If you were looking for an escape from reality, the two-hour premiere of This Is Us Season 5 did not deliver.
What it did deliver, however, was a timely commentary about the world around us through the eyes of one of our favorite TV families.
And that was the point; there’s no escaping our current reality that’s consumed by COVID and BLM.
In just nine minutes, the series touched upon addressing real life issues and the fact that it’s pretty much falling apart.
It would be ignorant to think that a series with a fully developed Black family in the lead would somehow ignore the realities. There’s no way that Randall, who has always struggled with his Blackness in a the white world that he was raised in, wouldn’t acknowledge it.
Randall and Kate’s conversation, in particular, was spot on.
While she may have had good intentions, she was a little late in acknowledging the issues. She never expected Randall to call out her white guilt though because he’s always been timid and kept all of that bottled up inside. Randall always prioritized everyone else — as evidenced by his arrival at the cabin when Rebecca went missing — but he never prioritized himself.
But something has changed in Randall that is allowing him to experience his own Blackness and call out those who inadvertently made him feel ashamed for it or that he couldn’t express it. Rebecca and Jack tried their best for Randall, but they never gave him the support that a young Black child needed.
He’s always known what it means to be a Black man in America, but for the first time, he’s acknowledging it out loud instead of pushing it away.
I don’t think that I, as a white woman, can comment on this or sum it up better than the series writers did, but I do think it’s important to facilitate this conversation. It forces us to rethink behaviors and actions, even those with the best intentions. These are tough topics, but we can no longer shy away from them, especially when we have a show about a blended family that’s affected from every angle.
As I was browsing through Twitter, I collectively saw people applauding that scene as something that many people of color have wanted to say to their white friends and family but could never find the appropriate words. Many also connected to the feeling of exhaustion, so it’s important that this reality is reflected on television.
Now that Randall is making these discoveries, his decision to change therapists becomes more important than ever. And it’s leading him down a road that’s honestly exciting to watch, particularly in 2020.
His realization lead to an even better moment between Randall and Beth, which emphasized the resilience of the Black community in the face of adversity.
These are trying times — they test you everyday and push you to your limits, but in order to keep trudging, we have to believe there is light at the end of the tunnel. It may be hard to remain optimistic, but it’s the one thing we can all hold onto while trying to evoke positive change.
While Randall and Kate had an open conversation that hopefully sparked thoughtful conversations in every living room worldwide, things between Kevin and Randall didn’t go so well.
I’d say the fandom collectively cringed at Kevin’s attempt at making small talk with his brother. He reached out for advice about his twins without apologizing for any of the comments he made including telling telling Randall that he was the worst thing that ever happened to him.
That’s not something we can just gloss over as if it never happened. It may have been said in the heat of the moment and out of anger, but it was spoken into existence. Randall isn’t going to forget that, and by the look on his face, he couldn’t believe his brother was still exhibiting such selfish behavior after everything that has transpired.
I’m here for Randall’s growth, but I’m also here for the growth I expected from Kevin, and sadly, this wasn’t it. Hopefully, it’ll come in time because there are times where I fully believe Kevin is on the cusp of greatness, especially with his scenes with Madison.
While the Big Three’s 40th birthday definitely didn’t go down as their best, it’s a pivotal moment in their lives that ushers in some necessary change.
Kevin was in his own bubble dealing with the news of Madison’s pregnancy. The couple (because it seems like they’re on their way to being engaged at this point) had a bit of a pregnancy scare after she tripped on a luggage and fell on her stomach, but thankfully, the doctor still heard two heartbeats: a baby boy and a baby girl.
There’s something so poetic about Kevin finding out that he’s going to welcome twins as Kate and Toby learn that they’re about to embark on an adoption journey. This is the new Big Three in the making.
The agency called and informed Kate and Toby that they found a match named Ellie, who, according to the promo, we’ll get to meet in the upcoming episode.
I’m excited about seeing Kate and Toby take this journey — and to see how different it was than Rebecca and Jack’s decision to adopt a third baby and go home with him the next day 40 years ago. However, the magic has slightly fizzled out since we know that they successfully adopt a daughter thanks to a flash-forward in season 4.
