Parenthood Review: "Qualities and Difficulties"

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This was an especially difficult episode of Parenthood to watch, given the subject matter of "Qualities and Difficulties."

Did anyone not get choked up when Kristina and Adam tried to define Asperger's to Max? Do you guys have Asperger's? Max asked his parents. Does Haddy? It was touching to see how badly Kristina and Adam didn't want Max to be negatively affected by this revelation.

Having the Talk

For a little guidance, Adam and Kristina turned to Max's therapist, who handed them a script for an intro to Asperger's "do over." Adam was irate. He did the best he could to explain everything to Max, and now this professional tells him that it was done all wrong?!? "I'm not interested in memorizing a bunch of facts that have been polished up to make it look like he's won something," he bitched to Kristina.

Adam's frustration was building the entire episode, until Zeek pushed him far enough over the edge that Adam blew. Between having to guide Max and his fight with Crosby, Adam was in a glass case of emotion. Wanting so badly for Max to feel loved and normal, he broke the rules and took his son to an amusement park.

Bad idea, according to Kristina: "I say this out of love, but you've gone rogue."

Max doesn't do spontaneity all that well, and taking him out of his scholastic routine wasn't a great idea. Oh, the lessons we learn at amusement parks. Ironically, the roller coast shuts down for the remainder of the day due to repairs, and Max has himself a good old-fashioned meltdown. Noted, thinks Adam to himself. Perhaps it's time to try the script and take a cue from the therapist. And a job well done, if I do say so. Adam formulated the talk in a way that made Max feel special.

Then there's Crosby. Oh, Crosby, how you've effed up. Jasmine wants nothing to do with you and yet you won't leave her alone. Crosby sought the advice of his sisters over breakfast, thinking up ways to get Jasmine to hear him out.

"I feel like, if I could get her to talk to me, or get her to look at me then talk to me..." he explained to Julia and Sarah. "This is the plan?" Sarah replied sarcastically.  "I could make it right," Crosby continued. Considering the exchange with Adam that followed this conversation, one thing is clear: it's time for some soul-searching, Crosby.

More things worth mentioning:

  • Jason Ritter was back as Mark Cyr.  Don't go back to The Event, please. That show is AWFUL. Stay here and date Sarah. She needs your help to finish her play.
  • I'm very happy that Julia did not cancel Syndey's sleepover with Jabar. I'm even happier that she and Joel stayed with Jasmine after realizing that Jasmine was too emotionally fragile to be left alone. Although I can't decide if Julia wanted to stay out of sympathy or that she didn't want Sydney being chaperoned by someone in Jasmine's state. Either way, it was the right thing to do. 
  • Who else was expecting something awful to come out of Joel's mouth when he made Julia put down her newspaper towards the end of the episode?
  • Sarah to Jerry from Parks & Recreation: "What's better than Ted Danson's job?"
  • Hats off to Dax Shepard. Those tears were real.

Qualities and Difficulties Review

Editor Rating: 4.0 / 5.0
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User Rating:

Rating: 4.7 / 5.0 (29 Votes)
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Parenthood Season 2 Episode 18 Quotes

I say this out of love, but you've gone rogue.


I'm not interested in memorizing a bunch of facts that have been polished up to make it look like he's won something.