that she recently almost died. "That's exactly why I'm doing this," she tells him. I can certainly understand both of their points of view, but it is tough to see them at odds again.

"It was an easy choice to make"

Amber and Ryan reveal their engagement at a family dinner, after Ryan is welcomed as if he is already one of the family. In general, they all react positively, but Sarah is stunned. They talk in a later scene, and Sarah asks about the proposal, obviously fishing for information to prove her doubts aren't unfounded, and she asks if the proposal was planned. Amber says of course, but her mother's words stay with her; she later asks Ryan whether he had planned to propose to her when he did, and he admits that it was a spur-of-the-moment decision. But, he reassures her, once he saw her, "it was an easy choice to make."

Pink Ocean

Sarah talks with a few different people about the engagement throughout the episode, including Hank, who comes to visit her and presents her with a "pink ocean" candle. He talks about Max visiting the studio frequently, then asks about the engagement. She at first suggests she's fine with it, but rambles in her usual way until Hank tells her she needs to talk to Amber about her worries, before he leaves.

Sarah also talks to Adam about the engagement situation, and tells him about the pink ocean candle gift, admitting that she doesn't really understand what it's supposed to mean. I have to say, I don't either. I'm not really sure where the writers are trying to go with the Hank/Sarah relationship, but I'm sure we'll find out their intentions shortly. In any case, Adam defends Ryan, and warns Sarah not to push Amber away the way Zeek did for her when she got engaged young.

Towards the end of the episode, Sarah shows up at Amber's apartment, and she asks Amber if Ryan is really who she wants to spend the rest of her life with. "Without a doubt in my heart," Amber replies. Sarah then talks about how her wedding day wasn't what she envisioned, and how she wants it to be better for Amber. She takes out wedding magazines to look through, along with alcohol. Perfect engagement gifts, I think.

Zeek Freaks Over Home Improvement

Zeek and Camille aren't given too much to do this episode, and most of their storyline revolves around the upkeep of the big ol' Braverman abode. They have a home security representative come by and Zeek is abrasive with him, balking at any suggestions of improvement needed in the house. Camille eventually suggests that maybe they should downsize. He asks if she is suggesting that they sell the house, and she believes they should think about it. I can't imagine the Braverman clan not having that house to gather in, but the downsizing suggestion is a realistic option.

The Next Mayor of Berkeley

The episode ends with Kristina giving her speech announcing her run for mayor, with Adam, Max and Nora standing on the sidelines (Haddie is absent, as she is more and more noticeably on the show). The crowd cheers, and there's a close-up on Adam as we fade to black. What will Kristina's campaign mean for them this season?

The Bravermans are back next week, with themes including more financial woes, more of the couples at-odds, and a little more screentime for Drew. Tune in, and check out BuddyTV after for another recap!

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(Image courtesy of NBC)

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