Some Belated Thoughts on the ‘Parenthood’ Finale

Parenthood

PARENTHOOD: 6.13 “May God Bless and Keep You Always”

There’s been very little on TV lately that I’ve wanted to write about. And the few things that I have wanted to write about, I haven’t had time. But here in the few days after the finale of Parenthood, now that I’ve mopped up all my sentimental tears, I did want to say a few words about our last hour with the Bravermans.

I couldn’t have thought of a better finale. Sure, it was sappy — but if it weren’t, it just wouldn’t be Parenthood. And maybe it was unrealistically optimistic (Crosby saves the Luncheonette; Adam becomes headmaster at Chambers), but it was just what we needed.

And while nothing groundbreaking happened, some large moments did. Sarah got married, which was a perfect way of getting the whole clan together and happily taking pictures of all of them in all sorts of small groups. Heck, it even got Haddie to return (even if I did still find her annoying, self-centered, and irritating, even as she was trying to be nice to Max — how did she still come across as abrasive and obnoxious?). But we got to feel like we were celebrating with them. And that was nice. We deserve a happy ending.

Of course, we had Zeek’s death. It was sad, but not surprising. It’s the moment we had all been expecting all season. And quite frankly, it was well done. The entire episode wasn’t brought down by a heartbreaking scene, a dark funeral, and teary eulogies. It was a simple discovery, topped off with an appropriate family moment of spreading ashes and celebrating a life through fun and play. Another opportunity to put the family side by side and show what they really are like when they got together.

Of course, there were some surprises. Joel and Julia adopt a brand-new baby girl, for one, which was just wonderful. And then we discover in the flashes forward, that she wasn’t their last baby. They later have a little boy — and get a puppy. Crosby and Jasmine are expecting again. Even Amber had a little girl with Jason freakin’ Street — or at least his doppelganger. And Ryan got his happy ending too, after apparently getting his life together and getting to spend time with his son (thank goodness).

Max even smiled.

Ultimately, it was just a satisfying, uplifting ending on all counts. One that helped us remember the family that we followed for the last six years and rooted on in times of trouble: whether that was Kristina’s cancer, Sarah’s failed relationships, Joel and Julia’s marriage troubles, Crosby’s struggle to become a responsible family man, or even potential cancellation. And it helped remind us that even though the show might end, the Bravermans live on.

So I raise a glass at that famous table, with the lights strung in the trees above, and I say, “Bravo.” It was a great way to end a series. And it may just stand out as one of the most memorable — and maybe one of the best — finales I’ve seen.

Parenthood

*Photos by NBC

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