3/6/14, 10 PM, NBC
Despite the episode’s title (“The Enchanting Mr. Knight”) and the NBC promotional department declaring this a “special episode”, this is an episode that I would describe as more “blah” than amazing. After last week’s episode that dealt with Julia on her own and the siblings coming to her emotional rescue, tonight’s episode felt more like the series was spinning its wheels. Or at least inching ahead ever so slightly as it set up for the final six episodes of the season in which a lot has to go down. We only have two really noteworthy scenes that makes the episode stand out, one of which was just a more intense repeat of a scene from last week.
Let’s start off with the plotline that gives the episode its title, as well as show some actual progression. After getting a phone call about a teacher taking Max’s chair away, Adam and Kristina (who are waiting on test results to see if Kristina is one year cancer free) meet with Mr. Knight, played by Zachary Knighton (aka. Dave from the unjustly cancelled “Happy Endings”). They find out that he did this as a way to actually help Max become more engaged with the class and his marks have actually improved in the one week he’s been doing this. As Mr. Knight laments on the state of the school and Max’s education, Kristina tells him about the charter school they have in mind to create. And as if Katims & Co. heard the very loud negative reaction across Twitter about this, Mr. Knight tells them that not only do these schools face a ton of red tape, but also dwindling interest from the founders once their child graduates. Taking this into account, especially after they get the all clear from the results, Kristina and Adam go to Mr. Knight and ask him to help them with their school and to actually run it. Impressed by the fact that they are the first parents to ever come to him, he invites them in for coffee and to talk shop. I like this development since it shows that after the unbelievability of Kristina running for mayor, that this time around Katims & Co are addressing the reality of what Kristina wants to accomplish.
Next up, we return to Zeek and Camille’s as Karen, the realtor from last week, is giving them tips on what to fix or tear down to help boost the asking price. Meanwhile, Crosby observes, seething at the idea of their childhood home being sold and Zeek not saying anything. Despite Jasmine telling him to stay out of it, Crosby finally confronts Camille about it and even goes so far as to tell her that she’s being selfish. What follows is one of Bonnie Bedelia’s best moments of the season so far. Yes she’s repeating what she said to Crosby at the dinner table in last week’s episode, but it is done so much more eloquently that in lieu of a Best Line of the Night, I’m just going to transcribe what she says in retaliation.
” OK, let me put this in to some perspective, for you. I spent over thirty years of my life taking care of four kids. Some of them are still living in my house and coming home for lunch. And I spent most of my adult life compromising myself and what I want for your father. I’ve always put myself second, or third, or fourth, or fifth, or sixth. I’ve cooked your dinners, I have packed you school lunches, I have driven you to play dates and practice and done your laundry well past when I should have. And now, when I assert one thing that I want, one thing you and your dad and everyone else can’t take it. So, that’s selfish? Excuse me.”
After this, Crosby listens in on Camille and Zeek arguing in their room via air duct that he’s used to listen in on their fights. Deciding that they can’t stay there any longer, Crosby tell them about the condo they’ll sublet for a month. But despite his accusations, Camille tells Crosby that they’re going to remain at their home for the time being.
As for the rest of the episode, again we have a mixed bag. Julia is forced to deal with Ed again as they have to finish out their work for Green Week, which has resulted in aptly a pretty pathetic garden. After planting $200 worth of replacement vegetables, Ed tries to apologize to Julia who is having none of it. “You are the reason Joel left!” she tell him, to which he replies that if she thinks that he’s the sole reason her marriage has fallen apart, then she’s just kidding herself. And that she really needs to dig deep in figuring out what went wrong with her marriage. This leads to a tenative reconciliation as she makes chicken for him and then finally joins in. “It’s just dinner.” Carl asks Sarah if she’s like to come with him for a week to Africa since he’s going for business. She says yes, but after Max lets it slip to Hank that she’s going, he goes over and tells her that she’s repeating her same patterns again. Of focusing on a new job and goal and then getting distracted by a guy showing her attention. Sarah calls out the hypocrisy of Hank giving her relationship advice, but then she decides to not go with Carl, since this is the “Year of Sarah” and that she should focus on her new life. And Amber crashes in on Drew at college and invites herself and him to a frat party. This goes badly for both of them as Drew’s roommate makes a pass at Amber, and after inviting Natalie to come, she turns Drew down citing his erratic behaviour. While the stuff with Julia was OK, I really could care less about Sarah and Drew at this point.
- Stray Observations: I don’t really have any this week, other than the news that Sarah Ramos will return for the season finale. So at least we have that to look forward to. Also, I like that the kids just look straight through Julia and Ed and know that these aren’t the vegetables they planted.
[notification type="star"]60/100 ~ GOOD. Despite a great moment from Bonnie Bedelia and some actual reality and progress regarding Kristina’s charter school plotline, this was a blah episode that only covered inches of ground.[/notification]