Hands up if you cried happy tears when Joel told Julia, straight up, that he was going to “fight” for her and their marriage on last week’s Parenthood!
It definitely started raining on our face as we watched “These Are the Times We Live In,” not only because poor, sweet Joel was putting his heart on the table, but also because we truly want him to win Julia back and reunite one of our favourite TV couples. The good news is, if our chat with Sam Jaeger, the actor who plays Joel, is any indication, we’re going to get our wish.
Speaking with Cinefilles at this summer’s Television Critics Association Press Tour in Beverly Hills, Jaeger said that he definitely thought Joel and Julia were an endgame couple.
“I do [think so] and here’s why: we have one more season and there’s too much at stake,” he explains. “Every relationship needs that change and from that point on, you grow. I always feel like in a relationship, you’re going into or going further out of it. I just hope they make amends and go deeper.”
Jaeger’s ultimate hope for Joel and Julia is that they “get to a point where they’re listening and communicating,” which is something they have been somewhat doing as they have gone through the process of finalizing their divorce and deciding who gets what and why. But it’s going to take a lot for them to make the full transition, especially as Joel recovers from last season, where he went from ultimate good guy to the villain out to take down their marriage for good.
Although many fans are still unsure if they can get back on Team Joel after Season 4, according to Jaeger, Joel’s semi-downfall was a necessary evil, especially if Joel and Julia were going to get to an initial breaking point.
“I think the first four seasons of Parenthood were Joel and Julia 1.0. They needed a reset,” the actor says. “I actually had a conversation with [executive producer Jason Katims] before the season. Like, men can’t do this. They cannot live up to Joel. I can’t. The guys watching it can’t. The people watching the show are like, ‘Why can’t you be more like Joel?’ Girls would say that to their boyfriends, wives would say that to their husbands. And they’re not saying that anymore. Because he is changing.”
We can only hope that whatever change happens within Joel and/or Julia going forth is as positive as his “I’m going to fight for you!” rebel yell, brought on by a solid man-to-man heart-to-heart with Zeek. And if Jaeger has his way that, and many other progressive things, will definitely happen before the season ends.
“I just think it has the recipe to be the best season we have,” he tells Cinefilles. “I think Jason still cares so much about the show … I think he’s invested as much in Parenthood as he has any show he’s ever done.”
“I just hope that we make [the end] as good as the fans deserve. Cause it’s awful getting to the end of a series and going, ‘Oh God.’ The season finale of Friday Night Lights was amazing, so I know Jason’s going to do right.”
Fingers crossed that part of him doing right is getting Joel back at that family dinner table one last time.
Parenthood airs Thursdays at 10 p.m. ET/PT on NBC, and Saturdays at 10 p.m. ET/PT on Global.