Parenthood Boss Teases a 'Huge' Final Challenge for the Bravermans

Parenthood Final Season

Parenthood fans: You didn’t think you were going to get off scot- and Kleenex-free, did you?

Appearing as part of an NBC drama showrunners panel on Sunday at the Television Critics Assoc. summer press tour, Parenthood boss Jason Katims said that the family drama’s farewell run will uncork a “larger story that has a huge effect on everybody,” starting in the season opener and running through all 13 episodes.

Katims teased that the storyline will present “a huge challenge for this family, the kind we haven’t seen before.”

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Katims later told TVLine that the storyline in question is one he’s batted around before, an idea that revolves around “one of those big life moments that the show tackles well. When we did Kristina’s cancer storyline, I thought it was one of our strongest stories that we did — and obviously some of the best performances — so we want to do a story that again is one of those biggies that the family has to deal with.”

Above and beyond the season-long arc, Katims promised “as many storylines going on as there always are,” including a likely full-season presence for Ray Romano’s Hank and hopefully a final-season encore for Jason Ritter’s Mark.

Want more scoop on Parenthood, or for any other show? Email and your question may be answered via Matt’s Inside Line.

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  1. Philtato says:

    Someone is gonna die

    • Ari says:

      My money is on Camille.

      • Jill says:

        I thought Zeke at first, but the family would move on easier with Zeke dying. You are right Camille dying would be devastating for that family to get over.

        • Tony says:

          I don’t know. I feel like since the show began, Zeek has been the guiding voice for the family. I can easily see his death having a huge ripple affect

          • James says:

            Considering the current cast members are all signed on for 11 of 13 episodes, my bet is that it is haddie.

        • Kelly says:

          Camille or Zeke get Alzheimer’s…

          • rowan77 says:

            Without any previous symptoms, unless the season is to span a decade or more, I doubt it’s Camille or Zeek getting Alzheimers. It’s a pretty slow decline that takes a very long time before it gets to the final stretch.

          • helixro14 says:

            My money is on Zeek and Alzheimer’s, early stages so they can wring maximum angst out of it.

          • Heaher says:

            I agree I think Zeek with have Alzheimers. I have thought they were headed that way in a few episodes last season.

      • CJ says:

        I’ve been thinking it’d be her for a while now. It seems like they’ve set it up to where we are supposed to suspect it will be Zeek, but I definitely think it will be Camille.

    • sarah says:

      I have this feeling Christina’s cancer will come back and she will die.

    • Bryce says:

      I don’t think someone will! Here’s why. I don’t think Katims will want to do another ark with someone being terminally ill since we just had Kristina. They could kill Camille or someone in the first episode, but then it’d be hard for Camille to appear in her 11 out of 13 episodes (and Parenthood has never had characters picturing ghosts before)
      They could kill off Adam in the 11th episode and give me some major Nate Fisher Shock Syndrome

    • Pink says:

      The one topic I have always wished a show would handle is the death of a child. Its something that sadly happens often in this world, whether to SIDS, cancer, an accident or something else and yet network TV never touches on it unless its murder. If there was one show on TV that could handle this topic gracefully its Parenthood.

      • Donna says:

        As a fan who’s never missed an episode (and yes, Im pissed they won’t be going for at least a few more seasons), Im not so sure killing off a kid would be smart…for me, I don’t think I could watch that…too many triggers. HOWEVER, I really thought Drew was going to have a wreck when Zeek gave him the car. I was holding my breath until they showed he got to where he was going.

        Amber being pregnant with Ryan’s child would be an interesting storyline.

        All that said, if they are going to kill off a major cast member, my guess would be Sarah or Zeek. Just because they’re all signed on doesn’t mean they won’t show flashbacks/dreams/etc

        I was furious they sold the house! Im hoping the sale falls through for some crazy reason.

        • Jamie says:

          I lost an adult child to drug use two years ago. It was during that time period that I found old eps and caught up with Parenthood (watching videos was all I could do in my numbness). From how society (whether it be strangers, acquaintances, church or family/friends) reacts towards the parent and sibling grieving, I honestly wish some program would present and expose how often the family is left isolated, shamed and hurt by those who wish you’d ‘move on already’ because it makes them feel uncomfortable. However, I don’t believe that someone could adequately give that justice in a final season.

      • I’m sure that they’d handle a storyline re: the death of a child quite gracefully. That said, why would they do it? Yes, it happens but it is one of those extraordinarily devastating tragedies that need not be tackled on tv.

    • My (and everyone else) thoughts exactly!

  2. Eric says:

    I honestly cannot wait for next season, despite going into it knowing it’s the last. I have total faith that Katims will deliver a fitting conclusion to the Braverman saga. Just don’t let the family’s challenge be the death of Zeek. Or anyone, really.

