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 – Our Little Island Girl (3×13)
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!
This Is Us – Songbird Road: Part Two (3×12)
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!
This Is Us – Songbird Road: Part One (3×11)
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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