Wednesday, February 28, 2018

This Is Us 2.16: “Vegas, Baby”

“Everyone thinks it was always Kevin and Kate. But the year after Dad died it was Kate and Randall eating hot pockets and watching Mom pretending to be okay.”
- Kate

After the weight of the last few episodes, having a relatively lighter one was nice. I mean, there was still some deep, emotional stuff happening in the present-day storyline but on the whole the premise of the episode was lighter because Kate and Toby were having their bachelor/bachelorette parties in Vegas. But, not everyone was excited to be going, namely Randall. Before we jet off to Vegas, we see that Deja stopped by to ask for money to pay the overdue heating bill in her apartment. This cranks Randall’s anxiety level up to 11 because he’s worrying about what to do if she needs them while they are away.

I was honestly a little worried about Kevin’s sobriety in Sin City and it seemed he was a little as well. He gets to the hotel and asks the housekeeper to do him a favor: the next day when she comes in to clean, she should count the 27 bottles of booze in the mini bar and if they are all still there, she gets a big tip. I like that he’s trying to find ways to keep himself accountable. But as he and the guys go out to dinner to celebrate Toby, things take a turn. He sees one of his movie co-starts who tells him that she was completely cut from the movie. This leads to Kevin spiraling a bit about whether he’s been cut out, too. He begs off the rest of the night and Randall soon bails as well when he gets a call from Deja. She’s just checking up on him but he’s still worried.

Over with the women, Beth is letting loose, complete with going up on stage at Magic Mike Live. Of course, as Randall is wandering the casino, he see the show and he and Beth get into a huge blowout fight that started when they arrived in Vegas and Randall basically told Beth she has no heart because she’s so detached from the whole Deja situation. As painful as it was to see them go at each other (although they even fight kind of polite which is adorable), it is a nice reminder that while their marriage is strong, they still have struggles. I did feel a little bad for Kate whose party they were ruining but as all the yelling is going on, she blurts out that she thinks that Randall chose his own family and wife over his sibling lately. This leads to a nice heart to heart with Randall and Kate where she says that she loved spending time with him as a kid, especially after Jack died and they binged Sex and the City. And she also reminds Randall that Toby just wanted to hang with his brothers-in-law. So Randall and Kevin head back to grab Toby and take him to the seedy part of Vegas like he wanted and they all have a heart to heart where Toby reveals that he has a younger brother (as in 10 years younger) who clearly didn’t want to spend time with him because he didn’t come to the party. If we do get a wedding in the final two episodes I hope we get to meet Toby’s family. But he manages to get Randall and Beth back on track and Kevin finds out that the movie was restricted but he’s still in it because it’s all about the father/son dynamic he and Sylvester Stallone had. We also get probably our first Kate and Beth scene, too where Kate admits she was intimidated by Beth because she was so successful and had her life together when Kate was a mess. It was a nice scene between the two of them and it also gave us a little more insight into how both women tick. And in the end, it seems Randall’s anxiety was justified because when he and Beth get back home, they go to check on Deja and find that she and her mother are no longer living in the apartment and as they leave, they spot them sleeping in their car. My heart broke in that instant because as much as I want Deja back with the Pearson clan (and I suspect she will be) it really shows that her mother just isn’t capable of providing the stability and environment that Deja needs. She may love her daughter but she doesn’t have her best interests at heart.

In the past, we get a peek at Jack and Rebecca’s first and fourth wedding anniversaries which are equally sweet and involve grand gestures on Jack’s part. Because of course that’s Jack. But they’ve now been married for probably nine or ten years based on the kids’ ages and they just want a quiet year and to do nothing in the gift giving department. As Jack makes breakfast, Kevin asks why Jack isn’t doing anything and then the kids decide that they want to throw their parents an anniversary party. And Kevin’s going to cook Cornish hens. Or at least he’s going to try but Jack’s inattentiveness thwarts the endeavor because the oven wasn’t turned on. It was also nice to see young Kate and Randall bonding, too. It seems that Kevin’s meltdown over the uncooked hens was related to his fear his parents were getting divorced since they didn’t want to celebrate their anniversary. Whether that’s true or whether we are seeing the beginning of his acting chops (he does calm down really fast), it’s kind of hard to tell. But, in the end the kids give their parents a nice night on the roof watching a meteor shower. And of course, Jack can make looking at falling space rocks romantic as hell. He says meteors are always out there and you just have to look for them. And that he sees Rebecca every day. God, can the man get any sweeter honestly?

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