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<i>Parenthood</i>: Best and Worst Braverman Pairings in “Let’s Be Mad Together”

Another week, another Parenthood episode that doesn't quite advance many story lines. In fact, Season 5 so far feels like one extended set-up episode. "Let's Be Mad Together" was no exception, and while a few things happened (Max got demoted as yearbook photographer, Crosby and Adam signed Ashes of Rome to their label), basically everything else stayed the same (Joel and Julia didn't see eye to eye, Zeek ignored Camille, Sarah was all-around terrible to Ryan). I'm ready for some real Braverman shakeups soon instead of this season -- which the fans all championed so hard for -- spinning its wheels as slowly as Zeek's fixer-upper car. Still, here's the best and worst pairings from last night's episode.

Best: Kristina and Max
Listen, I'll take about any Kristina story line that doesn't involve her campaign. Plus, Kristina's patience and undying love for Max is what makes his character tolerable in the first place. When Max upsets his classmates by taking candid pictures of them for the yearbook -- including one of a crying girl mourning the loss of her dog -- he gets demoted to layout. As hard as Kristina tries to stick up for her son and his talents, he's too much of a pill for his classmates (and, clearly, his educators) and all she and Max can do is be angry and accept their anger.

Best: Ryan and Sarah
I know, I know, what is Sarah doing here? She has no right being in the 'best' category and, believe me, I couldn't agree more. The only reason she's getting lumped in with the superior Ryan is because it was nice watching him not take any of her crap and setting the record straight with her. You see, even though she thinks Ryan is a terrible guy, she still has him help her with all the things she can't fix in her own apartment building. When Sarah makes a half-assed apology to him for reasons he doesn't understand, it all comes out that she and Amber have been fighting about their relationship, a fact that upsets Ryan. He doesn't suck up to Sarah; instead, he calmly explains his side of the story. Sarah's response: "Okay." Ugh, forget it, maybe she should have stayed in 'worst.'

Best: Joel and Julia
I'm not saying what happened to Joel and Julia in this episode was the best (though, drunk Joel looking at cakes in the grocery store was most excellent), but it was a relief that something, anything, actually happened with their storyline. Joel put his foot down about his professionally relationship with Pete (who probably does have other intentions for Joel, but he's a smart guy who would never stray so there's really no issue here) and Julia, once again, let her thoughts on Pete be very well known. When Joel blew up at Julia, it was the only real, high-stakes drama of the episode, thus making it a best in a not-so-best scenario.

Worst: Zeek and Camille
While Joel and Julia are blowing up at each other, Zeek and Camille are continuing to silently stew. Camille still wants to talk about the possibility of moving and that "third act" thing, but Zeek keeps shutting her down and being terrible as always. As Camille worries (out loud, to Julia) that she's losing her voice in her marriage, Zeek just carries on with business as usual. I'm hoping Camille pulls a Season 1 and kicks his ass to the curb again and she goes on a whirlwind "third act" alone like some Eat Pray Love for the AARP set.

Worst: Crosby and Adam
Again, it's the same old song. Adam is pumped to have the annoying Ashes of Rome on their label, and Crosby wants nothing to do with them. (It's no surprise, considering what a first-rate tool the lead singer is, spouting out lines like "a Katy Perry sausage factory"). In the end, Crosby gives an inspiring speech about classic rock done on shoestring budgets to the demanding band, and all is miraculously fixed.

Worst: Sarah
Ugh. Sarah. She's probably going to wind up with that hot, shirtless tenant and tear the already fragile Ryan and Amber relationship apart because the world is an unjust place.

Watch the entire episode here, courtesy of Hulu.com:

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