This week’s “This is Us” showcased Jack and his journey to sobriety. We see him beginning to open up at his AA meetings and completing his steps outside of AA. The communication between Rebecca and Jack is lacking-his AA group is finding out more about his feelings than Rebecca is. When a date night between the two starts awkwardly, he opens up. With some prodding, they have a really honest conversation where Jack reveals secrets. He shares just how hard getting sober is and how much more difficult it is for him to communicate with Rebecca. They seem to come out of this stronger and somehow gain a dog in the process!
Because “This is Us” relies on flashbacks to tell a full story, the episode was filled with them. Cue teenage Randall submitting a classified, hoping to find his biological parents. Because the only way this can end is with teenage Randall’s heart broken, the letter he receives from “his mom” is most definitely a fake. Randall reluctantly tells the twins what he is doing and they go with him. I loved that they supported him because so far in the young history of “The Big 3,” it’s been all about Kevin’s jealousy and Kate’s insecurities. At the park, a white woman pretends to be Randall’s mom but he immediately recognizes that she is not his bioparent when she asks for money.
Present day Randall is obsessing about his potential foster child. He and Beth have not gotten any info despite being approved to foster and he handles it in a very “Randall” way. They get the call and 12 year old Deja is placed in their care. At first meeting, the family is anxious and Deja has poker face as she is being shown around the home. Randall expresses his insecurities to the case manager who reassures him-while not sugar coating the fact that fostering isn’t always easy. The first challenge involves Deja, a pack of cigarettes, Beth being called a bitch by Deja and the latter flinching when Randall asks what’s wrong. Having worked in the foster care system for many years, I’ve seen many kids flinch like this. I had the same thoughts as Beth and Randall: that someone hurt her badly.
A standout emotionally charged scene related to the fostering of Deja involved the tiniest Pearson, Annie. Remembering the first night William stayed in their home, Annie caught him trying to quietly sneak out. In trying to get him to stay, she shares a story about having to leave a friend’s sleepover early due to fear. She elaborated that later on she was sad about the fun she missed out on. It was a nice relay to how potentially the family will need to react to Deja’s presence in their lives.
Present day Kate visits Kevin on the set of his new film and has a major case of fangirl when meets his costar, Sylvester Stallone. Kate earnestly thanks Stallone for the bond that she was able to have with her father through his movies. Stallone asks Kate to invite her father on set so he can meet him and she lets him know her dad died many years ago. Stallone shares some comforting words with Kate regarding loss and tries to offer the same comfort to Kevin right before an important scene. This throws Kevin off, causing him to struggle with his lines.
Kevin confronts Kate about her interference and she suggests that he try grief counseling. This sets Kevin off and he flings out the accusation that he wasn’t “sad and damaged” like her. Still unfocused, Kevin returns to set and promptly injures his leg. Popping pain medication, he calls Kate and they make up. She expresses concern about his knee but he downplays it. It appears that this injury will be Kevin’s main plot line this season. Looks like we’ll find out soon.
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