Kevin is out of rehab and the Pearsons are getting on with their lives in this week’s This is Us
This is Us sees Kevin (Justin Hartley) out of rehab this week and living with Rebecca (Mandy Moore) and Miguel (Jon Huertas). Kevin wants to bond with Rebecca but Miguel is finally making an effort to integrate with the Pearsons. He also wants everyone know that he wasn’t in love with Rebecca when Jack was alive. Kate (Chrissy Metz) is buying a wedding dress with Madison (Caitlin Thompson) until she uncovers Madison’s bulemic and then the two frenemies finally get bonding time. Randall (Sterling K. Brown) is on a hunt for a supposed lover of William’s (Ron Cephas Jones), turns out he was writing poetry about a mural of Lady Day (Billie Holiday) outside his window.
Back in the past Kate needs a dress for the winter formal and even though she’s a totally normal size Kate still doesn’t feel good about herself and lets Rebecca have it. Kevin doesn’t want a suit but Jack’s there to buy one for him. Randall asks out a girl and gets shut down but also doesn’t. And poor Jack (Milo Ventimiglia) and Rebecca forgot new batteries for the fire alarm.
And Randall’s buying a building! …Confused? Let’s see if our roundtable was.
Danielle (@dani_pitter): Couch potato, dreamer, writer, and recent college graduate! Also needs many tissues during This is Us, among other amazing shows. Danielle’s book blog, PoetryBooksYA, Danielle’s fansite, ParamoreRKLife.
Carole (@cbraunnj) – Costumer, teacher, admin for Outlander Forever. She makes use of her excessive tv watching by being an obsessive knitter.
1) Kevin is moving in with Rebecca and Miguel? Give us all the predictions for the brutality.
Danielle (@dani_pitter): He is…? Why?! Kevin already doesn’t like Miguel, so how would that work? Well, clearly it’s not if he’s grilling Miguel for all things that had happened in the past. Ugh!
Mel (@musiccitymel): Much like eating that Cookie Crisp cereal, I think it will be sweet at first. Then after that initial sugar rush wears off, things get uncomfortable from there. I still just don’t know how I feel about Miguel, guys. I feel like Kevin and Rebecca have some healing to do and I’m salty that Miguel is putting himself in the middle of it. On one level, I get it. But I feel like the worst part is behind them from their therapy session with Ellis Grey. Now they need to do some soul searching together. And Miguel needs to stay in his own lane for a minute.
Carole (@cbraunnj): Kevin, the Boomerang kid. Definitely not going to be easy to live with since he lacks anything that resembles a filter. I just can’t believe how Miguel takes so much from Kevin without lashing back. I say give him a medal.
Nicole (@NicoleBlades): I predict this Three’s Company situation will not last long. I also don’t want it to, because it would mean regular interactions with That Miguel, and I’m not for it!
K.M. (@kwanawrites): I enjoyed Kevin with Miguel way more than I thought I would. Not that I will ever be a Miguel fan because it’s clearly Jack’s world and we’re just living in it. But when Kev was all up in Miguel’s face with his “Why are you here?” mess I had to give props to Miguel for standing up for himself and coming back with the protection line. That was good and very needed.
2) William was writing poems about ladies? It looks like Randall is just as curious as we are! What do you think his motivations are and what do you think about the significance of it being who it was?
Danielle (@dani_pitter): At first, I’d thought he was writing about Randall’s mother, and we’d be learning more about his mother. But later on, when it was an ode to Billie Holliday, it made me miss William even more. He was such a pure soul!
Mel (@musiccitymel): William was inspired by Billie Holiday. Randall was looking for inspiration. I think the connection with the Billie Holiday song “God Bless the Child” was brilliant. Make the most of what you’ve been given. William lived by that creed. And now Randall will too.
Carole (@cbraunnj): William was crushing on Lady Day! There’s some symmetry about having William, a musical ex addict, being in love with Billie Holiday, a singing legend who never was able to cut off her own addiction.
Nicole (@NicoleBlades): Randall was robbed of so much time with his birth father. I think he’s always looking for inroads into understanding William, both the man he was and the man he became later in life. His poems were… wow. Imagine receiving those beautiful words from someone who wrote them about you? And that it was Billie Holiday in the end was bittersweet. (Lady Day also battled heroine addiction like the William character.)
K.M. (@kwanawrites): I thought that was lovely and also with the way it turned out seemed to be just a little bit of a way to give the fans what they always desire which is more William. Part of me was hoping it was about Randall’s birth mother and could maybe lead him to her family, not that I know how that could happen, but no luck. It’s funny how so much of this show keep going back to two characters that are dead and the main characters and the fans can’t seem to let go of.
3) We thought teen Kate struggling shopping for a formal dress was going to be a parallel with the wedding gown search but it appears we weren’t correct. What did you think about teenage Kate’s actual dressing room experience?
