Okay, I’ve got one: Kevin grabs some impulse control and stops jumping into bed with everyone. His beautiful head clears and he focuses on what he really wants: an epic love story like the one his parents had.
I think he can have that with Sophie, but he has to go after what he wants. He has to earn. that. ring., a quest which will not happen if he keeps impulsively finding himself “in the middle of a thing.” (Cassidy, Lizzie, and now Madison, for crying out loud!)
Full disclosure: I adore Kevin. Yes, of course, he is a fine-looking gent, but I honestly find his sweetness and huge heart so endearing.
Which brings us to this week’s Kevin Episode. We find our (flawed) hero finally calling Sophie back after she blows up his phone with messages. Her mom, Claire, has died, and she needs him. Her fiance, Grant, doesn’t really get it because he has both his parents. Unlike Kevin, he has never faced the earth-shattering loss that is a parent dying. Very telling, don’t you think, that she would reach out to Kevin at such a time?
Also, Kevin had a relationship, a bond with Claire, a bubbling, somewhat irresponsible mama, a little loose on the rules but big on love. When 19-year-old Kevin comes home, over the moon about his bit part on Days of Our Lives, a frazzled Rebecca misses the moment. But Claire, Kevin’s mother in law, makes a big deal of Kevin’s breakthrough. Those are the kind of things that mean so much, and Kevin has never forgotten.
2020: Even though Sophie doesn’t outright ask him, Kevin makes the decision to fly to Pittsburgh to attend Claire’s funeral. Driving through the old neighborhood, he is awash in memories of him and Sophie. It’s a deep dive into their emotional history, and it is compelling. I was never the biggest Sophie fan, but after last night’s episode, I think I get it. Those two are kindred spirits who have their own secret language and codes. They will start a sentence with “I’ve got one,” and follow it with their latest theory of how the movie “Goodwill Hunting” should have ended. As inside jokes go, it’s pretty darn cute.
At the funeral, it’s Kevin’s eye that Sophie catches as she gives her mother’s eulogy, and it’s Kevin who gives her the strength to keep going. Sorry, Grant. After the funeral. Kevin looked so forlorn and unsure as he stood outside Claire’s house, holding a pink box of donuts from him and Sophie’s favorite donut shop.
In a flashback, Kevin asks Claire if she will give him her mother’s emerald engagement ring to give to Sophie. Even loosey-goosey Claire has her standards. “You’re too young,” she says to Kevin. “You’ve got to earn it, Baby Doll!” And she grabs his face lovingly, affectionately.
Compare this history with that of Grant’s scant interactions with Claire. Through no fault of his own, he has little to no bond with the woman who was so important in his fiance’s life. “It’s crazy I am going to spend the rest of my life with someone who barely knew her,” Sophie tells Kevin.
2020: Sophie asks Kevin to whisk her away from the reception after the funeral (I’m sure Grant will love that). They return to the woods where they spent their last completely happy evening together before Jack’s death. In the car, they finally watch the ending of Goodwill Hunting, a movie that they watched that fateful night of the fire but never got to see the end of.
The ending of the movie is better than they could have imagined, and in the intimacy of the moment, things are fraught with a tender pining. Kevin’s face spoke volumes of regret, longing, and love. (You go get it, Justin Hartley!)
Sophie pulls away on the brink …of what? A kiss? A reunion? But she makes a choice and Kevin honors it. Before leaving, she gives Kevin a memento of Claire’s esteem for him. All these years, Claire had kept that first headshot of Kevin. “She was your biggest fan,” Sophie said, words which broke Kevin open.
Kevin visits Claire’s grave, toasting her with Fresca (Haha! The only place I have ever seen that drink is at Grandma Pat’s place). “I messed up with Sophie,” he says. “But now I’m ready, sober, and stable. I wish I could have another crack at that ring.”
But instead, he ends up in bed with Madison, whom he encounters at Kate’s place, watching Audio, the dog. Oh, brother. Sometimes, Kevin, you really do act like a “movie star bathed in privilege.” The Madison reveal was a reminder that these writers are way too twisty turn-y to write something as linear and sense-making as Sophie being the blonde woman in Kevin’s bed.
It’s at this point that Randall’s story from last week intersects with Kevin, as Randall admits to Kevin on the phone that he’s not okay, that he needs a catch.
But before Kate’s story for next week is set up, we get a glimpse of Sophie, sifting through a treasure box of Claire’s containing cards, letters, and a certain heirloom emerald engagement ring. Sophie sighs, comparing the modest ring to the rock on her finger. But no ring and no man would ever compare to Kevin earning that emerald ring, once and for all. But can he do it?
Flashing back to 1999, Rebecca’s birthday dinner is canceled. She and Kate had a giant fight and Kate took off with Marc. “I think Kate’s in trouble,” she tells Kevin. Our Kate is in trouble, then, and now. 2020 Kate calls Kevin while he is still on the phone to Randall. “I’m about two seconds away from my marriage imploding,” she says. WHAT? I didn’t think things were that bad. Oy.
The Big Three are now the Sad Three going into the last of the three-part trilogy.
Randall’s on the verge of a breakdown.
Kevin is all over the place, literally and figuratively.
And Kate? I think she is being abused in some way by Marc in 1999, and 21 years later things with Toby are careening out of control.
We must wait two weeks for Kate’s story, just enough time to get good and freaked out about it.
What do you think will happen with her and Marc? Why do you think things with Toby spiraled so quickly?
After this week’s episode, who do you think the mother of Kevin’s child is, or haven’t we met her yet?
And how will we cope with 13 days of suspense???? Let’s get a humvee of a conversation going to tide us over, shall we? Talk to me!