‘Parenthood’: Kristina Struggles as an Authority Figure (Recap)

Kristina found it difficult to discipline Max as his headmaster, and not as his mom


Kristina Braverman was inspired to open Chambers Academy when Max was no longer welcomed by the public education system.

In the PARENTHOOD episode “Aaron Brownstein Must Be Stopped,” she struggled to be a different kind of authority figure during office hours, letting her feelings towards Max dictate how she handled an uncomfortable situation.

THE PEOPLE VS. AARON BROWNSTEIN

Unfortunately for Max, the scale of affection is not fluid, and Dylan (Ally Ioannides) has taken a liking to a fellow classmate other than him. She felt terrible for not telling him, but she wasn’t sure if he was capable of handling her truth. Dylan doesn’t see Max (Max Burkholder) as a viable romantic partner, but she still wanted to be friends. Unfortunately, that wasn’t enough for Kristina’s (Monica Potter) temperamental teen, and he soon embarrassed himself in front of the entire school by professing his love, and coercing Dylan into telling him the truth in front of everyone.

My Two Cents: Max did the crime, but he’s not paying the time. Kristina gave her son a free pass because she was proud of him for opening up to Dylan and letting himself be vulnerable, but giving him a shoulder to cry on will only reinforce his erratic, inappropriate behavior. He has to be told that there were other ways of going about dealing with Dylan. His mother’s unwillingness to put her foot down will read to her socially inept son as acceptance. That’s neither good parenting nor respectable behavior on part of a school administrator.

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FRIGHT NIGHT

The Bravermans didn’t celebrate Halloween this year, but audiences were in for a fright when Crosby (Dax Shepherd) rushed Amber (Mae Whitman) to the hospital complaining of intense stomach cramps. As a result of their unintended ER visit, the two missed the chance to schmooze with a potential new client for the Luncheonette, furthering the possibility of its demise.

My Two Cents: Crosby is not about to give up on his dream, but it’s hard to see how he and Adam (Peter Krause) can maintain the Luncheonette for much longer without changing their business strategy. Recording cat commercials isn’t the answer, though revamping the space to act as both a recording studio and a dance studio might be something to consider. It’ll allow both Crosby and Jasmine to avoid a reality where they each have to succumb to standard 9-to-5 desk jobs.

HANK STEPS UP HIS GAME

With Sarah (Lauren Graham) away in Napa, last night’s C-plot focused exclusively on the continued misadventures of Hank (Ray Romano) and his nuisance of a daughter. Ruby (Courtney Grosbeck), who has apparently learned nothing from her most recent drunken mistake, threw a party in Sandy’s absence, manipulating her father and breaking his trust in the process. Hank, truly hurt by Ruby’s lies, overcame his anxiety and put a stop to the party. She was later grounded for three weeks.

My Two Cents:  I have a lot of questions about the intentions of this ongoing arc, but my biggest one is probably how somehow as unlikeable as Ruby has so many friends. Perhaps she can tutor the equally terrible Sydney once she reaches those awkward teenage years.

Like the conclusion of Max and Kristina’s story line last night, the conclusion of Hank’s felt unearned. It ended on a feel-good moment, as father and daughter enjoyed each other’s company over a game of cards. I like Hank and Sarah together, but I can’t help but fear the ongoing presence of Sandy and his daughter will lead to the reunion of their family, and the end of Sarah’s best-ever relationship.

PARENTHOOD airs Thursday nights at 10:00 PM on NBC.

Ryan Schwartz regularly writes about television at RyanTalksTV.com

Ryan Schwartz

Ryan Schwartz

Contributing Editor at TheTVPage.com
Ryan Schwartz is a New York-based television critic and founder of RyanTalksTV.com. He is a fourth year journalism student at Hunter College.In 2011, Ryan quickly became one of Posterous’ biggest success stories, becoming a featured writer for the micro-blogging website at the age of 18. The following year, he joined the writing staff of Voice of TV where he contributed features on Louis C.K., Matthew Perry, Jim Rash and Jeff Eastin. He's currently a contributor for The TV Addict.
Ryan Schwartz