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S05.E18: The Offer 2014.03.20

Old feelings of abandonment resurface when Joel gets confused about where to pick up Victor; Sarah anxiously waits for a response on her final project; Amber encourages Drew to take his life back.
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Well this show sure knows how to make me cry.    

Did they just drop the whole thing where Sarah was right about Max?  And now we're back to Max being treated poorly?   I hope the Sarah thing comes up again.   Professor Dave is still creepy to me.

Last week I loved Amber and Drew, and this week sad-sack Drew is back to annoying me.   He was a jerk to Natalie who is a jerk!  What did he expect?

If Sarah and Hank get back together I may scream.  But, I suppose it would be totally in character for Sarah.

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I'm so scared for Mark (in the promos for this week's episode) putting himself in a position to get heart-stomped by Sarah again!

I also keep waiting for Camille and Zeek to figure out that they should just sell the house to Crosby and Jasmine.

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I am with you about Mark.  I don't even want him to come back because I know he's just in for heartbreak!   In my head he is off living a wonderful life where he is in love with a wonderful woman who treats him right.

There is no way that Crosby and Jasmine can afford that house though, right?  

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Sure, but they could probably work out some kind of keeping-it-in-the-family financial arrangement, don't you think?

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When I saw the promos with Mark in them I was filled with an excited dread.  I love him, but I don't want Sarah to blow it again!

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@Tara, maybe, but isn't the point of selling the house so that they have money to finance Camille's travel lust?    If they don't get all the money from Crosby and Jasmine, then how is that going to work?    Not saying that it's not where they are headed, though.     This is TV, after all, and finances don't have to make sense.   This show has proven that already, I think.   They are great with realistic-ish character interaction, not any better than any other TV show when it comes to realistic housing/college/business finance.

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There would be a huge bidding war in Berkeley for a house like that, so I call bogus on all the real estate stuff. The bigger issue is that Zeke and Camille would not be able to afford to buy a smaller house anywhere in the Berkeley area if they had lived there for that long. So moving out of that house would also mean moving away from the whole family with no option of coming back. But of course, this is Parenthood-land of Berkeley, as Amy pointed out above, where Christina could realistically think she had a chance of winning a mayoral race with no experience.

I'm really hoping the promos are fake-outs and Mark is actually going to tell Sarah he's doing great and/or getting married. 

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Camille wants to move into a condo in downtown San Francisco so they can be closer to museums, which...yeah, I think would also be very very expensive.

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It would be very expensive.    If that's the reason Camille wants to move, it really makes even less sense because it's a 15 minute drive from Berkeley to San Francisco.  Living in San Francisco, it can easily take 20 minutes to drive 3 or 4 miles across town, so there would be little advantage to moving to the city itself.    

I really hope you're right about Mark's appearance being a fake-out, Asha.   

Edited by RealityCreator.
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I'm continuing with my off-season "mainly I'm in here talking to myself" first-watch-ever of this series.  The last episode finally broke my will to just watch all the way through,  and consider the season and the series as a whole, rather than reacting to every story element.   There's just sometimes value in withholding judgment, at least for me, on the various decisions within a story until the whole can be glimpsed. 

 

But man alive, this poor story.  Peter Krause's face in the car made me cry and for the first time in seasons, I honestly felt for Max.  I really think the show started to go down the wrong path with the Aspbergers story.  The story became something that primarily revolves around how to try and shape the world for an autistic child and in this season in particular, it has really just hit the wrong note for me.  But the reveal that Max's classmates peed in his canteen a) had a ring of truth to it, like it was someone's real experience b) that Max actually cares about how other people think of him and is confused as to why he's judged so harshly. 

 

Jeez Louise, Show, it would have been really nice not to make me wait five seasons to show me more of Max's emotional spectrum.  Maybe because of the premise of the show, the story decision was made to primarily show how Max's autism impacts Kristina and Adam.  There have only been very rare glimpses into whether or not Max feels much beyond frustrations that cause epic tantrums.  The only time prior to this that I got a sense of Max, as a person, in pain and feeling baffled by the wholesale rejection he encounters, was when he agreed to go to the dance.  That it was shown to matter to him that his mother might be dying.  

 

Maybe it's better to save moments like that and be miserly with them, because it really makes for a tremendous impact when they do show them.  I was in tears,  and actually a little sick to my stomach,  at that reveal. 

