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!
The first few weeks of this season feel like they’ve moved at a lightning-fast pace. It’s not necessarily a good or bad thing but with all the new characters, situations, and all the catching up we’ve had to do, it felt like we were moving 100 mph. However, this week was different. Except for the grand opening of Beth’s dance studio and Baby Jack’s big day out, this episode was a lot more focused on relationships and a few past events we already knew about.
And speaking of the past, let’s start there. Kate and Rebecca are still struggling to get over Jack’s passing as the latter goes to visit Randall for lunch at college. While there, they see Beth and her mother, Carole, eating lunch together as well. Much to Randall’s chagrin, his mother invites themselves to lunch with Beth and Carole, who seems to disapprove of Randall. However, after the two kids go off to class, the two mothers have a heart to heart about their late-husbands and Carole gives Rebecca some advice about moving on. Elsewhere, Kate meets a boy at the record shop and the two talk about music and her father. The boy offers her a job on the spot, which she accepts as she too seemingly starts moving on.
In the present, Kate and Toby take Baby Jack to his first music class, which overwhelms the entire family. Driving home they fight, but keep on driving to help Jack calm down. Eventually, they make up and decide to start slower with Jack’s excursions, opting to take him to a secluded beach. Meanwhile, Kevin reflects on his time as ‘the Manny’ after learning that the show that made him a star has been canceled. As he’s doing that, he also takes Cassady and Nicky RV shopping as a distraction until their AA meeting. Both Nicky and Cassady let their walls down a bit and finally open up to Kevin’s kindness.
And, over in Philadelphia, Randall, Beth, their kids, and Beth’s mother, all help set up the grand opening of Beth’s dance studio. But thanks to a dead possum in the walls, the entire day is nearly thrown off by a horrible smell in the studio. Carole wants them to reschedule the event entirely however, Randall puts his foot down and manages to come up with a plan to set up the opening outside to avoid the horrible smell. Things are a little awkward at first as they’re shifting around the parking set-up but ultimately, the opening is a huge success and Carole tells Randall how wrong she was about the man she thought he’d become when they first met.
Honestly, as I mentioned above, it really felt like nothing really happened in this episode and that’s not necessarily a bad thing. Sure, some pretty important things went down this episode but, it felt much more introspective and character-driven than anything. And I for one, loved it. But, with an episode full of touching character moments, it wasn’t easy to choose just three for this week’s breakdown.
This one was hard, there were a lot of worthy candidates for this week’s MVP but, I think it has to go to Randall. He finally got the girl in the past (though it’s not like we didn’t expect that) and he finally earned the respect of his mother-in-law in the present. Oh, and he saved Beth’s grand opening while dealing with the news of Malik’s baby with a surprisingly level head. Big week for Randall.
Did I cry?
The streak continues. I did tear up a bit when Rebecca and Kate danced in the past but, no real tears. It’s still surprising, and a little worrying, to say but I have yet to cry during this season.
Now, here’s a look at the best three moments from tonight’s episode:
3. “It was very nice to put this together.”
Alright, this was the hardest choice of the season so far as there were at least three other scenes in the running for the third spot on this list. But, this one when Randall finally earns the respect of Beth’s mother has to be the best. Their relationship over the course of the show has been rocky, to say the least, and this short scene of catharsis pays all that off when Carole tells Randall how she was wrong and respects the man he’s become.
2. “It was originally for someone else.”
In second this week is Nicky’s big reveal about why he’s so attached to his trailer. He opens up to Kevin and Cassady about the love of his life and what he perceived as his one shot at happiness. I think its a huge moment for Nicky himself but also for his relationship with Kevin. The two are beginning to form a strong bond and Nicky is actually finding his way out of the hole he was in before thanks to that.
1. “Okay mom, dance with me.”
And finally, the best moment this week was when Rebecca and Kate danced in the living room of their condo. Like I said above, it was the moment that almost broke me as flashes of Rebecca and Jack dancing cut in and out. It was also the moment when the two Pearson women decided that it was time to move forward, no matter their lingering grief over Jack.
I think next week will be interesting because it looks like we’ll see more of the Big Three as young adults. This is a time period that’s been mentioned a lot but not really explored on-screen very much so, I’m intrigued to see what we’ll see there. Also, though the episode put Kevin and Cassady firmly in the ‘Platonic Friends’ box, the promo seems to be teasing a possible romance between the two. I still, REALLY hope that doesn’t happen. The two of them have fantastic chemistry as friends and it’s rare that you see that happen between a man and woman on TV shows. But, I guess we’ll have to wait and see.
You can check out the promo for next week’s episode, “Storybook Love,” below:
This Is Us airs Tuesdays at 7/8 C on NBC.