Well, I thought I wouldn’t cry on this episode of “This is Us.” It wasn’t really focused on adoption, the issue that usually hits a nerve with me. But when I started explaining the whole thing to my college son, who had never seen an episode, that did it. “William is Randall’s birth father,” I said to him, pausing the scene where William tells Randall his cancer is encroaching in new and serious ways. “I wish he was mine.”
The power of #Us is in its characters, who live and breathe and bleed and laugh. And make us do the same (well, maybe not bleed–yet).
Here’s my Top 10 recap of the episode!
Would LOVE your comments and discussion below!
1. Toby is alive–and friskier than ever! (Didn’t you think he was a goner? I did!) Hmmm. Not sure I totally love either Toby or his glandular outlook on life. Must everything be about getting it on? I’m ambivalent, I guess. There’s a sweetness to he and Kate’s relationship, but I just wish it didn’t come with so much lecherousness, all the time.
2. Randall is grappling with the news that his newly discovered birth father is gay, or bi-sexual. Sterling K Brown is just so good. He conveys a confusion mixed with loyalty that rings true.
3. Sloane and Kevin! Slevin? Koane? They are super cute, mostly because Sloane is a nice gal with a kind heart, infinitely more relatable than the ghastly Olivia. She brings out the best in our boy Kevin. And Kevin needs the best brought out in him by someone. (Kevin is one of my favorites. Someone give Justin Hartley a nom!)
4. Olivia. Ugh. I would like to boo her off the stage-er, show, but I don’t believe it can be helped. Her reappearance, while not a surprise, will surely muck up Sloane and Kevin. Why must the Extremely Good Looking be drawn to each other? WHY? I mean, for the love of all, she went looking for “authenticity.” Meanwhile, Sloane’s got it in buckets.
5. Rebecca’s mother is perhaps more dreadful than Olivia. “She’ll have a DIET Coke,” she tells the waitress, ordering for her pregnant daughter while she spews carcinogens into her face. And worse, she calls OUR JACK a “handyman” in such disparaging tones! How can she not see Jack’s hardworking worthiness? The woman is grotesque, emotionally speaking.
6. Toby is terrified of having surgery–“I hate the word Sturgeon the fish because it reminds me of surgeon”–but he does hear a declaration of love from Kate as he’s coming to consciousness, so it was probably worth the fear.
7. Funny: Randall, trying to distract Kate in the waiting room with a mind-numbing story about Barb from the office, “who’s gluten free, but then she brings these muffins to work…” No wonder Kate switched brothers midsentence.
8. Run, Rebecca, run! Nope, your mom lost the right to live anywhere near you, Jack and the babies when she ordered you that Diet Coke. Jack knows on a bone-deep level they cannot, must not live in that woman’s house. So he lays down every shred of pride and asks his abusive dad for money. But why the whole subterfuge with hiding his wedding ring and telling his dad the money was for a gambling debt?
9. Kevin! You Chucklehead! Gadzooks–what could you be thinking? While breaking up with Olivia (a soft break up if there ever was one. It won’t hold…), he says, “Sloane is kind and sweet, and she really likes me..” Good so far. Keep going. Olivia’s eyes are widening in shock and awe, her Mean Girl ego starting to disintegrate like an antacid tablet. And then he blows it. “Sometimes you have to do the right thing, even if you don’t want to.” As if Sloane were eating green vegetables, or getting up at the crack of dawn to jog! Well, she overheard his crassness, and now she’s hurt. Way to kill two birds–literally-with one stone, Kev.
10. William’s sickness is starting to kill him. “This cancer is coming for me sooner or later,” he says, gravely, to Randall. Which means this is the beginning of the end for dear William. Well, phooey! I’m not ready for THAT. Are you?
What was your favorite part of the episode? Least favorite? What storyline are you most excited to see play out? Comment below and we’ll get a good humdinger of a discussion going!
Check out my first Us post, highlighting the show’s unbelievable adoption insights!