TV: This Is Us – “That Is Us” Moment (The Right Thing to Do)

Television

Season 1, Episode 11 “The Right Thing to Do”

Airdate: January 10, 2017

*** warning, this contains spoilers for this week’s episode of This Is Us ***

 

Following the cliff hanger from the winter finale, we get to find out what happens to Toby after his accident. Kevin has a familiar face come back into his life, but they might not have gotten the welcoming they expected. While Randall has a discussion with William, concerning how he wants to live out the rest of his days.

The “That Is Us” Moment:

This episode shows the time in Jack (Milo Ventimiglia) and Rebecca’s (Mandy Moore) life when they are expecting, only they both think they are only having one baby. But as a doctor’s appointment reveals they are in fact having triplets. This shock to their systems sends both of them into panic, because preparing for child is hard enough but three? The fear of not being prepared for triplets has Rebecca considering asking her mother for help with having her and Jack move in with them. Seeing this form of defeat from his wife, during the most heart-wrenching scene involving Rebecca having a silent breakdown behind the kitchen wall, has Jack trying to do the best he can for his family. Jack goes to his estranged father for financial aid who we have learned about during this episode was abusive to Jack’s mother. Jack asking for help from the person he does not want it from the most shows that from the beginning he was going to do whatever he could for his wife and kids, even before they were born. Having to confront his father, Jack says whatever he has to in order to receive money from him:

“You were right about me, you have always been right about me. I’m no good; I’m never going to be any good. And I come to you and I have my hand out, so can you bail me out?”

This is do hard to watch Jack do because we know that it’s absolutely false. And to see that Jack is acting more like a father now before his kids are even born than is own father had been his entire life just shows the sharp contrast between the two men.

 

So what do you think? What was your favourite moment from the episode? Comment below!

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TV: This Is Us – “That Is Us” Moment (The Trip)

Television

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!

TV: This Is Us – “That Is Us” Moment (Pilgrim Rick)

Television

Season 1, Episode 8 “Pilgrim Rick”

Airdate: November 22, 2016

*** warning this contains spoilers from this week’s episode of This Is Us ***

 

Everyone’s come together for Thanksgiving! This week This Is Us invites us to spend the holidays with the “Big Three” and family. In the past we witness how one particular Thanksgiving ends up being the root cause in being a favourite holiday for one of the triplets. In present day we see Kate make the difficult decision to break off her relationship with Toby, and makes a big announcement in regards to her weight loss journey.

 

The “That Is Us” Moment: Kevin (Justin Harley) makes the genius decision to bring his girlfriend (?), cast mate Olivia (Janet Montgomery), to Thanksgiving diner with his family. Upon realizing what she has gotten herself into, she decides to bail from the feast. But before her Uber driver can come and get her she decides to ask William (Ron Cephas Jones) the ever-tactful question of what it is like to die? Whether she asks this because of her profession as an actress or her general curiosity has a human being we will never know. But I am sure that his answer to her question was one she was not expecting.

William: “It feels like all these beautiful pieces of life are flying around me and I’m trying to catch them. When my granddaughter falls asleep on my lap, I try to catch the feeling of her breathing against me. When I make my son laugh, I try to catch the sound of him laughing. How it rolls up from his chest… But the pieces are moving faster now and I can’t catch them all. I can feel them slipping through my finger tips and soon where they used to be; my granddaughter breathing and my son laughing there will be… nothing. I know if feels like you have all the time in the world, but you don’t. So stop playing it so cool. Catch the moments of your life. Catch them while you’re young and quick, because sooner than you know it, you’ll be old and slow. And there will be no more of them to catch.”

This is an extremely powerful and emotional scene for two reasons. One, you see how William’s relationship with his son has affected his life, how it made it one that he enjoys living and also how much more difficult it is going to be to say goodbye to it when his time comes. And second, he sees how Olivia is throwing her moments away, moments that he would surely give the world just to have a bit more of. But William is never patronizing in this exchange, he’s just being completely honest. And whether Olivia wants to follow is advice is her choice.

 

What do you think? What was you’re favourite part of this week’s episode? Comment below!

