The fourth season of Parenthood came to a close last night and for better or worse, brought closure to the various challenges faced by the Braverman family. Here’s where we left the Braverman family by the episode’s end:
Crosby and Jasmine
Crosby, along with Amber, has consistently been one of my favorite members of the Braverman family this season. He’s displayed a tremendous amount of growth. He’s a great husband, dad and has evolved into a family member upon which his siblings can rely. Although I’m definitely past watching Crosby and Jasmine having major issues, I wish the writers would have given Crosby something a bit more challenging than a cranky neighbor at work and a meddling mother-in-law at home. Speaking of Renee, she decided that she would move in with her son, Sekou, in his tiny apartment. Yeah, that’s really going to work out.
As Jasmine and Crosby celebrated their one-year wedding anniversary, Jasmine continued to apologize for not standing up to her mother and tried to explain to her husband why it is difficult for her to do so. Jasmine rewarded Crosby’s patience and understanding with the exciting news of her pregnancy. As an olive branch to his mother-in-law, Crosby decided to share the news with Renee (and Sekou) before telling anyone else about the newest addition to their family.
Sarah’s Love Triangle
The ongoing trials of Sarah’s love life have been my least favorite part of this season of Parenthood. Things finally came to a head in the finale as Sarah rejected Mark’s declaration of love and intent to win her back. Just as I thought Sarah was going to spend a little time alone and perhaps even get back to writing, she told Mark that she was going to make things work with Hank. *sigh*
Not so fast Sarah . . . Hank is heading off to Minnesota to spend his last few years with his daughter before she’s off to college and making a life of her own. Sarah and Hank admitted that they loved each other and Hank extended an invitation for Sarah to join him in Minnesota. I like Lauren Graham a lot as an actress but if they can’t do anything better with this character, I say ship her off to Minnesota and we’ll see her around the holidays. Although I knew it would never work out between Mark and Sarah, I really like Jason Ritter as an actor and felt that he was wasted a bit this season too.
Drew and Amber
Sarah’s kids, on the other hand, look to be headed in the right direction. Like Crosby, Amber displayed an immense amount of growth and maturity this season and helped her family solve problems rather than being the one to cause them. That was easily one of my favorite parts of this season of Parenthood. Watching Amber reconcile with Ryan was a great close to her storyline this season.
Things also got better for Drew, who was a little less angst-ridden this week. He got into Berkeley, which means he’ll be at a great school and still close to home. I loved how happy Amber was for him. By the way, it would be nice to see Amber pursue her college aspirations as well. Amy also got into one of her top schools – in Massachusetts. I was elated! I still haven’t forgiven Amy for going off to summer camp and coming back with a boyfriend. I hope she has a great time at Tufts and we never see her again. Drew, she’s clearly established that she cannot be trusted once she’s out of your sight. Let it go. Likewise, if the writers aren’t going to do anything more compelling with Drew, I wouldn’t mind a little less of him as well.
For awhile there, I was starting to grow worried that Victor would not end this season as an official member of the Braverman family. However, in a finale full of happy endings, it was clear that things would work out for him. Along with Kristina’s battle with breast cancer, I thought watching Joel and Julia struggle to make Victor part of their family was one of the best storylines of the season. The Parenthood writers did a great job of pacing progress. There was realistic balance between great moments of progress (Julia sitting in her car all day while Victor was in school) and moments of struggle (Sydney antagonizing Victor, which resulted in a baseball bat flying past her head and Julia questioning her decision).
Watching all of the Braverman’s pack into the judge’s chambers and share warm, welcoming words with Victor as his adoption became official definitely brought on the tears. Although I’m happy with the ending, it felt a bit rushed, which was understandable as the writers had simply run out of episodes for the season and the story needed closure.
Admittedly, there were a few times this season when I wasn’t so sure that Kristina was going to make it. Kristina’s battle with breast cancer has been one of the best written and acted storylines I’ve seen in four seasons of Parenthood. Like the conclusion to Victor’s storyline, however, the ending felt a bit rushed. I wanted Kristina to make it and it was great to see her and Adam enjoy their Hawaiian vacation. Should the show get another season, I hope they’ll consider giving it a few more episodes. It felt as though we went from the powerful image of Kristina shaving her head to Woody from Psych telling her she was cancer-free.
And with that, the fourth season of Parenthood has come to a close. As a season, I thought the show was excellent. As a finale, it felt a bit too much like the writers were putting a neat, pretty bow on everything. I understand that this is likely because NBC has not indicated whether or not the show will get a fifth season. Count me among those hoping for a renewal! What did you think of the finale? Sound off below!