March 30th, 2011
01:39 PM ET
The Bravermans return after a break without the clouds that seemed to be hanging over them - well, most of them anyway.
Pre-break saw Jasmine and Crosby breaking up after a fight and infidelity on Crosby's part; the infidelity was with Max's therapist Gabby, which affected Kristina, Adam and Max. Sarah was back to bartending, and her unreliable ex was in and then back out of the scene.
While he was there, he did spark some creativity in her - Sarah's working on refining a play she wrote. Zeek, who brings his own style to being a supportive parent, decides to help Sarah with her dream of being a writer.
Without her permission or knowledge, he makes a copy and gives it to a war buddy who happens to be a Broadway director and producer (guest star Richard Dreyfuss). There are a couple of potential problems with Mr. Gilliam T. Blount: first, he doesn't have any credited productions since 2000, and Zeek isn't clear on why. Second, I saw some indications he may like his liquor a little too much. Zeek said Blount took some time off. I hope for Sarah's sake that isn't code for "landed in rehab and/or jail for most of the decade."
Sarah's daughter Amber is having her own problems. For once, they are problems a teenager should have in an ideal world. First, she's starting a new job at Julia's law firm. She meets a guy who works in the firm's garage. He clearly thinks Amber is old enough to hang out at happy hour. She doesn't bother to set him straight.
Amber's also waiting to hear from the two colleges she applied to. She hears from the safety school first and she didn't get in. Sarah tells her not to worry, that Berkley is the school she's meant to go to anyway. Not so much. Amber's contact at Berkley is thoughtful enough to call and break the news that she didn't get in. Amber reacts badly, hanging out with the too-old garage guy and getting high. When Julia finds her, she says she's terrified to talk to anyone about not getting into school. I don't think that's going to get better any time soon. Amber walks in on a session with Blount, Zeek and Sarah and it seems like she doesn't want to get in the way of something going well for her mom.
Crosby is still trying to get back together with Jasmine. She's not quite as hostile as she had been, but she's clearly leery of welcoming him back home. Crosby sees a way back in when Jabbar announces it's his turn to be class star. Crosby helps his son gather family pictures for his projects. He also plants some ideas with Jabbar intended to remind Jasmine how happy they were. Sneaky, yes. Wrong, probably. But it looks to me like she's thinking about it, which is much farther than Crosby was getting on his own.
Adam and Kristina are still dealing with the fallout of Crosby's one night stand with Gabby. Kristina accidentally finds out that the Lessings have hired Gabby to help with their son Noel on the same day Max's school calls asking for a parent-teacher conference.
It turns out the conference is good news. Max is doing so well in his classes, the principle is worried they'll lose the Bravermans to another school. Adam sees that as an opportunity to mainstream Max. Kristina is worried they'll lose the progress Max has made. She's worried about protecting him; Adam is worried they may be holding him back. Gabby comes by to apologize again and to check on Max. She and Kristina talk about the situation, which helps Kristina make a decision to put Max in a mainstream school. She also decides to forgive Gabby.
All in all it's a generally happier and shinier Braverman clan this show, with just a hint of a few clouds coming. What do you think is going to be the next trouble spot? Sarah dealing with the questionable Mr. Blount, Amber deciding what to do with her future, or Crosby and Jasmine deciding theirs?
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