Parenthood – Recap & Review – Left Field

photo: nbc

Left Field

Original Air Date: Sep 18, 2012

Karen Belgrad – Senior Editor

The amazing thing about Parenthood is how it takes all of lives little moments and can culminate them in a single moment. We go about our daily routines, never thinking anything different, and until we’re faced with unexpected events. This was that hour of television.

More than anything, I think it’s time to call out Monica Porter on her stellar performance. Like Julie Bowen on Modern Family, the type-A mother can often be overlooked as domineering and a shrew. Early this hour, I was prepared to roll my eyes, but in the blink of an eye everything changes. And I think Monica Potter has found her Emmy reel for next year.

Kristina/Adam: Kristina and Adam are so locked into their everyday routines, they even schedule sex (aka “Funky Town”). Of course, with their hectic lives and regular bickering, the best scheduled Funky Town is often canceled. Without saying it, it was clear that Kristina really wanted a dog to fill the void left by Haddie’s departure. Adam, with a clear head prevailing, really wanted to discuss it further, but as soon as Kristina mentioned to Max that they were thinking about a puppy, the rational-ship sailed. Max picked a dog, demanded that dog, only to have Adam sabotage (or get rightly offended) by the overzealous Doggie Gestapo (aka dog breeders). However, once the two parents sat down and discussed missing Haddie, as well as cute little Nora in the background, Adam was finally aboard the doggie train.

But life turns on a dime. While Adam and Max went ahead to pick out the dog, Kristina had an appointment for a mammogram. Seeing her wait in the doctor’s office for results, the sense of impending dread began to build. And when the doctor called her back in, wordless scenes (scored beautifully by the song “Naked As We Can” by Iron And Wine) confirmed the worst. And from Monica Potter’s face going visibly pale in the doctor’s office, to her forced smile that Adam immediately saw through, the emotions were amazingly powerful. In fact, I still have chills just typing it. We won’t know more about her prognosis until next week, but –wow- these scenes got to me. And I implore all readers, to read up on Breast Cancer: Early Detection.

Drew/Sarah/Hank: As we knew was coming last week, Amy officially dumps Drew right before their first day of senior year. She admits to meeting someone at camp, and gives Drew the “let’s be friends” speech. Drew, in his quiet way, is clearly upset, but his family isn’t much help. Sarah tries to helicopter-comfort, Zeek talks about women ripping your heart out. Meanwhile Sarah is driving Hank nuts with all of her personal life banter, and she’s fairly repulsed by his history and views on women, including thinking Drew should sleep with Amy’s best friend. But when Drew goes to Hank for his senior portrait, the two have an easy rapport, with Hank giving him blunt advice, namely that it’s OK to be sad. Sarah is overly inquisitive to their conversation, and Drew eventually tells her about Hank’s surprisingly benign words. Drew jokes about razor blades and sleeping pills, and while Sarah admonishes him to stop joking like that, I’ll admit to struggling to find the humor in his jokes. The next day, Sarah asks Hank not to talk personal with her son (pot, kettle, you’re black!) and also thanks him with some (apparently) mediocre brownies.

Crosby/Jasmine: Crosby and Jasmine are enjoying their newlywed bliss with kitchen floor sex. And hints of old Crosby emerge when he jokes about Adam and Kristina’s synced calendar phone application, finding Funky Town to be hysterical. But his laissez faire attitude starts to grate on Jasmine when he ditches her thoughtfully prepared family dinner for pizza and refuses (due to fair work reasons) to commit to making dinner plans with friends. But when he forgets to pick-up Jabbar from school, Jasmine blows her top. She rushes to the school, speeding, all the while screaming at Crosby about his lack of planning aptitude. Crosby is appropriately shamed and relents, syncing their calendars and scheduling Funky Town. While Jasmine of seasons past would have come across unsympathetic, it was really nice to see her be in the absolute right on this argument.

Julia/Victor: With Julia trying to find the right balance between discipline and coddling Victor, he is taking full advantage of the awkwardness. Victor plays the upset stomach card, missing the first two days of school. Julia wants to give him the benefit of the doubt, while Joel and Sydney aptly see through the ruse. But when the third day rolls around, Julia insists he go to school. When Victor is hesitant to leave the car, Julia promises to spend the whole day in the parking lot, just in case Victor needs her. At recess time, when he spies her still in the lot, he’s clearly touched. When Julia explains to Joel that she realized Victor is just their scared little boy, Joel declares her amazing. Victor asks why she did it, and she explains that their family does what it says it will. He’s moved to give her a warm hug. And this was probably one of the first times Julia moved from an emotional point, rather than an exasperated one.

And with that, you’ve got My TwoCents. Where you as blown away by this hour, especially the last moments, as I was? Share your TwoCents, comments, and feedback below!


About Karen Belgrad

Number cruncher by day, Karen spends way too many hours watching television and reading/writing about what she just watched. When not glued to the television, Karen sings karaoke, checks out live music, and roots for the Chicago Blackhawks and Cubs. Pop culture trivia and the Kevin Bacon game are her useless special talents. Managing Editor for [twitter:karenb0716]
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3 Responses to Parenthood – Recap & Review – Left Field

  1. thekill says:

    Great review, Kristina’s scenes were amazing today, I knew right when they showed her getting the mammogram that something had to be wrong, I kind of assumed they would just show her showing up to meet with Adam and Max, but whey they opted to show her at the doctor and the song played it hit me that she was probably going to get some bad news. Monica Potter seriously gives the best facial reactions and am loving the fact that they didn’t even have to let us hear the dialogue for us to know what was being said.

    • karenb says:

      Completely agree. It was all about the reactions.

      The only question I have is: Can they tell it’s cancer just from a mammogram? Doesn’t the mammogram usually find a mass, which is then biopsied for the final results?

      Maybe, Kristina was telling Adam they found a mass?

      I could be totally off base as well, as I really, truly don’t know the answer to my own question. Hopefully there’s a reader that can help me become better informed!

  2. karenb says:

    I’ve noticed a bunch of people searching for more information on Kristina/Adam’s calendar sync app. Now I can’t say for certain that it’s this, but these seem to be offering the same functions…

    (Since the Bravermans are clearly an Apple-centric family, I didn’t bother looking for an Android app!)

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