Last week, "Parenthood" left the internet shaking its collective fist at Joel, the most heartless man alive, and this week's episode is full of the people we love continuing to make decisions we hate. Except Adam. He's pretty solid these days. It may be painful to relive, but let's dissect the "The Enchanting Mr. Knight" scene by scene, shall we?
BONUS: Following each scene recap, you can find the live texts I received from my delightful, Braverman-loving mother as she watched (Ray Romano fans, beware).
We kick off with a sun-dappled shot of Sarah and Hot Carl basking in the afterglow of what proved to be a VERY successful taco date. His shoulder tat indicates he has a bad boy side, but lest we forget, he's also a millionaire global philanthropist. And now he's going on a work trip to Zimbabwe! Since a week is far too long to be without the captivating woman that is Sarah Braverman, he invites her to be his +1 to Africa. She briefly protests, but cannot deny the appeal of Hot Carl on safari.
Mom: "Carl makes me think of the dad on "7th Heaven." Can't really think of him as romantically attractive. And terrible name."
Over at the elementary school, Julia's volunteering in the vegetable garden when that home-wrecker Ed, a fellow sustainability committee member, shows up on the scene. He's heard that Joel moved out and sees this as prime opportunity to make his next move on that hot mom he kissed once. Julia stands firm and tells him to go away -- as she should because Ed is Roy from "The Office" and therefore far inferior to the Jim Halpert she deserves.
Mom: "School creep needs to leave Julia alone. She's gonna sue his a--."
Your BFF Amber visits Drew's dorm to help heal his broken heart following Amy's departure (even though he's the one who demanded she leave in the first place). The sibs plus Drew's douchey roommate make plans to go to a late night frat party to get Drew out of his funk. Once Amber departs, the roommate confides that he thinks she's super hot. She is so out of your league, boy.
Mom: "Drew needs a haircut. Seriously! And Amber needs a bigger role."
Over in the schoolyard garden, Julia and Ed are thrown together yet again during a Green Week project with Sydney's class. Sydney interrupts the eco-exercise to tell Julia that she needs her "funky PJs" from Joel's house but that she DOES NOT want to stay there ever again because "the bedrooms are too small and it smells like pee." WTH, Joel?! That's really gross. "Just shuck some corn, please!" Julia begs, as the tantrum escalates. In the end, Queen Sydney's wish cannot be denied. She will sleep in her proper castle with Julia tonight.
Mom: "It seems like Sydney is the only one who realizes how not okay this whole situation is."
Back in the studio, Sarah breaks the news to Ray Romano that she's going away for a "personal thing" which is code for a "steamy African romp with Hot Carl." Even without the details, Ray is not happy to lose his eternal crush for a week.
Mom: "Ray Romano just seems like he needs a bath."
Meanwhile, in Casa Braverman, Jasmine's overwhelmed with the baby and in-laws, but her hair looks GREAT. Youngest child Crosby is furious about his parents selling the house and planning changes to up its market value. While Camille listens patiently to his concerns, when Crosby accuses her of being selfish this is the last straw. Camille has devoted her adult life to compromising herself for these children, and it's high time she gets what she wants." I've cooked your dinners! I've packed your school lunches! I've done your laundry well past when I should have!" Damn straight. Crosby is defeated.
Mom: "So glad Mama Hen told Crosby to take a hike."
Kristina and Adam take to the middle school to meet Mr. Knight aka Max's English teacher who keeps sending him to the library during class because he just can't deal. Kristina finds him attractive; I find him to look like he's wearing Google Glass. Instead of telling the teacher to change his ways, Adam and Kristina spill their plans to start a charter school for kids like Max. Mr. Knight discourages this idea as being just slightly overreaching.
Mom: "Oh! Maybe Amber can date this new teacher."
Joel comes to pick Sydney up at her school and Julia tells him of the Queen's demands to avoid his pee-house tonight. Silly Julia, Joel clucks condescendingly, that is not how you handle a Sydney tantrum. He reminds her that the therapist would agree and Julia concedes. Sydney must slum it in Joel's disgusting apartment yet again.
Mom: "Poor Sydney."