We’ve also already seen Rebecca’s storyline pan out on This Is Us Season 4, but it was reassuring that her brief case of disorientation was a side-effect of mixing medication.
Things aren’t to get easier for her, and it’ll be tough to watch her mental state deteriorate, but at least things are looking up for now since the clinical trial was postponed due to COVID.
Miguel doesn’t get enough love or credit, and let’s be honest, he’s usually sidelined by Rebecca’s kids and overshadowed by Jack’s greatness, but it was wonderful to see him confide in Toby about his concerns. It was the one of the few times Miguel had a voice and the fact that Toby provided solid advice about how to deal with a grim health diagnosis was fitting.
It provided audiences with a beautiful look at Miguel’s love for Rebecca as he promised her that they would take it “one day at a time” and enjoy every minute of it. He gave her the faith that she needed in order not to give up on this battle.
The episode flipped between the present and the past, taking audiences back to the hospital when the Big Three came into the world. Of course, we know exactly how it went down for Rebecca and Jack, but these flashbacks allowed Jack to have a moment where he prayed for Rebecca to get better. The scene was intense as he prayed that God would take him instead and we know what happens a few years down the line.
It was also eerie seeing him pass William so many times in the hospital and made me think how many times we pass a complete stranger not knowing that they will one day impact our lives.
When Randall questioned if today was actually his birth day, it opened up the possibility of exploring his birth on a deeper level. In a twist that only the writers of This Is Us could pull off, it turns out that Randall was wanted by both his parents. They planned for his arrival and tried to create a better life for themselves despite circumstances consistently keeping them boxed in to a life of poverty, addiction, and struggle.
His mother was fighting her heroine addiction and hoped to get a better job so they could afford a bigger apartment with a window for her little boy. A mother’s love is so strong. In retrospect, knowing that Randall was wanted makes his time spent with William all the more sweeter.
While we believed his mother overdosed shortly after birth, in actuality, she had a home birth and when the pain became unbearable, William gave her a narcotic for the pain. How heartbreaking is it that she chose to suffer at home because she didn’t want to be shunned by doctors for trying to beat an addiction?
We also thought we knew what happened next — William left and dropped off Randall at the firehouse — but what we didn’t know is that Randall’s mother was resuscitated.
What happened to her? Did William know she didn’t die?
Was she so upset with him for giving Randall away that she left? And does this mean we’ll get a reunion between Randall and his birth mother in the future?
Randall has always had unresolved issues with his mother’s, and maybe this will be what he needs to finally find some healing.
- Kate and Toby’s reaction to Kevin and Madison’s pregnancy news was so great. “What are these words you’re saying?” may go down as the best Toby quote. I fully expected Kate to be upset or throw a fit, so it was a nice surprise when she was just genuinely happy for both of them.
- Kevin and Randall both clearly have things they want to say to each other, so while their reunion may be a long and winding road, I’m looking forward to the day where they can both sit down and be completely honest with each other.
- Malik and Deja celebrated their one year anniversary, and I feel like the kids just don’t get enough screen time! We want more Deja, Tess, and Annie!
- Randall saying Beth has turned into Dr. Fauci was also stellar. What a time to be alive.
What did you think of the This Is Us Season 5 premiere? Did it live up to your expectations? Are you happy they addressed current events?
Sound off in the comments below. And if any particular scene resonated with you, share it in the comments!
Who Is Nicky Pearson Married to on ‘This Is Us’?
The season 5 finale of This Is Us stunned audiences with a major cliffhanger, but that wasn’t the only surprising revelation during the hour!
In the final moments as Kate gears up for her wedding to — well, it seems like Phillip, but that could be a red herring — it’s revealed that Nicky has a wife!
Yes, Nicky, Jack’s cynical and “weird” brother, is a married man in the five-year flash forward! But who is his wife?
The obvious answer would be Sally Brooks, his first and only love.
In flashback episodes, Nicky and Sally met at a vet clinic in 1969 and their relationship flourished. They had the kind of summer romance you see in rom-coms, but when she asked Nicky to head out to California with her, he never showed up because he decided to stick around and be there for his mother, who was still living with his abusive, drunk of a father.
