Parenthood Recap: Flirty Phone Tag, Platonic Fist Bumps, Engagement Hurdles and More

PHoodRecapThis week’s Parenthood finds Ryan (finally) putting a ring on it, while Julia flirts with some extramarital action and Hank embraces his bromance with Max.

Here, we break down the seven key takeaways from the NBC weepfest’s latest installment:

• That hot band member is way too handsy with a certain engaged Luncheonette employee. (Ahem, Amber.) Poor Ryan has less than stellar timing, too, as he finds his ladylove in the arms of said other man more than once in the hour. He reacts as one would — by proposing again (this time with a massive ring). “My life changed the day that I met you and I don’t want to spend another day of it without you,” he cries. Amber reluctantly accepts the rock — reluctantly being the operative word.

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Voicemail re-listening is the new sexting. In a moment of self doubt and sadness, Julia presses “Play” on a cute new message from her crush Ed — and then presses “Play” again the moment it finishes playing. (Is it just us or was Julia channeling Erika Christensen’s Swimfan alter ego in this scene?) Later — as in a day or two after Julia tries to spice up her marriage with a booty call in Joel’s office — Ed and Julia break down their respective mundane days over the phone, a conversation he peppers with a flirty, “Then my phone rang and it suddenly got a lot better.”

There is a way to silence those notorious talking-over-each-other Bravermans. And Julia masterfully demonstrated how to do so when, at lunch with her siblings, she sits silently, listening to all of their overlapping opinions on Camille’s impending Italy trip, and then… Bam! No doubt comparing her own discontent to her mother’s, Julia explodes, defending Camille’s decision and promptly storming away from the table, leaving everyone’s lips zipped.

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Monica Potter and Mae Whitman are magical together on-screen. These two powerhouses rarely share scenes these days, so it was nice to see them come together to chat about their character’s respective engagements. Granted, Kristina’s sweet proposal story only caused Amber to question her own impending I Dos, but we’ll allow it since this moment was so darn moving.

Fist bumps have never been so awkward. Poor Drew’s heart was thrown in the gutter again after a drunk hookup with his dormroom crush. Following the sexy encounter, the two indeed bump fists to seal their friendship (nothing more) — but luckily for the cute co-ed, she later decides that a sober hookup wouldn’t be so bad either.

Hank doesn’t do labels. But yeah, Max is his best friend. After “firing” the Braverman boy following a lecture from Sarah about setting boundaries in that relationship, Hank shows up at her place to defend the pairing. “He’s eager and I’m showing him the ropes,” Hank shares, sweetly. “It’s good for him… And it’s good for me.”

• Zeke’s stubbornness is frustrating but actually pretty understandable. Change is rough, especially for people of a certain age. So, while it’s incredibly maddening to see him refuse to consider Camille’s pleas for an Act III of their life, it’s one of the more grounded arcs on the series right now. And Craig T. Nelson continues to nail each and every beat.

What were your favorite moments from Thursday’s Parenthood?

Comments are monitored, so don’t go off topic, don’t frakkin’ curse and don’t bore us with how much your coworker’s sister-in-law makes per hour. Talk smart about TV!

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  1. neha says:

    Interesting – I don’t feel for Zeke AT ALL. It’s one thing to not want to change, it’s another to constantly treat your wife as someone who must always obey and listen. His wife is in tears and all he can think about is a house, which at the end of the day, is simply a material possession?

    • Eric says:

      I don’t feel for Zeke at all either. There is a thing called compromise, which he didn’t do nor do I see him doing. He is making it all about him. Camille clearly is ready for something more and for their ‘third act.’ While I can understand him not wanting to uproot their entire lives and leave everything behind, he could have listened and made an effort to hear Camille out. Again, he is making it all about him. He doesn’t want to sell the house, he doesn’t to travel, he doesn’t want to do this, he doesn’t want to do that. So guess what? They don’t do it. I’m happy for Camille and I’m glad she didn’t invite him to Paris. All he would have done is complained and pouted the entire time. He would have made her feel bad for going and ruined the whole thing for her. Zeke has his moments, but ultimately I have always found his character to be not understanding and I’d even go as far as to say selfish. Again, he has his moments (like with Victor), but he doesn’t ever seem to listen to Camille. Ever. It’s not always about doing what will make you happy. Sometimes it is about making the other person happy. It’s all about compromise. Find a happy medium. Ugh, Zeke is on my nerves.

