One day you’re their biggest idol and the next day someone else comes along and becomes their whole world.
This quote summarizes the mindsets of both Randall and Jack on This Is Us “The Dinner and the Date.”
Both Jack and Randall Pearson struggled with accepting that they weren’t the most important person in their child’s lives anymore.
For Jack, it was about being replaced by his teacher, Mr. Lawrence and for Randall, it was seeing Malik become “the man” in Deja’s life.
Much of the episode centered around Deja and Malik.
Though my expectations for this episode were low — frankly, I don’t think is the strongest season of This Is Us — I was surprised by how much I loved this episode.
Deja and Malik are characters that command your attention.
Their storyline is unconventional, but it’s real and emotional and forces Randall and Beth to get comfortable in their uncomfortableness.
Deja’s character development is noticeable and yet, she never forgets where she came from or who she is. Her past was engrained in this episode as she ditched school, explored Philly with Malik, and found a little piece of home on their Ferris Bueller inspired day off.
I’d even go as far as saying that Malik might be good for Deja.
She hadn’t has much exposure to a stable home or good men. Most of the examples of what a proper marriage and family look like have stemmed solely from Beth and Randall.
But Malik is a combination of both parts of her life; his family comes from lesser means, but they’re above all, a supportive family.
His life hasn’t been easy yet he has this confidence about him that draws people in.
He may have come off as a player, but deep down inside, Malik is a romantic who knows how to treat a lady.
When Malik brought her to see the lights that Deja remembered seeing as a child with her mom and grandma, I’m not going to lie, the tears welled up in my eyes.
Malik may be 14 but he’s mature; he listened to everything Deja said and planned the perfect date. I don’t know many middle-aged men who could pull off such an impressive evening.
Family dinners are always slightly awkward, but when you add strangers into the mix, the awkwardness is tripled.
In both timelines, that awkwardness was felt by everyone.
Dinner with the Pearson clan and Randall’s teacher, Mr. Lawrence, was less intense than the meeting of Deja’s parents with Malik’s parents.
In the present-day timeline, everyone had preconceived notions about the other party and Beth’s “open-mindedness” went out the door rather quickly.
Each parent blamed the other child for being a bad influence. Beth and Randall looked down on Malik because he was a father and refused to acknowledge him as anything else when, in fact, he’s also a grade-A student and good father.
Randall is a good and protective father, but Malik’s dad stating that he won’t let them overlook his son was powerful.
At the same time, Malik’s parents judged Randall and Beth by their wealth.
They viewed them as bougie and snide comments about the affordability of the house and his role as Councilman.
The dinner was doomed from the very beginning.
The only good thing that came out of it was that all parties checked each other towards the end and realized that the only solution would be to allow these kids to see each other with parental supervision.
In the past timeline, Jack struggled with accepting Mr. Lawrence out of fear that he was being replaced in Randall’s life.
Competitiveness and jealousy don’t look good on Jack.
Rebecca had to check her husband whose jealousy was making for some tense moments.
She also made a rather good point — Randall was seeking out Mr. Lawrence because he’s a man who looks like him. He could give him what Rebecca and Jack couldn’t.
When Jack became honest with himself and Lawrence, he admitted that Randall needed a role model like Lawrence.
By then, Lawrence realized he was overstepping and helped out by giving Jack the tools he needed to guide Randall’s journey of self-discovery.
Jack’s decision to embrace this part of Randall that they’ve been ignoring mainly because of their ignorance was admirable and important.
It’s this very quality that has always made them the best parents and in turn, made Randall such a great person.
- Dejik is a cool ship name but Malajia takes the cake.
- Malik should have known that skipping class wouldn’t make for a good impression on Randall.
- Annie and Kevin’s commentary was everything. “It’s crazy that you have a baby” would have surely made Beth spit out her red wine had she been drinking some.
- Beth may have gone a little too far but her spitfire attitude is a whole mood. Malik’s mom really tried it by bringing up Deja’s past and saying it “must be hard raising someone else’s kid.” She instigated all of that attitude from Beth.
I’m eager to get back to the Big Three storylines and see them all interact more, but a break from the mold wasn’t a bad thing.
