Episode 3.16 : Tough Love

  • Parenthood
    • Episode Premiere : February 14, 2012
    • Distributor : NBC
    • Genre : Drama
    • Seasons : 3
    • Show Period : 2010 - 2015
    • Production Company: Imagine Entertainment, Universal Media Studios
    • Official Site :

Cast and Crew

The Story

Crosby stops by the pharmacy to pick up his allergy meds. He's surprised when the pharmacist lines up a stack of bottles on the counter - for Zeek, who called them in a week ago. After an OB/GYN appointment, Julia drops off Zoe at her new apartment. Julia stresses the good news; they got to the bottom of Zoe's high blood pressure - stress - and they can fix it. Zoe reacts. She's eight-plus months pregnant; she has no job, no boyfriend, she's living on a futon - how would her life not suck? Besides, Julia trying to control her stress is stressing her out even more. That night, Drew heads to Sarah's bathroom to borrow some toothpaste and is devastated to find an ovulation test kit. While she's not pregnant, Sarah explains that she and Mark have decided to have a baby. Drew doesn't think pregnancy makes sense and can't wrap his head around the whole thing. He heads for the door saying, "I guess good luck, or whatever," but he's not happy.

An excited Julia stops by to see Zoe with a surprise - an application for a job as a paralegal! Zoe is stunned; she doesn't know what a paralegal does and has no experience. Julia explains she has some pull. If Zoe's interested, her friend needs the application by 6:00 p.m. Looking at the application, Zoe's still reluctant. She doesn't know what a salary requirement is. Julia tells her not to worry, the salary's set at $48, 000, and she can learn on the job. Zoe's eyes go wide at the dollar figure, and she promises to try. That night, Crosby stops by to see Zeek, who's sleeping. Camille invites him to give his father a shake, but Crosby decides to talk to her instead, relating what happened at the pharmacy. Camille says there's nothing to worry about, though Zeek specifically asked her not to discuss it. It's important to him that his kids see him as strong. If it turns into anything more, she'll let Crosby know.

It's another busy day at the campaign office. Bob asks Amber to clear his commitments for the weekend, because he's been asked to speak at the Sacramento Valley's Small Business League Conference. Furthermore, he wants her to clear her schedule as well because he needs her to come with him. When Amber asks if it's strictly business, Bob allows it'll be business first, and afterwards, they'll play it by ear. Meanwhile, Max is in gym class, where the sixth grade captains are picking their teams for basketball. Even though he points out that he's a better player than the other kids, Max is left to the last. When the gym teacher steps in to assign him to a team, Max insists he doesn't want to play. Why can't he sit out with Micah (who's in a wheelchair)? The gym teacher explains that Micah has a disability, so Max happily explains that he too has a disability - Asperger's - and heads for the sidelines.

The next morning, Sarah discusses the Drew incident with Mark. Now Drew's totally shut down, and it must be weird for him because he has no idea where they are as a couple. Mark admits he's been keeping his distance after the whole photo incident, trying not to embarrass Drew again. Maybe it's time they hung out. Sarah thinks this is a good idea; she wants Drew to feel like they're all a family. Crosby hangs out with Lily, googling Zeek's prescriptions and getting more and more nervous. Later, after school, Mark offers a reluctant Drew a ride home. The car ride is awkward, but Mark gets his invitation out - does Drew want to go out and get a burger sometime? Drew feels confident that Sarah put Mark up to this, but Mark insists she didn't. This will be nothing more than two dudes hanging out. Drew's not convinced.

Adam and Kristina sit down with Max to have a discussion about gym class. Max claims he doesn't like the way they play basketball at school. There are too many kids on the team; and Micah gets to sit out because he has a disability, and Max is going to do the same. Adam explains that while Asperger's may make certain activities challenging, everyone knows Max has a great layup. Max agrees, but the kids in his class don't. His gym teacher said that if his parents write a note, he can sit out - problem solved. Kristina won't hear of it - Max will play basketball. Max asks the burning question: if he's so good at basketball, why is he always the last one to get picked for a team?

After dinner, Adam sits down with Max for a talk. Max admits he likes playing basketball with his family, but playing with the losers at school just isn't fun. When Adam reprimands him for calling the other kids losers, Max insists the kids call him a loser. Indignant, Adam calls the other kids losers and caves to Max's request to skip gym class one more time. Afterwards, Kristina tells Adam he shouldn't have called the other kids losers; they're jackasses. Julia's already in bed when her friend calls to report that Zoe never sent in her job application. Try as she might, Julia can't figure out what Zoe's thinking. Joel reminds her the baby's coming soon, and eventually, they're going to have to cut ties with Zoe. Julia knows; she's just trying to help set her up - could Zoe be changing her mind about giving them the baby?

