We’re almost a third of the way through the final season of Parenthood (let’s pretend I didn’t just say that), and it seems like every episode thus far has viewers more invested in wondering who is going to bite the dust than in the actual story lines. While it’s true that showrunner Jason Katims suggested that the Braverman family would be dealing with mortality in season 6, he never guaranteed one of them would actually die. But it seems the idea of the potential loss is distracting viewers from the actual show each week and making us second guess everything that happens.
Most of us started the season speculating that it would be Zeek who would perish. After all, he has a bum heart and it would make sense for the patriarch of the family to die as Amber’s child is about to be born (you know, the whole “circle of life” thing). Then, after his collapse and heart surgery, that became almost too obvious. Maybe Kristina’s cancer would return? Or perhaps Millie would have a stroke when we were all watching Zeek so carefully. After Crosby’s pointless motorcycle accident last week, some were convinced that he would develop internal bleeding or a brain hemorrhage and drop dead à la Gary’s sudden and shocking death on thirtysomething (which—23 years later—I still haven’t entirely gotten over). But while it’s easy to make everything a red herring, we’re wasting the precious time we have left with the Bravermans if we continue to do it. Let’s not forget, for now, everyone is alive. So whaddya say we enjoy them while we still can? Now pass the tissues, and let’s talk about the Potpourri of Freaks that are our beloved Bravermans.
Crosby and Adam are still butting heads over the fact that Oliver Rome is apparently about to sign with a different record label. Adam is furious and blames Crosby, ordering him to go to the spiritual healing center Rome is at in Big Sur to talk some sense into him. Jasmine has found out about Crosby’s mysterious motorcycle accident (thanks to Jabbar for body slamming his bruised ribs) and refuses to allow him to ride to Big Sur and orders him to take the minivan instead. “There’s no world in which I’m driving that minivan,” he declares, but we all know who wears the pants in that family, don’t we? Sure enough, the next day Crosby is cruising down the PCH in the minivan, where he confronts Oliver Rome at the healing center (the shenanigans that ensue are borderline ridiculous) and discovers that Rome has already signed with the other label. Furious, Crosby returns home late, and much to Jasmine’s typical disappointment, gets on his motorcycle and zooms off without wearing his helmet (I won’t think it… I won’t think it).
Over at Chambers Academy, headmaster Braverman (yep, that’d be Kristina—wonder what ever became of Mr. Knight?) is showing around a sullen new student who has been kicked out of four schools and is packing a hefty attitude along with her book bag. She immediately zeros in on Max, calling him “Asperger’s” and “freak” and tells him that because his parents run the school he should demand special privileges. Dylan also instructs Max to cut his hair, which sets Kristina off into a tirade on bullying. Uh-oh. We’ve seen where this could lead. Prepare yourself for a petition or a campaign, or at the very least, a slap down. When Kristina calls Dylan into her office, the girl is immediately contentious and disrespectful; trading barbs with Kristina in rapid-fire return. For the first time in possibly ever, Kristina is left speechless. But Max, on the other hand, is left smitten, and asks Adam for advice on how to act when you like a girl.
Meanwhile, Joel and Julia have apparently decided to hop aboard the parenting train and take Sydney to apologize to the girl she’s been bullying. When Sydney gives a halfhearted apology (complete with eye-rolls) and stalks away after Joel asks her to apologize again, the little girl’s parents do what we’ve all been dying to do for five seasons and call Sydney out. Julia gives her standard, “We’ll talk to her” with her standard sad, concerned face that we all know really means “We’ll talk at her and then forget it ever happened.” The other mother then does more parenting than we’ve seen in five seasons where Sydney is concerned. “You’ll talk to her so I’ll get another bogus apology? What I want is assurance that this will never happen again!” she spits. When the girl’s father points out the obvious (“Your daughter is out of control!”) Joel tries to explain it away. “She’s going through a tough time,” he says, and Julia apologizes yet again. “Maybe you need to stop being sorry and do something about it,” the girl’s mother snaps. Who else paused their TV to give that mother a slow-clap, standing O?
NEXT: Time to grab the tissues