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?
This Is Us – The Beginning is the End is the Beginning (3×09)
My jaw was on the ground tonight after the winter finale of This Is Us which seemed to be the desired outcome, but I wasn’t completely satisfied or fulfilled.
The writers packed so much into the less-than-an-hour long episode that I felt just as overhwelmed as I did underwhelmed. How is this show able to bring out so many emotions out of me?
The potential for storylines is there, it’s never been an area the writers lacked in, but instead of providing some answers, I came out with plenty of questions.
Do Randall and Beth get divorced? Why is their relationship so fraught in the flash-forward timelines? Was it because of Randall’s decision to continue with the campaign? Is there a possibility that he wins? Why does future Beth need a “Pin the Tail on the Donkey” game to go to Rebecca’s house? That’s what the Big Three always played so is this some kind of goodbye? Who died in the boat explosion? Did Jack know his brother survived?
Holy shit, Nicky Pearson is alive.
Yes, all of this will keep me hooked until 2019, but talk about keeping me on the edge of my seat in hopes that I’ll come back to watch. Come on, This Is Us. You know I’d never leave you!
Let’s grab that glass of wine we didn’t plan on drinking tonight and dissect everything that went down. We’re probably going to need a whole bottle.
I guess Nicky Pearson is a good place to kick things off with. In between punching his patient brother and getting high to numb the pain, Nicky survived the mission.
And he’s alive, though definitely still numbing the pain, in the present day.
Since the whole Pearson clan believed Nicky died in the war, it’s likely that he lost contact with Jack because he didn’t want to continue “dissapointing” him.
Instead, he let his family believe he was dead. I’ll even go out on a limb and assume that Jack believed this whole time that his baby bro died in the boat explosion.
However, since his name wasn’t listed on the memorial, someone must have known he was still alive.
I can’t wait for Kevin’s documentary to unearth the real story and possibly reunite Nicky with Jack’s children. Can you imagine living your whole life not knowing that there was this whole family out there and then finally meeting them?
Zoey said it first, this isn’t the end of the story, this is just the beginning.
This Is Us has a way of showing you that life is an endless road of ups, downs and possibilities you’d never even imagine.
I couldn’t hold back the tears as I watched Kevin roam the very same fields where his father fought, especially since it was contrasted with Jack’s time there.
Like the Vietnamese historian told Kevin when met with him, it may not be the answers he was looking for but it’s a huge feat that they are peacefully sharing a meal and exchanging stories about their brave fathers. We’ve come a long way.
I wish Kevin was more impressed or touched by the experience but he was simply mad he didn’t find out what he came for.
Though the Nicky reveal is unexpected and major — something we’ve come to expect from This Is Us — I am slightly dissapointed that the historian wasn’t the little boy that Jack helped cure back in the day. I was convinced he was going to recognize his mother in the picture and give us some insight as to the necklace.
Kate is expecting the worst when it comes to her baby, which is understandable for someone who has only experienced loss and pushback for most of her life.
Toby and Kate aren’t optimistic people by all means and that’s fine, but it was nice to see them embrace this moment and finally allow themselves to celebrate.
In the end, if Kate were to lose the baby, it would be just as heartbreaking as if they’d celebrated his creation.
And maybe sending good vibes into the universe will give their fate a little push in the right direction.
As will Kate focusing on pursuing some personal goals of her own so she isn’t stressed out and focusing on what could go wrong all the time.
I’m here for back-to-school Kate. Toby is the sweetest husband in the world for always lifting her up. We know it isn’t always easy for him.
And yes, I did refer to Kate’s baby as a he because their cake revealed that they are expecting a baby boy!
I’m not sure on how much time has passed between this moment and the flash-forward’s we are seeing with Randall and Tess, but my guess is that Beth is bringing the game over to Rebecca’s house to celebrate Kate’s son’s birthday.
Now, you know nothing is ever as it seems with this show, but I’m going to say that’s a pretty logical guess.
One thing I hope I’m really wrong about is Randall and Beth’s divorce down the line.
There was a lot of betrayal, secrets, lies, and tension but this is family that always finds its way out in love!
Someone, anyone, please tell me that scene with Randall and Tess going to meet up Beth in the future didn’t give you “they’re divorced” vibes!
Beth and Randall are the most solid relationship on this series. They are stronger than Rebecca and Jack which says a lot.
I can’t fathom that a disagreement over Randall’s candidacy for Mayor would cause such a rift that they’d end up divorced.
On the plus side, the “her” in question this whole time is Beth. Hey, I assumed she was gravely ill so at least we know she’s doing just fine.
