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"Parenthood" Recap: Episode 5

Photograph by NBC

Max is smitten, y’all. So much so that he’s lurking on New Girl Dylan at school. He calls it studying her after his dad told him that the basis for relationships is common interests. Max takes it quite literally and is trying to learn about Dylan.

Later, at a little fam BBQ at Adam and Kristina’s, Max announces to Zeek and Crosby that he likes a girl and repeats the “common interests” advice he got from his dad. Of course Zeek and Cros don’t think there’s much wisdom in Adam’s words. Zeek sees it as the right time to remind Max about the Braverman libido and sexual attraction—both of which are hard to contain. Kristina’s worried. She thinks Max’s stalkerish ways will only lead to heartbreak, and that Dylan is not going to like him back.

She and Adam attempt to “temper Max’s enthusiasm” by talking to him about relationships—since, as they say, they’re experts. They end up leading Max into this idea about affection and people “liking each other the same amount,” on a scale of 1 to 5, more specifically.

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Max tells Dylan about the scale and that he likes her the maximum amount—5. She replies that she likes him a 2 (which, according to Max, is just above the Friend Zone). This doesn’t sway Max, though.

“The scale is fluid,” Max tells her, “and I imagine I have a decade to change your mind.” This prompts a half smile from Dylan and a slight boost for Max: she raises her number to a 2.5.

For Amber, the scales of affection are kind of going in reverse. After a lame meet-cute with a Preppy Tech Guy straight out of central casting, Amber finds herself smitten as well. She’s nervous about when (or if?) she should bring up her pregnancy. Drew—the most sensible college kid in TV Land—strongly recommends that Amber come clean to Tech Guy soonest.

So she does after their first date and first kiss at her sliding front door. And he basically sprints on out of there with lame cardigan, talking about: Oh, yawn, I have a big day tomorrow. Gotta got. I’ll call you. Good night.

Amber takes her bruised heart and a milk crate filled with vodka, bong, weed and a box of condoms over to Drew’s dorm to donate them, since her “life is over” now that she’s knocked up.

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“It’s going to be hard for a minute,” Drew tells her. “Right now’s a weird time, and you kind of did it in a weird order, but that doesn’t mean that your life is over.” See? Drew needs a life-coaching talk show. He’s the best!

As for the other Bravermans:

  • Julia and Lusty Lawyer (his name is Chris, but LL stays) are heating up, but she’s nervous about taking things fully public. Everyone else is into LL, though. Adam invites him to join the BBQ and b-ball game in the backyard; Rude Sydney actually thinks he’s cool; and Victor is impressed with the man’s basketball skills. You know who’s not into LL? Joel. He rolls up on the family yard fun at Adam’s with a “you replaced me??” look on his face. Later he storms into Julia’s office and dishes out some low blows and thinly veiled digs and basically killing the 2 percent chance he may have had at reconciling with his estranged wife.
  • Jasmine shuts down Crosby’s joyrides by throwing the boot on his motorbike’s wheels. He feels “castrated” by this. Zeek tells him he can relate. Camille’s healthy heart watch has him feeling inept and weak. Crosby ends up driving Zeek (wildly in the minivan) to his physical therapy, and later walks in on his dad struggling on the treadmill. He’s freaked out. Zeek later lies and says that the session was a piece of cake, and Crosby pretends he didn’t see what really went down. The two hit the bar after PT. Zeek’s not drinking. The two share a touching moment where Zeek tells his son that he needs to enjoy his life because it all goes so fast, and Crosby sees his father not as this scare-the-bear giant, but as a regular, vulnerable man.
  • Crosby gets smashed and Jasmine, unimpressed, comes to drive them home. She tells Zeek that she’s worried about her husband, and Zeek tells her, “I am, too.”

Teardrop Counter: On a scale of 1 (dry eyes) to 10 (ugly cry), I’m giving this episode 2 teardrops. The Zeek-Crosby moment got me a little misty. What did you think of the episode? What is going on with Crosby?

Join me every Friday for the recap of the farewell season of “Parenthood.”

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