Last week, when Kate inadvertently insulted every adoptee in North America by claiming that she was the only one who could pass on a piece of Jack, I wondered, ‘How will they make this up to us?’
Whoah, did they ever. I’m still drying my tears after Episode 3, perfectly titled “Katie Girls.”
Before redeeming Kate’s statement about the validity of adoptees being true heirs to their parents, the show wanted to tell another story–the story of the Pearson triplets’ parents and how their love began.
1. We see Rebecca’s upbringing in the 50’s, with a mom who applied lipstick and put the finishing touches on her meatloaf before her husband came home. Nothing wrong with that, but there was an atmosphere of conformity, rigid roles, oppression, and false peace.
2. Over at Jack’s house in the 70’s, we witness oppression of another, more overt kind: Jack’s mom is under the thumb of Jack’s dad, a small, petty, violent man. Jack vows to get his mom out of there.
3. Last we left Jack and Rebecca in the 70’s, he was staring, dismayed, from his cool car, as the girl who stole his heart was being smooched on by some guy in a turtleneck. Turns out “Allan” was Rebecca’s ex, back on her doorstep with flowers after three years.
4. Back to the present day: Randall confronts Kate about her words. “Do I or don’t I have a piece of dad in me?” Awesome–clearing the air of fuzzy discomfort! And then she says that minimizing thing people say: “You’re overreacting.” Of course, because this is Kate we are talking about, she ends up offended when Randall criticizes her for not considering adoption. The two sibs have a bit of a blowout but we hope for the best because this is Randall we are talking about.
5. Kevin’s movie is a smash, and suddenly he’s in hot demand everywhere, including Teri Gross’s show on NPR. Teri Gross can definitely conduct an interview like no one else, and her acting ain’t half bad either. Naturally, she peers deep into Kevin’s soul and unearths the fact that Kevin wants to know more about Jack’s time in Vietnam. Zoe, along for the ride as an NPR fangirl, is just the person to help him find some of Jack’s old Vietnam buddies.
6. Kate goes under for her egg retrieval, but not before making Toby promise he won’t marry either Madison or “Stinkeye Sharon from accounting.” She is met in the ether by her child self, her teenage self, and Jack, all of whom have things to say to her. Chiefly, her teenage self, played by the marvelous Hannah Zeile, is down on the idea of Kate having a baby. Will she listen to her or her child self, full of dreams and hopes?
7. I lost it when Kate made up her mind to rejoin her people on earth. “Dad, I gotta go,” she reluctantly but firmly tells her dad. “I know, Katie Girl,” he said, in the tenderest, most Jack-ish way. I remembered when I had surgery, not long after my dad died, I actually prayed that somehow I would see him. Jeepers, sometimes I feel like these writers are living in a silver Airstream camper on my hippocampus, drinking Matcha tea and taking notes! Ever feel that way? How do they know so much?
8. Leave it to Toby to lighten the room (all the rooms in all the places). When Kate finally awoke from her surgery (she had lingered a bit long, causing concern), she asks him if he married Sharon from accounting. “I did,” he says gravely. “But we had it annulled just before you woke up.” I am cherishing Toby’s still funny self and waiting for the other, non-medicated shoe to drop with a thud.
9. But you guys, this scene….You know the one I mean. Randall, at his sister’s side when she woke up, apologizing for hurting her with his comments. I was waiting for her to apologize for her comments when Katie Girl said THIS:
“You have so much dad in you, Randall. You flew across the country to say you’re sorry. That’s the most Dad move ever.”
Yeah, pretty much lost it again!
Kudos to these writers who know just how to redeem and restore a broken situation.
In other news, Rebecca and Jack have a fraught meeting at the grocery store, followed by, well, Rebecca following him to his mom’s new digs. I think Jack Pearson had Rebecca pretty much before she got there, but he really had her when he began clearing the table and doing the dishes, something she never would have witnessed in her home growing up. It’s ON, and the newly minted twosome decide to go to L.A. so Rebecca can follow her music dream.
Also, Beth has lost her job, and Skye–ChiChi’s daughter from the community center–got beaten up and is hospitalized. Galvanized by this horrible event, Randall decides to run for city council, against the guy who is not returning his phone calls. And uh oh–Beth is twisting her wedding ring, which is a bad omen. Will Randall be strong enough to handle her fallout and his own ambitious goals to be a superhero like Jack?