Parenthood

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You're Bound to Lose Control When the Rubberband Starts to Jam

In the lair of Dr. Pelikan ("with a K!"), a familiar scene is occurring. This time, instead of Adam and Kristina huddling hand in hand on his couch, Dr. P is facing Joel and Julia. "Sydney is a great kid," he tells the horrified couple. "She is playful and cooperative..." Julia, in typical Braverman style, cuts in: "What's wrong with her? Is something wrong with her?" Joel tries to talk her down. Dr. Pelikan, like some kind of Machiavellian game show host, says that he wouldn't say "wrong," per se, but that Sydney does not test in the normal range. He lets the pause remain pregnant for a moment longer as these people die a thousand deaths on his couch. Finally, he does the big reveal. "Sydney is gifted." Sweet relief, they look like they've just been told she won't, in fact, be thrown into a volcano. Pelikan rattles on about how Sydney's issues probably stem from boredom in the classroom and they'll have to pay attention to yadda yadda, whatever -- they aren't listening, too happy to have dodged the dreaded bullet that their child might be less than perfect. Yes, yes, I know that's not fair -- no one would wish for their child to have to endure the struggles of a social disorder, but... ugh. I just hate the tone of the whole storyline, is all.

Speaking of dodging bullets, Adam has not been able to do that in re: the Trip of Acumen. Instead, he is trapped in a car with Zeek, heading to this investment property, while his dad reminisces hilariously and, sometimes, "hilariously," on the old days. "Remember the trip to the Grand Canyon?" he asks, already slapping his knee in memoriam. "Remember you vomited all over your mother's head?" Yes, what a lovely family memory. Adam says that wasn't him, anyway, it was Crosby. Well, whatever, Zeek is like the human ChatRoulette moving quickly from topic to topic, the highlights of which include: learning sex techniques in Viet Nam; Adam's sex life: "The Braverman men are strong in the sexual department;" the Zodiac killer; and tickling. Adam asks if all this blathering is what he wanted to talk about on this drive. Zeek says, no, he wants to show him something, but he wants to keep it a secret so it will be more exciting. "I gotta pee," he adds, and Adam has to insist he wait five seconds for him to pull into a rest stop instead of peeing in a jug in the car. You know, I'm beginning to understand why members of the Braverman family might deal with mental health issues. Also: Craig T. Nelson really makes me laugh.

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Parenthood

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