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S05.E22: The Pontiac 2014.04.17

The fifth season ends with Adam and Crosby reminiscing over childhood memories. Meanwhile, Amber and Ryan reunite; Sarah responds to Hank's request; Victor triumphs over his fears; Zeek gives Victor a driving lesson; and Drew pursues his bliss.
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Ok, that felt like a series finale.  Has the show been renewed?

Wow, Amber buying a pregnancy test!  How long has Ryan been gone anyway?  Very surprised that she didn't let Ryan's mom have it. Very unhormonal for a girl buying an EPT. Was cute when Ryan called Amber buddy, she had always called him that.

I think I'm supposed to feel sorry for Sidney, because of her family has been torn apart but I just don't. Joel and Julia should never get back together just so they can get a break from that shrill little brat.

Drew must be sedated or something. At least hug your grandfather after he gave you the damn car. Prozac's a hell of a drug.

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I like that Haddie was more nervous about telling her family than her family was about accepting it. That rings relatively true to me with cases in my own family.  

When Amber was kissing Ryan, I was all, you know where this is leading. Then she was buying a pregnancy test. Super quick sperm, no?  

I liked Victor's essay, although I'm not sure it's realistic, still it made me misty so I'll give it a pass. I really like Victor. He's way less annoying than Sydney.   

I think it was a nice enough ending if the series doesn't get picked up. However, I think Drew's love life got way more ending than was earned.   Was anybody invested in that relationship?

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How in the hell could Amber be pregnant?  It's had to be what, 3 months since she last saw him.  Ryan's last episode was before the winter Olympics break, right, that was the episode where Amy showed up at Drew's dorm for spring break and never left?  The timeline just couldn't make sense at this point, I don't know, my head hurts thinking about it.  Well I guess we are finally getting that storyline that parallels from the movie, I knew they would get to it eventually.

The Julia/Joel/Sydney scene was heartbreaking, but I get why she acted out like that.  She hasn't seen both of her parents together like that in awhile now, and they were acting like a family, she didn't want it to end.  I loved her telling her dad that he belonged there.  I was sad that we didn't get a wrap-up to Julia/Joel in this episode.  I was hoping he would show up at the family dinner and just kiss Julia.  I wanted that storyline to be wrapped up in case we don't get a final season.

I can't believe that Zeke just gave Drew the GTO.  That kid did nothing to deserve that, hell does he even have his license or insurance for that matter?  If anything, shouldn't that car have gone to I dunno....Victor?!  He did most of the work with Zeke, just for mopey Drew to get the car.  I'm just saying if I was Victor, or hell Amber or Haddie, I would be hella-pissed.

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Parenthood always does really well on the season finals.

Adam is not my favorite Braverman child, but he and Crosby were very cute.

I thought Haddie looked really terrible, not like a happy college girl should look after finding love. That scraggley hair and dark eyes screamed drug use to me.

Love that Ryan's mom was just as he painted her to be. Glad Amber handled it all so well. Very mature for her. I suspect Amber is a few months pregnant and just didn't want to "make it real" so she hasn't tested yet, though the look she had kind of lead me to believe she already knew it would be positive and was just buying the test to make it "real".

Victor and Drew BOTH with Zeke were just so good. But I love Zeke CTN is just great. Victor is only 11 since he is in 4th grade x2 so I kind of got from his essay and talks with Zeke that he plans them to restore another car for him later. Amber loves her car and Haddie can't really have a car living so far from home. Drew made sense. Dislike him and Natalie and really Natalie REALLY throw out ILY like that so contrived.

And Max yet again NEVER fails to be a rude little shit! How Kristina can just let him be a total jerk is beyond me! No Max he won't prick you YOU are a little Prick!

Sydney annoys no doubt but she was upset AND overtired so I give her a slight pass, but Julia should have let Joel put her to bed alone. And WTH was THAT for a bedtime story a little TMI about your childbirth does not make a great bedtime story.

I was surprisingly meh about Sarah and Hank. Probabaly b/c I don't expect it to last long, b/c well......Sarah.

Edited by maraleia.
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Drew is such an Eeyore. It's like he's entirely composed of wet noodles and Morrissey.

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I think we are supposed to believe that somehow Amber and Ryan had sex in the hospital bed.   Dumb, but I think that is why Amber was buying the pregnancy test.

I actually thought Haddie (or rather Sarah Ramos) looked great.  Her hair looked better than it did much of the time she was actually a series regular on the show.  I'd rather have spent more time with her than most of the rest of the Bravermans.  Oh, and Drew sucks.

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I'm really mad they didn't wrap up Julia and Joel only because this show is always being threatened with cancellation.

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Did anyone else notice when Joel was telling the story of Sydney's birth, how when he got to the part of where Julia loved the man so much that was giving her drugs to stop her pain, although he was the one going through the many hours of labor with her - she would tell the pain doctor she loved him, but not Joel. I saw his eyes go into a glare when he said that and Julia's face went into a frown.... IMO Joel is angry with her about many things over the years, and I don't think they will be getting back together anytime soon if ever. That was obvious when he wasn't at the family dinner at the end....

Edited by Songbird.
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Ok, that felt like a series finale.  Has the show been renewed?

No, but I'd be surprised if it's not. It'll probably be back to 13 or so episodes though, which I think is for the best. This season was a bit of a mess on the whole. I loved that finale though, as it largely involved almost nothing that happened during the actual season.

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If this show comes back, they need to trim the fat.  Mopey Drew and his skanky girlfriend are so boring and unless Max and Sydney are entering a "worst brat ever" contest, don't need to see them again.

I like the way they wrapped the Ryan story (choosing to pretend the pregnancy test scene didn't happen), but they could have done more with Annabeth Gish.  

It is frustrating that I still have no idea what Joel wants.  It seems the writers don't know either.  First he walks out, refusing to even try and work on the marriage, which was completely out of character.  Now he seems to want back in, but why?

