Parenthood 5×13 ‘Jump Ball’: I keep blowing it

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I had my doubts about this episode, mostly because I didn’t want to spend the hour watching Amber wallow over that stupid grey Henley that Ryan wore every day, but it ended up really hitting home for me. Mae Whitman was brilliant in her breakdown scene with John Corbett. It was one of those scenes that makes me wonder so much. Did she plan to fall down like that? Was she actually drunk? I highly doubt she would drink to prepare for that because it’s so unprofessional, but she was so spot on. I’m not really much of a cinephile (Sorry, Michael Bolton, TV is just more my thing) and I know that most would compare a scene like that to Orson Welles’ freakout in Citizen Kane, but my personal favorite is Margaret O’Brien beating up snowmen in Meet Me in St. Louis. I just find it so much more compelling and Mae was so adult, yet so childlike in this episode, much like O’Brien’s tantrum-throwing Tootie.

I expected to get misty over Hank’s appointment with Dr. Tuttle, but it really was Amber’s rant that really hit home for me. Even though they ended the night with a cutesy father-daughter breakfast, Amber’s fear of turning out to be just like her dad was so relatable. However, I can also relate to Hank trying to get help and then pulling back with an excuse about spending a ton of money, though he’s obviously just afraid of what the doctor will find. I’ve been there. Heck, I’m still there. I totally wanted to shake Crosby for complaining about Adam inviting him to poker because he’s just a dad that wants his son to grow up and have a full life. Hopefully someone will be there to stick up for Max when he’s Hank’s age.

Source: NBC

Source: NBC

Then there’s Joel and Julia. I think they’re hinting that Joel did sleep with Peet, because of the way they aligned Drew coming home to Amy with Joel coming home from the poker game at the end of the episode. Drew pulls himself away from his class trip because he knows he’ll be tempted by Natalie and he doesn’t want to betray Amy when she’s leaning on him so much. Though I didn’t like that they threw Amy’s loneliness and depression into the smorgasbord of mental issues this week, I have the feeling Julia’s about to feel “scary alone” too. She’s lost her BFF Ed and now her husband and possibly Victor too. Was that a social worker that we saw in the promo for next week? Yikes.

What did yiou think of this week’s episode? Is it really over for Joel and Julia? Will Hank keep pursuing his diagnosis?

Rae Bradshaw

is the founder and editor of Gotta Watch It! She apologizes in advance for taking every available opportunity to rip your favorite show a new one. Her superpower is growing miniature humans. Check her out on Tumblr!

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