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!