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At the end when they wer all gathered at the table, was that supposed to be at the new house? I missed the boat on that.

I thought Haddie looked good and I liked her gf. I didn't think it was realistic that the gf went running in those long pants/leggings, t-shirt and hoodie. Why not just shorts and a t-shirt? I am being nitpicky, but wouldn't she have been too hot?

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Maybe the reason Adam/Kristina don't have more money for things like a behavioral specialist for Max is they waste it on stupid crap like having custom banners made when their kid comes home from college.

Natalie, please STFU. Drew just told you he doesn't have money or a car to come visit your stupid ass in Portland and your response is, "Figure it out." Why is it Drew's responsibility to find a way to get to Portland? How about you figure out how to come back to Berkeley to visit Drew? Gawd. I know long distance sucks, but first of all, it's only for the summer. Secondly (and I'm about to sound really old), kids these days do not know how much easier they have it. I had a long distance boyfriend in college and we had to write letters and then put them in the mail. We had to pay for long distance phone calls and airplane tickets. We didn't have email or texts or free long distance on our cell phones or skype or face time.

Who the hell says, "I love you" for the first time as their shuttle is pulling away? She is still such a passive aggressive manipulative bitch even now that she's dating Drew. I hate that the problem was solved by Zeke giving Drew that car.

I knew Ryan's mom was going to be an absolute pill as soon as she walked into his room and said that OF COURSE she was there because she's HIS MOTHER or did he forget? I was glad that Amber was trying to advocate for Ryan and make sure that he wasn't being bullied into going back to Wyoming, a place that he hates. I can't tell how old he's supposed to be, but would he be getting any sort of military pension now that he's been discharged? How long has Ryan been gone? Wouldn't she already know if she was pregnant? He left back in January and this episode takes place in May (which is when school ends for UC Berkeley). She couldn't realistically be five months pregnant and now now until now, right? Or are we supposed to think she got knocked up while having sex with him in his hospital bed and then magically knew she was pregnant a day later?

When Haddie's girlfriend asked, "What are you afraid of?" I thought oh, girl, you are lucky enough that you haven't yet witnessed or been the object of a Braverman verbal assault yet. One moment I liked was when I could see the wheels turning in Adam's head as he figured out that Lauren wasn't just Haddie's super awesome best friend. They managed to strike the right chord with Haddie and Kristina's conversation. I've had similar conversations with my mom. I wasn't being forcibly outed by my sibling, but I have had those conversations where I had to tell my mom something and I knew exactly how she was going to react and that she would be nothing but supportive but it was still a weird awkward moment anyway.

The Crosby/Adam wrestling and teasing on the stairs was great, as was the stairway sledding. Loved Zeke and Camille scolding them too. But then I got annoyed with Adam for saying he was mad at their parents for selling the house. STFU, dude. Totally typical that Zeke was just wandering around the house eating a bowl of cereal while Adam and Drew moved cast iron furniture around.

Max can STFU too. "Excuse me, tailor person!" And Kristina's response is to tell him that's KIND OF rude? No, it's just plain rude. No wonder he's such an asshole. She didn't make him apologize to the tailor person for being so rude. His explanation that the guy is a tailor and a person was typical of his snide attitude. She also thinks it's fine for him to keep telling the tailor person not to prick him and then to walk off in the middle of being fitted because he wants a maroon tie. Then he ignores and refuses to respond to any of her questions. GAWD. They really need to stop spending money on dogs and mayoral campaigns and put all their money into a behavioral therapist for Max. He is a fucking nightmare because no one ever corrects his behavior.

I could have done with all of Sarah's "awwwwww" looks every time Amber and Hank interacted. I don't like Sarah and Hank as a couple but I guess at least this time they are going into their relationship with their eyes wide open.

I loved seeing the Braverman family sitting around the table in the backyard one last time. Although I call bull shit on Haddie stringing up the lights beforehand. They never took those lights down! They were up year round!

Edited by ElectricBoogaloo.
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Now I'm worried that we'll get a fetal alcohol syndrome storyline because if she is 3-5 months pregnant she drank a lot in her 1rst trimester.

I think the outside dinner was at Adam and Kristina's house.  Haddie was stringing the lights in her backyard and the table was moved there.  Just got that impression because I didn't see a backyard at Zeke/Camille's new house and the song "The Times, They are A-Changin" was playing.

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Okay, that makes more sense! Is it weird that after five seasons, I have no idea what Adam and Kristina's backyard looks like? I know we saw Joel and Julia's several times (including the time that Victor threw a ball or something at Sidney) and obviously we have seen Zeke and Camille's backyard a lot, but I don't really remember seeing Crosby and Jasmine's backyard either. Theirs is probably tiny but Adam and Kristina's house is big enough to probably have a decent sized yard. I'm sure their neighbors will love hearing the Bravermans yelling and talking over each other all night! That was another good thing about Zeke and Camille's yard - it looked like it was set really far back so they probably didn't have a neighbor right next to their backyard who was forced to listen to all of their family dinner conversations.

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So where is Drew living now that he's out of school?  Wasn't he living with Zeek and Camille before he went to the dorm?

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Did Amber and Ryan had sex in the hospital room? With the door open and his mom around?? Ewww!

There's no way in hell that Victor would read that well, when less than a year ago he was almost illiterate. He was reading at a grownup' s level! He was even able to gaze at the audience from time to time, like an experienced orator. Bullshit! 

I don't think Julia's kid was being a brat. I think her action was understandable and realistic. That's exactly how little kids react when their parents are divorcing.

I like the Haddie part, I also liked how Adam found out in his mind about the true nature of their relationship. I hated Max, no news there. Also hated Drew. Who is this Natalie, the one who slept with his roommate?

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I really thought they were implying that Drew and Amber had goodbye sex in the hospital room and Amber was predicting pregnancy from that event, but it would be way too soon to test, so...   The whole thing was weird.  Either she's late to test or early.   

