Parenthood Review: Congratulations, Mr. President!

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We enjoyed a microscopic glimpse into the life of Adam and Kristina and their children this week on "I'll Be Right Here."

Parenthood gave us just enough of the contiguous family members to support the story of Kristina's cancer and demonstrate how the paths of their lives affect one another. I'll break the review down by the relationships and how they were examined. Because there was so much ground covered, I don't want to miss anything...

Drew Is Unhappy

Sarah continued with her ill-advised decision to move in with Mark at the expense of Drew's senior year and her own future. It's so obvious she is going to regret this that we didn't even need Hank to weigh in and ask if she was doing it because he kissed her (she was) or for Adam to question whether she has feelings for Hank (she does). She did need to have a reason to distract Adam during Kristina's surgery, and her complicated life did the trick. 

Zeek's nifty veteran friend, Ryan, who I thought would make a perfect match for Amber apparently thought he would, as well. As it turned out, we were both right. As we've witnessed over the last two years, Amber hasn't made the best bets with her male friends, and to have a gentleman caller who actually fit that title with handshakes, thoughts of her as she worried about her aunt Kristina, flowers and kisses on the cheek, really confused her. 

Before I continue, I have to give a shout out to Mae Whitman and her styling choices this year. I'm assuming her hair color was her own doing, but even if it wasn't, she looks absolutely lovely. It's so flattering that I cannot stop looking at her. Her coloring now matches her character as it is an amber hue. That had to be said. 

In seasons past, Amber might not have asked Ryan what was up with his behavior, but she has learned a lot. And with Kristina facing a life-threatening health issue, she put her fear aside and really talked to Ryan. I'm so glad they didn't make his character a troubled veteran past the point when he stopped frequenting the vet center. I hope this relationship does move slowly and that it has legs.

Crosby and Kristina reached a special place when he helped her with the birth of Nora; his affection for her has only grown. Once he found out about her cancer, he wanted desperately to do something to help her and Adam make their lives easier while they focused on the bigger challenges that lie ahead. His attempt at massaging Adam was epic, and it was pure Crosby to ask for an adult task instead of walking their dog Otis, only to end up taking him home with stitches and a cone around his head. 

The love they all share now is solid, and what could have spelled disaster before the birth of Nora was now accepted as situational, which it was. Those things really do happen, and Crosby just gets more than his fair share. After all the head-butting he and Jasmine did earlier this season with her mom, teaching Jabbar about spirituality in their own way, I was touched when he asked his son if he would give him some pointers on how to talk to God. Even typing this has opened my tear ducts once again. They got more action than they expected, as usual.

Kristina was doing everything she could to maintain the status quo. First on her list was to ensure Max had support for his election speech for class president. When she realized he hadn't written anything, she went into uber-mommy/campaign manager mode and immediately regretted moving up her surgery under the guise of wanting to be there for him. She tried, but failed, at hiding her fear at what was ahead.

Haddie's decision to move forward with dropping out of school scared Kristina far more than Haddie realized. While she was trying to be helpful, even suggesting that Kristina might not be fine after surgery was a very frightening proposition, so she covered it with concern over Max's election.

I wouldn't have known if Haddie or Amber should have been with Max during his big election speech, but Haddie knew exactly what to say to spur Max on. Pointing out his strengths, all due to the single-mindedness he carried with him from Aspergers, gave him the perfect speech and not only got him a standing ovation from a good number of students but won him the election!

As Adam told Kristina when she awoke from surgery, "It's every mother's dream. Your son is the president." Needless to say, Max delivering that speech was something to behold. He had many great Parenthood quotes, including this one:

Max: Some people say that having Aspergers is a bad thing, but I'm glad I have it, because I think it's my greatest strength. | permalink

If you didn't have a chance to read the interview we did with Max Burkholder this week, take a look, because he had some fun insight into playing Max, and he got to do a lot of the things he loves during this episode.

As is the case in life, things don't usually come up roses. The doctor teased Kristina and Adam with great news about her surgery. It went perfectly and she was "cancer free." That last sentence seems to be a bit questionable because they found it had spread to her lymph nodes. Since they didn't biopsy all of her nodes, they can't really say for sure if she's cancer free, can they?

The cancer she had was also more aggressive than they anticipated and means she will require more treatment. Burkholder hinted at scenes with her where Kristina had the after effects of chemotherapy during his interview, so it wasn't too much of a surprise, but still a disappointment.

What was surprising was Adam and Kristina deciding not to share the news with Haddie, and hoping to get her back to school within the week. Do they have any idea what they are in for with Max, a toddler and Kristina going through aggressive cancer treatment?

