Episode 4.01 : Family Portrait

  • Parenthood
    • Episode Premiere : September 11, 2012
    • Distributor : NBC
    • Genre : Drama
    • Seasons : 4
    • Show Period : 2010 - 2015
    • Production Company: Imagine Entertainment, Universal Media Studios
    • Official Site :

Cast and Crew

The Story

Since there are only a few days left until Haddie leaves for Cornell, Camille has organized a family portrait sitting. Sarah is hoping she'll allow Mark to be in the picture, but Camille is standing firm. There have been too many random people in their family photographs, thanks to Crosby. Zeek butts in the conversation: if Sarah and Mark's relationship is a lasting one, where's the ring? Luckily, Zeek has his hands full with Drew, who's been lifting weights all summer to prepare for the return of his girlfriend from camp. With Zeek distracted, Camille won't budge - family only in the family portrait. Across town, Crosby is more than a little distraught to find Jabbar praying, a new habit encouraged by Grandma Renee.

Joel and Julia are struggling to integrate Victor into their family; he would far prefer to watch TV and eat canned whipped cream than join in a family brunch. Breakfast at Adam and Kristina's isn't going great either. Kristina has organized a winter coat-shopping trip for Haddie, followed by a family dinner at Burger and Pie. Haddie's not interested. She's already committed to the family photo shoot and party, and she only has a few days left to see her friends for the last time. To top it off, Kristina wants her to spend "quality time" with Max, who points out that the reason Cornell is known as the "suicide school" is the frigid climate.

Sarah stops by the studio of the photographer Camille has hired, grumpy Hank Rizzoli, to make a deposit. Noticing a help-wanted sign in the window, Sarah lies, claiming she has experience as a photo assistant. Much to her surprise, Hank tells her to show up tomorrow afternoon for a job - she can consider it a trial period. Mark is shocked to learn that Sarah lied to Hank, but he's more concerned about being left out of the family photograph. Sarah explains Camille is holding firm; Mark will be in the picture next year when they're married. Still, she's surprised to see how much it means to Mark. Victor visits with Max, who shows off his lizard, Guacamole. Max won't let Victor hold Guacamole, explaining that he doesn't trust him because he's adopted, which makes him not exactly family yet.

After dinner with Grandma Renee and his parents, Jabbar runs off to say his prayers before bed, creating the perfect segue for Crosby and Jasmine to bring up the subject of religion. They delicately explain that they would prefer to be the ones to discuss religion with Jabbar. But when Renee asks them about their belief system, Crosby and Jasmine are left speechless. Meanwhile, after a day of heavy flirting, Amber beds down with Nick, one of the musicians recording at The Luncheonette, where she now works.

Sarah lugs Hank's heavy equipment into Trish's backyard for another family's photo shoot. She makes fast friends with Trish, whose father has just died, as Hank hangs in the background; clearly, he's not a people person. But when he asks Sarah to scramble for the right equipment to capture a photo during golden hour, she fails epically, and he misses the shot. Clearly, she has no experience. Adam, Kristina and the kids gather at Burger and Pie, where no one's having a good time. The baby's crying, and Max is in a mood. When he learns Burger and Pie no longer carries his favorite burger, he has a meltdown. In the end, Kristina yells at everyone to start having a good time celebrating Haddie's departure. Silence ensues.

Kristina calls Julia to put out the word that Guacamole the lizard is missing. Julia sees through Kristina's kind words, realizing Max suspects Victor stole his lizard. She promises to ask Victor, but she doesn't really want to. Sarah shows up for what she thinks is her second day of work, only to learn she's fired. Hank explains that she blatantly lied about her experience, and they missed the shot. Sarah points out that he has 300+ great shots - and if he wanted to fire her, why didn't he do it yesterday? Hank admits he needed somebody to load the van. Across town at The Luncheonette, Amber is stunned when Nick's girlfriend shows up to a recording session. Since Amber doesn't have much of a poker face, it's not long before Crosby figures out what happened.

After an awkward conversation with Jasmine about core beliefs, Crosby consults his parents. Camille explains they spent the '60s exploring their spirituality. After trying Buddhism and living on a commune, Camille and Zeek decided they believed more in the world around them and their family than any religion. More importantly, Zeek points out, they gave their kids baseball. Julia and Joel have the lizard conversation with Victor, who grumpily insists he didn't take Guacamole. But Max is obsessed; he can't talk about anything else, despite Haddie's compliance with her mother's request to spend some quality time. Max only registers interest when Haddie gives him a going-away present. It's a weighted blanket, designed to give kids with autism and Asperger's a sense of comfort. But when Haddie tells him she loves him, all he'll say is, "Thanks."

