The ‘Parenthood’ Series Finale: How Did It All End?

The Parenthood series finale aired Thursday night on NBC and it definitely left fans grabbing for their tissues. Though many had some theories about just what would take place in this last encounter with the Braverman family, those with the show had some nice surprises for everybody. Series creator Jason Katims shared some tidbits about the finale after it aired.

Fans saw in the last moments of the show, via flash forwards, that Amber found a new love and he was a familiar face to fans of Friday Night Lights, also done by Katims. He told Entertainment Weekly that as they flushed out their plans for the flash forwards, they wanted to show Amber happy with someone and they felt it was a tough role to cast.

Katims notes that it was an important moment in the show, but it wasn’t a role with a lot for that person to do. It occurred to Katims that he could go to someone he had worked with before and ask a favor, and that’s where Scott Porter came into the picture. Friday Night Lights fans of course remember Porter as Jason Street from the hit football-themed series.

Apparently Porter is a long-time Parenthood fan and of course Amber’s other love, Ryan, was played by fellow FNL alum Matt Lauria, who portrayed Luke Cafferty. Katims shares that there was a scene that had to be cut that showed Amber meeting her new guy. He’s a single dad and he met single mom Amber at an indoor gym. In the scene that did make the cut, fans got to see that while Ryan and Amber didn’t work out long-term romantically, he did get to a place where he could successfully co-parent with Amber and little Zeek is doing well.

Porter shared, via the Hollywood Reporter, that as soon as Katims asked him to take on the role he immediately said “yes.” He also shares that Mae Whitman, who played Amber, is a huge FNL fan and pitched the idea of someone from the show to play her love at the end of the show. Porter adds that Whitman wanted to ensure that fans were taken care of and that the character didn’t end up with someone completely unknown.

The flash forwards also showed that not only did Joel and Julia happily welcome Victor’s biological sister to the family, the couple later got pregnant and added a fourth child to the family as well. Crosby and Amber successfully rebuilt the Luncheonette while Adam embraced his role as headmaster of Chambers Academy. In addition, Max happily graduated and Camille made it to that spot in Europe that Zeek had envisioned taking her, though she had to do it on her own.

While fans were heartbroken to see Zeek died, they were fairly well prepared for it. There was a lot of pressure on those with the show with this finale, but it looks like the approach worked. In a TVLine poll grading the finale, 89 percent gave it a grade of an “A,” while another 8 percent gave it an above average “B.” It would be pretty tough to do much better than that.

Katims said it well by sharing,

“To me, the thesis statement of that montage afterwards reminded me of the thesis statement of the whole show: No matter what curveballs are thrown at you in life, your family helps you get through it. To me, the spirit of that montage was really about seeing this family continue to grow and expand and thrive in different, and sometimes unexpected, ways. Because the whole thing was set in motion by a death, it didn’t seem appropriate to have that montage be about the difficult times. It seemed to suggest more celebratory times.”

As difficult as it is for fans to say goodbye to the Braverman family, most agree that the Parenthood series finale hit the right note. Many of the stars are now going on to do other projects, which fans will happily embrace, but it will certainly be hard to recreate the magic they captured in this hit NBC show.

[Image via Hollywood Take]