Review: Parenthood 6.11

Parenthood

Summary: Joel and Julia meet to talk and end up in bed together, with Joel actually hiding from Sydney in the morning, as they don’t want to give the kids false hope of a reunion. Joel reassures Julia that “he will never leave again” but she is still hesitant, that is until Joel calls because he “wanted to hear her voice” and surprises her with a kiss at an ice rink. When Sarah questions the seriousness of Hank’s proposal, he assures her that he meant it and now it’s on her to make the decision. She talks with Julia and her mom and makes a pro/con list, but ultimately it’s Hank showing up at Amber’s apartment to assemble her crib that makes Sarah finally say yes.

Adam tells Crosby that he doesn’t want to reinvest in the Luncheonette, and Crosby is understandably devastated. Jasmine sees this and tries to convince Adam to give it another go, reasoning that it’s important to both of their families. After taking some time to think, Adam puts Crosby’s picture of the two of them back on the Luncheonette wall, and tells him he’s in. Zeek searches for an old baseball of his, hoping to give it to his great-grandson when he’s born. Drew helps, leading to an apology about the trip to France, which Zeek assures him isn’t necessary. He finally realizes that the baseball is stashed in the barn at the old house, but, upon seeing the young family that now lives there, decides not to retrieve it, reasoning that one day those kids will find that old shoe box and it will be the best day of their lives.

Best Scene: Joel surprises his family at the ice rink by kissing Julia, as Sydney and Victor look on, overjoyed.

Best Line: “Let’s go home.” – Zeek to Camille, after seeing the young family that lives in their old house

My Review: Sigh. This was just about a perfect episode from my beloved Parenthood, one that made me even sadder (who knew that was possible?) about its ending. But despite my sadness over only two episodes remaining, the episode itself was actually full of happy moments. This show has always been great at balancing the sad, the bittersweet, and the happy, so it felt appropriate that this week’s, though emotional, wasn’t the sobfest that last week’s was.

I know it was a good episode, because it’s nearly impossible for me to pick my favorite storyline of the week. Joel and Julia’s reunion was lovely, and was definitely a long time coming. I really respect the writers’ decision this season to take their time rebuilding that relationship, because it has made it feel so realistic and well-earned. I loved Joel hiding under the bed from Sydney like he was some one-night stand of her mom’s, and I appreciated that Julia was concerned about giving their kids false hope. But I couldn’t help but swoon when Joel promised her that he would never leave again (in a wonderfully honest conversation, the likes of which is rarely seen on t.v. these days) and called just to hear her voice. And as happy as I was for the two of them when they kissed on that ice rink, I was happiest for Sydney and Victor. Though they’ve never been my favorite of the Braverman grand kids, they’ve had a rough go of it this year, and completely deserved that moment of bliss.

In another honest conversations this week (man, I am so going to miss how well this show does relationships), it was sweet when Hank said that he was ready for “the whole marriage enchilada”, but I did like that Sarah still took some more time to think it over. As she told Julia, she’s very aware that she doesn’t always make the best decisions (which really shows how far she’s come since the pilot), and I think it proves how much she cares about Hank that she didn’t want to say yes on impulse. But I also loved that it wasn’t her pro/con list that made her say yes; it was just him showing up, unasked, when Sarah’s daughter needed him. With her history with Seth, Sarah is used to men who use their words but don’t actually show up when needed, and it was perfect that seeing that Hank will be that guy that shows up is what made her realize that she wants to marry him. One random Hank/Sarah though: Are we going to see Ruby and Sandy before the series finale? Don’t get me wrong; I don’t exactly miss them (I think their inclusion was really the only weak part of this season), but it would feel a little weird to leave that storyline hanging.

Adam and Crosby’s storyline this week definitely piqued my interest heading into the last two episodes. If Adam is really only giving it another go to make Crosby happy, then I can’t see them leaving this storyline as is. I have a feeling Amber and/or Jasmine will step in as partner at some point in the next two episodes, allowing Adam to pursue other opportunities. It was really sweet that Adam was willing to do that for his brother (and felt representative of him stepping into more of a  patriarchal role this season), but he deserves true happiness too, and I really hope he gets it.

Finally, Zeek and Camille had a moment this week that was one of the greatest “full circle” moments the show has ever done, which I’m sure we’ll see plenty more of in the series finale. But before that moment came, I loved Drew’s apology to Zeek and the way that grandpa confided in grandson how scared he was in that moment and how anger wasn’t even on his mind. The relationship between these two has deepened so much this season, and it’s been wonderful to see. Going into this final stretch of episodes, I was a little disappointed that, since the house was sold last year, we wouldn’t have a closing shot of one last dinner in the backyard, similar to the one in the pilot. However, now I think it was worth it because of the beautiful scene in this episode that we got instead. It just felt right to see a young family (similar to the one that the Braverman’s used to be) in that house where they all grew up, making their own memories. It makes me especially happy that Zeek, who was always a bit hesitant about selling the house, got to see it first hand, and hopefully, was able to assuage any regret that he may have had about selling it. I loved his reasoning for not going after the ball, and that last line he uttered was just perfect. The writer of this episode wrote a lovely piece for BuzzFeed where she talked about its significance, if you want to check it out.

As I’ve said way too often in this review (I’m hoping if I keep saying it then I’ll finally be able to accept that it’s true), there are only two episodes left with my favorite t.v. family. What are you still hoping to see before the series ends? Anything you’re hoping not to see (ahem, Zeek, ahem)? Let me know in the comments!

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