‘This Is Us’ Review: “Clooney”

This Is Us - Season 2
Ron Batzdorff/NBC

The title “Clooney” refers to the cat of Randall’s birth father William. This episode dove deeper into the current lives of the big three as well as gave us a glimpse of what their lives were like leading up to their father’s death. Here’s the breakdown of what we learned about the Pearson family.

This Is Us - Season 2
Ron Batzdorff/NBC

In true 90’s fashion, the Pearson teens are headed to the mall…with their parents. Kate approaches Rebecca about taking her to the mall to get a dress for the winter formal. Rebecca is pleasantly surprised that Kate wants to go shopping with her. Jack wants to tag along to get a suit for work and Kevin and Randall join as well.

Kevin is feeling down because he is not able to play football due to his broken leg and Jack is trying to cheer him. They run into Miguel who is also having a hard time because his ex-wife just got engaged. The three go to the food court where Miguel and Kevin want to wallow in their misery and optimistic Jack is out of his comfort zone.

Randall made a special Magic 8 Ball to give to a girl he likes who works at the mall. He finally works up the nerve to ask her out and when she hesitates he hands her the Magic 8 Ball which has been personalized to say, “Don’t overthink this Allison”. The girl he asks out is the same girl we saw him in the flashback of Randall and Kate after they found out about their dad’s death.

Kate has trouble finding a dress and tells her mom that she couldn’t find one that fit. We find out that the truth is that Kate has been practically starving herself to lose weight. Although one of the dresses did fit, she still wasn’t happy.

One of the most important things about the 90’s segment was a clue leading to Jack’s death. Rebecca told Jack to remind her to get batteries at the mall. After the got home Rebecca asked Jack if they forgot to buy something. “The batteries!”, I screamed helplessly as the camera zoomed in on the smoke detector with a missing battery. We’re getting closer to the house fire and although we still don’t know the exact cause of Jack’s death there are plenty of clues that the fire is connected in some way.

This Is Us - Season 2
Ron Batzdorff/NBC

Randall has been out of work for a while and although he has a job interview, he’s just not feeling it. He tells Beth that he wants to find a job that makes him as excited as he was about being a foster parent.

Before the job interview, Randall goes to William’s apartment to pick up some of his belongings. While going through a box Randall finds a love poem and some sketches of a woman. Convinced that this is William’s former lover,  Randall begins a search to find her.

Randall shows up at Beth’s office to tell her about what he found. Instead of humoring Randall asking questions, Beth gives it to him straight. She tells him that she needs him to get a job, even if it’s not his dream job. She didn’t do it in a harsh or unsupportive way but she was realistic. I love their relationship and I appreciate that Beth isn’t afraid to bring Randall back to reality when he needs to.

Randall gets a call from William’s friend while he’s in the interview, giving him information about who William was seeing. Randall meets the superintendent of the building who he believes William was in love with. He shows her the sketch and she smiles and takes him to William’s old apartment and tells him to look around. Randall looks out the window and sees a mural of Billie Holiday. He realizes that she was the lady William wrote about seeing every day.

Randall drives Beth to the apartment building and tells her that he wants to buy the building to help make the tenant’s lives better. I’m excited at the possibilities that this venture can bring to Randall and Beth’s lives.

This Is Us - Season 2
Ron Batzdorff/NBC

Kate is back in her weight loss support meetings. Kate mentions that she is getting married but dreading wedding dress shopping since nothing will fit her. Madison offers to take Kate to wedding dress boutique where they make custom gowns. Kate is surprised by her thoughtfulness and takes her up on the offer.

At the appointment, Kate discovers that Madison is bulimic. Kate tells Madison that she knows about her eating disorder and Madison storms off. Later that night Madison calls Kate and tells her that she fell. Kate goes to Madison’s house and finds out that she fainted. Madison explains that she was bulimic in high school and just recently started again. Kate shares her own struggles and insecurities with Madison and the two make-up.

This Is Us - Season 2
Ron Batzdorff/NBC

Kevin gets out of rehab and decides to spend some time with his mom, which also means spending time with Miguel. Kevin and Rebecca plan a trip to the grocery store and Miguel tags along, leaving Kevin less than thrilled. Kevin confronts Miguel at the store and Miguel explains that he is there to protect Rebecca since Kevin yelled at her the last time they were together.

At home, Kevin asks Miguel make amends and Kevin asks Miguel if he was in love with Rebecca while she was still married to Jack. Miguel tells him that would have been impossible because he viewed Jack and Rebecca as one.

Kevin asks Rebecca if she’s happy with Miguel. She explains that it’s a different relationship than she had with Jack but she’s happy. I think both of these conversations give Kevin some kind of closure with the resentment he has been holding on to towards Miguel. Hopefully, he can now see that

This Is Us airs Tuesdays 9/8c on NBC. 

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