Jack taught his baby girl Kate one very important lesson on the conclusion of The Big Three Trilogy on This Is Us: “even things that we like can be bad for us, sweetheart.”
We see that’s absolutely true in flashbacks concerning her first love and first boyfriend, Marc, and we slightly see it with Toby’s struggle to accept that Jack is blind, which has prevented him from being the husband and father that Kate and Jack need.
I’ve been looking forward to the episode dedicated to Kate because I wanted to see what happens with Marc. When he was mentioned in Kate’s adult life, she had such a visceral reaction to the memories that I do believe they play a huge role in shaping her and her current relationship.
While Kate’s main struggle has always been the weight, a part of her has developed insecurities that stem from an abusive relationship with Marc.
When we first met Marc, the audience collectively knew something was up with him.
He was sweet and charming, but there was also something a little darker about him. It didn’t help that he randomly showed up at her house (stalker vibes) and the fact that neither of her siblings liked him was a huge red flag.
In reality, there were many red flags that Kate chose to ignore for one simple reason: Marc noticed her.
He was the first person to fill the Jack void following her father’s passing. A huge part of Kate’s identity was intertwined with Jack’s and when he died, so did a part of her. She lost herself.
During her fight with Rebecca in which she decides to ditch her mother’s birthday to go to the cabin with Marc, Kate admits that no one has ever looked at her in “that” way before.
But Kate also knew that this wasn’t the right relationship and she tried desperately to ignore that.
She tried to pretend that the good outweighed the bad, that Marc would change for her, and that his anger was only temporary. It’s all too common in relationships where a woman stays because she’s hopeful or protects her abuser because she feels ashamed, which I think happened in Kate’s case.
She didn’t want to own up to the fact that her mother was right, that her whole family was right, and wanted to show them that she was a good judge of character. If Randall and Kevin were both out being adults with their significant others, why couldn’t she be?
From what we saw in this episode, Marc wasn’t physically abusive in the sense that he hit Kate, but he did kick her out of the car and left her to fend for herself in the middle of the night, which I guess counts as a physical action.
Moreso, Marc was emotionally and verbally abusive as well as manipulative. He couldn’t control his anger as we saw with his outburst during their coffee date with Rebecca and after he kicked Kate out of the car.
NBC/ This Is US
He also wanted to control Kate’s actions by telling her what she should do, what she should read, and where she should work. And he wanted her to feel indebted to him for getting her the job in the first place.
He latched onto Kate’s biggest insecurity and exposed it whenever he felt the need to regain that control ie. when he fat-shamed her for grabbing chocolates and when she said he can’t look at her face, and he was an alcoholic.
None of this is to say Marc was a bad guy — there were moments where he showed remorse and seemed to care about Kate — but there’s no denying that he’s a product of his upbringing and “hurt people hurt people.”
Unlike Jack, who overcame his demons and became a model father, Marc was the polar opposite and allowed his upbringing to define him and control his life.
The toxic nature of the relationship caused Kate to doubt herself, to place blame on herself, and to shame herself.
She thought she deserved to be in the situation, and it was upsetting to watch.
All of those insecurities manifested themselves in the present day.
Toby is struggling in his own way with accepting baby Jack’s reality, and Kate finds herself walking on eggshells because she’s scared to hurt his feelings or lose him. A lot of what she’s feeling and acting on leads right back into what she experienced with Marc.
Thankfully, Toby has always been a good guy like her father. He also battled his demons and came out on the other side healthier and stronger.
The difference between someone like Marc and Toby (and yes, age difference plays a factor so it’s comparing apples to bananas, really but bear with me) is that Toby wants to be a good father and feels guilty for disappointing the family while Marc never truly wanted to change.
The episode left off with Marc coming back to get Kate and showing remorse for leaving her behind, but another teaser shows that he has another angry outburst and locks Kate out of the cabin in the middle of a cold, winter night. The remorse he feels is negated by another hurtful act.
Rebecca, who didn’t wasn’t a fan of the vibe Marc was putting down, rallied the troops to go save her Kate, and boy, I would not want to be Marc when Kevin and Randall get their hands on him.
