Last week I was traveling and couldn’t write my recap, but sweetness! That last episode with Malik and Deja was simply lovely. Lovely, and also a bit fraught with tension between the two mothers, Malik’s mom and Mama Beth. I liked where they landed as far as a solution, that the little lovebirds could be together but only supervised. Which brings us to this week and HILARIOUS Beth, “supervising” Deja and Malik’s date.
More on that later, but Susan Kelechi Watson should have the chance to do more comedy. There was comedy, but also foreboding clues to pain and struggle ahead. The two biggest clues dropped were teen Randall’s “What does Kate see in that guy anyway?” referring to her record store boyfriend, Marc, and current-day, older Rebecca’s exertion to remember things. What could be down the pike for our beloved Kate and Rebecca?
- Making the bed was a theme throughout this episode, entitled “Sorry.” It opens with Jack and Rebecca, talking baby names for the triplets (Zebulon was in the mix). Jack’s help with the corners stood in sharp contrast to a scene after his death, when Rebecca struggled to get those sheets on by herself. (I myself struggle with corners so I felt her pain.)
- Did Marc call teen Randall “Ranny”??? What does Kate see in him, and why is she eating only a banana for lunch? Ominous…
- Kevin made his bed and now must lie in it. He regrets sleeping with Cassidy ( seemingly one of his only friends), and Uncle Nicky agrees. “What’s wrong with you? You’re like a human wrecking ball!” He does make some bad choices, and they seem to be made from a place of pain. Kevin’s face when he lay under the covers, remembering playing parachute with his dad! Our sweet Kevin makes some bad choices, but his vulnerability at that moment was so stirring.
- Rebecca visits Randall for some “R n R” time. Have you ever noticed she doesn’t seem to ever interact with Deja? I wonder what their relationship is like, or if they have one.
- Deja cracks me up. “The kitchen and the living room are the same room,” she drily points out to Beth upon finding out her mom will be watching she and Mailk like a hawk from mere feet away.
- “You won’t even know I am here,” Beth promises. Famous last words, am I right? And then how she played keep-away with Malik and the popcorn at the door–too funny.
- Uncle Nicky continues his run as my favorite new character. “He’s (Kevin) locked himself in his trailer ever since you morons decided to sleep together,” he cracked to Cassidy on the phone. Still, he was a little harsh with Kevin, who has been a superb nephew to him after all.
- But then again, Kevin can be an idiot. For no good reason, he decides to poke a bear in a bar, the bear being some lug who is bragging about punching out hockey star Sidney Crosby. C’mon, Kevin, really? You’re going to brag about being able to seduce this guy’s wife? Sorry, but Kevin kinda got what he deserved with that punch in the face.
- Teen Randall continues to take care of his mother in ways big and small. After Rebecca doesn’t get a clerical job, Randall advocates for his mom and promises to teach her the software program she needs to get the job. Very touching, but also, is that his job, to get his mom a job? Boundaries, my dear Pearsons, boundaries!
- Back in 2019, seeds are planted for the viewer to suspect Rebecca is dealing with more than just a few “senior moments.” Is this the beginning of dementia or early onset Alzheimers for Rebecca? (Although, I am much younger than her character and I lose my phone regularly. I’m an Enneagram 7, you know!)
- Back at the Pearson’s Philly house, Beth misunderstands what it is that Malik is being pushy about. It’s not sex, but rather he is urging Deja to talk to her new parents about her desire to see her birth mom, Shawna. Oooh….tricky emotional terrain ahead! Beth realizes that she and Randall have resisted bringing Deja to see her mother, and maybe overcompensates by agreeing to Shawna coming for Thanksgiving.
- And elsewhere in Pennsylvania, Kevin is walking down the street, a little worse for wear after he gets in a bar fight when Cassidy and Uncle Nicky find him. It’s time to get ready for Uncle Nicky’s day in court.
- Cassidy fixes Kevin’s face tenderly. She tells him that she kept chasing the legend of her military dad and never found the same bravery and heroism that seemed to depict her dad’s experience in conflict zones. But repeatedly re-upping did damage her family, something that makes her ache with regret. She signed the divorce papers, but now will she give them to Ryan?
- In LA, Kate catches up with Gregory, her neighbor who had a stroke. I so enjoy their friendship and hope the show develops it further. I love that Gregory was the one who got baby Jack to eat his first solid food—ripe avocadoes plucked right from the tree.
- Not that Toby knows that. He makes a giant production out of grabbing a “smorgasbord” of solid food for Jack to try. Too bad the moment has already passed—while Toby was at the gym, no less!
- Uncle Nicky’s surprise answer to the judge opens up a beautiful monologue about brokenness, healing, family and a new day. No, he’s not remorseful about throwing a chair through the window, because he hit rock bottom. His terrible choice ended up being the beginning of some good things in his life—a renewed commitment to AA, therapy, and a relationship with his nephew. Kevin’s face as he listened said it all. Being there for his uncle meant everything to both of them.
- From tears to giggles: Beth had me laughing again with her “You’ll be unsupervised for the next 30 seconds” bit to Deja and Malik as they lingered by the door. Poor Malik! He’s trying his hardest to get this relationship right.
- Also at the Pearson Philly house, R n R time is starting to get tense. Rebecca seems increasingly foggy and forgetful and Randall is deeply concerned.
LOVED: When Rebecca said to Randall “You’re so much like your father. It makes me so proud.” #adoptionrocks
HATED: When Rebecca got super defensive (although understandably so) and lashed out at Randall’s cryptic comment about him taking care of her for twenty years since Jack’s death. They both made choices. Despite her repeated assurances that Randall didn’t have to take care of her, I think she really wanted him to anyway, and he knew it. So he made the choice to take care of her and now might resent it just a tiny bit.
LOVED: Kevin conjuring Jack at his car door: “You’re a good kid,” followed by Uncle Nicky standing there, saying the same thing.
HATE: That next week is halfway through the season already!
Well, what hit you the hardest this week? What do you think about Deja reuniting with her birth mom? There’s obviously something wrong with Rebecca. Is it what we think it is?
Favorite line, scene, and performance? For me, Justin Hartley’s Kevin blew me away with his pain and struggle to get his life on track and honor his father. Who blew you away?