We’re heading into the ‘Let’s Go Home’-stretch of our favorite Thursday night activity and boy is it bringing it all home. As the episode started, I had intended on this blog’s major theme for episode 11 to be “the elephant in the room.” This would refer to Zeek’s, Adam’s, Sarah’s, and Julia’s impending decisions. How are their decisions going to shape the remaining hours we have left with the Bravermans? As the episode ended, I realized it was all about, as the title to so aptly puts it–going back home. How do these people, who have been all over the place lately, get back to their families? How do they build or rebuild these units?
I’m going to officially get over the fact that Adam and Crosby’s storyline is so similar to their past Luncheonette predicament and just sit back to see how it all plays out. I respected Adam’s original decision to back out of the business. He seemed genuinely happy about it too. We knew it was going to happen, but I still don’t know about Jasmine’s visit with Adam, but regardless it was very in character for her. Stern, caring, and bold, she commanded Adam’s attention, but may have crossed a line playing to his soft spot for the emotions of his brother. I don’t expect his most recent “all in” choice to stick. (Especially with those looks that Kristina gave him in her only scene.) His final hug with Crosby was as hesitant as hesitant can get. Hopefully, if Adam does back out again, part of Crosby’s major six season character arch will be acceptance and understanding. This is Adam’s way of trying to rebuilding his business and family, but is he making the right choice for his wife, kids, and the Cornell billing department?
Sarah and Hank are literally building something (crib) when they decide to solidify their own family. It was actually much sweeter than I anticipated. Yes, I expected Sarah to say “Yes” at some point, but I never expected to believe it came from a place of true love. Her fear of what he does and doesn’t bring to the table was so great that it started to poison my view of the relationship–a relationship that was at one point really fun to watch blossom. Sarah’s reaction to her mother’s question was so well acted and infused with a sense of commitment. How could I not agree with her decision? So throw out the Julia pros/cons list at park pilates and drown Hank’s rant to Max in photo chemicals–they make each other happy. It seems sappy (it is), but that’s really what it comes down to for them and most people. For weeks Hank has been trying to fit himself in with her family. Sarah has even helped his to fit back in with his family. (Yeah, so where did Ruby go?) This symbolic crib gift from Seth was a great catalyst for Sarah to see what a great guy she has on her hands. Sarah and Hank have each other and Amber has a crib–aka great support system to raise her kid. (Note: I would love to see John Corbett as Seth one more time, but they probably don’t have the budget.)
I was hoping for a not so clear cut ending to the two year inconsistent Joel and Julia story, which we didn’t get. I may be reading in to it wrong, but they’re reconciliation almost seemed a little too happy/perfect. Based on their earlier coffee house conversation, which I guess ended up being enough for the two of them to kiss in front of the kids. For the record, I didn’t realize that Julia’s fight with Chris from December meant that they were no longer dating. That’s new to me! Julia’s fear of another failed attempt must of been quelled by Joel’s “I’ll never leave you again,” sentiment. If Julia, trying to handle the situation in a logical manner, is giving in to her gut feeling as a show of character growth, I had trouble believing it. I will say that I am happy they are back together and each taking responsibility of what they did to get them to this point. There’s still more show left, so the show probably still has more in store for these two love bugs. Oh, and under the bed texting, while a cliche sequence, got some chuckles out of me.
Zeek has been an advice machine lately–which doesn’t bode well for his odds. To Joel and Julia, now Adam and Drew, the patron of the family is in full, “I might not be here for you later” mode. He’s even giving away possessions. Zeek knows he’s on his way out, and every scene with him carries a sense of “this may be it,” and it’s very powerful. The nostalgia flowing through this episode (the storage unit, baseball, old photos used in the opening, and the house) informs so much of where the Braverman’s came from and what they’ve accomplished in their lives. He’s delaying his surgery by not having an immediate conversation about it. Stealing every moment with the people he loves is top priority. Whatever comes next for Zeek, we are ready. He and Millie have a lot of important decisions to make, which affects everybody in the family. Either way, it will make the family stronger.
Each branch of the family tree is getting stronger (or seemingly getting stronger) as they enter the next chapter of growth. Slowly, but surely, each Braverman has to make tough choices to ensure their collective family happiness. There can be happily ever afters, but you have to work for the pieces to fall into the right places. This show is great when it focuses on the family-centric plots and plays with character relationships. I don’t care about a big running for mayor story or building a school, I care about how Hank shows up for Amber and Joel takes a leap of faith and shows up at the ice rink.
Sure, you can just “go home,” but, as Camille and Zeek know better than everybody, it take a lifetime to build and it’s never really done. A home is not just a house–it’s the people and baseball shoe box treasures inside. This episode was tightly constructed and potentially foreshadowed the rest of the series. It’s probably a good thing that I didn’t cry this week because with only two more hours with the Braverman’s and I can feel that they’re going to be rough on the tear ducts. If only everything was as happy as an Adam/Nora tea party.
Keep on Watchin’!