By Sandra Gonzalez
November 30, 2011 at 06:38 PM EST
Chris Haston/NBC
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Midseason finales tend to end with a bang — a breakup, a pregnancy, a difficult death, a cliff-hanger, an ambulance accident that threatens the lives of two main cast members. Last night’s Parenthood had none of these — but it still remains one of my favorite pre-hiatus episodes this season.

Much of the episode centered around the feud between Adam and Kristina after he confessed to sharing a kiss with Rachel, his assistant. Kristina, who was also preparing for her first day working for the campaign, understandably had bitter feelings toward Adam. Adam, who revealed that he hadn’t fired his assistant as they’d discussed, struggled to make amends.

And that’s just a piece of the Braverman drama that went down last night.

Back at the house, Max went missing after taking it upon himself to board the bus and head for the museum after Adam and Kristina broke a promise to take him and Haddie, who was watching Max, declined to make the trek.

While the Adam family took center stage, the other family members were knee-deep in fleshy story lines of their own. Sarah and Mark babysat Nora (sounds less interesting than it was, promise), Julia had to tell Zoe the adoption was off, and Crosby found himself warming up to Doc Homewrecker after Jabbar hurt himself at the playground. (Of course he would have a change of heart about the guy the day after he and Jasmine slept together.)

Sure, there were no “big events” in the episode — all the couples who were together when the episode began remain intact and everyone’s alive —  but there was a lot of heart, peaking with Haddie’s outburst upon Max’s return to the house. (That’s right, he was safe. Take that, kids on The Walking Dead.) And then there was Adam and Kristina’s make-up chat, which had me tearing up around the time Adam told Kristina she was his “best friend.”

If I’m being honest, it was one of several moments that had me nearly blubbering like a baby. Among the others? Sarah telling Mark that she wasn’t freaked out by the thought of having a baby with him. (To clarify: Mark’s “Two? Where one is low and ten is high?” actually made me laugh first, then I got weepy.) The Braverman family’s trip to the museum. And even Zoe’s late-night visit to Julia’s also ranked up there on a list of the episode’s best moments.

So, readers, what were yours? Did you tear up anywhere? And do you agree that this episode was proof that you don’t need a gimmick to close out the first half of the season?

Read more:

‘Parenthood’: Did Adam really blow it?

‘Parenthood’ scoop: ‘True Blood’ actress to make music with Crosby

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