‘Parenthood’: Kristina Tells Everyone She Has Cancer

"Parenthood": Monica Potter as Kristina Braverman -- (Photo by: Danny Feld/NBC)

Kristina tells the rest of the Bravermans that she has breast cancer in this week’s episode of “Parenthood.” Their reactions very from “altruism” to “freaking the hell out” to the ever popular “montage.” “South Park” was right: they really do work for every occasion.

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Amber (Mae Whitman), learned that Kristina (Monica Potter) was sick during last week’s episode. She again proves that she is the unselfish Braverman by her response. She comes over to help Max with his candidacy for class president so that Kristina will have one less thing to do. Let’s see if any of the other Bravermans respond in a way that actually is helpful when they find out. Kristina assures Amber she will be okay. Kristina realizes that it’s time to  ell the rest of the family, starting with Haddie (Sarah Ramos). They Skype her and Kristina blurts out that she has a tumor. She plays it off like it’s no big deal. Haddie starts to cry. They tell her not to worry. She later calls Adam and tells him she can’t focus because he isn’t telling her any concrete information. He gives her the details about Kristina’s condition and treatment. We pick up their conversation with Max(Max Burkholder)  in progress, which seems like a missed opportunity. It would have been interesting to see how they introduced the topic. They tell him he is going to have to be more of a grown up to help out. He takes the news calmly then asks if  he can watch TV. Later, he talks to Amber, the only person who actually understands him. He wants to know what makes her a grown up. She says she has a job and a car and has to pay bills. He asks when she is getting married then says his mom has cancer. Amber asks if he wants to talk about it. She says no. There better be an episode where Max attempts to get a job and drive a car. Later,  Max asks Kristina if she will get chemotherapy, after obviously having done some internet research on cancer. When all of the Bravermans have gathered at a fast food restaurant for a post-Little League lunch, Haddie arrives unexpectedly. Either a Braverman tweeted their location, or Haddie is majoring in Psychic Studies at Cornell.  Kristina stands up and makes a big announcement to everyone about her cancer, which is effectively filmed as a montage set to music. Everyone is suitably distraught, including, presumably, all of the other customers at the restaurant.

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Julia (Erika Christensen) can’t go to Sydney’s dance recital because she has to work late, in the show’s first realistic depiction of a lawyer’s hours. The next morning, Julia admits to Joel that she screwed up a case and the firm could lose the client. Julia tells Victor that she will definitely be at his baseball game, which Sydney finds unfair. Julia meets with the opposing counsel, and cops to missing the deadline for filing something important. She asks her to look the other way because she has been stressed out since she adopted Victor. Wow, she is unprofessional.  At home, Julia has a panic attack.  Julia gets grilled by her bosses about her performance the past six months, informing her that the opposing council was not moved by her pity party. Julia admits her focus in not 100 percent on her clients. She can’t do it all. She quits. Alicia from “The Good Wife” appears and tells her she is a wimp who has killed feminism. Victor seems more shy than difficult. Joel’s doing more than fifty percent of the parenting. This came out of nowhere. How are they going to pay their bills? Joel better have some contracting jobs lined up.

Jasmine (Joy Bryant) is not thrilled when she learns that Crosby (Dax Shepard)  makes less money than Adam. Crosby says that Adam put in more seed money to the Luncheonette, plus he took a paycut. since he was unemployed when he partnered with Crosby, that does not make sense. Jasmine agrees with me.  So Crosby awkwardly tells Adam he wants to talk about his salary. Adam, worried about Kristina,postpones until the end of the year. We learn they each took a 25% paycut when they joined the Luncheonette, even though it has since become so successful that they turned down a seven figure buy out. How come they haven’t given themselves raises? Maybe Amber should be in charge of payroll. Crosby, not yet aware of Kristina’s illness, says it’s not about the money, it’s about respect. Adam has been acting like a jackass lately. Adam apologizes and agrees to give him a raise.

Hank (Ray Romano) impulsively kisses Sarah (Lauren Graham) . She doesn’t pull away but reminds him that she is engaged. Sarah makes Mark (Jason Ritter) go jogging with her. She says “We’re a jogging couple, We have the best relationship!” ha. At work, Hank pretends the kiss is no big deal. Then he admits that he is attracted to her and knows she is unavailable. Sarah asks Mark to move in with her.

At the VA, Zeek (Craig T. Nelson) learn Ryan (Matt Lauria) was a no show for a job interview and has stopped coming to the center. Zeek tracks him down at his apartment. Ryan says he didn’t go to the interview because it was a bad job and he’s no longer going to the VA because he’s tired of being treated like a veteran. Zeek invites him to a baseball. Ryan is surprised it is Victor’e Little League game, instead of a Giants game. He gets roped into meeting all of the Bravermans. Amber immediately appreciates the hottie in her midst and vice versa. Zeek insists on talking to the coach about why Victor has been benched. The coach says it’s too close of a game for such a lousy player to participate. Zeek manages to bring Ryan’s service in Afghanistan into his rant.  Instead of being mortified, Victor is happy when the coach puts him in the game. He proceeds to hit an improbable home run. The love of the Bravermans en masse can turn anyone into an athlete. Ryan charmingly chats up Amber. They are already the best couple this show has ever had.

The opinions expressed are solely those of the author and do not necessarily reflect the views of Comcast.

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