Alan Sepinwall and Drew McWeeny Pick Parenthood's Greatest Tearjerkers
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"Dad, there's something wrong with my son." ("Pilot," season 1)
In a sprawling pilot that had to introduce 15 regular characters, plus significant recurring folks like Crosby's girlfriend Katie (remember her?), the moment that brought everything into emotional focus was Adam telling Zeek his worst fears about Max and Asperger's syndrome. It sets up one of the series' most enduring and effective storylines, but it also speaks to one of the most agonizing aspects of the show's eponymous subject: the helplessness you can feel when your child is going through something you have no power to change, or fix, or potentially do anything about. In an impressive ensemble cast, Peter Krause has always been first among equals, and the vulnerability he shows here made an early statement as to why.