Before diving in on this week’s breakdown, check out Def Pen’s breakdown of last week’s episode if you missed it or just need a refresher!
Let’s just jump right into it this week. In the past, after Kate and Rebecca learned about Kevin’s marriage last week, the latter decides to throw a dinner party in celebration. But, as most dinner parties do, things fall apart as the Big Three fight over their significant others. Rebecca then steps in to break it up, ruining the mood in the process. After a heart-to-heart with Miguel though, she’s able to salvage the night and bring everyone back into good spirits. Meanwhile, in the present, Kevin desperately tries to help Cassidy and Nicky but is shut down for nearly the entire episode. First, it’s when Nicky leaves the hockey game honoring combat vets and then when Cassidy’s ex-husband leaves as well. He gets some insight into both though when they leave and Nicky surprisingly opens up to him yet again.
A little ways away in Philadelphia, Randall and Beth struggle to help Tess deal with a panic attack during school. When she lashes out at Randall though, he starts to spiral himself. It’s then up to Beth to recall some knowledge that William gave her back before her death. And, like any good momma bear, she sits the two of them down and talks some sense into them. Randall and Tess make-up and while they’re not out of the woods by any means, Beth makes sure they’re fighting this together. Across the country, Kate and Toby wait on a surprise from Randall. After guessing throughout the entire episode, Rebecca shows up with the family’s old piano. As she guides the movers who unload it, a younger Rebecca sings ‘Storybook Love,’ wrapping up the episode’s numerous storylines.
So, I’m not going to lie, the first half of this episode wasn’t doing it for me. It was good, don’t get me wrong but, it felt like it was just there to get us to the week. Then the back half kicked in and it quickly became one of my favorites of the entire season. It may still serve as a set-up episode for dominoes that’ll topple later this season but, it had everything you’d want in an episode of This Is Us. AND, it even managed to squeeze in a Princess Bride connection, and that’ll get me in every time.
Just like every other week, the MVP award could’ve gone to a lot of people. But, for my money, I say it’s Beth. Her flashback gave us a cameo from the always-incredible Ron Cephas Jones as Randall’s biological father, William. THEN, she used a lesson he gave her in the past to help her struggling family in the present. True queen shit right there. (<—-remove this if you think it’s too goofy @Jared lol)
Did I cry?
Yep. The streak officially ends at four weeks. The last 20ish minutes of the episode was an onslaught of great moment after great moment but I held strong. Then Rebecca broke out the ‘Storybook Love’ and I broke. It’s one of the simplest, greatest love songs ever written (don’t @ me) set to an incredible montage of this week’s loose ends being tied up.
Now, here’s a look at the best three moments from tonight’s episode:
3. “How good were you today Kevin?”
This one was hard. The top two moments this week were pretty clear before the episode even ended but, the third spot kept on changing. But, I think it has to go with this one. It drives home the episode’s focus on fatherhood and what we pass down through generations. And, it also shows that Nicky is starting to open up to Kevin, which is probably my favorite relationship in the series right now.
2. “That’s when it became a perfect night.”
So, this is one of those patented Big Pearson Speeches this show is known for and usually, those moments take the top spot. And this one very likely would’ve any other week but, Beth’s speech was just too good. Anyway, this ties together basically all the timelines this week into one short (and hilarious) story about Jack catching a bird. Rebecca reminds everyone to just enjoy each other’s presence and not to sweat the little things, which echoes across the various stories happening this episode.
1. “You two don’t like this thing you have in common.”
I mean could it be any other moment this week? Beth had what is arguably her best moment of the entire series. She sat her husband and daughter down as she talked some sense into them about their shared anxiety. She didn’t do it condescendingly in the slightest and even managed to invoke William in the process. There’s not much else to say, it definitely won’t be the last we see of either Randall or Tess’ anxiety issues. But, Beth is getting ahead of it and declaring that they won’t be dealing with it alone.
I think we’ll see more of Nicky opening up over the next week for sure. He’ll probably fall off the wagon again here soon, before the mid-season break, but first, we’re going to see he and Kevin grow closer. I also think we’ll see more Kate’s relationship with her record shop boyfriend. The end of the episode certainly teased some juicy drama there and I can’t wait to find out what it is.
You can check out the promo for next week’s episode, “The Club,” below:
This Is Us airs Tuesdays at 7/8 C on NBC.