How do you know when a marriage is over? How do you know when it’s time for you to move on? These are the questions that plague Julia in this episode though it’s safe to say that she figured it out by the end. Last week’s great “Fraud Alert” also dealt with Joel and Julia’s marriage but in a much more direct and interesting way. Joel said he didn’t want to work on the relationship — though it’s unclear if he meant at this moment or forever — and Julia broke down. This week’s approach isn’t as great, and Joel and the children are absent, but Julia does jump into something new.
Before the Julia stuff, let’s tackle the rest of the Bravermans. Sarah found out Drew has been crashing Amber and basically kicks him out and back to school. Drew is still harboring some serious anger with Berto and masks it as anger about room boundaries and dirty clothes, rather than anger about Natalie. Berto was surprisingly great this episode — I think I’m starting to love him, actually — and dealt with Drew in a smart, patient, and frat boy-ish way. He orders Drew to chug beers and talk about everything that bothers him about Berto. It’s a funny, cathartic scene that escalates quickly. First Drew bitches about Berto’s bad taste in music and spot on the Lacrosse team, then he admits that he’s angry about Berto sleeping with Natalie and chucks a beer can at his head. It’s a very collegiate dude way to become friends but it works and the guys are soon hanging out. Drew does need a guy friend and someone to rightfully point out that Drew fucked up with Natalie before Berto was ever involved.
Camille and Zeek sell their house and it’s a little upsetting (I really did think it would be a good location for the charter school). But this time it’s Camille who is having second thoughts, unable to part with sentimental junk and wondering if they’ve made a mistake. Zeek eases her worries by finding a beautiful house for them to move into, complete with a perfect backyard. Camille instantly loves it and it looks like they are officially taking this step forward … which makes me worry.
There’s good news all around this episode. Kristina and Adam enlists Julia to help them out with a plan for the charter school. Julia nails the Board of Education hearing and we’re reminded, a couple of times, that Julia used to be a corporate lawyer. Did you remember that? I completely forgot about that but there’s always so many characters and so much happening that I tend to forget the smaller details on Parenthood. Regardless, the charter school will happen, Evan Knight will be headmaster, and everyone is happy.
Then there is The Luncheonette plot. After what seems like forever, Ashes of Rome are having their record release party. The guys get a call from 4D (Parenthood‘s version of One Direction. All TV shows must have their own version of 1D and Facebook — it’s a rule) who loves Ashes of Rome and want to tour together. All of Ashes of Rome are into the idea except for Oliver (Tyson Ritter, who is a good enough actor but I will never be able to separate him from The All America Rejects). Oliver worries about the integrity of his band. He wants to play real rock shows, not sit down arenas opening for a bunch of teens. It all works out though when Oliver meets the boy band and realizes that they are followed around by a group of hot women that 4D doesn’t want to sleep with. That’s one way to throw integrity out the window! Again, everyone is happy — especially Crosby, who needs the cash to fix his house, even more so now that he won’t have a place to stay at Camille’s.
Finally, that brings us back to Julia. Julia is cautious at first, hesitantly agreeing to go on a date with Ed. She takes off her wedding ring, flirts at the dinner table, but then finds herself recoiling when he takes her hand. She’s uncomfortable with this intimacy, but it doesn’t read as if she isn’t ready to move on; it reads as if she isn’t ready to move on with Ed. But it could also be because she doesn’t want to do this slow courtship. After the record release party, she ends up going home with Evan Knight. I’m happy that Julia isn’t wallowing every episode but I know this isn’t going to end well for her. Knight is too close to this family and their new project now and, as we learn in previews, Joel comes back into the picture next week. Parenthood is really going to drag this story in the mud for a while, huh?