Parenthood Review: Fight For What You Love

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The subject matter was a little bit scattered on "One Step Forward, Two Steps Back," but a couple scenes - both featuring Crosby - saved the episode from falling from the rankings.

Sarah and Kristina had moments that weren't particularly flattering, which is par for the course for Sarah, but has been rarer for Kristina during Parenthood season 4.

It seemed like a good idea for Sarah and Mark to meet up for lunch to talk thinks out after they ran into each other at school. There is nothing worse than an unresolved break up that leaves you wondering what you could have done differently, whether you could have saved it or if your future would could have been different. This was their moment to end things amicably.

Will Sarah Choose?

Things were going really well with Sarah and Mark at lunch; they were enjoying each other's company and it seemed like they might be able to move on without having any lingering doubts about each other. Then Sarah decided to tell Mark about the kiss. The kiss that happened with Hank when she and Mark were still together.

After reassuring Mark that there was no overlapping in her dating of he and Hank, bringing that up was just hurtful. It essentially meant that any chance Mark had to move on and feel good about what they had was destroyed. If I could have reached through the screen and throttled her, I swear I would have. Any normal person would have been angry, but somehow that just steadied Mark's resolve.

Mark later confronted Hank and told him he planned on winning Sarah back. The thing is, Hank doesn't like drama. He's practically devoid of emotion half the time, so it's not a tough call to make. In his mind, I think he already "won" Sarah and the idea of going through more song and dance to keep her doesn't appeal to him. Whether he sticks around for the fight remains to be seen.

Kristina was also on the blah list this week. Am I the only one who is distracted by the bald makeup on Kristina's head? It's too perfect, too matte. It looks almost like she's portraying a conehead. I find it completely distracting. It was also the first time that I didn't find her interference in Max's life all that compelling.

While it was nice that she wanted to help Max get the vending machines for school, the platform that won him the presidential election, the fact she did it without his engagement seemed to somehow cheat him out of the process. There was no sense of accomplishment when he saw the machines and jumped and shouted with glee with his classmates all looking on; in slow motion for effect, mind you. It just rang false.

Crosby and Jasmine were struggling with their own child rearing issues because Renee needs to hit the road. They have been extremely kind to have her in their home, making accommodations and special considerations for her living arrangements. Yes, she and Jasmine raised Jabbar alone for years, but that was their choice. Crosby didn't know he existed and that, as it turned out, was a travesty. He's a fantastic father and all of Renee's judging isn't helping at all. She needs to step back and let his parents take care of him.

Jasmine continues to whither in front of her mother but stand tall when it comes to Crosby. Living in a house with those two women would be enough to try the patience of a saint - and Crosby is no saint. Yet somehow he manages to keep it all together for Jabbar.

As if they haven't already done a superb job of showing Crosby's growth, the scene between him and Julia talking about Victor and parenting was beautiful. After Julia's tearful morning with Joel, I was really surprised at her behavior when she put Victor to bed that night, tucking him in and saying she loved him. It was during her talk with Crosby that we learned her biggest fear is that if she adopts Victor she'll be robbing him of a truly loving relationship with a mother, something he deserves to have.

Honestly, I didn't see that coming. Now I understand why she was focusing so much on Joel's relationship with Victor and comparing and contrasting what she wasn't able to form with him. She wasn't doing it from selfish angle, but on Victor's behalf. Once she realized that she surprised Victor and Joel by deciding to set a date for the adoption. 

Other things of interest:

  • It was nice to see Ryan again, and to know he and Amber aren't finished. I loved his reaction when her secret into Joel's heart got him his job back.
  • Camille and Zeek made only the briefest appearance. I had hoped Sarah moving home might mean we saw more of them, but they've been noticeably absent.
  • Wasn't it just last week's episode "Small Victories" that ended with a sobbing Drew knocking on Sarah's door? How could there be no mention of that at all this week? That's crazy.

Next week is the season finale. I know everything I want to see won't be on it, so what are your hopes for the season ender?


Editor Rating: 3.8 / 5.0
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User Rating:

Rating: 4.2 / 5.0 (37 Votes)

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


You guys give the greatest, in depth comments. I


My thoughts about this week's Parenthood - my absolute favorite program: 1) Kristina's bald cap is driving me wild. She has way too much head - looks like an alien for sure. Whenever she's in a scene, that's all I can think of - it's very distracting.
And they're not saying anything about her chemo treatments now. So is her chemo supposed to be over with? Please - put a short style wig on her and get that cap off.
2) What happened with Drew? I waa really anxious to see the follow-up since the previous episode ended with him sobbing in Sarah's arms. Where'd that story line go? They really dropped the ball on that one.
3) How was it that Joel acted like Julia was over-reacting about Victor when he (Joel) had certainly witnessed several episodes where Victor had screamed at Julia that she was NOT his mom, and that he hated her.
4) No way should Crosby have been expected to apologize to Renee. He was in the right, and Jasmine really let him down by not supporting him in the "conversation" with Renee. Renee had clearly been over-stepping her bounds in disagreeing with their parenting of Jabar.
5) Sarah is a complete ditz. Why in the world did she tell Mark about Hank kissing her? For a woman with two almost-grown children, she still seems like a kid to me. Maybe that explains why she's so attracted to Mark, who really seems (to me) way too young for her.
6) Max's character may be an accurate representation of someone with Asperger's - but when he goes into one of his screaming fits, I just want to grab him, shake him and tell him to knock it off. (Actually I really just want to punch him - and I'm not a violent person - but he's just so irritating I can't stand it.) Adam and Kristina seem like absolute saints in dealing with him as calmly as they do. Having stated what turns out to be several critcisms of this program, I still have to say I absolutely love it, and I'm bummed that there's only one episode left. I certainly hope Parenthood will be back again next year...and the next and the next........


