Tuesday, October 11, 2016

This Is Us 1.03: “Kyle”

“She lost a baby, Jack. You can’t just dismiss that. And you took your grief and you channeled it into action. You willed yourself forward with positivity. Rebecca is going to have to do this in her own way.”
- Dr. K

You better get ready for some serious drama in the Person family because it is on! We pick up pretty much right where we left off in the present. Rebecca and Miguel have stopped by on their way into the city (presumably New York) to visit Randall and the family and Randall takes this opportunity to break the news to his mom that he’s found his bio dad. I do have to admit I’m still suspicious of Miguel. I know we’ll eventually get the answers to those questions but it does make me worry about what Jack’s fate entails and when in the timeline of the series we are going to lose him. Anyway, Randall is short on the details about William but Rebecca insists on meeting him. They shake hands and Rebecca asks to speak with William privately. By the fact that he says she looks well means they have a history! As we learn in the flashbacks a bit, Rebecca tracked William down back in the day to find out Randall’s story. But she wasn’t willing to let William into her son’s life (which I think was kind of selfish). I have a feeling that Randall will find out about the deal they made all those years ago (given that William’s prognosis is not good) and it is really going to affect his relationship with Rebecca. I do have to say I love Beth and how supportive she is of her husband and how she is able to put into words the thoughts and fears that he has with this whole situation.

Out in LA, Toby wakes up from his night of partying with Kate to find her singing in the bathroom. He jumps on the fact that’s got a great voice (she really does) but she says she avoids the spotlight given her size (and probably given Kevin). Speaking of, he’s still intent on going to New York and he thinks that since Kate is his personal assistant she’ll just be going with him. I honestly can’t really see that happening. It is interesting to see how really co-dependent the pair of them are. It seems Kevin doesn’t even think twice about whether Kate is going to pick up her life and move to New York with him. After all, they’ve done everything else in their lives together. Heck, they’ve got that special twin bond where they can feel each other’s pain. I also find it an interesting dynamic that they actively refer to each other as their twin but they also acknowledge Randall as part of the “Big Three”. I really want to see more of the kids at a slightly older age really coming to terms with and dealing with that outsider-ness within the family.

In fact, as Kevin tries to figure out how he’s going to get himself to New York and decide what plays he’s going to try out for, Kate is being whisked away by Toby so that just for one day she can be in the spotlight. He takes her to a nursing home and makes her sing. At first she’s clearly nervous but by the end she’s really getting into it and feeling free. Things are even heating up with her and Toby until Kevin calls again. An ex of his is trashing his place (he called her because Kate wasn’t answering). So Kate, ever the dutiful sister, rushes home to rescue her big brother. This puts a damper on Toby, especially since he clearly sees something more with Kate on the horizon. She makes it up to him, though after Kevin realizes just how much he is holding her back. So he fires Kate as his personal assistant and takes off on a flight to New York. It will be very fun to see the three siblings kind of spread out across the country. I’m really hoping we get to see all three of the grown kids together by the end of the season.

In the past we jump back to the day Jack and Rebecca take the babies home. Dr. K stops by and gets introduced to Kevin, Kate and Kyle. Something tells me naming Randall with the name of their third baby is going to cause some serious problems. You can’t just replace one child with another. And as Jack goes to get the car, we see Rebecca spot William (whom we’ve seen on the bus a bunch until he’s carrying the baby in his arms). It is also clear that Rebecca is struggling with bonding with the babies, especially Randall. It takes Jack a while to figure out (with the help of Dr. K) that she is not handling her grief particularly well. She will get through it on her own and in her own way and Jack just needs to be patient. By the end of the episode, she’s in a better place (having talked to William) and realizes that giving him his own name is going to at least help with the pain of their loss. And she and Jack come to the understanding that it’s okay to still feel sad about the baby they lost and still feel blessed by the babies they have.

I am honestly amazed by how much this show continues to just tug at the heartstrings week after week. It is really a testament to the writers and producers that they are able to keep up this level of emotional connection between the viewers and the characters. Each episode I come in wanting to know more about all of these characters and become even more invested in their individual and collective journeys through this life that they are living. They have really created strong, relatable characters that stand out and feel real. I don’t have the life experience to completely relate to any of the characters but it doesn’t really matter because it touches the human experience and that is universal.

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