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S05.E21: I'm Still Here 2014.04.10

Crosby reaches out to Joel for help with a housing situation; Julia works up the nerve to talk to Sarah; Amber and Kristina each receive upsetting news.

 

 

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Christ.

30 seconds in and I wanted to punch Max through the front window. That HAS to be a new record.

All because his teacher assigned him 10 more homework problems.

Oh goody, now Drew is acting just as petulant and bratty as Max. If I was that chick I'd have thrown something at him.

And Adam and Kristina, just, NO. That building is gonna cost AT LEAST $500,000, probably over a million and their like, "Eh, NO PROBLEM, LET;S SIGN THE PAPERS RIGHT NOW!!! Wasn't Adam just whinging about how the recording studio was gonna go out of business and they were down to their last $10,000?

That scene with Kristina and the cancer patient killed me, went through the same thing with my mom at the end. 

The scene with her and Adam when she gets back was a true thing.

Drew and the chick who doinked his roommate, ARE YOU FUCKING KIDDING ME?! Christ, have Max and Drew secretly been taking a class in how to be passive agressive together?

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So Ryan's life-threatening injury was a plot device to get Sarah and Hank back together. Why doesn't this surprise me?

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I have absolutely no idea why this Natalie chick feels the need to apologize to Drew.  He doesn't own her and she's an independent girl so what's up with the bullshit slut shaming storyline?  Also, hello Natalie is basically a younger version of his mom looks-wise.  And I will gladly pick up Julia's leftovers (Ed is more my speed - love the actor).

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I'm so sick of Natalie. I don't particularly see it as slut shaming - Drew made her very aware of how he felt, and while she was perfectly free to sleep with Berto, she also knew exactly how Drew would feel about it. Yes, Drew is being ridiculously mopey about it, but her constantly stalking him and demanding that he just get over it is incredibly grating. Move on to someone else else already if you're such a free spirit.

Also, thanks,Peet, for confirming that you did, in fact, have designs on Joel and that Julia wasn't being completely paranoid.

Edited by AlliMo.
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Max continues to work my last nerve. Storming into Hank's studio and knocking crap over is totally inappropriate. What I didn't understand is why Amber even drove Max from the studio in San Francisco to Hank's studio in Berkeley if he hadn't finished his homework. And no, Max, going to the studio is not your "right as a citizen." And don't LIE and say that you didn't mean to knock over that light. Yes you did!

 

Natalie can GTFO. I'm so tired of her manipulative ways. She only wants Drew when she can't have him. It's all a game of cat and mouse for her. She goes in to draw his attention and then as soon as he engages with her, she goes all faux innocent and "who, me?" While I'm glad she finally sacked up and admitted why she slept with Berto, but it's too little too late for me. Great, you've admitted that you're an insecure and terrible person. That doesn't fix things between you and Drew, so I hate that this resulted in Drew saying he wanted Natalie to be his girlfriend.

 

As great as it was to see Sarah be supportive of Julia sleeping with Mr. Knight, the fact remains that it's not Sarah's place to say that Julia didn't do anything wrong.

 

Hee, part of me likes Peet telling Joel to just grab his toolbox and go to Crosby's house to fix the floor because he's going to do it eventually and he might as well do it sooner or later. What I didn't like was Peet admitting that she's been giving Joel signals and he's been ignoring them. I hated Crosby dropping hints but not just asking Joel to help him. Stop being a passive aggressive child and verbalize what you want! But it was worth it to see Joel mocking his half assed efforts to rip up the floor. And it was sweet to see Joel and Crosby trying to talk to each other in that awkward "men having an emotional talk while drinking beer" kind of way.

 

Cupcakes with broccoli brittle? No thanks! I am so tired of seeing Drew's non-student family members just stroll into his dorm room. That's not how dorms at large campuses like UC Berkeley work in this day and age. I also call bull crap on Hank's story about how the school tried to have some students take photos of the provosts the year before and it didn't work out. The school has professional photographers to take pictures of important people like the provosts.

 

Seeing Kristina talk to her dying friend was really painful. She drives me crazy with her usual overtalking but she is really good at these emotional moments. I got a call like that recently (the "you need to come say goodbye now" call) so this hit a little too close to home. I hated that she was being so stubborn about that building afterward though.

 

I was almost happy with Adam and Sarah's conversation about Hank because Adam seemed to be concerned with Sarah's happiness and not what this would do to Max's relationship with Hank. And then at the end he had to go and make it about Max. GAWD. So now all three of Adam's siblings have slept with someone related to Max's education/Asperger's.

 

I laughed when Amber was at the hospital and she told Hank he didn't have to stay. Uhhh, he just drove 10 hours with you. Do you expect him to walk the 500 miles back to Berkeley? So did Sarah drive down too? I'm surprised that Amber's crappy old car made it all the way down there in one piece.

