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This Is Us - Number Two / Number Three - Double Review: “When It Rains…”



Number Two

Even though I mentally prepared myself for how sad this episode would be, it wasn’t enough. I was prepared for the moment of losing the baby and the aftermath but the most upsetting part to me was seeing the moments just before, where Kate was talking to the baby and she and Toby were just so excited. It was so painful to watch, knowing what was coming. Most of the moments after her miscarriage, which we had already learned about in Kevin’s episode, were rather predictable. The day afterward, Kate is trying to move on as though nothing happened, she gets ready for a gig she has and heads out, much to Toby’s surprise. He was expecting to just curl up on the couch and watch TV while trying not to cry. This is the beginning of the realization that their grief process will be separate. Toby really struggles with this because he wants and needs to lean on her for support and it’s in his nature to want to be there to support Kate with anything she’s going through. I really liked the scenes where he was in the warehouse looking for the baby bath package to intercept it before it was delivered. Even though seeing that package was obviously really hard for him as well, the lengths he went to to protect Kate was really impressive.

Meanwhile, although Kate was trying to put on a brave face, she was completely devastated. She couldn't even make it through her gig and had to leave in the middle, after seeing a small child and her mother dancing in the audience. However, when given the opportunity to binge and eat through her feelings by herself, she was able to walk away, which I think shows incredible character development and I was so proud of her. Despite this accomplishment, she’s still unwilling to call Toby or lean on him for support, however, when they're both back at home together, they have a huge fight. Kate starts out by blaming Toby for getting her all excited when she didn't want to make the pregnancy a big deal. I’ll give her this one. She did really want to keep her expectations low and Toby did maybe get her too excited, but she was happy and you could kind of tell once she gave into the excitement she wanted to feel that way. Then, Kate states that Toby wasn't a part of losing the baby and that it happened to her alone and so she’ll get through it alone. This is extremely upsetting to Toby who obviously feels as though he’s a huge part of it as well. He’s been really hurting and just wants them to get through it together. Throughout this whole argument, I was on Toby’s side, I think he was right about everything. Toby is usually such a funny, lovable guy and in this episode, he’s still lovable but obviously much more serious and reflective and it was nice to see a different side of him that we don't see that often.

Throughout the episode, we see flashbacks to the night that Kevin hurt his leg, only this time we see everything from Kate’s perspective and what she was going through at the time. She’s under some pressure from Rebecca to pick out her top colleges but she’s really been stalling. Rebecca thinks that it’s just because she hasn't found her passion yet. When she tries to have a nice conversation with her about how it’s totally fine to not know what you want to do yet, Kate takes it completely the wrong way. Kate is the definition of an angsty teenager and her relationship with Rebecca is always so strained and argumentative. It can be hard to watch sometimes. Right after this conversation, Rebecca finds Kate’s application and audition tape for Berkeley College of Music and realizes that Kate’s passion and talent are very similar to her own. When Rebecca asks Kate about it at the football game, she gets defensive and says that she didn't tell her because she didn't want her to be disappointed if she didn't get in. This isn’t surprising at all because she’s always had a thing about disappointing her mom, which is why it’s so hard for them to communicate about issues. Later, when they're at the hospital, they have a really beautiful and honest conversation where Rebecca admits that they never really got to the relationship that she always wanted with a daughter, but despite that, it’s her job as a mother to keep waiting with her arms out to catch Kate if she ever needs it and hopefully someday she’ll be able to be there for her.

Well, that someday is now. After Kate calls Rebecca to tell her about the miscarriage, she surprises her by showing up at her doorstep the next day. As soon as Kate sees her, she hugs her and starts sobbing. It’s equally heartbreaking and beautiful to finally see them sharing a nice moment together. Her mom is the perfect person to help her through this because she has been through a similar situation. Rebecca shares how she was unable to cope immediately following the loss of her baby and it makes Kate feel a bit better about her reaction. I loved them in this scene, where there was no animosity or strain, just a mother helping her daughter through one of the most difficult moments in her life. Kate also confides that she feels like it’s her fault and that she failed Toby. Rebecca tells her she shouldn't feel that way but encourages her to talk about things with Toby and not shut him out. I’m so happy that she gave that advice because once Toby gets home, he and Kate are able to have a conversation about everything and really support each other. When she says she feels like she failed him, he tells her she never could. It’s such a sweet moment between them and it reminded me why I love them so much as a couple. In the final moments of the episode, they put the fallen shower curtain back up together and vow to not let this break them. This is what I love seeing, them as a team, together, facing all that life throws at them.

Overall, it was really hard to see them both struggling on their own when they should have been a team. However, they got there in the end and I think their relationship is strong enough that they can get through this together. I’m looking forward to seeing their relationship grow from this because I really do love them as a couple. I loved how this episode showed such growth from Kate. I think a year ago this would have absolutely broken her and she would have had no other ways to cope other than food, but now she has so many resources and people she can rely on to help her through anything. Also, to not only have people willing to help her but for her to be willing to go to them and seek their help is a huge step, especially because she had to rely on people other than Kevin. The most impressive and promising to me was her ability to get advice from her mother without awkwardness or an argument - that’s huge and I hope that it’s a relationship that will continue growing in this incredible way.

Number Three

It’s no secret that Randall and his storylines are my favorite part of this show, so I was very excited for a whole episode focused on him and I was not disappointed!