This will definitely be a trying time for them and another moment for the Braverman clan to step up to the challenge of helping out when they need one another. With this story, Sarah, Mark and Hank, the new relationship between Amber and Ryan and Julia learning to be a stay at home mom, Parenthood will have a lot to keep us glued to our seats.


Editor Rating: 4.8 / 5.0
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User Rating:

Rating: 4.5 / 5.0 (60 Votes)

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


For those of you asking, the girl who ran against Max IS the real, biological sister of the actress who plays Sydney. She has had small roles on other shows, including the Office, and is a great actress


Parenthood is absolutely one of my top two shows- the other being "The Good Wife". I avoid all reality shows like the plague, except occasionally DWTS. It is so refresshing to have a show with real characters that grow and deepen as each season progresses. The scripts are amazing. I rarely move while watching this show- it is that engrossing, and, as with everyone else, hate to see it end. How wonderful to have a show with depth, heart, and integrity. It is a wonderful tapestry of characters and story. I need to watch last weeks' episode againn- as a nurse got caught up in her diagnosis, treatment and possible prognosis. The way the doctor communicated with them was realistic for too many doctors, though rare for an oncologist. Doctors are all smart, with high IQs, many years of school and a wealth of knowledge. All those "smarts" don't always translate into a person who knows the best ways to communicate a difficult diagnosis to their patients, who are, of course, scared and worried.


the doc said her breast was cancer free, then he went on to talk about the lymph nodes.


Incredible episode! I loved every minute of it.


Love this show even if I actually feel pain when I see Sarah behaving like an emotional nut case. I prefer Hank, but understand If sarah's character needs to be in a decent relationship for a bit longer to grow up a bit. If she ender up with him it would be a let down, why put Drew in a new situation if it's all for nothing? So for her sake, I hope shel'll stick with her decision. BUT.... Sigh, I like Hank, I really really prefer Hank!
Hope (I repeat myself) that for Amber there's a lot more in store than a new boyfriend. PS. kristina an max : "I can hel you I wrote for John Little" "he didn't win" Hilarious!


I agree with all these observations and comments. Parenthood is one of my favorite shows. It was confusing when the doctor said Kristina was cancer free only to go on and say she needed chemo (because she might not be cancer free). I like the Mark character, but he seems much too young for Sarah. I don't see them as a couple long-term. Hank is a more interesting character and a more suitable match for Sarah. I also agree that Adam and Kristina should have told Haddie the truth and let her stay home and help with the family. She can go back to college in the spring. But parents don't always make the right decisions, and I suspect Haddie will be back. I hate to see each episode end. The writers are really talented to make us care so much for these characters.


I loved the whole episode!! I was crying when Max gave that wonderful speech. As a parent of child with Autism I always worry about my child is doing in school socially. I get where Cristina was coming from. I go into super mommy manager mode too! I know this year he started a new school and I was super worried about how other kids would recieve him and if he would have a friend. He surprised me the first day! No problems! As far as the family not being their, I was surprised Zeek and Camilla were not there, but the core brothers and sisters were there. I only heard that they cleared the margins for cancer, which can mean cancer free, but Cristina's is an aggressive cancer, which means it can come back. This happened to a dear friend of mine. They can not biopsy all the lymph nodes because it would do a number on the body


The storyline about breast cancer is so realistic that as someone who lost her mother to the dreaded disease, I can not bear to watch it. All the distress, anxiety and pain come flooding back. They will have to go on without me.


I love, love, LOVE this show! However, I found last night episode a bit disappointing. What happened to the tight-knit Braverman family upon hearing Kristina's diagnosis? Camille, Zeek, Jasmine, Joel, Sydney and Victor did not appear in this episode. I found it odd that the close-knit Braverman family did not come together to support Kristina on the day of her surgery, yet they all gather for a baseball game.


I come from a big family and with show I have to make sure to have tissue paper around when watching it. I think this episode brought more tears to my eye than usual. The whole feeling closer to a family member after wanting to strangle them in the past just gets me every time. Kristina and Crosby obviously are there among others. The writing is poignant without being fake sentimental. Ryan so fits the Braverman clan guy mold strong yet kind. This should be a storyline to really enjoy. As much as I like Mark the poor guy is screwed. This relationship as good as it is just doesnt seem to have a chance for long term.

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Parenthood Season 4 Episode 6 Quotes

Just because you're home doesn't mean you can steal my seat.


Kirstina: I need my personal space, Haddie. I'm totally fine.
Haddie: I'm here to help you, mom, and I need you to give me something to do.
Kristina: Give your dad a hug.