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This is Us Storybook Love Review This is Us Storybook Love Review

This Is Us

This Is Us – Storybook Love (4×05)

THIS IS US -- "Storybook Love" Episode 405 -- Pictured: (l-r)Logan Shroyer as Kevin, Mandy Moore as Rebecca, Niles Fitch as Randall, Rachel Wilson as Beth, Hannah Zeile as Kate -- (Photo by: Ron Batzdorff/NBC)

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A family dinner ties This Is Us “Storybook Love” together.

Family dinners can either bring people together or tear them apart.

Thankfully, in this case, they brought the Pearsons closer together despite a few hiccups.

But these two family dinners varied wildly from each other.

In the first, Rebecca and Jack were moving into their new house. She was pregnant with the triplets.

Instead of making the first dinner at their new home special, she burned the lasagna, Jack knocked it over while hilariously fighting a bird, and they embraced the night for what it was — a fond memory to look back on.

The second dinner found the family reuniting for the first time after Jack’s death.

Rebecca once again wanted everything to be perfect because this was the start of their “next chapter,” and just like before, everything went sideways.

She tried her hardest to keep her composure but seeing Kevin and Sophie’s “quickie” wedding wasn’t easy for her.

Beth and Randall didn’t present too many problems that night, although Beth’s housewarming gift, a bottle of hot sauce, stirred up emotions as Jack loved to eat hot sauce on everything. Has this always been a thing? Or did they just add that in now for emotional texture?

And Kate’s date, Marc, surprised everyone by arriving unannounced after looking up her address and showing up at the house. Again, nothing concerning until a scene later in the episode raises a few eyebrows.

The Big Three had a lot to say to each other, but Rebecca wasn’t interested in seeing any of them argue and made it very clear as she went off on them in the kitchen.

It was awesome.

We’ve never seen Rebecca’s composed exterior crack, but I’m kind of digging this side of her.

At least, when it’s necessary.

By the end, Rebecca admitted the night was a failure and salvaged it by ordering pizza and being present in the moment.

It helped that Miguel was there offering up some advice alongside a glass of wine: stay patient.

Admittedly, Miguel felt slightly out of place at dinner, but it’s a testament to the man always being there for the family.

Kate even mentioned that he’d been hanging around the house frequently.

Seeing him involved so early on defines his relationship and allows us to see how it naturally turned from being there for his best friend’s wife to something more romantic.

Miguel promised to take care of Rebecca and that’s what he did.

While nothing seemed too out of the ordinary about Kate’s boyfriend, it does seem like we have something to worry about.

The episode didn’t elaborate on what transpired between Kate and Marc, but it did allude to something horrific happening as Kate found pictures of that night in the piano that the Pearson men sent over (another grand gesture) and became visibly triggered.

Rebecca then made a comment about wanting so badly to believe the kids were happy that she ignored what was right in front of her.

Did Marc abuse Kate?

Did he take advantage of her?

Following this final scene, Kevin’s “bad feeling” about Marc and the fact that he was 23 suddenly worries me.

It’s possible Kate was so eager to fit in or have a significant other that she too ignored the signs that something was wrong.

But did anyone pick up on Marc being too pushy or weird?

I’m not entirely sure I like where this storyline is headed especially since it has never been brought up as something that happened to Kate or formed her character.

Randall’s anxiety was prevalent during the family dinner, which Beth used as a reference in the present day.

Making lists was just one of the ways he stayed in control and coped with the anxiety, the same anxiety that took a toll on him back in season 1, and the anxiety that was now affecting Tess.

Randall’s storyline feels the strongest simply because it’s been developed from the beginning.

It’s not being added in out of convenience — this has always been something he’s dealt with and suffered from.

Now, Tess is overwhelmed with her sexuality, her new school, and new friends and it’s manifesting in panic attacks that Randall is all too familiar with.

Surprisingly, Beth finds a solution by remembering a conversation she once had with William, who also suffered from anxiety.

Boy, was it nice to him again!

Just like Randall, William hated that the one thing he passed onto his child was the thing he liked least about himself.

Yet, Beth found a way to spin it into a positive. Her three favorite people in the world are all affected by anxiety and panic attacks. It doesn’t make them less than and it’s not something they should be ashamed about.

Instead, they have to just let the bubbles fizzle out. As someone who suffers from anxiety, I enjoyed that metaphor.

But while Randall was able to identify the problem in Tess, he believed he had it all under control despite Beth picking up on the warning signs that he was on a verge of another mental break.

If Randall doesn’t see someone soon, it’s not going to end well.

Many shows tackle mental health and mental health stigma in an exaggerated way for ratings but that isn’t the case with This Is Us. They broached the topic with sensitivity and with the intention of informing.

When storylines are handled with such care, they’re better and stronger.

In the present day, Kevin continued being a support system for Cassidy and his uncle Nicky.

He wasn’t as helpful as he wanted to be. Nicky was annoyed of him and didn’t want to stick around for the hockey game because there were too many triggers.

Meanwhile, he made the wrong assumption about Cassidy’s husband and when he called him out for looking down while she was being honored as a vet, Ryan checked him by saying that he couldn’t watch her get honored by the very thing that broke her.

