Parenthood Review: Stepping Up

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"Step Right Up" was another typical, lovely episode about love and family. For the Bravermans, as the title suggests, stepping up is the norm.

Let's dissect what happened with the characters this week, shall we?

A Parenthood Party

Haddie and Alex
Did anyone else get angry when Alex told Haddie his problems were out of her world and he had to deal with them on his own? The only reason he had a problem was because Haddie was incapable of understanding the gravity real life situations. Dating an alcoholic, inviting him to a party and then drinking to greet him was the reason he got into trouble. Why should she skate on her responsibility?

I couldn't help feeling that Alex deserved Adam and Kristina as parents more than Haddie. Every scene with her in it felt like torture, but I loved the ones featuring Alex. When Adam went to the parents' house to fight for Alex, I wanted him to take the low road, and threaten to sue them for the alcohol doused party at their house.

But Adam was too good for that, and spoke eloquently on Alex's behalf instead. The charges against Alex were dropped.

Adam and Kristina
What a struggle it must have been for them, not wanting to know the sex of their baby because the odds of having another child with Asperger's would be higher with a boy. But, really, who could blame them? We watched what they have gone through with Max, and to add another child with the same issue would rightfully create fear.

Adam's decision to take the plunge into the world of entertainment with Crosby added stress to the end of Kristina's pregnancy. Between that and Kristina's fear of another child with Asperger's, I'm concerned about her delivery. 

Zeek, Drew and Amy
Drew finally got a story! Zeek, the foxy grandpa, gave Drew just what he needed to get started: encouragement. When Drew inadvertently let Amy's dog out of the front door and Amy shot off after him, I was screaming "RUN" at the screen. Why did he just stand there? He will need few more of Zeek's lessons before he finds himself on equal footing with the man, but it was a great start overall.
Julia and Zoe
Julia dreaded going to work after offering to "buy" Zoe's baby. I couldn't think of anything that would keep Zoe from wanting Julia and Joel to adopt her baby, but she had a great reason. Her pain at giving up her baby was so overwhelming that she wanted a closed adoption. 
The odds of Julia not getting Zoe's baby, and talking her into an open adoption? About 2 to 1. Zoe would fit so well into the Braverman family that any other outcome would be out of character for Parenthood.
Sarah and Amber
In typical Sarah fashion, she tried unsuccessfully to push her way into Amber's new life. She showed up at her job, kept her clothes from being sold at a yard sale and tried to talk her into switching shifts so she could attend Kristina's baby shower. Amber was annoyed and unaffected. Until she heard a bump in the night in her new, if questionable, "loft."
It was a giant rat (looking suspiciously like my own - is he acting on the side?!) that finally brought mother and daughter back to their special place. Sarah just needed to let Amber go for her to come back. 
The family dynamics on Parenthood were written honestly, intelligently and with humor and humility. While it didn't ooze sex or rumble with unsolved and gritty crime cases, it did exactly what it was supposed to do: portray family life and parenthood in a way we can all identify, no matter what our own situation in life.


Editor Rating: 4.3 / 5.0
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User Rating:

Rating: 4.7 / 5.0 (44 Votes)

Carissa Pavlica is the managing editor and a staff writer for TV Fanatic. Follow her on Twitter and on Google+.


I'm am disgusted with the episode of Parenthood that normalized drinking during pregnancy. People need to realize that it is devastating to the babies and causes irreparable damage and a lifelong struggle for both the child and the caregiver.


I think Alex just felt so ashamed and so alone that he pushed Haddie away. He is not use to anyone fighting for him. I was really happy when someone finally pointed out and reminded the kid's parents that HELLO you are pressing charges when in reality there was underage drinking going on at their home. Seems to me there could be a lot more pressing charges by other parents against them. I mean their kid got popped for being an arrogant idiot. Not that i condone that either. I still like the show, but not quite as much as before and I can't put my finger on why.


Carissa...Im so glad you said the same thing I did about Haddie. I was flabbergasted that she skated by without getting punished! She was the reason Alex was in trouble to begin with for crying out loud. The fact that no one addressed her culpability irritated the s..crap out of me. And I to wanted Adam to threaten to sue their worthless as..butts! So glad Drew got something.That kid is the forgotten child if Ive ever seen one. Loved Zeeks..he makes the show and they havent used him as much as they should have this season. I over Amber..let her have her space in her crappy apartment. I continue to love Crosby. I have a thing for underdogs who are seen as perpetual screwups even why they prove themselves.It was nice to see him and Jasmine being cordial. I still dont like that woman...or Kristina. She shouldnt feel so comfortable being rude to Crosby and any of Adam's family she has a problem with at the time. His mother,both sisters, his brother, his father, and his niece.been a witch to them all


Good episode. They remembered Drew! Was he even in the last episode?


The writers, director, and producers of this episode are seriously lacking in education about avoiding drinking during pregnancy. I was shocked when christina declared her "right" to drink champagne and was shown doing so! Fetal Alcohol Syndrome is a dangerous series of disorders that result from the use of alcohol during pregnancy. The medical profession has stated that there is no known safe level of alcohol use during pregnancy since it crosses directly into the baby's blood stream and organs. The story line has christina worried that this baby might have autism, and yet she is drinking alcohol? Crazy and irresponsible of the show's writers and producers. See this link for facts about alcohol and pregnancy and Fetal Alcohol Syndrome. http://www.fascenter.samhsa.go...


Hi all, since Crosby got a lot of the quotes from the episode, and since I'm not at all familiar with the reality of wheat allergies, I decided it best I not weigh in. As for Haddie's's killing me.


Carissa- I am sad to see that you did not include Crosby and Jasmine in your summary of the episode. The fact that they are dealing with a wheat/gluten allergy is a big thing for the Celiac community. We do not get enough media exposure for a very serious allergy/disease.


The most moving scene of the entire episode came at the end. Kristina stating her fear that the baby might be autistic/ aspie. There were many other major issues presented in the episode but that is the one that left me breathless. My son is 12. He is autistic.


I love this show, but something about it is not right this season & I'm not sure what it is. I am bored with the Haddie & Amber story lines, maybe that is it. But, I do agree that Sarah had to let go to get Amber back in her life, that is reality. The storyline with Drew was great & I wanted to help him too. I hope it will get better...


I have really enjoyed this show from the beginning.
However, I find myself really not caring (and on the verge of hating) this whole Haddie/Alex relationship. However, that might just be due to that horrible new hairdo of hers! Seriously, does anyone making this show realize just how terrible she looks now?!
This week's Drew story was so awkward/uncomfortable and great! :)

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Parenthood Season 3 Episode 3 Quotes

Not to sound skeptical, but a wheat allergy, it seems like it's the snuggie of diseases...everyone has one this year.


I gotta ask you a very serious medical problem, Jabar. Have you been farting a lot lately?