While hanging out in the studio with Ray Romano, Max lets it slip that Aunt Sarah is actually going to Africa and Ray Romano is all wait, wait, wait, that's insane. He's so flummoxed that he has to close the office early and run to Dr. Pelikan's for some urgent counsel. Pelikan advises Ray Romano to step outside his comfort zone and figure out his feelings for her.
Mom: "Does he really have Asperger's? Or is he just socially awkward."
Ed stalkerishly shows up at Julia's doorstep in the middle of the night to say he's sorry for being annoying earlier, and that now he'd like to offer a platonic shoulder for her to cry on. Julia is like, SERIOUSLY. She tells him that this whole heartbreaking separation is his fault and he's got some nerve showing up there. See ya!
Mom: "Yay, Julia! He is soooo not somebody she would be attracted to. Joel made her do it [kiss him that one time] because of his bad behavior with his boss. "
Back at Berkeley, loyal sister Amber accompanies Drew to the frat party, and they make a pact to both make out with someone before the night is over. Amber quickly realizes that frat parties are not quite as fun when you actually have standards and are no longer 19. When Drew's douchey roommate tries to kiss her, she squeals and runs. This is actually the responsible thing to do at a frat party. Soon after, Natalie shows up and douchey roommate tells her that Drew "is on a mission to get some tail." Natalie's really not into the idea of being said tail. The make out pact is a bust and both Bravermans leave without lovers.
Mom: "Did this scene make you pine for frat parties? The roommate should hook up with Sarah not Amber. Natalie is pretty cool but quite the player. What are they all majoring in??"
Sarah's in her apartment inspecting her lingerie options to pack for Africa... until she's startled by a terrifying knock on the window from Mr. Ray "Peeping Tom" Romano. He has come to guilt trip her. But she has another trip in mind. Zimbabwe. A fight ensues. He leaves in a pouty huff.
Mom: "He is so creepy. I never watched Everybody Loves Raymond."
The next day, Sarah knocks on Hot Carl's door and we find out that, somehow, someway, Ray Romano's whiny speech has convinced her to turn down a free trip to Africa just hours before their departure. She says it's because she needs not be distracted and must focus on herself this year. But come on! It's ONE WEEK. This is really unforgivable. Independence is an awesome thing, Sarah. But it can start next week. Bad move.
Mom: "Oh no. Sarah is ditching the good guy for the loser. Idiocy continues beyond Stars Hollow."
While Adam and Kristina hang in their huge kitchen, she receives a call that her one-year-after-cancer test results are in. SHE IS CANCER FREE! Adam cries. Kristina jokes through her tears, "You're stuck with me." There's now something in my eye. They are the cutest.
Mom: "Sorry, this didn't make me cry. But so glad her cancer is gone!"
In another slightly stalker move on behalf of a Braverman, Adam and Kristina take their exuberance from the kitchen straight to Mr. Knight's house, where they tell him they've decided they want him to help them open up the school. Instead of being weirded out, he applauds them for showing up at his house uninvited on a weekend and ushers them in for coffee to discuss the prospect further.
Mom: "Their plan for the school sounds good. But shouldn't somebody in the family have a steady, risk-free income? Maybe I am just old school."
After overhearing a heated argument between Zeek and Camille fueled by Crosby's antics, Crosby and Jasmine offer to move out of Casa Braverman to give them some space. But the matriarch won't hear of it. They're staying and that's that.
Mom: "They should sell the house to Crosby's family or give it to Kristina's new school to use. Zeke and Camille can live in the guest house and travel. You CAN have it all."
We're not through with awful Ed yet! Now it's Julia turn to shadily show up on Ed's doorstep under the cover of darkness to apologize. She's brought him chicken marshal, and sexual tension runs high. Ed invites her in. Julia says, "It's just dinner" and heads inside. This whole thing is gross. It's never just dinner. COME BACK, JOEL.
Mom: "Julia is a lesser woman than I thought. This guy is so non-appealing. First rule of affair-avoidance: Don't go in."
Drew's douchey roommate hooks up with Natalie. Joel might be on his way back into Julia's arms where he belongs. HOPE LIVES.
Mom's final thoughts: "Max may be the sharpest tack in the box. There has to be something we don't know about Julia and Joel. When is Haddie back?"