Wednesday, April 13, 2011

Parenthood-"Slipping Away"

Amber and Gary go out for a drive on "Parenthood"
Credit: NBC

My thoughts on the penultimate episode of this season of Parenthood are after the jump.

This episode of Parenthood was very, very good. It was a strong episode where almost all the plotlines worked and it had some very good leadup into what (looks to be based on the promo) one of the stronger finales I'll see this season. But enough about next week, because there was a lot of good stuff to discuss in tonight's episode, particularly with the teens. The Amber plotline and the Haddie plotline were the strongest of the episode, and the episode supplemented these well with strong continuations for the arcs for Crosby and Sarah. This was a very good episode of Parenthood that did many things very well, and was of a quality that I've come to expect from the show.

Haddie and Alex had sex, and in this episode we dealt with Adam and Kristina finding out about this. This was a very strong plotline, not only because it showed both Adam and Kristina's reactions realistically. Adam would be upset at Haddie for having sex at sixteen, he is having trouble with his little girl growing up. And Kristina just wanted to talk about it, she wanted to make sure Haddie was alright. The plot was also made up of many brilliant scenes, like the opening. The way Adam and Kristina find out that their daughter is having sex was brilliant. (*) Also, the talk between Kristina and Haddie was very well performed by Sarah Ramos and Monica Potters. The scene was one of my favorites of the episode because it portrayed a real reaction between the characters, nothing seemed forced. Another scene that didn't seem forced was the ending, with Adam picking up Haddie from practice. It was another very well performed scene between Ramos and Peter Krause. Adam's line about him never wanting to see her get hurt was damn great. 

(*) Even though, wouldn't it be difficult to call your Mom while having sex from a touch screen device? Just wondering.

This week's episode continued with Amber's self destruction, and the affects of this on her family. This was the strongest and the best acted plot of the episode because of Mae Whitman and Lauren Graham. They nailed every scene that they had together and it was fantastic to watch them work. Amber's been on this path for a few episodes, since she got rejected from college. This reaction is very realistic on Amber's part, her life plan was pulled out from under her, so she doesn't have much else besides that guy and drugs in her mind. And boy that downfall was huge. She was smoking on the job, she quit her job, she was having sex in her Aunt's (**) office, she showed up to dinner with her mother high, and she even completely rejected her mother and went off with the guy. All the scenes in the plotline were fantastic, especially the scene aptly titled on the Hulu clip "The Confrontation". That was so well performed by Whitman and Graham, and that's why the scene was as great as it was. Also, I do wish that the NBC promo department hadn't spoiled that cliffhanger for me, because all the surprise of Amber getting into a car accident was gone. It was still a well done cliffhanger but I wish there was the element of surprise there.

(**) Julia was relegated to the participate in other plotlines position this week, not that I had a problem with that. Erika Christensen did a great job in her scenes with Amber and Crosby, especially the scene where she confronted Crosby about the building of the house.

The episode continued the story arc for Crosby as he tries to fix the house that he bought. Damn this guy is desperate. He's holding on to the slim chance that Jasmine will see the house and then want to run back to him, but it's clear that Jasmine doesn't want to do this. Her conversation with Julia made that clear. She loves him, but she can't forgive him for cheating on her. The arc has been interesting because I'm intrigued by exactly how far Crosby will go to get Jasmine back. I don't know if it will work, but the arc has been interesting. I don't know if it will pay off next week or not, but the interim should be interesting, as it has been for the past few episodes. The show is really taking it to the extreme, but I'm strangely not minding that. Like I said, I don't know if it will payoff next week because that would be an extreme change for Jasmine, but I know I'm intrigued.

I did enjoy the continuation of Sarah's attempt to get her play produced. Richard Dreyfuss has been very good in this arc and his performance in this episode was no exception. He nailed Gillium's reaction to everything that happened, including not having the guaranteed connection he thought he did and Sarah not putting her full attention on him when her daughter was in trouble. The plotline in the episode mainly served as continuation of the arc and as setup for the finale, as Sarah will have her play produced at a reading at a local theater. This is probably something that will payoff next week and I'm as excited as every to see where this leads for Sarah, who has never had an opportunity like this before, and how she handles this opportunity.

We also returned to Adam's workplace, with his boss Corey as high as ever. We got to see Adam's continued frustration at the craziness of his boss and at the direction of the company. My only problem is that I didn't feel that these scenes were necessary. They're obviously there for a reason, so I'm inclined to wait and see why they were there before knocking their purpose.

I have to comment separately at the scene with Lauren Graham talking to Peter Krause about parenting because that was a great scene. It was very well acted by the two of them, especially Graham (who should submit this for Emmy consideration). Sarah completely rejecting Adam's idea made for a great scene between the two of them.

Overall, this was a damn fine episode of Parenthood that put the pieces from all the story arcs in place for a fantastic finale. I can't believe that next week is the finale, that really came up fast.

What did everyone else think?

1 comment:

  1. I screamed at the tv "HANG UP HANG UP" when they heard her having sex. oh god


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