Parenthood Recap: A Heartbreaking Twist, Forbidden Feelings and a Surprise Return

MaePhoodThis week’s Parenthood finds Amber and Ryan at a heartbreaking crossroads, while Julia juggles her feelings for two men, Sarah enjoys a hot hook-up and Drew is treated to a blast from the past.

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

Post-election Adam is better than pre-election Adam. Where the heck was this man when Kristina was in the midst of that cutthroat campaign?! Adam spends the days after his wife’s loss attempting to lift her sagging spirits, whether it be through eating a giant cake with her face on it or egging a giant billboard with Bob Little’s face on it!

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Space heaters and a power outage make for a dream date — who knew?! Sarah and her sexy tenant Carl (Josh Stamberg) make the most of a chilly night in by finally acting on their obvious mutual attraction. Afterward, Sarah sets some strange boundaries with her hot hookup — but that’s OK because it’s kind of more fun to watch this duo tip-toe around each other anyway.

Ryan finally opens up… to Zeke.
After an emotional conversation with Amber — in which she asks for some time to figure things out — the vet retreats to his fiancee’s grandfather and makes a startling revelation: Life was easier when he was at war. He hated being in Afghanistan, sure, but at least it made sense and he was comfortable in his surroundings. Here with Amber? Not so much.

Crosby and Drew are magical on-screen together. Why don’t we see this uncle/nephew odd couple more often? (Check out this epic scene for proof.)

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Julia doesn’t grasp the concept of staying away from someone. After learning that Ed and his wife are separating, Julia pays him a visit… to tell him she can no longer pay him visits. Ed reluctantly obliges, but then, after teeing up a sob story about how it’s better to be miserable than to fake being happy, he kisses her — and she kisses him back! Back at home, Julia is getting ready for a date night with Joel. Her husband. Who has just agreed to work on their relationship.

Amy returns and all is right with the world. We’re tired of seeing our sweet Drew get jerked around by his “friend with benefits” Natalie, so imagine our relief when the co-ed opens his dormroom door and finds his sweet ex waiting for him.

War, what is it good for? Absolutely nothing. Particularly, in this case, for Ryan and Amber’s romantic future. Having soul searched to her heart’s content, Amber returns home to tell Ryan that none of this matters; she love him and is in it for the long haul. He, however, has made other plans, and announces that he’s reenlisted in the Army. It’s a gut-wrenching moment that upends the lives of both characters, and Mae Whitman and Matt Lauria executed every beat of it beautifully.

What were your favorite moments from Thursday’s Parenthood?