'Parenthood' Series Finale Recap: The Bravermans End Where It All Began
By Denny Directo
On tonight's remarkable finale of Parenthood, the Braverman family experienced some of their happiest moments, coupled by some of their darkest. In other words, it was chock-full of happy tears and inconsolable sobbing. Are we surprised by this from a show that has put us through the most intense, emotional rollercoaster of our lives for six sublime seasons? Absolutely not.
Here's a look at the emotional highs and lows of the NBC drama's final bow.
Hank Asks Zeek for Sarah's Hand in Marriage
While Sarah rushes to plan her shotgun wedding to Hank, he takes the time to get her father's blessing. "It's more than symbolic, it's very important. It's a major decision here," Zeek tells him. But the significance of this moment is three-fold: it's a rare, touching scene shared between Zeek and his future son-and-law; Hank is the first of Sarah's suitors (including both Amber and Drew's dad Seth and Mark) to ask for Sarah's dad's blessing; and in light of Zeek's current health state, when he tells Hank to "take care of my daughter" you realize the enormity and significance of his words. For Zeek, it wasn't just Hank honoring an old-fashioned tradition, it was knowing his little girl was going to be taken care of long after he's gone.
Farewell Luncheonette... Maybe?
Crosby breaks the news to Amber that he and Adam are shutting down the Luncheonette. Amber's genuine heartbreak to the news made us realize that we're going to miss that recording studio as much as she is. Plus, the wide shot of Crosby walking through the hallowed halls of the Luncheonette one last time also stung. Clearly, the man is not ready to let go.
Sarah and Zeek share one last intimate moment before she becomes Mrs. Hank Rizzoli. During their heart-to-heart Zeek admits that his eldest Braverman daughter is his favorite child, Sarah thanks him for letting her come home six years ago, and he asks her if he's been a good father. "The very best." Cue the waterworks!
The couple gets an unexpected phone call from Victor's adoption agency to come in for a meeting. Little did they know that Victor's birth mother gave birth to a baby girl, is also giving her up for adoption and giving Joel and Julia the first option. (WHAT?!) After careful consideration, in the end, Joel says it best: "She's already ours."
The entire Braverman clan (including Haddie!) come together for Sarah's wedding. The day is filled with so many special one-on-one moments you come to expect from a family as close-knit as the Bravermans: Zeek reassures Crosby that he is fully capable of running the Luncheonette without the help of his big brother Adam; Haddie admits to Max that she's a better person for being his sister; Zeek and Camille invite Amber and the baby to live with them; Drew pays tribute to his mother in a touching best man speech; and Crosby helps Adam realize that he's the happiest when he's working with the kids at Chamber's Academy. Life, man.
We'll Miss You, Zeek.
The inevitable passing of our beloved Zeek was finally realized. Though many would argue the Braverman patriarch was blessed to be present for some major life moments leading up to his peaceful and quiet death (the birth of his great-grandchild, walking his daughter down the aisle), it doesn't make the loss any less greater. He was an integral part of his family's life-- ours too.
Team Braverman For Life.
In a bold yet unbelievably poignant move, show writer and creator Jason Katims forgoes showing Zeek's funeral. Instead the last moment of the show features the rest of the Bravermans gathering to scatter Zeek's ashes at the same place they ended the series pilot: on a baseball field, with a cover of Bob Dylan's "Forever Young" playing in the background. It's a touching full circle moment that becomes all the more satisfying when the lives of each immediate family within the extended Braverman clan flashes forward as the family plays a game of baseball in the present day.
We learn that Camille finally visits Chez Marie, the French inn Zeek wanted to take her before his heart attack; Crosby is the proud owner of the blossoming Luncheonette, while Jasmine is pregnant with their third child; Joel and Julia's family grows to include another baby and a golden retriever; Sarah, Amber and Drew finally get the uncomplicated nuclear family they always wanted as they gather at the dinner table along with Hank and his daughter Ruby; Amber is presumably married (played by Friday Night Lights alum Scott Porter! We see what you did there, Katims.) with a second baby and Ryan is back in the picture to be a father to baby Zeek; and finally, Adam becomes headmaster of Chambers Academy, while he and Christina along with the rest of the family proudly watch Max graduate from high school. The sequence ends back in present day as the Bravermans walk off the baseball field arm in arm. If this doesn't reduce you to a blubbering mess, then you're not human.
The Parenthood finale hit all the right notes and gave fans a splendid and satisfying end to the show. We'll miss you Bravermans. There are literally no more tears left in our tear ducts. Thanks for the memories.