On this week’s installment of This Is Us, Randall reminded us all that self-care is important.
Randall deals with anxiety on a regular basis, but as the stress of his job, his mother’s illness, and the break-in at his home piled on, Randall was crumbling, as any human would be.
As Beth pointed out, it’s a lot for anyone to handle.
Randall put on a brave face and tried to bottle it all inside and ignore the warning signs, but eventually, that anger, fear, resentment, it all had to go somewhere.
It ended up being channeled to thwart a snatch-and-grab, which wasn’t the worst way to cope, but it wasn’t the right way either.
Randall saved a woman, he was hailed as a hero, but he felt far from that and he wasn’t okay. He was screaming internally and no one could hear him.
He hasn’t been for a while, he’s just good at covering it up.
It may not have been the best episode of This Is Us because it wasn’t loaded with feel-good moments, dramatic reveals, or Jack saying all the right things, but it was one of the most important episodes to date.
The series devoted a whole episode to addressing mental health and the stigma around asking for help specifically as it relates to men of color.
Many people, Randall included, saw his anxiety as a weakness. He didn’t feel that he could talk about his problems or be open about them until eventually, he couldn’t keep them bottled up inside.
His psyche was damaged by the intruder more than he was letting on and as we found out more about the break-in and that the man was upstairs where the girls were sleeping, it became harder for Randall to cope.
When Randall finally reached his breaking point, he called Kevin, the one person who has become his rock overtime and has lifted him up when he was down and held him when he needed to cry. We saw it happen on This Is Us Season 1 when Randall had a panic attack at his old job, and it happened again at the end of the episode.
Kevin’s a good brother, and it’s important we have that person we can turn to when things get hard, but it’s also important that we understand that sometimes, it pays to talk to someone that’s a trained psychologist that can help us solve our problems and walk through our trauma; someone who can begin the healing process.
It’s also important to note how strong their brotherly love is here compared to the fractured relationship that was shown in the future. Could they have fallen out because Randall kept his mother’s diagnosis a secret at her request? Or was it something more? Maybe something to do with Randall’s refusal to seek professional help for his issues.
There were a few people throughout the course of the episode that tried to help Randall including Darnell who stopped by to let him know therapy is nothing to be ashamed of. He encouraged Randall to seek help and told him how he used to be a tripwire until he found someone to talk to about his issues.
He informs Randall that it’s a weight lifted when you can just open up about everything regardless if you talk about what’s hurting you, upsetting you, or making you happy. But that doesn’t resonate with Randall who brushes him off and assures him running is good enough therapy. That is until he turns a corner and witnesses a robbery.
Since This Is Us expertly plays with multiple timeless, Randall’s anxiety is layered in both the past and present as they intertwine to show us that Randall’s nightmares have consistently been a byproduct of his stress and something he’s learned to live with but never learned to manage.
In his college days, Randall has nightmares following Jack’s death and asks Beth to sleep over countless times. When she encourages talking to someone rather than torturing himself, he refuses.
When she’s finally able to convince him to seek out some counseling in the form of a grief group, Randall is unable to attend because his problems and worries keep piling on, this time with Kate, which seems to be the third part in the Pearson trilogy.
We also see scenes of a young Randall who keeps finding comfort in his father’s arms because he’s scared of monsters and cannot fall asleep in his new big boy bed. However, Jack’s response to Randall telling him that he’s scared may have been the start of a harmful pattern. Jack, the ever-exhausted father who just wants to watch “The Shining” in peace tells his son to be “lowkey” and essentially to “step it up” because there’s nothing to be scared of.
This teaches Randall that his fears and anxieties aren’t warranted and shouldn’t be brought to anyone’s attention.
We see him try to deal with his anxiety in low-key manner in college when he’s having nightmares and again in the present. His father’s words are constantly echoing in his subconscious as he downplays his fears and emotions to Kevin. Jae Kwon, Darnell, and even his own wife.
Jack’s rhetoric continues to create bad behaviors for Randall as his father tells him to “be brave.”
It’s certainly admirable that Randall can stand his own against an intruder to protect his family, but he doesn’t have to be brave all the time.
To his credit, Jack did thank Randall for being brave enough to voice that he was scared, which is an important lesson and one that hopefully, Randall remembers soon enough.
This Is Us was also brave as they attempted to change the dialogue surrounding mental health. It may not be the cure-all, but it’s a start just as Randall reaching out to his brother and acknowledging that he has a problem was a start.
As we continue, the series is tapping into some of the issues that have very obviously been plaguing the Big Three but have never been fully addressed. The siblings may have had the perfect parents, but they’re far from perfect and most of the time, they’ve been running from their issues instead of addressing them head-on.
The second part of the trilogy surrounds Kevin, who answered Sophie’s call and was on his way to her father’s funeral when he picks up Randall’s first phone call. By the second call, Kevin’s laying in bed with Sophie and acknowledging that he may have made a mistake, which is where we start tapping into all of Kevin’s deeply buried issues with commitment and more. The teaser for Kevin’s episode seems to be all about “true love” and Sophie, the one that got away.
It’s a promising cliffhanger as we all anxiously (for lack of a better word) wait to see who Kevin’s pregnant wife is in the flash-forward scenes.
Not to dismiss Kevin’s moment, but I’m deeply interested in Kate’s storyline. It’s been hinted that things with her older boyfriend Marc got pretty dark in previous episodes, but the series never followed up on it until this week when we had a brief snippet of Kate’s phone conversation with Marc where she was asking him why he was so angry.
Towards the end of the episode, college Randall gets a call from Kevin that something happened to Kate and they’re on their way to pick him up. Is this a case of domestic abuse?
Alright, so the few takeaways from this episode:
Mental health matters — be sure to check on your loved ones today.
Therapy is nothing to be ashamed of and is encouraged. It’s incredibly brave to seek help and work towards becoming the best version of yourself.
Alarm systems are a priority. It’s hard to believe Randall didn’t have one considering his anxiety, his concern for his family, and the fact that they have the means and can afford it.
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.”