Nicky hasn’t seen or heard from Sally since, but after seeing Kevin and Madison’s love story, he was inspired to seek her out online. Now, there are likely a ton of women with the name Sally Brooks, so he might have to get pretty specific with his search, but it’s not impossible.
“Um, I cannot confirm or deny either of those things, but I think it would be very exciting if it did happen. And I definitely was talking with the actor on set, Genevieve, about who she thinks could be the present-day Sally. So hopefully we will see that — my hopes as a fan and as a writer is that we do because I love Sally, and I want to see more of her,” she explained.
This doesn’t automatically mean that sparks will fly again as Sally could be married or simply not interested in reconnecting.
But regardless, it could give Nicky the closure he never received and allow him to move on and find love again.
If Sally isn’t his wife, who is?
The second option is Rebecca Pearson. It would be pretty crazy if Rebecca got married to her late husband’s brother, but she also married his best friend, Miguel, so I guess it wouldn’t be that much of a stretch.
In the 10-12 year flash-forward, Rebecca is on her death bed with her family gathered around her. Nicky is seen by her side, which fans found strange. Furthermore, her husband, Miguel, her husband, is not around. The camera also makes it a point to pan to a wedding band on Nicky’s finger, which could possibly suggest that he and Rebecca tied the knot.
However, I’m not too keen on this storyline. Marrying Miguel made some sense as they both loved Jack and connected after over their shared grief. They were each other’s support system. As for Nicky, it’s just a little too close to home.
Plus, I’m a fan of the theory that Nicky is only by her side because Rebecca’s dementia has led her to believe that Nicky is Jack. This could also explain why Miguel isn’t pictured.
The final option is that Nicky married Cassidy (guest star Jennifer Morrison). While there’s a significant age difference between the two, aside from Kevin, Cassidy is the only other person that Nicky is close to. Plus, people of different ages fall in love all the time.
The series likely wouldn’t introduce Morrison’s character only to have her be a blimp in Kevin’s life, right? Unless, of course, Kevin, who ended up not getting married to Madison in the This Is Us Season 5 finale, marries Cassidy in the flash-forward. Either way, I don’t think we’ve seen the last of Cassidy just yet!
If Rebecca thinks Nicky is Jack, and if Kevin is married to Cassidy, then it seems like Nicky either wed Sally or the series will introduce a new love interest for him in the final season.
Regardless of who the wife is, we just hope Nicky, who has only known solitude for the latter half of his life, is happy.
He deserves a companion that will make him feel happy and alive again!
Who do you think he marries?
This Is Us Season 6 will premiere midseason in 2022. No premiere date has been announced.
This Is Us Season Finale Review – The Wedding Twist No One Saw Coming (5×16)
After five seasons, This Is Us continues to sweep us off our feet.
And yes, that’s a terrible phrase to use for an episode that did not include the highly-anticipated Kevin and Madison wedding. Is anyone really surprised by that?
I think I was more surprised by how much the teasers were hyping up a wedding that both the bride and groom were so uncertain about. We knew in our hearts that it wasn’t going to happen.
While Kevin and Madison didn’t walk down the aisle towards their happily ever after, there was a silver lining for both of them.
For starters, they both avoided a marriage that was doomed from the beginning. Madison would never have Kevin’s full heart, and that’s unfair to everyone. Meanwhile, he wouldn’t have to force himself to fall in love with a woman after saying “I do.” They were both settling simply because they had children together, which was made obvious when Kevin couldn’t bring himself to tell Madison that he was in love with her.
Kevin was so determined to make it work because he so badly wanted to have the kind of love story his parents did. But this wasn’t it… at least not now. I say that because based on the flash-forward, I definitely think there’s a chance that Kevin and Madison fell in love with each other sometime in the future. Otherwise, they’re nailing this modern family/parenting thing, and that’s great too. They both deserve to find their person.