Danielle (@dani_pitter): I didn’t pay too much attention to Kate this week, which was interesting. It seems as though she just loves being miserable. She’d said it herself, “I actually liked being fat because I liked being mad at myself all the time. I liked the voice.” She’s so insecure and constantly second-guessing herself that she never knew what it was like to be happy. Having a mother who is constantly up her ass all the time about her eating healthy, weight, etc. doesn’t help either. I was disappointed when young Kate tried to squeeze into a size five dress when she KNEW the size seven fit her better.
Mel (@musiccitymel): I love that it pointed out that Kate’s struggles were not necessarily about the food or even her relationship with the food. Our self talk is a powerful thing- be it positive or negative.
Carole (@cbraunnj): The fact that Kate did the carrot diet does not surprise me. I’m surprised that she hasn’t tried other fad diets. She is a woman who has never been comfortable in her own body.
Nicole (@NicoleBlades): The actual dressing room experience was heartbreaking. Kate lashing out at her mom after the dresses didn’t fit, as she said, was also hard to see knowing that Rebecca was so excited and honored that her daughter asked her to come with her to the mall to shop for dresses in the first place.
K.M. (@kwanawrites): I thought that was really well done and so real. Poor young emo Kate. It showed how deep her issues are and how unsatisfied she is with being unsatisfied with herself. What a struggle and the writers did well paralleling it with Madison’s story. Sidebar: We really don’t see much with Kate and Beth together or Kate and Randall for that matter. I wonder why that is and if we’ll get to know that story. Their bond seems really kind or surface to me which is something I’ve never thought of until thinking of Kate with Madison.
4) What do you think of this new friendship between Madison and Kate?
Danielle (@dani_pitter): It’s…..odd lol. It’s very odd, considering that Kate hated her in the first season. But it’s good that she has a friend who is just as screwed up as she is!
Mel (@musiccitymel): I’m ok with it…..mostly….I think. I like seeing Kate helping Madison because I think she’s also helping to heal herself as a result. But Madison was really quick to pull out the bestie card. Hold up, Taylor Swift. Nobody said they were joining your girl squad just yet.
Carole (@cbraunnj): I think this new friendship seems a bit forced. The wedding dress shopping gave me the impression of being a sympathy ploy. When Kate goes to Madison’s house and they snuggle on the couch (More Madison than Kate snuggling) I felt that there’s more weirdness to follow.
Nicole (@NicoleBlades): To be honest, this was the weakest link for me. I never really “got” the whole Madison character and her storyline and now it seems like she’s going to get more screen time being Kate’s new BFF. I guess I’ll wait and see if she grows on me… but it’s not looking likely.
K.M. (@kwanawrites): It’s surprising and scary, but I like it. Kate needs a friend outside of the family that’s not Toby. This brings me back to what’s Kate’s relationship with Beth? But that’s not what we’re talking about here. Clearly Madison needs a friend too, so I hope they don’t tear each other to bits and can make the friendship work. Madison’s podcast line was hilarious.
5) Talk to us about Kevin this episode. First his conversation with Miguel and then suit shopping with Jack and his chat with Rebecca. How do you think this tied in with last week?
Danielle (@dani_pitter): Kevin one-upping Miguel like that in the supermarket, then back home….why? I understand that Kevin was the oldest, but dude wasn’t even close to his parents growing up. Why does he feel the need to overprotect her mother and Jack so much? He complained about Randall being the fave last episode, but then sizes Miguel up. Ugh I can’t with him. And again, I don’t hate Miguel!!! I’ve never hated him, before or after Jack. But this episode made me side with him even more and less with Kevin.
Mel (@musiccitymel): Kevin was still salty about Miguel’s existence last week, but he now appears to be having a change of heart. (I, on the other hand, am still suspicious.) I think he’s held a lot of resentment towards Miguel and towards Rebecca about Miguel. I’m not even sure he entirely realized just how bitter he had been until he called out Rebecca for pulling away from Miguel whenever he entered the room.
Carole (@cbraunnj): Kevin is a selfish, unfiltered person who really hasn’t changed emotionally since he was a kid. Maybe with living with Rebecca and Miguel he may have a chance to grow into being a man. It does tie in with last week because it layers onto the outbursts from both Kevin and Rebecca.
Nicole (@NicoleBlades): It was good to see Kevin trying to focused on his recovery. It was also good to see him and his mother connecting again and creating special moments with just them…uh, and Miguel. *sigh* But when he asked her if she was happy with Miguel, it was a really honest and raw moment. I appreciated Rebecca’s answer too.
I also liked the mall scenes with Kevin and his dad, especially since we’ve seen Teen Kev be so bratty and mean toward his father and his father’s alcohol addiction. And Young Kev seemed to be the push that Jack needed regarding going back to pursuing his dream: Big Three construction company.