It’s beautiful that the hero in Kate’s story isn’t Jack but rather Rebecca.
For several seasons, Kate was a “daddy’s girl” and had some resentment for her mother; their relationship suffered at times because of Kate’s insecurities and jealousy, but her mother never gave up on her.
Just like in the flashbacks, in the present day, Rebecca is also a phone call away and ready to be by Kate’s side as she tackles this new challenge in her life with baby Jack’s blindness.
While Kate was upset that Toby didn’t go the retreat, there was something so special about Rebecca joining her.
It may be one of the last few moments that Kate and Rebecca have together before the memory loss begins to take effect.
In both instances, Rebecca was the rock that Kate needed.
She helped Kate “lift the weight” and finally get into the pool, she helped her realize that she’s way stronger than most people think including herself, and she reminded her that with or without Toby, Kate has what it takes to raise this baby.
She kickstarted a fire in Kate that hasn’t been burning in some time because she was complacent.
And through all of it, Rebecca didn’t judge Kate, she didn’t judge Toby, heck, she never even said a bad word about him, which speaks volumes to the growth she’s had as a character. I think that a less judgemental approach and the more understanding nature helped strengthen their relationship.
Rebecca explained that her illness made her become more “fun” because she no longer fusses about the little things and it’s true. My favorite line of the episode was when Rebecca told Kate “you’re fat, I’m ancient, we’re gorgeous.”
Somehow, the line was both something Rebecca would say and something Rebecca wouldn’t say. In fact, it’s something she’s always wanted to say but couldn’t because her relationship with Kate was fragile. She never wanted to offend her daughter or make her feel less than, but at the same time, it’s important that Rebecca is real about their situation.
Kate is fat (and it’s both good and bad), Rebecca is ancient (there’s no denying that), and these qualities and more make them gorgeous. It’s time they started accepting their truths and living them rather than being ashamed and stifled by them.
The statement combined with all of Rebecca’s other motherly advice empowered Kate so that she would stop sulking, turning to other people for validation, and could finally confront the issue with Toby head-on.
Toby doesn’t deserve to be shamed for his very human fears and feelings, but he also has to get it together and accept the truth that baby Jack won’t ever have his vision but he can still have a meaningful life. His parents are there to be his first teachers and show him that life has purpose, to help him navigate it, and to give him adjustments.
The fact that Kate found the courage to lay down the law and Toby felt the pressure and found the courage to tell her he wants to watch baby Jack for the weekend was real progress. Rebecca knew he had it in him and so did we, he just needed a little push in the right direction.
There’s also something to be said about the fact that Kate’s personal opinion of herself has been so wrapped up in the exterior and her image and yet, her son will never know what she looks like and will never get to base his opinion on any of those factors.
There were so many truly wonderful moments in this episode that managed to find a healthy balance between the emotionally heavy and the light almost fairytale-like moments.
Justin Hartley did a wonderful job directing and incorporating the very fabric of what makes this show great into every scene.
He really managed to nail what makes Rebecca and Kate’s relationship so special.
From their late-night swim to Rebecca’s story about the lightning bugs (and finally, the meaning behind her nickname “bug), and their karaoke session to “Ironic,” it was all so wonderful and encompassing of a whole lifetime of memories leading up to this very moment.
Sadly, all of these feel-good moments lead me to believe that Rebecca’s memory loss is going to be much worse than she told Kate it would be.
However, it’s comforting that she was the one to tell Kate the truth about her diagnosis and didn’t keep it from her to protect her.
At this point, Kevin is the only one who doesn’t know, which means that he may get upset with Randall for not cluing him in.
The upcoming episode finds the Big Three at the cabin in both the present and the past.
We know from flashbacks that Kate and Marc’s story has only just begun, but what happens when the adult Big Three now dubbed “Sad Three” reunite to talk through their worries, concerns, and fears?
What did you think of the Kate-centric episode? It’s been a hell of a week, hasn’t it?
Is it everything you hoped it would be? How are you feeling about her and Rebecca’s relationship dynamic?
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.”