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Parenthood: Nipple Confusion (5x03)

Dani Langlie
October 13th, 2013 1:27am EDT

Parenthood

A decent episode. I liked almost every story line in here. Unfortunately, the weakest one was the one that inspires the title, but I'll get to that. Let's dive in!

Kristina's campaign is still running a mile a minute, and Adam is getting more and more worried about the budget. When he tries to confront Kristina about it, however, she accuses him of not supporting her. He tries to convince her to let Sarah take her campaign photo for cheap, but Kristina is initially resistant. She agrees eventually, and Sarah comes through for her. In the end, Kristina admits that maybe she went a little too fast with this campaign thing, and she agrees that they should pull back on the spending until they know they have donations coming in to cover the cost. Adam, sensing this manipulation for what it is, capitulates and hands over his credit cards.

I enjoyed this plot quite a bit because it continued the tension between Kristina and Adam while still showing the strength of their marriage. Adam and Kristina both actually had very valid points in their arguments, and I was glad to see them have a moment of reconciliation at the end.

Closely related to this plot was Sarah's. She's been doing photography, mostly for animals, and she's hungry for a real job. She's very excited to do Kristina's shoot, but Adam calls to cancel it, since Kristina wants someone more experienced. Sarah talks to Hank, who tells her that her family just knows her too well to trust her. She's been flighty before, and so they don't take her seriously with her photography. Hank has a really good point, here. Sarah goes to Kristina and makes a heartfelt speech about how she should be the one to take the picture because she can capture all the things she knows and loves about Kristina. Kristina capitulates, but the shoot ends up going badly - Max and Nora are underfoot; everything is loud and chaotic.

When Sarah shows the photos to Hank, he's honest with her. He tells her that some are better than others, but he helps her pick out the right picture. I really liked this plot line because it gives me hope that Sarah has maybe finally found the place where she belongs. However, I do have some concerns. I'm not sure where they're taking the Hank and Sarah relationship. We didn't get to see the events leading up to their break up, but now he's still around and they still have this chemistry together. Why did they break up? Are we supposed to think they might get together again?

Then there's the Victor situation. Julia and Joel learn that his reading level is significantly lower than it should be, but they don't agree about what to do about it. Julia thinks they should hold Victor back in the 4th grade, while Joel thinks they should wait. They come to an impasse. Victor clearly doesn't care about putting the effort into reading more, which makes me think Joel might be in denial. While Julia does have the tendency to "go nuclear," as Joel says, I ultimately think she has the right idea, here. Of course, she doesn't help her case by bringing Ed into it. Joel says that Ed's wife is a huge gossip and now the whole school is going to know if Victor is having trouble. The episode ends without a resolution, although there is a beautiful moment of the whole family sitting around as Victor reads. Sydney was being very supportive, which I thought was adorable.

I like this plot, but I'm a little uncertain whose side to take. I also don't think the drama with Ed is really necessary to throw in there, so I hope that doesn't become a focal point.

Camille and Zeek's story thread was lovely. After their talk about potentially selling the house, Zeek buys an old beat up car in need of serious work. Camille takes that for an answer, since the car is going to be a year long project. The two finally sit down to have a conversation. Zeek reminisces about the kids growing up and says he's content with what they have. Camille says she wants more: she wants to travel and see the world. The episode ends at an impasse for them. The acting here was phenomenal. I really enjoyed their chemistry, and Zeek reminds me so much of my own grandfather that it's always interesting to watch him.

Funniest plot of the week goes to Drew, Amber, and Ryan. Drew's roommate has been "sexiling" him and he has nowhere to sleep. He shows up at Amber's place in time to interrupt Amber and Ryan having sex, but Amber of course says that he can stay there for the night. Things get worse for Drew when his roommate continually locks him out and even steals his sheets. When he tells Amber and Ryan, they get all bad ass and go to scare some sense into the kid. It seems to work, and by the end of the episode we see Drew kicking the roommate out of the room to invite a girl in. Drew and the girl end up playing Scrabble, which is all sorts of adorable.

I loved this plot because it showcased the awesome relationship between Amber and Drew, had some funny moments with Ryan using his military prowess to scare the roommate, and showed Drew making a connection with a girl. I myself have lived the life of a co-ed Freshman dorm, and while there were certainly over-exaggerations, I knew plenty of people who had roommates just like Drew's.

Then finally there's the plot that inspired the title. Baby Aida won't stop crying. Wow, that is so new and different from what we've been watching for two episodes already. Cough cough. But anyway, Jasmine badly needs a break, so Crosby is continually trying to get Aida to take a bottle. He has a talk with his dad about how difficult things are, and Zeek says that boys are simpler than girls. In the end, Crosby finally has a moment with Aida where he gets her to accept the bottle and tells her he'll always be there for her.

The only part of this plot that I liked was the moment at the end with Crosby and Aida. It was an adorable moment where Crosby finally felt the love and connection with his daughter that he had been missing. The rest of this plot felt very repetitive.

So, in all, I was happy with the episode. Almost every thread was strong. I'm genuinely interested in how they plan to continue some of these plots. In particular, I'm curious about Hank and Sarah, and I'm worried about what will happen with Victor.

8/10

Photo Credits: "© NBC Universal, Inc"


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