And Rebecca is still alive, so that’s good! If my math is correct, she’s deep in her 80s so given how apprhensive everyone is about this gathering, I’m not sure her condition is that great. But for now, I’m going to say it’s a good sign she’s still alive. Maybe everyone’s just nervous because so far into the future, a lot has changed? Maybe they aren’t as close anymore?
Beth is right that things have gotten complicated at home with Tess’ announcement and Deja wanting to reconnect with her birth mother, but what did she expect was going to happen when it came to raising three girls?
I want to be on Beth’s side here, I really do, but she was overly supportive of Randall and pushed him to crush the debate, which he did, by the way. He Serene’d it!
But the moment the numbers came back negative and things got a little bit hectic at home she wanted him to drop out completely?
I respect Randall for sticking through it even in the face of loss.
The numbers may not be weighing in his favor but after that debate, I’m thinking people will change their mind.
And if they don’t, he’ll lose with grace and they can go on with the next chapter of their lives.
Seeing her react so strongly to him wanting to carry out his promise to the people makes me think she didn’t believe he’d win in the first place.
And before you all say that he made a promise that he’d drop all of this the moment she wasn’t on-board, it’s pretty messed up for her to expect him to drop it when he’s so close to the finish line.
Beth, come on!
I am going to be so upset if this fight — and they’ve had worse — is the straw that broke the camel’s back!
On another upside (they feel so limited sometimes, don’t they?), it seems Beth landed back on her feet professionally and even put her dance degree to good use by opening up her own ballet school. She seems rather important based on her interaction with the personal assistant!
- Elder Rebecca is so wise and her advice about being honest and living your truth is so key. Tess is lucky to have such a caring grandmother.
- I am dissapointed Aunt Kate betrayed Tess’ trust and told her mother about what she was going through.
- Randall and Beth’s acceptance of their daughter is everything. We need more of that nowadays so parents and future parents, take note. Acceptance and understanding is the key to it all, even if you are taken aback by the revealtion. Of course, we knew they wouldn’t care but they still managed to keep their cool while being blindsided. Be who you are, always. Authenticity is power.
- Why is Tess so hesitant to see her mother in the flash-forward? Did they have a falling out?
- I can’t wait to see Rebecca’s even older prosthetic makeup!
- Madison is such a good friend, I can’t believe we ever doubted her.
- The casting of adult Tess is IMPECCABLE. Props to the casting department!
Thoughts on the winter finale? Are you happy with the amount of questions raised and storyline possibilities offered? Or do you think This Is Us is trying to give too much at one time?
Will Kate have a succesful pregnancy? Will Beth and Randall divorce? Comment with your thought, and we’ll see you in January!
This Is Us – 18,615 (3×08)
Are you ready for six Thanksgivings? I sure hope so because somehow, This Is Us managed to have several timelines celebrating the holiday and each act connected with a previous one seamlessly, even if they were dozens of years apart.
Let’s kick things off with Jack and Nicky’s time in Vietnam. We finally found out the mystery behind Jack’s necklace and it wasn’t at all what I expected it to be. I assumed this woman was Jack’s profound first love, which would have been a little painful to watch given his soulmate is Rebecca, however, his encounter with her had Jack Pearson written all over it.
Jack noticed the woman’s son had an injured foot after splicing it on wire set up by the troops. After the troops were flown in a turkey to feast the holiday, he offered the woman up some leftovers and took a look at the kid. The foot injury was so infected, it was causing a massive fever, however, Nicky, the medic, was reluctant to help.
I know the series has made quite a huge ordeal out of the necklace since Jack gave it to Kevin when he was in the hospital, but the depth of Nicky’s storyline and what he’d gone through during the war completely over-shined it.
Nicky came into the war as an innocent boy and was quickly ruined by the atrocities he’d witnessed. He saw the worst in humanity from people that he and his troops tried to help and even showed kindness to.
Seeing the man who stood up for him killed after being betrayed by an elderly woman who showed pretended to be his friend explained why he was so reluctant to help the townsfolk or why he thought of them as more than just women and children. Kindness can be perceived as weakness or a threat, but at the same time, how did he know the woman wasn’t being threatened to give up the man’s location?
A promo showed Kevin meeting the little boy that Jack helped so it seems to me like Jack’s act of kindness went a lot further than he ever anticipated. I honestly don’t know how this series is able to capture so many emotions in one given moment.
Nicky is living on borrowed time and Jack’s attempts at helping him are feeble. Again, based on the promo, it seems like he tries to drown himself in the nearby body of water. If that’s the case, I’m not surprised Jack was always hesitant when it came to talking about it.
