Thursday, January 24, 2013


Episode 15: Because You’re My Sister
By: Carlos Uribe

Parenthood is a show about the Braverman family.

Spoilers Ahoy!

And so Parenthood end its excellent fourth season with a finale that is somewhat anti-climactic. Nobody dies, an adoption goes through, and resolving the love triangle is held off until next season.

Let’s get into that love triangle. The penultimate episode to the season had Hank essentially telling Sarah that she had to make a choice: Mark or him. It was a good scene that seemed to promise that she would make her choice in the finale and that would be it. It’s true that she does make a choice. When Mark shows up at her door, he pledges his undying love for her and how he should have fought for her. Sarah turns him down because she wants to give her relationship with Hank a chance. She’s not really able to make this clear to Hank because he drops some pretty big news. He’s moving to Minnesota to be with his daughter. This devastates Sarah but then he asks her to go to Minnesota with him. We don’t know her answer or whether this will lead her back to Mark. This leaves the love triangle to still technically be alive but let’s be honest here: it’s very unlikely Sarah will go to Minnesota as it separates her too much from the rest of her family. This is a show that lives on those interactions. This seems to point to a reunion with Mark but that might not necessarily be the case.  The love triangle is therefore complicated by Hank’s move which allows the show to continue the plot into the next season premiere. Frustrating? Sure-especially since I don’t know who she should pick. They’re both kind of perfect for her and this episode only proves it.

The adoption manages to get through and Victor is accepted by pretty much everyone in the family. In the obligatory scene that made me tear up, the entire family is at the judge’s chamber and they all basically promise to love Victor like they’re own. Is it incredibly cheesy? Absolutely. Is it so effective that it renders a cynic like me to tears? Yes.  The scene might have been handled perfectly but there was a problem. It was all tied up a little bit too nicely. Julia goes from having doubts about the adoption to treating Victor like her son very quickly. Syndey’s acceptance of her new brother is likewise just as fast. It’s understandable that the season would want to end with Victor being accepted by the family but it simply feels like the plot could have used an episode or two to actually get there. At this moment, it sort of undermines the entire season’s struggle by having the happy ending so soon. I wish to say that it was forced. It kind of was but it did work to move me so I what I’m trying to say is: it might have worked but it could have been better if we had one or more episode to properly bring the characters to where they were this week.

Victor is not the only new member of the family because Jasmine is pregnant! It’s good to see that Renee’s presence hasn’t affected their sex life. Renee does move out of their house because she doesn’t like the boundary that Crosby tried to set. She wants to go somewhere where she feels wanted. Jasmine still wants Crosby to apologize but he only agrees when he realizes he doesn’t actually have a choice in the matter.  It’s nice that this little conflict between them is resolved in the finale but it does open up a layer of possibilities in regards to storylines with Jasmine’s pregnancy. On the other hand, can this show really fit in another family member? Oh-that’s right, Drew is going to Berklee now. I’m not sure if he’s downgraded to recurring like Haddie or if he will remain on the show. He does get closure with Amy as the two realize they’re going to be in different parts of the country. Amy is going to Boston.  Anyways, back on to Crosby: it’s a nice closure to what was a surprisingly effective plot. In fact, it’s really one of the two that actually closes properly.

The good news is we don’t’ lose a Braverman in the finale. This is to say that Kristina’s cancer is now officially in remission. She’s not cured as she still has to come in for medical tests but she’s not actively dying anymore.  The finale can’t help but throw the chance that the cancer might have spread to the liver but it’s a false alarm. The two end up going on a nice vacation to the beach in order to close the episode. Was this the expected outcome? Yes. It’s nice to have gotten to the happy ending of this cancer plot and hopefully it’ll remain in remission. There’s no reason for the show to explain the same territory more than once.

Parenthood delivered a great finale that in many ways proved to be anti-climactic.  Victors’ adoption story could have used at least one more episode to bridge the character feelings towards each other and the love triangle lives to see another episode.  The cancer plot nicely wraps itself and nothing bad really happened. It’s nice that the series realizes that there’s a small chance it won’t come back or that when it does it’ll be for a while so we don’t’ get any cliff-hanger ending and mostly resolved plots. The finale might not have been as amazing but it was a great episode that still brought me to tears despite of it. See you next season (hopefully), Bravermans.

Other Notes:

Amber gets back together with Ryan. I approve of the development but it felt like it made the episode a bit too busy.

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