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Parenthood’s season ends with sweetness, sorrow & surprises

The mood was all over the place as the third season came to a close, from Crosby and Jasmine's long delayed wedding to a fraternal fist fight involving beer and salsa.

- Season 3, Episode 18 - "My Brother's Wedding"

Okay, for those of you who predicted that Zoe, the coffee cart gal, would change her mind about giving her baby up for adoption, you were right, although I wish you weren’t.

Employing a particularly cruel set of twists — with Julia lovingly seeing Zoe through the birth, Zoe refusing to hold the baby (as in the movie Juno) and then having Julia, who was ready to bring her adopted son home, seeing Zoe cradling the baby, her baby — Julia and Joel ultimately had their hearts broken. I was taken aback by Zoe’s decision after the long and tortured road they took to get to the birth, even with the giant red flag of Zoe moving out of Julia and Joel’s home without notice.

But the surprises didn’t end there. After the precious, teeny, tiny baby boy clothing was tenderly packed away into a box of dashed dreams, the Parenthood writers veered in an entirely different direction at the end of the episode, pulling Julia and Joel away from Crosby and Jasmine’s beautiful and surprisingly touching nuptials, and handing over a walking, talking, 9-year-old boy to the pair along with the news that the child’s mother had just been jailed and had surrendered her maternal rights.

Wait … what? Did the social worker sandbag Julia and Joel, who had specifically said they wanted a baby, and place a cute-as-a-button boy in front of them, in the dark of night, who no one with a beating heart would turn away? That was unclear, but this loving couple welcomed Victor into their home and likely ushered a whole bunch of legal drama into their home as well. Good thing Julia’s a lawyer.

The rest of the well rounded season finale took us on a wild ride with the only reliable, solid thread being, astonishingly, that Crosby and Jasmine had finally found their way back to one another and that Crosby didn’t manage to screw it up.

However there was an uncomfortable wrinkle that threatened the wedded bliss. Crosby and Adam’s juvenile fight in front of the entire family, a physical manifestation of the anger over the fact that Adam wanted to sell the Luncheonette, felt authentic. It pitted Adam’s financial crunch — facing crippling Ivy League bills and supporting his two other children, including one with special needs — against Crosby’s dreams. Adam, being a decent guy who leads with his heart more than the businessman is willing to admit, gave his brother the best wedding gift of all: Telling him that he wouldn’t sell the Luncheonette after all and wanted to work alongside the dude who had dumped him as best man and opted to replace him with Billy Riggins from Dillon, Texas. (Friday Night Lights joke.) To be fair, Crosby did offer to sell in order to financially help his brother, so it wasn’t all Adam being the good guy here.

Meanwhile, Sarah, in a moment of rare maturity and forward-thinking, broke it off with Mark, noting that not only would it be uncertain that she could get pregnant, but that she herself wasn’t even sure that she wanted to have a baby. Yes, she loves the kind English teacher, however noting his strong desire to have a family, Sarah made the unselfish decision to set him free. Only the guy came back and proposed marriage to her after pronouncing they’d been doing this whole thing out of order. Hmm, maybe there’s a future for these two after all.

I was less enamored by the Bobby Little-Amber story where a tearful Amber told her boss that she couldn’t work for him and date him. At this point in her life, Amber, making an unexpectedly wise choice, said she needed the job more. I still say that the City Councilor trying to hook up with a teenage employee will come out at some point in the election. Perhaps one of the college educated interns who’s bitter about the nepotism that enabled Amber to get her job, will dime them out.

And, as sweet as Drew is — he’s the blandest and least developed character on Parenthood — it seemed puzzling that so much time was spent during a season finale on Drew and his girlfriend having sex for the first time. (I couldn’t stop thinking about Party of Five’s Julia and Justin’s liaison during Charlie’s canceled backyard wedding. Let’s just hope that Drew didn’t knock up his girlfriend just as his mother was talking about having — or not — having another baby.)

What was your favorite/least favorite moment from the Parenthood finale?

Photo Credit: NBC

2 Responses to “Parenthood’s season ends with sweetness, sorrow & surprises”

March 1, 2012 at 12:31 AM

This is by far one of the best shows on TV; it’s too bad that most people enjoy watching crappy reality shows instead of show that have great actors, and are well written. Please don’t cancel this show or I just might stop watching TV all together.

March 1, 2012 at 12:32 AM

The buzz is good on renewal. Not definite, but at least it’s positive and not negative. Love this show too!

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