Drew mentioned that he was sleeping on Sarah's couch, although I guess now he's staying with Natalie's parents.   

The Max bit that bothered me most was him saying he didn't want to help with the bags and going back in the house.  His parents should try parenting him, sometimes.

I did like the bit where Max was trying to work out what Haddie and the girlfriend's kiss meant.  My brother had Aspergers and things like unexpected relationships took him a long time to work out in his head.  He was pretty accepting of what made anybody happy, but I remember a few times when a few days after he'd seen something him coming out with questions about it, even as an adult.

On the other hand if my mom asked him to take bags from the car?  He'd have taken bags from the car.   Heck, she probably wouldn't have had to be asked.  It was one of the things that was drilled into his head as a rule that you helped with things like bringing groceries in from the car.  He might sigh or roll his eyes if he had to stop reading to do it, but he'd do it.  He'd get done.  He'd go right back to his book.    

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I really thought they were implying that Drew and Amber had goodbye sex in the hospital room and Amber was predicting pregnancy from that event, but it would be way too soon to test, so...   The whole thing was weird.  Either she's late to test or early.

Okay I am going to assume you meant RYAN and Amber but after the last few weeks of Drew and Amber, not entirely sure.  But his was good for a laugh

 

Max just gets worse.  I can excuse Victor's "reading" because I assume he memorized it so it would flow better.

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Ooops, yeah... Ryan and Amber.

But I agree.  Drew and Amber had all sorts of inappropriate flirting going on when they were stoned at chez Amber.   

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I feel alone in my love for Sydney. I think the young actress who plays her has always done a phenomenal job. Of all the kids on this show, she rings most true to me. From her Candyland tantrum back in the day to her snarky snipes at Victor to her meltdown in this episode...she acts and reacts like a real kid. It's not always pretty. OTOH, we have Victor, who is illiterate and sullen in one episode, panicky and falling apart in another, and then a well adjusted, happy kid who writes and presents a prize winning essay in this one. I like him, but come on. And poor Jabbar, who has basically been a prop this season.

Drew! Grow up! You grandfather just gave you a car you did absolutely nothing to deserve and you can't even say thank you? How about looking for a summer job instead of whining about how your summer sucks and you can't go visit your brand new girlfriend who suddenly loves you after playing with your head all year?

Amber, sweetie, you may have super powers in that you can have sex with a seriously injured man in a small hospital bed without hurting him or messing up your hair, but there is no way you would know you are pregnant the next day. Also, am I the only one who thought it would come out that she and Ryan secretly got married at some point? I remember thinking that earlier in the season during the wedding planning mess. 

I didn't get anger from Joel and Julia's look. I got a shared feeling of intimacy in recalling that special day, and the two of them wondering...where do we go from here? If we do get another season, is it too much to hope that her night with the teacher never comes out and we don't have to endure the ensuing drama there?

I wasn't looking forward to Haddie's return but it wound up being really good, loved Kristina and Adam's scenes with her. Seeing Adam put two and two together and then their ending scene together was perfect, no words necessary, they said it all with facial expressions and body language. Also, Adam and Crosby = awesome. Crosby has become my favorite Braverman.

I could live with this as a series finale (pretending Amber and the pregnancy test never happened), but I really hope it wasn't.  

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There's no way in hell that Victor would read that well, when less than a year ago he was almost illiterate. He was reading at a grownup' s level! He was even able to gaze at the audience from time to time, like an experienced orator. Bullshit!

I agree with that so much that I was thinking Victor had maybe memorized the story he was supposedly reading.  That seemed too easy for someone who could barely sound out words halfway through the school year so they had to put him back a grade.  Either that, or his new teacher has some amazing teaching skills to get him so proficient in just a few months.

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Remember when Adam went batshit insane because Haddie wanted to wear a sexy bra? His character has come a long way.

I thought Haddie's story was well done, in that you could just feel how much she'd matured from being away from home; the actress carried herself differently, she just seemed older and more settled in herself. So the coming out story seemed in character with that, rather than just being a discontinuity. You didn't need any explanation, you could just tell she was different.

I took the pregnancy test to be because Amber and Ryan had sex in the hospital, and she bought the test so she'd have it as soon as it was useable. However, what she really should have done is gotten Plan B, to stop any possible pregnancy from developing. I suppose the writers know as much about pregnancy prevention as they know about autism, though, so they wrote it as though she'd have no other choices than the maximum drama/maximum dilemma of abortion or birth the offspring of your wounded warrior addict ex-fiance with anger problems and a mean mommy.

The Drew-Natalie relationship is inexplicable.

That looked like a really big/busy job Joel's crew was working on. Is he commercial spaces now, not just individual houses?

When Sidney was having her meltdown, I wondered about Victor listening to it, and how he felt. Did Joel tuck him in, too? It was really supposed to be Victor's day, and Sidney got the attention in the end. I don't blame her, except that she seems younger and younger all the time.

I normally would consider Victor's progress with reading and writing to be unrealistic, but I'm giving them a pass because he actually has probably never had consistent schooling or family life before. Maybe he just needed a little time to catch up after having had a start where he clearly had neither studied nor been shown examples. It's not that reading is inherently a long and difficult process. Kids much younger pick it up just from being exposed to it. If he had been behind despite many years of tutoring, I would think he had a learning disability or some other problem that was making it harder. But it seemed like he simply had not been exposed before, and thus his catch up would not need to be as arduous as for a kid who had already been at it and failed over a long period of time.

Sarah and Hank, whatever. Sarah makes as much sense as Joel.

Max is such an insufferable brat, I have started to hate him, even though I know it's his parents' fault.

Camille and Zeek having only the males help with the move grossed me out. It's not like the rest of them are incapable of lifting more than a finger or a muffin tin.

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I can't tell how old he's supposed to be, but would he be getting any sort of military pension now that he's been discharged?

