'Parenthood' Series Finale: The Bravermans Say Goodbye

So. Many. Tears!

Photo: NBCUniversal

Admit it, everyone has wanted to be part of the Braverman clan at some point.

Not because they had it all together – because they definitely didn’t. They were far from perfect and didn’t always see eye to eye, but the love they shared with one another was genuinely beautiful.

There wasn’t a school play or family dinner that a Braverman missed. So, of course, everyone had to come together for Hank and Sarah’s wedding on Thursday’s series finale – even Haddie (Sarah Ramos), who hadn’t been in an episode since coming out to her parents in season 5.

Before the wedding, Hank (Ray Romano) paid a visit to Zeek (Craig T. Nelson) to ask for his daughter’s hand in marriage, not knowing Zeek would die shortly after.

“No one has taught me more about unconditional love,” Zeek told Hank about Sarah (Lauren Graham). “She gives her heart to the people she cares about most. I would just ask you to take care of my daughter. You gotta be there for her.”

“It would be my honor to do that,” Hank replied. “I never met anyone like her. I’ll never stop loving her.”

The wedding was picture-perfect – and not just because they had Max (Max Burkholder) as their photographer.

At one point Zeek and Camille (Bonnie Bedelia) admired their family together from the sidelines.

“We did good,” Camille says. “We sure did,” Zeek responds.

A lot of major events went down at the wedding:

• Max had his first dance with a girl.

• Crosby (Dax Shepard) decided to take over the Luncheonette and asked Amber (Mae Whitman) to come back and help him run it.

• Not only did Amber get her job back, but Zeek and Camille asked her to come live with them with her new baby.

• Julia (Erika Christensen) and Joel (Sam Jaeger) agreed they were going to adopt Victor’s (Xolo Mariduena) newborn half-sister. “I was up last night thinking: she’s Victor’s sister, she’s already ours,” Joel told Julia.

The episode ended bittersweetly, beautifully:

After Zeek died in the comfort of his own home, his family scattered his ashes on a baseball field and then played a ball game.

We found out that Amber found a new boyfriend (played by Scott Porter from Friday Night Lights, another project from Parenthood creator Jason Katims). Her ex-boyfriend Ryan (fellow FNL alum Matt Lauria) was still in the picture and helping raise their son Zeek. [Everyone pulls out their tissues.]

Max graduated from Chambers Academy, and Adam (Peter Krause) handed him his diploma after taking Kristina (Monica Potter) up on her offer to replace her as principal.

All in all, what was so magical about Parenthood was that it wasn’t afraid to bring up subjects that have been constantly analyzed in today’s society, no matter how painful, uncomfortable or personal. The show dealt with cancer, autism, interracial relationships, divorce and adoption and – in doing so – taught us that we’re really all just the same on the inside. We are all, in a way, family.

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