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!
‘This Is Us’ to End After Season 6 at NBC
It’s time to say goodbye to the Pearson clan!
NBC’s groundbreaking family drama This Is Us will end with a sixth and final season, per The Hollywood Reporter
The series was renewed for three seasons — up until season 6 — back in 2019.
NBC has not officially commented on the news. The network is expected to make the announcement on Friday when it unveils the upcoming 2021-22 fall schedule.
This Is Us Season 5 will air its finale on Tuesday, May 25 at 10/9c.
Are you ready to say goodbye to the series and TV’s best family?
Read reviews of This Is Us right here!
This Is Us Review – Follow Your Passion (5×14)
After yet another brief hiatus, This Is Us returned to deliver some grounded, emotional storylines.
As the coronavirus raged on, Beth was forced to close her dance studio as membership dwindled even through Zoom class.
Watching her dream go down the drain for the second time was heartbreaking, but it’s hard to feel for her completely when we’ve seen the future and we know she eventually opens up a prestigious dance school.
As they say, after the rain, there’s always a rainbow. Plus, Beth has overcome failure in the dance world before as we saw her dreams of becoming a dancer and getting cast in the production of Swan Lake dashed in flashbacks to when she was in college.
In both the past and the present, Randall was there for Beth in the way she needed him to be. As Deja pointed out, he tends to be quite a lot, but there’s a beauty in just supporting someone and not always being the hero.
Beth and Randall have always been couple goals (next to Rebecca and Jack), and they continued to give us relationship aspirations as they shared a romantic dance to “All My Life” by K-Ci and Jojo. I know I wasn’t the only one singing my heart out during that scene!
Madison, Rebecca, and Kate went wedding dress shopping for the upcoming big day.
Madison found her dream dress, but found herself feeling slightly disappointed when her father informed her that he wouldn’t be making it to the wedding due to a “work emergency.”
What a lame excuse.
Thanks to Rebecca’s speech (that would make Jack Pearson proud), Madison felt like she was part of a family for the first time ever.
However, after Kevin ran into Zoey, she mentioned that he was a people pleaser, which made him think about whether or not he was getting married to Madison because he wanted to or because he convinced himself he wanted to.
Zoe wasn’t wrong — Kevin is a bit of a “yes, man,” but in this case, it’s been a decision that has been great for his personal life.
Madison is an awesome woman, a great mother, and she brings out the best in Kevin. This is the most put-together and levelheaded he’s been in quite some time, and it’s been some positive character development for him.
Making Kevin question his whole future with his family based on something an ex-girlfriend said jeopardizes all the progress he’s made. I don’t want to see his storyline take a turn for the worse, again.
From the upcoming promos, it looks like Kevin will start to fall into old habits and pine for Sophie, which is also annoying. We’ve been there, done that several times. Sophie was his one true love, but the timing never worked out. They had their shot, and it didn’t work. Let’s not try to go back to that over and over again.
Madison deserves so much better; she deserves a man that’s going to fight for her and choose her, not someone who is going to question every decision in his life.
After seeing how great Rebecca was with Madison, Kate thanked her for being such a good and supportive mom, even though she didn’t always deserve it.
And there’s no denying that Kate was a difficult teenager. But she had her reasons, too.
When Jack died, so did her passion for art school. It may have taken her a few decades to find something she was passionate about again, but I’m so glad she did and that she shared it with Rebecca.
Toby continues to struggle with being a stay-at-home dad. He’s embarrassed by the fact that he lost his job and even more embarrassed by the fact that he can’t help but feel jealous about Kate’s new gig.
Instead of opening up about it, he’s bottled it all up inside. And you know that means he’s going to burst — just like the water pipe — eventually.
Hopefully, hearing his dad acknowledge that he comes from a family that opens up about their problems will encourage Toby to speak up and share his troubles with Kate. It’s the only way to ensure a healthy relationship.
And I hope that they find a way for Kate to continue working because, as I mentioned, she’s finally doing something she enjoys. You can see it based on how her face lights up. I just wish she could be able to share it with Toby.
What did you think of the episode?
Are you glad This Is Us is back? Will Toby confide in Kate or will this tension hurt their marriage? Will Kevin go through with the wedding? Let us know your thoughts in the comments!
