I am not even going to lie to you, I am sitting here crying so I have a tissue in one hand a bottle of soju in the other. Punky Brewster fucked me up – and I am not talking on a level of damn that was good. I am talking on a level of this has been a life changing episode of television.
Episode 10 hit me so hard, but as it knocked me on my ass and left me overcome with emotions, all I knew what that the entire season had changed me.
Much like the original Punky did when I was a kid.
A lot of television shows are a snapshot of a moment in time,. They don’t progress. The don’t carry the same weight that they did when they first aired. But Punky found a way to be relevant, stay relevant, and always be there for the people that needed her. She’s always been there for me – living inside me like only she could. Her lessons of strength, versatility, adaptation, and believing in ones self – they have always been here with me.
And she came back at a moment where I needed her the most.
It was like – you will cry and feel all the feelings bitch.
But isn’t that the beauty of television? The Punky Brewster revival banked a lot on nostalgia, which attempting to draw in a new audience. They did both and that’s okay. That’s a good thing.
But what this episode is – well, they banked on your heart.
Punky is going through a lot.
It’s time for Izzy’s check-in with the judge and the whole Brewster clan is afraid of loosing her. She’s become a part of the fabric of their family.
Punky has decided that it’s time to meet up with her Mom. She’s not sure she’s ready, but she knows that she needs to.
Travis has turned the band down and the entire family is wanting him to go on tour. It’s not because they don’t need him – they do. But they know that he’s a better man when he’s focused on his dreams and he deserves to live them out.
Life is what happens when you’re busy making other plans – they say. But what I would counter is that life is what happens when you’re busy living it.
Punky and Travis are talking and Hannah walks in. She tells Punky that she has to let Travis go, that he needs to go out with the band. Travis tells Hannah that Punky is actually the one trying to get him to go.
The kids are supporting this choice – they are actually excited for Dadapalooza. This is what Travis does with the kids before he leaves every time – he takes them everywhere they want to go so that he doesn’t forget him while he’s gone.
When they get back from the day, Travis hugs everyone to say his goodbyes. But when it comes to Izzy he sits in front of her and he doesn’t want to say goodbye. He says til later.
Look, I don’t know the man that Travis was, but when I look at the man that he is – he’s a good one. He loves his kids and Izzy may have come after he was gone, but she’s still his. She’s got his heart, and he loves her as if she is one of his own. Every single choice he makes is for his family. Every single choice he makes is to love them as they deserve to be loved.
Punky is trying to meet up with her Mom for coffee, but is terrified. She’s nervous. And I get it. Hell, I respect it. She’s coming face to face with the person that left her. And if it were me, there would be so many questions, as to why I am not good enough. What did I do?
But then if I am being honest with what I am watching – I know that’s not Punky. Punky can have a million questions, but she’s come to terms with the questions and found a way to let them go. Punky has always been about teaching us all about strength and tenacity. She’s always taught the people around her that you’re good enough the way you are and that won’t change.
When she see’s her Mom pass the coffee place, she follows her and realizes that she’s followed her into an AA meeting. Her Mom is talking about how she’s now five years sober and she’s about to see the daughter that she abandoned.
“I’ve never been five years before, that’s why I finally feel strong enough to make amends to the person who most deserves an apology, my daughter, who I abandoned,” she explained to the group. “She was seven and in 15 minutes, we’re gonna meet up again for the first time since. God, I’m afraid. But I’m here for support because I so badly, I wanna be strong for her.”
And that’s when she see’s Punky and I lost my shit.
Parents can suck. They can suck hard core. They don’t know how to raise you, they don’t know how to be there, and they don’t know how to be a part of your life. Parents can definitely suck. But when you see the love in Susan and Punky’s eyes you know that it doesn’t matter how much Susan sucked, because she inadvertently gave Punky what she needed.
And after these two talk over coffee – you see just how strong and beautiful of a soul Punky has.
“I know that there’s no excuse for what I did,” Susan said to her. “I know that you think I was taking care of you, but the truth is you were the one taking care of me. I was out of control, I was strung out, I didn’t care about myself but I did care about you and I couldn’t risk you not making it either.”
Punky interjected, looking at her with a look that was filled with hope, “So you just left me?”
“I’m not asking you to forgive me,” Susan said.
“Good … because I forgave you a long time ago,” Punky answered. And again, I lost my shit. I only wished that Henry was there. Because the person that Punky is – well that is in large due to the love that Henry gave to her. He shaped her into the open minded, ambitious, caring parent that she is.
I am glad that Susan and Punky make plans to be in each others life. I think it will be good. I hope it will.
And then we come to Izzy’s court hearing. There is no part of me that wasn’t on the edge of my seat, thinking that if Punky was going to break my heart, Izzy would be taken from Punky. But I was wrong.
What broke my heart was the fact that Izzy’s Mom didn’t show up. It broke my heart for her because that little girl is so devoted to her Mom and Dad. She doesn’t want to let go of them and she doesn’t have to. But she deserves an explanation and I don’t want her to have to wait a life time for it.
Who does show up though? Travis. He told the band he needed a few more days and would meet up with them. He needs to be there for his family. And I personally think that they all appreciate it.
Izzy gets to stay with Punky and it’s everything, because she’s so happy. Punky is so happy. Hannah, Diego, and Daniel are happy. Cherie and Lauren are happy. This whole family is finding its footing, no matter what comes it’s way.
And what we know – Punky wants to start the adoption process for Izzy. The road may be bumpy. It may not be easy.
But, Punky is Izzy’s, Henry. And that is a powerful, life changing thing.