  3. mariana says:

    Zeek is gonna die! Hope not but it’s my guess…

  4. Monica says:

    Sadly I think it’s going to be Zeek who dies. While a death like Zeek’s or Camille’s would be shocking, it’s one I think the fans would expect the most. Parenthood isn’t the type of show that would kill a character like Adam or Sarah out of nowhere. We’ve seen Zeek’s previous health problems, so it would be easy to bring that up again. Zeek has formed a lot of special relationships not only with his children, but his grandchildren and even Ryan, and I think a death like his would give them more material and storylines. We will probably see each character will deal with it differently. It should be interesting to see how each character handles it and I can definitely see why they chose this to be the drive for the final season. It gives them a lot of material and potential.

  5. Doe says:

    Isn’t it Amber’s pregnancy?

    • abby says:

      Amber’s like 21/22 and has been out on her own since she was 18, I can’t see why her getting pregnant would have some huge effect on the entire family.

  6. Tran says:

    Don’t know if any familiar guest starring faces in the past five seasons may appear in the final season of Parenthood possibly Gaby aka Minka Kelly.

  7. Rebecca says:

    Does Mark really need to make another appearance?

    • Erin says:

      Thank you – I was thinking the same thing. Let the sleeping dog lie. No need to rehash this story line yet again!!!

      • liz says:

        agreed. I really liked Mark and I love Jason Ritter, but his character’s arch is over.

      • herman1959 says:

        Ditto, it was way to much when he popped up last season to make sure that Sarah knew he was NEVER coming back to her. Jason Katims kills me – last year the writing was MIA and now for the final 13 episodes we are supposed to be on the edge of our seats!

    • I feel the same way about Hank. I like Ray Romano, but I’m not a fan of this character, either.

      • I never like him that much before, but I’ve become a big fan of his since he joined the cast of Parenthood. His acting has been strong in a completely different kind of character. No sad sack buffoonery, this role called for not only a mature portrayal of a romantic lead, but one who discovers he possible has autism – who would take on that challenge except one being cast against type who sines in the role. His Hank is truly unself-conscious in such a way as to constantly keep us off-guard. Beautifully done.

  8. Tony says:

    My money’s on Zeek as well dying. I also kind of thought they were hinting at Alzheimer’s with him at times.

  9. Kyle says:

    Zeek or Camille dying would not blow anyone’s mind. One of the children could die.

  10. Paul says:

    I thought about this. What if it is a debilitating illness say a stroke for either Zeke or Camille? I also thought what if they kill one of the kids. The death of a child would be equally devastating

  11. Ann says:

    I kind of thought Christina might die by the end of the series. Maybe her cancer comes back and spreads. Parenthood has dealt with her cancer story real well. It would be sad but realistic. Her death would be a more natural one than Zeke getting Alzheimer’s all of the sudden and dying.

  12. Mike says:

    Can Michael B Jordan or Minka Kelly come back????!?

  13. ldylkngb says:

    Please don’t let it be Zeke or Camille!!!! Or Max! Love that kid! Why he hasn’t received an Emmy nod is beyond me!

    • nancy says:

      All my friends that watch Parenthood say the same thing. This kid is one of the best actors on TV. I have a grandson with Asperger’s and this boy is right on the money!!

      • Paul says:

        While I agree that the actor who plays Max has done a fantastic job, the character has just gotten overboard obnoxious this season. I understand aspergers. My nephew has aspergers and he has similar outbursts and he can be very tough to handle at times. That being said, with the series almost over, if they were going to put Max in this new school for kids with issues and he was going to like a girl, couldn’t they just have the girl like him back? The kid has never had anything go his way. he’s felt like an outsider. he’s been picked on relentlessly. they made this wonderful new school for these kids. why couldn’t they just let it work out for Max for once? There’s only 4 or 5 episodes left. they’re not leaving very much time for redemption for his character. I really hope they give him a chance to be happy with his life by the time it’s all said and done

  14. schu says:

    My bet would be Camille getting quick developing dementia or Alzheimer’s. I really don’t think they would kill off a character, or at least I really hope they wouldn’t do such a thing, especially with only 13 episodes. I want to see all the Bravermans for as much as possible. I’ll start stocking up on my kleenex now.

  15. loz says:

    Amber must be pregnant. And keep the baby. I hope no one dies and I hope Kristina and Adam have a really happy time as they have had so much heartache.

  16. Dee says:

    Why do they think we want to see more of Hank? Him & Sarah have no chemistry at all!

    • Leonie1988 says:

      Oh yes! I gree so much. Even though Lauren Graham has chemistry with everyone and everything (even a bag of flour), Hank isn’t her best match. I kind of hope Mark comes back as a single father and they get back together in the end. OR the cute doctor from her building – he is someone for Sarah in my opinion.

