Mae Whitman, Matt Lauria
[WARNING: The following story contains major spoilers from Thursday's season finale of Parenthood. Read at your own risk!]
Parenthood wrapped up another emotional season on Thursday. Some long-standing questions were answered, while others were not. And there was also one really big cliff-hanger. Read on to find out what happened and weigh in:
Amber and Ryan's newest obstacle: Oh, silly Parenthood fans. You thought that Amber's (Mae Whitman) and Ryan's ages, financial situation and Ryan's PTSD were going to be their only problems? Well, step right up and come see their latest complication, here for one week only: the worst mother in the world. She's rude, she's territorial, she breaks indoor smoking laws, she drinks heavily in the morning, she wears ugly fur vests and she has no clue who Amber is. And the she-beast, played by Annabeth Gish, one gets more angry when she learns that Amber was listed as Ryan's beneficiary and lied that she was Ryan's wife to get updates on his condition. But Ryan's mom floors Amber when she says that Ryan (Matt Lauria) was discharged from the Army and that she is taking him back home to Wyoming — the place Ryan had said so many times before that he never wanted to return to.
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Amber goes straight to Ryan to find out what the deal is and learns that he was not injured in line of duty, but that his injuries are because he was out all night partying and drove drunk to make it back in the morning in time for his shift. He looked down at his phone to check a message and ended up in a car accident. (Fortunately, he's discharged for medical purposes and not dishonorably discharged, which would be really not so good.) When Amber tries to ask him why he's going to Wyoming, he's insistent. "This isn't for you to fix," Ryan says. "I've got to fix this. It isn't for you." They still kiss. A lot. And the camera pans out to make it seem like they are getting it on — but what if the nurse comes in?! And Amber says she'll see him soon as she leaves the room. But not before they each say their trademark, "Bye, buddy" and make viewers sob uncomfortably. Those sobs quickly turn to rage when Amber picks up a pregnancy test at the drugstore. Do we want Amber and Ryan together? Yes! Do we want them to get together before Amber's knocked up and they have to? God, no.
Haddie's big secret: After last week's promo all but spoiled Haddie's coming-out party, it was a little frustrating to have wait most of the episode to see her actually reveal — albeit not directly — that her "super awesome best friend" Lauren is actually her girlfriend. In Kristina's case, it was Max (Max Burkholder) who spilled the beans, but in her powerful, motherly ways, she coaxed the confession out of her and promised her unwavering support. In Adam's case, it was the million and one compliments that Haddie (Sarah Ramos) said about how Lauren has helped her life. When Adam thanked Lauren, she said she loved Haddie and the look of realization quickly washed over Adam's face. The best part of Haddie's return was when the show subtly addressed Haddie's disappearance from the show. "It would be nice to hear from you a little more often," Adam (Peter Krause) said to Haddie. Let's hope she listens to her dad next season.
Progress for Joel and Julia: Joel (Sam Jaeger) and Julia (Erika Christensen) were brought back together, at least for a whole day, when Victor wins a school-wide essay contest and reads his piece in front of the school. The day ends with Julia and Joel in Sydney's bed reminiscing about the day Sydney was born. Although some fans had their fingers crossed for a definite reunion, it makes sense that things were left positive yet ambiguous, considering Julia slept with Mr. Knight only two episodes ago. But hey, at least we all got to learn that the first time Joel ever rose his voice to the Braverman clan, his fly was down, which is pretty hilarious.
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Drew's belated declaration: Drew (Miles Heizer) is totally going to be one of those guys who always has a girlfriend, right? Right. And even though Natalie spent the first-half of the season playing hard to get, and he spent the second-half of the season doing the same, now they're together for realz! As she's getting on the shuttle to back to Portland, she tells Drew she loves him and Drew... waves. He's frustrated because he doesn't have a car or money to go see her, but fortunately, while Zeek (Craig T. Nelson) and Camille (Bonnie Bedelia) are moving out of the house, Zeek presents Drew with one of the classic cars he's been restoring and says it was meant for Drew the entire time. In the end, Drew misses one of those classic big Braverman dinners to drive up to Portland, scoop Natalie up in his arms and tell her he loves her. Yeah, we'll see that if they have enough gas to last all summer.
Sarah finally makes a choice: The one good thing about Ryan's awful mama is that she makes everyone else look better, particularly Hank (Ray Romano), to whom Amber gives a big hug to when he gets ready to head back up to Berkeley. In the car ride up, Sarah (Lauren Graham) tells him that she's been thinking a lot about his desire to get back together, but she's still not sure because of his communication issues, among other things. It doesn't take her too long and she rushes into his photography studio and kisses him. Awww. Suck it, #TeamMark fans! The waiting was a little hard for us #TeamHank fans, but seeing Hank find his own standing among the Bravermans, and particularly his sweet story line with Max, was a surprising treat this season and now he and Sarah can really make a go of it.
The Bravermans have left the building: The Season 3 season finale contained one of the all-time best Adam-Crosby (Dax Shepard) moments, when the two brothers engage in a ridiculous and immature wrestling match on the floor while the family tries to plan Crosby and Jasmine's impromptu wedding. But seeing Crosby and Adam Slip 'N Slide down their family home staircase wearing sports helmets, and then try to blame each other, may have topped that. In any event, Zeek and Camille really did move out of Casa de Braverman — with a lot of help from their kids and grandkids — and onto new adventures.
So what did you think of the Parenthood Season 5 finale? Are you surprised Zeek and Camille actually moved out? Are you sad Julia and Joel didn't officially get back together? Are you glad Hank and Sarah did? Do you want Amber to be pregnant with Ryan's baby? Sound off in the comments below!