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This Is Us - The Big Three - Review

The big question on everyone’s mind this week was, can This Is Us deliver again? I’m happy to say that the amazing premiere last week was not just a fluke. This is Us continued the momentum it built with the premiere and brought us another well-written, heart-warming, and fantastic episode!

“That’s when I knew exactly what I wanted to be when I grew up: I wanted to be the man that made you happy. (…) I’m gonna be a twelve for you, from here out.”

The episode opens with Rebecca preparing school lunches for her children. Right away we’re introduced to some issues that will be brought up throughout the episode. It seems like Rebecca and Jack have been experiencing some marital problems since becoming parents. We get the feeling that Rebecca may be overwhelmed and not receiving the help from Jack that she needs. Their relationship was so strong in the premiere so I’m really interested in seeing how they got here. Their problems are confirmed later when we see Jack talking to his friend, Miguel, at the bar, while Rebecca is at home putting the kids to sleep. Miguel tells Jack that he married way out of his league and not to screw it up. Later, when Jack gets home late, Rebecca calmly confronts him, in a very emotionally powerful scene, and tells him that he needs to get his act together and start contributing more. Together, these things may be the wake-up call he needs because at the end of the episode he vows to stop drinking and be more present as a father and husband. He gives Rebecca a beautiful half moon pendant as an apology, which becomes very important in the final moments of the episode. So far, I’m loving Mandy Moore in this role. I think her acting has been great, especially this week. I’m also really enjoying her character. I was worried she was going to be really problematic, and there are some issues with Kate, but I like that she sort of reigned it in with a focus on balance, and stood up for herself in her marriage.

“It’s always going to be about the weight for me, Toby. It’s been my story ever since I was a little girl. And every moment that I’m not thinking about it, I’m thinking about it.”

At the start of the episode, we got some insight into the root of Kate’s weight issues. From a very young age, she has struggled with her weight, with her mother even putting her on diet at age eight. Seeing this, I’m not surprised that she has such a hard time focusing on anything else in her life. I find Kate to be such a relatable character and she’s definitely one of my favorites. I’m already obsessed with her and Toby. I think they are so perfect for each other, not only in the sense of being a good personality match, but they provide what the other needs. I think Toby is going to be great for her to start loving and accepting herself and we’ve seen that already. Kate also helps him by motivating him to be healthier and she could help him develop more maturity (although I do love him as he is now). In this episode particularly, I loved how Toby helped Kate through her little blow-up at their support group and encouraged her to let loose at the party. Also, his casual mentioning of how he wants to be her boyfriend was super cute. I’m happy that even though right now Kate can’t promise that she won’t be all about weight, he’s going to stick around because I think they have something really special.

“What did I ever do those first two minutes without you?”

Another thing I love about Kate is her relationship with Kevin. They’re so supportive of each other and they really have the ideal sibling relationship. In this episode, Kevin finds out that he’s contractually bound to The Manny for another two years. This means that even after his on-set meltdown, if he doesn't continue on the show he could be sued and unable to work for any studio during those two years. In order to save his career, he has to go to a fancy industry party and basically beg for his job back. However, after a heart-to-heart with Kate, he decides he can't do that. He ends up going to the party to try to get out of his contract without drama but it doesn’t work. However, even after being threatened he still sticks to his heart and I can really respect him for that. He didn’t come to this decision on his own though. Considering Kate was super drunk at the time, he’s forced to call Randall for advice. This call confirms what I feared after last week - that Randall and Kevin do not have a great relationship. They’re still brothers and friendly to each other but things are definitely strained. Throughout the episode, in flashbacks, we see Randall being made fun of for being adopted into a white family, with kids calling him “Webster”, the name of a TV character in a similar situation. Kevin does nothing and even taunts him about this at home. I doubt this is the cause of their situation now, but it might be the root and I’m interested to see what else led them to this point. Kevin recognizes that he hasn't been the greatest brother and their phone call gives me a lot of hope that we’ll be seeing their relationship strengthen over the course of the season. Anyways, after Kevin goes against the studio, he says he’s considering moving to New York to pursue theatre. Does this mean cute scenes with Randall? It’s my wish come true! I hope Kate moves too…but Toby. This could be problematic. Why can’t they all just realistically live in the same city? I don’t want to lose Kate/Kevin but I really want Randall/Kevin. I don't know what I want more but I do know that I find myself more interested in Kevin when he’s interacting with Kate or Randall, so as long as that keeps up, I’ll be fine. Also, I just have to say, their little triplet “Big Three” cheer sounded so cheesy and stupid at the beginning with Jack but when they did it over the phone I actually cried. I genuinely already love the three of them so much, I can’t wait for them all to have a real scene together.