TV: This Is Us – “That Is Us” Moment (The Best Washing Machine in the World)

Television

Season 1, Episode 7 “The Best Washing Machine in the World”

Airdate: November 15, 2016

 

*** warning, contains spoilers for this week’s episode of the show This Is Us ***

In this week’s episode of This Is Us, we see Jack and Rebecca raising the “big three” through their teenage years. The fighting between Randall and Kevin has reached a breaking point, which results in Kevin moving out of their shared bedroom and into the basement. After a failed attempt at to reconnect with his brother, Randall takes his aggression towards his brother out on him during their football game. We also witness how Jack and Rebecca’s marriage begins to fray. And we see how a beat down old washing machine (what the episode was titled after) brought together a family, and also how a new one caused them to drift apart. In present day, Kate is shocked to see Toby fall off the wagon with his weight loss which also starts to affect her own. Randall’s wife Beth, after one of William’s chemotherapy treatments, attempts to make him feel better with a pan of weed-brownies. While bonding over their illicit desserts, William lets his secret slip to Beth about his relationship with Rebecca.

 

The “That Is Us” Moment: After dinner plans with their mother falls through, Kevin (Justin Hartley) and Randall (Sterling K. Brown) are left going alone. This turns out to be an absolute disaster with both of them arguing how the other knows nothing about their lives. This only escalates when they leave the restaurant and their unresolved problems from childhoods resurfaces.

Kevin: (Upon seeing he has been re-cast in his show by a black actor) “That’s great. Replaced by another black man.”

This comment sends Randall over the edge, launching him into a monologue about how Kevin treated him growing up. Your family are the people that know you the best, which also means they know how to hurt you the most. Kevin knew saying this would set Randall off. Having to defend his position in the family as well as his title as Kevin’s brother. There was a sense of competition between the two brothers growing up, and Kevin always felt like he played second fiddle to his adopted brother. This explosion of repressed feeling ends in a physical altercation that results in a cameo from Seth Meyers (what’s going on Meyers?).

 

What do you think? What was the moment of this week’s episode that you connected to the most? Let me know!

TV: This Is Us – “That Is Us” Moment (Career Days)

Television

Season 1, Episode 6 “Career Days”

Air date: November 1, 2016

*** warning the following contains spoilers for this week’s episode of This Is Us ***

Jack and Rebecca receive the report cards of their three children, the comments on Randall’s begin the journey of him becoming the working professional he is in present day. Still unable to connect with his character in his play, Kevin’s co-worker takes him on an unconventional first date. Kate has a new job as an assistant, but it’s the relationship her boss’ daughter has with her mother that reveals a surprisingly confession about Kate’s relationship with her own mother. And a grown up Randall has volunteered for career day at his daughters’ school, which causes him to question how his family sees his work.

 

The “That Is Us” Moment: There is nothing as emotional as the days and weeks following the death of someone you love. You struggle with the accepting that that person is no longer there while at the same time having to put on a seemingly strong face to those around you. But there are moments when it’s just not possible. In a hidden exchange Justin (Justin Hartley) and the newly widowed Grace (guest star Molly Hagan) observe the contents of the fridge. Grace trying to figure out where to put the surplus of petty-casseroles among the food that her late husband you’d to eat.

Grace: “He loves them, he eats them in bed. Ate. He is now past tense. He use to be is. Now he is was.

This exchange is just too relatable. In the moments after the death of someone who was such a permanent element of your life, you fight for the correct verb tense. Because they were just there; eating, or sleeping, or taking out the trash. And now they’re not.

The “That Is Us” Moment (#2): Like I said, this episode just had too many great scenes to not relate to more than one of them. In this scene we see Jack (Milo Ventimiglia) confront his son Randall (Lonnie Chavis) about his grades and recent IQ test. Only for it to be revealed that the young Randall fears that his intelligence level will only cause there to be more differences between him and his other siblings. Seeing his panic in his child’s eyes, Jack comforts him and explains how in his attempt to treat all his children the same, he may have also failed in acknowledging that they’re not.

Jack: “Can I be honest with you? Man to man. Your mom and me, we always try to treat you kids the same. Always have, hasn’t always worked because you’re not all the same. You’re adopted and we don’t talk about that enough. Cause to me you are every part my son. Maybe I don’t want you to feel like you stand out. But I need you to know something; I want you to stand out. I want all of you to as different as you can possible be. In all the best ways. I love as much as a human heart can kiddo. You are an exceptional young man. So don’t let you dad’s poor choices let you be afraid to be different. Okay?”

This scene is the catalyst in the type of person Randall grows up to be. A person who puts on a suit and tie every day for his desk job; and loves every moment about it.

 

What do you think? What was the moment of this week’s episode that you connected to the most? Let me know!

