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Parenthood – Amber, a political scandal in the making?

After a mini-break, 'Parenthood' returned with a delightfully complicated stew of an episode highlighted by Bobby Little wanting to show Amber he's not so little.

- Season 3, Episode 15 - "Politics"

History is rife with the carcasses of dead political campaigns, killed by the fact that the candidates couldn’t keep their zippers closed. You’d think that by now, these male pols would’ve wised up and realized that it’s not a savvy campaign strategy to make a teenage campaign employee your personal assistant and then make a play for her, particularly when your campaign manager is that girl’s aunt.

But no, Parenthood decided to make Bobby Little another in a long line of tone-deaf candidates who don’t think through the impact of sexual contact with a young, female staffer. While I did not want the show to go to there, it is there nonetheless. So the question is whether Amber — who’s always been a weird mix of preternatural maturity and edgy recklessness — will go with it, knowing, deep down, that if news of an affair between the two of them came to light during the campaign it wouldn’t help his success at the ballot box? Will Auntie Kristina intervene?

Other storylines advanced incrementally down fascinating inlets:

Still pretty murky: Is Zoe simply making the necessary emotional separation from Julia and Joel so she can live with herself after she surrenders her baby to them, or is she getting cold feet about the whole adoption? Her abrupt decisions to move out and quit her job, plus freeze Julia out, leave all of that in question. Then again, there’s always been an uncertain vibe about how or whether this adoption would actually proceed.

Potentially messy: Fortysomething Sarah spoke the plain truth to Mark: If you want to have a baby with me, it’s now or never because my eggs aren’t getting any younger. Meeting Mark’s twentysomething mates, none of whom have children, didn’t turn out to be the ugly, stereotypical generational clash it could’ve been, which was a relief, but it did propel their story forward, compelling Sarah to spell out the biological realities to Mark, that they can’t travel and climb mountains if he wants to have a biological baby with her. I like how their romance has been depicted since that awful, Freudian scene when Drew saw Sarah and Mark in flagrante delicto.

No longer irritating: Crosby (sporting a Friday Night Lights Panthers tee!) was surprisingly innocuous in this episode. Usually, his man-boyishness drives me batty. But this time, his discomfort with stealing a client from his former recording studio peeps was charming, as he learns that business isn’t about being the aw-shucks, nice guy, especially when you’ve got two families to support.

As for Jasmine and the doc, poor Dr. Joe. He has no idea that despite his sweetness, thoughtfulness, professional success, good looks, his offer to buy fabulous digs for Jasmine and Jabbar to share with him, and his open-as-the-prairie-sky earnestness, it’s never gonna work. The Crosby-Jasmine estrangement is a plot device. They’ll reunite. The writing’s on the wall. I’m sure of it. …

Photo Credit: NBC

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