Tensions are high among the Braverman clan on tonight’s episode “Let’s Be Mad Together.” Adam and Crosby get into it over their business at the Luncheonette due to the rocky start of their label. Julia relates to her mother, Camille, who both feel as if they are are losing their voices in their marriages. Kristina and Max are angry about the yearbook’s injustice. Sarah and Ryan finally begin a dialogue about Amber and Ryan’s engagement, with murky results. These are clearly issues that need to be aired out by a big family gathering or sibling moment over wine, but Parenthood has really been stingy about these scenes this season. On to the conflict!
Adam and Crosby have started a music label at the Luncheonette. They are going to represent a band (the hilariously named Ashes of Rome), fronted by Oliver, (actual All American Rejects lead singer, Tyson Ritter; though sadly not related to Jason Ritter aka Mark Cyr). Oliver is a rock n’ roll diva, constantly worried his creativity will be held hostage. Crosby is overwhelmed with trying to balance work and home life and is frustrated with Adam for pushing this too soon. Which is totally fair since this whole label thing seems out of nowhere, but Adam had to have a storyline other than mayoral-candidate-curmudgeon-husband this season. Adam is completely confident about it working out, though in true bossy big brother form, never listens to Crosby’s very real concerns with the project.
Inevitably, it all comes to a head at the Luncheonette during a recording session when the demands take a toll on Crosby who walks out after a fight with Adam. Later, Crosby finds himself inspired by the stripped down sounds of the song “Burning Love” and comes into the studio the next day inspired. He takes control of the situation, inspires the band and impresses Adam in the process. It’s good to have Crosby excited about something again. Welcome back, buddy!
“We’ll just be mad together”
Taken with his photography, Max has joined the yearbook and is walking around school taking candids of kids to “capture real moments.” He sees a girl crying in the hallway and takes a beautiful picture of her, but she is mad and her friends call Max a freak. Rude. Word of this spreads like wild fire and Max’s yearbook teacher completely overreacts responds to the concerns of the girl’s parents by calling Kristina in and moving Max to layout rather than photographer.
Kristina understands but once she sees how good Max really is and how much Hank believes in him, she goes to bat for him, as she always does. Good on you, girl. Sadly, the teacher, nor the principal budge on the decision to take Max off photography, giving a pretty asinine reasoning of it not being fair to the other kids.
Kristina is forced to tell Max. I would just like to take a moment here to point out that instead of the Max temper tantrums of yore, he tells his mom “I’m really mad about this,” which is just so commendable of the Parenthood writers to demonstrate Max’s clear growth. Kristina is incredibly angry as well and they decide to just sit together and be mad since life isn’t always fair. It’s actually pretty sweet, especially in light of the clear injustice.
Boundaries and Martinis
Joel is constantly having to change his plans because Pete, the architect in charge, has an ever changing creative vision. Julia is concerned that Joel is being taken advantage of, and encourages him to set boundaries with Pete about where he is coming from. He does so, over dinner and martinis, all at Pete’s suggestion.
Pete, who is exceedingly obnoxious but it is yet unclear if she is actually sketchy, asks Joel to lay in the ground work now since it will have a big payout someday or something. It’s a pretty weak pitch, but over a few martinis, Joel seems taken with it. Heavily intoxicated, he runs into Crosby in the supermarket who drives him home where the two bros have an endearing heart to heart over some supermarket sheet cake.
After a concerning conversation with her mom, who shared with Julia that she feels she has no voice in her marriage since Zeke won’t talk about selling the house at all, Julia seems anxious to ensure her voice is heard by Joel. They end up having a big fight, which I’m sure leaves us all more than concerned about them. I prefer Drunk Joel to Angry Joel.
“I want to be worthy of her.”
Sarah’s smarmy neighbor who flushes condoms (ick) has a toilet clog that she attempts to fix by snaking the toilet bowl. Apparently this is the wrong move, as a geyser of toilet water proceeds to flood the bathroom. Job well done, indeed.
Joel sends Ryan to help Sarah with the toilet. They have an awkward exchange as Sarah and Amber still aren’t talking, though Ryan (inexplicably) doesn’t know this happened. He’s just here to fix the toilet. He and Amber get into a fight (so much fighting tonight) and Amber explains that Sarah has concerns about them getting married, which she shares with Ryan. He’s angry and upset, brooding all over everything.
He shows up at Sarah’s door in a much anticipated, but ultimately disappointing confessional. He shares like, two things about his past which are supposed to explain to Sarah why his family isn’t coming to the wedding. It’s a pretty dissatisfying speech given the history of Parenthood-esque speeches. Not that I didn’t cry, because, duh. Sarah says okay. We are lead to believe she is now on board.
However! A glimpse into next week shows us that she is still upset about their engagement and Amber is ready to possibly elope without her family there. Utterly terrible idea. We’ll see how that goes.
Parenthood airs Thursdays at 10pm on NBC.
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(Image courtesy of NBC)