This is Us
Original Air Date: Mar 7, 2017
Jules – Senior Managing Editor
After the last very emotional episode comes the aftermath. Instead of being very weepy, which it still was, it was more fun and helped heal old wounds and move others forward.
First let’s talk about the flashbacks. The big three are in their teens and Jack’s late coming home celebrating a retirement of colleague he doesn’t like all that much before Rebecca leaves for her latest gig. Jack and Rebecca barely have a goodbye and things don’t seem to be good between the two. Kate notices and Jack goes back outside to say a proper goodbye, but Rebecca has already left. While driving the teens to a party, Kate bugs dad about what’s going on with him and mom and why he didn’t go to her show even though it’s only two hours away. Jack tells her not to worry. He drops them off and then goes to the bar where his colleague’s are for an after retirement party. That’s where Jack’s hit by another colleague, but immediately shuts her down. Jack calls the parents where his kids are to see if they can stay the night and then asks to talk to Kate. He tells her that he’s going to make things work with mom and then he drives away.
In the present, it’s been a few days since William’s passed. Randall’s wondering what to do with himself and how to best honor his father – get new round frames, eat more egg creme?, start wearing sweater vests? While he and Beth think about the memorial, they find a note William had left their daughters, which the girls had read, but hid. It tells the girls to plan the memorial and to make it fun since adults seem to always make them so sad. The girls allow dad to to make a toast and has Kate get balloons.
Randall has to tell the postman that William died. Postman gets emotional (and so do I) because he had gotten to know William while he as out and about on his morning walks. Randall’s work on the other hand sends a large box of pears and the most generic note from “the team.”
At the “fun”-eral as Randall was calling it, the girls ask everyone to celebrate William’s life by acting out his perfect day, starting with breakfast and M&M pills. Randall later finds Beth in the kitchen, a little set back because Randall got Memphis, the girls the memorial and Beth nothing. She didn’t even get to say goodbye. Aww, Beth!
When it’s time for Randall to give the toast, he hands the duties over to Beth. She says how William was a father, artist, cheater at every card game and how he was her friend and that he was “endearing as hell and even though we only had him for a few months, he’s part of our family now” and how we’ll only remember things as “before William and after William.” Awww!
Kate ends up running out after the toast in tears. She’s followed not by Toby, but by Randall. He comforts Kate, who’s emotions are fueled by thoughts of their own father’s death. Randall tells his sister to talk to Toby about her feelings soon to get them all out of the way. Randall also tells Kate about how he had a dream where William and Jack met and William told the story about how Randall taught him to drive and how Jack told him the story of Randall and speeding in reverse.
The fun-eral now has the group putting on William hats and talking a stroll around the neighborhood. Rebecca takes this opportunity to clear the air between herself and Randall. She apologizes for not telling her son sooner about her father and wishes they had more time. Randall’s response is priceless. “I got enough. It was enough time to know that I loved him. I loved him. And I know that he loved me.” Things are looking good now between mother and son.
Meanwhile, Kevin is at the memorial, but is stressing about the second opening night of his play, which he plans on being there this time. He also wants a New York Times theatre critic to show up again for a review. Also Sophie plans to be at this opening night, but plans on ignoring the whole family, especially Kate. Minutes before curtain, Sophie pops up backstage to give Kevin a crutch – for when he breaks his legs. Cute! We see the ending monologue of the play and the whole family loved it. They are so proud. After the family heads out, Sophie comes and Kevin tells her that he came back to New York to win back “his girl.” He tells her he’s not going to mess stuff up again and he’ll just wait if he has to. Sophie caves and ends up sleeping with Kevin.
That’s only the beginning of Kevin’s big night. He later gets a call from Ron Howard, who just happened to be in the audience, (his niece loved “The Manny”) and loved his performance, so much he’s offering Kevin a role in a new movie he’s shooting…in Los Angeles.
After the play, Randall heads back to the office where his boss and team and working an all nighter. He tells his boss that he used to put in 20 hour days, that they sent him pears (which he’s actually allergic too!) and the most generic note ever after his father’s death. Randall tells them he’s been struggling how best to honor his father’s legacy and that he’ll honor William by “taking what I learned from the way he lived his life and use it to shape the way I go on living mine.” So he quits. He walks out in triumph and wishes Sanjay “peace.” When asked what he’ll do now, Randall responds maybe instead of a run, he’ll walk and talk to his mailman.
At home, Beth finds one last William moment. A postcard he wrote and mailed before his death addressed to her. “I told you I’d send you a postcard. Goodbye my dearest Beth, the daughter I never had. Love, William.” So many tears.
The episode ends with Kate telling Toby that she can’t talk about her father’s death because she says it was her fault and that she’s the reason he’s dead.
Any thoughts on how Jack dies? Lots of foreshadowing on what it could be. Was this not another solid emotional episode? Season finale next week; can’t wait. Loved seeing so much of Beth is week. Share thoughts on the episode below!
Next Episode: Moonshadow (season finale)