Welcome back, “This is Us” fanatics!
Season 3 is here–hooray! How is everyone? No one has any unfortunate Crock Pot stories to share from over the last six months, right?
After episode 1, I have so many feelings! Just in awe of these writers and their ability to evoke anger, sadness, grief, joy, laughter and on and on. It’s hard to believe, but two years after we first fell for them, the Pearson triplets are having another birthday.
I even felt something about the Pittsburgh Steelers and football itself (I live and die for my beloved Winnipeg Jets hockey team, you see).
At the beginning of the show, I thought, ‘Who is that Italian man with the fro?’ At the end of the episode, I knew that Franco Harris was the receiver who caught the “Immaculate Reception” in 1972, and taught us all that the ball has to bounce off a few people before the right person catches it. (My husband knew all about and perked right up!)
In this extra-luminous hour of storytelling, the ball of life bounced off a few of the wrong people, especially for Deja.
My recap of Season 3, Episode 1:
- We were five minutes in before I had my first gut feeling–injustice mixed with grief, for Deja, for me, for all the countless people out there abandoned by their birth fathers. “He wants no part,” Mother Shauna said about Deja’s father and his intentions toward his child. Yeah, same. Deja is cold to Randall when he tells her that he and Beth would like to adopt her officially. Randall feels a connection to her because of their shared displacement from their birth families, but as she points out, their stories are not exactly the same.
2. “Being adopted,” says Randall, defined my life, even when I didn’t know it was defining it.”
3. Kevin and Zoe! Well, aren’t they cute? I loved the whole “Don’t you smile that half smile because then I will smile a full smile” conversation. Obviously, they are fooling no one, especially not Beth. who tears a strip off Zoe for dating Kevin, even though she “swore on Oprah” she wouldn’t. Obviously, dating Kevin is a bad idea, right? He’s in recovery, he’s made a mess of previous relationships and he’s a slightly self-absorbed movie star. But there’s a twist ahead…A twist that made me smile a full smile.
4. Young Jack sees young Rebecca sing like a bird at a tavern, and he is instantly smitten. Trouble is, he’s only got $9, and one shot at capturing her heart at the carnival. Oooh, then things get mighty awkward, especially when Rebecca brings up two tabu subjects: Vietnam and Nicky. Adding insult to injury, it starts to rain, and Jack doesn’t buy an umbrella to shelter them. Their date is a soggy mess, until the very last moments.
5. Kate and Toby, post-nuptials, have been trying for another baby with no luck. We watch as the hope on Kate’s face dissolves. The fertility doc says IVF is a no go, considering Kate’s weight. Also, Toby’s antidepressants are reducing the quality and motility of his sperm (flashback to last season’s glimpse of future Tobe, wracked and bedridden with acute depression!). We are led to believe (although–who really knows?)–that Toby will go off his meds and sink into depression.
6. Deja takes her story into her own hands. She sneaks out of her home to visit her birth father at the bike shop where he works. “I’m going to do something really great with my life and you’re going to miss it.” Oh, my heart. You GO, brave Deja. And he will miss it. Mine did.
7. I adored the delicious twist with Beth and Kevin, when we find out she was protecting him from her cousin, not the other way around? Boy, that scene, bubbling with so much love from Beth for her husband’s brother, filled my sails right up. But, ugh. Re: the “(Zoe) will break you” warning for my guy Kevin. Nope. Remember when I said they were cute? Scratch that. She’s the devil.
8. A drenched Rebecca is trying to politely extricate her from an awkward first date when Jack lays all his cards on the table. He couldn’t pay for the umbrella and it’s hard for him to talk about ‘Nam and Nicky. But, he said, “You make me feel like I’m home.” His words finally ignite Rebecca’s pilot light, but first Jack will have to deal with whoever that was kissing Rebecca in her doorway.
9. Kate and Toby debrief after their disappointment and maybe the worst birthday party ever (featuring carrot cake assembled with actual carrots). Toby says he was worried about the risks and the costs and the hormones associated with IVF anyway. Kate agreed (but we all knew she was just pretending to be okay with it.) Then the phone rang. It was the doc, who agreed to start IVF, even though there was a 90% chance of the treatments not working.
10. TOBY DON’T FLUSH YOUR MEDSSSSSSSSS!! This can’t end well, can it?
11. No, no it cannot, although, when the show flashes into the future, it’s Kate’s side of the bed that’s empty, not Toby’s. And Toby somehow is an important person to “her,” whoever she is. Important enough that older Randall calls older Toby and says it’s important to “her” that he visit, too. Well, that punches a hole or two in my theory that “her” is Deja. Or does it? Is “her” Kate? Then why would they make such a big deal about grown up Tess being reluctant to visit her?
The mind reels, does it not?