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+.


@Carissa - I completely agree with you on how odd Sarah's storyline with Mark is. Also, I thought the same thing about Haddie's hair. Lol! I'm glad that Max finally has a friend. Lastly, I'm a bit nervous for Joel and Julia. I really hope that Zoe doesn't have a change of heart at the last minute. That would be too sad.


Ummm...if Amber were 19 and sleeping with her 28 year old college professor or TA who was responsible for her grade - everyone would be skeeved out beyond belief and think it was inappropriate. "In loco parentis" blah blah blah. Yet, she's a *19* year old sleeping with her boss (responsible for her work rating, etc - same deal), then so many people are arguing it is fine. Weird.


I agree that this was an odd episode-- though I liked the bit about Max and his new friend. The idea that an underemployed woman who lives with her parents (!) is trying to have a baby with her new young love is crazy. What about the two nearly-grown children that she already has -- and their needs. What about her parents' role in contributing this baby's welfare?!This story line is plain sappy.


Amber needs to be given more credit, just look at how her life used to be and how responsible she spoke to Bob last week. You can see that she has changed significantly since we first met the Braverman's. In that confrontation, she was the only one telling everyone to calm down, without overreacting and provoking an argument and that showed maturity. It made me trust that she could handle a relationship. I believe Kristina overreacted like she does with everything in her life, almost as though she walked in on Haddie. Haddie on the other hand handled that situation in an immature manner, especially since she knows fully well how her mother overreacts. I applaud her notion to confide in her mother, but what if she was wrong about Amber and Bob? Amber was possibly still figuring out what her feelings for Bob meant, to have Kristina blow the situation out of proportion did not help.


Sara is an idiot and continues to be one. The next step in her relationship with mark is a baby? Seriously?! I continue to feel bad for drew being ignored and having to put up with Sara.
-yes...they save kids the heartache of not getting valentines but still subject them to being "picked "last.
-I loathe kristina but gotta admit I wanted to high five her for dragging out amber. It's not just the age difference,its his position,the exposure shell be subjected to when it comes out,the exploitive nature of it,so much. Not an overreactions at all.haddie tattling was so juvenile since there was no confirmation. Can't stand her either.
As acollege grad I find it offensive that amber and Zoe are just handed decent jobs with no experience or education to support the offer.


I agree, get married before talking babies people! Ridiculous!


I too thought this was an odd episode, a lot of things that happened made me shake my head. Having a baby is the natural next step in a serious relationship? Really, what about a commitment of some sort? And what the heck was Kristina thinking? She was totally out of line, Amber is an adult, not a child, and so what if Bob is 9 years older? I don't get it. Sure, it may not be the best idea to get involved with a co-worker but it happens all the time and some of them do work out. I hope they get together, I think it works.


I love Amber and Bob together! Sorry, why is the age difference so bad? Amber is very mature for her age, and her and Bob are only nine years apart. That's nothing, seriously. My wife and I are six years apart and have been happily married for eight. You can't say it's disgusting. I will say that I hate Sarah and Mark, and I hate his facial hair.


So Sarah tells her teenage son it's okay to have a baby without a commitment? I still cannot get over Sarah didn't know her son's possible college major. In fact, his girlfriend's mother knew more about him than Sarah did. Always love Crosby and Zeek. They really look like relatives. I know Kristina can get crazy about stuff and act too quickly (unfortunately, I'm like that too), however, she was right to step in and yank Amber out of this situation with Bob. Amber is such a mess! Maybe if her mother was really in her life, she wouldnt make such poor decisions. amber's out with an older man, her boss and where is Sarah?????? Sarah's out trying to get pregnant with a much younger man. These two are confused and need therapy quick!


So the way they will write out Jason Ritter will be that Sarah will chose Drew over her own happiness and then will get back together with Seth. Which is too bad as I love Mark and Sarah. I really like Jason Ritter BUT when he new show inevitability gets cancelled I really do not want them to bring him back again.
I love Micah and Max, I cried like a baby when Micah's mom said that he had never had a friend before....

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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.