Wednesday, October 26, 2016

This Is Us 1.05: "The Game Plan"

“I think that’s the point of the painting. There’s no dying. There’s no you, no them. There’s just us.”
- Kevin

This week’s episode is all about football. We see young Rebecca as her mother watches her father watching football as a child. Cut to Rebecca and Jack in a bar as he, too, watches the game (pre Big Three). She insists she won’t be like her mother and begs him to teach her about football. I don’t think he was quite expecting to turn her into quite the sports monster but she totally loves the game and the Steelers. In fact, she’s stoked to be singing at a pre-game party at their local bar. You would think Jack would be having a great time watching his wife sing (I mean you can’t have Mandy Moore on your show and not have her sing) on Super Bowl Sunday but he’s kind of morose. She’s mentioned twice she doesn’t want kids and he picks the middle of the game in a crowded bar with Miguel and his wife (who have 2 kids) to bring up the kid talk. She doesn’t want to have the conversation but he says that he really wants kids. I’m really intrigued to see how they get from this point to her being pregnant with triplets. They start to have it out until a guy in the bar yells at them to take it outside and tells Jack he needs to control his woman. Jack clearly gets pissed at this (I don’t blame him) and he takes a swing at the guy before Rebecca walks out. Jack asks Miguel when he knew he wanted kids because he’s concerned that Rebecca won’t change her mind. They ultimately make up and it turns out the triplets are conceived thanks to the Steelers winning the Super Bowl (so apparently Rebecca is younger than Jack).

In LA, Kate has made Toby (heathy, kind of pathetic) breakfast in bed. They have a weight loss meeting to go to later in the day and then she’s got the Steelers game on. She insists she watches it alone because it is a ritual but Toby (through the meeting and an adorable note/invitation) convinces her to let him join her in her ritual. Things do not go well when Kate shows up at Toby’s place. He’s invited a friend over to watch with them and it’s more like his friend is into TVs and their quality. And then Toby pauses the game. That’s the last straw for Kate. She just isn’t handling having her solo time with the game interrupted. Toby swings by to learn what is happened to make Kate be this way. She explains that she grew up watching the Steelers with her dad and that’s an important of who she is, even now. See, at some point (around 2006 or so), Jack died and she watches them with his urn. I cried a lot when that reveal came.

Across the country on the East Coast, Randall and Beth are wondering how long Kevin is going to stay. You can tell he’s really floundering in every aspect of his life (he’s not even off book yet on his script). He also then goes on a bit of a rant about how lonely his super big hotel suite is. Randall decides he and Beth need a night away from everything so they’re going to take the hotel and Kevin and William can watch the girls. Randall is understandably skeptical about leaving his big brother in charge. I mean the man can barely take care of his own self, let alone two small kids. But he kind of gets them into helping him learn his lines (William, too). Things aren’t really going that well for Kevin either. The girls don’t understand the play and then we learn one of the characters in the play is a ghost. Kevin tries to explain ghosts and death but it just goes horribly awry; William has some wise words for Kevin. He needs to stop doubting himself. He has talent, he just needs to remember that’s the case. Kevin then goes to apologize to his nieces, explaining that he paints (not even Kate knows) and he paints when he reads a new script and he chose to share the meaning behind this painting for the play with the girls. It’s a giant swirl of colors and he says that he thought about how amazing it was that a person came to this country and had a family and then had children and that ended up with Kevin. The play made him realize that they are all connected and even when people die and they aren’t’ there anymore, it doesn’t mean they’re really gone. That also ties in with Kate watching the game with Jack’s urn. It’s just so touching and I kind of wish we got to see Randall’s reaction to Jack passing on. We’ve seen the reaction from the other two. I’m not happy that Jack is dead but I am glad that that’s how Rebecca ends up with Miguel (and it makes me think perhaps that Miguel’s wife also died). It also means the Pearson family may have some step siblings as well.

Randall and Beth are going to have their own drama going forward (aside from William and Kevin being unexpected guests). As Randall freaks out over the suite (going on about all the loud, adult sex they’re going to have in the shower), Beth admits that she’s quite late and has some other early pregnancy symptoms but she can’t bring herself to go to the store to get a test. They bicker about what they’d seen for their futures as they go to get the test but by the time they are waiting for the test results they've reconciled. It turns out she’s not pregnant, so they don’t have to change their lives to fit in another child but they do have to deal with some loss. As Kevin is giving the girls a big speech, we see Randall packing up William’s clothes so he has passed on. I’m almost glad we did it that way because it was going to be emotional regardless of how it happened. I do want to see how the kids react to losing this person who just came into their lives.

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