Okay, these people are too real to me! I can’t shake the feeling that I should go find Kevin and put my arm around him and help the brother to rehab! It was agonizingly real to me to watch Kevin curled up in a ball of pain, fury, grief, and shame, begging for help. Maybe finally people will take Justin Hartley seriously for his acting chops!
This week was all about Kevin, with a few story shadings about the other characters. I love what they are doing here with the three episodes leading up to the hiatus–diving deep into each of the three triplets.
Oh, but KEVIN! Dude needs so much help, so much compassion and tough love. Unfortunately, most of the people he encountered wanted to use him for his fame. They looked right past his humanity and brokenness to see what they could get from him–a selfie, a roll in the hay (I’m looking at you, CHARLOTTE!). Meanwhile, a very real and hurting man was standing there, silently begging for someone to really see him and his broken heart.
1. We find Kevin wallowing in his luxury hotel sweet, half strung out on pain pills and booze. Maid Martina is not impressed, not one little bit. She even suggests somebody bathe him…While wallowing, Kevin gets a call from a chirpy girl named Kelly, a student organizer of his old high school’s alumni of the year ceremony: He’s supposed to come to Pittsburgh the next day and receive an award at his alma mater.
2. On his way to the school, Kevin takes a detour and ends up at the house that built him. But it’s not the same house, of course, because the Pearson house burned to the ground. Kevin looks straight through the rebuilt house and sees the burned shell of his old house. Notably, he fingers the medallion around his neck. AHA! Although, we don’t really know what the medallion means until later.
3. In flashback, we meet up with teenaged Kevin as he prepares for a visit from a local college football coach. Having set his sights on Notre Dame, Kevin turns his nose up at the local coach, much to Jack’s ire. The two clash big time, more than I have ever seen Jack clash with one of his kids. Kevin responds with biting remarks about Jack’s AA journey. Later, we see Kevin witness Jack on his knees, clutching a familiar medallion, praying the Serenity Prayer.
4. Back to the future, Kevin arrives at his old school and is so out to lunch its almost as if he’s operating underwater. Strolling the halls where he once was king, Kevin is drowning in memories. Later, when his old coach presents Kevin with the award, Kevin imagines that it’s Jack standing there, not the coach.
5. At the podium, Kevin has a moment of lucidity. “I’m not worthy of this award or any honor for that matter.” To which the fame-hungry crowd cheers like a bunch of apes.
6. Kevin meets up with a former classmate, Charlotte, who is also receiving an award for her work as a plastic surgeon. She had a crush on him once, and appears to still have a crush on him. Well, who wouldn’t? I get it. But I hate what happens later on…
7. Kevin’s dazed monologue on the football field had me in tears. He scans his memories for highlights and low points, and it’s obvious here is a man undone by life despite his many lucky breaks. At one point, when he remembers being hit in football, he drops a little clue about Jack’s death. “He (meaning himself) will get up just in time to bury his father,” he says, in that haunting, out-of-body way he had on tonight’s episode. So we know Jack died very soon after Kevin’s accident.
8. The only good thing about Kevin ending up spending the night with Charlotte is that SOMEHOW he had the presence of mind, apparently, to walk away from Trouble in the form of teenaged Kelly, who invites him to party with her. The low point (although it was all pretty low): When Kevin scavaged her medicine chest for pills and then, finding none, rummaged through her drawers to find her medical prescription pad. (At this point, I am clutching the sides of my chair with white knuckles and mouth breathing...) Kevin, people go to JAIL for that stuff! But just at the moment of truth, as he’s about to have the forged script filled at the pharmacy, Kevin realizes that Jack’s medallion is no longer around his neck and he leaves. PFEW. But then…well, we’ll get to that in a second.
8. In flashback again, Kevin is in a hospital bed with a “catastrophically” broken leg. And all of his football dreams drain away in an instant. Jack is the one to break the hard news, and he’s so fatherly and lovely about it (obviously). “I would take this on for you,” he tells his broken boy. “This and anything else, if I could.” And then he takes the medal off his neck and gives it to Kevin. “Someone very special gave this to me in Vietnam.” My money’s on his brother Nicky–you?
9. In the most heartbreaking scene, a desperate, deranged Kevin pounds on Charlotte’s door, begging to look for the medal in her house. She is ticked at him for leaving (does she know about the script? Or just that he left rudely?), and won’t even grab it herself and throw it at him. Which is when our friend Kevin just disintegrates, right there on her lawn. It was the saddest thing, wasn’t it?
10. Things promise to be just as sad next week. When Kevin shows up on Randall’s doorstep, he is about to tell Randall about his addiction (I think). But it’s Randall who has news for Kevin: “Kate lost her baby.”
Oh. No. I did not see that coming, at least not now.
So that’s terrible. Also terrible: My fear that now Kevin won’t actually tell Randall he has a severe and tragic problem, one every bit as catastrophic as a leg broken beyond repair.
Tell me how you are feeling right now!!! Because I really, really want to know!
Favorite scene? Favorite line? What will happen to our Kevin???
Check out last week’s recap HERE.
Check out the week before that HERE!
And the week before THAT here.
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!