Well, Electric Boogaloo, normally no.  But it will all depend on what reason is given on his discharge.  He got, according to him, a medical discharge.  That normally means he is no longer able, physically, to fulfill what is expected of him and for the 'good' of the Army he is released. That  would not entitle him to a pension but could well entitle him to VA benefits. Including a monthly payment based on his disability rating and how/where such disability was incurred. And basically free medical care, for certain things, for life.  It can get very confusing and often depends on whom you are dealing with to file your claim and what reasons are given for the discharge.  In this case, drunken driving charge stateside, he will likely have a battle to get any benefits.

I had a feeling he was not injured overseas or in a combat situation.  In those situations he would have gone to Landstuhl and then maybe on to Walter Reed, being Army as we know he is/was. Not Balboa, being on the west coast as it is.

This absolutely felt like a SERIES finale to me, not a season.  It felt crowded and rushed to me, they had too darn many loose ends floating around out there and were wildly trying to put closure of sorts on them all.   This entire season has left me wondering where had the show I adored gone to and based solely on this season alone, I can't muster up a lot of concern if it returns or not.  Who were these people....and what did the writers do with the Braverman family who had won my heart??   

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I normally would consider Victor's progress with reading and writing to be unrealistic, but I'm giving them a pass because he actually has probably never had consistent schooling or family life before. Maybe he just needed a little time to catch up after having had a start where he clearly had neither studied nor been shown examples. It's not that reading is inherently a long and difficult process. Kids much younger pick it up just from being exposed to it. If he had been behind despite many years of tutoring, I would think he had a learning disability or some other problem that was making it harder. But it seemed like he simply had not been exposed before, and thus his catch up would not need to be as arduous as for a kid who had already been at it and failed over a long period of time.

 This is how I felt about it too. Victor has always been shown to be an intelligent child. I never felt they labled him as having a learning disability just behind due to his bad social situation. I've seen many children catch up quickly when something finally clicks. You don't know what it is but when it happens they can catch up very fast. I thought the show was trying to say working on the car with Zeke, reading the steps to rebuild the engine, made reading click for him.
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Most of the time when kids have trouble reading they're just not getting how consonants and phonics work together, and once they do get it, they take off like a rocket.  It also helps if someone isn't standing over them "helping" them by finishing the words for them when they get stuck, which parents tend to do.  You can't learn how to sound things out if people won't let you get to the point where what you're sounding out suddenly forms a word and you're rewarded with that eureka moment.

Or in other words, I bought Vincent's progress.  I have seen kids do it in real life.  Not much else on Parenthood is realistic, but I did buy the reading.  

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Now I'm worried that we'll get a fetal alcohol syndrome storyline because if she is 3-5 months pregnant she drank a lot in her 1rst trimester.

Yeah, seriously.  I mean I don't think we would really get that storyline, but if she had thought she was pregnant before seeing Ryan, Amber sure has been drinking a lot. I actually really liked Ryan in this episode because he (for once) didn't make Amber feel guilty and accepted that right now he has no place to go except with that horrible harridan of a mother, played brilliantly by Gish. I wish that we could have seen more of her earlier in the season.

 

I feel alone in my love for Sydney. I think the young actress who plays her has always done a phenomenal job. Of all the kids on this show, she rings most true to me. From her Candyland tantrum back in the day to her snarky snipes at Victor to her meltdown in this episode...she acts and reacts like a real kid. It's not always pretty.

Not alone at all, TOWTooMuchTV.:) I've always thought the actress' portrayal of Sydney has been pretty spot on. And as for her being a brat...well, her family has basically imploded over the last few years.  First, they get her all excited about the coffee lady's baby -- I seem to recall that they referred to that baby as her "brother" -- and then Julia and Joel adopt an older child (and I think it's supposed to be way harder on the kid if it changes the birth order), then her dad goes back to work and her depressed mom is home with her.  Then her parents' marriage goes way awry, due in Sydney's eyes, to problems with her brother (at least in part). Joel and Julia have been all worried about Victor, and rightly so, but Sydney has had to feel left in the cold. I find the fact that she's regressed in behavior to be totally believable, and that after such a great night, she would want nothing more than to have things back the way they were. That's one thing the show has gotten right -- a parents' marriage falling apart has tremendous impact on the kids.

Max and the tailor.  Crimeny, he's an asshole. I'd have poked him on purpose if I was the tailor.

Monica Potter and Sarah Ramos have such similar features and ways of speaking.  I can WAY buy that they're mother and daughter. I assume that we're supposed to think that they've seen Haddie at least sometimes in the last few years, or you would think someone would have commented on the hair. Actually, she's adorable as a blonde. As for her storyline -- I have no problem with her being a lesbian or even with her exploring the issue -- but it's so...un-organic?  Granted we've seen nothing of Haddie lately, but she never seemed to be questioning her sexuality.  Her relationship with Vince from FNL sure seemed like she felt straight.  I get it that lots of things change, but if the writers were going to go in this direction, I wish that we could have seen the character develop, see her go through the questions and/or some of the answers. It was warming, though, that her parents reaffirmed their love without making a Braverman END OF THE WORLD BIG DEAL about it. A refreshing change.  Or maybe they're so busy with Snowflake Academy that they simply don't care whether Haddie is gay or straight.

Speaking of Bravermans -- I did love that Joel apparently banned them all from the delivery room.  NO MORE BRAVERMANS!!! Sing it, brother.

I'm glad Sarah and Hank are together again, in large part because I love Ray Romano in this role. But I was bothered by her talk of his asperger's -- like it was some kind of horrible disease (which is how Katims et al. approach it I know) that prevented him from being a real, feeling, lovely man. Again, the storyline opportunities are here -- a later in life diagnosis and coming to terms with it -- but do we have to completely disparage the autism in the process. Can't it just be an explanation for how Hank views the world without it being this suddenly new shackle around his neck.  When she said that she worried about the asperger's, I wish that Hank had said that he worried even more that she was an unstable flake.