TV: This Is Us – “That Is Us” Moment (The Game Plan)

Television

Season 1, Episode 5 “The Game Plan”

Air date: October 25, 2016

*** warning this contains spoilers for the fifth episode of This Is Us ***

This episode sheds a light on Jack and Rebecca’s lives before the ‘big three’ arrive, and maybe just as important, how the Pittsburgh Steelers became such an essential part of their story. Jack and Rebecca are struggling with the next step in their relationship, Jack wants kids and Rebecca doesn’t. Afraid of how their lives will change once kids are in the picture. In present day, Toby feels a tad reject by Kate when she insists on watching the Steelers game by herself. Feeling a little crowded with both his brother Kevin and father William living in his home, Randall and his wife Beth take Kevin’s fancy NYC hotel room for the night. Using it as a moment for them to unwind, but a possible pregnancy causes them to think about the future of their relationship.

The “That Is Us” Moment: With Randall (Sterling K. Brown) and Beth (Susan Kelechi Watson) out of the house, Kevin (Justin Hartley) and William (Ron Cephas Jones) are in charge of watching over the girls. In an attempt to keep them preoccupied, Kevin enlists the girls and William in helping him read lines for his new play. Unfortunately, he didn’t consider that his nieces would question him on what the plays means. Which leads to an awkward discussion on the subject of death with two children. Feeling like he completely failed in comforting his nieces on the complex element of life he turns to William for guidance on how to approach the distraught kids. The product of that discussion has Kevin upstairs in the girls’ room showing them a painting he did after he read the play for the first time. Explaining the ritual of painting as a way for him to understand the feelings and emotions of a play. This specific painting is his visual representation of what life and ultimately death means in the grand scheme of the universe.

Kevin: “I painted this because I felt like the play was about life. Life is full of colour, and we each get to come along and we add our own our own colour to the painting. And even though it’s not very big, the painting, we have to figure that it goes on forever in each direction, to infinity. Cause that’s kinda like life. It’s really crazy if you think about it isn’t it, that a hundred years ago some guy that I never met came to this country with a suitcase. He has a son, who has a son, who has me. So at first when I was painting I was thinking maybe up here was that guy’s part of the painting, and down here that’s my part of the painting. And then I started thinking what if we’re all in the painting everywhere. What if we’re in the painting before we’re born, what if we’re in it after we die? And these colours that we keep adding, what if they keep on getting added on top of one another until eventually we’re not even different colours any more? We’re just one thing, one painting. My dad, he’s not with us anymore, he’s not alive but he’s with us. He’s with me everyday. It all sort of fits somehow, even if you don’t understand how yet. People will die in our lives, people that we love. In the future, maybe tomorrow, maybe years from now. It’s kinda beautiful if you think about it, the fact that just because someone dies and you can’t see them or talk to them anymore, doesn’t mean they’re not in the painting. I think that maybe that’s the point of the whole thing. There is no dying, there’s no you or me or them. There’s just us.

This monologue not only makes us relate to our own apprehensions about talking about our dealing with death, but it also gives us some insight into what has happened and what is also to come. We learn that the beloved patriarch, Jack (Milo Ventimiglia), of the ‘big three’ has died. What caused it and how long he’s been gone remains unanswered still, but it doesn’t make the revelation any less sad. We also get a brief flash-forward of Randall packing up William’s belonging into a box, knowing that he will in fact die. Leaving us wondering how much of an impact he will continue to have on Randall’s life before he does.

What do you think? What was the moment you connected to most in this week’s episode? Comment below!

TV: This Is Us – “That Is Us” Moment (The Pool)

Television

Season 1, Episode 4 “The Pool”

Air date: October 18, 2016

*** warning this contain spoilers for the fourth episode of This Is Us ***

During an extreme heat wave, combined with a busted AC, Jack and Rebecca decide to take the ‘big three’ to a pool to cool down. While there each child deals with their own insecurities, in one form or another. Kate, sporting a new bikini, is shunned by her friends because of how she looks in her swimsuit. Randall, who suggested going to this specific public pool because of the number of African-American families that visit it, realizes that he is being raised in white family. We see in present day how that has affected his identity has a black man through conversations with his biological father. And Kevin feels like the odd kid out, between Jack comforting Kate through her body insecurities and Kate recognizing that Randall is different from her other two children, it seems like no one is there for him. We see how each one of these little events has affected each sibling as an adult.

 

The “That Is Us” Moment: When Kate (Chrissy Metz) is out on a lunch date with Toby (Chris Sullivan), his ex-wife appears at the restaurant. She is pretty, well dressed, and most surprisingly to Kate, skinny. Seeing the person that Toby used to be married to causes her to have doubt in their relationship. Wondering what Toby could possibly see in her when he was married to someone like that. Her own lack of self-esteem causes Kate to follow his ex-wife into the boutique she owns and ends up interviewing for a position at the store. Later, when Toby confronts Kate about the incident, she expresses her self-doubt in his interest in her. What she is feeling is completely relatable, in our current relationships with out partners; we all have some form of suspicion of our partner’s exs. Especially if we think they are better then we are. But Toby also shows us that people are exs for a reason.

