The most difficult thing about "Tough Love" was that it seemed every relationship was completely out of whack. Up was down, down was up and I didn't know what to expect next, except more disappointment.
Do you seriously expect me to believe that they give trophies out to all kids who play in a sport, don't keep score, and force every child in the class to give every other kid a Valentine... but they still allow kids to pick basketball teams? Please, parents, tell me this isn't true. The one actual humiliation from elementary school is the only thing they haven't done away with?
Warning: the tone of this review will be nitpicky because I do not understand Sarah telling Drew that because she and Mark are close, the next natural step is to track her ovulation to have a baby. No, they don't talk to the family, move in together or, God forbid, get married. They just start trying to get pregnant. Who wrote this episode of Parenthood?
Haddie was joking with Amber about going on a trip with Bob, and it never even dawned on me how much trouble such innocent ribbing could get her into with Kristina. I knew Kristina would be blindsided when Amber and Bob slipped up in public, but I never imagined Haddie would run to her and tattle on Amber. After everything she asked of Amber when she was going through her issues, to turn something she is just guessing at into something certain astounded me.
All of this, just as I was thinking Haddie looked so much better with her hair growing out. Yes, I'll be juvenile. I take it back! I wanted Kristina to react differently, to realize she put Amber into the situation, that she's an adult and let it ride. Why couldn't she have let it alone and trusted Amber to be the smart girl she is?
Similarly, Julia was trying to take control of Zoe. I don't even think Julia knows what she's doing. Was she taking care of things because she likes Zoe and truly cares for her, or because she's concerned about what Zoe will do with the baby? Maybe a little of both. Whatever it was, she was way into Julia overdrive and it wasn't pretty.
Crosby and Zeek talked about how frightening it is to learn you may not live forever, and I think they're relationship will be even closer as a result. I lked how Crosby brought levity to an otherwise deep conversation by asking if it was hereditary and noting their similar frame. Laughing through the tough times is the best part of a family.
Through a montage at the end, we saw Max and his new friend and Julia helping Zoe study with the GED, but we were left hanging when it came to Amber and Bob. Even Drew got a somewhat happy ending, because Sarah loves him enough to call Seth to help get him through her situation with Mark.
This was definitely not my favorite episode, but it does get ridiculous when you want to give every episode 4-plus stars. It's not natural. Finally, a break from that. Share your thoughts of the episode below!
Carissa Pavlica is the managing editor and a staff writer and critic for TV Fanatic. She's a member of the Critic's Choice Association, enjoys mentoring writers, cats, and passionately discussing the nuances of television and film. Follow her on Twitter and email her here at TV Fanatic.