      • Rook says:

        Yeah I find that the grandparents are the weakest part of the show, since the season has started I fastforward though their scenes.

        • Sam says:

          I agree. I’ve disliked the pair of them since the show started!

        • bmiller says:

          One day, Rook, if you are lucky to live so long, you will be old enough to be a grandparent. I generally like Zeke and Camille, but agree that Zeke is being a real pain: he doesn’t want to move or change; he doesn’t listen to his wife; he won’t compromise. He a Spoiled Older Man. On second thought, I don’t like him at present, and I don’t have one jot of sympathy for him! Perhaps Camille should create an act three for herself, one that doesn’t include Zeke.

      • Chablis says:

        Camille went to Italy, not Paris.

      • blancaster60 says:

        I’m getting the feeling you are not a Zeke fan. Yes, the guy definitely has his faults and can be as stubborn as hell. But he is also the kind of guy who tries to help Julia’s adopted son learn how to read and he’s also the kind of guy who didn’t try to lay a guilt trip on his wife for wanting to go to Italy without him, even though he was vey sad and hurt about it as later scenes showed. He’s probably wondering if he has lost her forever and that she may find someone else on her trip – which you probably would be very happy to see. it wasn’t that long ago that she slept with her art instructor, so it wouldn’t suprise me if she did have an affair going to such a romantic place without Zeke and wanting to spread her wings (so to speak).

        As for Julia, how sad. That seems like another marriage that is going down the toliet. And unless they are going to completely forsake all realism, her sleeping with Ed will end up hurting a lot of innocent people that she and (I assume) Ed care about in their respective families. Also, I expect once her husband finds out, he will probably end up in his boss’s bed. Wonderful.

        And it appear Ryan and Amber are about to be history as well, but hopefully she officially ends it before she sleeps with drummer boy – which is there no doubt she going to do, eventually.

        Yes, it looks like Drew is about to have his heart broken once again. He has never been very good at the casual sex thing, which I don’t think is exactly what I would call a negative quality.

        So Parenthood has now seemed to have developed somewhat of a “scorched earth” policy toward several of the show’s relationships in what is highly likely to be its last season (last week, it finished 60th (6 – 0!) in the Nielsen ratings. What a disappointing ending for what has been one of my favorite TV programs. But if it continues down the dismal road it is on, I doubt I will stay around until the bitter end.

    • Ann says:

      You’re forgetting that Zeke and Camille belong to an older generation when the man of the house makes the decisions and the wife obeys. Younger people might look at the older couple and not understand why an independent woman would remain married to a man like that, but that is a part of their culture.

      • neha says:

        Eh, “culture” is the fastest way that people excuse misogyny. Let’s not forget, Zeke has also chafed on Camille on the past and expected to be forgiven immediately. The guy’s a jerk, plain and simple.

  2. shuayb says:

    Good ep. I think that Amber and Ryan should press pause on their romance. I think its all passion and fury without any substance. They need more time to explore each other and find out what they want to do in life. Amber is a talented and intelligent person. She has a bright future if she would just see it already!
    I’m over that whole dumb band. Crosby and Adam should let them go already.
    Julia is being an idiot. She neglected Joel when she was at work. He also felt disconnected from everything but he didn’t have an emotional affair with another mom. She needs to stop already. Ugh.

    I’m happy for Camille. She was right in doing what she did. Zeke isn’t ready for what she wants and she cnt force him. He would have went tho had she asked but he would not have been happy. She’ll be back and their relationship will be stronger than ever.

    Sarah really needs to get a story. For four n half seasons she’s just been floating. Yeah she had a few good n dramatic things happen but I mean she barely has a job. She needs some serious wins.

    Drew also needs some confidence. Cmon that girl is trouble.

  3. fish says:

    l just got back to parenthood after short time off. Really sorry to see yet 2 more relationships with good men ending in affiars by the
    women they luv. Wish they would stop glamorousing cheating. That being said I cant wait till next week. Waiting to watch Julia”s big crash and fail. Thanks writers

  4. Anna says:

    After reading the other comments it seems that I am in the minority on several issues. Firstly, I am a fan of Julia and Ed’s relationship. Although I’m a firm believer that it’s never okay to cheat, I feel like those two are in a really similar place right now and are able to lean on each other in a way they can’t with their spouses at the moment. However, if anything is to happen between the two, I hope it’s in the wake of a Julia/Joel separation and not the cause of it.
    Secondly, I’m not understanding Amber in the slightest right now. Episode after episode she’s expressed her undying love for Ryan and all of a sudden, she feels differently? There wasn’t even anything he did to trigger it. One second she’s just showing doubt. I’m very confused on this front. I love them together, so whatever it is, I truly hope they work it out.

