Thursday, May 27, 2021

This Is Us 5.16: “Adirondacks”

“I can’t marry someone who’s not in love with me. I know it’s ironic but I think you have finally helped me realize that I am worthy of that.”
- Madison

So, the big day is upon the Pearson clan and you know that things aren’t going to go off without a hitch or several. Before we get to the bride and groom, let’s take a quick look at the other Pearson siblings. Randall is in a great mood until Rebecca asks to talk to him about his trip to New Orleans. She wants to know what happened on his trip and to hear about what he learned about Laurel. When Randall starts showing her pictures, Rebecca breaks down crying and Randall is visibly grateful when Kevin shows up needing his Best Man. Later on, though, Rebecca explains to Randall that she has carried the guilt and shame around for years that she robbed her son of the chance to know his birth parents and that when she cries hearing about the stories he’s learned, it’s because she’s hurt that she kept that from him, not that she’s jealous.

On the other end of the spectrum are Kate and Toby. Toby finally tells Kate about the San Francisco job offer but notes they will need him in SF three days a week. He also drops on her that he needs the job because while he loves the kids, he can’t be with them all the time. Kate is upset but as she talks to Madison as they get ready, she realizes that she promised to put Toby’s needs above her own. I’m not sure that’s entirely what marriage is about but this prompts her to try and resign from her position at the music school to try and support Toby. Except Phillip wont’ accept her resignation because she’s talented and the kids love her and on occasion, her jokes are funny. So going into the back half of the episode we knew things weren’t great.

And then there’s Kevin and Madison. Kevin is running around like a lunatic trying to make sure everything is perfect for Madison. This means enlisting Miguel and Nicky to fix the altar that Madison designed and which broke. And when Beth asks Kevin if he thinks Madison will flip if she alt4rs Tess’s dress (because of course Tess has to have some drama going on), he can’t handle it and retreats to his room to get ready. (Side note: Deja finds out Malik got into all the Philly-area schools and Harvard…which clearly bothers her because that means he wouldn’t be doing long-distance with his ex-girlfriend to see the baby but Deja would be long-distance). As Kevin starts to get ready for the wedding, Madison shows up. Up to this point we’ve seen some flashbacks to her life. First we see her mother leave (interesting, her mom is British) and she leaves Madison with a pair of earrings. But Madison’s mom just can’t deal with her dad anymore. Then we see her dad being rather callous about the fact the boy she wanted to ask her to the dance asked someone else. He tells her to basically settle for anyone that will go with her. And then we see a failed relationship because she was more into the guy than he was into her. This all leads Madison to show up at Kevin’s door and ask if he’s in love with her. She’s definitely in love with him but being with him has shown her that she doesn’t need to settle for not being loved back. He goes on about loving their family and instating that what they have can and will grow but that’s not enough for her. So, that whole being married with kid’s by 40 thing isn’t happening.

As the Big Three and Rebecca settle into the Adirondack chairs Nicky bought as a wedding present, we get to hear that Rebecca is having a harder time envisioning Jack in family situations. We also got to see a little flashback to them when Rebecca just wanted to watch the Dynasty finale to find out who gets murdered at the wedding but Jack taped over it and they argue several times. The kids are around four or five and tell their parents that they need to get married again. Cue the adorable living room wedding where they all pledge their love to each other and it’s super cute!

And then, because it wouldn’t be a This Is Us finale without a surprise flash forward, we see Kevin preparing what we assumed initially were wedding vows. But then we see that it’s in fact the future. We see Randall chasing down Nicky (who mentions having a wife) to get him ready as Kevin heads into the room where the ladies are getting ready and we learn that Kate is getting married again. The dress isn’t the same she wore when she married Toby but it could still have been vow renewals (it is in 4 years as Kevin notes to Madison that he is a 45-year-old grown man). But it becomes clear when Kevin ducks out and we see Phillip in a tux that things have gone very differently. It appears that he and Kate are getting married. Given what we’ve seen of Phillip so far, he’s been kind of a tool. It will be interesting to see how we get from that position to him wanting to marry Kate, and her saying yes. I am not looking forward to seeing her and Toby finally implode but it’s kind of been building all season so it’s felt inevitable. But this also suggest we might get to see older Phillip in the future with old Rebecca. The writers are going to have to fill season 6 with a lot of storyline to fit everything in. We’ve got a lot of story left to tell for the future and I just want to make sure we get it all in, especially since next season is the final season!

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