Parenthood’‘s really taking the scenic route to Zeek’s funeral. It felt right last night for Zeek to pass — but I think Jason Katims, Parenthood‘s showrunner and the writer of this episode, wanted us to feel that way. The show opened with a series of dream-like reaction shots from each relative upon hearing about Zeek’s heart attack — a sequence more in line with Peter Krause’s former drama, Six Feet Under, than the straight-forward Parenthood. Doctors were very cautious in their wording about Zeek’s condition with the family. Camille ended up in the hospital chapel, searching for closure. She finally admits to Adam, “I don’t know if he’s going to make it through this.” The family waits together, solemnly instead of panicked. Are they in the process of making peace?
To me, I felt it was pretty obvious that, yes, the Bravermans were coming to terms with the fact that Zeek would pass soon. So I was surprised when his condition didn’t turn out to be quite as dire: he’d have a choice to make about surgery after going home and thinking about it, but all of his options would have a chance of death. Of course he has to go home and think real hard about what his life was. Of course they’re dragging it out, making Zeek’s death as heartbreaking as possible. I mean, how many times did you cry watching this episode? (Three
By the time Zeek goes, everyone will be relaxed about it. I imagine he’ll die at home, for poetic reasons that shouldn’t have to be explained if you’re a Parenthood viewer. For now, everyone else is seeing issues resolve themselves; it’s this feeling of needing to tie up every loose end that makes me pity TV screenwriters. Though a little forced, this barrage of positive change happening outside of Zeek’s medical crisis brought a necessary lightness to the episode.
Joel and Julia are back!…hesitantly. Even in amidst this bad situation, I found myself shipping Joel and Julia more than ever. They’re a unit, they’re solid, and they’re also emotional over one another. Julia finding out about her dad’s heart attack while she’s in bed with Joel was both entertaining and symbolic. I imagine next week’s episode will involve them finally defining the relationship… in their marriage.
Hank is in Changed Man overdrive this week, as he looks for ways to support Sarah in this time of crisis. He seems overwhelmed by his own desire to be there for her, that he ends up proposing in the hospital parking lot. I still can’t help but feel like Sarah finds Hank a little over eager and isn’t on this level with him, but she doesn’t say now. I feel like this will end up a yes with some massaging (now an actual massage, though that could help too).
The BraverWomen threw Amber a gorgeous little baby shower in the hospital, complete with tearful advice on how to be a mom. These women are all different, and most of the time that leads to disagreements. But it was incredibly touching (and sappy as hell) to see them all come together to support one of their own trying to feel prepared.
Depending on how you look at it, Adam and Crosby’s situation is either good or bad news. Of course the Braverman brothers each personify one of these sides. When the Luncheonette is vandalized in a mind-bogglingly thorough manner (the alarm went off after all that?), they’re faced with an unlikely though fortuitous insurance situation: they can get a big ole check for their stolen gear and walk away with spare cash in their pocket, or they can use the money to rebuild the studio. There’s no way an insurance company would assure a client that kind of check in the span of a few hours, but here we are. Adam wants to sell, Crosby wants to rebuild. With Crosby so down on his luck and stressed about the Luncheonette, he decides to cave to Adam, at least until Jasmine gives him the best pep talk of this whole damn series. So that’s still a “we’ll see,” but c’mon, they’re gonna stay. Parenthood doesn’t like to kill dreams so easily — and by the looks of it, people either.