The next to last episode is upon us, my fellow members of Team Braverman, and as much as we hate to admit it, things are wrapping up. As we learned by the end of episode 11, Joel and Julia are officially back together; Sarah has accepted Hank’s proposal; Adam has given in to everyone’s wishes but his own; Crosby has his spunk back; Sydney seems tolerable; Zeek is standing upright—not strong, but upright just the same. Just when we think the Parenthood roller coaster is heading toward that last, flat stretch before screeching to a halt and we are instructed to remove our seat belts and disembark, there’s one more hill we have to get over: Amber. (No pun intended.) Grab your industrial-sized box of tissues, and let’s have a baby.
But before we get to the baby—which we won’t get to for a while, so settle in—let’s drop in on Joel and Julia, who are telling Sydney and Victor the happy news that Joel is moving back into the family home. Sydney, as expected, is thrilled, and we get to see a glimpse of cute Sydney that we’ve seen far too little of over the past six seasons. Victor, on the other hand, is instantly skeptical, and wonders what will happen the next time his parents have a problem. Smart kid. They could save a lot on therapy sitting across the couch from him. Joel and Julia assure him that they love each other, and that they always have. Victor doesn’t look convinced (me neither, kid), and his fears are proven to be real later in the episode.
Millie is taking Zeek on a hike in the hills of San Francisco—BECAUSE THAT’S A GOOD IDEA—and, as you’d expect a man who just had a major heart attack to do, he’s trailing behind her, having to stop and take rests. Is she trying to kill him right now so we have time to recover before next week’s finale? Zeek holds her back and tells her that he’s been thinking about the operation, and he’s decided that he doesn’t want to go through it again. He looks so weary as he tells her that he just wants to enjoy every moment of the life he has left. He wants to live his life, and thinks it’s what is best for them. “Are you with me?” he asks her. Millie rests her hand on his shoulder, and with tears in her eyes tells him, “Of course I’m with you. I’m always with you.” (Except for that month she ditched him to go paint in Italy, I’m sure she means.)
While Amber is helping Sarah and Hank plan their wedding (with all three of them doing a fantastic job of the ever-popular and ever-annoying Parenthood overspeak), Amber suddenly has a major contraction. Hank and Sarah instantly become the Two Stooges, running around and bumping into each other trying to cover Amber with a blanket (“You’re always cold when you’re in labor,” Sarah yells) and offer her ice-chips, while, of course, trying to find the always-missing-at-a-time-like-this car keys. Seriously, I kept expecting one of them to poke the other one in the eye. N’yuck, n’yuck.
When they finally make it to the hospital (after more wackiness in the car) they discover most of the Bravermans already there (of course they are). While the boys are in the gift shop searching for decent cigars (they settle for the bubblegum variety), Jasmine mentions to Kristina that she’s happy that Crosby and Adam worked everything out regarding The Luncheonette. Kristina, nose firmly planted in her magazine, can’t even look Jasmine in the eyes as she responds in a bitchy tone that it’s “great, so great.” When Jasmine calls her out, Kristina explodes and accuses Jasmine of guilting Adam into changing his mind. Oh no you di’int. While the ladies go at it (I’m guessing much of that argument was unscripted, which made it even more fantastic to listen to) the rest of the family—Zeek included—walks in and overhears. Crosby, obviously having been left out of the loop about Jasmine’s little visit to Kristina, is furious at Jasmine and at Adam, whom he now realizes stayed in business with him because of Jasmine. “Do you pity me?” he spits at Adam. “You got what you wanted,” Adam tells him (which, again, begs the question of when Adam will ever allow himself to get what he wants.) Crosby ends up yelling that he quits, and storms out. So much for the grown-up Crosby we saw glimpses of last week.
In the midst of all the yelling, Amber walks out, without a baby. False alarm, just gas, she tells them. Man, that was some bad gas.
NEXT: By “people,” do you mean more than one?