"Parenthood" Election Day (TV Episode 2013) - Plot Summary Poster

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  • Election day stirs up emotions amongst the family - Jasmine (Joy Bryant) and Crosby (Dax Shepard) use the election as a teaching moment for Jabbar (Tyree Brown), while Kristina (Monica Potter) and Adam (Peter Krause) keep hopes high. Julia (Erika Christensen) and Joel (Sam Jaeger) deal with Victor's (Xolo Mariduena) reservations and Amber (Mae Whitman) has some of her own, when the band asks her to sing guide vocals. Meanwhile Sarah (Lauren Graham) helps Hank (Ray Romano) with a family affair.


The synopsis below may give away important plot points.



    Ryan assures Amber he has a handle on his medication. Adam is besieged by the press asking about the supermarket assault. Heather warns Kristina that Bob Little has found a way to go negative. Victors teacher tells Julia that Victor will have to be held back a year. Julia hugs Ed. Joel reminds Julia that she should not have left her firm, or spoken off-record to Victors teacher. Victor does not take the news well, including that he will be in the same grade as Sydney.


    Joel and Julia walk Victor through the school as students make snide comments about him. Joel, obviously upset about the situation and about Julia, steers Victor into a restroom. Ed comes by, oblivious until Julia tells him whats happening. Joel and Victor come out of the restroom, and Ed apologizes and leaves.

    Amber puts the laundry away and finds a full bottle of medicine in Ryans drawer.

    Max goes to the shop and finds a girl sitting at his workstation. He tells her that she is in his seat, but she tells him that her dad owns the shop so technically it is her seat. Hank comes over and introduces Max to Ruby.

    Kristina, accompanied by Heather, passes out campaign materials, works behind the counter at a diner and at a butcher shop, and reads stories at a preschool. Heather gets the latest poll. They are only behind by 2 and a half points, and Kristina is happy.


    Crosby and Jasmine are campaigning outside a grocery store in an urban neighborhood. Crosby wonders if Jasmine should be offended that Kristina sent them here. Jasmine thinks nothing of it and finds her work meaningful, especially since she had voted for Obama and that was a landmark event. Crosby pipes in that he too was moved by Obama's election and that he may still even have the "I Voted" sticker they give you at the polling place.

    Hank is showing Max what to do in the darkroom when Max declares his intention to ask Ruby to be his girlfriend. Hank is taken aback and tells Max its not a good idea. Max reasons that she was wearing a Sharks jersey, is fourteen, and is a girl, so that meets all the requirements. Hank warns Max that Ruby lives in Minnesota and that she is moody. This does not dissuade Max and he will ask her tomorrow.

    Crosby finds Amber at the Luncheonette sorting through papers. He asks her if she wants to do something creative and artistic instead and she follows him into the studio. Backup singers are coming tomorrow and Crosby asks Amber if she would like to lay the scratch track. She is hesitant and protests but Crosby starts recording. Zach the drummer watches from the control room. Amber does well as Crosby looks on proudly.

    Amber comes home, late, happy. Ryan is crashed on the sofa, pointing out the now-cold take-out dinner on the table. She tells him about her day. He is happy for her but also upset about her missing dinner. She brings up the bottle of meds and he assures her that its an old prescription. She says she felt he was hiding the pills from her. They snuggle.

    Joel, alone, sees a text on Julias phone from Ed. Julia comes in and blames their heavy texting on their work on the Sustainability Committee.

    Crosby takes Jabbar to their polling place. The poll worker cant find Crosby on the list of eligible voters. Crosby is persistent but the poll worker asks him to step out of line. Crosby, looking at Jabbar, holds up his hand and declares that since she wont let him vote privately, he will instead vote publicly and says loudly that he is voting for Kristina Braverman. Jabbar does the same.

    Max asks Ruby to be his girlfriend. Ruby does not know what to make of him and then tells Max that its not going to happen. Hank asks Ruby if she could be nice to Max but she is disgusted and threatens to call her mom. With Hank begging her not to, she storms out.

    Julia drives the kids home and Sydney points out all the bad things Victor did on the ride home. Victor storms into the house and up to his room. Julia demands that they talk about what has happened but Victor calls himself retarded and accuses Julia of lying when she had said he was smart.