Toby: “You’ve been fat, yeah I get it. I emphasize, clearly. I emphasize, and I say something cute then you feel better. Rinse and repeat. She was terrible to me Kate. Josie, this skinny, successful woman that you admire so much. She cheated on me, she lied to me, then she took half my life savings. I gained 95 lbs. in one year after she left me. At my lowest point, I told my brother I was committing suicide even though that wasn’t true because I wanted him to be as scared and as lonely as I was. You know what, that’s a lie; I did consider suicide, a lot, when I would get drunk alone and disgust myself. So you haven’t cornered the market on problems Kate.”

This episode showed us another layer of Toby, an important one. Making him more than the comic relief of the show.

The “That Is Us” Moment (#2): We see this episode that Randall (Sterling K. Brown) has struggled with being black while growing up in a white household. An issue that people can relate to when they are adopted by parents that are not the same race as they are. This show tackling the subject of adopting a child of a different race, and showing the difficulties that not only the parents face, but issues the child has to deal with as well. The episode shows this struggle that Randall is faced with not only during the pool scenes as a kid, but also when he is an adult as well. Especially when his father William (Ron Cephas Jones) has a minor altercation with Randall’s white neighbours. Telling his father that even though white parents had raised him, it did not take away the colour of his skin, nor did it change the way others treated him.

Randall: “That story you told about helping the bus of little black kids in Pittsburgh, that was ’86,’87? So you were clean then? Functioning. Cause you know what this little black kid was doing? I was a little boy living in Bethel Park, Pennsylvania. Which is pretty much the whitest place on earth. I had this little notebook, and every time I met a new black person I would put a mark in this notebook. And every time I met a black man I wonder if somehow, if that man could possibly be my father. But I could say that, I couldn’t say that out loud, because I love my father, my white father. And my white mother. I’m a strong successful black man, my wife and I give a lot of thought to how we raise our girls believe that. The fact that my daughter doesn’t find anything unusual about her playing Snow-White… that’s the whole idea right? Look, I don’t know everything William, I don’t. But I wouldn’t change a thing about my parents, or how I parent.”

William sees he struggles that Randall has had to go through due to his abandoning him as a baby. And uses this moment to apologise to Randall, because that it what he’s owed. An apology, not judgement on how he’s dealt with his own relationship with his race and upbringing.

 

So what do you think? What was the “That Is Us” moment of the episode this week in your opinion? Comment below!

TV: This Is Us – “That Is Us’ Moment (Kyle)

Television

Season 1, Episode 3 “Kyle”

Air date: October 11, 2016

*** warning spoilers ahead for the third episode of This Is Us ***

Rebecca is having trouble bonding with Randall, or Kyle has he’s known in this episode, because before the Kardashians made it famous for naming all their children with the letter “K,” Jack and Rebecca did it first. In present day when Randall introduces his mother to William, we discover they have already met. In an attempt to learn more about where her adopted son came from, Rebecca tracks down his biological father William weeks after he dropped him off at a fire station. Meanwhile Kate is taken on a fantastic first date with Toby, but is finding it hard to put her relationship with him in front of her relationship with her brother Kevin, who is struggling with the next step of his career.

 

The “That Is Us” Moment: This may not have been the most emotional scene of this episode, but it’s definitely one we can all somehow relate too. Leaving the comfort of home and family for the first time. When Kevin (Justin Hartley) has an opportunity to try out for a play on Broadway, his personal assistant and sister Kate (Chrissy Metz), is willing to drop everything going on in her life to help him make that transition. Including her new relationship with Toby (Chris Sullivan), who has just taken her on one of the best first dates ever. Realizing that his sister has and always will be there for him, Kevin knows that he must make this next step in his life with having the security of his sister there with him. Recognizing that is sister would follow him anywhere he goes, he decides to just book a ticket to NYC and fly out all by himself. Putting them both in unfamiliar situations, away from one another.

Kevin: “Oh Kate good you didn’t answer, hopefully that means you’re having sex. Anyway I did it. I booked a red-eye to New York I’m just going to do because you know, Kate if we keep talking about it we’ll talk ourselves out of it. I’ll never go and you’ll never stay. And I’m not going to say goodbye or anything sappy like that so… You know how I feel, okay.”

