Remember how amazing last week’s episode of “Parenthood” was? Are you wondering how Drew is doing after helping his girlfriend through her abortion and then getting dumped? Well, you’ll have to keep wondering because Drew is not even in this week’s episode and there are no references to the storyline whatsoever. Instead, “One Step Forward, two Steps Back” was all about romantic proclamations and junk food.
Mark Melodramatically Decides He Wants Sarah Back: Sarah (Lauren Graham) stops off at the high school to drop off Drew’s history paper and runs into Mark (Jason Ritter). Let’s assume that Drew is distracted because of Amy, though Sarah doesn’t thank Mark for alerting her that Drew was upset last week. Continuity’s last name is not Braverman. Mark asks her to coffee. She tells Hank (Ray Romano) that this meeting is about “closure.” Hank does not like Sarah spending time with someone who is superior to him in every way, but is too passive-aggressive to actually express an opinion. Over cappuccinos, Sarah assures Mark she did not cheat on him with Hank. He admits he questioned the timing. She confesses to the darkroom kiss from a few months ago saying she now regrets not telling him when it happened. Mark watches a bunch of telenovelas to to psych himself up for a big confrontation with Hank. (Hey, he got cable for Drew. It could have happened!) He calls Hank out on being manipulative and undermining from day one. (I agree!) Then he says that unlike Hank he is going to be a manly man and openly tell Hank he is still is in love with Sarah and plans to win her back. Yowza! Who knew Sarah was such a prize? She’s a lousy girlfriend, an imperfect parent, has a spotty work history, and still lives with her parents. Other than looking like Lauren Graham, objectively it’s hard to see why two men are so desperate to be with her. Hank wants to know why Sarah told Mark about their kiss, because Sarah is apparently not allowed to discuss her own life with others. Hank says he didn’t want “drama.” Then why is he dating Sarah, and creating scenes in Los Angeles with his ex? He thinks he’s screwed because he “into this”, meaning their relationship. what a romantic! Sarah points out he never said that he was serious about her before. He tells her to figure out what she wants. So Sarah is tasked with choosing between a hot young, ultra nice guy and Eeyore the Donkey. Knowing Sarah, Eeyore actually has a shot.
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Julia Contemplates Returning Victor to Sender: What does Julia (Erika Christensen) have in common with Kim Kardashian? Just as Kim gave away her cat after a couple months, so does Julia contemplate giving Victor (Xolo Mariduena) back to social services because he isn’t the child that she imagined when she decided she wanted to adopt. Julia tells Joel (Sam Jaeger) he isn’t sure the adoption is working. Joel wants to finalize it believing t will make Victor feel more confident that he is part of the family. Julia tucks Victor in and says that she loves him. He doesn’t respond. Maybe it’s because he can tell that you are lying, Julia. When they meet with their adoption lawyer, Julia expresses concern that Victor and Sydney (Savannah Paige Rae) don’t have a relationship. That’s because Sydney is satan. She also criticizes his poor math skills, as if she would give Sydney away if she ever got a bad grade. Also, he got an A on his math test last week, but this episode has no continuity. Joel talks about how great Victor is, apparently having developed a rapport off camera, since Joel only gets three lines in most episodes. Julia blurts out that Victor doesn’t love her. So is this adoption about her raising a child who needs parenting or getting emotional validation? The lawyer advises them to take more time before making a decision, but does not suggest any sort of counseling for Victor o or the family. Why does no one acknowledge that a boy who had his mother taken away from him but knows she is still alive is going to have trouble accepting anyone else in the role, and could probably benefit from some professional help? In the clip of the week, Julia is pissed that Joel went behind her back and told the lawyer she just had a moment of cold feet. She doesn’t want him to shame her into this. What about Joel’s desire to be a dad to Victor? Does that mean anything? Julia is so selfish. At dinner, Julia breaks down and confides her anxieties about finalizing the adoption to Crosby. He points out that he had to become an instant Dad, and looked up to Julia to figure out how to be a parent. That’s funny because his laid back parenting style is the exact opposite oof Julia’s, though it probably would work better with Victor. He hated Camille when he was 9 and never said I love you. Julia tells Victor that next week they are going to court to formalize his adoption. Victor shrugs it iff, but Joel is thrilled that Julia isn’t going to get rid of their kid because he isn’t a math genuis.
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Ryan is Back!: Ryan (Matt Lauria) reaches out to Zeek (Craig T. Nelson), saying he is having trouble sleeping and fears he will never adjust to civilian life Zeek advises him to focus on completing a task. So Ryan asks Joel for his job back. Joel politely but firmly says no. Ryan seems angry that he isn’t getting a second chance. Strong Joel is cool. Amber drops by his place, but wisely won’t go inside. Way to set healthy boundaries, Amber! She tells him she’s proud of the changes he is trying to make and that if he really wants the job back he should bring Joel some treats as a bribe. So Ryan shows up at the construction site with donuts and apologizes for his lousy behavior without asking for anything in return. That pushover Joel rehires him.
Crosby is Still the Least Mature Character on the Show: Renee criticizes how Jasmine (Joy Bryant) and Crosby (Dax Shepard) parent Jabbar, saying they let him eat too much junk food and does nnot have a consistent bed time. They explain they don’t enjoy feeling judged. Renne thinks “the inmates are running the asylum, pointing out that Jabbar had more discipline before Crosby became a part of his life. Jasmine thinks Renee has a point about Jabbar’s bedtime, Crosby pouts and says they can make all future parenting decisions without him. Jasmine wants him to apologize. He refuses and thinks she needs to learn to confront her mom. Renee passive aggressively says she will no longer eat dinner with them since it creates conflict. Maybe Renee and Hank need to start dating since they both know hot push people’s buttons.