“This Is Us” is a show that travels through different timelines to tell the story of the Pearson family. Lucky for you I have watched Doctor Who for many years and therefore an expert at managing the past and present with no problem.
This week we start off in the past. “The Big 3” are ten years old, Kevin and Kate have just been diagnosed with chicken pox. The Doctor asks if Jack and Rebecca have had chicken Pox and they both reply “yes”. (Spoiler alert one of them is wrong) The good doc also advises for Randall to be exposed so they can get it out-of-the-way together. This culminates with a half-naked Randall wanting to increase his chances of catching the virus before his science fair. Rebecca immediately tells him to get dressed because it is a snowy winter day.
Enter Rebecca’s Mom who has traveled to help Rebecca with the kids and will not be able to travel back anytime soon due to the winter storm. A fact that Rebecca laments to Jack when she asks him for emotional support. We know that Rebecca’s Mom is kind of the worst thanks to the Thanksgiving episode. When the family had car trouble that resulting in getting stranded, staying at a creepy inn, and eating crappy snacks. They still had a way better time than Thanksgiving at Grandma’s.
We get more insight into just how bad Grandma is when she gives presents to “The Big 3”. Kevin gets a baseball and an abundant amount of praise. Kate gets a mermaid dress that is way too small along with some cutting remarks about how it can be a “goal” to fit into it. [ Yo, adult Kate I hope you saved some of the pent up resentment you have for your Mom for your grandmother because she kinda sucks.] But the WORST present is a basketball for Randall, which is apparently the third she has given him. When child genius Randall tells her he is not really into basketball, she replies with “ Everyone should have something they’re good at.” [Brief break while I throw a pillow at the wall].
Jack is then seen trying to toughen up Kevin who has been complaining non stop about chicken pox is the worst.
Rebecca is now left all alone to deal with her racist mother. We had our suspicions she was racist. But she made it very clear with the way she separated Randall from the twins and with a story about Rebecca’s black Childhood maid Cora.
Rebecca and Mom finally have a confrontation rivaling the one that adult Kate and Rebecca had in episode two. Oh man it truly is the circle of life. [Brief intermission while I listen to the lion king real quick] Rebecca tells her Mom that while she’s not really a good family member to any other member of her family she is just flat out racist to Randall. Rebecca even lists off some other incidents we come to see this is not the first time Grandma has exhibited racist behavior. While I have had my ups and downs with some of Rebecca’s choices, I fully had her back when she defended my favorite Pearson child, You go girl! Grandma denied it but ain’t nobody have time for her excuses. My feeling of pride was quickly crushed when it was revealed that said favorite tiny Pearson was listening to the conversation, little Randall looks so crushed. The next day Super Daddy Jack comes to the rescue when he takes his chicken pox infected body and shovels snow so that Grandma can finally leave, Kevin helps too. Before her departure Grandma tries to make amends with Randall by showing interest in his science project. She tell him he’s a special young man, and he replies “took you long enough” [another pause while I work through my anger for Grandma]
In the present, Beth and Randall are still on shaky ground when it comes to foster daughter Deja. Currently the issue is that Deja has not washed or combed her hair. Beth wants to have a conversation about it but Randall begs to take the lead with this issue, his solution… going bowling??? Things take a realistic turn and do not go well, a girl makes fun of Deja and Deja pushes her,things escalate when the girl’s dad gets involved. Randall steps up and things get heated, surprisingly this did not end with Deja washing her hair.
Later Beth addresses the issue with Deja one on one. She gives her a choice of going to the salon or letting Beth wash and style her hair, she chooses Beth! It is during this peaceful time together that Beth discovered why Deja neglected her hair, stress induced alopecia. Beth’s sister also had it and she’s able to give Explain it to Deja. [This scene was so incredibly sweet in the way that Beth was gentle not just with Deja’s hair but in the way she gave Deja space and time to tell her own story]
Beth excitedly tells Randall about the breakthrough she had with Deja. He later approaches Deja who now has a beautiful new braids and apologizes for the situation in the bowling alley. In an effort to connect with her he shares the issues with his own anxiety and invites her running with him as that is his coping skill. Deja is not happy that Beth told him.
Brace yo self because this next scene left me gutted. Deja takes a pair of scissors and chops of her hair trying to butcher it as much as she cans. She then walks into the kitchen to debut her new look to the rest of the family having breakfast. It was really the look on Beth’s face that left me sobbing it was a mixture of horror and grief.
In LA, adult Kevin is still attempting to continue work with a very messed up knee. He is found out by his producer and end up having surgery. Kevin then tries to speed up his recovery by eliminating it all together and attempting to do things like walk on a treadmill and not take pain medication. He later confides in Toby that his knee ruined his football career and he will not let it ruin something else. Later he watches old videos his dad filmed for football scouts, Kevin overall looks very sad but finally takes his pain medication. [I don’t know how I’m suppose to feel about the meds, like he’s not in pain anymore but the scene felt like it was foreshadowing something dark] Kevin then goes back to work.
Toby was only invested in Kevin’s recovery, He had noticed that Kate had been acting strange, obsessing over food and exercise. Later we see Kate at the doctor’s office [I originally thought she was trying to get the weight loss surgery again] and guess what???? She’s pregnant!!!
I couldn’t even really react to Kate because I was still mourning Deja’s hair. Don’t miss out on the newest episode of THis is Us tonight on NBC. Plus join our Live Tweet Party on Twitter at 10PM PST and tweet the episode with us!