Sweet Molasses! Are they seriously trying to give us whiplash with these didn’t-see-’em-coming twists at the end of (almost) every episode?
Whew. Deep, cleansing breath.
So there was a Nicky Pearson. I think “was” is the right word to use here, but you never know. You. Never. Know. Until you do, but we don’t. Not yet.
But we’ll get to Nicky in a minute. First, this episode was a little bit “lighter,” which was called for in a so-far heavy season. I don’t know about you, but I needed the levity.
The episode was called “Brothers,” and more layers were uncovered in Randall and Kevin’s brotherhood, as well as in a brotherhood we had no idea existed. These writers are simply masterful weavers of story, aren’t they? I can’t stop thinking about generations of Pearson brothers.
1. I love the Pearson house, which is turquoise with white trim, like my dining room! And their wood-paneled Cherokee is cool, too. Show of hands, who drove around in something wood-paneled when you were a youngster? We Reimers drove to and fro in a Mercury Montego station wagon with some seriously impressive wood accents.
2. Randall, to Kevin, re Kevin being auctioned off as someone’s date at Sophie’s fundraising gala:
“No black man has ever been jealous of being auctioned off. #American history.” (The way Randall made the sign of the hashtag with his fingers? #Dorktastic. And adorable. Also, a deft touch on the issue of race, again. These writers…!!!)
3. Deja asks to go to the gala, where she flinches, again, when Randall tries to grab a piece of shrimp out of her hand. Later, he follows her into the Ladies Room, where she finally opens up a little bit about her past: She used to be hit with rolled-up magazines by a former caregiver’s boyfriend. GRRRR!
4. Kate is freaked into next week by her pregnancy, and goes totally over the top when Toby reacts exultingly to the news. She’s scared, and hoping “the little lima bean inside of me turns into a grape…” Later, Toby’s display of utter crazy, slap-nuts joyfulness, dancing around the cafe like a happy lunatic, was sweeter than pie. It took me awhile to like him but now I kinda love him.
5. As I said, Kate is freaked about being 37, obese, and pregnant. So she goes berserk on that weird, thin girl, Madison, who keeps popping up at her weight loss group, babbling about how she courageously eschewed various fattening foods (this week it was pear/gorgonzola mini pizzas). Kate snaps. Madison snaps. They throw down in the parking lot, actually crash into each other with their cars, and then, in that convoluted way women sometimes have, bond like crazy when Kate blurts out her secret news. My husband was like, ‘Whaaaa?” The whole thing went from Conan the Barbarian to Steel Magnolias in about 60 seconds. Hey, it could happen that way!
6. Kevin is concerning, is he not? He runs out of Vicodin, and keeps calling his doctor to refill it. Then he drinks waaay too much at the gala, just to keep it together. Or at least he thinks the booze will keep him together, but it really unravels him at the moment of truth, when he should have been there for Sophie. When she introduces him at the gala, he’s a no-show, in the lobby, speed dialing every doctor he can think of to get his fix. Oh, Kev Bro. Your sabotage is showing.
7. Question: Why didn’t Randall think to mention that Sophie was calling Kevin to the podium when the two brothers meet in the lobby? Ummm. what?
8. Question #2: I wonder, did Kevin have addiction issues when he and Sophie were married? If so, was it a cause of their break up? And can she, like anyone who loves an addict, see the writing on the wall?
9. Why is young Kevin so mean to Randall? I understand that he may resent Randall on some level for being adopted, and therefore special, but I think he kinda goes too far. What do you guys think? When Kevin pulls out Randall’s little notebook, full of notes to himself on how NOT to annoy Kevin, my heart cracked a bit. Thankfully, so did Kevin’s. I can only imagine Jack’s paternal relief at seeing his mini Cain and Abel breaking bread, er, marshmallows, together. Pfew!
10. Meanwhile, Rebecca’s got big emotional fish to fry when Jack’s abusive dad’s nursing home calls and tells her that Jack’s dad is about to pass. Jack’s camping and off the grid, so she goes herself to visit a dying father in law she never knew. Lying on his deathbed, Stanley’s face speaks volumes: I want to see Jack. I failed Jack. I’m full of regrets. My time is running out. And, spoken aloud, “Is that my granddaughter?” Gut-wrenching.
Rebecca has the line of the night when she says,
“You think you screwed him up but you didn’t. You only made him stronger.”
Maybe this gave a flawed father a measure of peace in the end.
11. And finally, Nicky. We think at first that little Jack is talking to his can of worms, saying “He’ll be back. He’ll be back,” referring to Stanley who has interrupted their fishing trip with a stop at the bar. Late in the episode, we finally see a younger boy in the backseat, with glasses.
Nicky. Jack’s little brother. TAAAA_WWWISST! and all of our jaws drop collectively, again. Well done, Us writers!
“Don’t worry,” I’m not going anywhere,” he says to Nicky as they wait in vain for their drunk dad. Knowing Jack, he was probably his brother’s keeper, always. When Jack looked at the old photo of he and Nicky in Vietnam, I thought, he couldn’t keep him safe there. Not even Jack Pearson could do that.
Well, what’d you guys think?
Favorite scene? Favorite line?
Check out last week’s recap here.
How do you think the revelation about Nicky will affect Jack’s story?
How far from total meltdown is Kevin?
When will the rest of her family finds out about Kate’s pregnancy? Early baby name predictions? How about Jack Tobias?
Comment below for your chance to win a This is Us Season #1 soundtrack! I’ll pick a random winner when This is Us goes on hiatus in November!