Parenthood always makes me cry, but this episode left me a blubbering mess. The reason isnâ€™t just the story itself, but rather just how relatable and real this show is.
This show doesnâ€™t use shock value to engage its viewers. It uses real life scenarios that we can all relate to. I was a blubbering mess when I watched this episode because I could see my own father, and my own grandfather, in Zeek.
At the beginning of the episode, the kids visit Zeek at home just before his surgery. He reflects on his life and his family, seeing his four grown children and grown granddaughter in front of him. But he also spills the beans on Amberâ€™s pregnancy, which she says is actually a relief. She shows him the ultrasound picture, and the two have another heart-to-heart on the front porch.
When Zeek is getting settled into this hospital room the next day, he becomes resistant about having to take off his wedding ring. He says he doesnâ€™t want his stuff put in the closet, especially his solid gold wedding ring. More importantly, itâ€™s the last night with his wife before the surgery. And who can argue with Zeek? He keeps his ring for the time being.
One of the hardest scenes to watch was when Zeek was being wheeled to surgery. The nurse tells him, â€œWe need to take your ring now, Mr. Braverman.â€ He gives up the ring and tells Camille that heâ€™s scared, but he holds back his tears. Camille holds hers back too, even when heâ€™s wheeled through the double doors.
These are the real sort of details that we can all identify with. And the waiting room? Those scenes were possibly the most realistic part. Crosby is trying to catch the game, Sarah and Julia are trying to find anything else to talk about, Camille is being distant, and Adam is just worried.
Camille does open up to Julia a little:
Camille: In good times and bad, for richer, for poorer. Weâ€™ve been through all that. Itâ€™s this one. This is the tough one.
And speaking of Julia, this was also the episode where I was snapped out my Joel and Julia denial. I want them back together, and Iâ€™ve been telling myself itâ€™s only a matter of time before that happens. But this episode managed to burst my bubble when Juliaâ€™s new boyfriend sent her a â€œWaiting Room Survival Kitâ€ complete with Twizzlers. A sweet gesture that overshadows Joelâ€™s phone calls to check on the family. Julia finally tells Joel that sheâ€™s seeing someone, and we actually watch Joelâ€™s heart break. Whatâ€™s even worse is that Iâ€™m starting to like the new boyfriendâ€¦ a little.
Amberâ€™s pregnancy, and her relationship with Ryan, is also an important part of this episode. Now that the news of her pregnancy has been announced to most of the family, Amber visits her brother in his new dorm to apologize for not having told him first. Their relationship has grown and changed so much over the course of the series. Now itâ€™s Drew who is protecting his older sister, not the other way around.
When Amber tells Drew that she needs to tell Ryan the news in person, he insists on going with her to Wyoming. They have a nice moment in their picturesque road trip (convertible included) where Amber insists sheâ€™s going to take care of the baby on their own. Drew tells her thatâ€™s exactly what she should tell Ryan, and then he lightens the mood by starting a game of â€œeye-spy.â€
When they finally arrive atÂ Ryanâ€™s house, itâ€™s pretty much exactly as you might expect. We know that Ryan has had some serious issues, and the number of pill bottles lying around suggests he hasnâ€™t exactly been dealing well. Ryan rushes around trying to clean the house for Amber and Drew while Amber waits nervously to break the news.
Drew decides its best if he waits in the car, and Amber finally blurts out the news. But Ryanâ€™s reaction isnâ€™t necessarily what she hoped for. She immediately tells him that she doesnâ€™t expect his help, and that sheâ€™ll do this on her own, but Ryan is overcome with joy at the thought of a baby. He insists that he will help, that heâ€™ll get cleaned up, that heâ€™ll be better. Amberâ€™s eyes say it all. She doesnâ€™t want to get back together with him.
And her brother agrees. Amber tells Drew sheâ€™s staying, but Drew fights her on it. He says that Ryan is a mess, and he compares him to their dad. It sounds like Amber isnâ€™t going to listen, and that she is yet again going to run back to Ryan and take on all of his issues. But thank goodness, she listens to her brother.
Amber: I believe in you. Just like Iâ€™ve always believed in you. But you have a lot of work to do. And I canâ€™t do it with you. Because I have to start taking care of myself, and of this baby right now. And Iâ€™m sorry but youâ€™re just not ready yet.
Meanwhile, Zeekâ€™s wife and children are still waiting for news on his surgery. I wasnâ€™t surprised when the doctor came out to tell everyone the surgery went well. Itâ€™s Parenthood, and even with all of its emotional moments, this show isnâ€™t ready to go there just yet. But seeing Zeek in the ICU hooked up to a breathing machine was bad enough. Gosh. Those details were a little too real.
Adam, Crosby, Sarah, and Julia all watch from outside the room, tears in their eyes and faces stoic, as Camille sits down at Zeekâ€™s bedside. She puts his solid gold wedding ring back on his finger where it should be. Hopefully, this is a symbol that he isnâ€™t going anywhere any time soon.
The final season of Parenthood airs Thursdays at 10/9c on NBC.
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