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"Parenthood Recap": Episode 6

It’s three months later and we find Amber sporting quite the bump as she browses a baby store with Drew. They get introduced, by way of overwhelm, to all the crap that we’ve been led to believe a new baby absolutely must have, including a high-priced, "Jetsons"-style stroller, The Origami. All of it leaves them thinking, "We’re going to need a lot more money for this kid."

Smart move, to speed things up a bit with a time jump, as it raises the stakes for the Bravermans, not just Amber.

Crosby and Adam are in a grave situation with The Luncheonette. Business has slowed to a crawl and money has all but dried up. So when Amber approaches with a professional, well thought-through request for a raise, one that is “commensurate with my abilities,” it crushes her two uncles. They know the money’s just not there. Of course they don’t tell her this. That would be easy — and not good TV. Instead, they tell her not to worry, because Adam is Mr. Back-up Plan and it will work out.

But it’s not working out. Plus, Kristina tells Adam that their account is overdrawn, and they’re also late on some bills. (I’m sure building and running an entire school will tap you out.) After some dancing around about it, Adam tells Amber the truth: he doesn’t have a back-up plan, but he’s not going to quit until he gets this raise for her.

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The no-money thing is clearly weighing heavy on the brothers, especially Crosby, who has been down and deflated for the last two episodes (which is more like three to four months in TV dog years). He’s drinking a lot and ultimately afraid that he’s going to lose everything: his business, his house and his young family’s respect. Crosby finally spills the truth about their dire financials to his wife after she crunches the numbers on a birthday trip for Jabbar to Harry Potter World. He’s broken and it shows. But Jasmine is ride-or-die, and reassures Cros that they will prevail. “You’re my guy for the rest of my life. You’re all we need.” Instead of a costly trip to Orlando, Jasmine and Crosby surprise Jabbar with a spectacular Potter-themed party with all of his friends in the backyard. Very sweet moment — and a clear win for Team Jasby!

Speaking of teams, Sarah convinces Hank to host a family game night instead of letting Terrible Horrible, No Good, Very Bad Daughter Ruby manipulate him into letting her go to “a little get-together” (read: drinking, smoking, wild-out, no-parents party) at her friend’s house. Amber joins her mom’s team and roundly crushes in the rapid-fire game of Celebrity. Ruby is actually sort of into it, until her dad shows that he’s horrible at this game and also clueless about her life, as evidenced by his passing on her easy game hint: “I’m allergic to these, Dad.” (Answer: peanuts). She gets mad and storms off to her room. But she sneaks out later, and stumbles back in super later and super drunk. Amber’s asleep on the couch and ends up helping a hurling Ruby in the bathroom, promising not to narc her out to Hank.

The next morning, Amber keeps her promise, but tells Ruby that she won’t always be there to cover for her. “So you’re going to have to take better care of yourself.” She hands Ruby her first-ever cup of coffee, stirring in some gentle life advice as well. “Your dad is trying, and my dad didn’t even give it a shot. At least your dad is doing the best he can. Cut him some slack, because you’re lucky to have him.” It works. The next day a sweetened Ruby apologizes to her dad and thanks Sarah, too. Hank’s stunned.

“Don’t even question it,” Sarah tells him. “Let’s just enjoy the win.”

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As for the other Bravermans:

  • Sensible Drew is thinking seriously about his future. He’s worried about paying off his student loans and — after that sticker-shock trip to the baby store — how he can financially help his sister. Adam tells him to dream and explore what makes him happy. Crosby steps all over that advice and tells Drew: Greed is good. Money can buy happiness. So learn how you can make lots of it.
  • Max’s crush, Dylan, has been hangin’ tough at his house and really glomming onto Kristina. I think there’s something fishy about Dylan’s absentee parents. She’s not being 100 percent about it. Kristina’s still worried that Dylan is going to bruise Max’s heart. But Max is focused on putting into practice all the intel he’s gathered from the web about how to deal with girls: “We’ve now had two dates, do you want to stay the night? The internet says I could ask you that now.” Ha! Oh, Max.

Teardrop Counter: On a scale of 1 (dry eyes) to 10 (ugly cry), I give this episode a 1. Not a drop from me, even when Crosby was on the verge of breaking all the way down while coming clean to Jasmine. How’d you do? What do you think is going to happen with The Luncheonette? And how excited are you about the Julia-Joel episode coming next week?

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

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