Tuesday, November 15, 2016

This Is Us 1.07: “The Best Washing Machine in the Whole World”

“That’s the first time in thirty-six years you’ve said the words ‘he’s my brother’.”
- Randall

This week we get to see another era of the Big Three: the teen years. As we see a montage of the various updated washing machines and home remodels, we find Randall doing homework at 2am. He’s apparently made the football team and Kevin is pissed that Randall is keeping him up. They get into an argument, which Rebecca has to break up. She suggests putting them in different rooms (even though the only free room is the basement) and Kevin takes her up on the offer. Things aren’t going so great with Rebecca and Jack these days, either. Rebecca is finally getting back into singing now that the kids are older and it’s kind of a big day. But it’s also a big day for Kevin because he’s got a college scout coming to watch the game. And Jack has a big deal coming through at work. I think they both realize that things are changing between them and I really hope this doesn’t mean one or both of them strays (specifically Jack). There is a flirty secretary at the office. We also get to see Kate in her eyeliner phase (which made me insanely happy). Too bad her suggestion to Randall of joking more with Kevin backfires. Kevin just really doesn’t want to be around his brother. Things come to a head at the football game where the boys are on opposing teams and they end up getting into a fight on the field. And as this week’s flashbacks come to a close, we see in reverse all the memories that the washing machine holds as sort of symbols of where Jack and Rebecca’s relationship has been.

In the present, we see that Kevin and Randall are still super competitive. They are out running and Randall is doing everything he can to beat Kevin (he runs two more miles). But apparently they are having dinner together that night with Rebecca. That should be interesting! Because it wouldn’t be drama if Mom was there, she bows out and the boys go to dinner just the two of them. As Beth rightly points out, they can’t even be in the same room alone together. Kevin insists on going to some hipster restaurant where he gets to take lots of selfies with random fans and Randall is clearly made to feel uncomfortable. When Kevin runs into an old cast mate from his show and Randall has no idea who he is, Kevin gets pissed and storms out. We then get to hear the root of what their problem of their relationship really is. Kevin is resentful that Randall got all of Rebeca’s attention (which we kind of knew already) and that she made sure he felt special so he didn’t feel like the odd man out for being adopted and Black. Randall points out that Kevin treated him horribly, even though all Randall wanted was just a little respect from his brother. The pair of them get into another shoving match which draws a crowd. But for the first time ever, Kevin says that Randall is his brother (when a guy Kevin knows asks if he wants them to call anyone). This was a long time coming for sure and I think it’s good that they got it out in the open. As they have another small heart-to-heart in the car, we see that Randall ate up their mother’s love because he craved it so much from his brother. They even end up hanging out together in the basement watching old Man-ny episodes (Beth moved all his stuff there out of her office).

Back home, William is having issues with the chemo (namely it’s killing his appetite) and we get to learn a little bit about Beth’s backstory. She reveals that her father died of lung cancer but that during the end days, he used weed to help at least with the appetite. William says that his doctor assured him weed was different from the drugs he used to take so it wouldn’t trigger those old behaviors. And in a surprising twist, Beth has some weed lying about and so she decides to make them pot brownies once the girls are asleep. It seems like the brownies are doing their work because both of them are relaxed and laughing up a storm. It even draws one of the girls out of bed. But then when William starts quoting a poem from the book of poems he gave Rebecca, he ends up admitting that he’d met her back in the day. Beth is not going to let him off the hook for that. She doesn’t tell Randall right away but she does leave a message for Rebecca to call her back.

Across the country, Kate is doing her best to stick to her diet but she only loses a pound (to Toby’s eight). She ducks out of the meeting because even though she really is happy for Toby, she’s still struggling to find what works for her. Then, she thinks he’s ignoring her so she shows up at his house and finds that he’s struggling himself. He announces that depriving himself of the things he likes is driving him nuts and he’s not going to diet anymore. He says that when he’s with Kate, he’ll still eat the way she does but he’s going too still binge on stuff when he’s alone. She rightly isn’t sure that this will work in their relationship because it really isn’t conducive to what she needs out of him right now but she’s going to try. She even tells him to order dessert at the restaurant they are at because she knows he’ll just go home and stuff his face and lie about it. But you can totally tell she really wants a bite of the dessert as he’s kind of shoveling it in his face. And then she goes to a gas station (she legit needs gas) and buys a bunch of junk food and you can see the war in her mind before she ends up eating some of it.

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