Spoiler alert! (Kidding) Many tears were shed and tissues used during the Season 4 finale of Parenthood. [Insert real spoiler alert here]: Amber and Ryan are back together! Kristina is cancer-free! Jasmine is pregnant! Victor is officially a Braverman! However, for the many teary resolutions showrunner Jason Katims & Co. offered up, one story line divided fans and inspired heated arguments on couches across the country, including my own: Did Sarah (Lauren Graham) make the right choice? After getting dumped by her dreamy and much younger fiancée Mark Cyr (Jason Ritter) and starting a more complicated relationship with her antisocial boss Hank (Ray Romano), many thought Sarah and Mark would come back together in the finale like they had so many times before. Instead, Sarah turned down Mark to be with Hank, only to then learn that Hank was moving to Minnesota to be near his daughter. So did Sarah screw things up (again)? Or did she do the right thing? Let's discuss:
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Team Hank: Sarah followed her heart, so of course she made the right decision. Sure, she and Mark had a solid, stable love for one another, but even during the peak of their relationship at the beginning of this season, something still drew her to Hank and away from Mark. It's impossible to explain, but that also makes it impossible to argue with.
Team Mark: Of course Sarah messed up! Hank is in Minnesota and "thinks" he loves Sarah, while Mark is in Berkeley and knows that he not only loves Sarah, but will love her always. No contest.
Team Hank: Did you not hear Hank suggest to Sarah that she should move? Obviously, this is a TV show that takes place thousands of miles away in Berkeley, Calif., but this is also Parenthood, which has always been realistic and sent off one series regular to New York this season (keep in touch, Haddie!). Also, both of Sarah's kids are now grown-ups out of high school, so is she really needed in NorCal? If Glee can handle two locations, so can Parenthood.
Team Mark: Hank told her to pick him or Mark and then when she picked him, he still packed up and left town for good. Even when Mark thought that Sarah may or may not have cheated on him with Hank, he still went out of his way to alert Sarah about Drew's odd behavior at school, and eventually, he tried to win her back. Even back at the end of last season when he proposed, Mark gave up a lot to commit to Sarah, namely the option of ever having children. In a battle of wills, Mark would win hands down.
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Team Hank: Maybe Sarah doesn't want a partner that perfect — or a partner who is willing to put someone else ahead of their own feelings. Hank followed his gut about moving to Minnesota very much the same way Sarah followed her gut about picking Hank over Mark, even lying to try to get a job with Hank in the first place at the beginning of the year. They think with the same parts of their head, and most importantly, their hearts. From a viewer's standpoint, it was hard to root against a couple as perfect as Mark and Sarah, except for the mere fact that it was so much more complicated and layered and unpredictable between Hank and Sarah. Sometimes it's good to be messy. Besides, if Mark wants kids, shouldn't he be with someone else who definitely, affirmatively wants kids?
Team Mark: Sarah and Mark were together before, and then they broke up. Then they got back together a year later, kinda-sorta broke up over the possibility of having a kid, at which point Mark proposed. Then, the couple broke up earlier this season after the whole Los Angeles-hotel-fiasco, and Mark still found a way back to her. If they survived that much turmoil and change, why shouldn't they make it through this rough patch? Just like her connection to Hank is inexplicable, Mark's many returns into her life cannot be ignored.
Team Hank: Unlike Mark, Hank has kids and is divorced just like Sarah, which means they relate to each other on a whole other level. That's why Sarah was just sad, and not angry like she very well could have been, when he said he was moving to Minnesota. Because she understood his reasoning. She'll never have that with Mark, as their brief co-habitation proved.
Team Mark: He's in the family portrait! What did Camille warn Sarah about putting her fiancée in the family portrait?! If anything, she should have just reunited with Mark, so that everyone can still keep the photo on their mantels without worrying about Sarah seeing her ex. Awkward!
So which side are you on? What did you think of the Parenthood finale? Sound off in the comments below!
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