This Is Us – “A Manny-Splendored Thing” Review

This Is Us - Season 2
Photo Source: TV Guide

For the first time ever I did not become a sopping crying mess during the lastest episode of “This Is Us”. I came close, but for once my make up remained intact. In this episode, the present day family gathered to see Kevin’s post meltdown return to the show that launched his career “The Manny”.  Kevin is nervous about the show and expresses that he wants this to be like when George Clooney returned to ER. Luckily, Sophie is there to comfort and tease him. At first, I was not sure I would like Sophie because she was so abruptly introduced to the show, but I definitely fully ship them.

As the rest of the family waits in the audience, Kate gets an invitation to sing with a band she had previously auditioned for and leaves for her first gig. Toby and Rebecca shortly follow her. In a series of flashbacks of preteen Kate, we see her getting ready for a school performance. Rebecca is extremely excited and even makes her a dress out of the dress she first performed in. Rebecca’s enthusiasm grows as she encourages and lightly critiques Kate in a way that proves to be too much for her.  She eventually drops out of the performance. This really showcases how damn hard it is to be a parent and how even the best intentions can have crushing effects. In present day, Kate nails a performance of “Landslide” until the moment that she notices her Mom.  All of the sudden she is once again filled with resentment and insecurities. It all gets to be too much for Kate after her Mom gives her a slight backhanded compliment. Kate explodes telling Rebecca how insecure she has made her feel essentially, that she would never be as good as Rebecca or what Rebecca wanted her to be. Kate storms out and leaves Toby and Rebecca in the bar in what resulted to be one my favorite moments. Toby makes a sharp declaration of being #TEAMKATE making it clear to Rebecca he would always be on Kate’s side for any argument.

Back in the set of “The Manny”, Kevin’s old director makes a last-minute change to the script. This move seemed to be triggered out of spite for the dramatic way Kevin left the show. While the new changes are slightly humiliating, after a pep talk from Sophie, Kevin decides to give it his all. This was a choice that lands him in a huge diaper.

Randall and Beth leave the live taping before it even starts due to Randall’s reluctance to fill out the papers for foster care. Once outside Randall reveals he does not feel he can do it. Beth can’t seem to fully understand and storms away. She goes to Kevin’s trailer looking for peace and runs into Kevin who reminds her how important she is to Randall which gives her some perspective as to why he is so insecure about the process.

In several flashbacks, we get some insight into Jack’s struggle with alcoholism and how he was able to quit the first time. In what I found to be the most heartbreaking scene of the episode, we see Jack confess to a Teenage Kate that he struggles with alcoholism. Kate reacts by tenderly holding her fathers face and embracing him.

Once again I leave you with a bit of comedic relief via a hilarious awkward Ellen interview with the stars of “This Is Us”. Don’t miss out on the latest episode of This is Us airing tonight on NBC and our Live Tweet Party with Tiffany at 10PM Pacific!

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Author: x0deex0

“I am, and always will be, the optimist. The hoper of far-flung hopes, and the dreamer of improbable dreams.” ― Eleventh Doctor

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