Randall has been working hard on a school science project with Deja and it seems like they’re really bonding. I loved seeing the playful and relaxed side of Randall that we saw at the beginning of this episode. He really is the king of endearing dad jokes. Deja is pretty nervous about her presentation but Randall gives her a pep talk and assures her that they’ll be there to watch and support her. At this moment they hear a disturbance outside and it’s Deja’s mom. Her charges have been dropped and she’s been let out of prison so now she’s there to take Deja home. This is the wrong way to do it and everyone but her knows it, even Deja. She tells her mom that she has to go home and go through the process with the social worker. The way Deja responded to this situation in such a mature and calm way was so impressive, she really has come a long way since she first came to their house.

After this situation, Randall and Beth have a meeting with Linda, the social worker, to see what their options are. Linda basically tells them that they have none and she’s recommending that Deja is returned to the care of her mother. This is obviously very upsetting but Linda is kind of right, this is what they signed up for. I want Deja to stay with them but this is the way the system works and you can’t just take a child away from their mother because their situation isn't as nice as yours. Randall and Beth vow to fight in court for custody of Deja but you can tell that the situation was bothering Randall. It had him thinking about his own childhood and experiences with William. He remembers the time that William told him that he followed Rebecca home one day and was so close to just going up to the front door and being introduced to Randall. He tells him how he imagined what it would have been like to be a part of Randall's life, even if only for the big moments. However, he stopped himself because he saw all the kid’s bikes and determined “who was I?” to insert himself into Randall’s life against Rebecca’s wishes. As sad as this admission was and that William lived most of his adult life knowing he came so close to being a part of Randall’s life, I loved the montage of him as a part of Randall’s biggest moments. That would have been so great and as much as I wish it was real, it’s not. I also loved this part of the episode because William was in it. I’m so happy that they’re still finding ways to incorporate him into the show because it’s making dealing with his loss a lot easier for me.

Randall decides to go and see where Deja’s mother lives and he sees her excitedly showing neighbors a bunch of new clothes for Deja. I’m not sure if Randall necessarily considers it a mistake on Rebecca’s part that she kept him out of William’s life, but regardless, it leads him to the realization that they can’t keep Deja from her mother, especially if it seems like she’s willing to be better for Deja’s sake. When he tells Beth this, she is relieved because she agrees and has been struggling with this realization herself. To dig the knife in even deeper, Deja calls him her foster dad during her presentation and Randall looks so proud. Later, we get to see the tearful goodbye as Deja leaves to go back with her mother. The hardest goodbye was with Randall. At first, he thinks he won’t get a hug because of her discomfort with men but she lets him hug her and he cries. It’s such a sad but happy moment. They really impacted her life in a positive way. Later, Beth and Randall decide that they'll foster again because they know that they can help another child. Randall says he hopes for a boy next time and then, sure enough, we see a little boy waiting for a home and it seems promising that that could be their next foster child. If so, I’m very excited to see the father/son relationship that Randall really wants to recreate.

As with everyone else, we get to see Randall’s story from the night Kevin hurt his leg. He was on a college trip with Jack. Although Jack has been so excited about Randall’s ivy league prospects, Randall has something else in mind. He wants to go visit Howard University, a historically black university in Washington, DC. Throughout these flashbacks, Randall looks so excited and happy. My heart was bursting with happiness for him and I just kept thinking “spread your wings and fly, Randall!”. I just love him in all time periods and I love seeing him like this, with such a huge smile on his face. He has a great time on the visit, catching up with an old friend and making new ones. It’s obvious that he loves it and tells Jack later in the car how he felt. However, Jack is still in his ear about Harvard and although he leaves it completely up to Randall, it still feels kind of like pressure. In the car, they also discuss some pretty heavy topics. When they were leaving Howard, Randall hesitated to introduce Jack to his new friends and Jack assumes it’s because he’s white. Randall explains that this is how he feels all the time, living in a white family. In response, Jack takes him to the Vietnam War Memorial and says that when he got back from the war, he felt different from everyone and like an outsider as well, so he can relate. He says he won’t be around for all of Randall’s choices, and that hurts because we know it’s true. However, he lets Randall know that all of his choices in life will be spectacular because he is. He’s so supportive and after this conversation, it seems like he's really coming around to Howard. I loved this scene for many reasons. First of all, we don't get to see or hear a lot about Jack’s time in the military so it was nice to find out more about his history. I also just love to see their supportive bond. Jack was certainly having to do a lot of parenting and pep talks that night and it just shows what a great father is for his children.

Back in the present, Kevin shows up at Randall’s and looks like a total mess. I really wanted Randall to notice how much Kevin is spiraling but they’re all going through really difficult times. Kevin decides to leave and is driving really dangerously, not realizing that Tess is in the car with him. Meanwhile, Beth and Randall are freaking out because she’s missing and then they get a call that she’s with Kevin and he was pulled over for a DUI. Randall and Beth are obviously furious but I'm just happy he was arrested in time and not in a terrible accident. I’m very interested to see how everyone responds to this and how the dynamics between everyone shift. Kevin needs some serious help and I'm hopeful that everyone will be supportive but this is a difficult situation to forgive.

I’ve really enjoyed the past three episodes and taking a detailed look at really important moments in everyone's life. I feel like I know all the characters so much better now. I appreciated the focus on each individual character and I thought it was a really smart and interesting way to explore everyone’s stories without getting lost in all the other drama that’s happening.

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





 
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