This week "Parenthood" brought the drama. Marriage problems, work woes, family struggles -- the episode had it all. As per usual, emotions got real and plenty of tears happened.
Let's start with Crosby and Adam who have officially decided (well, really only Adam decided) to take on the insufferable Oliver and his obnoxious band as a client. Crosby is NOT down to work with a guy who describes his sound as a combo of "Marvin Gaye, Daft Punk, and Kanye West" (um, what?) but he can't deny that Oliver has raw talent. But of course, things hit the fan when Oliver's inner-diva comes out and he tries to force Crosby to re-record his song for the millionth time in the wee hours of the night. Um hello, Crosby has a baby! He doesn't have time for your nonsense! So Crosby takes things into his own hands and gets real with the band, telling them that they don't need all of the samples and extra noise, their talent is enough. Crosby's inspiring words seem to do the trick and it looks like Oliver might finally hand over some of the creative control and let Crosby take the lead.
Back in high school, Max has taken on the role of yearbook photographer. But he doesn't exactly realize that yearbooks are meant to capture cutest couples and homecoming queens, not bad hair days and teen angst. So Max decides to document the true agony of high school, snapping pics of a girl sobbing over her dead dog ... you know, exactly the type of memory you would want immortalized in your yearbook. After complaints the from girl's parents, Max's teacher decides to take him off of photography and make him do layout, which basically means deciding where to put the picture on the page. When Hank looks through Max's photos, he's very impressed, telling Kristina that Max could be a true photographer and his talent would be wasted if he was stuck in layout. Kristina launches into mom-mode, going back to the school and demanding that Max be given a second chance as a photographer. Unfortunately, they won't have it, explaining to Kristina that Max is difficult to work with and that it's very hard on the other students. Of course Kristina already knows this, but it doesn't mean she's okay with it. When she has to deliver the bad news to Max, he's furious, exclaiming about how unjust it is. For once, Kristina doesn't try to pacify Max and instead tells him that he's right to be mad because she is too. Parenting at its finest.
Over at Grandma and Grandpa Braverman's house, Camille is starting to feel more and more anxious to ditch the house for something smaller and more inexpensive. She's never been outside of the country and now's her big chance to see the world! Zeke refuses to cooperate, however, and every time Camille tries to bring it up, he shuts her down. Camille feels unheard and like she's lost her voice in their marriage.
Unfortunately for Julia, her parents' marriage problems are starting to resonate in her own relationship with Joel. Joel's boss Pete is way too demanding of him and Julia tells him that he needs to set up boundaries with her. Joel tries talking to Pete, but Pete quickly takes control of the situation, telling him that they can discuss boundaries over dinner and martinis. Really Pete, martinis? I can see right through you! As is to be expected, the dinner doesn't go too well. Instead of establishing boundaries, Joel accidentally gets wasted (obviously Pete is trying to take advantage) and has to have Crosby drive him home. Julia isn't exactly pleased that Joel came home drunk after a night out on the town with Pete, but when she tries to talk to Joel about it he shrugs it off. Things are not looking good for these two!
Meanwhile, Sarah continues to deal with the trials and tribulations of being a super when her tenant's pipe bursts. Suddenly Sarah needs to figure out how to deal with plumbing which she clearly knows nothing about. Being the dutiful future son-in-law that he is, Ryan shows up to help fix the pipe. Sarah misinterprets this, however, and thinks Ryan has come over to discuss Sarah's fight with Amber about about their upcoming marriage. Ryan is totally thrown off and things get awkward. When he gets home he confronts Amber about it and she nervously stumbles through an explanation of her mom's fears of Ryan turning into Seth. Ryan is furious to discover that Sarah knows so much about his past, but come on Ryan, of course was going to tell her mom!
Luckily by the end of the episode, "Parenthood" manages to really pull it together with one of the first real tear-jerker moments of the season. Ryan shows up at Sarah's door and launches into an honest speech about his past and his struggles with his family. Not everyone has a family like the Bravermans, but Ryan loves Amber and wants to start his life with her and have a chance to make his own family. Emotions are flying all over the place and Sarah finally seems to accept the marriage.
"Parenthood" airs Thursdays, 10 p.m. ET on NBC.