Parenthood Review: Control

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The most difficult thing about "Tough Love" was that it seemed every relationship was completely out of whack. Up was down, down was up and I didn't know what to expect next, except more disappointment.

Do you seriously expect me to believe that they give trophies out to all kids who play in a sport, don't keep score, and force every child in the class to give every other kid a Valentine... but they still allow kids to pick basketball teams? Please, parents, tell me this isn't true. The one actual humiliation from elementary school is the only thing they haven't done away with?

Warning: the tone of this review will be nitpicky because I do not understand Sarah telling Drew that because she and Mark are close, the next natural step is to track her ovulation to have a baby. No, they don't talk to the family, move in together or, God forbid, get married. They just start trying to get pregnant. Who wrote this episode of Parenthood?

An Awkward Drive

Haddie was joking with Amber about going on a trip with Bob, and it never even dawned on me how much trouble such innocent ribbing could get her into with Kristina. I knew Kristina would be blindsided when Amber and Bob slipped up in public, but I never imagined Haddie would run to her and tattle on Amber. After everything she asked of Amber when she was going through her issues, to turn something she is just guessing at into something certain astounded me.

All of this, just as I was thinking Haddie looked so much better with her hair growing out. Yes, I'll be juvenile. I take it back! I wanted Kristina to react differently, to realize she put Amber into the situation, that she's an adult and let it ride. Why couldn't she have let it alone and trusted Amber to be the smart girl she is?

Similarly, Julia was trying to take control of Zoe. I don't even think Julia knows what she's doing. Was she taking care of things because she likes Zoe and truly cares for her, or because she's concerned about what Zoe will do with the baby? Maybe a little of both. Whatever it was, she was way into Julia overdrive and it wasn't pretty.

Crosby and Zeek talked about how frightening it is to learn you may not live forever, and I think they're relationship will be even closer as a result. I lked how Crosby brought levity to an otherwise deep conversation by asking if it was hereditary and noting their similar frame. Laughing through the tough times is the best part of a family.

Through a montage at the end, we saw Max and his new friend and Julia helping Zoe study with the GED, but we were left hanging when it came to Amber and Bob. Even Drew got a somewhat happy ending, because Sarah loves him enough to call Seth to help get him through her situation with Mark.

This was definitely not my favorite episode, but it does get ridiculous when you want to give every episode 4-plus stars. It's not natural. Finally, a break from that. Share your thoughts of the episode below!


Editor Rating: 3.5 / 5.0
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User Rating:

Rating: 3.8 / 5.0 (46 Votes)

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


I know this is months old but I'm backlogged. This episode REALLY pissed me off. Being away from this show for a few months has made everyone whining seem like nails on a chalkboard. It's a good show, and most episodes are fine, but WTF. Kristina is an idiot. Does she REALLY think pulling her away was either her right? In what world does that work? "here, you really like doing this now GET AWAY!!". It makes me so mad, I'd have hauled off and told my aunt that she could go jump in a lake and wouldn't have gone anywhere. They are adults. The situation is stupid they've put themselves in, but that's for them to figure the hell out. Not anyone else. Give guidance, not orders. Gah. As for Sarah, Gah. She's a class act loser. The character, the actor... Just bleh. I used to like whatshername years ago, but she's still the same damn character. I didn't like her enough to have her be the SAME CHARACTER for what, 12 years? Last, what the hell? Who in heavens name gets to let their friends come over unannounced??? Not in a million years will I let my daughters do that. There's a thing called respect. I get that he's autistic but still. The day I have other parents just randomly showing up without talking to me is the day hell freezes over.

Tracy lloyd micks heiba

awww; so sad that Julia was crying and crying so hard! :( So does that mean that she's going to let Zoe keep the baby? I had a feeling that Crosby and Jasmine were going to end up back together! You could see the previous shows leading up to that!


