Wednesday, November 30, 2016

This Is Us 1.09: "The Trip"

“The moment I saw you, I knew you were my boy. You aren’t a choice, Randall, you are a fact. You were never a replacement son, do you understand?”
- Jack

Get ready for yet another emotional ride with the Pearson clan. Randall is still furious with Rebecca for what she did (he’s second maddest at William and then Beth). He’s going to make a list of every reason he is angry with his mother and then read it to her. Well, okay then. Before he can do that, though, Kevin reveals to Kate that Rebecca is selling the family cabin. They decide that going out there and spending the day just as The Big Three would be a great idea. After all, they all kind of have things to work through. Kevin is not having any of Kate’s surgery decision and she thinks he’s being kind of a dick in general now that he’s hanging with different people in New York.

In the past, we see Randall starting to question where he came from, going up to black people in the grocery store, asking if they can roll their tongue (it’s apparently an inherited trait). Rebecca is not happy about this but Jack tries to reassure her. And as they hang with their one black friend (from the pool), she suggests they find some male role models for Randall who are black. Jack takes Randall to a dojo run by a black man but Jack feels like maybe they should try and actually find Randall’s bio parents (and of course Rebecca is resisting). Rebecca is terrified not only that his biological parents could be dangerous (even though she knows he’s not really that bad) but also because she worries that they’ll be great and want him back. The next day, Rebecca goes to see William, not sure if he’s still in the same place. I suspect this is where she gives him the photo of Randall and the letter. Well, it isn’t the letter (yet) but she does fill William in on what Randall’s been up to and she shares that Randall has been asking about him and William gets all excited to meet Randall, scaring Rebecca away. We also get an absolutely moving scene when Randall is initiated into the dojo where Jack and then all the other fathers do push-ups with Randall on their backs to show him that they will be his community and his support. The devotion that Jack shows to his children is astounding. He may not be perfect but my God does he try so hard!

The Big Three get to the cabin and things start to fall apart quickly. Randall just wants to pack his stuff and leave but then Kevin had to go and invite Olivia (who brought the playwright and some hipster guy). Not cool, Kev. Not cool at all. Especially when they end up playing a board game and we learn that hipster guy dated Olivia. Kate kind of rips into her (and then Kevin) for bringing him there. I think this is the first time we’ve really seen the twins fight. And while they are bickering, Randall is having one hell of a trip thanks to drinking some of hipster guy’s mushroom smoothie. He wanders outside to find Jack fixing the roof. Oh boy! He starts ranting to Jack about what Rebecca has done and his imaginary father tells him that if Rebecca had kept that secret, it would have destroyed her (which I’m pretty sure is true). But imaginary Jack also tells Randall that he was wanted and loved. Randall decides in his altered state that he wants Rebecca to hurt as much as he does. That doesn’t sound good at all! But as he tries to yell at the memory of Rebecca, Jack reminds him to look through it and see what’s underneath. We find a very trapped and lonely Rebecca.

Kate thinks she’s got Olivia sorted out (at least the type of person that she is) but then Olivia accuses Kate of being jealous of Kevin and the fact that he’s changing and she’s not and that maybe even if she loses the weight, it won’t be enough. Kate is clearly shaken by this and lashes out at Kevin and then when she calls Toby to vent about everything, he basically tells her that if they are still broken up, he can’t be her support person. Harsh, Toby! Back in the cabin, we get a little outside insight into Olivia from the playwright (Olivia wrangled her into driving to the cabin instead of letting the playwright go to New York to be there for the birth of her niece). This ends up setting Kevin off a bit when they are watching old home movies and the hipster is clearly making fun of Kate. Kevin ends up giving them a piece of his mind (rightly so, defend your sister from the assholes) and they end up leaving.

Kevin finds Kate out in the woods and apologizes to her. And she admits that maybe she can’t do this all alone and she’s scared of the surgery (and more about not trying it). It looks like Kevin (still being a little selfish) convinces her to stay in New York to focus on herself. Sure it means less Toby but hey, we have the Big Three together again at least! The next day, Kate finds Kevin in bed with the playwright (better her than Olivia I suppose) and they find Randall fixing the house. Not for Rebecca, but for Jack. And as the episode comes to a close, he goes to see Rebecca and while he acknowledges that keeping the secret for so long must have been lonely, he’s not ready to forgive her yet. But he will see her at Christmas (which is the next episode). This was a very deep and painful episode for everyone but I think it needed to happen and it’s very good that it did. Just like in life, things take time to heal and I believe we are seeing that process unfold not only for Randall and Rebecca but Kate and Kevin, too.

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