    • Thank you, Dee. I’m not the only one who thinks so.

    • Michelle says:

      Agree so much. Hope Mark comes back available again and Sarah and him end up being endgame. If it can’t be Mark, I’d honestly rather have the neighbor or Seth. Anyone over Hank tbh.

  17. It doesn’t necessarily mean a death. It could be a stroke or something happening to Zeek or Camile and if they should go to the nursing home… the kids had a hard enough time with them giving up their childhood home. And they DID just get the beautiful new home. It would be sad and difficult to give that up. On the other hand, it could be something with one of the kids, or with Joel… you know that they always toss us a curveball that we’re not expecting.

  18. JJM says:

    I’m thinking a terminal illness that lasts the first 10 episodes before killing the character off and the last two eps are surrounded about their death, with the last being a time jump and a wedding with Amber and Ryan and having Zeke/Camille watching over the family celebrating some good times before closing out.

  19. Mike says:

    It makes no sense to kill off any charter when hey had a mini hold so each actor got equal screen time to return, as they tried to cut numbers of episodes. Several more likely topics, would be divorce, homophobia, death of Amber’s and Ryan’s baby, or someone get injured causing a lifetime handicap. Not likely for the death card as it has been played before, and spoilers are not this easy to figure out.

    • Rook says:

      Yeah tv show people lie to reporters all the time. Maybe to be able to pay for the actors they have to kill off someone so they won’t appear in every episode. Plus it’s the final season they could throw down True Blood style and kill as many characters as they want.

    • Alex says:

      And you think any of the stories you suggest would have a major ripple effect for 13 episodes throughout the whole family? No way. It’s going to be a death, and that’s really obvious.

  20. Renee says:

    Maybe Zeke fathered a child in th

    • Renee says:

      In the past… Sorry for typo

      • SL says:

        That’s a great thought. . Could be that. A new Braverman would definitely affect the family big time and that would go throughout the whole season. I think the Alzheimer’s thing is a possibility too. I don’t think they will do a terminal illness, too similar to the cancer storyline. Alzheimer’s is something that lots of families struggle with, very much a big issue nowadays. So sad it’s the last season.

      • EM says:

        They did kind of deal with that when Crosby found out that he had fathered a child he didn’t know about.

  21. Pat says:

    Oh my gosh, why can’t they close out this show with a very happy ending? I do not want to see anyone die. I see that some of the comments think that either Zeek or Camille will die, but why should either one of them? They just moved on to the second phase of their lives by selling their home and moving so it would be pretty cruel to do this. I am hoping for a very happy ending and not a two parter finale involving a funeral.

  22. lori says:

    What about Zeke and Camille divorcing? They have had problems and it would be a huge issue for the family to eal with.

  23. sarah says:

    Yes Katmis said on another site that he is leaning towards a family member dying.

  24. Kim R says:

    Okay, I would never think I’d get off Kleenex free from Parenthood. :) I’m looking forward to the season starting and will miss this show when it is done. There is nothing else quite like it on TV.

  25. Arien says:

    Mark? oh please not again.
    Who would be stupid enough that there is a happily ever after in store for Mark and Sarah after she screwed it up half a dozen times already?

    • Lisa Benwitz says:

      I’m thinking more that if a character like Zeek or Camille dies, he would come back for the funeral and to be supportive to Sarah and the kids.

  26. Timmymommy says:

    What if Amber was pregnant, but it was a complicated pregnancy? One where either the baby or her would survive? And Mark, who was an influential teacher in her life came back for an episode to help her decide to keep the baby, to take the risk? The timeline would realistically fit especially if they came back with her already being a couple of months along.

  27. Ebeth says:

    Maybe Camille had an affair way back when and one of the kids is not really Zeek’s….

  28. I think a suicide by Joel or Julia could really shake things up for the whole family system. It wouldn’t be that difficult to write into the script either.

  29. sarah says:

    I really hope nothing too bad happens because I feel connected to the characters. But, with Haddie coming back so late last season, they obviously want to work her back into the story a bit. Maybe it has to do with her getting bullied from coming out as gay? And possibly a suicide. I really, really hope not though.

  30. Sarah C says:

    Let me first say I am sad this will only be on for one more season. But I do look forward to what’s going to happen. I hope they get rid of Ray though. I hope we get to see Julia get back with Joel and more of Haddie.

  31. Jennifer says:

    I think it will be a suicide or death. I have a feeling it would be Max. Max is very aware of how different he is and with all the bullying he recieves going into middle school/high school because he is.. Different.. I can see it leading to him killing himself or bullying going too far and it kills him.