And put me on the train that wanted Joel at that family dinner. Yes, things are moving in the right direction (and if Julia's sleeping with Mr. Knight derails her marriage I'm gonna be pissed -- please, writers, just let that one die), but I wanted a bit more resolution.

I'm glad that Zeek and Camille appear to actually be following through with moving. Drew -- get out of the damned car and hug your grandfather, your morose loser. And Natalie -- eeeks I don't like her.

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I feel alone in my love for Sydney. I think the young actress who plays her has always done a phenomenal job. Of all the kids on this show, she rings most true to me. From her Candyland tantrum back in the day to her snarky snipes at Victor to her meltdown in this episode...she acts and reacts like a real kid. It's not always pretty.

I love Sydney, largely because of that Candyland scene.  A few weeks before that episode aired, I had almost the exact same scene with my daughter over a game of Candyland, right down to me sitting outside her bedroom door as she had a massive tantrum, I didn't have the wine though.  Why didn't I think of wine?   It hit so close to home.  I have this child that I think is so wonderful and lovable, and then one day she flips out and I wonder what I have done wrong, and how I could be raising a child who acts in such a way over losing a game of Candyland.  It really feels like a major parenthood fail.  I laughed and cried through that scene, and I was sure that the Parenthood producers must have hidden cameras in my house to get ideas for their show.  So, I love Sydney, and I buy her emotions, even if I don't love the way she expresses them all of the time.  My daughter is a bit younger than her, and has matured much over the past couple of years, but still has a similar personality, so I can relate.  I think the actress is very talented, and I bought her heartbreak last night.

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Yeah, Sidney is believable and she doesn't come off as a super brat given the circumstances she's had to endure. On the other hand, Max, aghhh!! Seriously, I've seen kids on the spectrum, and though sometimes they seem rude, they usually just look awkward. But Max...I don't even have words for him.

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Sharing the Savannah Rae love. I find her very talented and even nuanced for someone so young.

Loved Victor's story, I know 4th & 5th graders who talk like that and would write a similar essay. The whole Graham family was made of win this episode.

Liked having minimal Crosby and family. Less is more with them.  

Usually, I don't get a more than sib vibe from Lauren and Peter, but when they were posing for their selfie, I did. 

I still love Mae, but I think I'm over Amber as a character. I have a hard time with melodrama in real life. I didn't find the hospital scene with Ryan romantic or sweet, and I'm honestly tired of Ryan. It's sad, because just like her mother's character, Amber has a lot of potential. The way they write relationships for these two is problematic.

Just a reminder, Haddie could identify as bi. 

Caught the changing of the guards with the dinner outdoors, too. 

I complain a lot, but I know I'll be watching again if it airs another season!

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I agree that this episode had some "series finale" vibes but I think last season's final episode did as well. I had heard that last season they were not sure whether or not they were going to get a Season 5 so they tried to wrap things up to some extent in the season finale. I had also heard that if they were to get a Season 5 they would likely trim the cast back a bit as the costs were pretty high and they couldn't justify it if they continued to get lower ratings than they had previously. Clearly they didn't end up scaling back on the cast, but I wonder if they're in a similar position this season?

I am still a bit miffed that they have yet to really give a reason for Joel wanting to separate from Julia. I worry that if they are going to try to reconcile next season that Joel will find out about the Mr. Knight thing and, given how he reacted to the alleged "emotional affair" that Julia had with Ed, he is not likely to respond well if he finds out about Mr. Knight. This is despite the fact that he told Julia they weren't working on reconciling for the time being. I think the only way the Mr. Knight thing might be less of an issue for Joel is if he also has a one-nighter. That way there can't be any finger pointing and hopefully the two of them can say "well, we both did it, we were separated at the time, but now let's just move on and work on being together if that's what we want to do." At this point I just want the show to make up its mind about whether or not the two are going to try to stay together or just move on.

I may need to re-watch, but I didn't get the impression that Ryan and Amber had sex in the hospital at all. I agree that in either case the pregnancy test purchase scene was stupid but if she thinks she is pregnant by Ryan from several months ago that could be a problem since, as others have mentioned, she has been drinking a lot (including the bender she went on when she ended up staying with her Dad for a few days after they broke up), not to mention all the Pot she and Drew were smoking. I so don't want to see the "Amber is pregnant and needs to make a tough decision" story line next season.

Agree that Max continues to be a little douchebag because no one bothers to discipline him or correct his behavior. The stuff with the Tailor was beyond rude and I would have been tempted to stick him myself though can you imagine Kristina's reaction? She likely would have had the guy arrested for assault and demanded that he get life in prison with no possibility of parole.

Haddie is clearly doing much better away from the Braverman Land of Delusion. They pretty much completely forgot about her and mentioned her maybe 3 times since she went away to school yet Adam told her that when she was home everything seemed complete but to top it all off they had turned her room into a campaign office. I do like the way they handled the storyline with her and her girlfriend (aside from the Max part), however, and I hope that they will be very happy together and make a great life for themselves.

I hated that Sarah told Hank that the Asperger's scared her and that she said he couldn't even look at her because of it. I thought that Hank hadn't yet officially been diagnosed as having Asperger's or being on the spectrum at all? Last I remember, the therapist told him it was a 50/50 chance and he would need to be tested to know for sure. In any case, I guess I'm okay with the two of them being together if it starts to make Sarah's life a bit more believable and next season doesn't focus on every man she meets finding her irresistible. Hopefully it will also keep her in just one unrealistically successful career as well.

Edited by Rapunzel.
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I didn't think it was realistic that the gf went running in those long pants/leggings, t-shirt and hoodie.

When I jog, no matter where I am, I SWEAT.

I'm a Max defender. It seems to me that people dislike Max but don't accept the advances he's made. He now recognizes his faults. He apologized for knocking over Hank's lights. Some think he did it on purpose, but that doesn't mean that Max meant to do it. I  know no one with Apsbergers, but I recognize that many who have it aren't self-aware and that there all sorts of kinds of Asperbergers. I think Max has made great strides. He's aware of the things he's expected to conform with, yet he's still rigid with rules and how things "ought" to be. In this season, I've seen him look at his mother in the eye and smile and I would think that's a major accomplishment for him. I feel now that he's capable of functioning as an adult with supervision.

