Wednesday, February 8, 2017

This Is Us 1.14: “I Call Marriage”

“You have changed the way I think about love.”
- Jack

If you’ve ever wondered how Jack and Rebecca got married, this is your episode (hence the episode title). Well, we only really get a glimpse of them coming out of city hall. We then cut to Miguel giving actually a rather sweet Best Man speech. It was emotional and the words actually seemed to reflect Jack and Rebecca. But all is not well with the Pearsons and their best friends. We cut to when the Big Three are fifteen (or at least teenagers) and Miguel and his wife announce to Jack and Rebecca are getting divorced. They’ve just drifted apart. It appears Jack and Rebecca are questioning if they’ve started to drift themselves. She’s out a lot playing gigs with the jazz band and he’s working crazy hours at his job, too. But when Rebecca’s ex (and keyboard player) tells her that they have been offered a five state tour, she defends Jack’s love quite vigorously. She sees that he still cares at least. On Jack’s side of things, he confronts Miguel, asking if the reason for the divorce has anything to do with the pretty blond that’s always flirting with them both in their office. Miguel insists that no, it was just them drifting and forgetting to notice each other. This prompts Jack to go all out and when Rebecca gets home, he takes her back to their first apartment as newlyweds (pre-Big Three). He’s strung up white lights all over the place (probably safer than a bunch of candles). It turns into a really sweet moment where they have sex in the shower (like they used to) and Jack reads his vows to Rebecca again. God, he’s such a romantic man and while we know he struggled with some drinking when the kids were babies, he’s just such a great guy.

The Pearson children in the present are having various issues of their own. Kate has mixed feelings when Toby shows up unannounced at camp. She’s finally getting into her rhythm with the classes and finding what works for her to focus on herself and he throws that all out of whack. He’s gotten a hotel room for them because his doctor cleared him for some low impact physical exertion but she declines. He then meets Duke (and agrees with every fan everywhere that he’s a dick). This prompts Toby to get a day pass but being his goofy self just pisses Kate off until he gets real with her about his needs. He wants to support her but he needs her support, too. His surgical scars aren’t healing as fast as the doctor expected and he wakes up every morning with his chest so tight he worries he’s going to have another heart attack. She does take his grandmother’s ring before he leaves. But that’s not enough to keep her from venturing out at 3am toward Duke’s cabin. Seriously, he’s staff there. Report him for sexual harassment. That’s wholly inappropriate girl! She may not be sabotaging herself with food anymore but she’s definitely finding ways to sabotage other parts of her life that are going well. I really think she needs more help than the camp can give her. I really hope she and Toby make it but I don’t want them to rush into marriage. She needs to get herself sorted out first.

Randall isn’t having it much better. Things at work are continuing to be complicated by the new guy taking over aspects of his job. I can definitely feel Randall’s anxiety over being replaced on top of dealing with losing yet another father (because as we know, Randall was young when Jack passed away). I suspect he never really dealt with his father’s passing, much like his siblings have locked it all away where it can’t hurt them (or at least they think it can’t). He isn’t happy about having to give up landing a big client to go see Tess play chess (I don’t blame Beth for being bored out of her mind). But he’s happy that his litter girl wins. But he fears that it was a mistake bringing a dying man into his girls’ lives. I found it really interesting how he reacted whenever Beth talked about William as passing away or dying or being dead. In the end, his boss tells him that his accounts are being split (and it’s probably the employment law attorney in me going what possible claims might he have?). Also he appears to have some issues with his hands shaking. It could just be emotion or maybe there’s something in William’s family that gives him a predisposition for other medical conditions.

Kevin is possibly the least stressed of his siblings this week. Now that he’s realized what he’s been missing in his life for the last twelve years, he’s dead set on winning Sophie back. He goes to the diner that they always ate at and convinces an older couple to move to the next booth so he can sit there (despite his moving words about the important moments he and Sophie shared in the booth, it’s an autograph from the Man-ny that gets him what he wants). Sophie isn’t thrilled to be there but Kevin isn’t giving up. She’s a Nurse Manager now so she’s doing well for herself but she wasn’t always. We learn what led to their divorce (he went to LA and she stayed on the East Coast and then he cheated on her). She moved back home with her parents and had a string of bad relationships. But she’s with a nice guy now. Kevin also admits that he’s been following her life as a made up Facebook profile (so he knew about her mom’s MS diagnosis). As sweet as I’m sure Kevin meant it to be, it was still super creepy and stalker behavior. Come on, Kev, get it together man and stop messing up! But hey, he might end up getting her to go out with him again (and maybe break up with her boyfriend).

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