Parenthood Season 6 Episode 2 Review: Happy Birthday, Zeek

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Parenthood can sometimes get a little too crowded.

On Parenthood Season 6 Episode 2 it's apparent they're trying to jam as much material into the season as they possibly can into their 13 episode run. I don't blame them for that desire, but it's possible we're going to lose some of the emotional impact of these stories because keeping up can make your head spin.

The recap is enormous. It's simply impossible to talk about everything that happened in any detail or we'd need a bona fide short story do it. There are some really great Parenthood quotes you should check out. I'm not going to include them here to save space. Here we go!

As the entire family prepares for Zeek's 72nd birthday (Kudos to Craig T. Nelson for playing older than his age!), the news that his fainting spell could do some serious damage also makes it's way around. It's no surprise that fainting spells are bad news. If you're driving or walking down stairs it could be the end of your life.

Even so, when a doctor says something is elective surgery, it's a great way to talk yourself out of it. 

We were treated some amazing scenes between the Braverman sons and their dad, first Crosby going in all gung ho about pushing the need for surgery and slowly losing his grasp on the situation to talk about baseball. Next Adam choked up asking Zeek what he'd do without him and baseball made another appearance -- scatter his ashes at Marine Field and play a game -- he's going out on his own terms.

All of that bravado sounds really great until you're faced with your favorite granddaughter's coveted secret. When Amber revealed that she was pregnant, it was a giveaway Zeek would have the surgery. Their relationship has been so special over the years and it was perfect that the best reception she received about her status was from the most important man in her life.

Somewhere along the way Sarah had three completely different conversations with Amber. First she was in shock. Then she was sharing all the reasons she wished it wasn't happening and finally she remembered the joy of raising a little one and the two hugged it out; we know it's going to be OK.

Kristina is in over her head with the Chambers Academy, but Adam has her back. He doesn't necessarily want to, but he pulls through in an amazing way. I find it a little difficult to believe that even four kids could cook 40 meals every day during the time it would take for an elective class, but I suppose suspension of disbelief is in order. If spending hours in the kitchen is going to be their permanent solution, methinks they need to rethink.

There were some interesting conversations between Joel and Julia and she finally got to tell him how he destroyed her. I daresay he finally understands, now that he isn't given the opportunity to communicate when he wants, what it meant to cut Julia off so completely. The one certainty they had was their ability to talk things over. When that disappeared, it was worse than a betrayal.

There was nothing tangible about their breakup. It started over lack of fulfillment; for Joel it was being a stay at home dad, for Julia it was the desire to spend more time with her kids. As they cascaded through a decision to have another child and then adopt their lives went into hyperdrive, they lost touch and resentments piled up.

It took two seasons to tear them apart. Is it realistic to expect them to find their way back to each other in a shorter period of time? For me it's not. Julia's use of the word broken was spot on. I think they need a way to rediscover their friendship so they can remain good parents for their children, but there is so much collateral damage it will feel false to see them together by the series end. There are 11 episodes left, and they just brought the issue out on the table.

From what I understand, this season is going to be a changing of the guard, so to speak. Adam takes his place as the patriarch. That's already begun with family events at their house. I think we all expect someone to die. I'm less sure it will be Zeek at this point. While he could die on the operating table, there has been a buildup to it so it's expected. 

Then again, in real life, risks in surgery can take the life of otherwise very healthy people. Even knowing there are risks you don't send someone you love into surgery thinking they won't come back out. We are a hopeful group and our expectations lean toward the positive. Surgery fixes problems so we continue to life. Losing Zeek in surgery would give us a decent amount of time to see the family move forward without him.

The birthday scene, with every family member (sans Haddie and Drew) singing and dancingn had a feeling of finality, as if that was the last full family celebration the Bravermans would have together. Did you feel that, too? It was even more apparent to me, as I watched a screener and the birthday song wasn't ready so there was almost complete silence as the family looked joyful. It was eerie to watch, even knowing the song was playing joyfully in the background.

The best series ending to Parenthood, for me, would be an episode like any other, Soprano's style. Right in the middle of their lives, the show just cuts out. There will never be a perfect moment for this family and their joys and sorrows will continue in my mind, although I'll never see them played out. 

What are your hopes for the next 11 episodes and are you getting ready to say goodbye? If you need more time to contemplate, you can watch Parenthood online here at TV Fanatic. Hit the comments with your thoughts. We're in this until the end!

Happy Birthday, Zeek Review

Editor Rating: 4.3 / 5.0
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User Rating:

Rating: 4.1 / 5.0 (19 Votes)

Carissa Pavlica is the managing editor and a staff writer and critic for TV Fanatic. She's a member of the Critic's Choice Association, enjoys mentoring writers, conversing with cats, and passionately discussing the nuances of television and film with anyone who will listen. Follow her on Twitter and email her here at TV Fanatic.

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Parenthood Season 6 Episode 2 Quotes

Look, all I know is my daughter's pregnant, and she was so scared, too. She was so scared to tell me and I just froze. I, I bet she dreamed of this wonderful moment where she tells her mom this exciting news and I totally let her down. I just said, 'oh.'


You founded Chambers Academy to meet the needs of every student. My artistic needs are not being met. Nora agrees.