That night, Kristina reluctantly reveals her disappointment in the Burger and Pie dinner to Adam. She had such a great week lined up, but nothing's going as planned, and Haddie's never going to live with them again. Contemplating an empty nest, Kristina tears up and drains her wine glass. The next morning, Julia and Joel are just getting it on when Julia screams. It's Guacamole, in their bedroom! Thinking of Haddie, Adam sits in the control booth with Crosby, gathering a head of steam while Nick and his band are recording. After what Nick did to Amber, Adam wants him out. Suddenly, Adam grabs the mic, telling the band to unplug and leave now! When Crosby tries to talk him down, all Adam will say is, "You don't have a daughter!"

Mark stops by to talk to Camille, in hopes of getting permission to participate in the family portrait. Mark promises he's not going anywhere; he loves Sarah, and though he respects family policy, he is a proud part of their family. Can't Zeek and Camille be proud of that too? Meanwhile, Haddie finds Max flinging the contents of her carefully packed bags to the floor in a desperate search for Guacamole. Frustrated, Haddie heads for the door. Adam and Kristina follow, voices raised. They have to get ready for the portrait and the party, which has all been planned for her! Haddie explodes. None of this week's plans have been for her, and right now, she really needs some space. Haddie stalks out, leaving Adam and a teary-eyed Kristina wondering if she's even going to show up to the party.

The troops are gathering at Zeek and Camille's. Sarah bids Hank an awkward hello, then gets pulled into a conversation about God with Crosby. When Mark shows up, Joel and Jasmine are shocked. They had to wait years to get into the Braverman family picture! Hank is skeptical of Mark too, especially when Max tells him that he's Sarah's fiance. Hank decides Max may be a little weird, but he likes him. Of course, Max isn't sure that he likes Hank yet, and says so. Amber pulls Adam out of the fray to talk about the Nick incident. When Adam explains he's not going to stand by and let Amber get taken advantage of, Amber insists she was a willing participant, and Adam shouldn't throw away good business. He's got to start treating her not only as an adult, but also as an employee. Adam admits he's protective. He doesn't want to see Amber get hurt.

When Haddie finally arrives at her grandparents', she finds Victor off to himself, contemplating the photo timeline the whole family has made for her. Haddie admits that while the Bravermans are crazy, they're irreplaceable. They enjoy a quiet moment together, but it's not long before the whole family descends, and it's time to take the family portrait. The next day, Sarah stops by Hank's to pick up the DVD of the family photos. She points out Max, explaining he has Asperger's, which is no mystery to Hank. After an awkward goodbye, Sarah turns to go, but Hank can't help getting a last dig in: Sarah can tell her mom, that if it doesn't work out with "junior," Hank will gladly Photoshop him out of the family portrait. Is Mark a Make-a-Wish kid? It turns out that all Hank's ribbing is his way of offering Sarah a job. After all, she has the schmooze and talking to people mostly makes Hank sick to his stomach.

Drew's thrilled to see Amy walking down the street - she's finally home from camp. But when they kiss, he can tell something's changed... That night, Crosby and Jabbar are stargazing, the perfect time to talk about what Jabbar's been praying for. Jabbar explains that he asks God to watch over his family, and also to give him a motorcycle and an Xbox. Crosby acknowledges that while Grandma Renee believes in God, Crosby believes in Jabbar, and he believes in family. On a night like tonight, when he's sitting outside with his son, eating delicious cookies, he can't help feeling he's been blessed - by something. Jabbar agrees: life is good.

It's bedtime, and Julia's worried about Victor, which is pretty much status quo nowadays. This is a critical time: they have to help Victor feel loved, trusted and like he's part of the family. After five months of walking on eggshells, Joel feels that now's the time to really treat Victor like family - not a guest. Julia will only say, "I feel like I'm waiting to fall in love with our son."

It's finally time for Haddie to say goodbye. Adam offers her a parting $20 for cab fare, and everyone puts on a straight face. After perfunctory hugs, Haddie gets on the security line. After a few glances back at her parents, she can't stand it. Haddie runs back to them in tears for a giant, swaddling hug.






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