Season 2 Episode 22

Hard Times Come Again No More

Aired Thursday 10:00 PM Apr 19, 2011 on NBC

Episode Fan Reviews (4)

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out of 10
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  • An excellent end to an excellent season.

    The writers managed to combine drama with laughter and gave us scenes that were incredibly powerful. Things were set up last week when Amber was involved in a near fatal car crash. Seeing all the Bravermans in the hospital waiting room, sick with worry, but there for Sarah, was just amazing. There were no quick fixes - when Jasmine arrived to show her support, she and Crosby did not immediately get back together. Once we knew Amber was going to be alright, it was ok to root for Sarah's new play, performed at the Berkely playhouse.

    I was surprised Adam was not fired from his job a long time ago. The Company has been in trouble for a while, and so many others were let go. I have to admit, I didn't see Kristina's pregnancy coming. We have so much to look forward to next season.
  • One of the best dramas on TV

    NBC's family drama "Parenthood" ended its superb second season on Tuesday (April 19) with "Hard Times Come Again No More." The previous episode ended with teenager Amber Braverman (Mae Whitman) involved in a horrific car accident and her mother Sarah (Lauren Graham) begins the season finale with a phone call telling of the accident. The best scene of the finale is the opening scene where the highly close-knit Bravermans all gather at the hospital in hopes that they'll receive good news involving Amber's accident. This scene involves one of the finest bits of acting from the series all season long by Craig T. Nelson as Zeek, the Braverman family patriarch. Max (Max Burkholder), the young song of Adam (Peter Krause), who has Asperger's is unable to comprehend the seriousness of the situation and wants the pancakes that his father had promised him. If you watch closely enough you can see the irritation building up on Zeek's face and you just know that he'll eventually lose it and he does. It's truly a great bit of understated acting by Nelson.

    The episode quickly reveals that Amber only received minor injuries in the accident, as they didn't want to spend too much time on this with so many storylines to wrap up in the finale. Once Amber returns home, Sarah has a conversation with her about the seriousness of the accident and the events leading up to it. Amber had run away from home with an older man who had been drinking at the time of the crash. Sarah however is upset that Amber doesn't seem to get the severity of her behavior. This leads to yet another fine acting performance by Nelson in a scene where Zeek pounds the severity of what happened into his granddaughter's (Amber's) head. The main plotline of the finale is about Sarah's play, which is being produced by guest star Richard Dreyfuss. It'll be interesting to see if Sarah has a budding career as a playwright going into the third season, if there is indeed a third season (NBC has yet to pick the series up). In another ongoing plotline it appears that Jasmine (Joy Bryant) is finally willing to give her cheating fiancé Crosby (Dax Shepard) another shot after many episodes of refusing to even talk to him. Crosby has sold his boat and motorcycle to afford enough money to buy Jasmine and his son, Jabbar, a house. The biggest surprise of the season finale comes, of course, at the very end when the recently fired Adam finds a positive pregnancy test in the trash while searching for Max's lost retainer. Adam initially believes that the pregnancy is that of his daughter, Haddie (Sarah Ramos), until it is revealed that his wife, Kristina (Monica Potter) is the one pregnant. "Parenthood" might have been, in my opinion, the best drama of this television season, which means that NBC had better get its act together and pick the series up for a third season. If you haven't had the opportunity to catch "Parenthood" yet, you can watch the last five episodes of season two on free of charge.
  • Overdramatic but with a sincere touch.

    I won't ever get over the amount of drama the characters on Parenthood initiate. Every single topic, event or conversation is dragged out endlessly for the benefit of drama. Objectively though, that's nothing new and going in to this finale there was no escaping the emotional hospital scene that saw the Bravermans be a family in waiting.
    Amber's accident was shocking and if such a thing happens in real life it would probably go somewhat as it was portrayed here. Still, there's a feeling of forced drama that lingers over the sad scenes that see Amber break down over what happened. There was never any doubt that by season's end she would see the light of day again and as a lover of car accidents, this one felt misplaced. I mean, Jasmine changed her mind over a conversation with Joel, why couldn't Amber? In all seriousness there were some high points to the episode. Julia being sucked into a labor was comedic and a nice road to the inevitable adoption story. Sarah's play was well received beyond the cliche and of course Adam was freaking out over retainers and birth control. Him getting fired was a surprisingly pleasant pay-off for him being such a stuck-up all the time. In that respect it was even more refreshing to see him go from extremely angry to weirdly happy in the final scene. There was absolutely not a twist that couldn't be seen six episodes ago yet the never ending feed of drama kept it in balance.
  • An amazing episode. A satisfying season finale.

    This show has been an absolute JOY to watch all season. It's a consistently well-made hour-long drama, with note-worthy talented actors that simply exude what their characters are experiencing. I'll say it again: it's an emotional roller coaster every week, with laughs had, tears shed, and empathy given. All the recurring storylines were dealt with in this episode. Let's first talk about Joel and Julia, who look forward to adoption and I knew she would bring it up, she's just the type of person to not give up. Next: Crosby and Jasmine. Crosby steps up the pressure by saying he's not going to pursue Jasmine anymore. For a moment, I really thought it was over between the two of them. Somewhere along the line, Joel must try one more time to reason with her, and Jasmine takes a look at all the work and sacrifice Crosby has done. He did sacrifice enough. Although it's not clear if they are back together by the end of the episode, it's a good sign that Jasmine even showed up and a good guess that they will be. Adam and Kristina have several issues during this episode: First, Max's behavior gets to Adam again and although Adam comes off as inpatient, I don't blame him. It must really be difficult to connect with these children in real life on a daily basis. Kristina discusses Haddie's relationship more which also sets Adam off. And then there's Adam's boss, who really is ridiculous. I'm the same way, I would totally flip out at his erratic behavior. At the end, Adam knows he's not happy there, he doesn't fight it. He knows this company has no meaning to him anymore. It's better that he leaves, he has so much potential in the managerial world. Lastly, they have unexpected but gleeful news, despite an almost breaking point for Adam. Kristina says that she is pregnant. Of course, he is happy. Amber and Sarah were just heartbreaking and then heartwarming. Two scenes that got to me: Zeek and Amber and then at the end with Sarah and Amber. Man these guys know how to get you! Sarah's reading finally came through in this episode. The audience loved it. Sure, why not, even though it's clearly based on her life and all the siblings were trying to figure out who was playing who. Overall, this episode was great. This season was great. SO much happened this season - do you even remember Stephen Baldwin's character? Do you remember Haddie working at the food bank? Do you remember the Thanksgiving seating dilemma? Do you remember Zeek and Cecile fighting? I can't believe it's only been 22 episodes, feels much longer.
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