Parenthood Recap: Growing Pains

Parenthood Season 6 Episode 6

If Thursday’s episode of Parenthood was the first time you’d ever seen the NBC drama — well, as a side note, what have you been doing all this time? — your opinion of Amber Holt would likely be that she’s one of the most mature members of a family that’s single-handedly keeping Kleenex in business.

But for those of us who’ve been watching since the beginning — hell, even if you only tuned in last season and saw Amber foolishly rush into an engagement — you were likely blown away by the leaps and bounds by which she has grown in recent months. Could this really be the same girl who wanted to run off with her deadbeat Fresno beau while still in high school? The same girl who slept with her cousin’s boyfriend before they were officially broken up? The same girl who got into a horrifying car accident after she let her co-worker drink and smoke pot behind the wheel?

Taking Amber’s past five years into consideration, it was even more shocking (y’know, in an awesome way) to watch her maternal instincts kick into gear during Thursday’s hour, as she (and quite a few other Bravermans) navigated particularly choppy waters.

MONEY ON MY MIND | The episode picks up three months in the future, where Amber is sporting a serious (and adorable!) baby bump. Sirens first go off in her head when, on a baby-related shopping trip with Drew, she realizes just how little she can actually afford on her salary from The Luncheonette. But when she confronts Adam and Crosby about getting a raise — when was the last time “commensurate” was used in casual conversation? — it dawns on Amber’s uncles that their recording studio might really be at risk this time, something they both react to in very different ways. Ever the level-headed one, Adam assures Amber that even though he doesn’t have a back-up plan, he’s not going to quit until she gets the salary she deserves. (Awww.)

Meanwhile, Crosby goes into a tailspin about finances, especially after Jasmine prices out a potential trip to The Wizarding World of Harry Potter for Jabbar’s birthday. (Good on Jabbar for having his birthday wishes prioritized correctly. Harry Potter always comes first, and everything else is a footnote, frankly. Especially when it’s in the name of NBC Universal corporate synergy.) After Jasmine assures her husband that she’s only concerned about losing him, and not their house, the Super Parenting Duo throws Jabbar a truly awesome Potter-themed surprise party in the backyard, featuring a rather spot-on Sorting Hat impression from Crosby. (Once more, with feeling: Awww!)

Still, the family’s looming financial issues continue to weigh on Drew’s mind, so much so that he declares economics as his major. And even though Natalie tries to assure Drew that his major won’t really matter down the line, Drew knows he’s got a responsibility to his family, as he’s the first one to go to college. (Side note: I know it’s been mentioned before, but seriously, how wise has Drew gotten? He was brutally honest with his somewhat-spoiled girlfriend, and didn’t even break a sweat!)

I’LL BE THERE FOR YOU | When Amber’s not worrying about her job security, she’s saving the day for Sarah and Hank after Ruby decides to crash with her dad for a while. After a game of Celebrity goes from fun to disastrous in about 5.2 seconds — thanks to Hank not knowing his daughter’s food allergies — Ruby sneaks out to a party that night and comes back absolutely wrecked, prompting Amber to stick by her side while she worships the porcelain god for a while. The next morning, Amber lays out the truth for Ruby: Hank is doing the best he can — way better than Amber’s dad ever attempted to do — and Ruby should try cutting him some slack. So, later that day, Ruby 2.0 emerges from her bedroom, offering her dad an apology, a hug and an “I love you” before heading to a friend’s house. Could Amber really have tamed the beast? Here’s hoping!

TEENAGE DREAM | Even though Max’s crush Dylan still only likes him at a 2.5 — something Max will one day learn to be “The Friend Zone” — Dylan’s still spending quite a bit of time at Adam and Kristina’s. Playing with Nora and Otis? Check. Sleeping over multiple times? Check. Curling up next to Kristina as she watches To Kill a Mockingbird? Uh… check! Kristina gets concerned that Dylan’s only interested in hanging out with Max’s family, but Dylan assures her that Max is awesome — just a bit boring sometimes. (Which is a pretty accurate assessment of teenagers in general.)

OK, your turn. What did you think of the episode? Joel/Julia fans, isn’t it depressing to think that Julia has been dating Chris off-screen this entire time? Sound off in the comments!