Over the weekend, Adam, Crosby and Max gather at Zeek's for a game of backyard basketball. Adam's determined to make this a lesson in good sportsmanship for Max, but there's no way Zeek's going to let that happen. When Zeek gets red-faced and winded, a worried Crosby calls for a water break. Should he call a doctor? Cranky and breathless, Zeek tells Crosby to shut up. Whatever's going on with his health is his business, and no matter what, Crosby better not tell Adam. Haddie hangs out with Amber as she packs for her trip to Sacramento. She finds it hard to believe Amber needs so many sexy shoes for a business trip - who's she dressing to impress? Amber admits it's just her and Bob on the trip, but when Haddie asks if she wants to hook up with him, Amber tells her not to joke about such things.

Dinner with Drew and Mark is pretty awkward and mostly silent. Figuring small talk isn't Drew's thing, Mark cuts to the chase, asking his thoughts about the baby plan. While he understands it may feel weird, he wants Drew to be able to be direct with him, since they're going to be in each other's lives. Drew points out that not only does he have to see Mark at school, but he's significantly younger than Sarah. Drew breaks down and cries, admitting it seems like Sarah's ditching the two kids she already has to go off and start a new family with Mark. After dropping off Drew, an emotional Mark tells Sarah that he did succeed in getting Drew to open up - it just didn't pan out like he hoped. When Sarah asks what he said, Mark advises her to talk to Drew. Unable to stay away, Julia returns to Zoe's. She knows Zoe doesn't want to see her, but she just had to drop off some GED flash cards. Zoe can call if she wants to practice.

During the next gym class, Max and Micah sit on the sidelines, playing with their Game Boys. Max can't help himself; he butts in and tells Micah how to save himself from a zombie. Then he catches himself and apologizes. He's not supposed to tell people what to do. Micah doesn't mind; Max helped. And then an amazing thing happens. Max offers to swap Game Boys so Micah can try his game, even though it's his favorite in the whole world... and a fledgling friendship begins. Later, Bob charms everyone at the Sacramento conference with Amber's help.

Up in Sacramento, Amber and Bob have retreated to the hotel room for a make-out session, which is quickly threatening to become much more. When there's a knock on the door, neither of them expect to see a furious Kristina. Bob reminds Kristina that he and Amber are both adults, but Kristina isn't having any of it. Do they understand how this looks?! She tosses Bob out of the room and orders Amber to pack up her lingerie and get in the car. Amber promises to explain the whole thing, but Kristina takes the blame on herself. She's so disappointed. Back in Berkeley, Sarah stops Drew from going to Amy's house at 10:00 p.m. Assuming Mark told Sarah what happened, Drew admits he cried; it was embarrassing, and he doesn't want to talk about it. Has she told Seth about the baby? Drew cries again, confessing that he hoped Sarah might get back together with Seth once he got better.

Julia stops by Zoe's with groceries. Zoe thanks her for the job reference. It was super-nice, but the job just wasn't her style. Julia tries to brush it off, but the truth is she can't understand why Zoe wouldn't take the job. It's not long before they're both yelling, with Zoe upset that Julia's only concern is for the baby. Julia insists it's the opposite. Zoe can change her situation - getting this job was supposed to be easy! That's when Zoe breaks the news that she doesn't have a high school diploma, which was required for the job. Across town, Haddie sits down with her mother. She's not sure if she's freaking out, but is Bob Little a good person? Haddie might be making a mistake, but Amber might be, too. When Haddie mentions the sexy clothes Amber packed for the business trip, Kristina jumps out of bed and swings into action. Meanwhile, Amber and Bob hang out at the hotel bar, getting to know each other. Haddie calls, but Amber's having too much fun to pick up the phone.

Late that night, Crosby stops by Zeek's workshop to apologize for getting into his business. Zeek can be a baby about his health, and Crosby will respect his privacy. Zeek finally explains that finding out he has atrial fibrillation scared the hell out of him, and he didn't want anybody to know. Crosby admits he doesn't like the idea of his father getting older; he doesn't want him going anywhere. Zeek promises he won't. The next morning, Max charges into the kitchen to ask if his bedroom door is wide enough to accommodate a wheelchair because Micah, his friend from school, is pulling into the driveway. Adam and Kristina couldn't possibly be more excited, as are Micah's parents, who can't believe their son finally has a friend! Meanwhile Julia and Zoe practice with the GED flash cards, and Sarah calls Seth with her news. He should expect a call from Drew, who's going to need his dad.

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