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One of the best shows on TV is back, and after a heavy storyline last year involving cancer, the tissue-grabbing series was renewed for a full fifth season, where last year’s abbreviated 15-episode season definitely left us wanting more.
When we last saw Crosby (Dax Shepherd) and Jasmine (Joy Bryant) they were celebrating their anniversary with news of her pregnancy. Season 5 opens with the couple, several months later, shopping for the expected Braverman, or Trussle-Braverman. The first name is still being discussed as well. Jasmine is visibly feeling something and believes she’s going into labor. An anxious Crosby, stating that this can’t be happening yet because the due date is three weeks away, is rambling about all the things they still need to do, but is cut off by Jasmine saying she doesn’t want to give birth in the store and to get her to the hospital.
The relationship between Hank (Ray Romano) and Sarah (Lauren Graham) came to a breaking point as Hank, in an attempt to do everything for his daughter, followed his ex-wife to Minnesota to stay in his daughter’s life. Opening the door for a drunk tenant who has forgotten his keys, we now see Sarah has moved on, living in an apartment complex as a superintendent. As she’s giving the keys to her tenant, Carl, his even more drunk date, Lincoln, notices some photos that show Sarah continues her passion for photography.
With the cancer story arc of last season, Kristina (Monica Potter) is now cancer free. As she and husband Adam (Peter Krause) are in a bar dancing, they discuss the gift of life that they have, wanting to follow a more “Carpe Diem” attitude, to not hold back with things they want to do in life. Following this suggestion, they decide to call Adam’s dad, Zeek (Craig T. Nelson), to watch the kids for the night so they can get a cheap motel room to go to “Funkytown.”
The love story continues for Amber (Mae Whitman) and Ryan (Matt Lauria). Amber sits in front of her laptop talking on Skype with Ryan, who has been deployed to the Middle East again. As she’s asking how he is, just wanting to know if he’s OK, the Skype connection freezes and is lost.
Back to where we started, we see Crosby and Jasmine welcome a baby girl into the world. While Jasmine revels in how cute their girl is, Crosby can’t help but notice “She’s so white.”
Max (Max Burkholder) strolling down the street, making sure to stay in his “radius,” the distance his parents allow him to walk to on his own, goes to Hank’s new photography studio, stating that the camera he gave him is broken. Max curiously walks around the studio asking questions, noticing how Hank has a shoot set up, explaining he understands the reasoning for the positioning of the lights and how it affects the photograph. Impressed, Hank takes a look at some photos Max has taken, of course of Max’s favorite things, bugs. Although he doesn’t understand the interest, he says that the pictures are very good and suggests to Max that he take photographs of people.
Joel (Sam Jaeger) takes Julia (Erika Christensen) and their kids, Sydney (Savannah Paige Rae) and Victor (Xolo Mariduena), to the construction site Joel is trying to land a contract with. Even though this contract would be two years of work for Joel, Julia assures him that he’ll land the job. In response, Joel is confident that Julia will land the job she is interviewing for, a law firm that had been courting her from her previous firm that she left to spend more time with the kids.
Kristina receives a surprise visit from Bob Little (Jonathan Tucker), the politician she had previously helped on his mayoral campaign. Hesitant because of the history of Bob with her niece Amber, she listens to his decision to run again. Not asking to help on his campaign, Bob asks Kristina to run his campaign. Goading at her want to improve education, he states that education would be her main priority if he gets into office.
The entire Braverman family comes to see Jasmine and Crosby’s new baby. As any parents with a newborn, tired, cranky and really tired, Jasmine and Crosby are fairly short with the rest of the family as they try to suggest names, and re-introduce the discussion of the last name as well.
As Sarah is talking to Julia about a class Drew (Miles Heizer) is taking in college at Berkeley, Amber interrupts stating that Drew isn’t taking that particular class anymore. Sarah realizes that Drew has been uncommunicative with her and looks to Amber for some help. Amber also looks to Sarah for support on missing Ryan.
Kristina talks to Adam about jumping on board with Bob Little, expressing that this would be a “Carpe Diem” moment. While Adam is very opposed, saying that he really doesn’t trust him, especially about what happened with him and Amber, Kristina doesn’t shut the door on the opportunity, stating the she’s not going to tell Bob “no.”
Still feeling out of the loop, Sarah talks to Amber about Drew, saying that she didn’t even know he was dropping the class, and that Drew will only text her in abbreviations that she doesn’t even understand. Amber tries to assure her that Drew is just busy and that she should just call him directly.
Julia goes to her interview and is praised for her past work by the interviewer, but when asked about calling her ex-boss for a reference, she admits that she didn’t leave on the best terms.
