Parenthood Season 6 “We Made It Through The Night” Review

Happy Sunday, fellow Parenthood fans! Due to work and work-related travel, I’m a little behind this week, but I would not miss out on an opportunity to welcome the wee baby Zeek to the (fictional) world.

At the conclusion of Thursday’s episode of Parenthood one thing was clear, I’m going to need at least 6 boxes of tissues (one for each season) to survive the finale. I got a bit weepy during “We Made It Through The Night,” but I decided that I may as well preserve my tears for the ugly, balled up on the floor in fetal position moments that are sure to come this Thursday. Enough forward looking, let’s get to the highlights of last week’s episode:

– Lauren Graham was the standout in this episode and that’s saying a lot, as all of the actors have been wonderful this season. The scenes with Amber were heartfelt and touching. As a longtime fan of Parenthood, watching Sarah comfort Amber as they both braced themselves for the arrival of baby Zeek was a beautiful culminating moment of a relationship that has certainly seen its fair share of ups and downs over the last six seasons. Even the scenes with Hank were slightly more tolerable as we saw Sarah’s sense of urgency to get on with the wedding so that Zeek could walk her down the isle. The scene with Sarah and Zeek was easily my favorite, although part of me wanted to experience Zeek telling the kids that he decided to pass on surgery and have the opportunity to watch their real time reactions.

– Like Hank, the Parenthood writers continue to insist that we endure copious amounts of time at the Chambers Academy. As a whole, most of the Chambers Academy stuff did not work for me in the episode – particularly the Ave Maria montage and Max apparently still taking way too many pictures of his former crush (whose name escapes me at the moment). I did, however, like Adam helping one of the students cook a souffle. I was pretty sure that the souffle would be a success, but I still found myself holding my breath as he took it out of the oven. It was a lovely moment of hope after facing the crushing reality of the challenges that children on the Autism spectrum may face as they enter into adulthood.

– When it appeared that Joel and Julia were heading right back down the same path that broke them up initially, I seriously considered stopping my live watch of the episode so that I could enjoy the luxury of simply fast forwarding through their parts. I appreciate that the writers want to reflect a realistic portrayal of a couple working through their problems. And yes, realistically, Joel moving back in does not magically make his previous tension with Julia disappear. I’m glad that the couple decided to “argue” or talk through their problems, but I couldn’t help but think that it won’t be long before the kids realize that trips to the car means an argument, which can become as traumatic as witnessing the argument firsthand. The car argument reminded me of an old episode of The Simpsons when Lisa revealed to Bart that she knew the sight of their parents sitting in the car meant that they were arguing. Despite being completely exhausted with this storyline, I’m happy that Joel and Julia look like they finally have what it takes to make it.

Despite being a pretty solid episode overall, there were a few bits that I could have done without, particularly in the penultimate episode of the series:

– Once again, Kristina is hypocritically browbeating everyone for taking a risk on a venture that is not her own. I’m glad she and Jasmine moved past their differences by the episode’s end, but it’s somewhat disappointing to see the character ending the series on such an annoying, unlikeable note.

– Appealing on behalf of Crosby and not telling him about it may not have been Jasmine’s best idea, but it came from a good place. Jasmine has come a long way from being overly critical of Crosby and watching her evolve to a place of unconditional love and support has been great to watch. As a result, it is hard to watch Crosby respond to her efforts to support him in such a harsh manner. I don’t fault Crosby for disagreeing with Jasmine’s actions, but he has a nasty habit of constantly taking his anger out on her. Rather than yelling at his wife or getting into petty squabbles over ages old childhood disagreements, Crosby needs to have a frank and candid conversation with Adam. I know that part of the Braverman lore is the cacophony of the kids talking across, at and to each other, but it was so frustrating to watch. It made them all look inconsiderate at the family dinner. If your parents invite you over for a “Braverman only” dinner, you should have some sense that it is not an appropriate occasion for rehashing old arguments.

– The musical montage was odd. I thought it reflected a time jump and if it did, I think it was only a matter of days or maybe a week. We learned that the Chambers Academy is thriving and that The Luncheonette is a wrap (for now).

With only one episode left, it will be interesting to see how the writers deal with Zeek’s failing health. Despite Parenthood‘s reputation for bringing on the tears, I do not think we are going to see a finale where Zeek has a dramatic death bed moment. I wouldn’t be shocked if we have a time jump and find the Bravermans enjoying a family outing and viewers slowly realize Zeek’s absence from the event. I guess we’ll find out soon!

What did you think of the penultimate episode of Parenthood? Sound off below!