Jump Ball

Season 5
Episode 513
Air Date 01/16/14
TV-14

It's early in the morning, and Amber has the music cranked. She's determined to clean every last bit of Ryan out of her apartment, but it's a heck of a lot harder than she thought. So she calls in sick to work and hits the road with her iPod, driving aimlessly up the coast. By the time night falls, Amber's been hitting the flask, and she's feeling pretty sorry for herself.

Hank stops by The Luncheonette to give Adam a photo he took of Bob Dylan as an awkward way of asking for a referral to Max's Asperger's doctor without actually asking. Adam excitedly tells Kristina all about their conversation: if Hank has Asperger's, that means Max could grow up to be like him - and that's not too bad. Charged up, Adam decides it's time to befriend Hank, so he invites him to the Braverman poker game against Crosby's serious objections - Hank is a little bit of a freak! Hank schedules a consult with Dr. Pelikan, who refuses to give him a firm diagnosis after only one appointment. Hank's not willing to spend thousands on a diagnosis, so he asks Pelikan to ballpark it. Pelikan will only say it's a jump ball: the spectrum is wide, so maybe Hank has Asperger's, maybe he doesn't.

Julia wakes up, surprised to find herself alone. Clearly Joel never came home last night. Julia does her best to hide her anguish from the kids, and her first chance to ask Joel where he slept doesn't present itself until after the kids are in bed. What's happening with their marriage?! Joel doesn't know, but he does know he's going to work tomorrow morning, and then playing poker with his brothers-in-law in hopes of keeping the Braverman rumor mill in check.

It's been two weeks and Amy is still living with Drew in his dorm room - and doing all his laundry. Berto is surprised to learn she hasn't yet told her parents that she didn't go back to school; Drew is concerned, too. Later in the day, Drew runs into Natalie, who berates him for spending all his time with Amy. She reminds him about their astrology class' overnight trip to see the meteor shower at Grizzly Peak. Can Drew leave Amy's side long enough to go on the trip or what?

Camille has finally returned home from her trip to Italy, and the whole family gathers to welcome her back to the fold. It doesn't take long for Zeek to realize that not only has Camille come back with a sleek new hairstyle, but she's got a brand new independent attitude. Life will not be returning to Zeek's norm any time soon. Hoping to get things back on track, Zeek takes Camille out to their favorite Italian restaurant. That's when she lays out her plans for the future. She's gotten herself a part-time job so she can pay for her next trip, which will be in three months. Zeek's dream may be for them to grow old together in the Berkeley house, but Camille refuses to give up her dream of a magnificent third act, experiencing all that the world beyond Berkeley has to offer.

Before leaving for the overnight trip to Grizzly Peak, Drew tells Amy he's worried she's missing so many classes. He's surprised when Amy explains she can't go back to college: she hates Tufts, and she's been feeling "scary alone." The one thing that takes her out of that dark, scary alone place is Drew; he's all she has. Drew has second thoughts just as he's about to get on the bus to Grizzly Peak... Moments later, he's back in his dorm room, falling into Amy's arms.

Julia stops by Sarah's to tell her the whole sordid story of kissing Ed and the probable ensuing dissolution of her marriage. Now she's beginning to wonder if the reason Joel didn't come home is that he's up to something with Peet... Older sister Sarah wipes away Julia's tears and assures her Joel will come around. He won't kill their marriage over a tiny mistake.

Amber pulls into a roadhouse - where it appears her father Seth works as a cook - for several more rounds of whiskey. When a pesky dude tries to pick her up, Amber mouths off, and the situation quickly escalates into a screaming match. The hubbub draws Seth, who's stunned to see Amber. She runs for her car and Seth runs after her; there's no way he's letting her drive drunk. Amber lets it all go and starts screaming. It's all Seth's fault she's drunk and that Ryan left. And no, Amber's not blaming him because Ryan was just like him; she's blaming him because she's afraid she is just like him. Sarah's surprised when Seth calls with news that Amber's spending the night, and that he'd like to take the opportunity to be her dad for once.

The beer flows at the Braverman poker game and it's not long before Crosby and Hank are arguing over wild cards. Unable to withstand the onslaught, Joel says, "I don't know what I'm doing here," and abruptly leaves. Crosby takes off with his buddy, Will, and pretty soon, Adam and Hank are the only guys left. Thinking he ruined the game, Hank asks Adam to give his apologies to Crosby and tells him about his appointment with Dr. Pelikan. It was a jump ball... Joel returns home with a frown on his face. After looking at his sleeping kids for a very, very long time, he tells Julia he's moving out.

In the morning, Seth makes pancakes for Amber, who apologizes for last night's bad behavior. She knows she has to stop being so mad at him. Seth wants to make one thing perfectly clear: Amber will never be like him. If she were, she wouldn't be there.

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