    • barb wright says:

      I don’t agree. I think with them starting the new school, Max is going to be in his element and be one of the popular kids. He’s going to use his disability to his advantage. I think Julia is pregnant, not Amber, and maybe has a miscarriage.

      • Allie says:

        Heeeey, that’s interesting! What if she’s pregnant from that guy, the schoolmaster guy, from their one-night stand? That would devastate a bunch of situations. Could be interesting for sure.

  32. Shelley Locke says:

    Hi there, I just have to say I started watched parenthood a couple sessions in then went back and started from the beginning I absolutely love this show and so sad this next session is the last.

  33. barb wright says:

    It might be that Cammille goes back to Italy and the plane goes down, kinda like Greys Anatomy. I think that Adam and Christina are going to take the background and itll be more about Zeek and Camille. Hopefully Max is able to finally get a gf:)

  34. kleaners says:

    I’m thinking death in the family – maybe Amber has a miscarriage or there’s complications with the birth.

  35. Kevin says:

    Christ, not Jason Ritter AGAIN!

  36. Show is still going strong. Why does this have to be the farewell season?? Could last longer !

  37. Amy says:

    Maybe, Zeke and Camille die in some freak accident. Love this show.

  38. Becky Hay says:

    I SO do not want this show to end!!! Makes me sad!!!!!

  39. Juel says:

    Or maybe Max is a school shooter…bullied so often.

  40. sandy says:

    I think the death of Zeek would be a great storyline. Also this would help bring Julia and Joel together. They would both realize how short life is and to hold on to the ones you love.

  41. rosebud825 says:

    As a fan who’s never missed an episode (and yes, Im pissed they won’t be going for at least a few more seasons), Im not so sure killing off a kid would be smart…for me, I don’t think I could watch that…too many triggers. HOWEVER, I really thought Drew was going to have a wreck when Zeek gave him the car. I was holding my breath until they showed he got to where he was going.

    Amber being pregnant with Ryan’s child would be an interesting storyline.

    All that said, if they are going to kill off a major cast member, my guess would be Sarah or Zeek. Just because they’re all signed on doesn’t mean they won’t show flashbacks/dreams/etc

    I was furious they sold the house! Im hoping the sale falls through for some crazy reason.

  42. Remember seasons ago when they skimmed over Zeke’s past affairs…? I think a lovechild or something will pop up and throw things into chaos.

  43. Debbie says:

    When does the final season start?

  44. geniene pernotto says:

    Parenthood is so great at tackling situations that many people are dealing with as a family. I can definitely see them having a long-term care episodes with someone elderly (health declining) or dealing with an illness like Alzheimer’s or Parkinson’s. So many of us have to take care of older parents, they move in with us or children have to take turns helping take care of a parent. It is time for television to reflect this reality and Parenthood is just the show.

  45. Laurie says:

    What about a heart attack for Zeke.. and i bet he’ll be in a coma for most of the episodes. We’ll see each Braverman say they goodbye and come visit even if he’s sleeping. I can totally see them unplugged him in the finale or something like that. Could be someone else because of a car accident or something like that but it would be a really great and sad season!

  46. Crystal S. says:

    Suicide or rape/child molestation. No one has touched on this yet. Or the aftermath of a crime. I can even see them tackle a school shooting. Whether it’s one of their kids or another.. these are things affecting real people that they haven’t touched on and would effect the entire family.

  47. Jennifer says:

    Why is parenthood not going to be on anymore? I love that show it brings out realistic things that go on in everyday family lives. I’m so sorry it has to end.

  48. Max gives up on cameras and gets into guns. After several arrests for having a gun, thinking about a gun sand/or looking at a gun (it is Berkeley after all) he is forced to wear a GPS monitor as a condition of his parole. He of course tampers with it and thinking he’s deactivated it attempts escape through the backyard where Haddie’s lesbian wedding is being held the next day. An unfortunate series of events leads to the monitor triggering an explosion with the giant propane tank used for power. Adam, Sarah, Camille, Kristina, Sydney, Julia, Lauren and Joel are killed. The remaining family must take care of the remaining children while trying to keep Max out of prison for gun related violence and a federal hate crime of stopping a gay wedding.

  49. Rhonda says:

    Zeke has had heart problems in the past. Sadly I think it will be one or both, Zeke and/or Camille. One family losing a child or spouse would not affect every single member of the family as much as losing a parent. Please let Joel & Julia mend their marriage. Love this show and am sad to see it end.

  50. laylagalise says:

    Could be a substance abuse problem that leads to another family member’s injury. Drew was smoking an awful lot of pot. Maybe he drives a cousin/cousins somewhere and then the cousin goes into the ICU. Then maybe no one would die, but it definitely would affect the family.