So yeah, not a great day for Kevin, but his heart was in the right place.

Ryan even told him to “stay away” from his wife, which is highly unlikely since there’s a definite connection forming between Kevin and Cassidy though neither of them sees it just yet.

In fact, Kevin’s been the only support system for Cassidy. Ryan may “still like her,” but he hasn’t been there for her and alienating her is pushing her onto those darker vices.

I’m warming up to the idea of Kevin and Cassidy as a couple, which is exactly what they looked like when they met up with Ryan before the hockey game.

As for Nicky, he seems to be around to keep Jack’s memory alive as Kevin looks back on their upbringing and shares a slice of ice cream with his uncle.

There were plenty of generational callbacks that tied the whole episode together. Despite originating from a terrible Pearson (Jack and Nicky’s father), the men turned out okay.

What did you think of tonight’s episode?

Sound-off in the comments below!


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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.

This Is Us

‘This Is Us’ Season 5 Returns Tonight with a Two-Hour Premiere

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This Is Us Season 5 Premiere Trailer Teases Coronavirus

This Is Us returns tonight after an overdue hiatus. 

After a seven-month break, we’re catching up with the Pearson clan as the Big Three celebrate their 40th birthday. 

‘This Is Us’ Season 5 Trailer Teases New Beginnings, Kevin & Randall’s Fallout, Kevin’s Fiancee, and Face Masks

The series is set to touch upon timely topics including the coronavirus pandemic and the Black Lives Matter movement.

Tune in for the two-hour premiere tonight at 9:00pm ET on NBC! We’ll have a review up following the episode! 

Related Reads: 5 Possible Theories About Who Madison’s Doctor and His Daughter Sadie Could Be on ‘This Is Us’

Related Reads: Why Is Nicky By Rebecca’s Side on the ‘This Is Us’ Season 4 Finale? This Theory Might Explain It


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Coffee Table News

‘This Is Us’ Season 5 Trailer Teases New Beginnings, Kevin & Randall’s Fallout, Kevin’s Fiancee, and Face Masks

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This Is Us Season 5 Premiere Trailer Teases Coronavirus

The 2-hour premiere of This Is Us is closer than ever!

Just a few days after NBC revealed the first trailer for the drama that reunites us with the Pearson family, they’ve given us a second, longer trailer that is more focused on the fallout between Randall Pearson (Sterling K. Brown) and Kevin Pearson (Justin Hartley) following their blow-out confrontation. 

Will they find their way back? Will Kevin attempt to become a better brother? It may be a long road ahead, but it sure seems like it. 

While there’s minimal new footage since the series just began shooting a few weeks ago due to COVID delays, it teases “a new chapter” for the family. 

We see Randall celebrate his 40th birthday with wife Beth estranged from the rest of his siblings, who are celebrating together at the family cabin. 

Related: 5 Possible Theories About Who Madison’s Doctor and His Daughter Sadie Could Be on ‘This Is Us’

Kevin is seen walking to his car wearing a mask, which reveals that the series will be embracing the real-life coronavirus pandemic. It’s unclear how it’ll affect the family, but considering there’s a scene showing Kevin caressing Madison’s (Caitlin Thompson) growing baby bump, maybe the series will navigate pregnancy in a COVID-19 world. It’s likely easier to film certain scenes with more cast members if mask-wearing is permitted and deemed normal.

In a shocking twist, Kevin also calls her his “fiancee,” which prompts Kate Pearson (Chrissy Metz) to inform him that he needs to explain to use of the word fiancee. 


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Coffee Table News

‘This Is Us’ Season 5 Moves Up Premiere Date – Find Out When You Can Reunite with the Pearsons!

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This Is Us Season 5 Moves Up Premiere Date - Find Out When You Can Reunite with the Pearsons!

The wait for new episodes of This Is Us is almost over. 

The show’s fifth season will premiere on Tuesday, October 27, a few weeks ahead of its previously announced November 10 premiere

NBC made the announcement during a commercial that ran during the season finale of America’s Got Talent on Wednesday.

The show’s official social media accounts also revealed the good news writing: “We just couldn’t wait any longer, but we have a feeling you won’t mind.”

The reunion with the Pearsons will be a two-hour event, which will hopefully answer some burning questions left behind by season 4 like who Madison’s doctor is and why Nicky was by Rebecca’s bedside instead of Miguel. 

Oh, Baby! ‘This Is Us’ Actress Mandy Moore Pregnant With First Child

The series has about a month to turn over new episodes as TVLine notes that the series is set to start production this week following a mandatory hiatus brought on by the COVID-19 pandemic. 

Like many shows including FOX’s The Resident, the season isn’t shying away from reality but will instead tackle the pandemic “head-on,” series creator Dan Fogelman revealed on Twitter.

It’s unclear how the public health crisis will play into the show’s narrative or how it’ll affect the tight-knit Pearson clan. Maybe that’s why Randall and Kevin haven’t seen each other for years? Yes, we’re trying to pretend that big explosive fight in the This Is Us Season 4 finale never happened! 

Turning it over to you, Cravers. Are you excited for the return of This Is Us?


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