    • neha says:

      I agree with you regarding Julie and Ed’s relationship – they have a very natural chemistry, and I think that they both really need each other right now. I also think that Julia has been having issues with being a SAHM for a while now, especially with adopting another child. I remember a kitchen scene from a while ago, where it felt like she was going to have a breakdown. I’m not saying that it’s Joel’s fault, but Julia has tried to talk to him.

      About Amber – I don’t believe for a second that she knows “without a doubt” that she wants to spend the rest of her life with Ryan. I believe that she loves him, but I also believe that she’s young and lost and needs to become more independent before making that type of commitment.

      • Eric7740 says:

        I’m sorry, you don’t cheat on a good man/father like Joel, no questions asked. If you’re having issues, you discuss it with your spouse, Julia! Joel was always there for her and the kids while she was working and he was the stay at home parent and he did it for years!!! Julia’s only done it for months at best, and she’s already emotionally cheating, no ma’am!!!

        • Trista says:

          I agree cheating in WRONG whether there is a sexual element or just and emotional one. However; I sort of understand where Julia is coming from. When she lost her job, she lost her identity. It isn’t that she doesn’t love her family, but sometimes it takes more than that to fulfill a person. Joel is a great guy, but he has completely ignored the fact that Julia lost the one thing in her life that made her feel intelligent and worthy as a person. Julia doesn’t feel like she is a good mom or a good housewife, but she knows she is a good lawyer.

          • fish says:

            Just hope Julia is honest with Joel an either they work it out or separate before going any father with Ed. Destroying 2 families for the sake of new man/woman’s attention is wrong. Amber needs to wake up an forget about .Bad boys. Look forward to all your reviews an comments tomorrow. Luv this site..PS. Anyonewatchin betrayal?

      • blancaster60 says:

        So if you also are a fan of Ed and Julia’s “relationship,” , I would assume you are just as okay with Joel become closer with his boss lady Mer. They seem to have a lot in common, too. And gender should be irrelevant in this discussion, right?

    • Michael P. says:

      I think Julia is taking the “easy” route with her struggles right now. Of course it is easier to lean on someone else who is in a similar place, but it doesn’t make it right. She has to have the tougher talk and discussions about the family/career issues with her spouse. If this continues she and Joel will be separated by end of this season.

    • Becky says:

      Totally agree about Amber! I found it frustrating for her to behave in this fickle fashion – she’s always been a favourite of mine & I don’t like where this is leading.

      I also like Ed & Julia but as friends.

    • blancaster60 says:

      You said it yourself. They are in a similir place “right now.” Most affairs happen because of temporary set backs in a marriage and one or both spouses only living in the here and now with little regard for the consequences of their actions. If Julia sleeps with Ed, it would be – in the real world – a disaster. The fact that she and Ed are both out of work now and feel depressed about it is hardly a reason to for either to turn their backs on their marriages. What if after sleeping with Ed and Joel leaving her after finding about about it, which you know he will, Julia gets offered her dream job at a top law firm, while Ed is still out of work? What will happen to that natural bond that exists now between them? How important will be having Ed to lean on be then compared to her marriage being over and only being able to see her kids every other Tuesday and Thursday? My guess is maybe not so much.

    • fish says:

      Your right that Julia has had a tough go of it since leaving her job but she is a wife and a mother and its never easy even on TV. After the lunch with Ed an the kids was aawkwardly interrupted by Ed”’s wife Julia return home to find Joel had cooked a romantic dinner for them. And the vast to Joel’s office was a nice thing also even if it didn’t work out. They are both trying to make it work but judging by the previews for tonite Julia is about ruin it. Stupid. Oh lest we not forget Ed’s wife an children. Yes Amber is as flaky as a box of corn flakes. She finally gets to a good place with mom and the wedding then hints at throw it all away because of flirty band mates

  5. Melanie says:

    I love Hank & Sarah.