This Is Us has a difficult task on their hands because they have to find a way to appease all fans — the ones who say that Kate, Kevin, and Randall should stop mourning their father already and the people who want the series to continue focusing on the core family and less on new characters.
But there’s only so much the writers can accomplish with the Big Three before eventually adding new faces and expanding the storyline. I think they’ve done a good job at balancing all of it for now.
What do you think?
Did you enjoy this episode?
‘This Is Us’ to End After Season 6 at NBC
It’s time to say goodbye to the Pearson clan!
NBC’s groundbreaking family drama This Is Us will end with a sixth and final season, per The Hollywood Reporter
The series was renewed for three seasons — up until season 6 — back in 2019.
NBC has not officially commented on the news. The network is expected to make the announcement on Friday when it unveils the upcoming 2021-22 fall schedule.
This Is Us Season 5 will air its finale on Tuesday, May 25 at 10/9c.
Are you ready to say goodbye to the series and TV’s best family?
Read reviews of This Is Us right here!
This Is Us Review – Follow Your Passion (5×14)
After yet another brief hiatus, This Is Us returned to deliver some grounded, emotional storylines.
As the coronavirus raged on, Beth was forced to close her dance studio as membership dwindled even through Zoom class.
Watching her dream go down the drain for the second time was heartbreaking, but it’s hard to feel for her completely when we’ve seen the future and we know she eventually opens up a prestigious dance school.
As they say, after the rain, there’s always a rainbow. Plus, Beth has overcome failure in the dance world before as we saw her dreams of becoming a dancer and getting cast in the production of Swan Lake dashed in flashbacks to when she was in college.
In both the past and the present, Randall was there for Beth in the way she needed him to be. As Deja pointed out, he tends to be quite a lot, but there’s a beauty in just supporting someone and not always being the hero.
Beth and Randall have always been couple goals (next to Rebecca and Jack), and they continued to give us relationship aspirations as they shared a romantic dance to “All My Life” by K-Ci and Jojo. I know I wasn’t the only one singing my heart out during that scene!
Madison, Rebecca, and Kate went wedding dress shopping for the upcoming big day.
Madison found her dream dress, but found herself feeling slightly disappointed when her father informed her that he wouldn’t be making it to the wedding due to a “work emergency.”
What a lame excuse.
Thanks to Rebecca’s speech (that would make Jack Pearson proud), Madison felt like she was part of a family for the first time ever.
However, after Kevin ran into Zoey, she mentioned that he was a people pleaser, which made him think about whether or not he was getting married to Madison because he wanted to or because he convinced himself he wanted to.
Zoe wasn’t wrong — Kevin is a bit of a “yes, man,” but in this case, it’s been a decision that has been great for his personal life.
Madison is an awesome woman, a great mother, and she brings out the best in Kevin. This is the most put-together and levelheaded he’s been in quite some time, and it’s been some positive character development for him.
Making Kevin question his whole future with his family based on something an ex-girlfriend said jeopardizes all the progress he’s made. I don’t want to see his storyline take a turn for the worse, again.
From the upcoming promos, it looks like Kevin will start to fall into old habits and pine for Sophie, which is also annoying. We’ve been there, done that several times. Sophie was his one true love, but the timing never worked out. They had their shot, and it didn’t work. Let’s not try to go back to that over and over again.
Madison deserves so much better; she deserves a man that’s going to fight for her and choose her, not someone who is going to question every decision in his life.
After seeing how great Rebecca was with Madison, Kate thanked her for being such a good and supportive mom, even though she didn’t always deserve it.
And there’s no denying that Kate was a difficult teenager. But she had her reasons, too.
When Jack died, so did her passion for art school. It may have taken her a few decades to find something she was passionate about again, but I’m so glad she did and that she shared it with Rebecca.
Toby continues to struggle with being a stay-at-home dad. He’s embarrassed by the fact that he lost his job and even more embarrassed by the fact that he can’t help but feel jealous about Kate’s new gig.
Instead of opening up about it, he’s bottled it all up inside. And you know that means he’s going to burst — just like the water pipe — eventually.