But leaving one coast to another not only creates a distance between him and his sister; it also limits the distance between him and Randall (Sterling K. Brown). Hopefully this close proximity will strengthen the relationship between the two brothers, who we’ve seen don’t have the best of relationships.

 

What do you think? What was the “That Is Us” moment of the episode in your opinion? Comment below!

TV: This Is Us – “That Is Us” Moment (The Big Three)

Television

Season 1, Episode 2 “The Big Three”

Air date: September 27, 2016

*** warning spoilers ahead for the second episode of This Is Us ***

Now that the big twist from the pilot has been established, the show now goes back and forth between Jack and Rebecca raising the ‘big three,’ to the ‘big three’ themselves, each kid grown up and living their own lives. This episode we see Kate, with the help of her new friend Toby, starting her new weight loss journey while also dealing with her brother’s, Kevin, image control after he quits his job on “The Manny.” Randall has welcomed his biological father William into his home and is dealing with their new relationships now that it is known William has a grim diagnosis of stomach cancer.

 

The “That Is Us” Moment: Jack (Milo Ventimiglia) and Rebecca (Mandy Moore) are struggling with raising three children, or rather Rebecca is, and Jack is failing to see how is absence in the house is affecting his wife. In a moment of complete honesty, Rebecca confronts Jack after an evening out drinking and tells him to step up his parenting. Admits that she needs him to be there for him and their children. Asking more of him because she knows that he can be better, for the kids and for her.

Rebecca: “How do you think we’re doing so far, at parenting? Cause I think we’re at a ‘6’, on a sliding scale of 1 through 10, I think we’re at a ‘6’ and I think I’m being generous. ‘7’ fine, but only because there are three of them. And the thing is, I’m trying really hard to get us to a ‘9’. Because they are cute kids and they deserve ‘9’ parents and the thing is I feel like I’m there Jack. I feel like I’m operating at a ‘9’, because I do individualized lunches, and I do individualized tuck-ins for each kid so nobody feels jipped. And when you’re home and you’re you, you are way better then I am. You are a ‘10’ when you’re you. But you’re getting home later and later. And when you do come home…the drinking has to stop. You have to rain it in baby, cause I won’t have it in my house. I won’t. So if it’s a problem fix it, be a man and fix it. Because I’m done letting you lower our score.”

It’s an emotional scene to watch. Seeing someone beg their partner to be better, to help each other out, because that’s what being a partner is. To be there for one another. And this plea is made to be even more emotional when we discover at the end of the episode that in present day, Rebecca is no longer with Jack. She is married to Miguel (Jon Huertas), Jack’s co-worker. Leaving us wondering what happened between Jack and Rebecca, and why the beloved couple is no longer together.

 

What do you think? What was the “That Is Us” moment of the episode in your opinion? Comment below!

TV: This Is Us – “That Is Us” Moment (Pilot)

Television

Season 1, Episode 1: “Pilot”

Airdate: September 20, 2016

*** warning spoilers ahead for the season premiere of the show This Is Us ***

In one of the biggest twists in TV history since… well ever, we discover that the storylines of Jack and Rebecca happen 36 years prior to that of Kevin, Kate, and Randall. That’s because the triplets Rebecca delivers in the season premiere are… wait for it… Kevin, Kate, and William! It’s one big happy family, well maybe not always, and it certainly didn’t start out that way.


The “That Is Us” moment: After Rebecca (Mandy Moore) goes into labour on her husband Jack’s (Milo Ventimiglia) birthday to deliver their triplets Jack is determined that they will be leaving the hospital with three healthy babies. But due to delivery complications they loose one of the babies. In one of the tearjerker moments of the episode, Jack sits outside of the delivery room dealing with his grief of losing a child. When Dr. K (the amazing Gerald McRaney) joins him, and attempts to give him some words of wisdom during the most devastating time of his life. We’ve all had that in some form or another, during the most down moments of our lives, we hear something or read something that touches us in a way that makes the unbearable somehow manageable. And sometimes what is said to us stays with us forever, and we even pass it on to someone else who needs it just as much as we did.

Dr. K: “I like to think that one day you’ll be an old man like me talking a young man’s ear off explaining to him how you took the sourest lemon that life has to offer and turned it into something resembling lemonade. If you can do that, then maybe you will still be taking three babies home from this hospital, just maybe not the way you planned.”

It’s after this encounter that Jack sees a baby Randall, who has just been dropped off at the hospital after being found at a fire station, and he becomes apart of Jack and Rebecca’s family. Becoming part of “the big three.” He even imparts Dr. K’s words of wisdom to each one of his children, and they use it some 30 years later, whenever the world seems to be against them.