Season 1, Episode 9 “The Trip”
Airdate: November 29, 2016
*** warning this contains spoilers for this week’s episode of This Is Us ***
The time after Thanksgiving is a time spent to reflect on the pounds of food you just ate, or counting down the days till Christmas. Or in the case with the Pearson’s, letting the dust from your family fights settle. After Randall has discovered that his mother Rebecca had been in contact with his birth father William, he is fuming. Knowing that their mother is going to be selling the family cabin, Kate suggests that the ‘big three’ go up there one last time. While at the cabin Randall is confronted by a familiar face, Kevin beings to questions the people he has been spending his time with, and Kate admits her fears about her weight loss.
The “That Is Us” Moment: Out of all the relationships the This Is Us has gotten us attached to, the one that stands out is that of Rebecca (Mandy Moore) and her son Randall (Sterling K. Brown). Mostly due to the amazing flashback scenes with her and younger Randall (Lonnie Chavis) over the season, we see the strong relationship between a mother and her adoptive son. So it only hurts us that much more when we see how angry Randall is at Rebecca after he found the letter she sent William (Ron Cephas Jones) all those years go. In this episode we flash back to a time where a younger Randall is starting to question where he came from and who is biological parents are. Both Jack (Milo Ventimiglia) and Rebecca, but mostly Jack, wants Randall to see himself has part of their family while also surround him with men that he can identify and see himself in. This prompts Rebecca to visit William (Jermel Nakia), who at the time is five-years sober and works at a music shop. She tells him that Randall is beginning to wonder about his biological parents, which launches William into an exciting dialogue about how his son could visit him and come by the music shop. It’s all too much for Rebecca, who slips out of the apartment while William is trying to find something. The exchange is also what motivates her to write the letter Randall found at Thanksgiving:
“Dear William, I’m sorry for the pain it may cause, but you cannot meet Randall. This is for the best for him because he has an extraordinary father who gives him everything he needs. I hope you take comfort in knowing just how loved Randall is.”
This is emotional in two parts. One, because as the letter is read out in voiceover we see Jack with young Randall literally on his back, doing push-ups with him in a karate initiation to demonstrate how he will always be there to support his son. But on the other hand we also see William getting the letter and putting it and the picture of Randall within a collection of papers labelled “Poems for my Son.” Realizing that William never forgot about his son and cared about him. It’s a hard pill to swallow; Rebecca wanted to honour her husband’s dedication to their son while at the same time deciding to not let him meet his biological father, another man who cared for him.
What do you think? What was your favourite part of last night’s episode? Comment below!