There are always hidden lessons tucked away in every This Is Us episode.
Lessons are taught as past, present, and sometimes future experiences that mirror each other.
Kevin, Randall, and Kate are all moving into new phases of their adult lives.
Randall’s making a name for himself as the “unhinged” councilman in Philadelphia after announcing an open door policy for all his constituents.
Randall: He’s a man of the people and his policy reflects that. Unlike most politicians, Randall isn’t in this as a stepping stone to some greater title that gives him more power. His purpose is to evoke change, which is something Berenice, his toxic and moody assistant, didn’t fully grasp. Berenice surely meant well, and she had the experience to offer up plenty of useful insight into Randall’s tenure, but it wasn’t enough to keep her around.
Berenice criticized Randall for not being a typical politician as if that’s something someone should strive to become.
Randall may be taking an atypical approach, but he’s doing exactly what he’s been voted into office for — to help the people that elected him.
Yes, he’ll need the help of his other councilman to do his job, but he can’t help pass anything if he doesn’t know what the real-life, everyday problems are. Too many politicians nowadays don’t live the life regular people do, they don’t experience the problems, they don’t understand where they’re coming from. Randall is taking a hammer to all of that, and Berenice wasn’t going to bring him down.
She overstepped by suggesting that he fire Jae-Won and keep him strictly as a “friend.” Jae-Won shared the same passion for the work as Randall does. He believes in change, and he believes it’s time to change how they go about ushering in change.
He’s been there since day one, and helped Randall win the election — he deserves to be there.
Randall’s present-day confidence and ability to do what he felt was right juxtaposed his first day of school experiences where he had a panic attack for getting in trouble for being out of dress code.
He’s grown immensely from the boy that followed the rules to a man who makes his own and speaks out against injustice.
Kevin – Kevin’s on a journey to find himself, and it seems he’s been on this same journey since he was in middle school.
Kevin’s storylines are always filled with so much heart and that’s because he’s an emotionally vulnerable human. His ego always preceded him, but when you get to know him, you see that he’s always putting everyone he cares about ahead of himself.
When he was in middle school, he sacrificed his “me day” to help Randall deal with a panic attack despite not fully understanding what was happening to Randall. When he chucked it up to being a phase in “puberty,” I muttered: “I wish.”
In the present, Kevin was extending the same care towards Nicky, who was visibly struggling with addiction.
Kevin is the most underrated character and the one who pulls from Jack’s caring nature.
He never gives up on the people he cares about. Nicky resisted the help, but Kevin never wavered; he stuck around.
It’s amazing that This Is Us can bring me to tears with a summarized montage of Nicky’s up-and-down battle with addiction. It allowed us to explore Kevin’s more serious side as he put his foot down and told Nicky how all of this would go down. And, as most viewers have been anticipating, it led Kevin to meet Cassidy, his potential love interest.
Nicky threw the chair because he was driven to drink after losing the only therapist he felt comfortable opening up to.
As Kevin supported Nicky in the aftermath, he befriended Cassidy’s kid in the waiting room.
Although sparks weren’t flying between Kevin and Cassidy during their first meeting, they did bump into each other again at an AA meeting.
Cassidy and Nicky couldn’t keep it together as Kevin was pouring his soul out and it led to a laugh attack from all three.
Sometimes, laughter is the best medicine.
Helping Nicky may have just led Kevin to his next chapter and a new purpose.
Kate – Kate struggled with her weight again in both the present-day and the flashbacks. Though she’s much more confident than the Katie girl who did one work out video with her mother in the 80s and felt deterred after she saw she wasn’t losing weight, the reality of her weight still well, weighed heavy on her.
It was only amplified when she realized how slim and hunky Toby’s been looking. That paired with his client meeting in which she had to admit she couldn’t fit into a booth and needed a table instead really triggered her.
Kate’s anger is expected as she’s always put so much pressure on herself to be thin and gets upset when it comes easily or naturally to others. But the anger wasn’t warranted, which is why it’s good she got over it quickly.
Toby didn’t mean to hurt her by taking care of himself and his health — his motives for doing it for his child were inspiring — he just didn’t want her to feel bad about not doing it also.
No one should ever be blamed for doing what’s best for them, even if it isn’t what others believe you should be doing.
Kate apologized and acknowledge how great his healthy lifestyle was, but there’s definitely going to be some animosity going forward. This isn’t the end yet. Could this be why Kate and Toby aren’t together anymore in the future?
Kate’s neighbor, Gregory, was unlikeable at first, but it teaches an important lesson about not judging people because you never know what they’re going through.
His callous way of requesting that Toby didn’t block the driveway seemed insensitive and uptight. It was obvious the storage unit was taking up too much space, and there was obviously a better way to go about getting his point across.
But later, we learned that Gregory was recovering from a stroke (guest star Psych’s Timothy O’Toole was also a stroke survivor) and walking a mile was a personal goal, which was being hindered by the car in the driveway.
Knowing that changed our whole outlook on Gregory – he went’ from being the “asshole neighbor” to the funny and slightly cynical one.
There’s potential within this new friendship, and maybe Gregory will be the one to push Kate in a way she’s never been able to push herself.
There’s an emphasis on health here from both Toby and Gregory that I don’t think Kate will ignore.
The first step is just taking that walk around the block.
First Day of School – The first day of school was the connection between young Kate, Randall and Kevin, and Randall’s girls, Deja, Annie, and Tess.
Both Tess and Randall wanted to make a good impression and found themselves misunderstood.
Tess may have come out to her parents and family members last season, but her storyline will echo what many LGBTQ folks know all too well — coming out never truly ends.
Every time you meet a new person, you’ll have to come out to them, which Tess realized is more difficult than she thought it would be.
Deja was having a situation of her own when Malik informed her that he was the father of a baby girl.
Finding out someone has a child is a lot to process for an adult let alone a teenage girl who isn’t prepared for such responsibilities.
But, Deja is more mature than many other girls her age. She’s gone through difficult times and experiences, which have made her stronger, and that outlook on life is why she’d probably be open to Malik’s situation.
And we’re all secretly hoping she gives Malik a chance because we want to see Randall’s reaction.
Will Beth and Randall handle the news maturely? Or will Randall spiral into another bus incident?
Jack and Miguel – Friendship is the key to life. I mentioned that Kevin is just as caring and nurturing as his father, and this rings true in the flashback to Jack and Miguel. Both men had each other’s backs during a difficult situation. If it wasn’t for Miguel, Jack would have lost his job over an accidental mistake.
Both men are/ were lucky to have each other in their lives. I do wonder if this backstory will have some impact on their friendship going forward. Jack seemed to make the mistake because he wasn’t happy in his line of work. Otherwise, the scene felt like they were just inserting it to give us some quality Jack time. I’m never opposed to that, but it isn’t how This Is Us operates.
The fourth season is delivering storylines that exemplify that character’s strengths, showcase their rawness, and propel the plot forward.
Even though fans were skeptical about how the series would move on, at some point, we have to move on from grieving from Jack’s death.
This new handful of characters allows us to do so while still connecting to inspiring moments with our Pearson clan.
‘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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