Tuesday, March 17, 2020

This Is Us 4.16: “New York. New York, New York”

“She’s so happy right now. Let her have one great day.”
- Kevin

This episode of This Is Us found the Pearson clan going to the Big Apple for three very different trips. When the Big Three were in middle school, the family took a trip there for the day before heading to Randall’s debate tournament. Rebecca is saving ahojt her memories of the city form her trips there when she was a little girl and Jack is feeling inadequate even though we all know her dad is a jerk. So he tries to act like he knows where he’s going but he gets them lost in Queens. Finally Rebecca pulls him aside and he admits he’s out of his depth. He wants to give his kids a great day and they do manage to fit in what each of the kids wanted to do: natural history museum for Randall, a visit to a giant toy store for Kevin and a fancy tea for Kate: Rebecca wanted to go to the Met but when she gets there it is closed. This is a bit of a through line in each of the three time periods. Jack hasn’t decided yet what he wanted to do until that evening when he takes the whole family on a horse drawn carriage ride.

That brings us to the college years when Rebecca, Randall and Beth go see Kevin’s adding class showcase where he does a monologue from Death of a Saleaman (side note: I was not a fan of that particular work). Anyway; as the evening progresses it becomes clear that Kevin is trying to set Rebecca up with his acting teacher, Kirby. This leads to tensions between the boys since Kevin thinks a year is enough time for their mom to move on and that she shouldn’t be sad about Jack for the rest of her life. Randall doesn’t think she’s ready and it seems in this instance he may be partly right. Rebecca is making her second attempt to get back to the Met and Kirby offers to join her. They seem to hit it off at first, bonding over music and such but when she spits a horse drawn carriage ride and he dismisses it as a lame tourist attraction she bails on the Met. It clearly is too soon and it just brings up memories of Jack.

And then there was the present day. Kevin has agreed to take Rebecca to his movie premiere and Randall is coming up, too. But his motive isn’t to support his brother. It’s to try and convince Rebecca to enter a 9 month clinical trial. Honestly, I’m kind of torn. I understand that trials help people and it could prolong her memory and help her maintain her relationships but I also feel like Randall pushes it because of his own fear of losing his mother. Degenerative diseases like this are painful to watch and experience for everyone. But it really is Rebecc/a choice.

Kevin books them a room at the Plaza hotel and guys her a snazzy new dress and she can even walk the red carpet with him which she thinks is pretty epic even though she’s not usually into that sort of thing. I do have to aah the dress he got her was gorgeous. Randall shows up and they agree to wait to talk to Rebecca about anything medical until the following day so she can enjoy the night. But, of course; Randall can’t resist when Rebecca has a slip on remembering the name of the hotel when talking to Kevin’s manager. Randall starts to fill her in on all the details when Kevin comes back over and kind of snaps at Randall.. When Randall says that if Kevin hadn’t abandoned them he would have been part of the conversation, Kevin points out he was gone for two minutes at his own premiere. I’m with Kevin on this one.

Rebecca says she needs some air and then they get a text that she’s headed to the Met. They find her staring at a painting and she explains that she was a little girl when she came last and watched a woman stare at a painting for hours. She wanted to come back and do that as an adult. I kind of wondered if the woman young Rebecca saw was the woman in the painting. Anyway, Rebecca decodes that she’s not going to do the trial. She just wants to enjoy what time she ABA left and doing all the things she’s put off as “next time”. Kevon seems to accept this but as we know, Randall is having trouble. I think we are going to see this manifest over the next couple episodes as we reach the finals. At the end of this episode, we see Randall tell Kevin he was trying to save Rebecca because he couldn’t save Jack. Randall also admits that every day he wonders what life would be like if Jack had survived the fire. And at the very end we see a scene of what could have been, with young Randall telling Jack that if his dad went back in the house. Randall would go in after him. So I guess next week we get to see the alternate timeline where Jack survived. It will be interesting to see what’s the same and what changes. Does Kevin end up going to New York? Does Kate even date Marc? Would Beth and Randall still meet?

I thought this was a good episode and I think we are getting closer to whatever drives Randall and Kevin apart for a time. I think we must also be getting close to finding out who Kevin’s fiancée and baby mama is because I’ve heard we pick up season 5 with the Big Three turning the big 4-0. I do hope we get to see the rest of the scene in the future with Old Rebecca and I want to see more of adult Jack and his life. There’s still so much sorry left to be told for this family.

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