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I still don't care about Drew and Natalie, but the rest was good.

Promo for next week:

Hey, Haddie's back! And she has long blond hair now! And she's gay!

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There were some powerfully good moments in this episode.  Kristina sitting at her friend's bedside killed me...killed me...I have to say that I'm glad my DVR was being all wonky and cutting in and out because the emotional fervor of that scene...god.  My DVR gave me a break and kept taking me out of the all-too-realistic moment. Anyone who has been with someone at the end...yeah, they got that scene exactly correct.

And Hank was adorable and sweet, and again I have to say how much Ray Romano has grown as an actor. Joel and Crosby and their talking around everything was believable too.  And as much as Crosby's man-child act wears, I appreciate that he was the one to say to Joel, flat out, "Hey, we miss you." 

But Joel's motivation continues to remain a mystery to me.  Yes, he and Julia had major communication problems, and her depression and relationship with Ed were tough.  Yes, parenting is tough, especially with Victor and his problems with school.  But I still don't know why Joel left his family.

But...as always in this effing show...it's Max.  Adam, you want to think that there's someone out there for Max.  Well, it isn't his autism that will prevent him from having any relationship (friend or romantic) -- it's the fact that Max is a spoiled, raging, asshole who has had everyone in his life cater to his every single whim. And can no one there notice that Max is getting increasingly violent and out of control?  Jeebus, they're portraying Max as being a sociopath, not as a person with autism. I have to say that I wondered how Hank eer got him the hell out of the photography studio so that he could drive Amber.  Because I don't see the Max we know putting anybody else's needs before his own.

And why would anyone be surprise that Haddie comes home a completely different person?  Christ, she's been off the radar so long that I'm surprised that she still even exists.

Edited by stacey. Reason: Promo info is considered spoilery by some posters; please tag as such. Thanks!
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New speculation and spoiler thread here. Please discuss promos and other stuff there. Thanks!

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I really liked this episode.

Kristina saying goodbye to her friend wrecked me.  My eyes were leaking all over the place.  I've never got the Monica Potter award show love until this episode.  She nailed every scene that was about death.  So what are they naming the school?  Oak Tree Academy?  

Ray Romano knocked it out of the park as well.  Loved him just sitting there, not moving so Amber wouldn't wake up.

I even kinda liked Natalie.  She was honest with Drew about how she felt and that's not an easy thing to do at her age.  I don't mind her being Drew's girlfriend because mopey Drew really sucks.

Loved Crosby and Joel on the back porch.  Loved them mocking the perfect Adam and Cristina opening the school.

Edited by whyjen8.
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Strangely, Crosby seems to know how to relate easily to everybody, Jasmine especially and now Joel.  As childish and irresponsible as his character is, Dax Shephard does a really nice job overwriting Crosby's negatives with a very sweet demeanor.  I'll be he does a lot of ad-libbing with his lines. 

I'm OK with what Natalie did.  Agree that many young woman find it difficult to be honest with guys about what they really want.  

Anything that gets Drew off the weed and back to the books is fine....*LOL*

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I am so tired of seeing Drew's non-student family members just stroll into his dorm room. That's not how dorms at large campuses like UC Berkeley work in this day and age.

Exactly! My kids all went to regular little state universities (what can I say? we're not Bravermans), and I'm here to tell you that even small and/or un-prestigious schools have decent security in their residence halls.

I couldn't figured out why I loved this episode so very much, and then it dawned on me: no Camille and no Sydney. Ugh, those two.

Edited by Portia.
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I went to a very small college before transferring to a UC, and even at tiny schools where everyone knows everyone, you still can't just stroll into a dorm if you aren't a student. Because it was a small school, things were pretty lax but you still needed a key to get into any of the dorms. Theoretically you get get in if you stood by the main door and waited for someone to come in or out, but since everyone knew everyone else, it was pretty obvious if a stranger tried to sneak in.

 

At larger schools, dorms like Drew's are high rise buildings that house thousands of students. They have a front desk where non-student guests have to be signed in by a student who lives in that dorm, so there's no way that Amber or Sarah would be able to get up to Drew's room without him knowing about it. He would have to go downstairs and bring them up to his room. This whole "what are you doing here?" when they walk into his room would not happen.

 

So the school is going to be called Gwen's Snowflake Academy, right?

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Yeesh, here we go again with the Braverman fantasy world.  The proposed building for Snowflake Academy is in a commercial area, even with the economy slowly coming back, it's gonna cost way more than any of these fools have in the bank.  I don't think grant money or donor money is covering the cost to purchase and rehab a building that size. It's old so there will be tons of repairs needed, never mind retro-fitting it into a school for "gifted" kids.  Any of these geniuses think about asbestos?  Mold?  Lead paint?  Ask Crosby how much mold removal from a 1200 sq foot residential home costs before you sign papers on a crumbling mausoleum. And what about getting any kind of non-Braverman professional in the place before putting in a bid?  A structural engineer?  Plumbing & electrical contractors?  How about an architect with expertise in school design to see if that heap can be made into a functional space for your snowflakes? 