    At their polling place, Adam admits to Kristina that he did not want her to run for office because she was coming off her fight with cancer, but now he is proud of her. They vote.

    Sarah is at home brushing her teeth when Hank knocks and goes into her apartment. Hank says she needs a woman now, and tells Sarah whats going on. Sarah takes it all lightly but freaks when Hank tells her what he asked Ruby to do. She tells Hank to tell Max that you cant say you have a girlfriend just because you like her; she has to like you back.

    Julia leaves a voice message, one of many, saying she is having a bad day with Victor and asking for the person (Joel? Ed?) to call her back.

    Jasmine comes home and gives Jabbar her I voted sticker. Jabbar tells her about his own voting adventure as Crosby tries to steer the conversation in a different direction. Jabbar talks about how they voted publicly. Jasmine looks on disapprovingly and asks to see Crosbys sticker.

    The band has overlaid their vocals over Ambers scratch track and they all like the song. They wont bring in the backup singers and will keep the song for the album. Amber is happy. The band heads off for a bar. Zach takes Amber along.

    Kristina and Adam are talking outside the polling place when Cora, in wheelchair, comes by. She tells Kristina how proud she is of her.

    Joel and Pete are in their trailer eating lunch and talking shop when Julia comes in. Julia demands to talk to Joel saying shes already voice-mailed him five times. When Pete tries to apologize for keeping Joel off the phone, Julia tells her its not her business. Joel asks if its an emergency and when Julia says no (no one is bleeding), Joel says that theyll have to talk later at home. Julia storms off.

    Crosby is all defensive saying Jasmine is being judgmental about his never having voted. He tells Jasmine he only said what he said about Obama because Jasmine was so emotional about it. Jasmine declares that if Kristina loses by one vote, it will be Crosbys fault.

    Hank, awkwardly, tries to talk to Max about having girlfriends and, generally, having conversations with people. He assures Max that with people like them, conversations will come easier with time. Max goes back to work and thanks Hank.

    The band and Amber are at the bar, drinking expertly. Amber notices her phone Ryan has been calling her. Hes wondering where she is for their date, and she apologizes that she got tied up celebrating the song. She tells Ryan shes on her way home but Ryan tells her not to drive and that hell come pick her up.

    Crosby is across the street from the polling place and corrals a man headed in to vote. He asks the man who he is voting for, and when the man says Bob Little, Crosby calls Little a pervert. He offers the man $20 to change his vote to Braverman. The man counter-offers that since Crosby is actually getting a plus-one for Braverman and a minus-one for Little, the pay-off should be $40. Crosby agrees with the stipulation that the man brings him a sticker.

    At the bar, Amber is upset over her argument on the phone with Ryan, and Zach puts a comforting hand on her shoulder. Ryan comes up and tells Amber if they are done cuddling, that he is ready to go. Oliver comes over to intercede and Ryan pushes him off. Zach tries to separate them and Ryan starts punching Zach, pounding him to the floor despite Ambers protests.

    Zeek goes to the police station and Amber breaks down.

    At the campaign headquarters, Sarah meets Drews Natalie. Max reports Kristina is ahead, but Littles districts have not come in yet. Jasmine is appalled that Crosby bought a vote. Julia accuses Joel of not being there when she needed him. Joel cannot believe how Julia treated Pete and worse, how she treated him in front of Pete. He reminds Julia he never did and never would do that to her. Joel, as if to appease Julia, concedes that he could not be there for her and for Victor and leaves.

    Heather is going over the numbers with Kristina and Adam. Kristina is not optimistic. Adam is.

    To a warm crowd, Kristina gives her concession speech. As she walks through the crowd, the woman from the debate who had problems with the school district accommodating her deaf daughter, introduces Kristina to the daughter. They hug under a sea of red, white and blue balloons.


    Crosby asks Amber if Ryan has ever gotten violent with her. Amber assures him that Ryan wouldnt. Amber tells Ryan that she cant keep overlooking things and he tells her hes just having a hard time adjusting. Julia tries to talk to Joel after hes spent the night on the couch. Julia hugs and then kisses Ed.

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