I could care less about Sara, the Woman Who Can Do All, yet can't decide what she wants to do in life. I love Hank, but would be happy to see his work with Max than see him romancing Sara, whom I think is flake.

Amber and Ryan....boring. Send him off to Wyoming and get Amber on track sans pregnancy.

Drew and Natalie....boring.  I just don't care about Sara or her wing of the family. I don't like Natalie.

Everyone else is great. Adam and Christina are the anchor as far as I'm concerned. They do an admirable job of rolling with life's punches. They handled their daughter's "surprise" with grace; how else would a liberal couple handle such a revelation after all the things they've been through? I applaud the writers' attention to this matter in the script. It wasn't necessary to create much of a focus on this.

I'm glad that the Julia and Joel problem wasn't resolved. These things take time. We were able to see them reach a point where they could co-parent. Good enough for now.

I sure hope this show returns; it's my favorite.

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Drew is such an Eeyore. It's like he's entirely composed of wet noodles and Morrissey.

I just had to say this is the greatest post ever.

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random chance- Loved your post about Victor. You said Vincent FYI.

As for Haddie, I'm glad they didn't identify her orientation just yet. All we know is she has a girlfriend and her parents (and if the dinner scenes are an indication) and extended family are fine with her coming out.

I still hate the way they are telling the Max storyline and my feelings are similar to the rest of you upthread on that score.

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Do not know how to quote on this tablet, but chiming in on the Sydney love!

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A few things are making me inordinately, insanely angry about this episode. First of all, I can't shake the idea that they wanted us think that Amber and Ryan may have had sex in that hospital bed, which would be just too stupid for words . . . mainly because it's a freakin' hospital room, where someone, anyone could walk in at any moment. My husband said there's no way we were supposed to think that, that the idea was just to show that there's still a spark between the two of them. But if that's so, why did it turn into such an incredibly hot and heavy make-out scene? It went on and on. I believe there was groping. (I was providing inner monologue for Ryan, and it went like this: "Ow ow OW ow ow ow OWWWW.") I came here to be talked out of the "they did it" thing, but from what I've seen upthread, some of you suspected it, too. So--someone please convince me that this was not at all the show's intent, because that plot point would just be too stupid for me to be able to live with.

What drove me even crazier was Victor's essay. I loved the idea of him winning an essay content, and I found the subject matter of the essay sweet and believable, but y'all, there is NO WAY Victor--a kid of about 10, who has average intelligence and probably did very little reading before his adoption--wrote that essay. The subtle logic of its structure, the casual ease of its syntax . . . hell, I'd have a hard time accepting that a typical high school student wrote it.

Finally, the car. SO uncool. SO unfair to the other grandkids. I feel especially bad for Amber, who's worked so hard and drives a wreck. (And whether or not she loves the car is irrelevant; you just can't be that glaringly inequitable with your gifts to your kids/grandkids.) I can accept that Zeek would do something so thoughtless, but it really makes me mad that it was played up as such as warm and lovely moment.

On a positive note, go Hank! Sarah really does annoy me, but I can't help it--I've really been rooting for Hank to get the woman he loves. When Sarah walked into the shop near the end, I started yelling, "Kiss him! Kiss him! Kiss him on the mouth." And then she DID, and my husband looked at me, awestruck, and whispered, "You made that happen!" Yup, I willed it to happen. And I'm glad!

Edited by Portia.
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I fell into a fit of uncontrollable giggles when wet noodle/Morrissey boy swooped up college bimbette in An Officer and a Gentleman parody.  I thought his scrawny little arms would quiver with the effort (and hoped he'd collapse and break both their necks).

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Finding Sydney an annoying little brat is not saying the actress isn't good. It can't be easy to "sell" that level of brattiness.

My big problem with Sydney is why is she such a brat? Max, well it is obvious why he is such a douchebag but Sydney's early years were formed by mainly Joel's parenting. I always saw Joel try to head off the brattiness and give her consequences, and to a lessor extent Julia did it too, like the candyland example.

Sydney always acted like the typical only child of intelligent indulgent parents, but I really never saw, Joel especially, parent her like that.

I guess her Julia genes must over ride the good parenting, unless I'm misremembering it or something.

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My problem with Sydney is that they write her years younger than her character.  She acts like a seven or eight year old when she's supposed to be in the fourth grade.  The yelling and whining both at school and at home I could understand with a first or second grader, not with a kid in the fourth grade.

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I thought she was in the 4th grade cuz she was very smart and had skipped a level? She looks around 8 to me.

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I know several people spoke about Joel telling the child birth story but did I miss anyone mentioning the analogy of Joel talkng about standing by Julia for 40 hours of labor and this guy with one shot and she loves him? Do you think that was pointed to the whole Ed sweeping in deal? Im probably reaching with that one but it worked for me.

Also I was really hoping for a scene with Drew on the side of the road with smoke coming out of the hood of that car screaming "VICTOOOOOOORRRRR!"

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Part of me wonders if Amber didn't purposefully engage in sex with Ryan, hospital bed or not, with the hopes of becoming pregnant so that she could give Ryan an option/reason to stay in CA and thereby not have to return to Wyoming with his hated mother.  Perhaps she's also hoping that now that Ryan messed up his military career and is experiencing the repurcussions of his drinking, he'll settle down with her.

 

The yelling and whining both at school and at home I could understand with a first or second grader, not with a kid in the fourth grade.

 

Oh believe me, fourth graders can whine and yell with the best of them.

 

From what I've read, Parenthood has had 90 episodes.  So it only needs 10 more to reach the magical 100th Episode (and that helps a lot with syndication).  I could easily see NBC renewing the show for a last 13 episode wrap-up.

