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This Is Us

This Is Us – Katie Girls (3×03)

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Origin stories are my favorite.

This Is Us is exceptional at delivering multiple timelines that somehow all fit into one big puzzle piece.

This season is much more lighthearted than the previous one as we dig into Rebeccas life before Jack, their first meeting, and how their relationship almost didn’t happen, but it still manages to pull at the heartstrings and bring out a few happy tears.

I know the season just started but this episode had all the heart and soul in it so it’s at the top of my favorites list.

Seeing how Rebecca and Jack’s love story unfolded and realizing that if she didn’t trust her gut feeling, none of the Big Three would have existed is such, is crucial. There really is a plan for all of us.

Rebecca almost fell back into a past life with Alan but we’re all so glad she jumped into a pile of uncertainty with the man who had respect for his mom, had simple dreams, and cleaned up the dishes. Or in other words, a real-life Superman.

Yes, we’re all a bit biased so Alan never stood a chance, however, despite appearing to be a very “woke” man who would have allowed Rebecca to follow her dreams, there was still a part of him that was controlling; he wasn’t completely accepting on her wild nature.

And the fact that his mother also picked up on Rebecca not being sold and even encouraged her to follow her heart speaks volumes. Mothers, they just know things.

I mentioned that This Is Us does really well when it comes to multiple timelines and somehow, they were even able to delve into Rebecca’s childhood.

Nothing about seeing her mother wait on her father’s every need appealed to Rebecca as a child so when she became a teenager she wasn’t really interested in classes focused on making her into a housewife.

Simply seeing the expectations for women back in the day sends a shiver down my spine and makes me feel really blessed that although we haven’t reached full equality, women have a lot more say and a lot more pull nowadays. Not once have I ever been discouraged from following my dreams and that just means I’ve been surrounded by some really phenomenal people in my life.

Rebecca’s family and the way she raised her children is completely different than the atmosphere she grew up in so it’s not surprising that her mother always had so much to say and was always displeased with the Pearson clan.

Much like Rebecca, Jack knew that he didn’t want the kind of home life he grew up in. Specifically, an emotionally abusive father who expected his wife to do everything for him and felt entitled to throw a sandwich with too many pickles onto the ground and demand that she make a new one.

Throughout that whole scene, I found myself internally screaming “hell no,” while simultaneously cheering on Superman Jack.

Could he be any hotter than when he stood up to his father and became overly protective of his mother? Nope, no he could not.

I will always be a sucker for a man who loves and respects his mother.

Everything about Jack and Rebecca’s beginnings right down to the scene in the grocery store and then when she wanted to say hello to his mother was goals. It just felt right.

In the present, Kate was gearing up for her invasive surgery to see if IVF would take.

Understandably, everyone was a bit nervous considering her weight made things a bit more complicated than for the average person.

Randall was way out of line coming at her about the decision to go through a risky procedure rather than adopt.

Kate has always been his number one champion and never said anything against adoption, however, as a woman who one day wants kids of my own, I understand that need.

I know Randall didn’t mean it in this way, but I couldn’t help but think that this was another instance of a man telling a woman how she should feel and what she should want.

If Kate and Toby exhausted all their options in terms of having children of their own, they would most likely turn to adoption.

And even if they do have a biological child, there is nothing stopping them from adopting later on in life either.

The point is that everyone’s choice — the choice to adopt, the choice to pay for invitro — is valid.

Though I’ll agree that Kate can become overbearing at times, in this instance, I’m glad she stood her ground and made it clear to Randall that she’s made up her mind and there’s absolutely no reason she should defend that decision.

Randall obviously came around because he realized he was out of line when he should have been supportive and flew across the country to be there for her while she underwent the procedure.

Beth’s lines about having a group chat with Miguel and Toby and being shocked that Miguel is always on the money with his analysis of the Big Three was hilarious.

As Katie girl was put under anesthesia, she a dreamlike state in which all three Kate’s came face-to-face.

The youngest Kate was naive and wanted to know if she’d marry some actor while the teenage Kate was cynical and did her best to convince adult Kate that she wasn’t ready to have a baby.

Despite teenage Kate’s best efforts to keep adult Kate trapped in her “happy place” aka a subconscious ice cream parlor with her mini-me’s and dad himself, Kate had a feeling she was going to become a mother.

“I have to go,” she told Jack to which he replied, “I know.”

As great as it was to see all versions of Kate act alongside each other, it was really special to see adult Kate in the same scene as Jack.

And he still called her Katie girl.

When she woke up, Toby was still cracking jokes and the doctor informed her that they were able to secure eight eggs.