Hopefully, hearing his dad acknowledge that he comes from a family that opens up about their problems will encourage Toby to speak up and share his troubles with Kate. It’s the only way to ensure a healthy relationship.
And I hope that they find a way for Kate to continue working because, as I mentioned, she’s finally doing something she enjoys. You can see it based on how her face lights up. I just wish she could be able to share it with Toby.
What did you think of the episode?
Are you glad This Is Us is back? Will Toby confide in Kate or will this tension hurt their marriage? Will Kevin go through with the wedding? Let us know your thoughts in the comments!
This Is Us Review – Kevin and Randall Tackle the Ugly Stuff (5×13)
Kevin and Randall finally found “brotherly love” after all these years, but it didn’t come easily.
The duo tackled the elephant in the room — their explosive fight during which plenty of hurtful words were exchanged — on This Is Us Season 5 Episode 13.
As the two worked towards making amends, they aired out all the “ugly stuff” and it got pretty heated in certain moments.
The episode allowed audiences to see their different perspectives on the same situation with the key takeaway being: You just don’t see it the way I do.
But that doesn’t necessarily mean either of their experiences was wrong, they’re just different.
Kevin kicked things off with a bit of a half-assed, scripted apology, which Randall compared to a “rehearsed monologue.” Throughout it, he barely took any of the blame for his role in how “othered” he made Randall feel throughout the years when all he wanted to do was blend in.
While it was great that Kevin acknowledged that he should have done more to combat the racism Randall faced from people like his prom date’s father, he didn’t actually own up to his actions.
Throughout a series of flashbacks, which also included new actors playing the boys in the past (or at least I believe they’re new since I don’t recall seeing them before), we see Randall and Kevin’s relationship unfold through the years.
As toddlers, Jack takes them on a “boys weekend” to a live-taping of Mr. Rogers where Kevin becomes jealous of Randall’s “special treatment.” During their teenage years, Kevin gives Randall a fake I.D. of a “Black man” and tells him it’ll work cause he’s Black.
During the present, Randall recalls all of these moments, most of which were subconscious on Kevin’s part, to inform his brother that he always felt singled out because of his Blackness. Kevin would make fun of him for not knowing rap songs, call him Carlton, and make other racially charged comments that he thought were innocent and funny.
As Randall put it, Kevin’s black blindspots showed how wilfully in the dark he was, which hurt more than someone doing it purposefully and with malice.
Kevin doesn’t admit his fault initially, but eventually, he realizes that his jealousy of Randall was directly associated with his Blackness.
Kevin also called out Randall for being ungrateful about being adopted into a caring and loving family, but again, Randall didn’t harbor any resentment towards the Pearsons.
Instead, he opened up about his internal struggle of always wanting to find his birth parents, making up his Ghost Kingdom where the Black weatherman was his dad and the mail carrier was his mom, and also appreciating the life he was handed thanks to Rebecca and Jack.
It was a condensed glimpse of Randall’s journey that fans have been seeing unfold throughout the season.
There’s nothing wrong with Randall dreaming about what could have been if the events of his birth were slightly altered, while still being grateful for what could’ve been.
It’s an inner turmoil Randall has dealt with his whole life. He even admitted to feeling so guilty about his Ghost Kingdoms because of how great his real family was, so it’s not surprising that he’s tired of people telling him how he should feel about it.
Randall also apologized for always making Kevin feel “less than,” which included an apology for the cheap shot comment of Jack being ashamed of him.
While both of the guys will continue to see things through their own lenses, they’ve at least dipped their toes into each other’s perspectives for a moment.
With everything laid out on the table, a once-fractured brotherly bond is starting to rebuild.
There was nothing groundbreaking about the episode, but the breakthrough for Kevin and Randall was nice to see.
They’re finally starting to hold each other accountable for their actions that have spanned decades instead of bottling it up inside and resenting each other.
It takes true love and respect to have conversations this real and raw. Despite their flaws and quibbles, Randall and Kevin have always had each other’s backs, so I’m glad they’re back on track!
Plus, it might be the most honest and transparent conversation Randall has ever had with anyone in the Pearson family! That’s progress.
What did you think of the episode? Let us know in the comments below!
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