Exclusive Parenthood Sneak Peek: Julia and Joel's Separation Inspires a Full-Blown Meltdown

Sydney has been a ticking time bomb ever since Joel and Julia announced their separation. And in TVLine’s exclusive sneak peek of Thursday’s Parenthood (10/9c on NBC), she finally explodes.

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In a matter of seconds, Sydney goes from “Mommy, we need to talk…” to “I don’t want to stay at daddy’s stupid apartment!” until everyone at the garden is looking at them.

Ed does his best to diffuse the situation — you know, as if Joel and Julia’s split wasn’t his fault in the first place — but sadly, it’s just too late.

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(To be fair, I feel Sydney’s pain. I wouldn’t want to have to bunk with Victor, either.)

Press PLAY below to watch our Parenthood sneak peek, then drop a comment with your feelings about Joel and Julia. Every last, heart-wrenching feeling.

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. Jen says:

    Their split wasn’t Ed’s fault.

    • TV Gord says:

      Exactly! A couple’s problems are their own.

    • tp says:

      That’s what I was thinking. Can that single kiss really considered the cause for their split? Inappropriate, yes. Crossed the line? Most definitely. Cause for a marriage to split up? Nah.

      • Gale Mazzo Lang says:

        you are so right!! he is acting like an idiot….he needs to grow up

      • KathyNYC2 says:

        A single kiss was not the only problem. Julia was hanging on to Ed for weeks. She knew it was inappropriate but she continued. She made decisions about Victor’s education without consulting her husband, they had a family meeting planned with the teachers and staff but she met them on her own. She barged in on a work meeting of his and embarrassed him by insulting his boss and yelling at him. And Julia lied to him about the kiss not meaning anything..when she clearly told two of her siblings that she wasn’t sure. Not to let Joel off the hook. He hasn’t been perfect either..but to say it was just one kiss is not the way that I saw it..at all.

        • tp says:

          Well it’s clear we saw things completely different. Julia was leaning on a friend. What’s inappropriate about that? Especially when you keep trying to talk to your husband and he does things like completely ignore your phone calls all day. Was Julia wrong to snap at Peet? Sure, but Peet should have kept her mouth shut and/or got up and left. Joel could have shot Julia a “in a meeting” text, anything but completely ignore her. She tried to talk to Joel about Victor and all that was going on but Joel basically told her they were doing it his way. I’ve said it before and I’ll say it now, Julia was drowning as a SAP and she tried to talk to Joel but he couldn’t be bothered. His answer was “I did it, why can’t you?” He couldn’t understand why it was hard for her but he didn’t try either. I’m not saying Julia is blameless but Joel is being a complete ass and it makes me think there’s more going on.

          • MtKat says:

            You’re correct in adding this bit… both parties did bad things,and to blame it on the kiss was stupid. Any marriage that breaks up over a kiss is ridiculous…even if it was “more fun” than theirs. Better people have come back from far worse situations. Joel isn’t even trying to patch it up; all he talks about are rules. Yes, the scripwriters seemed to have forgotten that kids have feelings too, right or wrong.

        • James Butler says:

          KathyNYC2 I have finally found someone who appears to see the whole incident with Julia’s behavior and her interaction with Ed. I believe if she had told Joel what happen when he first asked the situation would probably been resolved. And the confrontation at the dance didn’t help the problem. The kiss may not have been very important in the overall scheme of things the fact that Julia delayed telling him caused distrust. This is not good for the children and the two should try to work out their problem before Julia really does something stupid AGAIN with Ed..

        • Hannah says:

          ALSO, I recently rewatched the entire series and Joel kissed one of those housewives he had been hanging out with ALL THE TIME during the first season. He didn’t tell Julia until she randomly asked if anything had ever happened. How can he be mad at her when he had done the same thing. They’ve got issues, yes, but this isn’t grounds for him to be angry

    • Mike R says:

      That kiss was the least of these twos problems.