I have a good feeling about this — eight chances for a little Toby-Kate baby! There has to be a positive and happy outcome on the horizon for her, there just has to be!

Beth’s good mood didn’t hold up because she was fired halfway into the episode and found herself struggling with no longer being the bass.

It’s so upsetting how companies treat loyal employees after they’ve devoted so much time to them. You could tell the boss regretted the decision but you know budgets and all.

When Randall prematurely returned from the trip and was wired about running against Councilman Brown, she had to put herself first and crush his dreams.

You know, I should have picked up on that storyline, but I was completely taken aback by Randall’s decision to fix things himself.

Kevin was right about one thing — since his father died, they have all fought really hard to keep his legacy alive and find new ways to feel close to him.

Randall came upon the decision to run because his father wouldn’t just sit around and do nothing.

Kevin was proud of his new status as a full-fledged movie star, but that excitement quickly disappeared when he realized during an interview that he knew nothing about his father’s time in Vietnam.

It’s the perfect segway into introducing Jack’s war story to the audience and circles back to the season 2 finale scene where we saw Kevin and Zoe on a plane to Vietnam.

I can’t wait to tackle this storyline, although I know it will make me cry almost as much as the revelation of Jack’s death.

Kevin also contacted one of Jack’s original war buddies, Mr. Robinson, who was surprised to receive mail from “Jack Pearson’s son.”

I’m going to go out on a limb and say that hearing Jack’s story through Robinson is going to stir up plenty of raw emotions.

Are you ready to tackle that storyline?

What was your favorite part of the episode?

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This Is Us

This Is Us – Our Little Island Girl (3×13)

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Beth found her way back to the love of her life. Not Randall, but the other love of her life, dance.

In order for Beth to arrive at this place in her life, we had to revisit her past which I’m not complaining about at all.

This Is Us has proven that they do time-hops really well, and it’s about time we got a deeper look at Beth’s childhood.

Seeing her past helps us understand why she is the way that she, and more importantly, why she loves Randall Pearson.

Beth’s childhood had her laser-focused on ballet, which explains the perfectionist side to her. It’s also why she always strives to be the best. That mindset was instilled in her by a strict mother who didn’t allow for failure very early on.

Sadly, her dream of being a professional ballerina was thwarted by her father’s passing. Abe suffered from lung cancer and passed away when she was just a teenager.

Shortly after, she lost out the part to the only other African American student in the class, Sonya, and when her mother found out, she forced her to choose a new path and college.

You know when mothers aren’t mad, they’re disappointed? That sums up Mrs. Clarke (hey, Phylicia Rashad!) in a nutshell.

She wasn’t upset that Bethany didn’t get the solo part because she had tried her best, but she knew they’d hit the end of the road and she wasn’t afraid to be the bearer of bad news.

While it’s devastating to watch a young Beth be told her dreams won’t come true, it’s hard to be mad at her mother, who simply wanted the best for her children and assumed a proper education was the only.

We later find out Carol’s father believed higher education was a waste for girls which explains why she pushed Beth so hard.

The as a whole was a beautiful depiction of a parents’ sacrifice so that their children can have the best and realize their dreams.

Abe worked extra shifts while Carol took on summer school just so Beth could take ballet classes. Parents love knows no bounds.

As Beth and Zoe embarked on their trip to DC to check up on Carol after she’d injured her hip,  Zoe teased Beth about clamming up and not being able to confront her mother.

And it was true. Beth couldn’t even bring up retirement without squirming in her seat.

But eventually, Beth finally had enough and aired out her grievances starting with telling her mother that she’d stripped her from her freedom and forced her to become a serious adult that wasn’t allowed to dream.

Beth’s honesty doesn’t go over well at first, however, by the morning, her mother acknowledges that while pushing her children to become the best versions of themselves, she may have gotten a little carried away.

This Is Us proves that relationships can be fixed and mended at any stage of life. It’s never too late.

This mother-daughter moment also pays tribute to the men in their lives who keep them grounded, sane, but most of all, carefree. Much like Randall, who gives Beth the space to be her best self, Abe was Carol’s perfect balance and reminded her to stop worrying for just a little; to laugh at the small things.

Beth realizes she doesn’t resent her mother for her upbringing or for forcing her to pick a different path in life because it brought her to Randall and the girls. However, she does miss being that young woman with her head in the clouds.

The trip to do DC didn’t just patch up a fraught relationship, it also gave Beth a new sense of purpose.

After years, she made her way back to a dance studio — with Randall’s support, of course — and found out she still “had it.”

But she didn’t just want to dance, she wanted to teach!