Max is such a horrible person and his idiot parents are to blame.  If any kid, spectrum or not, did that in my home or business I'd tell him and his parents he is no longer welcome there.

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I'm so over Snowflake Academy.  I am also over Kristina.  While I did feel bad for her during the good-bye scene with her friend, she is super annoying the rest of the time.  I watch Kristina and I can clearly see how she created Max the Monster. I know she was upset after the visit with her friend but she's such a petulant child. I think we're supposed to think she's being strong and working hard but it doesn't come across that way to me.  Julia was like "Someone has already put a bid on the Death Dungeon so we probably can't use it for Snowflake Academy." Kristina "No, we can just lease it from the city." Because that makes sense.  Someone would outright buy it thereby giving the city money for it OR the city can continue to own the crumbling infastructure and get a pittance of a rent from Kristina for her Snowflake Academy.  One of these decisions makes very little sense.  But it was the way she kept saying "No, we'll just lease it!" and flounced out of the room.

And then her conversation with Bob!  He said "I'll look into it" and she does that faux confused whiney flustery thing where she looks like she's going to cry or yell at someone. Yes, Kristina, he'll look into it.  What did you think he has a lockbox under his desk with the keys and he could make it happen right now?  He doesn't owe you any favors.

But they're all so dramatic. Amber's screeching at Ray Romano and shutting the car door on him while sobbing dramatically.  Gurl, you have GOT to settle down.  There is no reason to treat someone like that when they're obviously trying to help you.  You'd think that Amber has faced enough crap in her life that she could take a few deep breaths and say "Ok, I need to call my mom, tell her what happened and then figure out how to get to my ex-fiance in the hospital" rather than being all drama queen on the sidewalk and trying to kill Ray with the car door.  

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But they're all so dramatic. Amber's screeching at Ray Romano and shutting the car door on him while sobbing dramatically.  Gurl, you have GOT to settle down.  There is no reason to treat someone like that when they're obviously trying to help you.

That was too much for me.  Amber was behaving just like Max.

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Actually Amber's reaction is pretty much the norm in today's society, thanks to  all of the bullshit shrieking and screaming and flying off the handle and 'drama' and fighting has percolated out from the various "Real Housewives of Whatever out into the real world. Go on Youtube and put 'school fight' into the search box. You get THOUSANDS of videos.

EVERYONE is now A SPECIAL ANGEWIC ITTLE PWECIOUS FWOWER and if anything should happen to them like someone farts ten feet away and they smell it, one must instantly fly into a tizzy and tantrum and tweet out a gazillion tweets  complete with hashtags and Facebook and Tumblr and whatever, so yeah, Amber's reaction is actually pretty restrained.

As far as Max goes, maybe Adam and Christina let Max act like a shitbag because it's Max's way at 'getting back' at his supposed tormenters. Outside of the wheelchair kid and his history teacher have we ever actually seen any kids or adults being big meany fart stinko poopypants to Max?

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Amber just found out that a boy she still loved, who she parted with badly, has been injured and might be dead.   I think she has a right to be freaked out.  It is an incredibly hard situation when somebody you love is hurt and far away, especially if you aren't on good terms.  

I'd like to think I wouldn't have a break down and most times, I wouldn't, but if I was tired enough, or stressed enough, or if it was at the end of a particularly long series of crap it might be the thing that puts you over the edge and that doesn't always mean you aren't rational or weren't raised right.

It isn't okay to freak out every time the way Max does, it isn't okay at all.   But sometimes it's just too much for even the most sane and rational person in the world.   

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  But sometimes it's just too much for even the most sane and rational person in the world.   

And Amber is far from the most sane rational person in the world. See: Seth and Sarah as parents.

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Monica Potter knocked it out of the park in her scenes leading up to and reacting to her friend's death, especially the scene between Kristina and Adam.  She captured the grief and anger of loss beautifully.  But that doesn't make up for how much I generally dislike Kristina and her storylines - first the stupid mayoral run, then this so, so ridiculous special snowflake academy. And, above all, the fact that Kristina and Adam are the worst parents ever who've turned a supposedly high-functioning, mainstreamed kid on the spectrum (or at least that is what we were told in season 1) into a horrible, increasing violent brat.

I also think it is sad that Mae Whitman is so underutilized.  She is very talented and all she is given to do is cry and scream.  Not that it wasn't warranted in this case, but I'm so over her constant crying it is hard to care.

