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Parenthood “The Pontiac” Review (5×22)

18 Apr

Parenthood

Parenthood‘s always been one of my favorite shows on television, but it’s certainly had a shaky season: the Kristina mayoral campaign was a misfire, for one, and there was a hell of a lot of wheel-spinning over the course of the last 22 episodes. However, this finale is a touching, emotional, and satisfying conclusion to season 5.

Interestingly, the finale doesn’t exactly focus all too much on the events that occurred over the last 21 episodes, and it’s better off for it. One of the problems this show has with finales is its inability to really put a bow on things; yes, life moves on, but sometimes, the big events aren’t the ones that bring the most satisfaction. “The Pontiac” is all about the little moments, the little victories that we share with our friends and family, even after months and months of hardship.

I’m talking about Zeek giving Drew the Pontiac. Zeek and Camille dancing. Adam and Crosby sledding down the staircase. Victor reading his essay. Moments like these are what makes these Bravermans so damn compelling to watch.

The most touching storyline in this episode, though, belongs to Haddie. She’s been away for a while–they couldn’t at least have mentioned here more throughout the season?–but she returns here, and man, does she make an impact. Sarah Ramos plays Haddie’s conflicted coming out perfectly, conveying a range of emotions that play out across her face, whether it be in her interactions with Lauren or when she’s just making a sandwich in the kitchen. I disliked almost everything that went on with Adam and Kristina this season, but here, I realize just how essential their daughter is to their characters; the show’s never handled their relationship with Max with subtlety–and I’d like to see it–but Haddie brings out the best in them. They’re still good parents, and the shot of Adam realizing what’s going on between Haddie and Lauren is fantastic.

Elsewhere, Joel and Julia have a nice moment together after hearing Victor’s essay and after Sydney begs the former to stay. They obviously can’t get back together without discussing their problems, but “The Pontiac” isn’t concerned with that. “The Pontiac” merely wants to hint at something better, to provide a glimmer of hope and a moment of comfort and care. There isn’t a big, romantic gesture here. There isn’t even a full reconciliation. It’s just a small victory, and that’s what matters.

So, when the backyard set up transitions to Adam and Kristina’s house, and the whole family sits around the table as they laugh and talk and eat, it’s hard not to tear up. The Bravermans have been up and down, forward and backward, shaken from side to side; yet, one thing’s for sure. The times, they are a changin’, and the Bravermans still have each other.

GRADE: A-

SEASON GRADE: B

OTHER THOUGHTS:

-Amber and Ryan have sex in a hospital bed. Beautiful. I’ve always wanted to do that, especially with all the nurses watching.

-Annabeth Gish shows up as Ryan’s mother.

-Really nice montage at the end there, set to “The Times, They Are A Changin'”.

-Hank and Sarah getting back together is predictable–hell, even the previews showed it–but I do like the way Ray Romano and Lauren Graham handle it. I like these two characters, but I’m ambivalent over a relationship between the two.

-So, Drew and Natalie. Ehh.

-Adam and Haddie’s conversation at the end:

Adam: So, where were you?

Haddie: What the hell? I’m your daughter. How could you forget about me?

Adam: I love you so much, no matter who you love.

Haddie: I love you, too. *Hugs* But don’t try and change the subject; you probably barely even mentioned me after I left.

*Adam walks away*

-I haven’t covered this season regularly, but thanks for stopping by! I hope to see you all for season 6, which, if it happens, will most likely be the final season.

Photo credit: NBC, Parenthood

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