The Bravermans have morphed into the best TV family since Party of Five’s orphaned Salinger clan. The last two episodes of season two featured some of the show’s best writing and acting complete with those awkward, tense moments all families experience as well as the highs that make you forget that just yesterday you wanted to strangle your _________ (insert family member of your choice.)

One of the best moments comes courtesy of the technology most people can’t seem to do without. You know how your cell phone will sometimes become unlocked or simply possessed and dial the last number you called and all the person on the other end hears is the rustling inside your bag or pants pockets? Well, when 16 year-old Haddie’s cell phone accidentally calls her parents, Adam and Christina hear what every parent doesn’t want to and their ensuing embarrassment, discomfort, and desire to protect their daughter is both painful and funny, but mostly real. Even in today’s hyper aware world of too much information, parents still don’t know how to nor enjoy the necessary job of speaking to their kids about sex.

Amber, still in the throes of teen torment, takes her acting out to a new level and gets into an accident after a night of drinking. While the family gathers at the hospital to support Sarah, Max has a meltdown that is heartbreaking, uncomfortable, and frustrating. The scene seamlessly integrates Max’s autism and the fact that all families constantly deal with their own issues day in and day out. Meanwhile, it seems that despite almost going through a windshield Amber hasn’t learned her lesson until her grandfather Zeke takes her aside for a heart to heart. Proving that sometimes the person of fewest words in a family has the most impact when they do speak.

Crosby’s desperate quest to win Jasmine back is touching and appealing to the romantic in us but the reasons they broke up in the first place are never fully addressed or resolved, nor is Jasmine’s share of the responsibility for their problems. But, maybe this is meant to be the same as in real life where often our idealistic, hopeful view of love overshadows logic.

The story of Sarah blossoming into a writer almost overnight is a little too good to be true and sends her character back into full blown annoying mode. Although, guest star Richard Dreyfuss gets the best line of the show at Sarah’s expense, which almost makes up for it. Julia’s helping to deliver a baby is a bit on the heavy-handed side and the only thread in the episode that doesn’t fully ring true.  The episode wraps up with a few decisions and discoveries that will make for plenty of drama and hand wringing in season three. Can’t wait to see how the Bravermans will deal with what’s coming up next.

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