‘Parenthood’ Finale: The Bravermans Live Happily Ever After

by | January 23, 2013 at 9:02 AM | Parenthood, Recap

"Parenthood": Monica Potter as Kristina Braverman, Peter Krause as Adam Braverman -- (Photo by: Justin Lubin/NBC)

Parenthood” has been a “bubble” show since it debuted, never assured of being renewed for another season at the time its finale aired. Though the show looks like a lock to be picked up, thanks to strong ratings for recent episodes, the writers probably had no idea whether we’d ever get to see the Bravermans again when they wrote this season’s finale, “Because You’re My Sister.” Maybe that’s why nearly every character got a fairytale happy ending. It was a satisfying close to a season filled with angst, but it’s so rare for a drama to end without a cliffhanger that it was almost jarring. Here are the highlights.

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Kristina Gets Good News: Kristina only has one more chemotherapy session. She thinks her ordeal is almost over until her doctor tells her that she needs a PET scan because a blood test indicates that there’s a slight chance the cancer might have spread. She starts to assume the worse after she learns that her cancer survivor friend Gwen, who gave her great advice when she was first diagnosed, has relapsed. When Adam (Peter Krause) surprises her with tickets to Hawaii after her final chemotherapy session, she doesn’t want to go because she is concerned that she might not be healthy enough for a vacation. But after her scan, the doctor declares her cancer free. Hooray! That’s not sarcastic. I really couldn’t bear to see Kristina suffer anymore, and it’s a plausible outcome given the type of cancer that she had. Then she and Adam go to Hawaii and live happily ever after.

Sarah Will Never, Ever Make a Good Romantic Decision: Mark (Jason Ritter) shows up at Sarah’s (Lauren Graham) door and makes a dramatic speech about how much he loves her.  All that’s missing is the boom box playing In Your Eyes. He thinks he’s the one that can make her happy. That would be true if Sarah were a functional person who liked super hot, kind, younger men with stable, socially responsible jobs. But come on, this is Sarah. She likes damaged, anti-social men who treat her badly. So, she thinks about it, then goes to Mark’s classroom and announces that even though she loves Mark, she is going to try to make things work with Hank (Ray Romano). It’s extra kind of her to crush his heart at his workplace. Let’s review: Mark wants to marry her and has forgiven her many mistakes. Hank is someone she started casually dating because Mark dumped her. Also, Hank is her boss, so there’s an uncomfortable power dynamic.  Yep. Sarah is nuts. Hank acts like he is about to propose, or at least ask Sarah to move in with him. Instead, he tells her that he is going to move to Minnesota to be near his daughter. Great choice, Sarah! On his way to the airport, Hank impulsively shows up at her house to tell her that he loves her and asks her to move to Minnesota with him. She says she loves him too.Yes, Sarah, uproot your life for someone you barely know. We don’t know what she is going to decide, but she got the man that she wanted so she lives happily ever after.

Victor Officially Becomes a Braverman: Sydney (Savannah Paige Ray) announces to her parents that she doesn’t want to go to Victor’s (Xolo Mariduena) adoption ceremony because she doesn’t want Victor to be adopted. Finally, her evil is exposed. It seems like Joel  (Sam Jeager) and Julia (Erika Christensen) will finally find out that Sydney goaded Victor into throwing the bat and has been doing everything she can to make Victor feel unwelcome. At bare minimum, Sydney will be properly punished for her bad behavior. Instead, Joel and Julia don’tdo anything. I think it would be interesting to explore why they are often ineffective parents, but I don’t think we’re supposed to see anything wrong with it. Joel tells Victor that Sydney didn’t  mean it. Victor knows better and will hopefully sleep with one eye open until he is old enough to go to college. Victor breaks a vase accidentally while playing football and is relieved that Julia still wants to adopt him. That’s how tenuous their relationship is after all this time. Victor asks Sydney to come to the ceremony because she is his sister. She agrees. Smart move, Victor. Lull your enemy into a false sense of complacency. At the adoption hearing, each and every member of the Braverman family welcomes Victor into the fold. Play the video above to watch the entire scene. Every one of Victor’s issues instantly disappears, and he calls Julia Mom. Then they lived happily ever after.

Everyone Else Gets What They Want: Drew (Miles Heizer) gets into U.C. Berkeley! And he finds out the realistic way: via the Internet. Fat envelopes are so passe. Congratulations, Drew. You deserve it. Drew talks to Amy for the first time since she had an abortion. It turns out she is going to college in Boston. They have a very realistic conversation acknowledging that they will always mean a lot to each other, but they’re a couple of teenagers headed to college on the opposite sides of the country and there’s no point in even attempting to stay together. This is the anti “Teen Mom.” They didn’t have the baby and now they get to go to great colleges and live happily ever after.

Ryan (Matt Lauria) surprises Amber (Mae Whitman) with flowers and tells her all of the ways that he is working to change his life including going to therapy. After considering it, she proves she has much better taste in men that her mother, and, after making it clear that she will not tolerate him drinking too much or getting angry, she takes him back. It’s sweet and romantic. In the final montage, they appear to be looking at rings in the window of a jewelry store, but it’s way to soon for that. So let’s assume that they’re goofing around and then they lived happily ever after.

Jasmine (Joy Bryant) tells Crosby (Dax Shepard) she is pregnant. The news inspires him to apologize to Renee, who moved out of the house because she couldn’t stand the tension. Then they lived happily ever after.