We’ve dived deeper into the Pearson’s childhood many times, but Beth has always been much of an enigma.

After seeing her childhood and getting an in-depth look at the relationship with her mother, I feel like I know Beth on a more personal level now.

And while she still maintains the pride and work ethic, she’s also become the kind of mother to her girls that she wished her mother would have been to her.

We touched briefly upon Zoe’s childhood, which we know from former episodes that she didn’t have an easy childhood, but again, it helps to see how she was growing up and how her relationship with Beth has grown.

And there’s no way I’m ever complaining about these two getting high together.

Even when they’re on cloud nine, they are supportive of each other.

Thoughts on this week’s episode?

This Is Us returns March 5, and according to the promo, we will be getting caught up with the whole Pearson clan.

But don’t get too excited. It seems Kevin fell off the wagon completely with his alcoholism while Kate’s health is in jeopardy as she’s rushed to the hospital.

Please don’t let there be anything wrong with the baby!

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This Is Us

This Is Us – Songbird Road: Part Two (3×12)

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THIS IS US Songbird Road: Part Two

Not all family reunions are happy.

In fact, the reunion took a really dark turn for a sensitive Kevin who couldn’t save his uncle from the leaky ceiling and rundown trailer.

By the end of the hour, Kevin had relapsed and it was a heartbreaking moment as Rebecca’s words “I’m so proud of you Kevin” echoed eerily in the background.

This Is Us cannot let any of the characters be happy, can they?

This season, Kevin has been the strongest he’s ever been, but This Is Us paints a picture of the bleak reality that comes with alcoholism.

Kevin is impulsive and he thrust himself into helping his uncle. But the reality of seeing his uncle drinking, contemplating suicide and being unable to connect with the Pearson clan because it was ‘too hard’ took a toll on him emotionally.

He expected things to go smoother than they did, and that’s probably because of how successful Randall has been with finding and helping people.

While This Is Us isn’t a stranger to family reunions, Nicky’s meeting with the family was vastly different from William’s. William embraced meeting his estranged son and wanted to make amends with the remainder of his time on earth.

Meanwhile, Nicky wasn’t comfortable with being pulled from his trailer nor did he really embrace the family-aspect.

As he put it, he used to be a person but that was so long ago, he doesn’t know if he can really go back to it.

He’s never going to be the uncle the Pearsons, specifically Kevin need, but he may just be the guy Kevin needs.

Kevin had good intentions, but at the end of the day, Nicky was a man stuck in his ways and used to an isolated way of life.

There’s nothing anyone could have done to change it.

However, I don’t think This Is Us writers would introduce the story if more wasn’t going to come of it.

Kevin’s clearly struggling with his addiction and the only person who knows what that’s like aside from his father is Nicky.

Something tells me we haven’t even gotten to the most beautiful part of the storyline where Nicky finds a new purpose in helping his family and making amends with his brother through them.

He’s going to have to step up and step out of his comfort zone to be there for Kevin.

I personally wasn’t the biggest fan of the Nicky storyline so I’m hoping more comes of it.

When Rebecca finally met Nicky, it felt like time had just stopped.

There was something so poetic about her coming out simply to get to know her husband’s brother, a man she didn’t even know still existed.

But seeing her and Kevin’s journey now compared to their time spent together right after Jack’s meeting with Nicky in 1992 is what made the episode so special.

I love that the series doesn’t shy away from Jack’s flaws.

Randall may have remembered how upset and out-of-sorts Jack was that day in the 90s, but Kate only remembered the sequin fight and Pearson pizza.

Kate has always been the one who put her father on a pedestal but realizing that he wasn’t always on top of his game but still for them is important for her going forward.

Randall is already a great parent, but Kate now has all the tools to be one. I mean, she’s already planning movie nights in the yard as she knows those “good moments” are what kids will remember one day.

The series showcases just how complex and fragile being a parent is. Jack was a great parent because he was himself, he allowed himself to feel his pain, yet he still found a way to be there for his children.

And we see that Kevin has always put in the effort for things he was passionate about. He did research about his baseball player’s favorite spots the same way he did about the vet centers for Nicky.

As for Rebecca, I truly think she came out to meet Nicky because she does feel guilty for not trying more. Obviously, she knew something was off with Jack, as did Randall but we won’t blame him because he was only 11.

Why didn’t Rebecca try to get more out of Jack? Was she scared to push? Was she scared of what she might find out?

With Nicky’s storyline wrapped, what comes next for the Big Three?

Randall is going to be taking office soon, however, Beth is out of town to take care of her mother. Will we finally get a glimpse of her next career choice and possibly a fast forward to her relationship with Randall?

