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Parenthood “Aaron Brownstein Must Be Stopped” 

It’s hard to believe that Parenthood is coming to an end. But before it does, there are still many questions that need to be answered. Will Joel and Julia get back together? Will Zeek’s health affect the story? And what about The Luncheonette?

Photo Credit: Joe Pugliese/NBC
Photo Credit: Joe Pugliese/NBC

In a beautifully bizarre scene that’s a little tough to watch, we see Crosby’s dreams crash before his eyes. He and Amber are recording in the studio, so that’s good news. But rather than recording an amazing new artist, they are recording two girls singing about a cat that pushes his food bowl away. And then they start to meow.

That’s right, The Luncheonette needs income. So they have resorted to recording jingles and this one is about cat food. Crosby calls it “demoralizing” as he an Amber look on in horror.

So it’s not surprising that later, Amber finds Crosby dancing around with a microphone and blasting The Ramones in what resembles an insane religious ritual.

Crosby: I’m trying to cleanse this place with a little punk rock after that cat endeavor we just had.

Amber laughs and tells him they’ve also lined up a toothpaste commercial. But she also has an idea for one last adventure before she has her baby. She tells Crosby about a band she’d like for them to get, but they’ll have to go see them play late at a club.

Crosby is a character who has changed a lot over the course of the series and he shows it when he hesitates to go out at midnight – something that Crosby would have seen as a regular occasion when the series began. But hey, at least he brings some pot along for their adventure.

The adventure is cut short when Amber starts having pains and Crosby has to take her to the hospital. It seems Crosby might be the one there for yet another baby delivery (he was there when Kristina had Nora), but this one is a false alarm. Thank goodness Amber and the baby are okay.

But Crosby is concerned. He admits to Jasmine that he feels like a failure and he regrets that he put so much into The Luncheonette. This is the struggle we’ve seen for Crosby all along – he has this new family that he wants to provide for, but he also has dreams that might not always be so practical.

Each episode has been missing a few characters since the actors signed limited contracts for this final season. This one in particular is missing Sarah (Lauren Graham), but the story continues to develop for Hank, Ruby and Sandy.

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

Ruby throws a party at her mom’s house while her mother is away. And she does so after blatantly lying to Hank about not having people over. Hank catches her and Sandy comes home from her conference to find that Hank has already cleared out the house.

Hank and Sandy find themselves working as a team and Sandy is grateful to have his help. They end the night sitting on the front porch drinking alcohol that Ruby’s friends brought, with Sandy saying it “tastes like high school.” The two of them are reconnecting now that Sandy understands why Hank has had such difficulty with communication and I’m nervous that they are going to get back together. What can I say? I want Hank to stay with Sarah!

And then there’s poor Max. He’s just about to ask Dylan to go on a date with him when he catches her kissing another boy. Max goes on a rampage and insists that the boy, named Aaron Brownstein, be expelled from the school. After passing around flyers to explain why he should be expelled and ultimately getting into a fight with the boy, Max takes a different approach.

He presents Dylan with a collage that he made to show how much he likes her. It even includes horses, he says, because he knows how much she likes them. Dylan’s response isn’t what Max hopes for and the other kids make fun of him and say the gesture is creepy. It’s completely heartbreaking. Max has struggled with having friends because of his Asperger’s and now that he’s found a girl he likes, she doesn’t reciprocate. He storms out and takes off running, with Kristina not far behind.

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

And what Kristina tells Max is significant and inspiring and it actually brings a bit of closure to Max’s story for the series. Kristina tells Max that she’s proud of him for being able to express such strong feelings for someone.

Kristina: I just want to tell you. That I… I am so incredibly proud of you. What you did up there took so much courage. And I thought that your collage was absolutely beautiful.

And the fact that he is able to do say signifies one important thing – Max is going to be just fine.

Parenthood airs Thursdays at 10/9c on NBC.

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1 Comment

  1. darci

    Dax Shepard was great in this episode, I really like how they portrayed Crosby’s internal struggles and feelings of failure, both in his family and professional life. The way he actually feels terrible and selfish because Jasmine has to provide a second income and can’t open her dance studio was a really good direction to take, and Shepard never over-acted – he was spot on in every scene.

    On a side note I liked that they were playing “Up All Night” by Icona Pop during the party scene, it reminded me of Neighbors which I loved.

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