The other silver lining was that through this experience, Madison finally found her worth. In the same way that Kevin was searching for the fairytale romance and perfect family because of his parents, Madison spent her life accepting any sliver of affection that anyone would give her. After being with Kevin, she realized that she owed it to herself to find someone who was just as in love with her as she was with him.
Calling off a wedding mere moments before it’s set to happen to a man who has given you everything (except his heart) is difficult, but kudos to Madison for finally putting herself first.
The series is always trying its best to trick us and the sweet Kate and Toby conversation about making sacrifices for the other person was a red herring.
For a full season, we’ve all wondered when the other foot would drop on Kate and Toby’s relationship as the flash-forward to Rebecca on her death bed seems to reveal that the two of them are no longer together.
However, this was not the moment I thought we’d get the big reveal.
As Kevin practiced his speech, it was assumed that he was putting together his vows for his wedding with Madison. When it became obvious that this scene was from a flash-forward, I immediately thought that Kevin was finally going to lock down the love of his life and was convinced we’d see Sophie standing on the other side of the door.
All of that ended up being absolutely inaccurate as Kevin was actually gearing up for his best man speech for… Kate’s wedding.
Kate was getting married to her co-teacher, Phillip. Yes, the very Phillip that thought she wasn’t qualified for the job and gave her flack on her first day.
I’m a huge fan of season finale twists but not when they involve the breakup of one of TV’s sweetest couples.
Were Kate and Toby tired of making sacrifices for each other? Were they just being delusional when they both said they’d make things work between juggling a family and a career?
Or is this yet another red herring? Kevin calls Phillip brother-in-law, but maybe Phillip is Madison’s long-lost brother and Kate is renewing her vows with Toby?
It’s a stretch, especially since Kate says “this is the last time I’m doing this.”
We know Toby is still around in the flash-forward, and this could explain the “she” he’s referring to when Randall assures him that “she would want you to be here, Tobe.” Initially, we all thought it referred to Rebecca wanting Toby there or that it might have meant Kate was no longer alive, but now that we know Toby and Kate divorced, it would make sense that he’d feel a little apprehensive about being there for a huge Pearson moment.
Though, I’m glad he is. Toby is family regardless of whether he’s married to Kate or not.
The 5-year flash-forward also revealed something quite shocking… Nicky is married! Yes, the cynical Nicky has found a lifelong partner.
But who is it? Is it his teenage love Sally Brooks? Did he finally find her? Or is it Rebecca? Because in the other flash-forward (so many timelines, so little time!), Nicky is by Rebecca’s bedside. Did she split from Miguel and get married to Nicky? I can’t see that happening, but I’m also not putting anything past this series anymore.
The episode was filled with great moments about putting yourself and your own happiness first.
Tess confessed that she didn’t feel like herself in the bridesmaid dress, and while no one ever does, hers was a different story as it was tied to her identity. Beth took matters into her own hands and helped Tess alter the dress to make it more her style, and it turned out awesome.
Deja found out that Malik got accepted to Harvard, and while she’s obviously concerned about the future of their relationship, can we just get a round of applause for his five for five? Get it!
And Randall finally opened up to Rebecca about his time in New Orleans learning about his birth mother. He’d been avoiding the conversation for quite some time, but it allowed them to heal from all the pain of the past as Rebecca finally apologized for keeping him away from his birth parents and not giving him a platform to talk about it.
Rebecca and Randall are the best mother-daughter duo on television, so I’m glad they’re back on track.
The episode was filled with the same magic that made This Is Us such an unexpected hit back in 2016!
We even got a present-day Pearson family moment, and while Jack was obviously missing, his presence was felt as everyone suggested how he would handle the given situation. There’s something so special about the family still having each other’s backs after everything they’ve been through. It was one of the most powerful scenes of the season.
What are your thoughts after the finale? Have you picked your jaw up off the floor?
What do you think led to the Kate and Toby split? Are they still on good terms? Are Kevin and Madison together in the future?
Who is Nicky married to? Sound off in the comments below to share your thoughts, feelings, and opinions.
And we’ll see you back here for the sixth and final season in the fall!
