How is it possible that This Is Us manages to make holiday episodes more emotional every single time?
Thanksgiving has always been a huge deal for the Pearson family, and just like Nicky mentioned, Jack Pearson traditions are the backbone of the shindig.
The series does an incredible job of keeping Jack’s memory alive even though he’s been gone for years now.
And it’s done in the smallest of moments that could be glossed over if not for the beautiful parallel that they offer the present-day storylines.
Traditions like 5 pounds of shrimp started with Jack and Nicky ditching their less than joyous Thanksgiving celebrations at home to watch a game at the bar. When Nicky won a good sum of money from a deal he made with a friend, they splurged by ordering an obscene amount of shrimp.
As Nicky attended his first Thanksgiving with the Pearson clan and tagged along with Randall and Annie as they picked up some left-behind belongings from their old house, he realized that despite “erasing him,” his brother never forgot about him.
He’d quote Leonard Cohen’s song and call it a “poem” just like Nicky did, and he’d explain the song to his kids the same way his brother explained it to him.
Nicky was then inspired to honor his late brother and introduce the family to a tradition they didn’t know about just as they’d introduced him to Pilgrim Rick.
As he brought out a platter of 5 pounds of shrimp, I lost it. Again, such a small moment but it has so much power in the context of their storytelling.
And then, they took it even further later showing Kate and Toby’s son, adult Jack, hosting his own Thanksgiving with his pregnant wife and bringing out 5 pounds of shrimp.
Jack’s impact has spanned decades, and even though his grandchildren have never met him, they still honor him because of how important he was to their parents.
Rebecca’s deteriorating memory storyline was front and center as she attempted to ignore the ugly truth until she no longer could.
Can I just say that Mandy Moore is such an incredible actress. The whole time, I could feel her confusion and her fear in her body language and movements. The camera angle making it seem like we were sometimes looking through her disoriented POV also helped drive those emotions.
When she finally made her way back home from the movies, she admitted to Randall that she needs to see a doctor, which immediately put a damper on his holiday.
But surprisingly, what we saw of Rebecca’s forgetfulness including the scenes where she thought she saw a young William and when she lost her phone and panicked at a Chinese restaurant didn’t take place on Thanksgiving.
Those scenes were happening in a future timeline, 9-months in advance.
The police picked her up and returned her home to the log cabin where Miguel, Kate, and Kevin were waiting to celebrate their big 4-0!
And this flash-forward revealed a whole lot.
For starters, Randall wasn’t there because “they aren’t on speaking terms.” Does that mean just him and Kevin? Or Randall and the whole family? And what could have changed so drastically in 9 months? Was Kevin upset that Randall knew about Rebecca’s deteriorating state and didn’t say anything to them?
Toby wasn’t seen at the party and neither was baby Jack, which isn’t a good sign at all.
But someone else was there, though they remained off-screen: Kevin’s pregnant fiancee!
Okay, I guess a lot really can change in 9 months! When Kevin told Randall he wanted to start a family by 40, Randall told him to find a girlfriend first, but Kevin just proved that he’s capable of doing whatever he sets his mind to.
So, who is this mystery fiancee?
The fact that it’s only been 9 months makes me think it’s someone Kevin already knew and that points to either Sophie or Cassidy. I can see either happening, honestly.
But 9 months also means it could have been a quick relationship and the woman is someone we’ve never met before. It would be less exciting, sure, but maybe that fresh start is exactly what Kevin needs.
Other Emotional Moments at Thanksgiving Dinner
Shauna is doing great. Actually, she might be doing too well. Beth felt intimidated by Deja’s birth mother because they had all these inside jokes and she knew she could never replace her. But that didn’t mean Beth wasn’t a valuable person in Deja’s life. She was the mother who stepped in and filled that void when Shauna wasn’t able to. She gave Deja a great life, a good chance at success, a stable home, and plenty of memories. Deja will always be grateful for that. Deja wished her mom well, but she too was a little triggered that things were going so great. I guess my only concern was why Shauna never invited Deja over to her new apartment with a fireplace? Were they told that they couldn’t see each other? If she’s in such a good headspace that she’s hosting potlucks with her co-workers, why can’t she include Deja occasionally?
