Parenthood Review: Welcome, Nora

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Every once in a while a show that delivers great entertainment on a weekly basis turns it up a notch, catching you off guard. That's what Parenthood did with this week's episode, "Nora."

Pretty much every member of the extended Braverman family was highlighted and instead of it being a mishmash of chaos and separate stories, they were all interlaced in a way that left you reeling in the middle of the familial love.

Braverman Baby

Max and Jabbar...and Amber?
After last week's fight on the playground, Max learned what it's like to be treated like a "normal" kid. He found out that even when you don't start the physical fight, you might still be left paying the price. Because he's in fifth grade and should be an influencing factor on the younger kids, he received punishment of one week of lunch detention.

For a kid without Asperger's, that might be easy to take. But Max does have it, and logically it just didn't make sense to him. Sitting alone in a classroom was out of the question, and Kristina got permission for someone to sit with him. That someone was Amber.

Amber didn't really want the job, but family is family. After her collegiate letdown at the end of her senior year, she really needed a confidence boost. It turned out she was great dealing with Max, in assisting him to write a letter of apology and to comprehend why he had to do it.

Her usage of a video of President Clinton apologizing for his misdeeds was well thought out on her part. Seeing the light in both of their eyes as Max made his apology in front of the entire family was a proud moment for everyone involved.

Sarah and Mark (and Seth and Zeek??)
We knew it was coming. The swat to the back of Sarah's head. Her happiness is always so short-lived. Mark "meeting" Seth as he sat, smashed out of his mind, in the Braverman's yard wasn't the best way to be introduced. Zeek heard a commotion and darted outside to kick Seth to the curb.

Remarkably, Mark didn't run (seriously, this guy has to stick) and he acknowledged all families have someone who causes problems. Zeek should have never gotten involved, but I couldn't blame him. He put his hand out to Seth over the holidays and in the end was rebuked again. He worries about his daughter and his grandkids.

I've been Sarah. I know what it's like to want to keep trying to help the person you once loved, even to your own detriment.

Adam, Crosby and Kristina
Parenthood is not ordinarily a show that makes me laugh out loud. Adam's story, however, was over the top hilarious. He found out the client Crosby said was a lock wasn't one after all. In fact, it was up to them to persuade a "Mista" rapper to record at The Luncheonette.

The thing about Adam and the recording biz is that he's a family man. A business man. A normal man. Crosby told him to "hip it up." To unbutton and untuck. That was like telling a fish to swim out of water. Adam had no idea how to hip it up, and Kristina knew just enough to laugh at him and tell him he was on his own.

So poor Adam, having nothing quite hip enough in his closet, headed to the local rapper clothing shop (is there such a thing?) and let the salesman take over. We found this out after he had walked down the street in a red and black tracksuit type garment, untied giant red sneakers and a red cap, covered in bling.

For just a bit, he felt hip. He was practically dancing down the sidewalk. Until he saw himself in the car window. Utterly embarrassed, he called Crosby to go pick him up some Adam clothes.

As Crosby was through the closet, being reamed by mom-to-be Kristina in a fit of rage about the "locked" client they didn't have, she went into labor.

This development left a grossly misdirected Adam alone at Mista's house. Dressed like a fool, not knowing where Crosby was, completely out of his element. He even said he liked the songs, but there was too much cursing. It was awesome. Also out of his element was Crosby. He's the family tool, always on the defensive about who he is and what he does.

Except it was now Crosby's time to step up to the plate. Kristina was with him when her water broke, and he was the only person there for her. Dax Sheppard did a terrific job of being horrified and frightened and wanting to rise to the occasion. His big eyes welled with tears as he realized "this is it." He took her hand, her screams and whatever else she threw at him and helped bring Nora into the world.

Julia, Joel and Zoe
As if there wasn't already enough emotion to play out for four hours, as Zoe experienced Braxton Hicks contractions, she turned to Julia. After a quick trip to the hospital, Zoe spent the night and experienced all of the joy that is contained in a Braverman family.

Sydney was painting Joel's fingernails, wanted to touch Zoe's baby then paint Zoe's nails. We witnessed the change in her attitude toward giving her baby to someone she knows. I really thought that she would agree to an open adoption after making her decision, but she turned away from a hug and merely shook Julia's hand as she walked away crying, knowing the Grahams would take care of her child.

I'm fairly certain everyone in the episode cried at least once. Some twice. The raging laughter at Adam was perfectly centered to ensure viewers weren't crying non-stop, but it was pretty darned close. There wasn't one scene wasted or one moment of screen time that should have been on someone else. That rarely happens in television. That rarely happens in any mode of entertainment. If Parenthood is looking for an Emmy reel to submit, I'd happily deliver this one myself.

PS - Haddie had only the briefest flash on the screen and it was my all time favorite episode of Parenthood. What does that mean??

PPS - Make sure to read the quotes. There were some extraordinary lines this week!


