Hank Believes He Has Aspberger's on 'Parenthood' & It's Brought Him Closer To His Ex-Wife
Poor Betsy Brandt has a history of being married on television to difficult Hanks, doesn't she? At least on Thursday night's new episode of Parenthood , titled "These Are the Times We Live In," she got way more closure with this Hank (played by Ray Romano) than she ever could have with her Hank on Breaking Bad. Sigh. That's because Parenthood's version had a major personal breakthrough, as Hank said that he likely has Aspberger's, a monumental realization he shared with his ex-wife Sandy.
Hank and Sandy spent the bulk of this episode disagreeing about how to deal with their bratty daughter (my words, not theirs) Ruby and how close Hank's current girlfriend Sarah should be to her. It was all triggered by Ruby having yet another meltdown (this time about some guy named Jake at school) and Sarah trying to ease the situation, while Hank groaned and panicked. Sarah showed Ruby the raunchy '80s comedy Fast Times at Ridgemont High (the TV edited version, mind you), which upset Sandy. Cue uncomfortable adults trying to deal with one another and an annoying teenager.
But, something very different unfolded this time around. After the fallout from this latest disagreement, Hank went over to Sandy's house to try and smooth things over. "I realized I'm not good at communicating," he told her. Hank continued and told his ex-wife that the problems in their marriage weren't because of her, but his difficulty with emotions and understanding feelings. After revealing that he's seeing a psychologist, he tells her — and himself, really — "I got Aspberger's, that's what it is." While Hank hasn't been diagnosed, with Dr. Pelican telling him there's no way to confirm it, Hank seems sure of it that this is the case.
If that news wasn't enough to floor Sandy, Hank asks her if it was hard to be married to him. Looking pretty devastated, she nods and simply tells him, "Yeah." A teary Sandy tells Hank she's sorry and that she wishes she would have known that he was suffering from this. Hank simply assured that he would try harder with Ruby and made sure everything was going to be alright between them as well. It was a truly huge moment for this estranged couple and broke down a wall.
Later Hank joined Sandy and Ruby on a trip to get frozen yogurt, which was a small step in a big direction for a family trying to find their way. Hey, it's not always just about the Bravermans. Turns out, other families on Parenthood can make us cry!
Image: Colleen Hayes/NBC