Thursday, February 25, 2021

This Is Us 5.09: “The Ride”

“That’s where you and Tess and your mom come in. You are my branches. You are the start of my family tree.”
– Randall

It was a big day across the Pearson clan’s history in this week’s episode. We got to see every member of the family bringing home a baby (or two or three). In the past, we see a wary Jack and Rebecca get ready to take their three newborns home after four days in the hospital (and after apparently Rebecca had a c-section. They look woefully unprepared. Jack hasn’t even installed the car seats and he installed them backwards (although by today’s standards, he was putting them in correctly by having them face backwards). A security guard points out he’s putting them I wrong and then asks why Jack has three of them. Later, on the drive home, Rebeca wishes she could sit in the backseat with the babies because turning hurts her stitches (girl I feel you on that so much). They end up pulling into a gas station (babies screaming their heads off) when another driver cuts them off. Jack kind of loses his mind on the guy but Rebecca pulls him back from the brink. He does end up getting a little bottle of whisky and some mints to hide it before getting back into the car. He does then suggest Rebecca drive so he can watch the babies. By the time they get home, all three babies have fallen asleep and they sit in the car until the babies wake up. Jack admits his drinking and they both worry they aren’t going to be good parents before reassuring each other that they will be fine. We even get a montage of the family car as their lives unfold.

In the not-so-distant past, we find Randall and Beth bringing home Annie from the hospital. Randall is thrilled that she has his eyes because as he points out during a trip to Dairy Queen (Beth’s request for after the birth), he never had that sort of connection with his parents. He did a family tree in school but they weren’t his branches. He thinks now he has a chance to have that sort of connection through his daughters. And he tells Beth he’s thinking about another kid already (I agree with Beth, that soon after, don’t even mention it), because he wants that connection. I think he’s happy with Deja as their third child and I’m sure he’s going to be even more thrilled in the future.

Speaking of, we find a young woman in her residency and she’s doing her labor and delivery rotation. She bails and ends up in a car with her sister who gives her a gift. The doctor-in-training is pregnant. I knew pretty quickly that it was adult Annie and Deja by their mannerisms and speech patterns. Plus the casting is so spot on for this show. They’re heading up to join the rest of the family at the house to say goodbye to Rebecca. Randall is thrilled to have all three of his girls there and just as the episode ends, we see another car pull up so I’m thinking we’re going to find out soon whether Kate is still around. I really hope we get to see more of the flash forward storyline in the coming episodes.

In the present, Kate and Kevin’s respective trips home with their kids don’t go as they hoped either. For Kate, Ellie admits on the car ride home that she doesn’t want to do the open adoption. She can’t handle it. Kate is hurt by this but Toby assures her that they’ll figure it out because as he says, Kate is unflappable. Which is good because he just got laid off. Oof. Right when you’ve got a new baby (I can so feel that, too). Kevin, on the other hand, is dealing with annoying fans and the paparazzi. First, when Kev is trying to get the car seats into the car, a fan keeps snapping pictures. Kevin lashes out at him and the guy kind of apologies. He sympathizes with Kevin about his kids and Kevin eventually takes a picture with him. Later, on their drive home, Kevin notices another car following them. I bet that fan blew the whistle. Kevin loses his mind when he pulls over and so does the guy (who just keeps snapping pictures). It was very reminiscent of Jack’s behavior on the way home forty years earlier. And like then, it takes the woman to diffuse the situation. She does promise to call the guy to let him know when Kevin goes running. I’m kind of hoping she lies to him. She ends up driving home and Kevin has a dream where Jack gets the babies to calm down. Jack tells Kevin not to be so terrified that he’s not going to live up to Jack. They have both spent a lot of time being terrified of being (or not being) their dads. It’s time for Kevin to figure out what he wants. And he decides he really does want to marry Madison.

This episode didn’t make me cry last week’s did (and that was a lot of tears). But I enjoyed seeing the family starting out on this journey. It reminded me of our trip home with our son and all the related worry that comes along with having a new little human that is solely dependent on you. I honestly couldn’t imagine handling two or three at once (babysitting a pair of twins was enough thank you). It’s also hard to believe we are already halfway through the season with only one more confirmed after that. We’ve got 27 episodes left right now and that doesn’t seem like nearly enough time to tell all the stories that are left to tell. Adult Jack, Hailey and the next generation? Miguel and Rebecca’s reconnection (and Miguel’s background in general). Wrapping up the future with Rebecca’s death. It just doesn’t feel like it’s enough time to say goodbye to this family that has become such an important part of so many of our lives.

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