Parenthood, Season 6, Episode 10, “How Did We Get Here?”
“How Did We Get Here?”, the series landmark 100th episode written by series creator Jason Katims and directed by tv vet Michael Weaver (whose credits range from Malcolm in the Middle all the way to Masters of Sex) opens with a flashing red light as Zeke is being wheeled out of his home and into the ambulance. We then see a montage of all the adult siblings rushing to get to the hospital. Adam looks out the window on the phone as Kristina comes out of the bathroom. Crosby hurriedly puts his shoes on as Jasmine holds up the keys that Crosby’s looking for. Sarah wakes up and leaves Hank in bed and the gift basket for Amber’s baby shower on the counter. Julia and Joel are lying awake in bed in a post-coital stare at the ceiling before being interrupted by the phone call. This montage is completely silent, save for “Reminders, Defeats” by Jesse Marchant on the soundtrack. They all converge in the hospital’s waiting room as Adam gets a call from the security company, informing them that their alarm went off. Having dealt with similar, minor incidents before, they tell the company to just send a patrol car to take a look. As Zeke is being diagnosed, Adam finds Camille crying in the hospital’s chapel. As Adam tries to comfort her, Camille admits that this time he might not make it.
After the opening credits, we come back to the waiting room and for the most part stay in there. But unlike “The Waiting Room” from earlier, we have no B plot to cut away to relieve the tension. This brings everyone in. From Amber, who’s more than willing to put her baby shower on hold for this to a guilt ridden Drew who’s frantically trying to get the Pontiac to start to Joel who brings coffee for everyone to Hank who volunteers to pick Drew up and give him a ride. His interactions with Drew go from hilariously awkward to revelatory on Drew’s side to an understanding at the end where Drew admits that of all the “losers” Sarah has dated, Hank is his favorite. This is the closest we get to a C plot, let alone a B one. Basically everyone except the little ones are in the waiting room as Zeke goes from being stabilized to having a 2nd heart attack (right when Julia and Joel come into the room as Julia says “Hey Pop.”) to emergency surgery to recovery. While this is happening, Adam and Crosby hear back from the security company that there’s been a break-in at the Luncheonette and when they check the place out, they find all their equipment gone and the place trashed.
Luckily, despite Crosby’s cynicism, the insurance they have on the business looks to pay out handsomely. And after paying off their debts and investors and giving Amber a healthy severance package, Adam proposes that they dissolve the business and each walk away with 20K. Crosby asks Adam if he can think about it and each of them go to their wives to talk it over. Kristina is with Adam in that they should cash out and move on. But while Jasmine is also supportive of her husband, she knows that him working for someone else, especially after being his own boss, would just make him miserable and that they shouldn’t give up after one bad year in business. So as Hank bonds with his new idol Joel over beers and impromptu marriage proposals with his to Sarah, Crosby says that he doesn’t want to give up the business, to which Adam responds with nothing. As for Zeke, while the stints work for his heart, he’s much weaker than when he had the surgery. Thus he has three options. Either do another surgery to fix his heart, which might kill him, or do nothing, which might also kill him. The only other option is to think about it and talk it over with his family. But when it’s just him and Camille, he only wants her and him to decide and not involve the kids.
And as the men of the family drink at the bar, we end the episode on a much more upbeat yet still deeply emotional moment as Amber is brought to the hospital cafeteria by Sarah for an impromptu baby shower with all the women of the family present. And they start off with a Braverman tradition by giving her a scrapbook that contains a page of advice from each of them to Amber on motherhood. Having absolutely no experience with baby showers whatsoever, I have to say that sounds like a fantastic idea. And the advice given is perfectly suited to each of the characters. Kristina’s is to “embrace the curveballs”. Julia’s is to never give up on your dreams since being a good mom also means being a good role model. Jasmine’s is to never be too proud to ask for help from her or from any of the other moms in the family. Sarah is so emotional she can’t even read hers and just tells Amber that she’ll have her back no matter what. And Camille brings it home with what’s on her mind. “Life is short. You cannot know how impossibly fast it goes by. So just enjoy this baby. Cherish this time. Cherish every minute of it.”
God I hope the remaining 3 episodes can maintain this. While I was miffed that these last few episodes didn’t air in 2014, if they can keep this narrative and emotional high going on, this could put the show on my 2015 list with just these 4 episodes.
The series hits its 100th episode with one of the best episodes of the season and hopefully the beginning of an incredible home stretch.