Wednesday, March 8, 2017

This Is Us 1.17: “What Now?”

“It’s my fault. I’m the reason he’s dead.”
- Kate

We are in the final episode before the season finale and I don’t know what I’m feeling. Jack is not handling Rebecca’s assertion of independence well. Randall’s grieving the loss of another father and Kevin and Kate are a tiny bit adrift. Get things together Pearsons! My tear ducts can’t handle this. In fact, I have a habit of watching this show on public transportation (because I’m stupid) and I flat out cried openly this episode.

In the past, we pick up with Jack and Rebecca where Rebecca is just about to go off on tour. Jack is late getting home (he’s at a retirement party for a colleague he doesn’t particularly like). Rebecca is mad that he didn’t leave when he said he would. It’s so painful to see the two of them at odds like this. We’re so used to them being strong and united. I don’t like them fighting. And neither does Kate. After Rebecca leaves (Jack only gives her a peck on the cheek), Kate admonishes him and he goes out to say a proper goodbye but she’s already gone. Then when he drops them off at a friend’s house for a party, she doesn’t get out of the car because she’s worried something is wrong with her parents. He tries to convince her that everything is fine and she should worry about being a teenage girl. But, at the after-party for the retirement party when his assistant hits on him, he realizes his daughter was right and he needs to be with his wife. But of course, he’s been drinking and that can’t lead anywhere good.

In the present, we find the Pearson clan trying to figure out how to mourn William (I have to say I loved the bit of the acoustic version of the song from last week playing as Randall is looking around William’s room). Beth and Randall find a note from William to the girls, putting them in charge of his memorial service. Because the girls are so darn cute, they come up with celebrating his life by recreating his perfect day with the rest of the family in attendance (including Rebecca and Miguel). Rebecca is apprehensive about being there given her role in keeping William and Randall apart for so many years. But there’s breakfast to be had, until Beth kind of loses it in the kitchen with Randall. First, she’s upset because she looks in the cabinet and realizes she refilled all of William’s medications. And then, she laments that she didn’t even get to say goodbye to him like Randall did with the trip to Memphis or Jessie in private or the girls by planning the memorial. So when it comes time for the “toast” (eulogy), Randall hands the mic over to his wife. She gives a great speech which ends with noting that going forward; the family is going to remember things before William and after William.

At this point, Kate kind of loses it. When Toby tries to comfort her, she just runs out of the house crying. Randall goes to console his sister and she admits that since the camp and the therapy, a lot of things have been coming to the surface for her emotionally, especially about Jack. She promises Toby as the family heads off on William’s afternoon walk that she will tell him after Kevin’s play that night. And as they continue to meander, Rebecca finally unloads on Randall all the feelings she’s been holding in. She had promised herself she would tell Randall when he was 15 (and then 16) because she knew it would hurt him, especially since William had been so poorly off when she first met him. She feels guilty for him not having enough time with William. But Randall counters that he had enough time with his father to know he was loved and that was good enough.

On the Kevin front, he’s trying to get the New York Times critic to come to the second opening night of the play but he’s not having it. He alsow ants to share the fact he’s dating Sophie with his family but she’s not ready. She’ll be there but she’s not going to sit with them. The play goes off really well and the family has nothing but positive things to shower upon Kevin. Kevin even tells Sophie afterwards that he came to New York to win her back and he’s going to wait however long it takes for her to believe that. Cue them falling into bed together. And then Ron Howard calls. He was in the audience with his niece and he wants Kevin to be in a movie he’s shooting out in LA. Please dear God Kevin, don’t make the same mistake you made with Sophie before. Don’t put your career ahead of your love. Oh and in spectacular fashion, Randall swings by the office and confronts his boss for being such a heartless jerk this whole time. Randall helped build the company to what it is and all he got was a box of fruit he’s allergic to and a generic printed card? So he up and quits his job. Good for him! Go take some walks or turn the music up and roll through the neighborhood like William would have done.

And as we end, we find Toby and Kate packing for LA and he reminds her of her promise to share things bout Jack’s death. We still don’t know how it happens but Kate does drop quite the bombshell on Toby and the rest of us. According to her, Jack’s death was her fault and she’s been holding onto that for so many years. This leads me to think something happens when Jack goes off to apologize to Rebecca on tour (since Kate pushed him to go and do just that). That is an awful weight to be carrying around for half your life, especially for a teenager. No kid should have to feel like their parent’s death was their fault. I really hope Kate can find a way to heal from these wounds because she deserves to be happy and not have to bear that burden anymore. Man, I’m so not ready for next week’s finale.

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