This Is Us Review – Kevin’s Strange Bachelor Party (5×15)
Kevin and Madison celebrated their respective bachelor and bachelorette parties on This Is Us Season 5 Episode 15.
For a Hollywood hunk, Kevin’s bachelor party was pretty lame, but it was fitting for the family-focused series.
The boys went up to the family cabin with the hopes of fly fishing, but due to the weather, they found themselves watching Jerry Maguire, talking about their feelings, and reminiscing about the past.
And that’s kind of what bothered me about the episode. There was too much emphasis on the past and not enough on the future, namely, Madison and Kevin’s future.
Their relationship may be unconventional, and yes, it’s highly likely that if they didn’t accidentally get pregnant, they wouldn’t be together, but they did find each other, which has to mean something.
Their love isn’t a grand love like Rebecca and Jack’s, but not every relationship is.
However, as Miguel rightfully pointed out, that doesn’t make it any less important. What Madison and Kevin have is unique and special in their own way, and I wish the series acknowledged that instead of trying to tear them apart through every means possible.
Kevin was right to call out Nicky for his rude behavior. I know he doesn’t have a filter, but some things just don’t need to be said out loud.
Nicky’s comments coupled with the call from Sophie made Kevin doubt and question his decision to get married to Madison, but I’m glad Miguel brought him back to reality.
Miguel definitely knows that there are different types of love and they’re all valid. He will never be Rebecca’s Jack, but they have something real that they’ve made work.
Similarly, Madison will never be Kevin’s Sophie, but that’s a good thing. Kevin and Sophie tried to make it work numerous times, and despite the love they had for each other, it just didn’t fit.
Randall managed to keep everyone in check, but Miguel’s advice saved the day.
Honestly, Miguel continues to be so underrated, but I’m glad they’re incorporating him into the storylines more and more.
I was happy that Kevin didn’t call Sophie back and decided to delete her number. It was a little irritating that she decided to call Kevin in the first place and insert herself back into his life.
A congratulations text would’ve worked just as well, but it seemed like she was hoping something else might come of it and that isn’t fair to Kevin. He tried to win her back so many times and she turned him down. Her call seemed to be fueled by the “you want what you can’t have.”
Madison’s bachelorette party didn’t fare any better. While it had a more bachelorette vibe to it, it was still pretty depressing.
First off, none of Madison’s friends came to the party. Then, the model that they were painting turned out to be Madison’s ex, and finally, she also began to question her relationship with Kevin when watching the video about their future.
The whole ex thing didn’t seem to serve any purpose, but it was funny watching them call him out for ghosting her!
What did become evident is that both Kevin and Madison both have the same fears and insecurities about the relationship. Instead of pretending they’re this happy couple, they should probably talk about it before the wedding.
I definitely think they both love each other, but they have to be honest about their feelings if they want to make this work. Slapping a bandaid over it isn’t going to cut it.
With both of them questioning the relationship, it’s definitely hard to get excited about the wedding in the upcoming season finale.
Will they make it down the aisle? Will Sophie be a wedding crasher? Or will they live happily ever after?
Other Major Moments
- Toby realized that he couldn’t continue on as a stay-at-home dad and put himself in the running for a position in San Francisco. What does that mean for him and Kate considering she just found a job she loves in LA?
- Beth was also looking for a job and couldn’t bring herself to work at just another dance academy as she considered the traditional ones to be broken and joyless. Rebecca suggested that she start her own (and we know that she runs with that advice in the future), and I just love how positive of a force she is in everyone’s lives. She was supportive of Madison, and she’s always been #TeamBeth.
- In turn, I love that Beth was the only person who treated Rebecca like a human instead of a broken doll. Their relationship is so sweet.
- Fisherman Randall is a whole vibe.
- Nicky wanting to bring a jigsaw puzzle to the bachelor party was so on-brand.
- Rebecca’s reaction to learning about ghosting was everything. People who ghost other people are jerks!
- Nicky is trying to find his one true love, Sally Brooks. It’s definitely a generic name, so he might have so trouble with the Google results, but I’m excited about this storyline. Maybe it’ll make him less cynical!
What did you think of the episode? Let us know in the comments!
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