Kate is not a fan of CrossFit Toby and truthfully, neither am I. Don’t get me wrong, it’s awesome that Toby is taking his health so seriously and wants to better himself, but honestly, that’s all he was talking about. How off-putting on a day where people just want to enjoy some damn turkey. Kate didn’t bring it up to him because she didn’t want to upset him, but that text message she saw on his phone spells trouble. I’m guessing LadyKryptonite is his CrossFit trainer or nutritionist that’s supposed to keep him on track, but he’s clearly talking to other people about his marriage and isn’t happy with how Kate’s responding to his new lifestyle. Like Beth said, talking to other people about what’s happening between you two is how you enter dangerous territory. These two need to get brutally honest with each other even if it hurts if they want to salvage their relationship. Though, again, seeing as Toby isn’t around for their 40th birthday, it’s safe to say their relationship doesn’t overcome this.
Kevin proved he’s ready to become a dad when he helped his favorite niece Tess with feeling comfortable about coming out. It’s awesome how he applies what he’s learned in AA to other aspects of his life, and his lighthearted approach to having her just say it to a plastic clown at the drive-through was adorable. And the best part is that when Tess finally pulled the trigger, people were supportive and loving. As we know, not all coming out experiences are this positive, but it’s nice that This Is Us showcases that in 2019, there are people and families that are open and accepting.
What did you think of the emotional fall finale?
What was your favorite part?
Who do you think Kevin’s fiancee is? Why is Randall not speaking with his family?
And what’s happening with Toby and Kate?
We’ll meet back here on January 14, 2020, Cravers!
Lizzy Buczak is the founder of CraveYouTV. What started off as a silly blog in her sophomore year at Columbia College Chicago turned her passion for watching TV into an opportunity! She has been in charge of CraveYou since 2011, writing reviews and news content for a wide variety of shows.
Lizzy is a Music Business and Journalism major who has written for RADIO.COM, TV Fanatic, Time Out Chicago, Innerview, Pop’stache and Family Time.
They’ll help fill the void and guarantee an ugly-cry or two. Sometimes, a good cry is just necessary!
Before there was This Is Us, there was Parenthood. If you love This Is Us because of how much the Pearson family loves each other and enjoy a good cry then I suggest you meet the Bravermans. This family will leave you teary-eyed within five minutes of watching. You’ll immediately start connecting with the characters and seeing parts of your own family in them. And if you need more convincing, it stars Lauren Graham who plays Lorelai Gilmore on the hit, Gilmore Girls.
2. Chasing Life
Just the premise of the show makes us want to cry: a 20-something-year-old aspiring journalist finds her world is turned upside down when she is diagnosed with cancer. And while cancer in itself is always depressing, the beauty of the series is in how April Carver handles the diagnosis, battles the illness with determination and grace, and finds the will to live when it would be understandable for her to give up. Not to mention she has a good group of gals by her side!
3. One Tree Hill
What started as a story about two small-town step-brothers fighting over a spot on the high-school basketball team grew into a tearjerking drama filled with life lessons, suspenseful twists, betrayals, lifelong friendships and an emphasis on the importance of family. As longtime fans know, there is only one tree hill and it’s your home.
4. Gilmore Girls
Since we’re on the topic, we have to include Gilmore Girls on this list. If by some chance you haven’t gotten sucked in by the mother-daughter dynamic between Lorelai and Rory or by the small town charm, you need to run to Stars Hollow ASAP. Their swift dialogue and close relationship makes us want to be friends with them. It’s actually the reason Netflix revived the show years later. Plus, this is the birthplace of our love for Milo Ventimiglia, who played bad boy Jess, and our coffee addiction.
5. Friday Night Lights
Even if football isn’t your thing, you’ll still be captivated by the high school football team at the heart of the show. There’s definitely a camaraderie around sports, especially in a small town that obsesses over the local team. You’ll get glossy-eyed as these characters deal with family hardships, failure, first love, grief and the realization that the glory of being a high school jock isn’t forever.
6. The Fosters
Freeform shows are good at two things — uniting people and making them cry. Two moms, Stef and Lena, raise a non-traditional family; some biological children, some adoptive and some fosters who have been damaged by the system. With such a mix, the painful storylines are aplenty and emotional struggles and societal issues are at the forefront.
This isn’t the news This Is Us fans were hoping for.
Jon Huertas, who plays Miguel on the NBC drama, revealed that production on the series may be delayed until January 2021 due to the coronavirus outbreak.
“I was just on the phone with [creator] Dan Fogelman, and we were talking about, you know, we may not go into production until January, depending on whether or not there’s a second wave,” he said in a conversation with Gov. Gavin Newsom and other industry leaders, per The Wrap.
