continues to surprise when Sarah meets Mark for a catch-up dinner, much to Hank's dismay. The future of Joel and Julia remains unstable at best, doomed at worst. Also, Crosby and Zeek go on a road trip and Max takes up surfing instead of going to school.
"I don't want to be in limbo anymore"
Joel has a celebratory dinner with Pete in the city after they sell their first house. In an effort to be sweet, Joel picks up the $400 tab with his shared account with Julia. In doing so, he sets off a fraudulent banking alert that calls Julia and sets in motion a conversation none of us want to know the answer to.
After a conversation with Sarah, Julia agrees to talk to Joel about where they are, because she is now concerned that he is dating. Joel denies that he is dating, but does admit that he is not actively working on their relationship right now. He is still angry and hurt about the broken state of their marriage, and this is news to Julia (and finally some actual information for viewers).
This is all the information Julia needs to go out and ruin everything by going on a date with Ed. If I am by no means ready for Joel and Julia to actually call it quits, I have no idea how Julia is so ready to throw in the towel. Joel needs time, and though I have not been on his side for a majority of the season, I still don't expect her to ruin everything by actually dating Ed and moving on.
The Return of Mr. Cyr
Amber runs in to Mark on the street and the two exchange awkward, delightful pleasantries. This prompts Mark to call Sarah up after a year and ask her to dinner. When Hank gets word of this, he proceeds to wax woeful and goes to see Dr. Pelikan. I understand that this happens in real life and that he is super in love with Sarah, but at this point, it's pretty boring television to see him in therapy again talking about the same stuff.
Seeing Mark and Sarah together again is like a breath of fresh air. Their chemistry is palpable and they are just so good together. It is to the credit of the Parenthood writers that I didn't want them to end up together last season when Hank was in the picture, but now that Sarah has moved on and the Hank storyline dried up, the prospect of Mark is a welcome one.
However, Mark reveals that he is in fact engaged to another teacher and madly in love. Sarah is wounded but happy for him and Hank is satisfied that he still has a chance. The saga of Sarah's love life continues. When will we see a storyline of hers that has nothing to do with romance?
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Drew babysits for Victor and Sydney while Joel is busy with work. He gets to witness first hand how hard they are taking the separation and attempts to help them, but to no avail. Drew conveys this to Amber, who reminds Drew how hard it was when their own dad left.
In an attempt to raise their spirits, Amber shows up while Drew is babysitting to take them all roller skating. Even though the kids have the sullen, divorced-parents-kids thing down, Amber convinces them that they will get through it together. It's such a sweet moment and it's really nice to see Victor and Sydney smiling again.
Surfing The Blues Away
Max announces that he refuses to go back to school after the bullying incident of last week. Kristina and Adam go to the school for a meeting with the school administration, who is extremely unhelpful and essentially unwilling to support Max for fear of accusing the wrong student of bullying. It's asinine and hits so close to how the school system actually works.
In protest, Adam and Kristina keep Max home to complete his schoolwork. Adam decides that he just wants to see Max smile again and takes him to the beach to teach him to surf. Max even invites Kristina along, telling her he wants her to come. They are all so sweet and though I have no idea what is really in store for Max, I love that their family is buoying the show with compassion.
Zeek avoids making a decision on the house offer by going on a road trip with Crosby to buy a grill at a junk yard because of course they do. These two are so similar in some ways, it delights me.
After suspecting they are being scammed by the junk yard owner, Zeek and Crosby have a heart to heart over diner food. Ultimately, Zeek admits that he is upset about getting older and selling the house. It's as though he is cashing in on his life. When Crosby offers to help him buy the grill by also buying a motorcycle, Zeek feels better and then tells Camille he is willing to accept the offer.
In the promo for next week's episode we see that Julia may actually be ready to move on, when she hits it off with Mr. Knight. Oh, boy.
Parenthood airs on Thursdays at 10pm on NBC.
(Image courtesy of NBC)