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A couple of things here, very late, as I've just completed watching this entire series.  After not liking much of the fifth season, I really liked this episode a lot with the exception of a few things.  First of all, Amber mauling Ryan in that hospital bed and then having it suggested that they had sex.  He must have the highest pain threshold of all time, because he had stitches, contusions, scrapes and broken bones.  The actor playing Ryan had the grace to play it like he was thinking "Ouch! But also, sort of fun...?  Mainly ow---ish" and it didn't come off as passionate by either, just sort of a desperate clinging to each other.  Really could have done without the suggestion that they went ahead and had sex while his leg was freshly broken and in a cast, as well as the myriad of other "Uh...so there's public sex and then there's ...pain-filled in a glass room, and by the way, Ryan should have a catheter in since one of his legs is suspended in traction??? What the hell, Show?" 

 

Drew's entire relationship woes, his very understated reaction to receiving a car his grandfather worked on for a year and then going off to tell Natalie he loves her.  I never warmed to her, but I appreciate that she's largely unapologetic about her sexual choices.  That's refreshingly liberated of the show.  

 

I have never cared for the Hank and Sarah relationship.  It just seems like Katim's wish-fulfillment for Max (the stand-in for his own son) growing up to get the girl and to show that people with Aspbergers can have emotionally connected relationships.  For that last alone, I forgive the story and admit to letting out an "aw" when Sarah kissed Hank.  That's letting go of the fact that he spent much of his interaction with Sarah this season implying that she was one step above a hooker with the entire "you got hired because of who you boned" bullshit Hank kept throwing down to protect his own ego (that was the thing that served to make me dislike him, after seasons of enjoying him).   However, Ray Romano has done (surprisingly) excellent work in the role and the strength of his performance won me back in that last scene. 

 

Max never being expected to behave as if he's a properly socialized human being.  Yes, he has Aspbergers, but either it's a disability that carries with it a forgiveness of an actual inability to understand social rules and adhere to them, or it's the reason that it is more challenging for Max to adhere to rules of socialization, but not an excuse for him not to learn them.  It should be the latter, but too often the show wants to talk about the latter, while acting as if Max gets a pass for behaving that badly.  Like Hank bargaining him out of his tantrum, rather than Max having to figure out a way not to have his tantrum and cope. 

 

But all that aside, good finale after a not great season.  

 

 

 

I am still a bit miffed that they have yet to really give a reason for Joel wanting to separate from Julia. I worry that if they are going to try to reconcile next season that Joel will find out about the Mr. Knight thing and, given how he reacted to the alleged "emotional affair" that Julia had with Ed, he is not likely to respond well if he finds out about Mr. Knight.

 

First off, I too love the little girl who plays Sydney, because man, she commits to playing serious emotion and believable emotion.  Sure, it's hard to witness and shrill, but kids often are and she really is in a miserable situation.  This isn't comparable to most divorces, Joel was Sydney's primary caretaker as  baby, toddler, pre-schooler, etc.  this isn't like other situations where mom and dad can't make it work, but you remain with your most nurturing parent.  The person who was Sydney's primary emotionally nurturing parent was Joel.  Doesn't mean Julia fails to count or provide emotional support too, it's just that Sydney has been abandoned by her primary nurturer and she doesn't understand why.  Her parents have told her it's a break, not a breakup, so why can't he come home?  Her emotional anguish, while shrill as hell, is completely believable to me and beyond that, entirely warranted.  

 

Plus, I think the show finally got around to telling us, and Julia, precisely why Joel left and if he comes back, why Mr. Knight has the power to wreck that, but I don't think Joel is coming back, nor should he.  What he told Julia -- indirectly, but when I think about how hideously painful it would be for him to confront, that makes sense -- is that he's always sort of believed that Julia was looking beyond him for someone better and that it didn't take much for her to be distracted from everything he was (which was the best dad, the best husband, the best-brother-in-law and just a good man in general until he flaked out without telling her any of that directly) , by someone he believed she deemed better.  That Julia went ahead and proved that terrible feeling of insecurity that had always sort of been there anyway, with her behavior with Ed.  

 

They started out sharing such a sweet memory with Sydney, but both got that the thing they were talking about was the death knell for their relationship:  Julia never really stopped making Joel feel like she was looking over his shoulder for the guy who really would be the guy she deemed good enough.  Julia has a shit-ton of work to do in convincing Joel he is the guy for her and having boffed Mr. Knight makes it seem like maybe Joel really has always been kind of right there.  

 

But it makes perfect sense that Sydney is far more destroyed than Victor would be.  Victor has abandonment issues, but Julia worked hard and won him over as his primary emotional support....and she has not gone anywhere from Victor's perspective.  She proved that she would stick around for him.  It's Sydney who was -- in every emotional sense -- abandoned by the person who has been there as her first defense against the world since the moment she was born. 

 

Good work by the show and great work by a really young actor, I think. 

 

Nice job with Haddie, the missing siblings sexual identity too.  It makes sense with Haddie and I liked Adam and Kristina more than I have in ages in how they both got it, processed it and loved their daughter as a response. 

Edited by stillshimpy.
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Julia never really stopped making Joel feel like she was looking over his shoulder for the guy who really would be the guy she deemed good enough.

 

I never got this impression, certainly not the least bit from the earlier seasons.  To the extent is maybe happened with Ed, I didn't see it there either, only that while Joel was incredibly busy with a new opportunity, that hadn't happened before, and Julia was suddenly without her own work, she was at a loss as to how to be the primary child caretaker and Joel wasn't around to help or listen to her problems, so she sought friendship/help with another. 

 

Frankly, if Ed had been a woman instead of a man, Julia could easily have acted almost virtually the same, with only the kiss part as the difference (and just, imo, as an example that men and women can't be friends, sex always gets in the way - presuming both are hetero), and I fail to see how a new friend ship with a woman for Julia would have become part of the rift between Joel and Julia.

