Tensions continue to run high on this episode of Parenthood. Joel and Julia take a turn for the worse, Adam and Hank bond and Amber attempts to self-destruct on a road trip to see her dad.

The Demise of Joel and Julia

Julia wakes up to an empty bed because Joel never came home. She makes a big breakfast for the kids to make up for Joel’s unexplained absence, but he shows up in the middle with doughnuts and a strained expression. With snide and passive aggressive comments flying, Julia and Joel still can’t seem to have a conversation about what is happening between them. It’s making me crazy.

Julia goes to talk to Sarah about everything that has been going on (finally! sister scene!). She gets to have a good cry, good wine and good sisterly advice. Despite the hope that we all have after their talk, Joel drops the bomb that he is moving out. I am actually, totally shocked. I never thought Parenthood would actually separate them, even after everything they have been through. 

Separation/divorce is a storyline we haven’t seen on Parenthood yet, so it will be interesting (and likely totally upsetting) to see how they end up dealing with it. I hope that they at least give them an open and honest conversation when Joel isn’t so crazy mad. 

Amber’s Road Trip 

Amber finds a shirt of Ryan’s in the cleaning of her apartment and gets so upset she calls in sick to the Luncheonette and heads on a road trip. She listens to loud, sad music and drinks and smokes her way to her father’s restaurant. It’s always a delight to see John Corbett, but Amber is teetering on the edge of self-destruction here.

Amber causes a disturbance by getting hammered at the bar and throwing a drink in an annoying guy’s face. Her father sees her and runs out to stop her from driving home drunk. In a super emotional moment, she admits she is afraid that she is exactly like her dad and that is why Ryan left and I am crying at how heartbreaking it all is.

After a call to Sarah, Amber ends up staying at Seth’s to sleep it off and maybe reconnect. And then over pancakes Seth tells her she isn’t like him because she has her mother in her. So sweet. 

Hank, The Grown-Up Max

Hank shows up at the Luncheonette with a photo he took of Bob Dylan (nice theme song reference!) and talks to Adam about getting Max’s doctor, Dr. Pelikan’s, number. Adam and Kristina suspect that Hank may have Asperger’s and get excited that Max could one day be as successful as Hank. Adam invites Hank to play poker now that he feels this connection with him and he accepts.

Hank goes to see Dr. Pelikan and he explains his symptoms, though without proper testing he can’t be diagnosed either way. Hank is hesitant to spend thousands of dollars on testing and is therefore left unknowing and confused. 

At the poker game, Hank’s rigid rules and Joel’s morose mood are a recipe for disaster. Joel storms out after a not-so-subtle poker analogy about his marriage from Crosby about not throwing in the towel when things get rough and the rest of the guys follow suit (pun intended).

Hank and Adam end up bonding over nice cigars and his potential diagnosis, which gives us all hope that Adam will have a good adult relationship with Max someday. I love Ray Romano in this role, by the way. 

Drew is The Nicest Guy, Ever

Amy is still staying with Drew (and his terrible hair, which is just really out of hand at this point). She has stayed with him the past two weeks, though her parents have no idea she isn’t back at school. Even his bro roommate thinks it is weird. Natalie encourages Drew not to settle down so early in his life and join her on an astronomy field trip? Is this a thing? They’re in college.

Amy admits that she hates her college and is so lonely she doesn’t want to go back, telling Drew he is all that she has. Yikes. No pressure, buddy. He is such a sweet guy (and easily manipulated) that even though he was going to go on the astronomy field trip, he ends up changing his mind to spend time with Amy.

Camille is Back

Camille returns, looking fabulous, and the family gathers at the house to welcome her home. She is clearly a changed woman and Zeek is doing his best to keep up by making a reservation at a fancy Italian restaurant. It is nice to see him try again. 

At their dinner, Camille continues to wax poetic about her experiences and Zeek tries to bring her down to earth by telling her all about what she missed in the family while she was gone (Kristina’s election, Amber’s break up, etc). 

She shares that her trip just gave her a desire to travel more, and she is planning on going to France in three months. Zeek is having a hard time adjusting to all this change and this will likely prove disastrous in one way or another. I trust nothing now that there is an impending separation on our hands. 

Next week prepare with tissues and wine because Joel and Julia make the separation legal and tell the kids. Oye.

Parenthood airs on Thursdays at 10pm on NBC.

(Image courtesy of NBC)

Eva Des Lauriers

Contributing Writer, BuddyTV