After last week's shocking news, the Bravermans buck up and show the raw and real side of family in the latest episode of "Parenthood," "Everything Is Not Okay." Kristina and Adam decide to keep the news of the cancer diagnosis to themselves until they have enough information, a decision that takes a toll on Adam and his relationships with his other family members.
After Zeek is pulled over for an illegal turn, then arrested for an expired license and failure to obey the officer, Adam and his siblings discuss whether Zeek is fully capable of continuing to driving their children. With the Braverman clan growing each season, it was nice to see a scene with the original Bravermans for a change. The siblings confront their father who becomes infuriated that they see him as incompetent and potentially jeopardizing the safety of his grandchildren. Adam tells his father that he knows about his heart condition which Zeek thoughtfully replies: "I'm gonna be all right. But then again you never know what's going to happen." This is a real testament to Adam's current family situation.
Frustrations continue throughout the family as Sarah deals with the attitude of her new boss, Hank. When a desperate couple comes to the studio begging for a last minute photo shoot for their fast approaching wedding, Hank doesn't budge, stating: "I don't do weddings." His cold reluctance and disregard for client rapport sends Sarah in an uproar that her fiancé, Mark must listen to day after day. When he asks Sarah to talk about something else besides her boss, Sarah still remains preoccupied with the new "man" in her life. I think a full triangle has just formed and it looks like Mark can sense it too.
Hank shows up at Sarah's house to tell her he agreed to do the wedding and she needs to be ready in five minutes. Not exactly perfect employer-to-employee talk, but at least he agreed to do the wedding. Post-picture-taking, Hank and Sarah share a bottle of champagne, reminiscing on their own marriages and almost marriages. Hank reminds Sarah that she's going to get married, but Sarah knows this time, it's forever. Her mouth says the words, but her face doesn't look as sure that she believes them.
Adam continues his rampage throughout his family members when he snaps at Amber for losing a potential client's business -- and for the burnt coffee smell and the unorganized magazines. Shell-shocked with Adam's attitude, Amber confesses to Crosby that she can be better utilized in the studio since music is what she knows, not organization. The hip and cool uncle that he is, Crosby invites his niece to help him in the booth during the next recording session. When Adam tells Amber to do it another day because he needs her to go pick up Max, she decides to confront him about her role at the Luncheonette. He tells her that he needs her help because Kristina is sick and, with that, Amber doesn't ask questions and decides to help Adam in whatever way she can.
While Adam continues to stay positive, Kristina tries to absorb all the information she has gathered from the well-renowned -- but somewhat emotionless -- Dr. Bledsoe. Adam feels that Dr. Bledsoe isn't fully concentrating on Kristina's condition and would like to get a second opinion from the younger and more relatable, Dr. Gibbon. But this time, it's Kristina who doesn't feel right. She finally confesses her uncertainty to Gwen, a breast cancer survivor that she met at the medical center, who tells her that Dr. Bledsoe saved her life. The calls he answered during Kristina's consultation were his own patients; he is available to them 24/7. "You don't need a friend; you need a doctor." Gwen gives her the lowdown on breast cancer: People will treat her differently and her husband will try to fix everything. Kristina's reality is that she can't talk to Adam because he is perpetually positive and right now she has no idea if she is going to be okay.
That night, Kristina tells Adam that she has done her research and wants to go with Dr. Bledsoe. Adam is reluctant but she insists that he is the right doctor to do her surgery and to continue with her treatment. In a tearful confession, she tells him that she loves that he wants to be her rock but what she needs is for him to let her be scared. They exchange "I love you's" and at that moment, Max bursts into their bedroom proclaiming that he will be running for student body president to bring back the vending machines that he has been obsessing about throughout the episode. This sets a glimmer of hope for Adam's family. Although I can't help but wonder: How will everyone else react? Will Haddie come home? The fate of Kristina's health is at stake, but I can predict many more moments of struggle and triumph with the family.
I'm glad that "Parenthood" has chosen the sensitive issue of breast cancer, allowing the series to show more colors of the Braverman clan throughout the rest of the season. Monica Potter perfectly illustrates the emotional roller coaster of a breast cancer diagnosis to a mother with young children. I believe she will be able to carry this character throughout this unpredictable journey with strength and intensity, a side of Kristina we love to see.
"Parenthood" airs Tuesdays at 10 p.m. ET on NBC.
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