Adam Braverman Is A Terrible Husband
And our commentator is getting sick of his crap.
When my esteemed colleague Joe Reid, in a recent episode of the Extra Hot Great podcast, offered up the Six Feet Under pilot for submission to The Canon and I had the chance to watch the episode again for the first time in years, I came to the conclusion that the show portrayed Peter Krause's character, Nate Fisher, as a tiresome, hectoring jagoff without necessarily endorsing the character or those deficits in his personality, and that maybe the intensity with which we all hated Nate -- because we all did, right? -- was actually a credit to Krause's performance. After watching the latest Parenthood, though, I wonder if what's actually the case is an observation my other esteemed colleague, Sarah D. Bunting, made on IM this morning: "No matter how well a Krause-acter starts out, it'll always revert to smug douche eventually."
And look, I admit that it didn't take a Susan Miller to see this coming: of course Krause's Parenthood character, Adam Braverman, wasn't on board with the Berkeley mayoral bid his wife Kristina (Monica Potter) announced in last week's episode, and wasn't going to be. I just thought it would take longer for him to get to the point where he thought he had a right to admit to his true feelings -- and the way the latest episode unrolled kind of made it seem like he thought he'd get more time to let his true shittiness show itself, too, but that, with Kristina's hire of talented, experienced, driven campaign manager Heather Hall (Jurnee Smollett-Bell), now Kristina's candidacy has the momentum of a runaway freight train, and Adam can't be cute anymore. So as Heather essentially deposes Adam about his past indiscretions that might arise and potentially damage Kristina's campaign, he accidentally admits what he really thinks about the whole enterprise, which is that Kristina's opponent (and former boss) Bob Little (Jonathan Tucker) is a viable candidate, and that Kristina has no shot, so why are they even bothering to do all this preparation that's ultimately going to come to nothing? SHITTY.
Heather, no fool, takes this information back to Kristina and, in her straightforward yet reassuring manner, points out to Kristina that if her candidacy is going to be successful, Kristina will need the support of her husband, showing up to campaign events and looking like he actually thinks she's the best person for the job, not standing behind her tapping his foot waiting for her to quit playing pretend so she can come home and make the kids' lunches. And so Kristina, with her new "it has to be now" mindset, asks him about Heather's report, and here's what he does, you guys: he tries to make it seem like the reason he doesn't support her campaign is that he's worried about her health. SHITTIER.
The fact that Kristina is still relatively newly in remission from her cancer is a consideration, to be sure, and one that Adam did raise, in a spirit of concern, when Kristina first shared her intentions with him in last week's season premiere. But even at the time, that felt to me like a convenient cover for Adam's true position, which is that he likes her being the primary custodial parent at home because it means he doesn't have to do it; lots of episodes have revolved around the difficulties Adam has had in dealing with Max (Max Burkholder) and his Asperger's. So for Adam to say Kristina's cancer -- the specter of which obviously still hangs over her, but which she's trying to turn into a positive by letting it fuel her ambition -- is the reason he's hesitant about this pursuit lets him claim the moral high ground: officially, he's not supporting her because he's so concerned about her, even though he freely told Heather the real reason is that he thinks Kristina's going to lose. It's emotional manipulation, and it's gross.
I spent the whole episode following Kristina's confrontation with Adam waiting for them to have another conversation where he admitted that he was wrong and that she should celebrate her survival however she sees fit, or at least with her telling a third party that she might be better off without a husband than with one who's such a wad. But I should have known that, because this is Parenthood, this wasn't going to be solved in a single episode. Adam and Kristina remain in the same ideological positions they were in before Heather got involved; he shows up for Kristina's announcement, and when she explicitly asks if he supports her and has got her back, he says yes, and makes this face:
To which she makes this face:
Because she knows he's full of shit, and this isn't over. Maybe Adam and Kristina's marriage survived his kissing a girl, as we were reminded about in this episode, but depending on how far things go, maybe it won't survive his inability to help her achieve her political ambitions. And if a man of Philip Christiansen's stature couldn't handle it, a weasel like Adam almost certainly shouldn't be expected to.
What did you think?