Crosby falls asleep and burns bread in the toaster oven while trying to make Jasmine lunch, starting an argument about sleep deprivation, and how Crosby doesn’t understand why both of them have to be awake in the middle of the night for feedings. Crosby, looking at his daughter, doesn’t understand how to cope with the sleep deprivation.
Adam goes to visit Hank at his studio, making sure that Max is not a bother to him. Adam, bringing up his primary reason for the visit, tells Hank he’s sure it isn’t the case, but wants to make sure that Hank isn’t using Max as an excuse to get back with Sarah. Hank assures him, knowing that Sarah has said that she broke up with him when in actuality it was mutual, that is not the case, and that he thinks Max has real potential as a photographer and is not bothering him at all. Hank has his doubts on how bothersome Adam is, though.
As Joel and Julia are preparing dinner for Joel’s prospective client, “Pete,” Julia lets Joel know that she didn’t get the job. As the doorbell rings, Julia, trying to be positive, and knowing now how much of their financial life is riding on Joel’s contract, says that she’ll be the supportive housewife and charm “Pete” over. “Pete isn’t really who you might be expecting,” Joel says, as Julia opens the door to find that Pete is female.
As they sit eating dinner, Pete asks Julia what she does. She says that she stays at home and takes care of the kids. Joel quickly pipes in and says that Julia’s a lawyer and decided to leave her job to stay home with the kids. Pete inventively says to Julia “I knew you weren’t just a housewife,” which, obviously, rubs Julia the wrong way.
Kristina goes to see her friend Gwen (Rose Abdoo) at the doctor’s office while Gwen receives treatment for her cancer that has come back. As Kristina is talking to her, she mentions that Bob Little has asked her to run his campaign, which would help her make changes for education. She also states that Adam is very much against it, saying you can’t work for someone you don’t fully trust. Gwen tells her that “this is not a dress rehearsal,” and that she needs to do what is best for her.
Joel and Julia are outside talking. Julia is saying that she knows she screwed up, making the rash decision to quit her job, knowing now that her ex-boss will never give her a good reference. Joel tries to assure her that it will be OK when he is interrupted with a phone call. He got the contract. In his joy, he tries to tell Julia that he knows they were talking about her, but she quickly says that she’s fine about it and they should just celebrate getting the contract.
Needing some brotherly advice, Crosby calls Adam to come meet him and talk. As Crosby slowly drives to Adam’s house, he tells him that he needs to get in the car, even though he is still driving, so the baby doesn’t wake up. Crosby, full of anxiety from lack of sleep, doesn’t understand why a real connection between him and his baby girl has not happened yet, knowing that Jasmine seemed to have an immediate connection. Adam says it will happen, even though he never had a problem having a connection and bonding with his children immediately. He also tells Crosby to get some sleep, which will help him feel better, too. As Adam steps out of the moving car, he slams the car door too hard, waking up the baby.
As Adam and Kristina are getting ready for bed, Kristina brings up the subject of Bob Little again. Adam tries to immediately shut it down, saying she can’t work for someone she can’t respect. Kristina vehemently agrees, saying back that he’s right, that she can’t work for someone she can’t respect and doesn’t trust, and she says, “That’s why I decided to run against him.” With a short silence of confusion, Adam says that she doesn’t have the experience to be a mayor, that it’s a lot more than she’s ever handled before, that he knows she’s trying to “seize the day,” but that it’s not the best time for this. She says that she does want the timing to be better, to have thousands of cancer free scans, for Nora to be a little older, but insists that she wants to do this. As she holds up paperwork, she tells him that the deadline to file is tomorrow at noon.
Lying on their bed together, Crosby and Jasmine talk about the difficulties of having a newborn. Jasmine says that even though it’s hard, it’s great to have such a connection to the baby. She then suggests the name Aida… Aida Braverman.
As Kristina is walking up the stairs to the Berkeley City Hall building, she runs into Bob Little and he asks if she has some good news for him. She says, “I think so. I filed my papers this morning. I’m running for mayor.”
Sarah receives an unexpected visit from her son Drew, who has brought her favorite pizza over.
Marching soldiers enter into a hall, with family and friends waving flags in support, where a misty eyed Amber is waiting for her soldier. As the troops line up, Amber and Ryan’s eyes meet, and soon as the soldiers are dismissed, they find their way to each other through the crowd. He holds her face in his hands, kisses her, then without hesitation he kneels down and asks Amber to marry him. Shocked in disbelief, with tears running down her face, she pauses for a brief second or two before saying yes.