    • Allison says:

      Joel’s been looking for a reason for a long time so he latched on to this. Totally get how hurt he is, but I think even “betrayed” is a stretch. I feel like he’s punishing her for how small he felt when he was the SAH parent and instead of owning up to that, he’s acting like a toddler.

    • Kim R says:

      That is what came immediately to my mind as well. Their split was not Ed’s fault at all. There may have been an inappropriate kiss but Joel was acting like an a$$ way before that happened. I don’t mean that Julia is blameless but Joel has been acting like a child and is in no way interested in healing their marriage. He’s just ticking me off.

    • Lucy says:

      Split was not Ed’s fault. Joel checked out. Julia was breaking down. Victor was a super challenge in the family. Joel bailed.

  2. tp says:

    She is the brattiest child in the world. It pisses me off that they allow her to make demands. Reminds me of Goldie Hawn in Deceived “Isn’t anybody in charge around here?!”

  3. Frankie says:

    Joel’s being such a douche. It’s like he forgets about the woman he kissed/kissed him in season 1(?)… he barely put effort in when Julia was trying to talk to him to work it out. He just gave up on everything too quickly.

    • John says:

      I completely agree that Joel is going about this completely wrong. The cold shoulder is a pretty immature thing to do and he hasn’t been himself this season at all. I do want to make one correction that I see people making an error on. Joel did NOT kiss the other mom in season 1. I’m rewatching the show with a friend and he says she tried to but he shut it down. Just annoys me cause you don’t kiss another Person when you’re married and everyone is making Julia the victim when she also never told Joel how she kissed Ed back.

  4. bmiller says:

    Sydney is such a spoiled brat. And worse, her mother gives in to her demands.

  5. Becca says:

    Didn’t Joel kiss another mom in like season 1 or 2? He never should’ve left his family! And he shouldn’t expect his kids to have to be with him since he chose to leave them! He created all kinds of abandonment issues in them. I can’t believe he’d drag the kids through that over a kiss. There must be an ulterior motive??

    • Mari says:

      I’ve had the feeling that this has something to do with Peet.
      I have faith in Jason K, and the way he and the writer have developed Joel and the Joel/Julia dynamic over the seasons – they always talked about everything, and even when they fought they would always hear each other out.
      So Joel dumping all the blame on Julia i kind of out of character imho.
      And it’s true that Julia has been unhappy and not sure how to deal since quitting the job, but Joel has changed too. So much.

  6. Meghan says:

    I agree with all the comments above – Sydney is a snotty brat, Joel is a quitter, and their split it not Ed’s fault. Julia clearly was developing feelings for Ed because he actually treated her like a person, instead of Joel treating her like a housekeeper/cook/babysitter. And please, am I the only one who felt something brewing between him and his lady boss? Man up, Joel.

    • Rowan77 says:

      I feel like they wouldn’t have wasted casting Sonya Walger for what little we’ve seen of Peet. There has to be more brewing there, which is why I think Joel is over-reacting so much. When people cheat on their spouse they tend to strike out at their spouses, accusing them of the same thing or worse, to make themselves feel okay about their own transgression. I’m betting that at some time we will find out that Joel slept with Peet. That is meant nothing emotionally for either of them, just pent up frustration mixed with Julia’s overt jealously, and he felt like a horrible person, only to jump all over Julia because Ed kissed her.

    • MtKat says:

      yes, your comments are missing from this conversation — he was way to friendly with that lady boss, spending tons of hours “above and beyond”, and ignoring Julia’s hard times. She tried to get him to interact with her; and she could have done the same thing to him — leave bec. he was flirting and absent from the family, but she chose to cry out louder for help.

  7. Mister Stockwell says:

    Sydney is a brat. But, you call THAT a “full-blown meltdown”? Seriously? She’s being a brat here, but she’s had a crappy situation thrust on her by parents who are acting like brats as well. That’s a little justified venting by a child who doesn’t care whether it’s an appropriate time or place to do it. It’s NOT a meltdown.