One thing that crosses my mind all the time is how awesome Maura Tierney would be as "Sarah". Anyway, I don't know about you guys, but I grew up in a school where the kids would choose their team. Okay, maybe it was 10-15 years ago, in Brazil, but I totally remember some of my colleagues who wouldn't get picked to play anything. Is Sarah working? Where will Sarah and Mark live when they have the baby? Man, there's a huge flaw within this plot. But I believe Parenthood will make it work. I miss Haddie's storylines ):


I agree --- next logical step is having a baby?? What strange planet do they live on? Is anyone else completely annoyed by the way dialogue is presented is Parenthood? If I hear Haddie, Amber or Drew say "Whatever" and roll their eyes while the other person is talking over them one more time I will scream. The scriptwriters try to make the dialogue seem "natural" but it just seems awkward and annoying to me. And by the way - I sub, I am getting my masters in education - and NO WAY do people choose teams anymore or let the "disabled" kids sit out at PE!! Huge no no and - no it mostly doesn't happen anymore. Last gripe - they miscast Mark - Every seen with him seems really awkward - I don't feel any chemistry between him and Lauren Graham and I want desperately to shave the "hairs" he has growing around his fleshy little mouth!


How is it in all of these comments no one stated the obvious? Drew is a whiny little brat. Yes it it beyond strange that the next natural step is having a baby. But how does Drew make that all about him? Since his mother has done everything within her weird little world to make him as comfortable as possible why would he think that she was trying to make a new family? 3 year olds think that, not almost grown children.
I teared up when Max's new friend came over to visit. Also how did Nora not appear once in the whole episode? Any Haddie is a tattle tale.


Kristina is not the ideal rational person to deal with situations like that. It makes me wonder how Camille would have handled that situation. Asking Amber to pack her lingerie and leave the hotel made Amber seem cheap. I however applaud her for going all the way out, leaving Nora, to protect her niece, because that's how she thinks. Even with all these flawed relationships it makes parenthood closer to the reality we live and the principles people have that we hear everyday. I think Sarah moved to her parents so she could also ground herself and learn to make the right decisions, as many of us know, that is often difficult to do. Sarah needs a little more growing up, probably that's why she and Mark work, who knows.


I agree that by her telling Drew her perception, may skew his perspective. Why wouldn't Drew then take Sarah's perspective and have a baby with his girlfriend? As for Amber, she has practically raised herself all of her life and has been through a lot of things. At nineteen, she is able to reason like a 24 year old. It may be that Mae Whitman is about 23 in real life. I agree that getting in bed with the boss is a bad move, but after all Amber has been through, especially with all the guys she has dated, Bob seems to be the most accomplished guy with direction. I however want the best for Amber and do not want her chance for her career to be tainted by giving in to a moment where things felt right. The age difference should only come into play when it deals with maturity and we should agree that Amber has reached that level. She's allowed to make her own decisions.


Well in fairness to what goes on in society, there is a lot of 'stupid' things that people do and it seems impractical, but that's just the way life works for others. It's unfair to call Sarah and Mark's relationship foolish and naive and stupid, because it's Sarah's life and she's happy with what we see as strange. Oddly, there are a lot of couples in real life like them and they work. Sarah however sees the world from a different perspective. She is very awkward, but mellow. She tries her best to be a mom but prefers the back seat sometimes. I admire Camille for how she can relate with everyone in her huge family, but not everyone has that. I agree that Sarah's principle about having a child after you are an ideal couple is flawed, but society has not truly fixated on one true method as to what comes after commitment. It's up to Sarah to dictate what that step is for herself, even if it seems idiotic.


I agree with everyone that Sarah and Marks relationship is unrealistic and stupid...who jumps from dating to babies??? I do have to say that Kristina acted like a mother to Amber. I think this was done to show Sarahs lack or maturity in general. Sarah looks totally lame as a parent and is just a mess.


The dialogue was so trite I had to fast foward some scenes to get through it. It was awful!

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Parenthood Season 3 Episode 16 Quotes

Sarah: Do you start all your best talks with "hey man?"
Mark: Yeah, that's like the key, "woah, this guy speaks my language."

You know what? Your trying to control my stress is stressing me out.