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This Is Us - That'll Be The Day - Review + Poll: RIP Crock-Pots



"He's already been gone longer than we had him."


Hi, there, I'll be taking over for Kate as reviewer and I'm very excited to delve into this emotionally wrecking show with all of you. I hope you'll enjoy debating here with me, or maybe just commiserate about how much this show had us crying our eyes out, which, judging by the recent events and what's coming next, will be a lot.

The episode starts a little bit confusing, but we always know everything's leading up to something with this show, which is part of what makes it so brilliant. Sally and George are an old couple reminiscing, at first it seems they could be the previous owners of the Pearson home, but it turns out they fit into the story in an entirely different way, George doesn't want to throw away his life's memories so he gives a Crock-Pot to the Pearsons that will paradoxically destroy their life's memories, and so much more.

I want to take a minute here to talk about how bonkers the response has been to all of this. After the episode, a lot of people started taking it out on Crock-Pots and saying they were throwing their's out, I'm guessing hoping all in good fun, but the company felt the need to defend the product: "Our hope is that the team at NBC's 'This Is Us' will help us spread factual information regarding our product's safety. While we know their primary mission is to entertain -- something they have continued to excel in -- we also feel they have a responsibility to inform,"... "Just like many fans, we will be watching next week's episode to see how Jack's story progresses and, regardless of the outcome, we want consumers first and foremost to know they are safe when using their Crock-Pot." How crazy is that?

Craziness aside, let's talk about the episode itself. Rebecca is doing her best to have some Superbowl fun, in a different way now that Jack's sober, and they want to enjoy the last game before the kids go off to college, but the kids don't seem as interested in the family tradition, all three have better plans than to watch the game with their dad, something they'll probably regret for years to come.

That day, Jack tells Rebecca he wants to start slow with Big Three Homes, though sadly now we know that won't go anywhere, but this gives them some much needed time together before the fire, and we get to see some sweet moments when she shows him a house she thinks will be perfect for him to flip and he proposes that they become business partners. One of the things that stood out throughout this episode, was seeing so clearly the resemblance between Jack and his two sons. We see it with Randall and his new project, how he gets excited and steamrolls Beth once more, how charming he is to apologize afterward, and with Kevin and his addiction, his making amends, and how he uses manual labor to forget about his problems.

Which brings me to talk about how both brothers decide to take on every single problem the building has in a day, this makes for some fun moments though. Beth wants to have a more organized approach but Randall's excitement gets the best of him, and he doesn't even let her argue her own points, so she says "good luck" and leaves him to figure it out on his own, which comes in full force when roaches start coming out of the holes in the wall and they need to call pest control. Luckily, this gives the brothers a chance to talk when the building's emptied up, they reminisce about Jack, his amends, and how long it's been since they lost him. Randall confesses he's freaking out about starting a new career at forty and running out of time, but Kevin tells him he's got nothing to worry about, that he has a wonderful life and if he's anything like William, he'll be okay as an old man.

Clearly Kevin decided to help Randall out because he didn't want to be alone with his own thoughts, but I think it's nice that he chose to help people to get him off his head, it certainly will make him a better person, so he continues on his journey to self-improvement, part of that is crossing people off his amends list, and Sophie is, of course, one of those, so he goes to her house to try to apologize in person.

"Is this how you're telling me I should move?"


It's a nice parallel of everytime he's shown up at her door, either to declare his undying love or to break up with her. It seems she beats herself up about not seeing Kevin's addiction, he says she shouldn't and they get some closure. She forgives him but she asks him to stop ruining the image she had of them when they were kids, when things were easy, and then they say goodbye. I have a feeling this is not the last we'll see of her, but from her point of view I would almost hope it is, it's just too much, it gets exhausting after so much coming and going. Later, when he gets home, he finds an envelope with his necklace in it, he apparently apologized to Charlotte too, and she felt sorry for him. So he finally crosses off Sophie's name, but he can't really cross off Jack's. And then we see him the day before the fire, he'd been frustrated about not getting into college and had dumped all of that on his parents before going to spend the night at Sophie's, later he calls to apologize to Rebecca but decides to talk to Jack the next day, only he won't ever get the chance to.

On, Kate's side, she finds Toby obsessing over the idea of getting a new puppy, but he's aware dogs are a sensitive issue for her (we'll probably find out exactly why after the Superbowl), so he's decided to let it go, but this makes her wonder, so she goes to the dog shelter where the owner, played by Lena Waithe (Master of None), shows her some of the dogs and Kate falls in love with Audio (who apparently loves music). At first, it looks like her trauma will get the best of her and she will not adopt him, but she finally decides to do it, and while she explains all of this to Toby, she drives him insane getting excited and disappointed over and over, but the resolution is very sweet.

"What are you saying, woman?"


The story of Kate's last normal day with her father is a lot better than Kevins, it starts rough, because she's is in the last round of applicants for music school for which needs to send a new tape with an original song, Jack wants to record her on video but she's not cool with it (it's so cute when the dog takes her side), so, while she's practicing, he films her, this makes her angry and she tells him that no matter his good intentions are, he's hurtful when he tries to tell her she's beautiful so he agrees to back off. But then, she sees the tape, and sees in the mirror the dumb, happy face his father makes when he's watching her sing, so she tells him to never stop trying to make her see herself through his eyes (and... I'm gonna miss this relationship so much).

Randall's story that day is also better than Kevin's, but that's no surprise, he also made other plans, since he and Allison are going strong, but when he comes back from the movies they have a nice moment in the kitchen, they talk about the date and Jack reminds him to always be a gentleman. After that, Jack cleans up in the kitchen and turns off the Crock-Pot but it short circuits, and this starts the fire that will consume the Pearson home with all the memories in it. The kitchen rags Jack gave to Rebecca as a front for a bracelet, the kids' measurements, Jacks note to Kevin telling him he loves him (a note he'll never know about), the family photos, and then it consumes it all while The Cinematic Orchestra's "To Build a Home" plays on the background.

"This is a place where I don't feel alone
This is a place where I feel at home"


Now, you know the next episode will wreck you when the promo alone leaves you in tears, my prediction is he gets everyone out of the house and then he dies, either getting Kate out or her dog (which is to me the more likely scenario), but it still will be heartbreaking to watch, so buy a few boxes of tissues for the Superbowl episode on Sunday February 4th, and I'll be here to get your thoughts on that too.

What did you think of the episode? I look forward to your comments and I leave you with a little poll.


 
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