In addition to the usual crowd pleasers (The Adam Braverman Dork Dance, The Amber and Sarah Emotional Breakdown) there were three plot lines involving three problematic sons this week on Parenthood. The show has always struggled with what to do with Drew and while his plot this week won’t blow your hair back, it was endearing to see him interact with people who aren’t his sister and his mother. Plus, Joni Mitchell! All young men should be made to learn Joni Mitchell before they even approach the Fun Zone.
The other problematic son on the show has been Max Braverman. I really love the way they’ve paired him with Hank this season and his scene with Kristina this episode was really fantastic. But the moment that squished my heart the hardest was the final scene between Zeke and Victor. It’s not Xolo Mariduena’s fault that Victor is such a problematic character. But, like, Max, it’s hard to root for a kid who is so often just a pill. A pill with good reason. But a pill. And, honestly, that’s why this show is the best. Because kids are hard. Lovely and lovable but hard. The minor victories become major ones when put in the context of that difficulty. So last year’s home run or last night’s car manual moment. Those are triumphs. Zeke is an amazing character and the grandfather/father we all wish we had but I’m hoping that Victor can get there too. That all the problematic sons can find their way.