Parenthood, “Let’s Be Mad Together” (5.5)



10/24/13, 10PM, NBC

“Let’s Be Mad Together” is similar to last week’s episode of Parenthood, in that we’re still turning the corner before picking up speed yet again. Whereas the previous episode was peering around the bend, this week’s episode was the cars near the back of the train catching up, and in one case, not even there at all. We begin the episode with Adam telling Crosby that he brokered a sweetheart deal with the record company for the rights of the 3 songs they’ve already recorded in exchange for the 72 billable hours they were owed by the record company. Max was taking impromptu pictures of the kids at school for the yearbook and got in trouble for taking the picture of a kid crying on the steps. And Sarah was not so super with her super duties and turned a plugged toilet into a fountain.

This lead into Ryan coming over to fix the toilet, which lead to Sarah inadvertently telling Ryan about the fight she and Amber had over their upcoming wedding. A fight that Ryan was completely unaware of, which lead to the first real “trouble in paradise” moment so far between Ryan and Amber as she tip toes around the concerns that Sarah has about them getting married at a young age. This leads to one of my favorite moments of the episode, where Ryan goes over to Sarah’s place and point blank tells her about his family back-story. How his dad died when he was 11, his mom re-married six months later to a co-worker and while he was ok with her, his go to response to Ryan acting out was corporal punishment. This lead him straight to the Army, where he’s never looked back. And that while he understands Sarah’s concerns, living on his own and in the military made him grow up fast. Whether this calms Sarah’s fears or only inflames them, we’ll just have to wait and see.

Taking a break from the campaign trail, Kristina is made aware of Max’s invasion of privacy, which is really the last straw in not only Max’s overzealous attitude to taking pictures, but also the faculty’s patience with him. While he can still take pictures, they want to demote him to doing layout for the yearbook. And after dealing with him as class president, that is a generous offer coming from them. While Max and Hank can only see the progress Max has made as a photographer, Kristina realizes that fighting breast cancer and now running for mayor has lead to a severe lack of awareness of what’s going on with her son. And that this time, no amount of convincing on their part can fix it and that all she can do with Max is just sit with him as they sit in anger over what’s gone on.

Going over to The Luncheonette, Adam and Crosby convince Ashes of Rome, the band with the douchy singer from the previous episode, to let them produce their album and be their first signed act.
This leads to more of Crosby dealing with the lead singer who wants to layer in a lute, samples of Marvin Gaye, Kanye West, Daft Punk, T-Rex and still have it sound like them. This leads to the inevitable blow-up between Adam and Crosby, only this time Adam was the one who charged on with the crazy idea while Crosby is the one having to clean up the inevitable mess. But after picking up diapers and giving a drunk Joel with a grocery store cake a ride home (more on that later), Crosby comes in with a few albums and tells the band that they need to get rid of everything and strip the music down to its basics and for the lead singer to actually sing.

And with both Julia/Joel and Zeek/Camille, both of their storylines intertwine. As Joel spends more time with Peet as she convinces him to take a hit business-wise for long term gain, tensions between Julia and Joel are rising as he is caught between Julia and Peet in regards to the future of Joel’s career. This leads to a great scene where after a dinner and martinis with Peet, a drunken Joel wanders into a grocery store to ogle the cakes. Crosby runs into him, as he’s there to get diapers, which leads to a great scene between them as they commiserate about where they are at with their businesses and families. And while Julia loves Zeek’s new car since it’s helping Victor out with his reading levels, Camille finally lets loose and says that she hates the car and that Zeek got it to shut her up. And that while she’s still pissed at him for not even discussing the possibility of the Act 3 she wants to pursue, she’s even more upset with herself for losing her voice in the relationship and not knowing how she can get it back. This leads to Julia confronting Zeek about walking all over Camille and that she deserves to be heard by him about both of their lives.

While it may not have had the intense dramatic moments of the first few episodes this season, this episode has a quiet confidence to itself that continues the momentum of the season in prep for what I’m sure are going to be the inevitable fireworks.

The Round Up

  • Best Line of the Episode: “Woah! That opened. What is this? Huh. I wonder if…oh wow, I CAN leave. Oh that’s right, because I’m an adult!” Crosby to Adam re: the door after their weekly blow-up as he leaves to get diapers
  • Stray Observations: Drunk Joel ogling grocery store cakes = Adam accidentally high after a weed lollipop from Season 2. Plus, I think that one scene is the most Dax Shepherd and Sam Jaeger have ever said to each other in 5 years on the show
  • Kristina refers to Hank as “The Annie Liebowitz of Berkley”. Yeah, I’m sorry. I’m still going to call him Henchman 24
  • So we finally know the secret origins of Ryan. Now can we PLEASE finally learn something about Kristina’s backstory. I know there’s something juicy there
[notification type=star]75/100 ~Good. “Let’s Be Mad Together” is similar to last week’s episode of Parenthood, in that we’re still turning the corner before picking up speed yet again.[/notification]

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Film geek, podcaster and newly minted IATSE member from Regina, Saskatchewan. I met Don McKellar once, and he told me that Quentin Tarantino is exactly like me.