Last season, Joel and Julia’s rocky relationship took center stage. The Bravermans held out hope that they’d get back together, but the show’s writers left those loose ends untied. Kristina lost her bid for mayor but began plans to found a school for students like Max. When her friend Gwen died and left her money to the school, she christened it Chambers Academy. After a season of debating, Zeek and Camille sold the home they raised their four kids in, and Jasmine and Crosby welcomed their new baby, Aida. In the finale, Haddie returned from Cornell with her best friend Lauren (Tavi Gevinson) and revealed to her parents that she was more than just a friend.
The finale ended on a mysterious note: When Ryan was in the hospital after a car accident, Amber returned to his side, and it wasn’t long before she was buying a pregnancy test. The writers didn’t waste any time before giving loyal viewers some answers. Season six opens up with a scene of Amber getting an ultrasound, listening to her baby’s heartbeat. The first person she tells is Haddie, when the two go sit in their high school football stadium and realize that they’re really “adults” now.
Sarah and Hank are finally together, and Hank is prepping for the arrival of his 15–year–old daughter, Ruby. Ruby’s mother decided to move back to Berkeley for good after her daughter fell in “with the wrong crowd” in Minnesota, and now wants to share custody with Hank.
Sarah surprises Zeek with a trip to Vegas for his birthday, but things go downhill when Zeek collapses on the casino floor. He refuses treatment from the doctors in Vegas, prompting Adam and Crosby to rush to Vegas on a rescue mission. They arrive to find Zeek back at it on the casino floor, and join him.
Adam and Kristina are in the midst of constructing Chambers Academy, which Max refuses to attend after his horrible school experiences in the past. They’re behind on construction and having plumbing problems, but when Joel arrives to drop Victor and Sydney off with Julia, he offers up his expertise and stays for hours. It’s clear that the Bravermans still want him to get back together with Julia—but she might have already moved on. She’s seen canoodling with a college ex who now works with her.
When Julia hears about her dad’s collapse, Joel comes over to watch the kids while she makes sure Camille is alright. After receiving a photo of her siblings in Vegas with her dad, who is fine for the time being, she breaks down. Joel goes in for the hug and then for the kiss, but Julia pulls away and all our hopes for a Joel–Julia reunion are dashed.
The episode ends with the opening of Chambers Academy, where Max surprises his mother by greeting her as each of the other students do. Amber knocks on her own mother’s door to give her the news she’s been hiding.
“Parenthood” airs on Thursdays at 9 p.m. on NBC.