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Wednesday, November 28, 2012

Parenthood Season 4, Episode 9: Hateful Haight Neighbors

Posted By on Wed, Nov 28, 2012 at 2:00 PM

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Also wanting employment is Ryan, Amber's vet boyfriend. Zeek tries to prep him for an upcoming interview and tells Ryan an anecdote about selling encyclopedias when he got home from Vietnam. Ryan jokingly asks what an encyclopedia is and Zeek gets salty. No one ever teased him about his age back when he was acting in those erectile dysfunction commercials. Ryan's interview turns out to be a bust, apparently because the employer asked him if he had ever killed anyone. What a dick. Amber goes to Zeek for guidance because she's worried about Ryan's emotional state and Zeek tells her that war changes people. Every time Zeek talks about war or coming home from war, I expect to hear the faint chug of choppers in the distance, but alas, it never comes.

Over at Adam and Kristina's, Max's student council adviser phones home to report that Max has been vetoing (without any actual authority) his fellow members' desire to hold the annual school dance. While Max initially states that the budget should be saved for his beloved vending machine, you can tell that he doesn't want to attend the dance and doesn't see why it should be held. Adam is ready to let Max skip the dance but Kristina, under the rationale that she doesn't know how much time she has left on earth, forces him to go and even buys him some new dress shirts for the occasion. Adam backs her up, because how can you say no to anything requested by your awesome, cancer-stricken wife? On the big night, Kristina coaches Max on how to ask a girl to dance and also how to politely respond to a girl rejecting his offer to dance. And when you thought your heart couldn't swell anymore, Kristina shows Max how to slow dance while a jazzy number plays in the background and Adam watches on with a smile. It's a bit of a Rain Man rip-off but without the general unease that the presence of Tom Cruise brings.

Then we get to the most explosive part of the episode which involves the ongoing love triangle between Sarah, Mark, and Hank. Sarah and Mark are headed to a wedding in Napa for the weekend and Mark has even upgraded their hotel suite for some added romance and luxury. What they don't want is any type of romance for Drew while they're gone so they banish him to Zeek and Camille's, making it extra difficult for him and Amy to have sex. [Note: They're forgetting that those crazy kids will still have access to her house, to a vehicle, and to any open or enclosed space in Berkeley.] Drew disagrees with this decision on the grounds that Amber was allowed to stay at home when she was his age before trailing off about Amber being crazy. Seriously, anything Drew mumbles under his breath is pure gold. He is perhaps the most authentic character on this show.

Drew's protests are just a minor hiccup compared to the havoc Sarah wreaks when she tells Mark that she's going to miss the first day of their trip to help Hank at a shoot in LA. Hank -- who was already on Mark's bad side after calling Sarah for a late-night ride after getting wasted -- has discovered that his ex-wife plans to move with their daughter to Minnesota and is trying to do a sneak attack on her in L.A. without their lawyers to work out a compromise. After telling both Hank and Mark that she can't make it to L.A., she backpedals and tries to split her weekend to accommodate both men. Mark calls bullshit and tells her not to come to the wedding at all since she's prioritized Hank over him. Is it possible that Hank's surly sarcasm is more appealing than Mark's aw-shucks cuteness? I guess that's too subjective a question. What we do know is that Sarah makes terrible decisions, so either way, none of this bodes well and it's likely that Drew will soon have to find a new place to have sex with Amy.

Parenthood airs on Thursdays at 10 p.m. PST on NBC.

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Sylvie Kim

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