The video-streamed call occurred as officials brainstorm plans to release guidelines for filming in a post-coronavirus world. Guidelines will be revealed next Monday and will likely adopt the protocols implemented in South Korea, Sweden, and Iceland, according to Variety.
“When we talk about the protocols and the guidelines that we may be following when we go back into production, it’s really kind of daunting to all of us. The actors, we talk all the time. We have a crew of 200-300 people who work in close proximity. We consider ourselves a family. As much as we would like to get back online, we are very much concerned about our crew,” Huertas revealed.
Of course, if production is pushed to the beginning of 2021, it means that the tearjerking family drama won’t return as part of the fall 2020-2021 TV lineup, and is likely to premiere either in the spring of 2021 or even be pushed to the fall of 2021.
FOX and The CW have both released fall 2020 lineup’s that have bypassed most of their scripted dramas, which are all set to return in 2021.
Some may say that there’s nothing to it, it was just a way to introduce a character, but avid watchers of This Is Us know that’s absolutely false.
There has to be some bigger meaning and connection that simply hasn’t been revealed yet. Plus, they wouldn’t give us so much insight into Sadie being a horse-whisperer unless it was relevant.
Check them some of favorite theories about who Dr. Mason might be below and let us know if you have any ideas:
Theory #1: It’s Dr. Katowsky’s Son/Grandchild/ Relative
It cannot be a coincidence that Dr. K was heavily featured in this episode talking about his own loss of a child, right?
There’s a huge probability that Madison’s OB-GYN, Dr. Mason, is Dr. K’s son aka the child that he and his wife had after the first miscarriage. *a fan pointed out that child was a daughter, but Dr. K had other children. Someone pointed out that those children would be older and that he once mentioned having grandchildren, so it’s possible Dr. Mason is related in some way.
The doc seemed to have a knack for giving some really great advice just like Dr. K. He told Madison not to write off Kevin before she even talked to him and told him about the pregnancy, which led to Kevin being “all in” with the twins. There may be proof of this Dr. K and Mason are related because in the very first scene he tells Sadie that her horse is “is just a lemon.” And we know Dr. K loved his lemon metaphor.
Theory #2: Someone Like Dr. K
Considering Dr. Mason gave great advice just like Dr. K, many fans believe he’s going to be a huge part of Kevin and Madison’s pregnancy journey. He might be the one that they turn to for advice, guidance, and assurance just like Kevin’s parents did with Dr. K after he delivered Kevin and Kate. It would be a sweet way of bringing things full-circle. And hey, this still allows the Dr. Mason to be Dr. K’s son. Dr. Mason might be Kevin and Madison’s person.
Credit: NBC/ This Is Us
Theory #3: Dr. Mason is Kyle
Okay, this theory is kind of wild and if This Is Us was a thriller drama/ telenovela rather than an inspirational, heartwarming family drama, we might consider it to be true, but sadly, we don’t think it is. That being said, we’re including it because it’s fun to imagine “what if.”
What if Dr. K was so desperate for a son that he stole one of Rebecca and Jack’s children instead. Imagine if Kyle never died but was taken and raised to be Dr. Mason, who reunites with his biological family, the Pearsons, years later by sheer coincidence when Madison walks into his office pregnant with Kevin’s twins. Again, if This Is Us was that kind of show, which it isn’t, this would be an incredible plot twist.
However, Dr. Mason seems older than Kevin, Randall, and Kate, plus, I wouldn’t want anything to tarnish the sweet, innocent Dr. K, who is a gem in this world.
Theory 4: Sadie Needed to Give the Doc Advice
Maybe Sadie and Dr. Mason were only necessary so she could give her dad that he then gave Madison about Kevin: “Little early to give up on him, don’t you think? You haven’t even give him a chance to be himself yet.” Sadie is a horse and Kevin whisperer.
Theory #5: He’s Madison Future Husband
Madison knows she’s not Kevin’s great love story, and she’s fine with it. Maybe through all of this, she falls in love with the doc and Sadie becomes her step-daughter. There’s no confirmation that Madison becomes Kevin’s wife simply because she’s carrying his children, so it’s entirely possible they both move on while being connected by their twins.
Showrunner Dave Fogel told Deadline that Dr. Mason will 100% become instrumental next season: “The doctor becomes an important character next season to Kevin – he’s having twins with a virtual stranger, not a normal birth experience. It’s no coincidence he was introduced in the same episode that Dr. K returned.”