Holy heartbreaker. Hollow — that’s how the collective of Parenthood fans across America are feeling right now after the Bravermans graced our screens for the last time. And, let’s be honest, that hollow feeling will likely last deep into the rest of 2015.
The Braverman clan sailed off into the proverbial sunset sans its patriarch, Zeek. And even though we knew it was coming, it still hurt like holy hell to see Camille discover he wasn’t just sleeping and then to see his whole family playing his beloved baseball without him. I’ve already put in a request to take bereavement leave from work tomorrow.
We did, however, get some small comfort: It’s very clear the Bravermans will continue to be a unit and continue to be a collective fountain of joy, even if we don’t get to see it anymore. Oh, and the Bravermans appear to be adding to their family at the rate of knots!
I’ve managed to rehydrate after the finale took every last tear I had [insert all the Kleenex jokes here], so let’s all take a brief pause from our grief to rank the send-off for each Braverman.
Zeek’s ending was obviously the worst by far. I mean, it was poignant and touching in terms of storytelling, but the character who dies easily has everyone else beat in the worst ending category. Zeek did, however, get to walk his daughter down the aisle and take a beat to take in just how phenomenal a family he had built together with Camille. We can only imagine he left the world happy, and he certainly worked hard to make it so. RIP, Zeek Braverman; you truly were the very best.
Drew doesn’t get a top rank on our list purely because nothing all that exciting really seemed to happen to him, aside from Hank selecting him as his best man and participating in a hug with his new stepson, of course. We were hoping the final montage would feature Drew with a haircut, but alas, we were out of luck.
Like Drew, we weren’t really given that much insight into what happened to Haddie, but she fares slightly better than him on our list because of that beautiful conversation she had with Max in which she was so filled with gratitude to have Max as her brother, she dared to request a selfie with him. And, against all odds and despite the fact that selfies are “ruining [his] industry,” Max complied.
Camille’s ending as an individual was the most bittersweet of all the Bravermans. She finally made it to France on that trip Zeek planned to surprise her with, but she had to do it without Zeek. We know Camille is a resilient woman who will fill her third act with a lot of wonderful and fulfilling things (including housing Amber and baby Zeek), but it just sucks for her — and for us — that her third act won’t include Zeek.
6. Headmaster Braverman and Kristina
With Kristina taking charge as the main breadwinner in the family, it left open a slot for Adam to finally do something he really loved and felt passionate about. After watching Kristina spend so much of the series fighting — for her life and for her son — it was truly heartwarming to see her get a happy ending. Similarly, with Adam carrying the weight of not only his, but also everyone else’s, problems on his shoulders, it seems fitting we were left with the impression that the new Braverman patriarch finally seems to have found some internal peace.
Max graduated! And met a nice girl with similarly curly hair. After six seasons of watching Max’s struggles and being both entertained by some of his behavior and emotionally torn apart by the behavior of some other people toward him, Max seems to be on track to have what his parents have ultimately been fighting for this entire time — a future for their son.
4. Crosby and Jasmine
With Crosby cementing his place pretty early on in the series as the Braverman family’s resident dreamer, we’re pretty chuffed that his ending involved him getting to keep his dream — The Luncheonette, which appears to have started to turn a profit. And it’s a good thing, too, because he’s going to need that money to raise the third child Jasmine is carrying.
3. Sarah and Hank
Sarah Braverman has come a long way. After going through a seemingly revolving door of possible suitors, she finally found her match in a man we came to love purely because of how much he loved her. Not only did the finale gift us with Zeek telling Sarah she was his favorite, but we got to see Sarah at the head of an extended family unit, rather than someone struggling to find her place and make ends meet, both with her kids and in her personal life. Sarah Braverman, you done good.
2. Joel and Julia
Joelia lives! And they have four kids now! And, bonus: It’s Christmas! A lot of exclamation marks for the couple we always knew would find their way back to each other. They were, simply, perfect in this final episode. Besides adopting Victor’s newborn half-sister, they also apparently got pregnant and had another baby. After seeing how much of a toll their struggle to conceive took on them, it was a wonderful cherry on top of the Joel and Julia getting back together sundae. Their life together in their final scene looks picture-perfect, and we want it.
Amber ended up with Street! And the Friday Night Lights fan in me still cannot keep it together over this development. The sheer shock and surprise, coupled with one final crossover from Jason Katims, garners Amber our No. 1 spot on our Braverman endings ranking. It seems fitting that the character who changed the most over the course of six seasons would go out on top.
Our overall thoughts? You smashed it out of the park, Parenthood. Even though you took Zeek, Sr., from us, you gave us a finale that managed to embody everything the show was about: life, family, ups and downs. Even through all the tears, we’ll never stop wanting to be a Braverman.