Parenthood Season 4 Episode 1 (Premiere) – Family Portrait
It’s Haddie’s last few days before heading off to college. Meanwhile, Christina and Adam try to deal with the fact that their daughter will no longer be living at home. Julia and Joel struggle to figure out the right way to make their newly adopted son, Jacob, feel loved and accepted . Sarah applies for a job as photographer Hank Rizzoli’s aid (played by guest star Ray Romano) as Amber settles in at her new job at the Luncheonette. Newlyweds Crosby and Jasmine notice Jabbar praying and discuss their own beliefs in order to be able to answer life’s big questions whenever their son may ask.
The episode begins with snippets of where the Bravemans are at since we last saw them 5 months ago, setting the tone of the upcoming season. We first see an old family portrait that includes and ex-girlfriend of Crosby. Camille complains that she is now “forever in our family picture” and informs Sarah that her fiancee, Mark, can not be in the family portrait. “Family only!” she says. Crosby walks past Jabbar’s bedroom and is surprised to find him praying at the foot of his bead. Julia and Joel try to set boundaries for Jacob, but instead are walking on eggshells around him in order to try and gain his trust.
It really sets the tone for what kind of problems and hurdles the Bravermans will be facing this season. New members of the family are being introduced and it really asks the question “What does it mean to be part of the family?”.
Is it blood? Is it time? Or do you have to earn it? Julia feels as though she’s waiting to fall in love with her son. Will it be like that for the other members of the Braverman family? Mark approaches Camille about the family portrait, explaining that he is a member of the family and proud to be a part of it, earning him a place in the family portrait. Do you have to be seriously committed to a family in order to be part of it?
The episode also touches briefly on the subject of family outings. It shows the reality behind them, that some family outings are forced, making everything go exactly how you did NOT want them to go. Adam’s family shows that family outings can be more stressful than fun. Arguments, fights, tears, and meltdowns occur when trying to force a wonderful “family day”. It really shows that side of a family that isn’t always sunshine and lollipops.
Ray Romano stars as Hank Rizzoli in this episode and hires Sarah to be his assistant. He’s very awkward in social situations and Sarah, being the fun, outgoing type, really pairs up well with him. Hank has a quick meeting with Max before shooting the family portrait, telling him “You’re weird. I like you.” which shows a lot about his character. It’s the first time we see him connecting with a member of the family that he’s photographing, which perhaps foreshadows a possible bond between the two. Both socially awkward, they may very well be able to understand one another.
Amber seems to have not changed at all over the past 5 months. She’s still very carefree about how close she gets to people she works with. Granted, it is difficult for a young girl to deny the advances of a talented musician, but she needs to learn to separate work and her personal life.
Drew awaits the arrival of his girlfriend by working out to look more “built” for her when she arrives. When she finally does, you can feel a bit of tension and uncertainty in the air. We’ll have to wait and see if anything happened while the two were apart for the summer.
The episodes concludes with a tear-jerking ending with Adam and Julia saying goodbye to Haddie at the airport. Leaving the nest is never easy, but saying goodbye to a family you love is even harder.
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