By David Oliver
We literally pick up right where we left off last week on another heart-wrenching episode of “Parenthood’s” final season. Do you have tissues nearby? If so, please proceed.
Sarah is appropriately shocked at Amber’s revelation. “I think it’s right,” Amber says nervously, when Sarah questions if Amber wants to keep her baby. Sarah and Hank discuss the situation. “It doesn’t matter what I feel. She needs me,” Sarah says.
Sarah warns Amber of all the complications babies bring and insists she tell Ryan and start planning. Later, Sarah stops by Amber’s with baby pictures of her to remind her of the other side of the coin: how much joy babies bring.
Joel calls Julia while she is indisposed with her man friend – apparently Sydney is getting picked on at school. Except when the separated pair meet with Sydney’s teacher, they discover Sydney herself is the bully, making fun of a heavy girl named Melody. Could it be her parents’ separation causing Sydney to act out? You betcha. Kid has a full-on temper tantrum and screams she hates them both. I’ve always found Sydney consistently annoying, but I have to give the writers props – these are very real reactions and conversations between parents and children. Though trivial at first watch, this is how these fights really go. They don’t need layers of complicated dialogue to get points across: a simple “I hate you” does the trick. Nice plug to www.stopbullying.gov.
Meanwhile, Joel and Julia have it out after the parent/teacher conference. Julia says, “Moving out and giving up on me was not like you at all…you can’t pretend like you didn’t destroy me because you did.” Julia blames him for the destruction of their family. is she totally right? No, this was a two-way street, but I’d be surprised if these two weren’t back together by series’ end.
Chambers Academy isn’t going as perfectly as planned. Art electives are up for discussion and Max really wants photography, though that isn’t an option. There are bigger fish to fry (literally) as Kristina struggles to work with food vendors who refuse to accomodate to the individual childrens’ special dietary restrictions (shout out to Kristina: “Wait till you see my review on Yelp”).
Adam decides to hold a culinary arts elective to help keep the kids occupied and, in turn, feed the school. While at first this seems disastrous in terms of disorganization, one kid’s parent calls and praises Adam’s teaching and instilling of confidence in her son. #TeamAdam, always.
ZEEK/CAMILLE & CROSBY
The grandchildren record a birthday song with Crosby for Zeek’s 72nd birthday (later autotuned). But Zeek is going to need a lot more than this to cheer him up – he has multiple heart blockages but that’s not the only problem. He needs surgery according to his doctor. He got lucky it was just a clean fall the first time, because it will happen again.
Camille asks Adam to talk his dad into the surgery. Crosby is hurt he wasn’t told about this. This is a classic family problem during crises – and in general. Miscommunication is very real and part of what makes this show work. The tiniest conflicts play out in larger issues.
Adam helps Kristina instead of talking to his dad, leaving it all on Crosby, who fails to talk his dad into the surgery. At Adam and Kristina’s later for Zeek’s party, Adam yells at Crosby, explaining their dad is afraid. This is despite the surgery’s 95 percent sucess rate.
Adam later asks his dad, “You could die, Dad. What do I do then?” Waterworks. Zeek tells him to scatter his ashes in Marine Park and play a baseball game over him. Gulp. Something tells me this could be a hint of the series’ closing scene. And if it is, I don’t think there are enough tissues in the world that will save me.
The whole family dances to the grandchildrens’ song and it is beautiful, despite Julia’s apparently gross gluten free tart.
Zeek tells Camille he’s going to have the surgery after Amber tells him she is pregnant – he’s going to be a great-grandfather.
Side note: where was Drew this episode? Probably something to do with this. Anyway, already can’t wait for next week.