Team Mark! Win back your woman!


I find myself wanting to smack her, too. Julia and Crosby's talk was wonderful, and I can understand her fear with Victor. She's used to parenting a spoiled little girl, so she doesn't really understand boys all that well. I wonder if her daughter will ever fess up to saying all those terrible things to Victor to make him angry enough to throw a bat at her. Sidney is just obnoxious, and I think that her nasty remarks to Victor have been designed to try and keep a wedge between Julia and Victor, because she still wants her parents, especially her mom, to herself. I am also glad that Amber and Ryan are still talking, and that Ryan has his job back. I sincerely hope they get back together. Also, I agree that Kristina's head looks outrageously large, like the weird aliens from Star Trek's "The Menagerie" She is also one pushy mom, and I don't think she should indulge her sons every whim. He needs to learn how to handle disappointment.


I agree with everything that Blu said in the comments, in fact, I felt exactly the same way about the episode! I just do not like Renee, who has been so nasty to Crosby and so judgmental and a detriment to his relationship with her daughter and his son, and I just want to smack her every time she pulls this emotional manipulative crap, like taking her food to her room, thereby making her daughter choose between her husband and her mother. That's just wrong on so many levels. I laud Crosby for finally taking a stand with both Renee and Jasmine. Meanwhile, I was a huge fan of Lauren Graham on Gilmore Girls, but I have to say that her Sarah Braverman is an idiot, and so clueless as to jump right into bed with alcoholic divorced Hank, who is creepy, ten seconds after she broke up with Mark.I agree that her parenting skills leave much to be desired, too. She seems to be more immature than her children, and she does, indeed, put her own drama with relationships over her children's welfare. I find myself wanting to smack her, too. Julia and Crosby's talk was wonderful, and I can understand her fear with Victor. She's used to parenting a spoiled little girl, so she doesn't really understand boys all that well.


I love Crosby as well. I've always disliked Jasmine because 1. She never gave Crosby the chance to parent for 5 years. I am often surprised he doesn't throw that out every time she nags him about his parenting. 2. She shows one day up and busts his balls every chance she gets for every little thing she perceives him doing wrong. 3. She is a hypocrite when it comes to her mom. Renee is always way out of line. I am tired of the Max storyline. Seems a bit over-the-top to me. Adam is a dream of a husband. However, his patience levels fall into the "hard to believe" category. Sarah. Ugh. Her character is a rehash of her Gilmore Girls role. Contrived. Annoying...I could go on. I could care or less about what happens to her. Actually, send her to Minnesota and don't ever bring her back. I do chores during her scenes. Love Amber and Ryan. Drew...ever the consummate "moody broody" teen. Bleck! What did happen when he went to his mom crying??? Don't usually love Julia...she is a bit too intense! But understood her reluctance with the adoption. I do like the way they work together as a couple. Sydney is a total brat.


Over her kids. Where the hell was Drew? I do wish we seen more of Camille and Zeeks. I loved seeing Ryan again andhim and amber. Funny, Julia was still coming across as selfish to me. I'm glad she's going through with everything but she's upset that he doesn't tell her he loves her? He's a boy. And 9. And a former foster kid. He wouldn't tell her that anyway. Was it not enough when he wanted her to stay around on his first day of school? Or the appreciative smile when she found him a friend who speaks Spanish? Or his excitement anytime he does well,? I feel like she's not accepting that this all takes time, but maybe after this episode she will. The sweet pep talk Crosby gave her seemed to work, even though he mostly lied and totally told Adam and Kristina the same thing.


Crosby has always been one of my favorite characters on the show. I love that he's not only showing how mature he can be, but he's given that opportunity to show it more. Jasmine I have never been a fan of or her mom and its never more apparent as when they're onscreen together. Renee is too much. She's super judgmental and the resentment she holds against Crosby is ridiculous given the fact that for those first five years he didn't know he had a kid. Its great that she helped jasmine out in the beginning but she didn't have to. Jasmine having balls of steel when she's reaming on Crosby for everything under the sun, but not having them to put her mom in her place or at the very least back up her husband is irritating. She expected him to apologize when there was nothing to apologize for. Sarah's love triangle isn't fair to either guy. It floors me that she's considered some sort of catch. For both men's sake I hope they dump her. Oh and once again she's prioritizing her relationships over her kids. Where the hell was drew?

Sarah silva

I thought this episode was fantastic! 5/5 for me.
I have always liked Crosby. Tonight he was wonderful. I cried when he was talking to Julia. I am also so happy with everything he said to Renee and Jasmine and it was about time he asked Jasmine when the last time was that she confronted her mom and that she should confront her. I also like that he did not back down and say he was sorry to Renee.
I am also glad we have Ryan back. I think Joel was to hard on him the first time he came to the job site but I loved the second time when he brought him donuts. That was a sweet scene and I also liked seeing him and Amber. I really hope they get back together.
I love Mark and I think if they do it right I would be okay having him back with Sarah. We all know she will not move to Minnesota.
It was nice seeing Christina doing what she does best and making the vending machine into a mini campaign.
Next week looks packed full of stories.

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Parenthood Season 4 Episode 14 Quotes

Joel: We should finalize it.
Julia: What?
Joel: I think we should finalize it. You know, talk to the lawyers, file the paperwork, dot the Is, cross the Ts. If there's anything that's going to tell our boy that he's a part of our family, that's it. I just think we need to, you know, take the leap.

Baby, I'm sorry. I know being criticized is not fun and my mother is a master at it.