Our next timeline involves the Pearson clan celebrating the last Thanksgiving before the children go off to college, or as we know, the last Thanksgiving as a family in general. It’s bittersweet to watch them all laugh, roast each other and share inside jokes knowing that shortly after, all of this comes to a heartbreaking end.
However, the focus was more on Miguel, who was celebrating his first post-divorce Thanksgiving. It was a trying time for Miguel as he blamed himself for losing his wife and his children by being too consumed by work. Thankfully, his best friend is Jack, a man known for giving the best advice on the planet. He assures Miguel that he’s a hard worker who never stopped caring or providing for his family. As for his children being turned on him, he said it would only happen if Miguel allowed it which explained why he always made an effort to patch things up with his kids.
However, the present-day timeline as Miguel and Rebecca make their way to his daughter, Amber’s, home for the holidays explains why we’ve never met these now-adult kiddos before. They are terrible human beings who are awful to their father. This explains why Rebecca stopped being friends with Shelly, though I’m really hoping to see more of that storyline as Bec seemed very torn about hosting Miguel at her home because she was Shelly’s best friend.
Amber wasn’t all that bad, though she was pretty snooty, but Miguel’s son, Andy, needed to be put in place. Thankfully, Miguel came through and for the first time, found his voice! When Andy made a rude comment about Rebecca stealing their father from their mother, Miguel laid it out how it really happened: they separated, he made an effort, their mother remarried, he reconciled with Rebecca ten years after Jack died, and they mended each other’s broken hearts.
Miguel wasn’t just being a good husband to Rebecca, a woman who didn’t deserve to be treated that way after all she’s been through, he was also being a good friend to Jack by once again having his wife’s back. Miguel really is the best friend anyone could ever ask for.
And the way he was embraced at the Pearson household — little Annie calling him grandpa — was a stark contrast to how his own children regarded him. Miguel deserves better.
So, now we’ve caught up with the current timeline that the Pearson children are on.
Kate and Toby watch Randall’s house and prepare dinner when the rest of the family goes to help out at a homeless shelter.
Tess stays behind because she isn’t feeling well and pretty soon, it’s revealed that her ailment is actually the dreaded time of the month.
Her first, in fact, which Toby learns the hard way when he bumps into Tess leaving the bathroom with pads and tampons.
Seeing Kate and Toby get hands-on training as parents is really awesome. They’ve got this whole parenting thing down.
Kate offers to chat with Tess which leads to a major revelation that I presume has something to do with the flashforward scenes and the “her” Randall is referring to. When Kate mentions Tess is going to have a boyfriend sometime soon, Tess admits it’s probably going to be a girlfriend.
Kate quickly embraces the suggestion and assures Tess that she’ll keep her secret but that her parents would be understanding.
I truly hope Kate didn’t betray Tess’ trust and Beth didn’t rush home from the soup kitchen because she found out via text.
It was the first time we’ve ever seen Kate and Tess interact one-on-one and let me say, the writers can forge emotional relationships with just about any of these characters.
Over at the soup kitchen, Beth, Randall and Jae-Won weren’t seeing eye-to-eye about how to run Randall’s Mayoral campaign.
Unfortunately, when you need all the votes you can get, Jae-Won’s tactics of setting up a more public volunteering event and getting a photo-op were probably more sound.
However, Randall is a good husband who wanted his recently-fired wife to feel important so he let her call the shots even if they weren’t in his campaigns best interest.
Eventually, Beth figured it out and it was soul-crushing. While Randall thought he was doing her a favor, it was more upsetting to Beth that he couldn’t just be real with her.
Hopefully, none of this diminishes their chances of winning the race because as we all know, Randall actually cares about bettering the community.
And on the brightest of notes, we reconnected with William and saw him meeting Jesse for the first time. The two cool cats bonded over their addictions and some breakfast food which is where Jesse shared that his vice was crack cocaine.
It wasn’t one of the most pressing storylines, obviously, but I don’t think anyone will ever complain about seeing more of William or unraveling the layers of his backstory.
The episode concluded with Randall’s college entrance application in which he discredited their question and said that every single person you meet whether it be a stranger or a family member leaves some kind of impact on you, shaping you into the person you are at this very moment.
It was profound, as everything Randall says is.
- Deja is proof that things can and will change for you. She used to be on the other side of the food line with her mother but now, she’s volunteering and giving out more cookies than she’s allowed because she gets what it’s like.
- Kevin and Zoe are still in Vietnam but Facetime’d with the family at the dinner table which just goes to show you that this trio’s bond is unbreakable. I wonder what Rebecca thinks about his trip to learn more about his father?
