S04xE04 – Zeke is trying to show Camille the sprinklers making a sound, but she doesn’t hear it and tells Zeke he needs a hobby. Julia and Joel try to get Victor to do something else other than play video games all day like, volleyball or soccer, and he chooses nothing. Joel won’t go for it, and gives him the ultimatum of playing a sport or the violin. Baseball it is. Adam and Kristina are talking with the doctor and Kristina is pushing the appointment back using Max running for student counsel president as an excuse. Adam wants it to happen as soon as possible, and the doctor tells her to focus on herself and not put her family first this once. Crosby is in the studio recording some rapper I don’t know. But I don’t listen to the stuff, so i’m not sure if he’s actually famous. Jabbar comes into the studio and puts on a set of headphones listening to the music, and hears the N word, and then asks what it is. Awkward for Crosby! Later Crosby wants to talk to Jasmine about what happened at the studio, but Jabbar walks in so Crosby pulls her aside and lets her know what happened and then says how he told Jabbar that the word is really bad. The way he’s telling Jasmine what he told Jabbar makes him look bad because he’s not explaining it very well, so Jasmine says she will talk to Jabbar about it. Hank is reading The Hunger Games, and Sarah says she’s team Gale. Hank is reading the book for his daughter, because it’s her favorite book. So cute! Wait he has a daughter? Sarah tries to relate saying she played a lot of Halo trying to connect with Drew and then asks Hank to tell her about his daughter, and he gives generic answers, but with some prodding he elaborates saying she used to be shy and need Hank for everything. Hank’s ex only lets his daughter visit him once a month, and so he’s trying what he can to connect with her.
Kristina is trying to figure out her schedule for when she has her surgery, when Max comes in saying he needs supplies for his campaign. he got his 25 signatures so he could run, which Kristina is shocked about and then asks if she can see the paper, and when she looks at it you see something’s wrong. Zeke has asked Adam to come over to listen to the sprinklers when Camille intervenes and says that he’s bored and nothing’s wrong with the sprinklers. She tries to get him to go down to the VA and do some volunteer programs.. Adam is annoyed about being summoned for the sprinklers and agrees with his mother about going to the VA. Joel is taking Victor to meet his new baseball coach, but Victor doesn’t seem very enthused. Adam and Kristina are talking about Max’s signatures and we find out that there are deragatory names listed on there. Adam thinks they should tell Max he can’t run because it’s a popularity contest, which he’s right, and that Max is just setting himself up for pain.
Adam and Kristina set Max down to discuss the campaign and tell him he needs to wait until next year to run. Max wants the vending machine now, and calls his parents fascists. That’s good. He handled it well. Sarah is at work when Hank walks in with his daughter Ruby. She’s kind of a brat, like a typical teenager except she’s only 11. Zeke goes to the VA as he’s told, to see what activities he can volunteer for. He ends up offending the guy showing him around. Classy. Crosby and Jasmine talk about how Jasmine says she needs to talk to Jabbar herself over Crosby which turns into a racial discussion about being able to better understand certain things depending on the color of your skin.
Zeke is still at the VA when he meets a vet that peaks his interest and decides to take up a conversation with him about their experiences in war. Zeke finds out that this guy was an irrigation specialist in the Army and asks him if he would happen to know sprinklers. He just won’t let it go. Joel starts to make friends at Victor’s baseball practice, and then Victor comes up to bat and misses every pitch. Joel looks kind of embarrassed about him striking out, but Victor isn’t instead he’s pissed and storms off the field telling Joel he’s not his real dad when Joel tries to get him to try again. Hank is arguing with Ruby over taking her on a shoot with him because he won’t leave her to stay back alone. So she offers up Sarah to stay with her, but that doesn’t mean she’ll talk to Sarah. Kristina calls Adam about not letting Max run for president saying she thinks it’s because of her that they’ve decided not to let him run, Adam tells her they will talk about it later.
Sarah tries to connect with Ruby by having her show Sarah how to set up a photography session, and nonchalantly lets her know how proud Hank is of her. This seems to work, because we find out Ruby has a party that she’s missing because she’s with Hank thus explaining the attitude. So Sarah again uses her master of manipulation tools to get Ruby to understand how her dad is just trying to spend time with her. Ruby side steps this and talks of how embarrassed she is that she has no cool response for her friends when they tell her they’re going to parties and such. So Sarah tells her to tell them she’s at a photo shoot with Justin Bieber. That’ll make them jealous.
Crosby and Jasmine are talking with Jabbar about the N word and how horrible it really is. Jasmine goes into the history of the word, and handles it very tastefully. I got a little teary-eyed. Crosby was very touched by the conversation and sits and watches Jabbar sleep when Jasmine asks if he’s ok. He praises her for how well she did talking to Jabbar, and tells her that he realizes that there are things that Jabbar will go through that Crosby can’t relate to. Sarah, Hank and Ruby are photo-shopping a picture of Justin Bieber into a picture of her to make it look like she actually met him. It’s sweet, and Hank and Sarah are bonding even more. Joel goes into talk to Victor about what happened at baseball practice, but Victor doesn’t want to talk about it. Joel’s going to talk anyway, and tells Victor that he was really proud of him for trying something he’s never done before. He tells Victor that he’s not going to force him to do something he doesn’t want to do, but to not be afraid to tell Joel if there is something he does want to do. I think Victor may come around.
Adam gets home and sees that Max is working on posters because Kristina told him he could run in the campaign. Adam is visibly upset about this, but Kristina doesn’t think it’s fair to Max to not let him run because they’re afraid. Adam then tells Kristina that he wants her to move her surgery date back to when it was, and she’s apologizes for putting Adam through it and agrees to move the date back up. They both just want to get the surgery over with and attack the cancer head-on. She’s only been delaying from fear and that’s understandable.
Zeke has his new friend over to hear the sprinklers and it turns out there really is actually something wrong with them. After solving the problem, they then start to discuss how long it takes to feel normal again after returning from war. Zeke tells him to give it time and things will come around. Sarah is learning how to photograph and is using Hank as her subject. More bonding. Ruby texts Hank telling him he’s awesome. Sarah really did good there. Sarah starts looking around for some supplies and finds a photograph hidden away. It turns out Hank went around the world shooting pics, but stopped when Ruby was born. Sarah tries to encourage him to hang up the pictures, but It’s a bit of a sore subject for him.
Zeke goes back to the VA and eats a little crow telling them he will help out where he can. Victor comes up to Joel and asks to play a game of catch with him. I tear up for the fifth time. Julia drives up and sees what’s happening and now the tears are flowing. Adam watches Max and Kristina color posters and asks how he can help. He’s come around. That will be good for Max.
Best of the episode: The way they tastefully addressed something that is not very tasteful in the least, meaning the N word. I also really enjoyed Zeke’s encounter with the vet, and Joel bonding with Victor. A lot of progress was made in this episode.
Worst of the episode: I don’t think there was a worst in this one. Each subject was in my opinion worth the story told.
Where did this episode leave us?: I’m wondering how well this student counsel election is going to go, and how Max will handle it. I really don’t think he’s going to win. So we may be hearing about this vending machine for a while longer.
Best one-liner: Max – “You’re both fascists. It’s unfair. I’m reporting you both to the House Un-American Activities Commission.”
Adam – “Yeah, well, you’re going to have a hard time getting in touch with them because the House Un-American Activities Committee was disbanded for being Un-American!” I know it’s not a one-liner, but it was still pretty awesome.
What the episode ruined for us: Fascists, but I think that’s pretty obvious.
– a la Chryshele