The Pearsons have a lot on their plate. Kevin searches for his purpose and for Nicky while Kate and Toby take the next step in parenting baby Jack. Plus, Toby is keeping a secret from Kate.
It’s the end of summer vacation on the Oct. 1 episode of This Is Us, so it’s time for the Pearsons to have one last hurrah before school starts. Just before the Big Three start seventh grade, Jack and Rebecca decide to take the kids to the pool. The kids don’t initially want to go but they end up there anyway. Almost immediately, the kids go their separate ways. So much for a family pool day, huh?
Kevin and Randall run into some pals and Kevin ends up embarrassing Randall in front of the kids. In retaliation, Randall ruins one of Kevin’s cassette tapes. Meanwhile, Rebecca hovers over Kate, who is hanging out with two popular girls that she’s never spent time with before. When Kevin finds out that Randall ruined his tape, they get into a fight and Jack has to intervene. The boys don’t tell their dad why they’re really fighting so they go their separate ways without any consequences. Randall is still really upset with Kevin for humiliating them. “You’re supposed to be my brother,” Randall says. Later, Kevin goes to Jack and asks if thinks he’s a good person. Jack gives his typical but heartwarming Jack speech about how the Pearson men are complicated. The girls hanging out with Kate try to humiliate her at the pool, but she doesn’t let them get the last laugh.
In the present day, Kevin wired Nicky his bail money but he hasn’t heard anything from him. Kevin is maintaining his sobriety and going to AA meetings. He’s got a plant that he’s taking care of and going through the motions of his new movie, which M. Night Shyamalan is directing. He admits to his fellow AA members that he’s in “way over his head” with Kate and her kid after finding out that baby Jack is blind. He goes to all the doctor’s appointments but doesn’t know how to handle the situation.
Rebecca, Miguel, Kevin, and Madison join Kate and Toby at their new house as they prepare to meet with a professional who will help them take care of Jack. Miguel notices right away that Toby has lost a ton of weight. Toby says he’s just stressed and it’s clear he doesn’t want to make Kate feel bad about losing weight.
Randall and Beth also decide to celebrate the last day of summer break with the kids. Beth doesn’t know if the girls are going to go for it. Tess wants to get her hair cut while Deja wants to go ride the bus to prepare for the school year. Beth goes with Tessa and Randall goes with Deja. They agree to meet up later.
Deja tells Randall to sit away from her on the bus so he can see how she’ll handle herself when she’s alone. At first, Randall is fine, but when a man sits down and starts talking to Deja, he gets overprotective. Deja tells him that the “bus is full of weirdos” and he needs to trust her. He says he doesn’t want her riding the bus along for another year. As this is happening, Tess chops off her hair and Beth is a little worried about the big decision. In the end, Beth embraces Tess’s decision.
When they get a moment alone, Toby confesses to Rebecca that he’s worried about Kate and her true feelings about Jack being blind. There are so many things to worry about at the moment, but Toby is concerned about Kate the most. Kate has been keeping her emotions in check about everything until she brings up the new TV she and Toby splurged on. She says they bought it so Jack could start watching the Steelers early and that’s when she lets the emotions wash over her. It hits her that Jack will never be able to watch the Steelers. Kate later opens up to Kevin about how she’s feeling.
When Randall, Beth, and the girls get together, Randall tells Deja that she can ride the bus and the family plays a game of “worst-case scenario.” The Pearson family is ready to take on the new year and they end the day racing up the Rocky Steps. The episode ends with Deja texting Malik, Tess feeling self-conscious about her hair, Kevin showing up at Nicky’s door, and Toby lying to Kate. He’s not just going to the grocery store late at night. He’s also going to the gym!