- Toby ordering Popeye’s because he burnt the turkey and ruined the cranberries is really so Jack Pearson of him. Kate found a good one. I’m also glad his meds are kicking back in and he’s managing his depression more again.
- Okay, how RIPPED is Randall? Beth, you lucky lady!
There were so many reveals this week! What was the most shocking/ your favorite?
This Is Us – Sometimes (3×07)
The first Pearson road trip occurred on tonight’s This Is Us and let me tell you, Jack is not a talker. For short car rides, that’s fine, but when you’re spending a number of hours in the car with someone, it can make for some awkward moments.
Thankfully, he’s also a charmer who can read the room and pick up hints: “People don’t slow dance nearly as much as they should.”
I’ve said this before, but I’m a sucker for origin stories. I love established relationships, but there’s something so pure and innocent and raw about beginnings. Jack and Rebecca’s is one of my favorites.
Jack drove Rebecca to Los Angeles for her record label meeting, but she used it as an opportunity to get to know the guy she’s been dating for a week and who she wants to be around at all times.
Her mother definitely had a point about driving across the US with a guy she just met, but then again, when you know, you know.
Jack wasn’t forthcoming with his upbringing nor his time in the war, which Rebecca told her LA friend was frustrating because she just “wanted him to let her in.”
Some things are better left unsaid and by the end of the episode, when Jack broke down during her emotionally charged musical debut, Bec knew that he truly meant not bringing in what happened during the war into their relationship.
This Is Us has a talent for stripping down a scene and making it an emotional gut punch. When Bec sang and Jack, the man who never cries, broke down, I couldn’t help but cry along with him.
There was an unspoken exchange between them where Rebecca recognized terrible things transpired and Jack allowed her to see him at his weakest. It sealed the deal.
And honestly, screw the record label guy, Rebecca is more than “Pittsburgh good.”
While she was having her demo heard at the label, Jack ventured off to Reseda where he visited the parents of one of his squad members who died in Vietnam under his watch.
The scene was also powerful as Jack apologized for letting his guard down and getting him killed, but Mr. Watterson assured him through tears that it wasn’t his fault.
While we saw flashbacks to Vietnam, we still don’t really have an idea as to what happened to Nicky. Based on their intense reunion and Nicky’s attitude about the war and Jack taking his “Superman” nickname too seriously, I imagine he killed himself from all the pressure of his “unbecoming conduct” sentence.
It would surely explain why Jack bottled up all emotion, refused to talk about what happened, and blamed himself for Nicky’s death. Despite his best efforts, he couldn’t help or save his brother.
I was particularly fond of the scenes involving the “traveling necklace.” Kevin was spot on for thinking the necklace connected to the woman in the photograph. I’m going to assume these replicas are only a recent addition to cater to tourism, but the necklace Jack’s “maybe lover” had was authentic.
The necklace made its debut when a soldier bought it for a woman he was crushing on. When he saw that woman cozying up to another soldier, he chucked it onto the bar where another soldier scooped it up. When he died in the field, the woman from the picture lifted it from him and eventually, it made its way into the arms of its current owner, Kevin.
Every scene with Bec and Jack gave us more insight into the beginning stages of their relationship. They vowed to sleep in separate beds but that didn’t last long because soon enough, they were breaking the bed.
However, the most illuminating moment focused on Kevin and Zoe, who have both declared that they are falling in love with each other. Despite Beth’s warnings about Zoe “eating men up,” so far, she’s been really good for Kev. However, the moment she ate bat soup (a local culinary treat), I knew things were not going to go over well.
Their arc loosely mimicked Jack and Rebecca’s only, in this case, Kevin was the one trying to get information about Zoe’s past, and Zoe, like Jack, was hesitant to tell him anything. Eventually, she revealed that her father sexually abused her when she was a little girl which is why she avoids him.
Kevin, dumbfounded by the answer, stammers that Zoe always seems strong and she tells him, “I am strong.” And yes, girl, you are.
We’re all strong in our own ways. Jack chose to keep this part of his life hidden from Rebecca and they made it work, but the fact that Zoe trusted Kevin enough to let him in on her heartache meant a lot.
I’m rooting for them, and I’m rooting for Kevin to find out as much as he can about Jack’s time in Vietnam because that’s the only way we’ll find anything out.
Kevin has really grown into his character these past few seasons and seeing him concerned and taking a leap of faith has to earn him an Emmy. Don’t snooze on him!
Given the ongoing wildfires ravaging California right now, the episode was a nice touch reminding us that California is a place that’s alway sunny, optimistic and full of dreamers. We’re keeping all of those that have been affected in our thoughts.
What did you think about the episode? Share your thoughts in the comments and on Twitter at CraveYouTV!
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