Editor Rating: 5.0 / 5.0
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User Rating:

Rating: 4.7 / 5.0 (39 Votes)

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


I loved Adam. Omg. That was a great comedy break. I am so tired of Jasmine. Whatever. She didn't even tell Crosby she had a son for almost 5 years, then shows up? Good riddance to her. Please let him fall in love with his job first and get his act together and then find someone that accepts him. Love the Amber and Max success story. She is hard edged enough to take on this kind of thing...and I hope she continues to help him. It made me so proud of her. Drew. Oh adorable has he become. I wish him innocence and happiness. He is the kid that really needs it. I loved last week when he went off on how messed up his family is. He needed to do that.


I watched this episode and was amazed. I mean, wow. It had everything and it all just fit together so well. This show is truly one of the best on TV. The writers are amazing but you have to give this cast so much credit. They have an amazing amount of chemistry and just play off each other so well. After I watched "Nora" I thought this episode better not get a bad review because it was the best of all the seasons of "Parenthood" so I'm glad you feel the same. Can anyone say "Emmy" ?


Adam was hilarious walking down the street in rapper. I Haddie was in the episode she didn't say much I don't really like her but she should have been showed more because it is her sister. I hope they give Drew more scenes I like that kid and I think they can do great storyline with him. I think Amber is going to be a special education Teacher I think she be good at it she was so good with Max. Crosby needs to chill a bit about Jasmine dating the doctor when he was involed with the tutor. I hope Sarah doesn't hook up with her ex.


@ Bill I agree about Crosby.
I always find myself being the defender of Crosby because no matter what the guy does he somehow gets shredded. He should have refrained from arguing with Kristina? Please! She's pregnant not on her death bed! It didn't stop her from engaging in an argument now did it? The way she in particular handles Crosby irritates the living daylights out of me. I find her overall disrespect and air of superiority over all of Adam's family despicable. Seriously.Look at her track record. Crosby always remains her own personal puppy to kick whenever she has a reason (and even when she doesn't have a reason to) but she's also taken on both of his sisters, his father, his mother, and his niece. Where is Kristina's family? I'd love to see her deal with a Braverman taking on any of her family who I'm pretty certain aren't anywhere near as perfect as she tries to pretend that she is.
Sorry, Kristina rant over. I enjoyed the irony of Kristina having to rely on the "unreliable" "screweup" Braverman to be her support system. And to her disbelief he actually stepped up to the plate. It was great to see. For those brief moments there was a familial bond being shared between these two characters and I didn't cringe while watching it. I LOVED Adam trying to do the cool rapper thing. Had me in stitches, even though it was like every rapper cliche imaginable. That was the highlight. I didn't miss Haddie at all. IN fact I only missed Alex. How awesome would it have been if he just stepped in and kissed Kristina on the cheek and viewed the baby for a second or two? I loved seeing Joel again,he's soo underutilized. And Zeeks still remains my favorite Braverman. He's just AWESOME!


there was a flash of haddie.. just briefly, close to the end.. give crosby someone that treats him right.. and adam was hoot and did well with the rappers. maybe he even convince them to tone down the language in their music, who knows.. was a pretty good show. agree that crosby shouldnt' have been arguing with his pregnant sister in law right then


So because Crosby made the huge mistake of not only cheating on Jasmine but doing it with Max's tutor, he lost the right to be hurt again by what someone else does for the rest of his life? Really? No one knows more how bad he screwed up than Crosby. But I get why seeing Jasmine with the doctor and others in his family developing a relationship with the guy for whatever reason has got to be painful. And Jasmine knows it, but maybe she wants to hurt him, given what he did to her. It's kind of a side benefit to having her son be a patient of the best pediatrician in town. Actually, I'm tired of the whole "pining for Jasmine" sub-plot. She is apparently getting on with her life big time, dating a highly successful doctor who drives a car worth more than Crosby's house. Let Crosby find love with someone else who actually treats him with respect (which Jasmine rarely did even before the cheating)and stop showing his ex twisting the knife in him a little more with each episode. It's getting old. Crosby and Jasmine will always have a relationship because of their son. It's time to make it an amicable one and not just a setting for showing Crosby's heart being broken multiple times. As for Crosby being somewhat immature, he definitely can be at times. But name one character on this show that doesn't have some faults. None of them are perfect. It's their struggles to succeed in spite of those faults that keeps the show interesting.


I find both Sarah and Crosby to be annoying characters. Some of what Sarah says out loud she should just think...seriously. And Crosby is the point of losing credibility. Really, he was fighting with his very pregnant sister-in-law about the pediatrician recommendation??? Because his former fiance is going out with the doc...after he slept with the tutor? Geez, Crosby, do ya think she's looking for stability?
Yes, Haddie was in the delivery room. She is a teenager...cut her some slack. What teenager ha not had a bad hair-do?
The Amber/Max scenes were fabulous! Especially the end!


Haddie and Drew were in the delivery room.


Excellent episode. Adam was hilarious walking down the street in rapper clothes!


I never even saw Haddie this whole episode. I don't remember seeing her in the delivery room when the rest of the family was surrounding Cristina and the baby. She kind of drives me crazy, but shouldn't she have been there to meet her sister?

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Parenthood Season 3 Episode 5 Quotes

You don't think I look like Captain Morgan, do you? The rum pirate guy? He has curly things, and a longer...come here.


He hit me first and then I get lunch detention? What genius thought that up?