“I don’t want to leave. Six months ago some doctor told me I had three to live. But for some reason, I don’t feel so bad lately. Maybe to do with this house.”

Randall has quickly become my favorite character and this episode only strengthened that feeling. Randall’s biological father, William, has been staying with the family at their house. William starts acting a bit suspicious, asking for money and leaving for the whole day. I was worried because there’s nothing I want more than for him and Randall to develop a beautiful relationship. I wasn’t the only one worried, Randall’s wife, Beth, is also concerned that they’re being taken advantage of. I didn’t comment on Beth during my premiere review, but she really made an impression on me during this episode. We saw hints of their relationship in the premiere, but this week it really shined. They truly seem perfect for each other and they work as great partners, which was a contrast to what we saw from his parents in this episode. Beth questions William about his suspicious activities because of her concerns and at this point, we find out that William has a cat at home and he goes back and forth to take care of it because one of the children has asthma. He didn't want to bring it up and create problems which would make him have to leave. This part really got me too. I was super emotional during this episode - way more than the premiere. Just when I thought everything was going to end for the night on some warm and fuzzy moments, Randall’s family gets a surprise visit from “Grandma and Grandpa”. When he goes to the door we see a woman wearing a half moon pendant walk in, which answers the question about if their mom is still alive. She’s still played by Mandy Moore just with a wig and makeup. I’m not sure how I feel about that yet. It’ll be interesting to see how it works. When the camera pans to the man entering their house we find out that she’s married to Miguel, Jack’s best friend! How did that happen? When? I need answers right now! I have to admit I did not see that coming. I thought Miguel was a bit too invested in their relationship but I didn’t think he would end up with her like this. It seems like Jack is probably dead at this point but there’s still hope for another outcome.

I feel like I’m getting to know all these characters so quickly and I truly love all of them so far, which is extremely rare. Right now, I’m more invested in the relationships than the storylines but because the show is extremely relationship driven, it works out and is keeping me interested. Next week looks amazing and I can’t wait! It looks like we’ll get to see everything that happened immediately after the babies were born. Plus, my favorite doctor who I was hoping to see again is back. They’re giving me everything I want and I’m sure they’ll continue to deliver fantastic episodes.

What did you think of this episode? Let me know in the comments and thanks for reading!

About the Author - Kate Sidwell
Kate is a 25 year old, USA based, Psychology/Public Health Researcher - but that’s just her day job! In her spare time she is an avid TV watcher (some may even say addict!!). Some of her favorite shows are Jane the Virgin, Bates Motel, The Flash, Chicago Fire, Chicago PD, Rookie Blue, Silicon Valley, Beauty and the Beast, Sleepy Hollow, The 100, The Mindy Project, Pretty Little Liars, Once Upon a Time, The Royals, Orphan Black…so pretty much too many to count and a huge variety! She’ll give pretty much any show a chance! She also devotes a lot of time to her tumblr ( where you can find her reviewing and commenting on most of these shows and just generally fangirling! She’s excited to be writing for SpoilerTV on Complications, Baby Daddy, Proof, Switched at Birth, Secrets and Lies, and Minority Report!
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