'Parenthood': Please don't kill Gary.


Image Credit: Byron Cohen/NBC

Last night’s episode of Parenthood left off on a pretty horrific note, with Amber (Mae Whitman) and her Attractive Bad Influence (Scott Michael Foster) getting into a severe-looking car crash.

I’ll preface by saying that there’s no way Amber is dying. Not. A. Chance. It’d be bad decision considering how much her off-beat character resonates with audiences (especially Parenthood‘s younger viewers.) And she’s awesome. Foster, however, is a newbie, and in the scope of the show, it’d be a good opportunity to have a character turn into a cautionary tale. And if you’re familiar with the tradition of family dramas, the Attractive Bad Influence is often used to teach moral lessons — and usually that means they need to die. But in this case, I plead: Don’t kill Gary!

I understand wanting to give into the temptation to make this seemingly disposable character into a statistic to prove a point (drinking and distractions while driving = bad). But maybe he doesn’t have to be disposable! Gary has definite possibilities. If he dies now, we won’t be able to explore why he’s so damaged, he’ll never be redeemed for making Amber into a devil teen, and most importantly, I won’t see Foster on Parenthood ever again. Perhaps I’m still mourning Greek, but I think these are all fine points for keeping him around.

Agree, PopWatchers? Should the show keep Gary alive? Or is he best used as a lesson for trouble-seeking teens?

Also, three cheers for Lauren Graham’s performance last night. Her fight with Amber (not to mention Drew’s protective demeanor during it all) had me near tears. Intense!

Follow Sandra on Twitter: @EWSandraG

Read more:
‘Parenthood’ review: Oh, Crosby, you big dummy. Also: Oh, Haddie, you naughty girl…
‘Parenthood': If Jasmine and Crosby don’t end up together, would you be okay with that? Joy Bryan weighs in.

Comments (27 total) Add your comment
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  • Couchtime With Jill

    I didn’t watch Greek so I don’t have any sort of affections for the character, but I do think it would be a bit cliche to have him die.

  • Maggie

    I loved Greek and Scott Michael Foster did such a fabulous job as Cappie. I agree with @Jill, having him die would be pretty cliché, though it would probably go a long way in us discovering more about who Amber is. I still want to see him on the show! Long live Kappa Tau!

  • will

    They don’t have to kill him, but I want him out of Parenthood. He’s ruining Amber.

    • an gelina

      Gaary is not responcible for the decisions Amber makes. She is having a personal crisis and is handling it with a meltdown. He didn’t force her do do anything. All she did was her own choice. Gary shouldn’t be eliminated because Amber makes bad choices.

  • Nova

    I think keeping him alive, but leaving him very injured (possibly even potentially making him paraplegic) gives the show better tension. Amber may be torn between helping him recover (therefore giving her the opportunity to ignore her problems) and facing her own demons. But regardless, if they do kill him (and I agree, it would be cliche!), if Amber doesn’t face her own addiction demons, she will just find a new Attractive Bad Influence to help her down her destructive path. Amazing show! The writing and acting are both phenomenal!

    • angelina

      Permanent injuries are too limiting in a story line. However, it really makes him a demon if Amber is hurt and he isn’t. They should both have some damage to manage, and in the wake of consequences, they can examine their lives and choices. This opens the door to endless plot possibilities.

  • C

    Parenthood was awesome and Lauren Graham was incredible and Mae Whitman too, it was so great to see Drew again.
    I have the feeling that next weeks episode might be emmyworth…I hope so, then Laurern would finally get an emmy, she deserves one.

    And about gary: I don’t like him, he’s not good for amber and not even pretty!!

  • lisaj6112

    I too think it would be a bad idea for different reasons,as a teen just like Amber I did all the wrong and bad things and usually with a guy like Gary who never went away so easily by my own fault. Dying on tv is a cliche and I think they need to explore that this life altering event really didn’t turn out as life altering for Amber and she falls back into the habits after recovery from surgery. I honestly didn’t/don’t know too many teenagers who learned their lesson the first time.

  • Jamie

    love love love this show and i agree, don”ll kill off Gary. I think he’s gonna be fine and its Amber whose gonna suffer. She took the brunt of the crash.

  • Ben

    My prediction is that he comes out of the accident completely unharmed. He was on the other side of the car when the crash happened, and I think it makes a much better message against drunk driving if Amber is seriously hurt and he’s not.

    • Deb

      I agree with your prediction. The car hit on her side, no way she walks away without injuries unless they want to be unbelievable.

  • liza

    DON’T KILL CAPPIE! I mean Gary…

    • elena

      That was my exact reaction. There needs to me Scott Michael Forester on my TV, so he cannot die, Parenthood. HE CANNOT DIE.

  • Jasmine

    I love this show, and Gary MUST die! Amber must live to regret assaulting her mother, taking drugs, acting like a brat, disrespecting my girl Julia, and being an all around witch of late. she is suffering, I get that but she has become I sufferable!

    • Deb

      Gary doesn’t need to die so that Amber can suffer. Personally I feel she needs to be injured to the point that she has to work to overcome the challenge of the injury. Whether it is her arm/hand so she can’t play guitar or if it is more serious. If she walks away and he dies it wouldn’t be believable to me.

      • angelina

        I don’t want her injured too badly. That would really have to force legal action against Gary, which would turn it from a relationship show to a trial type of show, which would change the whole dynamic.

  • red

    I thought “Don’t kill Gary” was an allusion to “thirtysomething.” Man, I’m old.

    • purple

      Me too. Dearly departed Gary. Sigh.

  • ryna12

    I love this show, it’s endearing, heartbreaking, dramatic, over-the-top sometimes but BRILLIANT. They shouldn’t kill off any of the young stars. I want Amber to sober up but she will have to fall a few more times to make it really poignant. There is beauty in the struggle and it can reveal so much.

  • Mr. Holloway

    One of the best shows on TV right now.

  • Katherine

    I really don’t want them to kill Cappie, oh sorry Gary. But not cause I like his character. I hate his character. With a passion. But I love Scott Michael Foster. I want more Cappie!

    Tuesday’s parenthood was beautiful.

    • angelina

      Although Gary is no Cappie, I still apreciate him. I’m sure it is because the character is stoned a lot, but he adds an element of comedy; especially when he is acting like a complete air head. Cappie was not only smart, but wise. Gary is kind of dingy.

  • tiffany

    my first thought after watching this episode is how overly obvious the message would be. drink, drive, do drugs = you have to die…. i’m not condoning the behavior but it’s too old school Hollywood to take that predictable path. part of the draw of this show thus far has been a real approach to life, people mess up and life goes on. except the episode where Adam decked the jerk at the grocery store….A guy that rude & loud woulda pressed charges against Adam. but he didn’t even get arrested!? not buyin it. hope they handle this better now that we have no choice but to see how it goes….. but I guess that’s life (&why we like parenthood) one minute yur cryin- the next minute-laughing

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