K.M. (@kwanawrites): It was all very interesting. You could really see in younger Kevin his frustration with being the perfect son for Jack and Jack being Mr. Perfect Dad. Like he felt his dad was always “on”. It was surprising that Kev actually had a small bonding moment with Miguel on that meetup in the mall. Kev is a bit of a free spirit which is what I think Jack wanted to be, but he had the responsibility of suddenly three kids so had to take that on and be ok with that. Young Kevin is struggling with that as is the older one. As for he and Rebecca I think they are still feeling each other out. I hope this time is good for them. The kitchen talk about Miguel helped.
6) Randall needs a job so he’s buying a building? …What?
Danielle (@dani_pitter): UGHHHHHHHHH RANDALL YOU WERE SO CLOSE LMAO!! He had the perfect opportunity but chose to dodge it over his father’s love poems to a song. So basically Randall skipped an interview for a Billie Holliday song lmao Beth is gonna be pissed!!!! Beth was giving him a needed heart-to-heart; they can’t afford one parent making the money on a three-children household. And Randall is ridiculously smart; he can get any job. He just isn’t motivated enough.
Mel (@musiccitymel): Randall has realized that, much like William, his calling is to help people. We are about to see him turn this building into a place that truly changes lives. Anyone else see Big Three Homes taking on a different form here? Cause I do and I AM HERE FOR IT!!!
Carole (@cbraunnj): Actually it does make a bit of sense. Beth lost the community garden project, buying a rundown building to help better people’s lives just goes along in the mode. I think Randall is trying to honor William by giving back to the community he lived in.
Nicole (@NicoleBlades): Randall sees buying the building as a way to carrying on what William started, to carry on his legacy. From taking in Clooney the cat to the way he would knock on the super’s door to speak up for other tenants in the building having maintenance issues, William was a force (a really kind one) in that building, and Randall wants to keep that going.
K.M. (@kwanawrites): Seriously, what? I know he wants to make Beth happy but is this the way? I hope it is but I’m afraid it will just be another thing for his to deflect from his true feelings or whatever it is he’s running from. Either way part of me hopes it’s something he can get Kevin to help out with because his brother clearly needs something to do too.
7) That last shot of the fire alarm?? We need your thoughts on that.
Danielle (@dani_pitter): I didn’t get that last shot until I got it, and I gasped and cried so hard!!! We still don’t know how the fire happened, but it could have been saved if the fire alarm batteries were placed….oh, my heart hurts now. Can we just know Jack’s death already?! Rip it off like a Band-Aid lol. It’s killing me!
Mel (@musiccitymel): So Jack dies because they didn’t put batteries in the smoke alarm?! If all y’all didn’t check your smoke detectors after this episode…….
Carole (@cbraunnj): It makes me want to check every smoke alarm in my house! Little by little we are going to find out about the house fire. I think Jack was asleep on the couch and he didn’t know about the fire until it was too late.
Nicole (@NicoleBlades): I legit yelled at the screen. Holy Chekhov’s gun! That was harsh. Now the question is, what happened… did Jack run back into the house to save someone? Someone like Kate? We shall see.
K.M. (@kwanawrites): Really what up with that fire alarm? Will a missing battery and Kate’s dress shopping gone wrong be the thing that makes her think all these years later she killed her dad and ruined life as she knows it for everyone? If so I’m going to be so mad. *takes deep breaths*
Final Verdict: This is Us gives an episode with some wild swings and sharp turns, ending with a frustrating reveal
When you’re watching an episode of This is Us it takes you a few minutes to get your bearings. Then you just settle in for the ride. This just didn’t feel like one of those episodes. It felt like we were constantly trying to get our bearings with what was going on. New friendships were formed. New motivations were found. And that fire alarm!
So Kate has a new best friend now? And how will Beth react to Randall’s new found mission? What is the root of Kate’s guilt over Jack? Is it dress related? And is it just us or does Kevin seem like a total whiner especially after Jack was so great buying the suit with him in the mall?
This episode felt like a bit of a departure for the show. This felt uneven. And the Madison and Kate storyline? They detested each other and now they’re best friends for life? This relationship could have evolved in a more organic way. Though we think it might be an interesting role for Kate, to be the stable helper in a relationship. We’re interested to see if Kate will step up or if this will just complicate Kate’s life more.
Randall’s search for purpose through William was interesting. Randall is a “fixer”. But he knew William was gay. It was just odd watching him pursue a singular goal after Beth told him he needed more of a purpose. And to walk out of a job interview? It just didn’t seem very Randall-like. And is anyone buying Miguel? Some people on the roundtable are definitely warming to him. Others are still taking a hard pass.
This is Us threw us a curveball this week. But they definitely laid some interesting groundwork for some further storylines. Can’t wait to see what the team has for us next week!