  6. Arien says:

    I’m absolutely gutted that they didn’t give Hank and Sarah another shot! Absolutely gutted!! Especially if she will be all over that new neighbour within the next few episodes. Can’t they give Lauren Graham a plot with more meat to it than all those endless relationship-dramas? So far all she has done this season is fight and reunite with Mae Whitman.
    Staying with Hank in the first place would have given room for so much more (step-parenting, work-related challenges, maybe even giving education another shot).

    Kudos Erika Christensen. Julias story is heartbreaking and I am glad this actress gets a chance to properly shine now. There is so much contrast between how Julia’s relationship troubles and new feelings are handled compared to how Sarah has dealt break- and mess-ups.

    Fascinating how refreshing an episode can feel, if they put the Kristina plot on hold. Nothing against Monica Potter, but that campaign story is friggin annoying.

    • Saabgirlatx says:

      I agree- why did the show bring Hank back after he moved to Minnesota only to not have them together!! I can see the show wanting to give Sarah some independence for a while so it shows her growing without having to have man in her life. Hopefully they will reunite as Hank gets folded into the Braverman clan even more. I’m not sure about how this Amber plot is going. I can see how the Kristina conversation was pivotal, but not enough to doubt. I have to admit, I was kind of waiting for Ryan to have a meltdown the way he was watching her. Will be interesting to see how it goes. I don’t see why they just don’t decide to be engaged for a while and not rush in to a wedding.

  7. Christina says:

    Last night was enjoyable and it’s because we didn’t see the mayor storyline. The Joel/Julia/Ed storyline, Amber/Ryan/band scenes are just unnecessary drama plot points. While I don’t agree with Ryan/Amber getting engaged so soon, it would be nice to explore their relationship a bit more without flirting with the drummer and Ryan conveniently shows up at that moment. (also lets get rid of the all American rejects because they’re pissing me off)

    Very sweet moment between Amber and Kristina. Mae and Monica work nicely with each other.

    I liked the episode and Parenthood is one of my favorite shows but everyone is annoying me this season.

  8. Annie says:

    Zeke & Camille are at a typical point for retirees – how to spend the golden years. Zeke’s comfortable – he wants to tinker around his house. Camille wants to try new things. I enjoyed Zeke’s scenes – doing all the things that he would have been scolded by Camille, then realizing how much he misses her. I hope this storyline is developed more. Julia is a lawyer. Look at the degree & figure out another area to use it. Start by researching state education laws – has Julia asked for testing for Victor. Could he be dyslexic or have a visual processing disorder? How about speaking to Kristina about info on special ed rights & advocacy? Then have Julia start her own SpEd solo practice. That would be a more meaningful way to develop Julia’s character then crying jags & self-pity, but then there wouldn’t be the tv-required bed-hopping.

  9. I think that Julia is going to end up with the guy she kissed and if it wasn’t for Julia bursting into Joel’s work office that one day when he would not answer his phone I think Joel and Pete would have end up kissing. So story short there getting divorced and Julia will get with that one dude and Joel will get with Pete and Pete will get pregnant and Julia is going to be mad as hell because she could not get pregnant bla bla bla this is just my opinion idk if its goign to play out like this lol

    • Bill says:

      Wow! That’s quite an imagination you have there. Although it could all possibly turn out that way, but I think you surmising that Joel would have kissed Peete if Julia hadn’t walked in is a bit of stretch. I know it’s all theoretical – and of course, we are dealing with a completely ficticious situation – but any speculation that Joel is or was about to cheat on Julia tends to unfairly lessen the wrong of what Julia has done, which I don’t like. However, if Julia does end up with Ed and Joel with Pete, the chances of either relationship working out are close to zero, if reality has anything to do with it. Whenever a couple is having problems in a relationship, other potential partners can come off looking nearly perfect. Ed is this big teddy bear with a shoulder for Julia to cry on and who is looking for a safety net as his own marriage is falling apart. Plus, I don’t buy his “it’s not about the sex” routine. He knows Julia is vulnerable and if nothing else, Ed is the opportunistic type. Actually, I am quite looking forward to seeing Joel put him on the ground in tonight’s episode and seeing Julia responding with incredulity when Joel asks her if she has been cheating on him with Ed. My guess is that Joel isn’t as stupid as Julia thinks he is.