January 4th, 2012
05:43 PM ET
On Tuesday night's return, the Braverman clan packed up for a family road trip.
Zeek has decided the entire family needs to go see his mother, whom he hasn't mentioned since the series began. He apparently has issues with Grandma Blanche, but decides to visit after she's fallen and injured herself. I can't imagine Zeek leading a caravan of Bravermans all over California without there being some sort of blow-up, or four.
Let's start with the awkward. Remember a few weeks ago, when someone at Drew's school posted a picture of Sarah kissing Mr. Cyr on the web, and how badly he took that? This week, he walked in on the two of them having sex.
During the road trip, he's very quiet while Sarah and Amber are having fun. He tells Amber what happened, and she tells her mom, who is appropriately horrified. Maybe not as horrified as Drew is when she attempts to talk to him about it, though.
At Adam and Kristina's house, the blow-ups begin before the bags are loaded in the car. First there's the tense search for the diaper bag, while Kristina is begging Max to turn down the video game. He doesn't do it so she does it for him. Max loses it, yelling at Kristina, throwing a pillow at her, and calling her a b****. Twice.
She tells him he's punished, and he's all "yeah right" about it. So she decides he's not going on the trip, which means she's not going and neither is Nora. Adam tries to talk her out of staying and into choosing another punishment, but she holds to her decision.
They finally hit the road, with a huge recliner Zeek got for his mom as a gift strapped in the back of his truck. In the car, Zeek is complaining to Camille about Kristina not being there. Camille: "I've heard you say any number of times they need to set boundaries with Max." Zeek: "Not on my time." Ha!
At home, Max gradually comes around about why he's being punished. First he thinks his mother will change her mind after he cleans his room, and he later makes dinner for her. Kristina finally relents when she and Max are unpacking his bag. He made his great-grandmother a card, explaining that the last time he saw her, she said she liked bugs.
When the gang stops for lunch, Zeek tells Adam he should put his foot down with Kristina. Adam replies that it's not 1950, and he wouldn't do that. Zeek clearly hasn't paid much attention to who Kristina is.
While Zeek is away from the table, Camille explains how Grandma Blanche wasn't supportive of Zeek's dreams when he was growing up, and how he's still waiting for her approval. The kids feel bad for him and attempt to be supportive, but he doesn't like that either. He gets crankier when the chair is stolen out of the back of the truck while Crosby was supposed to be keeping an eye on it. I'm not sure how no one noticed that, considering how huge it is, and how it was strapped down to the vehicle.
Zeek gets crankier still later at the hotel, complaining that the kids didn't want to be there. Crosby say they're there, and "you've got us piled in these cars like sharecroppers." Zeek storms off, and he and Camille ditch them the next morning, taking off before dawn without a word.
Zeek won't let Camille answer the phone when they call to find out what happened. At first, the kids decide not to follow and head home. But guilt overwhelms them (except for Sarah) and they all turnaround and head to Grandma's.
But Grandma Braverman isn't even at home when Zeek arrives. He breaks in the house, thinking something happened to her.
It turns out she's at her usual bridge game, and now Zeek is upset she's not there when she knew he was coming. He says he's done worrying about what she thinks. He does cheer up a tiny bit when Kristina, Max and Nora arrive. Kristina bought last-minute tickets so they could be there, but Adam and the rest of the family haven't arrived yet.
Zeek explains to her that he's screwed up. She tells him he's created a great, crazy family that she's proud to be a part of. She hints at problems in her own family, which makes me wonder what the deal is. She's mentioned something like that before, but no one from her family has appeared yet.
Grandma finally rolls up in the community golf cart. She said she knew they wouldn't get there until late because of the traffic.
Played by Frances Sternhagen, Grandma Blanche is the kind of mom who gives backhanded comments about birthday gifts from her grandkids, and points out to everyone that her son stopped by a roadside gift shop to get her present. It explains a bit about why Zeek is the way he is. It seems like he's made a big effort to be her opposite, while still worrying about what she wants.
What do you think? Do you want to know more about Zeek's childhood issues, or are you more interested in what Kristina's family is like?
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