In “Happy Birthday, Zeek,” the choice between life and death was Zeek’s to make.
But ultimately, the choice was made for him.
Zeek Braverman (Craig T. Nelson) wants to go out on his own terms, but not at the expense of not being there for Amber and her child.
LIVING FOR THE FULL BAND
The Braverman patriarch doesn’t look a day over 50, but he’s sprung a leak, and the only solution is open-heart surgery. Zeek was adamant about his decision against it both when he was confronted by a gullible Crosby, and later, a tearful Adam, but that hard exterior softened the moment he learned that his first great-grandchild was on its way.
My Two Cents: Zeek would do anything for family, and that includes having open-heart surgery. He’s 72 years young, and he’d like to stick around long enough to get his 80th birthday song. They might not be the Jackson 5, but the Braverman grandkids have been promised a full band on their second release, and getting the chance to hear that is too good a chance for Zeek to pass up.
Sydney (Savannah Paige Rae) isn’t handling her parent’s separation well, and her actions have grown worrisome. She’s been bullying an overweight student at school, and Joel and Julia were at a loss for words. When confronted, their daughter made it known that her anger stems from having to divvy her time between her parents’ separate living quarters.
My Two Cents: Sydney’s troublesome behavior doesn’t come as much of a shock. She has always been played as a misbehaved child that only knows how to express how she’s feeling through temper tantrums. It’s her only defining trait. This time is different, though. If her antagonizing playground demeanor keeps up, it’ll likely be met with serious ramifications, ones that she might not find herself emotionally mature enough to handle on top of her parent’s looming divorce.
LIKE MOTHER, LIKE DAUGHTER
Sarah (Lauren Graham) was flabbergasted by Amber’s (Mae Whitman) pregnancy. She knows that her daughter is strong, but she worries that Amber will make the same mistakes she made as a young mother, especially as a single mother. In the end, though, she realized she hadn’t told Amber all the good things that come with motherhood.
With or without Ryan, Sarah will there for her daughter. Letting her know that was the best thing she could have done, and at the conclusion of last night’s hour, that’s exactly what she did.
My Two Cents: Sarah and Amber’s relationship will always be rocky, but it was smart not to extend the tiff between mother and daughter with less than a dozen episodes to go. As it is, last night’s episode felt like it had a lot to do in very little time.
Ryan Schwartz regularly writes about television at RyanTalksTV.com
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