Kate is expecting a baby boy and because of Jack and Rebecca’s parenting, she knows exactly how she wants to raise him.

And Kevin, well, he has yet another long road ahead of him. Hopefully, this doesn’t take away the only good thing in his life, Zoey.

Alright, This Is Us cravers, share your thoughts with us below!

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This Is Us

This Is Us – Songbird Road: Part One (3×11)

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This Is Us Songbird Road

That was heavy.

Jack Pearson always told everyone his brother died in the war. When it was revealed that Nicky Pearson was actually alive, fans began wondering why Jack lied.

But here’s the thing — Jack didn’t lie. Nicky was dead to Jack… figuratively speaking.

In order for family man Jack to turn his back on his own blood, we guessed that something major had to have happened in Vietnam.

We didn’t find out what transpired between the brothers, or why Jack disowned his brother and ignored all the cards he’d sent until the Big Three took the six-hour road trip to Bradford.

Kevin, Kate and Randall successfully tracked down Nicky, and were surprised to see the 70-year-old still lived in the trailer, which Kevin surmised was the equivalent of living in a “tin can.”

Nicky didn’t seem as surprised to meet the trio, but as we saw in flashbacks, Jack told Nicky about his family when he himself took that same road trip out to see his brother one final time.

As they began to question their uncle trying to find out why their father would have lied to them, we were finally clued into what transpired in Vietnam that lead Jack to make the decisions he did.

Remember the boat explosion that we assumed took Nicky’s life? Well, Nicky caused the boat explosion on accident when he was setting off grenades to “fish” with a local Vietnamese boy.

After a bit of a tussle, the grenade fell into the boat and because of a language barrier, the boy didn’t know to jump off the boat. He died, and Nicky’s world came crashing down.

It’s unlike Jack to turn his back on family, but in this situation, it’s understandable as he assumed Nicky was so high, he was a lost cause.

There’s only so much a person can take and try to do for a loved one before it becomes unbearable. Jack tried to help, but at the end of the day, Nicky didn’t want to help himself.

The episode unraveled at a slower pace than usual, but it was this slow pace that allowed us to feel every inch of emotion, regret, heartache, and pain that had been tucked away and carried by two brothers.

They were both haunted by the past, but unlike Nicky, Jack found a way to move forward.

Seeing present-day Nicky find out that his brother died in 1998 really broke my heart. Superman wasn’t invincible.

Finding out about the death really took a toll on Nicky because he never got the chance to tell his brother what really happened in Vietnam. He’s been living with the regret of taking a life and upsetting his brother his whole life.

The ending, though upsetting, wasn’t the in the slightest surprising considering how adamant Nicky was about having the Big Three leave after finding out the cause of Jack’s death.

It was hard watching Nicky, a man who let his vices control his life, who sat there and chain smoked, live out his days while a noble man like Jack perished in a fire.

I love when the writers somehow always connect the past to the present, and in this case, Jack’s advice to Kevin right before he left for his “work trip” resonated at this very moment.

Jack encouraged Kevin not to repeat his father’s mistakes, so when he was met with the choice of heading home or going back to Bradford, he chose to be there for his uncle.

That moment when he turned left instead of right sent shivers down my spine.

And it’s a good thing because if it wasn’t for the Big Three, Nicky probably would have ended his life living in that guilt and loneliness.

Now, he’s getting a second chance to meet the light that filled Jack Pearson’s life.

Miguel summed it up perfectly — Jack compartmentalized by pushing aside all the terrible things he’d encountered so that the darkness wouldn’t snuff out the light.

The only infuriating thing about this episode is that Rebecca somehow thinks less of Jack now that the truth came out.

She’s punishing herself for not inquiring more about his past and wondering why Jack lied, as if this one lie, although major, erases all the good times they had.

Despite everything, Jack was still the best husband and the best father. He wasn’t perfect, and that’s something the director and the writers have stressed over and over again.

We, the audience, put Jack up on a pedestal; I get it, he’s pretty fricking great, but he’s still human. He was flawed, he was complicated, and he was in denial.

But most importantly, he thought he was doing the best thing for his family.

Was snubbing his brother the right thing to do? At the time, he probably thought it was.

What did you think? Is Nicky the next William? Will the find a place for him in the Pearson family? Will Rebecca get the answers about her husband she’s desperately seeking?

Nicky is the only one who can tell Rebecca exactly what her husband witness during the war. She’s ready for the truth, even if Jack isn’t around to tell it to her.

Let us know how you felt about this installment of This Is Us in the comments below!

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