    • Kim R says:

      I know! I was expecting, well, a meltdown! This was a discussion with a child who doesn’t want to do something but not a meltdown.

  8. Alicia says:

    Sydney may be bratty at times but you have to admit a child whose parents have decided to separate is going to be feeling a whole lot of emotions over it. The separation breaks my heart because in the past they always talked about things & worked them out. People mess up in relationships and yet they choose to forgive & choose to continue loving someone even through the struggles. I hope Joel comes to his senses and realizes what he’s throwing away and I really hope there is not a different issue behind it. Yes, deeper feelings inside probably contribute, but hopefully Pete is not involved in any way. If this couple breaks up, my already broken heart will break some more.

  9. Nicole says:

    I think their split is ridiculous. This is the most unrealistic reaction that could have been written. They’ve always been level headed with each other & now Joel won’t even talk to Julia. The couple we’ve come to know would have done their best to work through it. The whole hissy fit reaction really bothers me.

  10. Maggie says:

    I think Sydney has Julia’s personality but now that we saw this new Joel, maybe she is a little like him too. He really made a mountain out of a molehill. Savannah Paige Rae is a great little actress.

  11. Bets says:

    Joel is being a Jerk! When did confident, professional Julia turn into such a wimp? and the daughter has always been too spoiled… These people need to do some major talking, (counseling on how to talk might help) and get a grip on life !

  12. Christy Kleffman says:

    I asbolutely HATE this Joel and Julia story line. It isn’t at all true to their characters up to this point in the show. If they get divorced, I am not watching any further.

  13. Mary says:

    I have never thought this was well written into the storyline – just doesn’t seem like what these characters would do. Joel has always been understanding and level-headed. His reaction to the whole situation is out of control. I agree Julia was too close to Ed but that was because communications broke down between her and Joel. I say put them back together and somebody take control of the brat.

    • Kay says:

      I agree. This seems like a different couple. This is a frustrating story line and I don’t look forward to the show like I used to.

    • Saabgirlatx says:

      As out of character it seems for them, people really do change sometimes (not for the better, too). They’ve had some major stress factors (victor, her losing her job, he getting this huge opportunity) that have completely upended the dynamic they had. It would be fake if the writers simply allowed them to breeze through all of this. As much as we as viewers like them as a couple, sometimes it just doesn’t work out-at least right now.

  14. I think J & J are both in the wrong. What I don’t get are Victor and Sydney wanting to be with their mom. Joel stayed home with her for so long and is Victor’s buddy, it seems they would be more on his “side.”

    • c-mo says:

      Finally the voice of reason! I totally agree with you that both of them are acting like children, they both want their spouse to respect them but they aren’t offering any respect back, they are both being very selfish. They both need to man up and remember that this is the person they supposedly love more than anyone else, including themselves. They both also need to stop acting like the victim, they’re not! They’re both the perpetrator! Sorry for the rant, I’m tired of reading “poor Julia”, “bad Joel”.

  15. Tran 2.0 says:

    Still couldn’t stand Joel & Julia. 100% ANNOYING

  16. herman1959 says:

    Per the latest previews and spoilers, Kristina might have cancer (again), Sarah might be about to tank a good relationship for Hank (again), and Ryan will return (again)!. It’s official, Parenthood’s producers/writers are recycling story ideas at the same time that the show is being killed in the ratings by Scandal and Elementary. It’s almost as if they are trying to finish off the show. I’m concerned because I have loved this show from day one, but I’m sorry, if Kristina’s cancer is back, I just can’t watch anymore.

    • Saabgirlatx says:

      Cancer coming back is realistic. Had she one that election, that would’ve been random. We haven’t heard about the school plans yet, either. If Sarah goes back with Hank I will be furious. She deserves someone like Carl!!!

