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This Is Us - Clouds - Review: Carpe Diem Rebecca + Poll

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"What does it matter?"

In true, This Is Us form, we get one flashback where everything is laid out in little details, Kate has had improvements in school but only cares about boys, Kevin is only doing great on arts and PE, and Randall is trying to improve an A- so he can continue his straight-A streak. We immediately see Kate's emotions ruling her life; Kevin feeling insecure about being good at so little compared to Randall and also being the kid with the least amount of issues leading to him being overlooked; and las but not least, Randall with his anxiety getting worse and worse.

Rebecca wants him to see a professional about it, but Jack insists he just has to blow off some steam, a small decision that could've made a lot of difference in his life, but also understandable given the stigma with therapy that persists today and was even worse decades ago. Jack introduces him to his (now routine) way of dealing with his anxiety, which is, as we know, running. Now, Jack was wonderful in many ways, but he wasn't the best at coping with things, so I think we can all understand why he thought this was the best road for his kid as well.

Beth is proud of Randall for finally giving therapy a shot, though he tries to play it off as if it's not a big deal. He's clearly hesitant to do it and he even tries to deflect with humor, something that would not be effective with any good therapist. He's very defensive at first but he talks about his anxiety, his history of ending up hospitalized, and his wife's fear of history repeating itself. He starts telling him his story but she confesses she actually knows who he is and suddenty therapy doesn't seem so anonymous anymore.

He starts talking about what's going on with Rebecca and this triggers everything else, how he's angry at Miguel for not making her see a doctor before, at Kevin for not being dependable, he feels like if he doesn't do everything himself, it won't be done right, or at all. Anyone relates? He says if it wasn't for him, the whole family would've fallen apart, and when she questions it he leaves. But it's a great question, we can't really know how capable someone is if we don't give them the rope to try.

After that he tells Beth he's done with therapy but she doesn't accept it, she says she's been freaking out about the break-in but she's been afraid to put more pressure on him, afraid he'll crack. She says she needs him to be better, to get help, so they can both move on. So he ends up coming back, a little more open this time, and all we can do is hope this really helps.

Toby is doing great with baby Jack and wants to go all-in with music, something he knows he can enjoy without impediment, and something we know will affect his life forever. But Kate is still reeling from her weekend at the cabin, and I have to wonder exactly what she has decided to do. I do have to say I loved Toby asking for permission to react in the middle of an argument to the news that Kevin slept with Madison, I just love Chris Sullivan's comedic timing and I hadn't noticed how much I was missing it.

Madison is trying to make peace with Kate so she asks if they can get together and talk. Kate feels betrayed and tired since she's going through so much in her head so Madison tries to make her remember how good of a friend she is, screw-up aside. Madison helps Rebecca see that perhaps the great thing about marriage is to be able to share your deepest darkest thoughts and be loved anyway, and maybe she can give that to Toby. They make a point of letting us know she's lonely and she's looking for intimacy, and that's why she slept with Kevin.

"You just say the word, I will "Kill Bill" all of them and help you raise that child myself."

When she comes home, Toby shows her the music room was also for Jack, and though it's very sweet and I see why she didn't realize it before, to me it was quite obvious from the start. After that, we see Jack Damon growing with his music, first with his mom, then his friends, and eventually on his own. It's nice to see the birth of this but something in me hopes Kate and Toby find their way back to each other, even though as long as she doesn't focus on her well being it probably won't happen.

Kevin wants to be there for his mom so he goes to see her and she immediately realizes he knows about her diagnosis, luckily it goes well and Miguel suggests they should go to a record store and have a mother and son day, he jokes saying this new "Carpe Diem" Rebecca is running him ragged, but truly he can see they need it, and on that, I have to give it to Miguel, he's the best person Rebecca could've ever found after Jack because there's just no winning with his memory but Miguel himself is aware enough of it to not even try.

At the record store, she talks about Joni Mitchel and how she and Jack tried to find her house the first time they drove to L.A. so Kevin things they can swing giving it another shot before her appointment. There she talks about her love for Joni Mitchell and sings "Our House", he asks if she's worried and she says yes but that he always manages to make everything fun, and though it makes some people not take him seriously, it remains one of his best qualities.

She tries to get him to skip the doctor's appointment to get the MRI results but he says he wants to be the dependable person in the family for once, and he's very sweet, he says he'll be there and they can still have fun no matter what the results are. It turns out she has Alzheimer's and though it's devastating, I think we all saw that coming, and most of the characters did as well. She asks Kevin not to treat her differently now and he agrees to it but he goes to get the card he found with his mom one of the times he reminded her she could be a fun mom.

Young Kate is sad about her first break up and she's clearly going through it, she even starts having some existential questions that are inevitably linked to her willingness to be the owner of her own life. And with that simple storyline, they show us this narrative that will drive her whole life. Which is one of the things this show does best, even if they're not always subtle about it.

"Ok, boomer."

What do you think about this episode? I look forward to your comments and I leave you with the poll.

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