This Is Us Season 2 Episode 6 Recap: "The 20's"

Photo: Courtesy of NBC.
Last week on This Is Us, we got one of the biggest reveals this season when we learned about Jack’s brother. While we don’t know too much about him yet, we did see a small flashback of them while their dad was at the bar, where Jack (Milo Ventimiglia) was being protective of his younger sibling. We also saw adult Jack looking back emotionally at a photo of them both in Vietnam. Outside of this, we saw some tough times for Kevin (Justin Hartley) as he struggled with pain killers, calling multiple doctors to try and get another refill beyond his designated prescription. We also saw Kate (Chrissy Metz) and Toby (Chris Sullivan) being adorable with the exciting news of her pregnancy, as well as Randall (Sterling K. Brown) and Déjà (Lyric Ross) begin to bond.
Spoilers ahead!
This was a big episode for Randall — He became a father! We’ve never seen 20-something Randall before, and we join him as he’s prepping the baby’s room. Beth (Susan Kelechi Watson) is literally due tomorrow. Side note: Their house is also decked out in Obama/Biden stuff. Good times. They’re both very nervous, as new parents are bound to be, but they both seem especially worried that two months ago, Randall had his first mental breakdown.
After Rebecca (Mandy Moore) arrives and he overhears his mom and wife talking about him, Randall leaves to go to the hardware store. He’s stressing looking over all the ceiling fan options, and he unloads on the kind man, G Singh, working at the store. He gives Randall some solid advice though. He talks about having five kids, and shares that it’s taught him that babies “tell you who you are” and that all his worries will subside tomorrow. Randall gets teary eyed in when he’s interrupted by a phone call from his mom. The baby is coming like, now.
He rushes home, and then Beth literally gives birth in their living room (the roads are blocked due to Halloween). He instantly falls in love, and in the end we see him tenderly putting his newborn daughter to bed.
In the past, Halloween was also a huge day for 10-year-old Randall. During trick-or-treating, a family tells Randall that he’s a blessing since his parents “lost one baby and got him instead.” It turns out, this is the first time he has heard this. Rebecca explains how she lost their third baby, Kyle, and how adopting Randall was the way it was always supposed to be for them. She ensures him that it wasn’t a secret they were keeping from him, they were just waiting until he was old enough. “I’m 10!” he tells his mom as they split a Twix.
We also saw some signs of Randall’s anxiety as a child as well. His neighborhood map to “maximize their house to candy ratio” was smart and adorable, and he was a fantastic little Michael Jackson. But, his reluctance to stray from the plans that he had made worried Rebecca.
Here’s the thing — 20-something Kevin isn’t the best version of Kevin. He’s working as a hairdresser (and apparently he’s pretty good at it!), but he’s promising every guest that it’s only until pilot season starts. He’s also really whining about being “too Tom Cruise” that no one will cast him, so much that the client tells him to quiet down.
When his roommate books a movie and invites Kevin to the cast party though, that’s where shady Kevin really peaks. He tells the casting director at the party that he’s more of the “All-American guy” that the part was looking for, over his roommate. The casting director quickly calls him on it, promising that Kevin will never work for him after trying to steal a part from his friend. Kevin comes home to a note from his roommate on his own headshot, basically telling him to get out.
He heads to Randall’s after hearing the baby news from his sister, and they have a heart-to-heart. Kevin admits that he hasn’t had an audition in a year, but we see him start making some moves afterwards as he joins an improv group back in LA.
Ten-year-old Kate has two bigger moments, looking back on it. First, she tells her mom she doesn’t want to be a vet because “it’s not pretty.” She ends up going as Sandy from Grease, specially in the yellow sweater lewk. Turns out though, Kate has a crush. Kevin calls it ridiculous because “he’s almost as popular as me.” A little rude, but it definitely says a lot about the dynamics of the siblings when they’re outside of their own family. Kate does hold hands with her crush in the haunted house, though! Even though it’s possible that Kevin traded candy for him to do so.
In 2008, 20-something Kate is a waitress (and rocking the Obama/Biden pin. Again, good times). She flirts with her “favorite customer,” whom she is definitely crushing on. When her class gets cancelled, she goes to the bar to meet him while he’s out with his friends. He quickly asks if they can “go somewhere quieter”, and Kate definitely knows it’s sus. They hook up, but when he tries to bounce right after, Kate calls him out. Turns out that Kate’s hunch was right, and he’s married. Right as their conversation ends, she gets a call from her mom announcing the birth of baby Tess.
At Randall’s house, Kate and Kevin have a heart-to-heart. Kevin asks if she’s still going back to visit where the house used to be. He also mentions that that’s not what their dad would want. To me, this basically confirms the theory that Jack dies in a house fire.
In the end, we see Kate moving to LA and starting what looks closer to her current life.
Rebecca has a lot of moments with Randall throughout this episode. She’s at Randall’s with him and Beth when their first child is born. She tells Randall more about the circumstances of his adoption for the first time. We learn a lot about life is like for her after Jack’s death.
In the flashback, she mentions to Jack how much she wished that he had been there for the pivotal moment in Randall and their lives when she had to have the conversation with him about Kyle, the baby they had lost. We see this come back again when Randall finds his mom crying in the kitchen right after her first grandchild was born. She calls it the happiest moment of her life, but also one of the saddest. This is because it gave her a heartbreaking realization that she’s going to have to go through all of these incredible moments in her children’s life without Jack by her side.
We also see a side-by-side moment of Rebecca introducing herself to baby Randall and a baby Tess. She speaks a lot about how much of a journey life is, and we also see the first time she really brings Randall into their family and calls herself his mom.
In the final scene, she’s on Facebook (which Beth set up for her earlier so she could see photos of the baby), and gets a message from Miguel. Can you hear me gasping? It basically breaks the ice between them, asking how she is, saying he lives in Houston now and mentions that they haven’t talked in eight years. I definitely think this is where their relationship starts!
There wasn’t a ton of Jack in this episode. We saw him being protective over Kate while she has her first crush, and saw him comforting Rebecca after she had her talk with Randall.
Mostly, we saw the effects of his death on his family eight years after. We hadn’t seen the Pearsons in this stage yet, and it showed us a lot about each of them and highlighted some major turning points that show how we got from the teenage Pearsons to the present-day Pearsons.
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