This Is Us Season 2, Episode 5 Recap: "Brothers"

Photo: Courtesy of NBC.
Last week’s This Is Us ended with a major, exciting bombshell — Kate (Chrissy Metz) is pregnant! After watching Toby (Chris Sullivan) worry about her health throughout the episode, this last scene felt like a huge positive sigh of relief. Throughout the rest of the Pearsons, we saw Randall (Sterling K Brown) and Beth (Susan Kelechi Watson) struggle a bit in their first real parenting moment with Déjà (Lyric Ross). Kevin (Justin Hartley) also has been struggling with his knee post-surgery, but we saw him rolling up to set in the end (even though this also felt a bit uncomfortable).
Major spoilers ahead!
We really saw two very different, but equally shocking sides of Kevin during this episode. When in the past, we see Young Kevin out on a camping trip with his dad and brother. Jack (Milo Ventimiglia) is trying to make his sons be friends, but to be brutally honest, Kevin (Parker Bates) is just a jerk. He’s rude to Randall (Lonnie Chavis) a handful of times, and it really all peaks at the beginning of their trip. After being sent to the tent as punishment, Kevin finds Randall’s notebook. Inside, it says things like “If Kevin thinks you’re being annoying, think of the Karate Kid” and “Don’t ask Kevin for his Game Boy.” Thankfully, after having a bit of a sad realization, we see Kevin and Randall roasting marshmallows together and it’s pretty apparent that Young Kevin is going to try and make an effort.
Present Day Kevin though is fighting some serious demons. At Sophie’s (Alexandra Breckenridge) house in New York, he’s in the kitchen on the phone. He’s calling his doctor to try and get a refill on his Vicodin, even though he tells Sophie that it’s Kate. He mentions how they’ve already gone through all the refills, and he’s hoping he can get a couple more. We also see him throw back a few beers while Sophie is trying on dress options for a gala later that night, and she expresses how she wants him to pace himself before a “long night of schmoozing.”
During the gala, Kevin gets a call back from his doctor right as Sophie is trying to introduce him for the “Win a date with the Manny” auction. While he leaves her hanging on stage, he’s yelling at his doctor for refusing to refill his prescription. He also is drinking pretty heavily at this event, and tells Randall he normally “tries not to feel anything." None of these feel like signs of a good thing.
When he gets back to the table, Sophie is NOT happy that he messed up. And, I mean, she has every right. She’s mad that he missed coming on stage, mad he embarrassed her, mad he got drunk at her event. Kevin lies to Sophie telling her that Ron called (second lie that day). She says he’s been being weird since he got to New York earlier that weekend, and you can tell she's worried. In the end of the episode, we hear Kevin calling another old doctor asking for more painkillers.
Kevin is chilling at Randall’s house before going to Sophie’s, and Randall is pretty worried about him and Déjà together. He tells his brother to tread lightly, but it’s pretty obvious that she’s down for Kevin’s flirty personality. Déjà even pipes up and asks if she can go to the gala with Kevin that night! Randall agrees to take her, but he’s super nervous. As is Beth, who thinks that Déjà is crushing on Kevin (she’s not wrong). Beth literally tells her husband “your brother is smoking hot” which, lol.
When they make it to the gala, Kevin is so good with Déjà and we see Randall get a little bit jealous of that. When Déjà and Randall have a little bit of a falling out (similar to when she first arrived at the house), Randall tells his brother that he’s feeling envious of how easily he makes her feel comfortable. Their relationship has a change for the better though towards the end. Randall waits for Déjà in the women’s room (where she’s been avoiding him) and she starts to open up to her new foster dad. She starts to tell him about how her second to last home was the worst, and that everyone was always in trouble there. Her foster mom’s boyfriend used to “use the magazines on them because they didn’t bruise much”, and that’s why she doesn’t like being grabbed, especially by Randall. They leave the gala and have a real father and daughter feels moment in the car on the way home. It’s nice to see Déjà opening up to the Pearson's, which much be so hard for her.
Rebecca (Mandy Moore) actually played a pretty small role in this episode. While the boys are away camping, she is going to take Kate for a girls day of movies and manicures. Right as they’re about to leave the house, she gets a call from the nursing home that Jack’s dad is close to passing. She can’t get in touch with Jack, who is out in the wilderness. In a spur of the moment decision, she goes to meet her father-in-law for the first time. In an interesting way, she reminded me a lot of Beth her. Her mannerisms were very similar to Beth with William, and it’s kind of nice to see that reflection between mother and daughter-in-law.
Eventually, she gets Jack on the phone. He’s not interested in talking to his dad, which is understandable with what we’ve seen. She goes to her father-in-law and tells him how fantastic of a husband and father his son is before leaving one final time.
Kate kicked things off on the sweetest note ever by telling Toby she’s pregnant (he mistakenly thinks that she’s coming to his office to have sex). His reaction is so adorable —“The greatest thing I’ve ever heard in my whole life!” She’s worried though as her pregnancy is high-risk at the moment, so she doesn't want Toby to get too excited. She asks that he keeps his hopes and dreams about being a dad to himself until the baby is “living outside of her.”
After getting into a small fender bender outside of her group, she has to tell someone outside of her and her fiance that she’s pregnant for the first time. While she’s nervous, it feels good! She wants Toby to experience this too, so surprises him by taking him to a coffee and saying that he can tell anyone in there that they’re having a baby. Toby is OTT but it’s pretty funny — he’s dancing around the coffee shop and literally celebrating like crazy, but can you blame him? This is such a happy moment for them.
Jack is being Ultimate Dad, and taking his sons camping to try and force them to get along. While they’re out there, he hears from Rebecca that his dad is dying. He tells her that he’s not interested in coming back to see his father, and that he has nothing to say to him. “That man’s been dead to me for a long time” he explains to his wife over the phone.
In a flashback, we see Young Jack (Joaquin Obradors) going fishing with his dad. His dad stops for a drink, and leaves him in the car. Jack is worried, repeating “he’s coming back” over and over while we can see his dad through the window at the bar. Eventually, his brother (we haven’t seen him before!) wakes up in the car. They banter a bit, and Jack has to tell him that he thinks their dad won’t be back for a while. He makes sure his brother knows that he’s not going anywhere though.
Coming back to Adult Jack, he’s thinking about this memory while lying in bed after they get home from camping. He goes downstairs and pulls out some old photos, specifically ones of him during the war. Emotionally looking back on one of him and some other guys, he focuses in on his brother, who is also hanging out on the Army base.
This introduction of the new character is interesting, especially since we haven’t heard a word about him in the one and a half seasons we’ve know the Pearson's. Also, Rebecca and Jack didn’t meet until after Jack got back from the war. So, hypothetically, if something happened to Jack’s brother, she could not even know about him,
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