Review: ‘Parenthood’ – ‘Let’s Go Home’

A few quick thoughts on last night's “Parenthood” coming up just as soon as I still have one screw left…

Though this final season is only 13 episodes, a lot of the storylines feel like they've been running for much longer than that – some because they began in previous seasons (Joel and Julia's separation), and some simply because we keep taking one step forward and then one step back with them. It's always a challenge with a small, low-concept show like this, even in a year that has dealt with bigger life cycle events like pregnancy, health crises, marriage proposals, failing businesses and more. And some episodes have definitely dragged on, despite the usual fine acting and strong individual moments.

“Let's Go Home” brought several big stories to, if not closure, then to major decisions – all of them made after much thought and discussion amongst the four Braverman sibs – with Sarah accepting Hank's proposal, Adam deciding (with a lot of nudging from Jasmine) to stick it out with the Luncheonette, and Joel and Julia sealing their reunion with a kiss in front of their elated kids. That some of these stories have all been going on for so long made the denouements feel more like relief than elation – and I'm still in wait-and-see mode on the Luncheonette stuff, given the show's usual fantasy approach to any and all matters financial – yet seeing Joel and Julia kissing at the ice rink was satisfying, as was Sarah saying yes to Hank while Amber slept nearby. And I may have gotten choked up a time or three when Zeek told Drew not to worry about the trip, and when Zeek decided to let the Reggie Jackson baseball(*) be a treasure for the new occupants of their old house to discover one day.

(*) My former Star-Ledger colleague Mike Vaccaro, now a sports columnist for the NY Post and author of several books about baseball, pointed out to me last night that Major League players were on strike on the day Zeek allegedly got the Reggie ball.

What did everybody else think? Are you satisfied with where the stories have gone? Did the events of this episode, and Zeek trying to put his house(s) in order make you more or less convinced that he's going to survive the series? And who will work the cafeteria at Chambers Academy if Adam is rededicating himself to making the Luncheonette work?