 

Such great stuff, but it was paired with this primarily silly house saga, which has had the unfortunate side effect for me of drawing attention to the season of recycled plots.  The extra-martial kiss leading to marital strife for one.  Max's struggles with autism and his parents very real-feeling pain over that for another.  Sarah's struggles to try and just be single for seven minutes out of her life and figure out what she wants to do with it.  

 

I've watched the series over the course of the last month, so it probably feels more lather-rinse-repeat for me than it did for people watching as it aired, but the "once in a lifetime, huge paycheck, sell your dreams and heart!" plot device already came into play with the Luncheonette, but unlike that instance where anyone with an ounce of sense would have sold the damned thing and followed another form of their bliss, here it's just too obvious that this is a mistake and that they'd deeply regret selling if they did. 

 

But it also drew so much attention to the fact that this show has never known what in the hell to do with Camille's character. It's a damned shame because they only hired freaking Bonnie Bedilia to play her, then promptly gave her next to nothing to do that wasn't a full blown cliche, rolled in the crumbs of a stereotype and dusted with some tarnished platitudes.  She's a character who basically stands around wondering how she lost her voice, her identity, her dreams, every standard issue "I gave it up to be a mommy!" late-life-regret...but Camille isn't particularly involved in her children's lives.  Makes odd mentions of that time she and Zeke were Buddhists and a few other overused hippie claims and the identity Camille lost is so hazy that it is impossible to know who she was ever supposed to be.  Matters were not helped when freaking Bonnie Bedilia, who is a serious acting talent, made the "I'm terrified of aging!" decision too many actresses her age make and had her face rather painfully frozen.   I swear I thought they wrote her out and into Italy to give that stuff a chance to wear off a little.  

 

Just saying, Camille was already a really difficult character to relate to and feel for, the actor making the call to be unable to actually have a facial expression beyond a smile or frown that never goes anywhere near her eyes just served to complete the blank-slate, central casting feel to Camille.  It's really added to that weird "hey, for someone whose life was apparently defined by her role as a wife and a mother, she sort of orbits the sidelines of the entire family, feeling very disconnected from them" vibe.   It's also convinced me, further still, that the beautiful women of the world really need to understand:  there's no sin in looking older and it's better to embrace that than to render yourself peculiar looking.   Lauren Graham has also made such liberal use of the required-by-Hollywood-facial-paralysis, that this incredibly beautiful and gifted actor is now playing an emotionally inscrutable character...who does infuriating things.  

 

I do like this show.  I freaking loved it all the way through season four, even if the occasional plot was hard to take, it genuinely surprised and moved me.   There was absolutely a return to that here.  The stuff that made me wonder why I'd waited so long to watch this show, with characters who were flawed in that genuine, human sense where they are flawed, but not despicable.  

Edited by stillshimpy.
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Just saying, Camille was already a really difficult character to relate to and feel for, the actor making the call to be unable to actually have a facial expression beyond a smile or frown that never goes anywhere near her eyes just served to complete the blank-slate, central casting feel to Camille.  It's really added to that weird "hey, for someone whose life was apparently defined by her role as a wife and a mother, she sort of orbits the sidelines of the entire family, feeling very disconnected from them" vibe. 

Agreed. This has been my issue with Camille all along. The show keeps saying she's this self sacrificing mother who was always there for her kids but what I've actually seen on screen is far different. She only really talks to Sarah, will perk up Julia once and awhile, does Crosby's laundry, and  basically has nothing to do with Adam. In the pilot I thought they hinted that Adam isn't close/doesn't like his mother and hoped they'd develop that further but nothing happened with that. Though they still don't really talk (if anything, in regards to Adam's family, Camille seems to only talk to Kristina/took in Haddie that one time) we're still suppose to think that they're close and she's this great mom. I think she's been shown on screen to be an even worse grandmother. Zeeke has all these great moments with all of his grandkids but Camille? I can't think of a single time. All I see on screen is her whining about having to do anything for anyone.

Edited by t7686.
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Max showed the traits we would expect in this episode from Aspergers,  such as the highly analystical clinical discussion. As opposed to the temper tantrums and obnoxious behaviors his parents normally allow him to portray.  The contradiction was jarring. 

Drew is having a pity party  about a girl that told him from the very beginning that she just wanted sex. A girl that he totally ignored and blew off for weeks when Amy showed up.   Now, truthfully, Natalie wants a relationship with Drew but it’s not the right time for them. 

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