Parenthood Season 3: "Heartbreaking" Baby Drama Ahead for the Bravermans
Brace yourself, Parenthood fans. The Braverman clan is about to expand. Twice.
In the second season finale, Julia (Erika Christensen) and Joel (Sam Jaeger) set their sights on adoption just as Kristina (Monica Potter) and Adam (Peter Krause) got the surprising news about baby No. 3.
The two new additions are certainly cause for celebration, but after Julia and Joel tried unsuccessfully for months to have a child of their own, Kristina's unplanned pregnancy will be a tough pill to swallow.
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"Adoption can be quite a process, and then at the same time, Kristina having gotten pregnant, that's heartbreaking for me to think about Julia finding out," Christensen told TVGuide.com at a Parenthood screening hosted by the Academy of Television Arts & Sciences. "I'm really interested to see how she finds out, how she deals with that and how it affects Julia and Kristina's relationship and the two families."
Christensen's on-screen husband is already bracing for a rough patch between the two families. "Julia really wanted a baby so badly. I think it may be a little hard for her to adjust to suddenly the other Bravermans getting a chance," Jaeger said. "I have a feeling we'll see some feelings of envy."
Learning to accept Kristina and Adam's stroke of luck is just one of the obstacles Julia and Joel will have to overcome in the months ahead. There's also breaking the news to the family about their own baby plans. "It's going to be one of those situations where everyone is invested and ultimately supportive of this whole process," Jaeger said. "But I'm interested to see because I'm sure there will be some hang-ups in the Braverman family about keeping it Braverman."
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The most important Braverman family member Julia and Joel will have to win over is their own 6-year-old daughter, Sydney (Savannah Rae). "I think the jump from one kid to two kids is pretty astronomical. And if that's a kid that isn't blood-related, it's a lot of conversations with our daughter, I think, and trying to understand what that means to her," Jaeger said. "She is extremely bright and extremely strong, like her mother, so I have a feeling she won't take to the new baby all that well."
Over at Kristina and Adam's house, the new baby's arrival comes just as their eldest daughter is getting ready to graduate high school and leave for college. Potter, who has three children of her own, says she can relate to that odd timing. "It's hard. It's very strange to let one go and then let another in, but it will also be very sweet to see them together," Potter says of Haddie (Sarah Ramos) and the new baby. "It will also be very interesting to see Max with the baby because he's always been the baby and Kristina is very protective of him."
Although Max is used to being the youngest, Max Burkholder says his on-screen alter ego will revel in getting less attention. "Max really likes to be alone sometimes, with his book, doing his own thing," he said. "I think — and I hope — he's going to get really excited about [the baby]."
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Max's Asperger's Syndrome and Haddie's college plans combined with the baby's impending arrival, will also put more pressure on Adam to find a new job after he was let go in the season finale. "Adam's got to figure out something else that he's going to do for a career and I think that's an interesting thing to explore," executive producer Jason Katims said. "He's a guy who's not necessarily coming in for an entry-level position. He's expecting something that is not that easy to find in this period of time. He really has to be creative to figure that out."
Lucky for Adam, help may be on the way in the form of a visit from some of Kristina's relatives. "I like the idea of, at some point, a story where her family comes out, or somebody from her family comes out to help," Katims said. "Then we get to see — in this very Braverman-centric world — what is Kristina's family like?"
Parenthood returns for Season 3 this fall on NBC.