Parenthood Review: Truth and Consequences

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Truth and the its consequences were central Parenthood Season 5 Episode 10, whether within relationships or after a mayoral race.

Everyone seems to be struggling on this show. Even when things seem to be going pretty well for people, they're still unhappy.

There was a time when there were so many different things happening on Parenthood that it was an emotional rollercoaster. Laughter was quickly followed by tears and back again.

This season is filled with more sadness than necessary, and the characters that aren't down are the ones who don't necessarily express their glee-filled moments in ways that emotionally lift up the other stories. 

A Questionable Future

As admirable as it is to tackle a topic like someone coming back from Afghanistan and struggling to find their way, not only in the world to which they returned, but with the woman they love, I've been a bit disappointed that there wasn't more focus on Ryan getting treatment for what he's been going through.

Visits to the doctor occurred, as he had pills for anxiety, and he made trips to the veterans' center, because that's how he met Zeek and then Amber. His issues were extremely deep, which was apparent after his friend's funeral last season. Instead of trying to shower him with love, a look at what options are available to someone after they return from the military and are having a really difficult time acclimating might have served the story better in the long run.

Listening to Amber defend an incredibly violent Ryan as a really great guy who would never hurt her and then Ryan telling Zeek maybe he just doesn't fit into the real world, I realized there was a missed opportunity to fully understand what someone in his position was feeling. 

Now that Ryan is heading back into the military, it would seem that story is over for the time being. I hope some thought goes into his story before he returns so that his position can be explored beyond the stereotypes.

The marriage of Joel and Julia has descended into a stereotypical floundering union at this point, as well. There is so little communication going on between them that it's almost difficult to care whether they find their way back to each other. 

Julia finally realized that her friendship with Ed probably sent the wrong message to Joel, and somehow she still leaned into a kiss with him, just moments after telling him he need to stop contacting her. It didn't seem to make sense to her any more than it did to me.

Drew, doing his best Mark Cyr impression, tried to set some boundaries for booty calls with Natalie. That's another one that I just don't get. Drew obviously really likes Natalie, and she couldn't care less about him. His attempt at rules pushed her into friends-only territory, but Amy's knock at his door at the end will probably make him the most attractive kid in the dorm. 

Sarah had great advice for her daughter, telling Amber she's strong and yet still able to fall completely in love, but the love that she has is not what she wishes for her. It was nice to see her being objective first and a mom second. It's too bad that conversation didn't come earlier, when it might have helped Amber see what was coming from Ryan. 

What I didn't understand was Sarah's comments to Carl as she tried to push him away. Why does she keep saying he's not age appropriate? How old does she think he is, exactly? He seems like a perfect match for her, and he can actually carry on a conversation without stuttering and rambling which is something she needs, because her family has a way of doing that and it's good to branch out. 

Carl likes wine, good music, is willing to save Sarah from her angry tenants and has a lot of friends that he can introduce her to. Instead she'll probably end up with Hank again. It's funny that you never realize how incompatible a couple really is until you see the individuals matched with others. Sarah needs someone who can take control of situations, and she hasn't had that in a very long time.

The one couple who seem perfectly matched at all times are Adam and Kristina. As she came to terms with her loss, Adam was there to keep her spirits up. You had to love the scene at the playground when the mother said she'd give her a vote if she'd fix the slide. Golly, will you? I'm surprised she even knew who was running. Unfortunately, that's why the people we want in office don't get elected.

Adam's plan to get Kristina her smear campaign after the fact by egging Bob Little's billboard was a nice, lighthearted way to take out her aggression and even better that he set it up for her. Kristina tried to pretend the loss was running off her back, but her husband knew better. Finally -- one couple was on the same page. 

I'm not sure what I'm hoping to see in the second half of the season, but I know that I don't want to grimace at the thought of watching Parenthood. I used to get excited to see what was coming, but things have gotten so dire with all of the characters that watching with a pillow in front of my face doesn't seem that far fetched. 

The problem with characters being so real is that it feels as if what's happening to them is happening to me. When everything is painful and full of unhappiness and it's happening to people you love, it becomes difficult to watch. 

Agree or disagree? Are you guys still with me out there? Tell me how you're feeling about this season of Parenthood in the comments.


Editor Rating: 4.0 / 5.0
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Rating: 3.6 / 5.0 (19 Votes)

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


COMPLETELY agree with the is VERY hard to watch when i'm cringing at every moment and while I want to know what is going to happen, I'd like to feel a little okay about at least a few characters at the end of each show so that I don't feel traumatized.

Sarah silva

This was a fantastic episode. This show really should get more recognition from the academy. The acting if great and the show is great!
Mae Whitman was the best we have seen her.
I cried at the end, I really am sad that they ended the Ryan and Amber storyline. At the start of the season it seemed like Jason Katmis was it is for the long haul with Ryber but that is not the case. I wonder if Matt Lauria wanted out. That now leaves it open for Amber and Zach.
I did really like Crosby and Adam talking to her and it was super sweet when Crosby asked if she was okay.
The advice Crosby gave Drew was great! I did not like Natalie and I was happy to see Amy, hope she is back for good.
I really like Carl, he has the humor of Mark (not as funny but close) and he is age appropriate as that was one of the issue with her and Mark. I like Sarah and Carl better than Sarah an Hank.
SO the previews made us want to believe Julia went to Ed's to kiss him, she did not. He kissed her and she should have stopped it right away but she did pull away quickly. I am seeing bits of the Joel I used to like, I hope they can work it out.
Kristina and Adam are great. That woman in the park was so clueless and then her comment at the end! WOW! I love how Adam and Kristina handled that.
Can not wait until Jan 2.


I rewatched the episode this morning and still feel a little sad.Long wait for this episode,with the Ryan bar fight and the hard to watch kissing between Julia an Ed. (Too close to home) And now another long break with even more ssadness. Good writing because I am hooked. I also was surprised and dissapointed with Ryan an Amber.Although we know she's not mature enough to handle all of Ryan's issues ,the fact that she truly wanted to try was nice,but Ryan going back to service takes him away for awhile.his resigning may help if only someone in the program see's the problems he is dealing with before shipping back tosAfcan.
Julia is driving me nuts. She ask Joel to come to bed an that they need to fix this.So we see Joel least try to be a better husband but yet Julia couldn't look more distant.Is it Ed an the phone and kiss.Or is marriage too far gone in her mind.Judging by the preview Joel is going to make it easier for her to leave. Only hope not into Ed's arms agian.Please work it out or Divorce .Nothing better then egging the victors bill-board. They are a great couple.


Completely agree and understand 100%!! I used to compare some of my family to the different couples - with my husband and I similar to Joel and Julia. That relationship has gone so awry it's painful to watch, live through and try to relate to. I hope overall that the show makes some positive changes.

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Parenthood Season 5 Episode 10 Quotes

You know, I've been at work all day at my dream job that I worked really hard to get defending you and, you know, we're losing money because of what you did to Zach. He's so messed up he can't even play.


Yeah, it's official. You're a slumlord now.