This Is Us Review – Kevin and Randall Tackle the Ugly Stuff (5×13)
Kevin and Randall finally found “brotherly love” after all these years, but it didn’t come easily.
The duo tackled the elephant in the room — their explosive fight during which plenty of hurtful words were exchanged — on This Is Us Season 5 Episode 13.
As the two worked towards making amends, they aired out all the “ugly stuff” and it got pretty heated in certain moments.
The episode allowed audiences to see their different perspectives on the same situation with the key takeaway being: You just don’t see it the way I do.
But that doesn’t necessarily mean either of their experiences was wrong, they’re just different.
Kevin kicked things off with a bit of a half-assed, scripted apology, which Randall compared to a “rehearsed monologue.” Throughout it, he barely took any of the blame for his role in how “othered” he made Randall feel throughout the years when all he wanted to do was blend in.
While it was great that Kevin acknowledged that he should have done more to combat the racism Randall faced from people like his prom date’s father, he didn’t actually own up to his actions.
Throughout a series of flashbacks, which also included new actors playing the boys in the past (or at least I believe they’re new since I don’t recall seeing them before), we see Randall and Kevin’s relationship unfold through the years.
As toddlers, Jack takes them on a “boys weekend” to a live-taping of Mr. Rogers where Kevin becomes jealous of Randall’s “special treatment.” During their teenage years, Kevin gives Randall a fake I.D. of a “Black man” and tells him it’ll work cause he’s Black.
During the present, Randall recalls all of these moments, most of which were subconscious on Kevin’s part, to inform his brother that he always felt singled out because of his Blackness. Kevin would make fun of him for not knowing rap songs, call him Carlton, and make other racially charged comments that he thought were innocent and funny.
As Randall put it, Kevin’s black blindspots showed how wilfully in the dark he was, which hurt more than someone doing it purposefully and with malice.
Kevin doesn’t admit his fault initially, but eventually, he realizes that his jealousy of Randall was directly associated with his Blackness.
Kevin also called out Randall for being ungrateful about being adopted into a caring and loving family, but again, Randall didn’t harbor any resentment towards the Pearsons.
Instead, he opened up about his internal struggle of always wanting to find his birth parents, making up his Ghost Kingdom where the Black weatherman was his dad and the mail carrier was his mom, and also appreciating the life he was handed thanks to Rebecca and Jack.
It was a condensed glimpse of Randall’s journey that fans have been seeing unfold throughout the season.
There’s nothing wrong with Randall dreaming about what could have been if the events of his birth were slightly altered, while still being grateful for what could’ve been.
It’s an inner turmoil Randall has dealt with his whole life. He even admitted to feeling so guilty about his Ghost Kingdoms because of how great his real family was, so it’s not surprising that he’s tired of people telling him how he should feel about it.
Randall also apologized for always making Kevin feel “less than,” which included an apology for the cheap shot comment of Jack being ashamed of him.
While both of the guys will continue to see things through their own lenses, they’ve at least dipped their toes into each other’s perspectives for a moment.
With everything laid out on the table, a once-fractured brotherly bond is starting to rebuild.
There was nothing groundbreaking about the episode, but the breakthrough for Kevin and Randall was nice to see.
They’re finally starting to hold each other accountable for their actions that have spanned decades instead of bottling it up inside and resenting each other.
It takes true love and respect to have conversations this real and raw. Despite their flaws and quibbles, Randall and Kevin have always had each other’s backs, so I’m glad they’re back on track!
Plus, it might be the most honest and transparent conversation Randall has ever had with anyone in the Pearson family! That’s progress.
What did you think of the episode? Let us know in the comments below!
Editorials1 week ago
All the Baby Yoda Merch Every ‘Mandalorian’ Fan Needs
Manifest7 days ago
Manifest Double Episode Review – How Is Noah’s Ark Connected to Flight 828? (3×07 & 3×08)
Manifest3 weeks ago
Manifest Review – Tailspin (3×04)
Cruel Summer2 weeks ago
Cruel Summer – Victim or Villain? (1×03)
TV Reviews4 days ago
Good Girls Review – Brother/Cousin (4×08)
Younger1 week ago
Younger Review – Raise the Flag (7×07)
Debris2 weeks ago
Debris Review – Do You Know Icarus (1×09)
Legacies6 days ago
Legacies Review – Hope Turns Into a Monster (3×11)