This is Us
A Manny-Splendored Thing
Original Air Date: Oct 3, 2017
Jules – Senior Managing Editor
Last week left us an emotional wreck and this week is no different in the flashbacks, but there are also plenty of laughs as well in the present, so let’s get to what happened.
In the flashback, we pick up the same evening when Rebecca is driving Jack home after making him get in the car. We learn that Jack stopped drinking once before at Rebecca’s insistence, but it’s been more than a few months this time. Rebecca asks Jack how he stopped before.
The we cut to a flashback within the flashback when Jack was at his office job being overwhelmed with work and spiking his drinks. He goes shopping for jewelry, slurring, and ends up at home where Rebecca says he has to be a man and stop it. Next we see a scene we’ve seen before where Jack gives Rebecca the quarter moon necklace and saying he will stop it and kids jumping on top of them.
But all things change when Jack gets a phone call and he sees his kids arguing and fighting. We get it why Jack is totally overwhelmed by life and using alcohol as an outlet. At work Jack is having a tough day, but instead of drinking with his co-worker, he heads to an Alcoholics Anonymous meeting, or at least tries, too as he ends up hovering outside for a bit. Later he ends up outside the kid’s school and Kate wonders why dad is here. She gets inside and the two talk about the talent show (Kate’s going to sing, but get some last minute advice from mom she doesn’t like) and his work when Kate ends up taking Jack’s face in her hands saying it’s all going to be ok is adorable.
Back at work, Jack reaches for the whiskey, but dumps it in the trash. He then goes to a boxing gym to get out all his feelings while Rebecca is at home altering the dress she first wore when singing on stage so Kate can wear it. Kate is all happy to put it on and to show mom when she overhears her mom singing her talent show song in perfect pitch. Kate then feigns a sore throat so she doesn’t have to sing.
Jack makes it in time for the talent show to see the end of Kevin’s Mr. T impression. Most of the parents are confused, but Sophie loves it. Randall is supposed to do something with a yo-yo but we don’t see it. Jack says “it’s done.”
We then got back to the current flashback with Jack at the foot of the bed when Rebecca awakes and he says he did it because he kept it to himself last time, but that it’s different now. Jack tells Kate first about his drinking problem and he’s trying to get the words out when Kate puts her hands on his face and then a hug. We got you Jack! Then he finally heads to his AA meeting with Rebecca driving him there.
In the present, Kevin’s been asked to return to The Manny for a special episode. He even compares himself to George Clooney and do it like how everyone loved Clooney when he returned. On set, Sophie asks Kevin to reenact his meltdown speech. Old writer (who set off his meltdown speech in the first place) sees him and it’s totally awkward. Sophie laughs it off. All seems good until there are some final revisions to the final scene. Kevin’s a little hesitant about it and tells Sophie, but she tells him to rise above it and just do his job. Kevin vows to “Clooney the hell out of this thing,” and next thing we know Kevin is in a diaper on the state. Because you find the missing baby, one must think and dress like the baby. Kevin feels humiliated, but Sophie loves it and can’t stop laughing.
Elsewhere with the family, everyone flies in to see this special taping of The Manny. Beth admits to Randall that she doesn’t think Kevin is funny and wonders why Randall hasn’t filled out his adoption/foster forms yet while she has. After they both end up leaving the taping before it starts to wander around the TV lot, Randall admits that he’s worried about having a child who have been abused or have experiences they know nothing about and that they wouldn’t be able to handle it. Randall is thinking they are being reckless with adopting an older baby and he worries so much, but he’s so worried that Beth just wants to see the taping of the show she hates while jet-lagged.
Beth ends up in Kevin’s dressing room where the two end up in a good heart-to-heart where Beth talks about how Randall is freaking out about the whole adopting/fostering thing. Kevin understands saying that his brother doesn’t attempt anything unless he knows he’s going to succeed at it, to which Beth nods. Kevin does say that there was one other time Randall took a risk and it was dating Beth, who he thought to be way out of his league. We learn it was Kevin who helped Randall when he first asked out Beth, behind the scenes “Cyrano-ing” it. Kevin even says Beth laughed at all his jokes. Beth can’t believe it, but leaves feeling a little better. Randall and Beth reunite outside and Randall goes to apologize, but Beth ends up planting a huge kiss on him. She says they can do this. Their girls came out great because they did it and together they can do anything. It ends with Randall telling the girls about their new change.
Kate meanwhile is freaking out that her mom and Miguel are coming to stay with them for The Manny taping. Toby is using pigs in a blanket to win over Miguel because he thinks the parents only know him as heart attack guy. Kate’s worried her mom will criticize her for everything. At the taping, Kate gets a call before for a singing gig – a house band’s singer is sick and she’s being asked to fill in. So Kate goes to leave, but not before Rebecca can reminisce about her past life as a singer, which irks Kate. Before the taping begins, Toby gets up to leave and says that he has to go to see Kate’s gig and Rebecca gets up to say she understands and to go, too. This leaves Miguel alone to watch Randall’s girls at the taping.
Kate’s about to sing when Toby and mom enter. She gets nerves, but sings a nice slow version of Landslide. Afterward, the band leader says she was great and would love to have her back. Mom showers Kate with love and she gives Toby a glare about how she shouldn’t say anything else, but Kate does. She confronts her mom about how she always overcompensated for her, had perfect pitch even when she talked about that she wanted a daughter like herself, and wanted Kate to be who she never became. Rebecca doesn’t understand at all, but Kate’s upset her first gig memory is ruined. Toby tells Rebecca that he’s team Kate all the way. And while the car ride home feels like it’s going to be awkward, Rebecca, with hand on Kate’s shoulder says that she realizes she really like’s Kate’s fiance. A win for Toby!
Next week: Déjà Vu