Will 'Parenthood' Get Joel and Julia Back Together? Or Will The Couple Continue To Be In "Limbo"?

Joel and Julia are on a rough road. This is purposeful and, of course, plotted. But where do they go from here? Thursday night's Parenthood found Julia saying what so many of us have been thinking, what's made Joel one of the least likable characters of the season: "How are you not fighting for us? How are you not fighting for me?"

One of the things that's hurt the most watching this separation storyline has been Joel's reaction to the whole thing — almost immediate resignation, as if he'd given up on this marriage months before Ed even thought of kissing Julia. He was supposed to be the sweet one, the virtuous one — what happened? In their conversation about Julia's grief over Joel opting out of being Aida's godparent with her, he says "Julia, you'll still be her godparent." "But I wanted to do it with you," she says.

Joel moving out wasn't just an excuse for a heartbreaking scene centering on two parents delivering the bad news to their kids. This episode underlined what it truly means when someone walks out on a marriage — and all of the promises made over the years. It underlined what it really means to lose a person you assumed would be your partner for the rest of your life.

We still don't know for sure whether or not Julia really has lost her partner. We know that barring some freak accident and/or death, Joel will never walk out on those kids, so she'll always have a partner there. But when it comes to their marriage?

My instincts, as well as the trajectory of this episode, tell me that Joel and Julia will ride out their time in the limbo this episode was titled after for a little while longer. Until sweeps, at the very least, and likely right up to the finale or the penultimate episode. It does seem, though, that Parenthood is pointing towards eventual reconciliation — and the very important theme that marriage takes work, and that it can still sometimes be worth salvaging, even when you find yourselves on the brink of complete annihilation.

Image: NBC