Parenthood – Family Portrait

S04xE01 – Season 4 picks up where we left off, with Crosby and Jasmine having got married, Julia and Joel having taken Victor in, Sarah getting engaged to Mark, and Haddie being accepted to Cornell.

We see Amber working at Adam and Crosby’s studio and it seems she’s crushing on a musician and he’s crushing right back. We get a little flirt-flirt and we move onto Sarah who is stopping by a photo studio to drop off the deposit for the Braverman family portrait. She meets Ray Romano, who goes by Hank here and is the photographer. We find that Hank is not the warmest of people and this makes for an awkward conversation. As Sarah is leaving she see’s a “help wanted” sign and asks if she can fill the position. Of course she lies about her experience and Hank decides he will hire her. To continue the awkward moments we next get to watch Mark ask Sarah about being in the family portrait, and Sarah has to tell him no, it’s a family rule by her mother that they have to be married to be in the picture (heaven forbid the family portrait be ruined again. Thanks Crosby).

Earlier we had seen Crosby notice Jabbar praying and so he decides to talk to Jasmine’s mother about it, as she has decided Jabbar needs to know about God. They let her know that they would like to be the one’s to teach Jabbar about religion on their own. Awkward! Again! Amber’s crush turns into sleepover friend and we get a touching scene of them singing in bed, which is really quite horrible. Adam, Kristina and family go out to eat before Haddie leaves for college, and it turns into a complete disaster because the restaurant got rid of Max’s favorite hamburger. Cue tantrum.

Sarah works her first photo shoot with Hank, which is also a disaster. She manages to show that she has zero experience and causes Hank his “golden hour” shot. More awkward moments. Yes! We then get an argument between Crosby and Jasmine on whether it’s ok to believe in God. Kristina calls Julia about Max’s missing lizard possibly accusing Victor of stealing it, after Victor had visited Max and asked to hold the lizard, but received a resounding no from Max. Julia assures Kristina that Victor didn’t take the lizard, but later at sleeping time, Julia and Joel see Guacamole the lizard. There goes that truth.

Amber finds out sleepover friend Nick has a girlfriend. Oops! The girlfriend shows up to surprise Nick at the studio for their 6-month anniversary. If Amber’s eyes could kill. Meanwhile Hank fires Sarah because of the bad shoot, but fails to tell her until she shows up the next day for work. Surprise! While Crosby is asking his parents about their religious beliefs he learns they worked on a commune, were buddhists for a while and experimented with other religions, but found that if God exists it’s within the family. So basically their spiritual, but nothing more. Julia and Joel ask Victor if he took Max’s lizard, which turns into a “we’re here for you” speech. Haddie has a talk with Max about how she will miss him when she goes off to school. Kristina admits she is having a hard time letting Haddie go off to school and talks to Adam about it, where he too admits it will be hard. Oh parents.

Adam decides he doesn’t want to let musician Nick and his band record in the studio anymore because of what he did to Amber. A little overboard? Yes. Mark confronts Camille about being in the family portrait and explains that he plans to stick around and wants to be considered a part of the family as he feels he already is. Oh my, the awkward moments keep coming. Max tears up Haddie’s room looking for his lizard, Haddie freaks out and leaves, just as everyone is preparing to go to a family party being thrown in her honor. Sarah and Hank continue with their awkwardness as Hank is there to take the Braverman family portrait. You get an obvious Hank is digging Sarah moment, when he asks Max about Mark.

Amber pulls Adam outside to ask about him kicking musician Nick out of the studio. She tells him that it wasn’t ok, she’s an adult and can make her own decisions and he should have been left to continue recording. So grown up of her!

The family portrait happens finally without incident just after Haddie realizes that her family really does care about her and she will miss them. The next day Sarah reviews the picture results with Hank. Hank eats a little crow and tells Sarah that she can have her job back. Drew who has been awaiting Amy’s return by “bulking up” with Zeke, is worried because she’s been distant and pushing her return back (me thinks she is going to break it off, or she’s pregnant). Crosby and Jabbar talk about his praying while star gazing. Crosby then tells Jabbar about his beliefs and lets Jabbar know he’s fine to believe whatever he chooses. Joel and Julia discuss how Victor is acting and how they need to handle it so that he actually feels like a part of the family.

Adam and Kristina see Haddie off at the airport where she hugs her parents and they all cry in each other’s arms, which was the most touching scene of the episode. I cried. For real.

Best of the episode: Haddie going off to college. I don’t know what this means for Haddie in future episodes, but if this was their way of telling us that she won’t be present very much anymore, then I’m all for it. She’s not one of my favorite characters, and her hairstyles lately have been atrocious.

Worst of the episode: The talk about religion and God. Not that they brought it up, but how it was brought up. It felt out of place the entire episode and that it was only half addressed. If this is the only story line they can come with for Jabbar, then there may be trouble.

Where did this episode leave us?: Thinking that Sarah and Mark aren’t going to last. The fact that they made it a big deal about Mark being in the family picture, and then Hank (Ray Romano) seeming to show interest in Sarah. This leads to believe that something will happen between Hank and Sarah, sending Mark on his way. Oh will Camille be upset…

Best one-liner: Hank to Sarah about Mark – “Where’d you find him? Is he a make-a-wish kid?

What the episode ruined for us: Yellow-Orange Lizards being called Guacamole. I’m pretty sure the tasty dip is green.

Rating:

– a la Chryshele

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