It's election day on "Parenthood," which means it's finally time to discover if Kristina will be the next mayor of Berkeley. This is prime Braverman-bonding at its best, with the whole family pitching in for the greater cause! Well, sort of...
Things don't get off to a great start with Crosby. He proudly takes Jabbar with him to vote for Kristina, only to discover that he's not actually registered to vote. Apparently you can't register to vote on the actual day of the election, who knew? Everyone, Crosby. Everyone knows you can't register to vote ON election day! C'mon! He tries to play it off cool, but Jabbar immediately rats him out to Jasmine. Jasmine is furious. Not only does this mean he can't vote for his very own sister-in-law, but it also means he didn't even vote for Barack back in '08. Jasmine is unimpressed by his life choices. Crosby attempts to redeem himself by bribing a non-Braverman supporter to cast his vote for Kristina, which I guess sort of makes sense? It was a valiant effort, Crosby.
Meanwhile, Hank is busy dealing with a bit of drama of his own. His daughter is in town and when Max meets her he decides that she should be his girlfriend. She's 14 and a Sharks fan so she meets all of his requirements. Hank isn't quite sure what to do, and when Ruby turns Max down, Hank asks Ruby to just pretend to be his girlfriend. Obviously this doesn't fly with Ruby, and when Hank turns to Sarah for advice she's on Ruby's side. You can't just force a fake girlfriend on Max! In the end, Hank ends up delivering a very heartfelt speech to Max, telling him that he'll meet the right girl and that it will happen for him. For once, Max actually seems to appreciate the advice.
The rest of the episode wasn't quite so easily resolved, however. Amber and Ryan's relationship continues it's downward spiral when Amber finds out that Ryan is still taking pills. What kind of pills, I'm not actually sure, but it's clearly problematic and when she confronts him about it he gets very defensive. Meanwhile, Amber is still trying to live her life. Adam and Crosby's hip new band needs a backup singer and when Amber fills in they decide to actually use her voice for the track. She's obviously super excited and agrees to join the band out at the bars! Ryan isn't so pleased and shows up at the bar right as Amber is getting a little snuggly with one of the band members. Whoa there, Amber. When Ryan tries to get Amber to leave, the band starts getting pushy with Ryan and he won't have it. He starts throwing punches and lands himself a spot in jail. Great, Ryan.
Julia and Joel also continue to struggle, as per usual. Julia feels like Joel isn't there for her or the family. After a particularly rough outburst from Victor, she storms into Joel's office, disrupting his meeting with Pete and asking him to please make more time for her. He doesn't give in to the tantrum and tells her that they will talk later. When later comes, instead of apologizing, he tells Julia that he put up with her late hours for nine years at the law firm and never once complained. He was always there for her and supportive and can't believe she can't do the same for just three months. It's hard to ignore his point and it only furthers the question of whether or not this pair should really be married. Just saying, scenes for next week don't exactly look promising...
The episode ends with the results of Kristina's election. Unfortunately, she loses out to Bob Little, but this gives her the opportunity to give a lovely concession speech, full of inspiration and hope for tomorrow. Most importantly, the mother of the deaf girl who Kristina had won over during the debate brings her daughter to Kristina. The girl thanks Kristina and tells her that, because of her, she is in a better school and finally getting the education she deserves. It's clear that just because she didn't win the race doesn't mean Kristina won't continue to make a difference in Berkeley.
"Parenthood" airs Thursdays, 10 p.m. ET on NBC.
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