‘This Is Us’ returned with one hell of an episode on Jan. 9. The family rallies around Kevin, but heartbreaking reveals threaten to tear the Pearsons apart.
After the events of the This Is Us fall finale, Kevin is now in court-ordered rehab. Kate hasn’t talked to her twin brother in over a month. She feels guilty for missing what was going on with him. Then again, she’s been dealing with her own struggles. Kate has been trying to move forward and eat healthy since the miscarriage, but Toby finds evidence of her secret binge eating.
Meanwhile, Randall and Beth are being extremely overprotective of Tess since Deja left and Kevin was caught driving drunk with her in the car. She swears she’s doing fine, but Randall and Beth are clearly not. There’s tension between them over Kevin. While Beth has no sympathy for Kevin, Randall reminds her that Kevin was there for him at his lowest point. He’s trying to be understanding and forgiving of his brother.
Rebecca and Miguel meet up with Randall, Beth, Kate, and Toby at Kevin’s rehab center. Kevin seems to be doing very well, especially with the guidance of a therapist, played by the incomparable Kate Burton. A session has been planned, and the therapist only wants Kevin’s immediate family. That leaves Beth, Miguel, and Toby to fend for themselves.
Back in the day, Jack surprises the family with a vacation to a cabin in the Poconos. Rebecca admits to Jack that she’s worried about Kate’s weight. Jack thinks it’s just baby weight. Rebecca stresses that Kate is obsessed with food, and she’s worried about her. Jack agrees to try and get Kate to be more active. While playing outside with Kevin, Jack tells Kate that she needs to exercise. He fumbles around the point a little bit, and she runs off. Kate asks her father point-blank if he thinks she’s fat. “I think you are my favorite looking person on the whole planet,” Jack says.
Jack runs off to find Kate, leaving Kevin alone with no one to play with. Rebecca and Randall are reading at the table. To get everyone’s attention, he nearly throws the football at Randall. Typical kid move. He’s desperate to be noticed. Later, Randall’s glasses go missing. Rebecca accuses Kevin of taking them. He swears he didn’t take them and blows up at Rebecca, telling her that he hates her.
Only 17 Years Of Memories
In the present day, Kevin immediately apologizes to Kate for not being there for her during her difficult time. Kate, in turn, apologizes for taking her eye off the ball with him. Next up is Randall. Kevin apologizes for what happened with Tess and apologizes to Rebecca for putting her through all of this. Those apologies aren’t good enough for Kevin’s therapist. She wants him to open up to his family, even though it’s going to get messy.
Kevin confesses that he’s always felt second to Randall and Kate. He’s the fifth wheel. Kate had Jack, and Randall had Rebecca. He’s never felt enough, and he’s tried to quiet that feeling with football, acting, and now drugs. Kevin believes the Pearson family is a family of addicts. Jack was an addict, Kevin’s an addict, and Kevin feels like Kate is an addict when it comes to food. Kevin doesn’t want to keep pretending that the only reason he’s messed up is because Jack died. They never talk about Jack’s drinking problem. The therapist turns her attention to Rebecca and asks if she’s ever talked with the kids about Jack’s drinking problem and the possibility of them inheriting the gene.
“My children lost their father when they were 17,” Rebecca replies. “They didn’t have their father at their high school graduation. Randall didn’t have his father when his children were born. Kate will not have her father at her wedding, so they had 17 years of memories. And that’s it. There won’t be any new ones for the rest of their lives. So, no, I did not sit them down and color their memories of their father by talking about the one part of him that wasn’t perfect.”
The therapist makes a solid point that Rebecca brought up examples about Kate and Randall, but not Kevin. Kevin thinks this is all just typical. Randall swoops in to defend Rebecca and lays into Kevin about his behavior. He blasts Kevin for whining about his childhood when he was given every opportunity. Randall doesn’t stop there. He tells Kevin that he’s not an addict; he’s just addicted to attention. Kevin fires back at his brother. He brings up Tess and insinuates that she’s like him. She wants attention, and Randall’s not giving it to her. He’s been too preoccupied with William and Deja.
Kevin just wants Rebecca to say that she loves Randall more. When Rebecca follows Randall out, Kevin’s continues with the “favorite son” narrative. He begs Rebecca to reveal just one thing they have together, just Kevin and Rebecca. Rebecca pleads with Kevin to stop, but she finally snaps. “He was just easier!” Rebecca says about Randall. “He was easier. He didn’t recoil when I touched him, and he wasn’t some sullen teenager who was angry at me for no reason, and he didn’t abandon me and move away after his father died.”
While the Pearsons are at their session, Miguel, Beth, and Toby have a drink and dub themselves the “New Big Three.” They discuss the Pearson no-fly zone. It’s totally a thing. There are just things you just can’t touch with the Pearson kids. Jack is untouchable. Even though they all need to talk about Jack, no one can talk about Jack.
Later, Toby tells Beth and Miguel that Kate has fallen off the wagon. He wonders if Kate is going to tell Kevin or Kate. The Pearsons are always in the know. Everyone else is on the outside. Miguel knows about that. He married his best friend’s wife. But he’s OK with being on the outside. The Pearsons lived through something unique. “They lived through the loss of the best man anyone of us will ever know. And that’s why they get to be on the inside,” he tells Beth and Toby.
After the intense therapy session, Kevin and Kate talk. Losing their father when they did and how they did, it’s so much of who they are. Jack’s death irrevocably changed them, and they shouldn’t try to hide it. Randall shows up to join the conversation. He admits that everyone must see their childhood in a different perspective. He apologizes for not being there for Kevin. Kevin apologizes again for what happened with Tess. All is forgiven. Kate admits to Toby that she’s been hiding junk food since the miscarriage. It’s more than just the fact that she likes food. She associates food with her father.
Rebecca confronts Kevin after the therapy session. She admits to Kevin the she never worried about him because she didn’t think she had to. She knows she was wrong about that. Kevin confesses he didn’t have an unhappy childhood. That night at the cabin after their fight, Kevin wakes up during a thunderstorm and finds Randall’s glasses. Randall and Kate are also missing. Kevin goes into his parents’ room and finds Randall and Kate sleeping with them. There’s no room for Kevin. He grabs a pillow and blanket and sleeps on the floor. Kevin has always thought he slept on the floor alone, but that’s not the case. Rebecca wakes up and sees Kevin on the floor. She curls up next to him and falls asleep. Rebecca and Kevin had their moments, and they know that.
HollywoodLifers, what did you think of tonight’s This Is Us? Let us know!