 

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I really truely LIKED that episode, but of course first and formost my adorable Joel had returned. I'm sorry but I just want to squeeze him he is so darn cute when he gets all family misty-eyed. He and Crosby together...*dies*. I thought Julia was dumb as a board when Joel whom she says she wants back more than anything is standing at her door and she acts like a total dork and doesn't even ask him in. He is practically begging with his eyes to come in and talk more and what does she do? Puts up a wall. Ugh I dislike wiggy woman.

Natalie annoys the crap out of me and I liked Drew with Amy so much better b/c they just fit better, but at least she is finally admitting how she feels instead sending poor clueless Drew such mixed signals. She always wanted HIM to want only her but loved stringing him along while having all her own "casual" fun until he actually had a real relationship from the past show up then she got all jealous and vengeful. Drew is clueless enough without those games.  I don't find his mom popping in so weird as she clearly looks like someone's mom and had "treats"(if you call thost THINGS treats) so I'm not surprised some other student would swipe her in. I find Natalie dressing all cutsie everyday very unrealistic. My son is in college and jeans and sweatshirts are everyday wear especially during finals week, what does Natalie not have to cram too?

I know most loved Kristina and Gwen, but I didn't get too choked up about that as I did Amber and Ryan. I thought that was very well done and RR is awesome as Hank. I will say I have a husband who is a police officer and security forces in the AirGuard, so that scene really spoke to me more. Fear of that kind of thing happening is very real to me and I always rooted for Amber and Ryan so much anyway. Seems so younger version of Zeke and Camille.

I burst out laughing when Mr. Knight suggested Braverman as the school name and Adam poopoo'd the idea b/c it would make Max's ego too big....um too late for THAT Adam. Kristina going to Bob just shows Max is a rude little shit b/c he takes after his mother NOT b/c he has autism. BTW I also LOL at Mr. Little(man) in that giant office.

Julia who was a tiger bad ass lawyer not being able to string two words together as a grown ass woman when talking to Mr. Knight....TOTALLY offended me as a woman. An intelligent grown woman could have handled that conversation without all the stammering. She is used to confrontation.

Final note:

Hank= autism spectrum

Max= spoiled little shit

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Monica Potter just knocked it out of the park. I've been in that chair more than once... her acting was phenomenal. That was really moving. Now, as for the Kristina story lines? They're just always ridiculous. I liked seeing Adam in a more supportive/advisory role again this episode. I think that's where his character shines. I momentarily forgot that it's not officially called the Snowflake Academy. teehee! 

Julia & Mr. Knight just looked really pasty and lacking in melanin together. It took me out of the scene. (Weird?) I liked her scene with Sarah. 

I do appreciate that Hank understands Max, but I don't like the way Amber was speaking about Max as if her weren't present :( 
Mae Whitman is also amazingly talented! As someone who's recently figured out that I'm on the spectrum, I appreciated the somewhat awkward car ride. 

It was good to see Joel smile, and as someone said above, I think that's where Crosby shines - bringing out the good in other people. I liked seeing Aida more interactive! 

Natalie doesn't do much for me, but I'm glad Drew's happy. ;) 

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Of all the reasons I can only hate watch this so (and it's not for lacking of trying to like it. Hell, given the cast and Kamins as the show runner, I should LOVE it), this episode illustrated the main one: despite its blatant emotional manipulation, Parenthood has never -- ever -- made me cry.

I may be in the minority here (or maybe not), but sad scenes like Kristina at her dying friend's bedside, or Amber and Ryan, never develop organically; rather, they're announced in all CAPS, italicized, bolded and in quotes, like "laugh" and "applause" signs for live television audiences.

Part of it is likely the large cast; with so many characters, there's not enough time to let the emotions unfold. I've always suspected that the other side of this is the suits at NBC, because given the shows Jason Katmins has done in the past -- Friday Night Lights -- hard to believe he's forgotten how to write with subtlety and nuance.

Edited by wonderwoman.
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What? TV shows make people cry? Really?

When tv is at its best, absolutely -- off the top of my head, Don Draper standing with his children in front of a whore house, telling his children, "This is where I grew up"; the killing of Adriana, Claire Fischer's arc in the final Six Feet Under montage,the first episode of The Daily Show post 9/11; further back, the ending of MASH, the finale of MTM, several moments in St. Elsewhere -- yeah, they all brought a tear to my eye.

 

I may be in the minority here (or maybe not), but sad scenes like Kristina at her dying friend's bedside, or Amber and Ryan, never develop organically; rather, they're announced in all CAPS, italicized, bolded and in quotes, like "laugh" and "applause" signs for live television audiences

I agree -- so ham-handed.

Edited by film noire.
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And don't forget Friday Night Lights. But in FNL, Katmins earned my tears, but not in Parenthood.

Edited by wonderwoman.
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