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+.


Julia ever the high achiever expects the same for everyone and when her and Zoe had the fight I thought that was it but Julia did not let it go and at the end Zoe decided that if Julia was willing to be there for her no matter what that she should accept it as Zoe really has no one else in her life that cares about her. I think that Julia will get pregnant (eventhough the odds were pretty much slim to non) and that Zoe will keep her baby but still remain in their lives.


This is one of my favorite shows on tv. However I do not like Haddie or Christina.
I knew that Haddie would run and tattle on Amber. I guess I should not have been surprised that Christina would drive 4 hours round trip to get her. Amber is and adult and at 19 she is mature than most 19 year olds, Bob is 28 which is SO not a big deal and I bet if Christina would have called Sarah, Sarah would have told her to mind her own business! I was however shocked at the way Christina talked to Bob, if I was him I would have fired her on the spot!
I liked the scenes with Zeke and Crosby. Crosby continues to be my favorite Braverman.


I also thought this was a poor episode - the next natural step, really?? Ridiculous...I think this relationship is becoming more unrealistic as it goes along....Amber and Bob is really disgusting...he is just scary looking and totally taking advantage of Amber....didn't wait long to get her into bed....Drew was great in this episode while it was incredible that Haddie actually ratted Amber out on a suspicion....I do not think Christina overreacted at all - I thought she was great and her acting in this scene was strong and convincing....hope next week's ep is better!


On another related issue, I'm anticipating that the mismatch in their "images" (he's the all-American boy next door and she's definitely not the girl version of that) could become an issue in his campaign. Not that it should, but I'm guessing it probably will. He seems like a good guy, though.


I was confused as to why Amber would pack for the trip in front of Haddie. Even if she felt like Haddie would "have her back," this was still a very risky thing to do. Plus, it seemed too contrived for the purposes of the plot line. In my opinion, Kristina was a bit out of line to barge in and order Amber to leave with her, even though she's right to be concerned. It's reckless of Bob to get involved with his assistant, regardless of her age. She's an adult and they both have the right to choose who to be in a relationship with, but they're both playing with fire considering his line of work and their professional relationship. With the good head she generally has on her shoulders, I'm surprised Amber wouldn't just leave the job so that they can pursue the relationship in a less ethically-questionable way.


Yes this episode was troubling. I am a huge Lauren graham fan from Gilmore girl days, but her character in this series has me going "wtf"? The next logical step is to get married, not have a baby. But maybe Sarah is soooo concerned with being older than mark, she's fast forwarding. I have a feeling mark will end up putting the breaks on which will lead to a break up. This whole relationship feels forced and awkward, just like drew said.
Amber and bob. Love them! I don't see the issue with them dating,as long as she doesn't work for him. Most of these politicians have young wives anyway, but she should not date him while he is her boss. Christina overreacted s usual. Why not wait until Monday and have a heart to heart with her about dating a co worker? Especially one running for office. Amber is an adult, this isn't a huge scandal. Bob is allowed to have a social life,even if she is younger. I am excited to see where this goes, I hope it's not the end of "bamber".


What is going on...
Mark and Sarah trying to have a baby is insane! Poor Drew, feel bad for him, although I thought his performance was outstanding!!!
Bob and Amber's relationship is inappropriate...he's in politics, he should know better than to start a relationship with a 19yr old co-worker. I do think Kristina over reacted.
I don't know why Julia is trying to hard with Zoe, I just think the whole story line with Zoe is weird.
Parenthood please get better!!


Mark and Sarah could have went to Machu Picchu (or wherever) first too. It's not like they'd take a 2 year trip. They could try to conceive on the trip anyway.

Carla day

I really don't understand what the heck Sarah and Mark are doing. Ok, so they want to have a baby, but ... like you said, how about moving in together? Or, at least having a discussion about getting married. Sure, there are plenty of people who have a partnership and relationship without getting married. And, I can see them falling into that category, but at least have a conversation about it. Where are they going to live if they have a baby? And, how does Drew fit into that picture? He basically lives with his grandparents now, will Mark move into the garage, shed, whatever it is that Sarah lives in now? Weird, very weird.


A lot of the storylines were needlessly complicated or handled badly/awkwardly. Bob shouldn't have a romantic relationship with his employee. Kristina shouldn't have jumped to the right conclusion immediately and shouldn't she have told Sarah? Julia and Joel would be better off not adopting Zoe's baby. The whole storyline has been inappropriate and needlessly complicated. There's other ways to create drama than tease us with a "will she or won't she give up the baby?" The immediate pregnancy storyline made no sense. Move in this episode, skip an episode, talk to the family, and then start trying to get pregnant! Does Sarah not know Drew? Drew hardly talks to anyone besides Amy but Sarah thinks it'd be great if he spent 1-on-1 time with Mark?!

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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.