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<i>Parenthood</i>: The Best and Worst Braverman Pairings of “The Offer”

Leave it to Sydney to ruin an episode otherwise dominated by the youngest of the Braverman generation. Sure, there was plenty of grown-up drama (this is Parenthood, after all) but "The Offer" was all about the kids, namely Victor and Max. But not Sydney, because Sydney is terrible. As Max devastatingly came to terms with his identity at school as a "freak," Victor dealt with his abandonment issues and worried that he was the cause for Joel and Julia's split. You know who put that idea in his head? Sydney, because Sydney is the worst. The entire episode wasn't perfect as a whole, but those last 15 minutes really packed an emotional wallop. If you never felt connected to Victor and Max before, you did after last night's episode. That is, unless, you're a monster like Sydney. While I'm still choking back tears thinking about the Max and Victor story lines (damn you, Parenthood, damn youuuuuuuu), I still have to declare the best and worst Braverman pairings from "The Offer":

Best: Max and His Parents
Let's be honest with ourselves, Max hasn't always been the easiest character to love on Parenthood. You can have empathy for him (and especially have empathy for his parents) but his often rough demeanor and behavior (all symptoms of his Asperger's) make him hard to connect to. That was until last night when, after having a meltdown on a school trip after his shitty, terrible classmates made fun of him and called him a "weirdo freak," he finally let his parents -- and thus, viewers -- into his lonely world. After Kristina and Adam, the best parents on TV, went to pick him up after Mr. Knight tried to comfort him, Max asked, 'Why do all the other kids hate me?" You don't have to be a parent for that one to get you right in the gut. Max continued, "Asperger's is supposed to make me smart, but if I'm smart, why don't I get why they're laughing at me?" While Adam was seething over the asshole kids who brought Max to this point, Kristina simply hugged her son and told him she loved him. This whole scene was just a killer. Max was asking questions that his parents could never find the right answer for, and it was just heartbreaking watching all three of them. All three actors just destroyed it in this moment and, honestly, it's one of the best moments Parenthood has ever produced.

Best: Victor and His Parents
Speaking of kids ripping your heart into a million pieces, Victor dealt with some big questions of his own. After Joel accidentally didn't pick him up on time from his baseball practice, Victor panicked that he wouldn't get picked up on time by either of his parents. Of course, this was more of an abandonment issue than anything else, especially now that Joel and Julia are apart. Joel felt guilty and bought Victor a cell phone, which caused yet another spat about parenting and the state of their relationship between Joel and Julia. This caused terrible child Sydney to screech at her brother that "Everything was good until you got here. It's all your fault. I hate you!" and this caused Julia to do something she rarely does: lose her cool. But can you blame her? Later, Victor asked Joel to return the phone, in the hopes that getting rid of the phone will make Joel and Julia get back together. Joel tearfully reassured Victor that he is their son and will always be loved and that he messed up. You know, just in case you hadn't wept enough during the Max stuff.

Best: Zeek and Camille
They're not really going to sell that incredible house, are they? While a lot of this storyline was hard to watch (the guy interesting in buying the house seemed like a grade-A jerk and, like Zeek and Crosby, I can't stand that real estate agent), it's a storyline I feel invested in. I want to see how this thing shakes out. I also like to see Zeek and Camille getting on the same page and sharing nice little moments (like the one out by their fire pit where they reminisced about the house they've spent 44 years in together). I also really like hearing Camille call him "Ezekiel." After they turned down the initial bid, their real estate agent announced that not only had the guy come back with an offer, but one even more than their asking price. Camille was starting to look like she had reservations about the whole thing, but this offer could throw a wrench in that. No matter what happens (keep the house! keep the house!) all I know is I want to hear Ezekiel exclaim, "Oh, for cryin' in a bucket!" one more time before this storyline wraps up.

Worst: Sarah and Hank
I'm going to let Jane from Louie take the reins on this one: I. AM. BOOOOOORRRRED. I am so bored by the Sarah and Hank storyline I could scream. In fact, I'm certain I did. I'm bored by Hank's mopey pining, and I'm especially bored by Sarah's obliviousness to everyone's feelings. Is anyone actually rooting for these two to get back together? Does anyone remotely give a shit about whether Sarah succeeds in her latest career of the week? These are two wholly unlikable characters individually, but together they are even worse. Please, please wrap up this storyline soon, Parenthood writers. The rest of your show is so damn good.

Worst: Drew and Amber
Hey, I didn't like typing it as much as you didn't like reading it. Maybe it's because I can't stand to watch Drew mope over Natalie (she's terrible, dude!), or because his duet with Amber was legitimately embarrassing (like, guy from All-American Rejects serenading Jasmine levels of embarrassing), or maybe because Amber and Drew are frighteningly heading into too-close-for-comfort Donnie and Marie territory. All I know is, I just want to watch them get high and stop bickering and/or singing. I still love you two always, I promise!

Worst: Sydney and Her Existence
Have I stressed this enough? Sydney gives her brother, and everyone around her, such an ugly attitude, you actually can't believe she's a Braverman. That she asks her clearly upset brother, "Why are you being such a baby?" and says it with such disdain in her voice makes you actually wonder if she loves anyone. Ugh, Sydney. Just the worst.

Watch the full episode here:

TAGS: Parenthood

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