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. Maggie says:

    Why wasn’t Jabbar’s cousins, Sydney and Victor, at his Birthday party? Ruby is not a Braverman so I hate that they waste precious time on her since it’s the final season. Missed Joel, Julia, Sydney, Victor, Zeek and Camille tonight.

    • Carla Krae says:

      None of the cast is in all 13 episodes. That was part of what got us this final season. NBC’s hard line.

    • Stacy says:

      This is the first season that not all the cast members are in every episode, I believe. Presumably as a financial factor regarding renewal. So, if it means a farewell season with some actual closure, I will happily disregard an episode or two missing a main character.

    • Eliza says:

      Yeah, exactly what Carla & Stacy said. IIRC, I don’t recall Sarah, Hank and Ruby being in last weeks episode. So, it has been a different mix of cast members in an episode.

    • Meredith says:

      Sydney is so horrible, I wouldn’t want her at my party either.

  2. rebecca says:

    I don’t care about Hank or Ruby.. last night was a big FF party. Next week though, previews for Joel & Julia… I am totally here for that.

  3. jay says:

    How do we get the show to extend? This can’t possibly be the final season. It’s a great show. Who can we petition? I love this down to earth, no holes barred mature show about a REAL family.

    • Doug says:

      Said everyone at the end of last season. Every show has to end and I’d rather it end with everyone knowing about it rather than it getting canceled. It gives showrunners/writers time to resolve story lines and close some loops.

    • herman1959 says:

      Jay, let it go and enjoy what episodes you have left. it’s a miracle that the show returned at all with such abysmal ratings. Actually, I think the return was influenced by the fact that NBC didn’t have anything to replace Parenthood with and they needed more time.

  4. Sarah T. says:

    Loved tonight’s episode! Once again, I’m impressed by both Amber’s and Drew’s maturity as they grow up. Loved watching Dylan interact with Adam and Kristina and how much their presence has calmed her down. So far this is wrapping up to be a great send-off for a show I hate to see end. I’m really looking forward to next week’s episode focusing on Joel & Julia.
    Also, I realize that not all of the Braverman’s are in every episode this year but 1) that’s not totally uncommon. Previous season’s didn’t have every character in every show. 2) I actually think not having every one in every show allows the writers to focus more on a few members of the clan at a time so we can really get some wrap up here.
    How this show has not racked up the Emmy’s is beyond me. Kudos to the writers who really flesh out these characters and every single one of the actors for bringing them to life. I feel like they really are a family, I think that’s part of the reason why I’ll miss this show so much.
    Thank you NBC for giving us a final season of a great show. I realize you may not be top dog right now but I really believe you have absolutely some of the best shows on television with Parenthood leading the pack.

  5. Kim R says:

    I’m going to miss this show so much. I’m wondering about the absence of Dylan’s parents. Something is a bit fishy there, for me. Next week looks like I’m going to need to keep the Kleenex handy. :)

  6. Roeshamred says:

    Totally random sidenote – Did anyone notice the poor editing during the Ruby and Amber scene in Ruby’s bedroom? Ruby’s hair was 1/2 covering her face and then behind her ear throughout the scene. I love Parenthood!! Editors gotta step it up. Sad the show is ending soon. :(

  7. Television says:

    This episode was terrible. So many things wrong. Amber shopping with Drew like they were a couple. Drew saying he needed to get a job so he could pay for Ambers baby. Amber needing to shop for brand new things from a small expensive store instead of say, hand me downs from the million kids these people have already or Walmart. Couldn’t affort $2000 trip, but how much money did that elaborate birthday party with a performer cost? Why is Drew still with that crazy chick. Max and his girlfriend is creepy.

    • Saabgirlatx says:

      Ok I felt the same way about the Harry Potter party…no way that wasn’t several hundred dollars right there!
      As for Amber I think the shopping scene was just to show her growing up, not expecting to actually buy those overpriced baby things.

    • Meredith says:

      I went shopping for baby things with my brother. I mean, we shopped for other things too, but I definitely hit baby stores with him. And they acknowledged when they were leaving the boutique that they needed to go to…was it Target? One of those stores. Also, hundreds of dollars is not thousands of dollars. I assume Jasmine and Crosby spent what they felt they could afford. I’m cheap, so I wouldn’t have spent the money, but people frequently blow mony on things I find ridiculous.