Saturday, February 1, 2020

This Is Us 4.12: “A Hell of a Week: Part Two”

“At the funeral today, I was about the lose it. But I found you and I locked in on you.”
- Sophie

This episode could have gone a ton of ways. I’m kind of glad it went the direction it did, even if it means we aren’t really any closer to solving the Kevin’s baby-mama drama. And much last the Big Three-centric episodes of the past, we continue with the storyline in past and present from Kevin’s point of view. We get see flashback to the night Jack died as well as to the night of Rebecca’s birthday when the Big Three are college-age. And we also see Jack having to console little Kevin who wants his sheep mobile from his crib but it turns out Rebecca donated it. I think Jack has done less damage (or at least not in the same way as with Randall) by telling Kevin that sometimes things we love go away and we have to find new things to love. I hope Kevin is doing that with Sophie but that’s still kind of up in the air.

The night Jack dies, we get to see that Kevin gets a warm reception from his future mother-in-law, Claire. We also see Kevin and Sophie head to the movies from the lame party, then head back to the campsite because the movie projector has problems. They vow never to see the end of Good Will Hunting (because they think the endings they can come up with are way better). They don’t explain this right away so when Kevin gives Sophie a scenario when she calls to tell him her mother died, it’s a little out of left field. But we do get the sense that it’s something that’s been a long-standing thing between them. We then jump to the past of Rebecca’s birthday when Kevin and Sophie show up a day early and go to hang out with Claire again. Apparently things between her and Sophie are a bit volatile because Sophie thinks her mother is irresponsible with money and instead of fixing an issue with the house, Claire bought tickets for she and Sophie to go see the Aurora Borealis. Kevin then takes the chance to tell Claire he’d like Sophie’s grandmother’s ring to give to Sophie, since they basically eloped. Claire tells Kevin he hasn’t earned it. And as we know, he never does because of the way he screws up with her so frequently. And then we get a tiny hint about past Kate’s storyline. Kevin shows up with flowers for Rebecca and she says that dinner is cancelled because she and Kate got into a fight, Kate went off with Marc and then Kate called Rebecca crying.

But things take an interesting turn in the present. Kevin goes to the funeral but doesn’t approach Sophie. I did like how we got to see her give the eulogy for her mother and nearly breaking down before she found Kevin amongst the crowd and it centered her. They really so wrapped up in each other’s stories. Later, at the reception, Kevin shows up with donuts and Sophie asks him to get her out of there. They drive around for a while until he takes her back to the campsite where he learned that Jack died. He tells Sophie that he never thought he could go back there (she’d explained in her eulogy that she couldn’t go back to her and her mother’s favorite coffee shop because that’s where she found out about her mother’s death) but Kevin points out that with time and space, he was able to come back. It still makes him sad, obviously, but it doesn’t hurt the same way. They also decide to watch the ending of Good Will Hunting and agree the real ending was way better than any they came up with. They exchange longing looks before Sophie tells Kevin it’s time for her to go home. I don’t think Sophie quite knows what to make of Kevin popping up into her life again. He’s definitely in a better place than he ever was when they were together. In fact, Kevin points that out when he goes to visit Claire’s grave alone. He tells her that she was right about him becoming a star and she was probably right and knew he’d screw up with Sophie. He’s got a line about how he wishes he could have another shot with her but it’s too late. But we also get the sense that Sophie isn’t entirely thrilled with her fiancé, either.

I suspect we’ll have to wait a little while for that story to pick up again. As this week’s episode wraps up, we get back to Randall and Kevin’s phone call. We see Kevin in bed with a blond who turns out to be Kate’s friend Madison. She was dog-sitting while Kate is at a retreat and Sophie is at work. Madison is wallowing a bit after being broken up with and Kevin realizes the next morning what a huge mistake he made. He seems to have a thing for hooking up with Kate’s friends. Anyway, he proposes to Randall that they make a trip to the cabin to get away from everything that’s been going on. They conference call in Kate who agrees it’s needed, especially because ominously she says her marriage is on the verge of imploding. I want to know what’s going on with Kate’s story. It’s too bad we have to wait a couple weeks to get the resolution to this mini-arc of story. I have to hand it to the writers and producers of this show. They are very good at seamlessly fitting scenes from other episodes together. I have to believe all three of these episodes were shot together so that scenes where we were going to get coverage from both sides are consistent. I can’t wait to see how this wraps up and where we go after this part of story.

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