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Recaps

Parenthood “These are the Times We Live In” 

I am dying for Julia and Joel to get back together. I am so heartbroken for both of them and I’m not sure I’ll be able to take it if they aren’t back together by the end of this season.

Photo Credit: Colleen Hayes/NBC
Photo Credit: Colleen Hayes/NBC

The reason I think their break-up is so devastating is because they’ve been together as long as we’ve known them. At the start of the series, they were a happy couple who, yes, had their share of problems – but they were solid. To see that break down the way that it has is completely devastating. But more than that, I think if they could work past their differences in a realistic way, it would offer hope for real relationships.

And that’s the thing about this show. I’ve said it before – it is grounded in reality. The problems the characters face and family dynamics, everything about it is relatable to someone. And I think many of the issues Julia and Joel have faced are an example of that. If they could just fight through it and get back together, their story would be inspiring.

At the beginning of this episode, though, it doesn’t look promising. Julia and Joel are in mediation, discussing their assets and finalizing their divorce. Julia says she thinks the logical thing to do is to sell their house and split the profit. But Joel says he’d rather her just keep it, especially for the kids.

That seems to be the end of it, but as they leave mediation and wind up in the elevator alone, they quietly force back tears and reach for each other’s hands. And then for just a moment they hold each other and let the tears flow.

Later, Julia visits Joel and asks one more time about the house, wanting to be sure that she is fair. He tells her he would still rather her keep it. He reminds her of the memories they made there, like when they first bought it and lay on the floor without furniture arguing about paint colors. And when they brought Sidney home as a baby. And that it was the first place Victor ever felt safe.

Joel: “It’s not an asset. It’s a home.”

Photo Credit: Colleen Hayes/NBC
Photo Credit: Colleen Hayes/NBC

And his words must stay in the back of Julia’s mind later when she’s talking with her new boyfriend. They are drinking wine and he finally says if he finishes his glass that he’ll be too drunk to drive home. I was fully prepared to throw something at my television if Julia would have asked him to stay the night. She didn’t. Thank goodness. Instead, she told him they better call it a night.

Meanwhile, Joel visits Zeek to say goodbye, saying the relationship is officially over. But leave it to Zeek to say what all of us are thinking. Fight for her, Joel!

Joel gets back to his apartment and sits on the couch in silence. But it looks like Zeek’s words might actually be sinking in. There is inspiring music and the look on his face says it all – Joel isn’t going to give up just yet.

So, again, thank goodness that Julia’s boyfriend left. Julia is alone when Joel arrives at her door.

Joel: A year ago, you asked me to fight for you. But I was too stupid to listen. So I’m here. I don’t want to live another day without you, Julia. Not another second. So I’m fighting for you, and I’m fighting for our marriage. I want you back.

Naturally, the episode ends before Julia responds, so we’ll have to wait to find out what happens next. I just sincerely hope she says she wants to fight too.

Other developments:

  • Amber continues to practice her mothering skills by taking care of Max and Nora this week. But it’s complete chaos and makes Amber question her ability to be a mother, especially when Max tells her flat out that she is going to be the worst mother in history. But Sarah comforts her and assures Amber that she isn’t doing this alone. I think Amber is going to be just fine.
  • Hank’s daughter has boy troubles and bonds with Sarah, much to the discomfort – no, anger – of Sandy. Sarah helps Hank to understand how to deal with Sandy’s anger, and more importantly, to understand the real reason for it. Hank tells Sandy he’s sorry and explains that he has Asbergers. And at the end of the episode, it seems as though Joel isn’t the only one fighting her his family. Sandy bribes Ruby with yogurt and invites Hank along, leaving Sarah out of the equation. I’m so worried for Sarah and Hank! Sarah is so deserving of a happy ending. I hope Sandy doesn’t swoop in and ruin it.

Parenthood airs on Thursdays at 10/9c on NBC.

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