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I never got this impression, certainly not the least bit from the earlier seasons.

You know, I started watching the series again, almost immediately (I always need a show to watch while working out) and whereas I wouldn't have focused on it, or thought of it as a defining characteristic in their relationship, there has been an undertone of "Julia could have done better than the very good-hearted blue collar guy" throughout.

It's not overtly stated, but it's repeatedly hinted at, starting with "Timmmmmm" (two M Tim) , the guy who tried to steal Julia from Joel and whose career is emphasized. There's a fair amount of talk in season one -- the season of Raquel, who Joel actually had a very similar situation with -- about it in the form of "I'm actually a licensed contractor" . Zeke interacts with Joel as if he's a handyman and a not terribly gifted one at that during the plumbing/roofing thing.

Then there's time that Joel takes a remodel job and that definitely featured overt mentions of how Julia viewed Joel's job and the worth of it in their relationship. She even says something like "I bill $250.00 an hour, I can't pass that up for you to go and remodel a bathroom." with a fair amount of disdain that Joel calls her on.

There's actually several other moments throughout the series where that is a focus, that Joel's profession and by extension, the way Julia views Joel, is as being slightly beneath her. The way all the Braverman's act like Joel is there to help with menial task and home repair also sort of underlines that he's viewed, however unconsciously, as being a laborer.

Then of course, the way that Julia shows up at Joel's worksite demanding that she needs to talk to him right then and right there, and dismissing his employer as if she's an underling are all beyond condescending and really a big part of what leads to the split. That was actually what made Joel do things like sleep on the couch and it was only after Julia said they had to try that he said, "you're right" and they had their disastrous date night.

The thing with Ed was just a symptom of a bunch of other things, which Ed actually really called Julia on , so it is openly acknowledged in the series, but it wasn't until the scene in this episode where Joel tells Sydney that he'd been there for hours, but that guy, that other guy giving her the pain meds was the one she loved...and it looked to me like Sam Jaegar chose to play that as being saddened and hurt by the memory.

So that's a bunch of the things that went into my take on it. I really disagree that the series didn't , at any point, indicate that Julia never seemed to hint that Joel wasn't quite good enough for her. The way she talks about Timm is freshest in my mind, but it was on the rewatch that it startled me, because that's in the first season and it's really not very subtle. It just sort of surprised me, I would have said that the split with Julia really wasn't hinted at throughout , but some of the elements that went into it were. Timm really, really talks down to Joel at that dinner, but that isn't enough to make Julia distrust him. Julia even says that she's made a decision and he doesn't get a say. If you swap the genders on that, the disrespect would be glaring and pretty outrageous.

I really don't think it had much to do with the old saw about how men and women can't be friends, that almost seemed like a narrative red herring.

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Then of course, the way that Julia shows up at Joel's worksite demanding that she needs to talk to him right then and right there, and dismissing his employer as if she's an underling are all beyond condescending and really a big part of what leads to the split.

 

 

I had forgotten a lot of those older episodes/scenes, but yeah, I can see that bit of undercurrent.  And definitely Julia's bursting in on Joel at work definitely showed a lack of respect.  I guess I never equated "lesser" in terms of employment/career with "lesser" in terms of being a marriage partner.  Certainly Joel was not a lesser when it came to child care and frankly if Julia wanted someone more like herself career-wise, then Sydney would have likely been nanny-raised (unless they convinced Camille to do it).

 

Certainly its disheartening that Joel and Julia were never shown to sit down and discuss their problems, Julia as to why she was having such difficulties transitioning from big career woman to housewife/child care giver and not respective Joel's career, and Joel as to his feeling a lack of career respect from Julia and why he didn't see the problems Julia was having with her transition.  They certainly could have afforded marriage/family counseling (even without the magic of being able to afford everything in TV).

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I'm absolutely not saying "Julia could have done better than Joel."  or that the series is saying that.  Joel is a near saint and clearly a wonderful guy.  But I had wondered throughout this story why it was that the kept hitting the "Why won't you fight for us?" thing (Julia to Joel) and that she was so in the dark as to what was going on.  Even desperate enough to think it really was about Ed, when what happened with Ed was next to nothing (although still a thing, it wasn't a marriage-ender).  

 

It seemed weird that Joel would never discuss for any length of time why he was that close to being at the end of his tether.  The closest they came to stating that prior to this episode, was when Joel talked about how Julia quit her job, without even bothering to discuss it with him first.  That is a big unilateral decision to make without consulting a partner.  

 

I think the story is just trying to indicate that Joel always had these fears and that Julia, however, unconsciously and however much she (probably rightly) believes that fear to be untrue, confirmed them through her actions.  I was particularly startled by the "I've made a decision and you don't get a say" pronouncement in season one, because it really was echoed throughout the series, Julia making these hugely important decisions as if she was the person in charge of making the decisions.  Like she didn't have an equal partner.  

 

Doesn't mean she realized she felt that way, or that was what she meant to convey, but that's how it would feel for a person on the other side of that treatment.  Julia repeatedly didn't act like she had an equal and a partner in Joel.  So if they put the two characters back together, I hope that's something they address if they show them trying to put their relationship back together.  

 

In fact, I think from what we know of the character, what we'd see Julia say to explain away much of that is that she's a control freak and she knows it.  But she made some HUGE decisions without asking Joel what he really thought about them, including when she decided to have  a baby and just assumed that Joel would be up for it.   I think that if they continue the story, there has to be an exploration of that.  

 

It did take them too long to bring it into focus from Joel's standpoint, but I do have to give the story credit from dropping breadcrumb clues that they actually did have some issues prior to Ed. 

Edited by stillshimpy.
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I had the last 3 episodes of the season on my DVR since they aired, but just watched them all today. I'd have been super pissed if the show didn't get picked back up and we still never got a name for the Snowflake Academy. I gathered it's supposed to be named to honor the dead friend but they never said what. 

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