Conflicting choices can drive a person completely insane, especially when they amount to imperative consequences that might change certain things in the near future…
The Braverman family faces the cruel reality of choosing between a possible lesser of two evils that inherently will cause friction between one force or another. The chaos that amounts in this very special installment of Parenthood calls into question a great deal of decision making by a few of the Braverman clan, whilst others find that self-sacrifice is the best way to gain a rewarding turn out. It isn’t easy to face the miserable times, as they can be surprisingly heavy, like carrying a bunch of encyclopedias around door to door. We want it a certain way; however, the odds aren’t always particularly in our favor. It’s frustrating and downright maddening at times, but we’ll live…Right?
Maybe there is a reason Sarah seems so adamant about helping Hank. The feelings have been there for a while now, no matter how many ways one might try to discount them. Those rooting for Sarah to finally make a relationship work with Mark might be in an uproar right now, cursing Sarah’s name to the high heavens. I admit, what Sarah is doing to Mark right now is kind of horrible. It’s also embarrassing and childish in some ways. The two took a big step in moving in with one another; however, certain things were left unsaid and undone. The chemistry Sarah has both with nice dude Mark and cranky guy Hank is undeniable. I find myself more partial to Hank for a myriad of reasons.
That said, Sarah choosing Hank over Mark in this particular situation is just wrong. Mark has been looking forward to their wedding weekend for the longest time, and Hank’s sudden personal issue with his ex-wife and daughter cannot trump that. Sarah’s been dragging her own personal dilemma out, concerning her growing feelings for Hank and her selfish worry for hurting fiancé’s feelings. Mark’s reaction to Sarah as she clearly chooses Hank over him is purely justified. Their argument is really tense and real, which is a smack in the face for Sarah. She needs to wake up! Being split between two people is tough, no doubt. She can’t have both men be happy at the same time, but in this case it is time to either let go of Mark or go to the wedding. Sarah made the wrong choice this time. And I’m not talking about her choice to go to L.A. with Hank. I’m insisting she’s making the wrong choice to continue leading Mark on. I like Mark. He’s nice, charming, handsome and much more, but I’m not sure he’s right for Sarah. The repercussions of this altercation might be a little devastating…
Crosby has quite an ordeal on his hands right now. The Luncheonette is in jeopardy due to an erratic, loud, complaining new neighbor (Pamela Adlon). She’s that one person who runs into a busy establishment, guns a-blazin’ thinking someone is seriously going to listen to her requests. How Crosby resisted the force to tape this woman’s mouth shut is beyond me. Asking Julia for help on the matter, as this new neighbor intends to sue, Crosby finds that he has something significant to worry about now. Her suit against the Luncheonette has some merit; however I’m hoping Crosby can find a good way to counter this, because it’s not like Adam needs another thing on his plate right now. Unfortunately, it seems this hugely classy new neighbor will be around for a while longer as this new storyline unfolds in surprising ways.
Julia is not cut out to be a house mom. She’s bored and annoyed with all the extra time on her hands, and she doesn’t really find that she’s being appreciated in the way she was when she worked. And those Wednesday coffee clubs with the other moms has to be some otherworldly kind of torture for Julia. I understand her plight, definitely. That said, her own agitation with Joel over getting a new job (with surprising ease & quickness) is not something she can put on him. Joel has been nothing but a supportive, respecting and thoroughly responsible husband throughout their marriage and this series altogether. He’s like a dream husband, for godsakes! Julia’s attempt to use Victor as an excuse to why Joel can’t have a job was also kind of a cheap shot as well. So Julia is either going to have to except that she’s not made out to be a house mom or learn to love it in due time. Neither are ideal win-win situations, but it’s better than the alternative, which is a constant impasse between her and Joel.
Elsewhere, Amber quickly learns what it means to be in a relationship with someone who is recovering from the many negative affects of a war. After last week’s incident at the funeral of one of Ryan’s old army buddies who committed suicide, Amber faces the reality that is a bit troubling for her. Ryan’s attempt to get back into the work force is him in a productive stage; however, an invasive job interview question trigger’s Ryan’s troubled past: “Did you ever kill anybody?” People can be quite dim sometimes. Who asks a question like that? And in a job interview, no less? However, I wouldn’t be surprised if an insensitive question like that is somehow sprung on our veterans in reality from time to time. A great deal of people still look at serving one’s country as something wholly positive, when it is in fact quite different in most cases. Amber doesn’t want Ryan to feel like he has to suffer without her by his side. This new relationship is still on some sort of shaky ground, but maybe with Zeek’s sage advise Amber and Ryan can evolve into a sustainable and healthy relationship just like Zeek and Camille’s in the future. Who knows, these kids do have a chance at having what they want.
Lastly, there is Adam, Kristina and Max. After seeing the devastating effects of what her chemotherapy treatment can do to her, Kristina is having some doubts. Optimistic as she is about her future, there is the dark, nagging question of whether she can keep it all together enough to see her kids grow and prosper in every sense of the word. It’s harder when one has a son with Asperger’s. Max’s imperativeness concerning the vending machine returning at his school is ridiculous, but understandable in his case. It’s great that he is learning to compromise more this season, however. As student president now, he finds that he has significant power. This time he uses it well, allowing a much-wanted school dance of which he refuses to attend.
Kristina is adamant on Max going to this dance at all cost. She has to see her son off, mainly because she worries that this might be the last time she ever does. What if she never gets to see Haddie graduate from college or Max attend his high school prom or Nora get into kindergarten? As frustrating as Max is at times, I applaud both Adam and Kristina’s patience in parenting. Adam gets Max to compromise in a way that is entirely fair and rather spectacular in every way, implementing respect for one another’s wants; however learning to self-sacrifice for the better. Kristina teaching Max to dance was just perfect. Can Kristina get what she wants? Can she survive breast cancer in order to see what the future holds for her family? Let us hope…
In a season full of fantastic episodes, Parenthood is outdoing itself lately with a great number of new installments that push storylines in new ways and continue to give significant growth and development to this eclectic collection of characters. This episode in particular is one that pushes toward the inevitable good, bad, and ugly, especially concerning Sarah and Mark & Crosby’s entire situation. Can the Braverman family have their cake and eat it too? Maybe. Otherwise, what’s the point in having cake, right? Conflicting choices and final decisions will surely test them in the near future. “You Can’t Always Get What You Want” gets 4 out of 5 stars!
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