5 Moments of Goodness: Parenthood “One Step Forward, Two Steps Back”
I’m still in denial that Parenthood season 4 is almost over. There’s only one episode left and that fact leaves me wishing NBC had given the show the back nine order. Well, this hasn’t happened. And soon we’re going to be waiting for news on a season 5 renewal. Let’s just say that based on what went down this season, I’m choosing to be optimistic about the whole thing. NBC better give fans of Parenthood what we want, which is more. More of the Braverman family and all their fabulous drama.
“One Step Forward, Two Steps Back” was an excellent episode. For once, it didn’t have me in tears and I was completely OK with that. Something rare occurred, however. I’ll talk more about it in this list of my favorite moments, but what happened is I actually ended up agreeing with Crosby. I’m going out on a limb and saying he was on the right side of the argument. I’ll explain in a bit. First I want to start with another Crosby scene:
1. Crosby Gives Julia Advice about Hank
One beef I’ve had with the show has been with the character of Julia. I’ve always wanted to see her interact more with her siblings. Sometimes she seems so separate from Adam, Sarah and Crosby. Plus, it often feels like nothing affects her. Well, the whole Victor situation has affected her big time. She can’t understand why the kid doesn’t seem to love or even like her. Julia’s not used to failing. She’s succeeded at everything. At this point, she’s doubting Victor will ever learn to love her and so when she and Joel have a double date with Crosby and Jasmine, she can’t concentrate on the dinner. She quickly excuses herself to go outside and regroup. I was hoping Crosby would be the one to go after her and he was. What we got was a scene where Crosby was a real brother to her. He got her to open up and comforted her and propped her up with words that expressed how much he admired her parenting skills:
Crosby: “When Jasmine came and dropped Jabbar off, I didn’t have a single clue on how to be a parent. I mean, it just happened in one second, yet she was expecting me to be a dad and I didn’t know what to do. You know who I watched, who I studied, who I looked up to? You.”
Crosby: “You are such a good parent. You are so patient and so calm and you’re so involved. I watched you and I could only aspire to be as good as you. And, Victor hates you. OK. You know who I hated when I was nine years old? Mom. Remember she was on her crazy health food kick and only put wheat germ cookies in our lunch box? Yeah. She was deplorable and I hated her. I loved her but I also hated her. But I didn’t tell her that I loved her. I only said I hated her. And that little guy needs you. And he loves you and I know he loves you because it’s impossible not to love you. For real. Listen to me.”
Julia: “What are you trying to do to me?”
Bravo, Crosby. You get the award for best sibling in this episode. He got it all right and Julia and Crosby had a beautiful moment. And I think it helped Julia make the decision to go ahead with the adoption.
See the moment for yourself:
2. Mark confronts Hank
The Mark and Hank confrontation scene was a bit heated right? There was an edge to Mark that was good to see as he decided to let Hank know he didn’t approve of the dark room kiss he shared with Sarah while she was engaged to Mark. The teacher thought it was a calculated, manipulative and cowardly move. I really thought Mark was going to unload more than a verbal attack on the photographer. Did anyone else think there was a chance they may come to blows? I figured they were adults and it wouldn’t actually happen but I’m not going to lie. For a split second there, I wasn’t sure.
Mark (to Hank): “I just came here to tell you that I’m still in love with Sarah and I’m going to be the classy guy that you never were and tell you to your face that I’m planning on taking her back.”
I loved how Mark let his intentions be known. He wasn’t going to let Hank just have Sarah. He was going to fight for her. Although, you guys know, I feel like Sarah should be the one fighting for Mark, I’m anxious to see how this is all going to play out. Hank was right when he told Sarah that he knows what he wants. And Mark knows what he wants. Sarah’s going to have to be the one to figure out what she wants. Here’s to hoping she chooses Mark. (Yeah, I’m biased. Sue me.)
3. Max gets his Vending Machine Back
At times this season, Max’s one track mind about getting vending machines back in his school was a tad annoying. But I love how he came out of his shell to run for school president based on that platform. And it earned him the election. It was awful to see how he wasn’t going to be able to do anything about it since the PTA had generated its own campaign to keep those things away from their children. After all, it was filled with junk food and their kids were spending their allowances on those food machines.
When Max came home furious over not being able to make his platform a reality, Kristina took it into her own hands to help her son out. She knows this is something Max was passionate about. So she went to the PTA and faced all those holier than thou mothers and got them to see what losing those machines really meant. They meant a loss of funds for some important programs at school. And if the moms didn’t want their kids to have all-access to some unhealthy snacks, then why not fill those vending machines with healthier choices? Kristina made her argument in convincing fashion and got the machines reinstated at the school.
And when Max saw for himself the machines were back, how great a moment was that? His classmates all cheered for him. He was able to deliver on his campaign promise. And the kids all celebrated by throwing around Max’s favorite snack: Skittles. Love that Kristina helped Max out and the kid got to experience a truly happy moment with his fellow students.
4. Crosby is on the Right Side of the Argument
There are so many times I can’t believe some of the things Crosby says. He often doesn’t have a filter when he really should. But in the case of Jasmine’s mom being all judgmental with how Cros and her daughter raise Jabbar, I’m on Crosby’s side. She’s the grandmother. She needs to let them be the parents. She can disagree with them. But, in my opinion, she can’t override them.
Jasmine needed to woman up and ally herself with her husband. She needed to stand up to her mom and not let her make them feel like bad parents. Hello. Jabbar is such a cool kid with a good head on his shoulders. And, yes, Crosby hasn’t been there for Jabbar’s entire life. But since he’s started taking care of the kid, nothing has changed. Jabbar is still an awesome son. He’s kind and caring and he loves his parents and grandmother.
The shaving scene when Crosby reminded himself (out loud) that he’s on the right side of the argument was hilarious. But he is right. Jasmine is wrong. She had no business telling Crosby he needed to apologize to her mom. It may be time for grandma to move out.
5. Ryan gets his job back
Lately, there hasn’t been enough Ryan quality time. In my opinion, he’s the best addition of the season. Plus, I love me some Amber and Ryan so it’s been hard to see them hit this bump in the road. It was good to see him back in action in “One Step Forward, Two Steps Back.” He tried to mend fences with Joel and get his job back. It always takes Ryan some time to get with the program and do things the way they need to be done. Amber remindes her ex that maybe he could show some kindness to Joel — bring him a treat. You know, not act like he’s entitled to getting his job back.
I loved when Ryan showed up at the construction site with doughnuts in tow. He didn’t ask for his job back. He wanted to thank Joel for giving him a shot and show him there were no hard feelings between them. Joel caved and rehired Ryan. I think Joel could be good for Ryan. And should the series get a fifth season, hopefully, the writers will let this relationship foster. With Zeek, Joel and Amber on his side, Ryan could get his life back on track.
And just for the record, Joel’s an underrated character on this show. He’s not perfect but he’s damn close to it. He’s such a good guy. He’s patient and loving and such a solid presence for the entire Braverman family. Sam Jaeger plays Joel perfectly. He never gets recognition for it. He should.
The season 4 finale of Parenthood airs Tuesday, January 22 @ 10/9c on NBC.
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