Should this week’s episode of PARENTHOOD end up as the series finale, I will be wholly satisfied.
In “The Pontiac,” new and old romances helped shape a brighter future for the entire Braverman-Graham-Holt family following a mostly darker season.
“I’M LOOKING AT YOU, NOW”
After a season of will they/won’t they/“shut up and do it already” melodrama, Sarah (Lauren Graham) and Hank (Ray Romano) rekindled their romance. After showing Sarah he could be there ––– not just for her, but also for the rest of her family ––– helped sway her decision. His Aspergers diagnosis was no longer as big of a concern.
My Two Cents: After years of basing Graham’s story lines around the men Sarah’s sleeping with, I’m overjoyed that she and Romano’s Hank have gotten back together. Should the show return for future seasons, it would be nice to see what other stories the writers can concoct when everything in Sarah’s life is going well. Improving her personal life, and settling her into a career were necessary at this point in the show’s run, and its fifth season took care of that masterfully.
THE BI-CURIOUS CASE OF HADDIE BRAVERMAN
Though I could swear Haddie’s (Sarah Ramos) name had been mentioned at least once in season five, viewers have worried that PARENTHOOD Judy Winslow-ed Adam and Kristina’s oldest daughter. She returned tonight, though, and with her return came the introduction of a new character ––– a girlfriend named Lauren.
My Two Cents: Jason Katims has previously spoken of his desire not to have Haddie return unless he felt he had a story line that would do Ramos’ character justice. He seems to have made the right decision. Not only was this new story line perfectly executed, but it took a refreshingly liberal stance. Though Haddie’s in a same-sex relationship, there was no talk of lesbianism or ‘coming out’. Haddie’s exploring her sexuality, and there are very few shows inept to handle a bisexuality story line. Katims seems up for the task.
Now discharged from the army, Ryan’s (Matt Lauria) returning to Wyoming to face his demons ––– including his emotionally unstable mother. This isn’t the end for ‘Ryber’ though. Before telling “buddy” Amber that he’d see her again soon, the two rekindled their romance in his hospital bed, and at the end of the episode, Amber (Mae Whitman) was seen buying a pregnancy test. In her final shot of the season, she was seen sipping water instead of wine at a Braverman family dinner.
My Two Cents: The chemistry between Lauria and Whitman is too large to ignore. I imagine a potential pregnancy will depend on budgetary constraints. If the show returns, but on a reduced budget, the writers might be forced to reduce the number of recurring stars.
GRAHAM FAMILY FUTURE
Who knew that Victor’s (Xolo Mariduena) accelerated reading skills would not only win him an essay-writing contest, but also help drive Joel and Julia closer to reconciliation? In last night’s installment, his win gave him the confidence he’s sorely lacked before and after his adoption, thus providing Mom and Dad with smiles they’ve lacked since their midseason split.
My Two Cents: The Grahams still have an uphill battle ahead, but the future looks bright for Joel and Julia, as it should.
A PLACE TO CALL HOME
It’s official: Casa de Braverman is sold, and Zeek and Camille will make new memories in a new home. To celebrate this milestone, the Bravermans did what they do best: host a family dinner. As long as there’s a picnic table for this ever-expanding family to gather, the Bravermans will always have a place to call home.
My Two Cents: In the end, Zeek didn’t need a big fancy house or a fancy refurbished car. The joy he gave his wife by agreeing to move on, and the smiles he brought to both his grandsons with the help of one automobile, was enough to appease the Braverman patriarch.
Read more from TV critic Ryan Schwartz at RyanTalksTV.com
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