“Parenthood” rang in the new year with a brand new episode Tuesday night. It was a doozy. In fact, it may have broken the “Parenthood” speed record for moments from the start of show to the first tearjerker moment. Plus, Sydney proved beyond a shadow of a doubt that she is the spawn of Satan. Without further ado, here are the highlights.
Kristina Does the Splits, Then Shaves Her Head: The episode opens with Kristina working it out on the dance floor as “Rapper’s Delight” plays. This marks the show’s first realistic, non-cringe inducing use of hip hop. This is absolutely the song someone Kristina’s age would have danced to in junior high. She has some serious moves. At one point, she even does the splits! Monica Potter deserves all of the awards for this episode. Her girl’s night with Sarah (Lauren Graham) and Jasmine (Joy Bryant) quickly goes south when a big chunk of her hair falls out. Cue the waterworks. She goes home and shaves her head. She’s been drinking and it seems a little impulsive. There’s been some debate online about whether Potter shaved her head for real. I vote for excellent bald cap, but either way it’s an incredibly powerful scene. Kristina then wakes up a sleeping Adam (Peter Krause) to show off her new look. He is understandably surprised and a little freaked out.
Adam Does Something No Man Should Ever Do: Kristina gets self-conscious about her appearance after everyone stares at her at the grocery store. Kristina tells Adam she thought it would be liberating to shave her head and laments that her girl’s night out was the first time she felt normal since she started treatment. Adam realizes she was looking up wigs online. Instead of letting Kristina decide on her own whether she would like to wear a wig, Adam boneheadedly buys her a wig, thinking he is doing Kristina a favor. To any men who are reading this: unless your significant other specifically asks for your opinion about her hair, avoid the subject. That is multiplied by 1000 if she is ill and feeling insecure about her looks. She thinks he got it because he hates the way she looks. This is a great scene because neither one of them was right or wrong. Adam’s heart was in the right place, but he misjudged the situation. It was understandable why Kristina jumped to the wrong conclusion, and, let’s be honest, Adam prefers the way Kristina looked when she was healthy. Kristina has beautiful hair. I’m sure Adam misses it as much as she does. Watch the clip for every cringe inducing moment of their argument.
Kristina Gets Her Groove Back: Kristina apologizes to Adam by showing up at the recording studio wearing a red wig. She looks great. She has rented a limo and booked a hotel room so they can have a romantic evening. At the hotel, a younger guy played by Ryan Hansen of “Veronica Mars” and ‘Party Down” fame hits on her. She pretends to be a 27-year-old executive named Jennifer. Then she introduces him to her husband. In the most hilarious Adam moment since he strutted down the street dressed in what he thought was hip hop style, Adam primps in the mirror while wearing a robe that looks like it came out of High Hefner’s closet. Adam should be banned from making any decisions involving fashion or style. In the filthiest line in “Parenthood” history, Adam asks Kristina if she’s going to have trouble locating The Johnson File. But Kristina is too tired for sex. Adam is patient and understanding. Amber texts them a video of them getting into the limo. Kristina decides she hates the wig. She leaves the hotel wigless but wearing a fierce coat and boots. Why she has been hiding her inner fashionista? I hop she keeps this look after she goes into remission, which she better do soon, because I don’t think my heart could take it if she isn’t healthy by the end of the season.
Sydney’s Diabolical Plot to Destroy Victor: That headline is hyperbolic, but the girl is setting Victor up like a mini-Emily Thorne. Victor (Xolo Mariduena) is thrilled when he gets a 93 on his math test. That is an incredible turnaround given that two episodes ago he was failing math. Victor tells Julia (Erika Christensen) he wants to share his good news with his “real mom.” Ouch. You’ve got to feel for Julia, who has put so much effort into building a relationship for Victor. But it shouldn’t be surprising that he wants to stay in touch with his biological family. Joel (Sam Jaeger) and Julia tell her he can’t talk to his mom because they are his parents, which seems cruel. They tell him it’s the court’s decision because of his mom’s substance abuse. Did the same evil social worker who didn’t think Victor should stay in contact with his friends decide he can’t write letters or phone his biological mother? They shouldn’t have agreed to adopt an older child if they didn’t want him to have any connection to his birth parents. Julia takes out her frustrations on Sydney, telling her to shut up when she complains that Victor did not properly clear the table.
Because Sydney is the bad seed, she asks Victor a bunch of questions about his biological mother. She tells him that everyone at school says his mom is in jail and that she must not really love him because he is a bad kid. Victor, furious, throws his baseball bat and it hits a glass door shattering it. Sydney screams, as if she hadn’t been goading him into doing something wrong. The girl wants Victor gone so she can be the center of attention again. It’s no surprise that Joel and Julia are having difficulties with Victor, given that they let Sydney become a brat. Compare her behavior to the younger Jabbar, who is polite and has empathy for other people. Savannah Paige Rae sometimes plays Young Debra on “Dexter“. The way that Victor joined the family is not all that different from Dexter’s backstory. That means by the transitive properties of television, Sydney will grow up to be in love with Victor and Victor will have visions of Ghost Joel. Of course Julia thinks Victor attacked Sydney without provocation. Joel thinks it’s an accident and they need to forgive him. Julia thinks one of their children was nearly injured by another sure and she isn’t sure she can live with it. It’s pretty clear which kids she wants to get rid of. The next morning Victor refuses to go to school with Julia and Sydney, aware that they are out to get him. Victor’s in a tough place, because nobody will believe him if he reveals that Sydney provoked him. This is a screwed up storyline. I suspect the show wants me to have more sympathy for Julia and Joel, but they don’t seem to have made any effort to get Victor counseling, despite how obviously traumatic it would be to have a parent go to prison and then be told that some complete strangers are now your family.
Can We Talk About Next Week’s Preview?
Drew got Amy pregnant! Ih my God! Mark’s horrifying awkward conversation with Drew about condoms did not work. Next Tuesday’s episode is going to be epic.
Remember how Crosby (Dax Shepard) and Jasmine decided they wanted to have another baby in the previous episode? There’s no mention of it this week. Instead, their storyline is about Jasmine’s mother moving in with them because she is having financial problems.
Drew looks at pictures of Mark partying with all of the other high school teachers on New Year’s Eve. There is no way that teachers would post pictures like that on-line where their students might see them. Also, why do all of the teachers at the high school look like the cast of a CW show? Sarah is predictably jealous that Mark is with another woman even though she is dating Hank. Oh, Sarah. You ruined your relationship with Mark. You don’t get to be upset that he moved on.
Apparently Max and Nora were fending for themselves while Adam and Kristina spent the night at a hotel, unless scenes about Zeek and Camille babysitting were cut.