  17. Misty says:

    Their marriage was in trouble LONG before Ed. Julia quit her job and lost some of her identity. Joel felt pressured from being the sole bread winner and spent too much time at work and not enough time nurturing his marriage. Julia felt lonely because of it and found a friend in Ed who was going through similar circumstances. And I think Joel started to resent Julia. It wasn’t any one thing. It was many little things that all built up without being addressed and eventually exploded.

  18. AT says:

    This story line is driving me insane. Both Julia and Joel have a role in this, but Joel was pushing her away for a long time. She repeatedly tried to talk to him and he was either never home or, when he was home, was ignoring her. And with Victor’s situation, Julia didn’t have a separate meeting. She ran into the teacher and asked for some information. Which she proceeded to tell Joel about. Nothing wrong with that. But he over reacted and left. It is completely out of character that when Julia asked him to go to a counselor he wouldn’t even try. Watching this play out just makes me angry.

  19. Leslie says:

    For whatever reason, Joel is being a jerk. Hopefully, (eh hum, the writers plan to have him) wake up and smell the roses, before it is too late.

  20. meleliot says:

    I’m mad at Joel for giving up too easily and mad at Julia for allowing him to just walk out. Also Joel leaving without first seriously discussing the effect on the kids. When Joel had the kids on the weekend he was acting like it’s all fun and games and everything was going to be great. Why didn’t they get them in to talk to a psychiatrist or something first? Was there no discussion on how to deal with the kids feelings. I personally don’t think Sydney is a brat. She’s just reacting to a major life-altering situation. I feel very sorry for her.

    On another note, regarding Kristina’s cancer “maybe coming back.” I understand that it happens in the real world more often than not; however, it was such a heavy, emotional year last year, I’m just not up for watching that happen again. It hasn’t even been a year yet. I know TPTB want to tell real stories, but sometimes reality sucks.

    I don’t even know what to say about Sarah/Hank/Carl…

  21. HAP says:

    Am I the only one who thinks that Erika Christensen speaks as if she has marbles in her mouth?

  22. Mary says:

    Poor little Sydney! It’s hard to be a child in that situation, and I think she feels like she really began losing her Daddy when Victor arrived. (and no, I’m not blaming Victor.) but everything changed for her and fast!

  23. M says:

    I think these two are acting really out of character and I don’t really like it. I used to love Julia to but she is really annoying this season. Joel gave up work without a complaint for her so she could work and then when things changed she seems to not like being home with the kids and I think deep down blames him for being happy and her not. She seems very childish and selfish. It wasn’t just the kiss why they broke up. She was hanging on Ed and going to his place and when Joel suspected it and asked for the trut

    • James Butler says:

      Some of the fans seems to want to blame Joel for everything wrong in the marriage. His aloofness toward Julia and not responding to her wanting to talk about their problem was major but Julia seeking comfort from Ed because he lost his family lead to the Kiss and the split. As for Sarah; she has made foolish mistake in the past in her relationship and if she lets Hank (who’s character I dispise) back in her life to destroy another relationship she will deserve all the bad things that will surely happen . Hank is devious, tactful and problematic. He is shamefully condescending and a hypocrite. I was pulling for Sarah to have another good relationship but if she choose to start again with Hank I am through with her character.

  24. Kevin says:

    I was hoping we’d seen the last of Ed…

  25. annette says:

    When these two split up, I stopped watching this show COMPLETELY. they were always the rational couple…so, for the writers to write it up this way made them lose viewers….

  26. Ann says:

    Sydney has been a ticking time bomb since the show started. She is also a brat. Also, can anyone on this show have a conversation that is not stilted and awkward? Is this an acting style for the show or is it the writing? I enjoy the show, but I just want to yell: “spit it out, for crying out loud”. Sorry for being so negative, but parts of this show are annoying.

    ps. I also wish the writers would have Julia move on and leave Joel in the dust. Make him grovel a little.