Get your family pack of tissue boxes ready — the Bravermans are back. Our TV family's about to start on the road towards the end when Parenthood returns for its final season. There's no use in even trying to deny that we are all going to cry... and then cry some more. But hey, as long as we get some closure that they're all going to be fine in the end, it'll be OK. Last season wrapped up as if it were a series finale (they didn't yet know if they'd get another season) so we saw some simple resolution for the family, and one last big family dinner, making me yearn for a large extended family and an outdoor seating area. And then Amber went and got a pregnancy test and turned everything upside down.
Judging from the season 6 Parenthood promo, it's safe to assume that Amber is the pregnant Braverman. Judging from her face in the promos, it looks like she's pretty excited about it. (But also, can we take a second to really appreciate how wonderful Mae Whitman is as an actress? Considering she used to be known as only "....her?" she has come a very long way. I wish Parenthood received more Emmy love, because I would start the sticker campaign myself to secure her a Best Supporting Actress nomination. The girl has phenomenal range. End aside.)
As soon as I think about Amber being pregnant, my train of thought naturally shifts to her mom, Sarah, and the potential pregnancy could affect her. While your first thought might have Sarah being completely devastated by the news — considering that Amber will literally be following in her mom's footsteps — I think Sarah will be elated with the news. Both she and Amber have come a long way from the Parenthood pilot, where Sarah had to forcefully remove Amber from her then-boyfriend's apartment. To add more new faces to the growing Braverman clan, last season had Sarah and Hank reconcile, but just a little. They're going to work on their relationship. While this is something to cheer about, what happens if a new baby forces Sarah and Hank apart once and for good?
As much as I like Hank, and I do, I really do, I feel that he's finally going to start communicating at the wrong time. Pregnancies are stressful, especially for the mom of the young mom-to-be. Knowing Sarah, she will put everything on hold in her life for whatever Amber needs, and that includes putting Hank on the back burner.
Even though he's still working hard on changing for her, and that tomato in the room, maybe it happens at the wrong time. There's nothing quite like awful timing to remind us that life is but a delicate precious flower, right? Everything in Sarah's life finally comes together, once and for all, as her daughter's falls apart. (I'm not saying that Amber's life will crumble, but Amber will probably crumble depending on whatever happens with Ryan. Cue, tears tears tears from both Mae and Me.) Sarah will be there when that happens, and continue to stay there for the tough times, even if that means drifting apart from Hank. The baby takes precedent, but her relationship with Hank is not something she can ignore for a week or two. Knowing Hank, he'll yell about her lack of communication now that he's finally communicating, and she'll yell about how it's too little too late. I can see Amber's baby as the beginning of a driving wedge between the two of them.
But you know, maybe this baby will show Sarah that she already has everything she needs. As much as she loves Hank, she's already got enough for a very happy life.
Parenthood truly is a show about family and how family interacts with one another and the outside world. As much as we might wish for a textbook happy ending for all of these characters, Parenthood loves to take the more realistic approach to life. Also, it likes to make us cry. As much as we can hope for both of these women to find everything they want, it just seems so unlikely that it'll happen for both Sarah and Amber. It's just not realistic, and Parenthood wouldn't do that to us, especially in the final season. Besides, it's not hard to imagine that in twenty years, when Amber is forced to choose between her own happiness and the happiness of her child, she'd follow Sarah's lead.
If I'm right about Sarah and Hank, the pain will suck, but that's life. Please pass me another tissue, I'm crying already.