This week on "Parenthood," the Bravermans were full of doubt. Adam is doubting Kristina's campaign, Sarah is uneasy about Amber's new engagement, Julia can't come to terms with her unemployment and Crosby is still at a loss when it comes to dealing with baby Aida. But they manage to get by in the most Braverman-like way possible: Hugs, earnest discussions and plenty of tears.
On a recent-engagement high, Amber announces Ryan's proposal to the entire family. Sarah is understandably caught off guard and doesn't quite know how to react. Of course she's happy for Amber, but she's so young and Sarah doesn't want her to make the same mistakes that she made with Seth. Sarah hints to Amber that Ryan may have been swept up in the moment when he proposed and that neither of them have really thought this through. Amber gets defensive, but once she explains to Sarah that Ryan is absolutely the man she wants to be with, the mother/daughter power duo manage to work through it, with Sarah promising to give Amber the wedding she never had. Still, it's hard to overlook Sarah's original point: that Amber is really young and Ryan definitely has his fair share of issues. It's hard to imagine there will be much smooth sailing ahead.
Over in the land of newborn babies, Crosby is discovering that babies cry ... a lot. A fact that I'm pretty sure everyone other than Crosby already knew. But there's no denying that little Aida definitely has some powerful lungs. The family attempts an outing to a restaurant, only to be promptly kicked out thanks to the incessant shrieking. It doesn't look like Crosby will be getting sleep anytime soon.
Meanwhile, Julia is continuing to explore the life of a stay-at-home mom, which includes serving on the "Green Team," a group of parents who wander around the schoolyard trying to convince children to buy sustainable chip bags and compost their half-eaten apples. It's very Berkeley. Julia is paired up with Ed, a newly unemployed father who shares a lot of Julia's feelings of inadequacy. There seems to be a definite hint at romance between the two, and with Joel's attractive new boss in the picture, things aren't looking good for the Grahams.
Kristina has launched into full-on campaign mode. She has an ambitious new campaign manager, Heather, who is determined to make Kristina the next mayor of Berkeley. Heather grills Adam about any skeletons in his closet, leading Adam to awkwardly admit that he kissed his assistant last year (she kissed him, okay?!). He tells Heather that he doesn't think Kristina's campaign is realistic. Heather is not pleased. She can't have an unsupportive husband in the picture ruining Kristina's image, and she lets Kristina know that she better work through any issues Adam might have. When Kristina approaches Adam about his feelings, he tells her that that he doesn't get it. He wants her to be focusing on her health and is worried that the stress of the campaign will bring her cancer back. Kristina explains to him that she needs to do this for herself, and Adam promises to try to be there for her through it all. But in the final scene of the night, as Kristina takes the stage to deliver her first official speech as a candidate for mayor, Adam is clearly working to put on the happy face of a supportive husband.
Overall, the night delivered a solid episode. It wasn't exactly a tearjerker, but it definitely captured Braverman emotions at their finest ... which is all you can really ask for from "Parenthood."
Total Tear Count: 1/2
"Parenthood" airs on Thursdays at 10 p.m. ET on NBC.
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