Last week on This Is Us, we met up with the Big Three in a time we’d never seen them before — Their 20s. Randall (Sterling K. Brown) and Beth (Susan Kelechi Watson) were expecting their first child. Kevin (Justin Hartley) and Kate (Chrissy Metz) were still figuring out exactly what their life plans were, but we saw Kevin renew his passion for acting and Kate make some big moves, ending up out in L.A. We also saw a huge reveal when it comes to Rebecca (Mandy Moore) and Miguel’s (Jon Huertas) relationship. Turns out, he hit her up on Facebook in 2008 and that’s how they started talking again.
Spoilers for this week’s This Is Us ahead!
Kevin’s current struggles are showing a side of him that’s really hard to watch. He wakes up to a call from Sophie (Alexandra Breckenridge) and he pushes going to see her for the third time. She says that he feels like he’s stalling moving out there, and she’s obviously upset. Kevin also got his hands on more painkillers – we last saw him calling a bunch of doctors trying to get more.
Before getting on the plane (I guess he changed his mind), we see Kevin buying an engagement ring for Sophie. He’s definitely acting strange — he’s jumpy and a little rude to the salesperson and then he buys three rings on a whim. Kate also notices it earlier in the show when he’s over at her and Toby’s (Chris Sullivan).
When Kevin gets to New York, he shows up at Sophie’s hospital and falls asleep there waiting for her. He has a little dream about being a dad and a husband, and he seems pretty absent throughout all of it. He wakes up in a bit of a shock. Originally, I thought this scene was showing that he was going to realize he was struggling, but the exact opposite happened. He shows up at Sophie’s door and more or less breaks up with her. He tells her that he’s an “empty shell” and that he’s saving her from “40 years of disappointment." Sophie slams the door on him.
It was a pretty rough episode for Kevin, and I’m really hoping things turn around for him soon. It’s heartbreaking to watch him struggle, and I was really rooting for him and Sophie. With this already being their second chance, I worry it’s too late for them.
Randall’s plot was basically a parallel between his father’s life and his own life. While the scenes aren’t totally connected, it’s easy to see how the experiences draw from one another.
With a young William (Jermel Nakia), we see him going to jail in the beginning of the episode. He calls himself “the most disappointed man you’ve ever met” and tells the judge about how his mother, girlfriend, and son have all left his life in one year. After his sentencing, the judge comes back and talks to him. He tells William that he feels like the second most disappointed man because he constantly has to write terrible stories. He asks William to focus on finding a different ending for himself if he changes his sentence. He tells him to remember his face each time he has to make a decision that could alter this ending, and we see this immediately affect William. Right when he leaves the jail, we see him decide to separate himself from his old friends.
Later, we see an older William (Ron Cephas Jones) being told that the cancer treatment isn’t working. He heads back to his house, and we see him contemplate using heroin again. Right in this moment, Randall knocks on the door and introduces himself as his biological son. It’s wild to see this moment come full circle, and just how life-altering Randall ended up being towards the end of his biological father’s life.
With Randall, he’s taking Déjà (Lyric Ross) to see her mom in jail. We find out that this is court mandated, along with learning that Déjà’s mom is in jail due to having an unlicensed gun. When they get there, Déjà’s mom opts out of seeing her daughter. It’s sad because Déjà was obviously very excited and you can tell she’s heartbroken. She even tells Randall that she was saving her allowance to give to her mother’s commissary.
Later that night, Randall goes back to the jail and actually has a face-to-face conversation with Déjà’s mom. She was jumped, and says that she opted out of the visit earlier because she didn’t want her daughter to see her like this. She speaks about Lonzo, her boyfriend, who she says is the whole reason she “got into this mess.” She also has some pretty heated comments for Randall, which are totally valid. “Don’t you dare say I got here by choice” she tells him as she explains that “that’s what people with choices say."
Randall is very cool, calm and collected throughout this entire interaction. He tells her that Déjà is doing great, and that they’re looking into enrolling her and the middle school close to their house. Déjà’s mom is not totally sold, and lets Randall know that “if you want to know what’s best for her, it’s me.”
It’s hard to pick a side during this scene, because both of them have totally valid points. Obviously Randall thought so too. He gave Déjà’s mom their number and told her to call tonight. You can tell Déjà really appreciated speaking to her mother as well, which is so sweet. Randall talks to Beth about how he was thinking about the decisions that all these people made in his life that gave him the choices that he had, which really connects us back to William as well as Jack (Milo Ventimiglia) and Rebecca’s plot with their legal adoption of Randall.
Jack & Rebecca
We spent a lot of time with Jack and Rebecca in this episode, and we learned a lot about the story behind them legally adopting Randall. It's a normal process; they had a few home visits and interviews and such. All is going well until they go to the court for what is supposed to be a quick approval following a glowing recommendation. The first judge says that he has a few questions and needs to talk to their caseworker, so they’ll need to reschedule. When they run into him in the courthouse lobby, Jack quickly pulls him aside. The judge tells them that he thinks that Randall should be with a Black family. Jack and Rebecca are obviously upset by this, but are determined to make sure that they can legally adopt their son. Rebecca sends him a letter with a family portrait explaining that Randall is their son, he’s been with them for over a year, and basically proves this judge wrong. When they head back to the courthouse a few weeks later, the judge has recused himself and Randall legally becomes their son. It’s such a sweet moment for them all, but the story itself just highlighted how often being an interracial family is brought up to the Pearsons.
Kate and Toby are the cutest thing this season, and this episode was no exception.
They told Kevin about the baby, which is so exciting! Their reveal – unzipping matching hoodies to show they have “baby” shirts on – was lame but funny. They’re such a genuine couple! Afterwards, they plan on telling Toby’s mom, but he’s nervous. Apparently she's very traditional, and was extremely upset when they said they were moving in together. Kate suggests they just go get married at the courthouse if them being unwed is what's going to freak out her future mother-in-law.
When they head down to get their marriage license though, Kate mentions a few things and Toby takes note. She talks about how she’s grateful that she won’t have to deal with “none of the pretty dresses” being her size, no one coming up to her and saying that her “dad would’ve loved the day” and no stressing over who will walk her down the aisle.
When they get home, Toby starts talking to Jack’s ashes for advice. He mentions that Kate loves weddings, and that he’s not sure this is what she really wants. Apparently she even watches Say Yes To The Dress with a special notebook like she’s studying.
Surprise! When Kate gets home, Toby has a whole emotional proposal set up for her. He tells her that he called his mom and told her, and that he wants to give Kate whatever she wants. If she wants to go to the courthouse, that’s perfect. But if she wants to walk down the aisle with her “two stupidly handsome brothers” and “spend an obscene amount of money on the perfect white dress,” that’s fine too. He even spends $200 on personalized hoodies, just like their baby announcement.
These two are so cute and nice with each other. It’s sweet to see their genuine relationship and just how much they care for each other!
There was one cute part where the two judges, William’s judge and Jack and Kate’s judge, interacted like it was just another casual day at the office. It was cheesy, cute, and showed just how intertwined life is. Isn’t that why we love This Is Us?
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