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Emmys 2017
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Parenthood recap: 'Too Big to Fail'

Financial troubles drive several Bravermans to reevaluate their lives and make plans for the future.

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Parenthood Recap
Colleen Hayes/NBC


TV Show
Current Status:
In Season
run date:
Lauren Graham, Craig T. Nelson

It’s hard to be Crosby Braverman these days. His business is tanking; his beloved, larger-than-life father is showing signs of frailness; his kids are running him ragged; and let’s not forget his controlling wife who seems to do nothing more than endlessly tear him down. Until now. But before we get to the woman who looks like Jasmine and sounds like Jasmine but who very definitely isn’t acting like Jasmine, let’s hop in Jason Katims‘ time machine, because we’re about to get shot three months into the future.

When I saw the photos from this week’s episode a few days ago, I actually said to myself, “Wow, Amber looks about three months more pregnant than last week.” Sure enough, we’re told from the first second of “Too Big to Fail” that three months have indeed passed since we last left our Bravermans. I guess since we’re now officially through the first half of this farewell season, it’s time to speed things up. Sorry, I didn’t mean to make you grab the tissues just yet.

But yes, Amber has officially popped. I’m assuming she’s about six months along only because at one point during the episode Hank commented that she was carrying 6/9 of a person… and I’m good at math. Plus, I’m predicting a final episode birth, and after some investigating (I’m also good at Googling) I’ve discovered that episode 13 usually falls around mid-January, which is about three months from now. Her new—bigger—belly is obviously as much of a shock to her as it is to us viewers, as she spends most of the episode cradling it. Another shock? The amount of stuff—not to mention the dollar amount the stuff adds up to—this baby is going to need. When she and Drew go shopping, they are both overwhelmed, which motivates both of them to start thinking of their futures. Hey, that stroller that folds up on its own isn’t going to pay for itself.

Amber wants—and needs—a raise. When she details to Uncles Adam and Crosby why she deserves one, they remind her The Luncheonette is struggling. (Apparently they’ve only had a couple of studio sessions in the past three months. Uh-oh.) Despite this, Crosby still wants to give her a raise, but ever-practical Adam thinks they may have to start deferring their own salaries and that they probably should’ve fired Amber long ago. When Amber overhears this, she’s understandably upset, and over the course of a day (two days?) makes sure her uncles know that she’s there to help solve the problem—she’s part of this team! Although Adam is tired of everyone thinking he’s “Mr. Back-up Plan,” he tells Amber he won’t quit until she gets her raise. “We’re family and we’re going to take care of you.” That’s very sweet, but her baby’s not gonna drink that blood you’re squeezing from the turnip, dude.

Drew, also concerned for his future as well as feeling responsible for Amber (which earns him every brother of the year award until forever) decides to declare Economics as his major, even though it’s clear it isn’t his thing (thank you, girlfriend Natalie, for reminding him). When he asks Adam for advice, Adam encourages his nephew to explore what makes him happy and follow his dreams. Crosby bursts in, telling Drew to learn how to make money. “Money buys you happiness. Greed is good!” he insists. Adam continues to disagree, which is a bit surprising considering the fact that he’s been following his dream into an overdrawn bank account for the past three months and supporting a family of five—which includes college tuition AT CORNELL and building the charter school, which I cannot imagine is generating any income for Kristina—on who knows what. Leftover money from his shoe company? Good investments? Kristina isn’t worried, though, so I suppose we shouldn’t be. When Adam finally explodes with the pressure of all the stress and wonders if he should just call a headhunter and get a paying job (and by “explodes” I mean he raises his voice for 11 seconds), Kristina reminds him that’s not who he is—that he likes helping people—and that’s why she loves him. Then she gives him a hand job. But really.

NEXT: No desire for intercourse