Wednesday, March 25, 2020

This Is Us. 4.18: “Strangers Part Two”

“I think the trick is not trying to keep the joys and the tragedies apart. But you gotta kinda let them cozy up to one another, let ‘em co-exist. Life has a way of working out to more happy than tragic.”
- Dr. K.

We’ve reached another finale of “This Is Us” and boy has this year had its ups and downs on issues that seem far more personal to me, given the material. But hey, at least I’m hoping we find out who Kevin’s fiancée and baby mama is this episode so we can go into season 5 prepared. And Based on the episode title and what I’ve heard, I’m hoping we get to check in with the characters we met at the start of the season (I’m especially eager to see grown-up Jack and Cassidy).

Before we dive into the current (and future) storylines, let’s look back at the Big Three’s first birthday. Jack is all ready in his terrible towel and Rebecca comes in with a cupcake and her bathrobe on. She’s not keen to be showing off her body a year after delivering triplets. And Jack doesn’t get his usual birthday show because the kids start screaming. And even though it’s super cute as the Big Three try cupcakes and cake for the first time, Rebecca needs to take a minute. She’s been feeling really sad lately because she’s been wondering what Kyle’s first words would have been or when he took his first steps or gotten his first tooth like the Big Three. Jack admits he’s been feeling sad about it, too but he didn’t know what to do about it. So, he decides to take the family to see Dr. K. He’s pleased to see them, but he suspects what’s on their minds. He recounts how he and his wife lost their first child and he had sung “Blue Skies” to his wife’s pregnant belly and then after their loss, they’d sit listening to the song and it made them sad. But then, they got pregnant again and he was back to signing it and this time their child survived and he danced to the song with her at her wedding. So, he points out that they have to let the joy and the sadness exist together. And so, we see Jack and Rebecca watching home movies of when Rebecca was pregnant as a way to remember Kyle. I did find it interesting that they brought him up. I do often wonder why none of them talk about him much.

In the present, the family is gathering in LA to celebrate Jack’s first birthday. We get a little touch stone with Cassidy and Nicky (apparently, they’re still checking up on each other which is a good thing) and Nicky even sent Kevin baby shoes to give to Jack as a birthday present. It was really sweet, and Kevin is happy that he’s made it to a year of sobriety. But not everything is as it appears. We see that Rebeca hasn’t told Kevin or Kate that she’s entering the trial and Beth thinks that Randall pushed her to do it and I don’t blame her. Randall has a savior complex and this need for control and it’s going to push the people he loves away. And he’ll have done it to himself. Initially, Randall acts like he’s just as surprised as everyone else about Rebecca’s change of heart. But when Rebecca uses a phrase that Randall used when the Big Three were talking about it, Kevin puts the pieces together. Beth smartly takes the rest of the family out to see the city while Randall and Kevin have their blowout. And boy is it brutal. It starts off small and is interrupted by Madison (who is carrying Kevin’s twins!) and the it gets really ugly. Randall accuses Kevin not caring about anyone but himself and Kevin responds by saying the worst day of his life was the day Jack and Rebecca brought Randall home from the hospital. Ouch. And then Kevin decides to go all in and says his great love is going to be his kids. I don’t really see Kevin and Madison ending up together, so we still don’t know the identity of his fiancée. Unless they get married because of the babies and split up later down the road. But we also get a glimpse of Sophie seeing a ridiculous ad that Kevin did. So, she’s not totally gone from the picture either.

While all this chaos is happening, Kate and Toby take Jack back to the hospital and put up a picture on the “success” wall. Toby recounts to Kate a conversation they had after Jack was born abut him being there for her and Jack. He admits he’s not done the best job over the last year, but he is committed now. I’m pretty sure they are going to be fine. Especially since Toby sys he wants to give Jack a sibling via adoption. And this leads us to the future where Adult Jack and his wife are eagerly awaiting the birth of their overdue baby. Jack starts singing one of his songs and her contractions start. We see them get to the hospital and they want to be surprised by the gender, but the nurse lets slip that it’s a girl. They’ve been struggling to come up with a name, but they finally settle on one when Jack ‘s sister Hailey arrives. She works at a gallery and before we realized Toby and Kate were adopting, I honestly thought maybe she was the baby mama to Kevin. But, the next generation of Damons has a name: Hope.

And the Pearson clan is going to need a lot of it in the future because we visit the timeline where everyone is gathering to say their goodbyes to Rebecca on her death bed. We see Kevin’s’ twins (a boy and a girl) and we see that Kevin ha a wedding ring. There’s still not answer as to where Miguel is and wherever Kate and the kids are coming from must be far away because they haven’t showed up yet. And we also get a glimpse of the fact Nicky has a wedding ring on, too. Some people have speculated he married Rebecca, but I don’t think I see that being the case. Other’s have suggested Cassidy but that seems a bit farfetched, too. So, we’ll have more questions to ponder until the fall when the show returns. Kevin and Randall have a bit of an icy reunion but as the episode ends, Kevin puts his hand on Randall’s shoulder. So maybe they’re going to be okay after all, even if it takes a decade to get there.

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