A new episode of "This Is Us" just finished and we can still breathe. It's a freaking miracle, and it's been a long time coming. It was such a relief to see that there is life beyond Jack's (Milo Ventimiglia) death, and even Jack is still around to enjoy it with us via flashbacks. We knew all this before, but we really needed this reminder that we can carry on without carrying on like we just lost our own fathers. Thanks for that, "This Is Us."
From death to love, this week's episode was all about holy matrimony, centered in the present day around the bachelor and bachelorette parties of Toby (Chris Sullivan) and Kate (Chrissy Metz) in Las Vegas. The flashback took us well before the devastating fire to when the kids were still young and full of such hope and optimism that they decided to throw an anniversary party for their parents.
Of course, this show is what it is and so there were still tears to shed, but we were so excited that they were almost exclusively tears of joy, save for that crushing final scene with Randall (Sterling K. Brown) and Beth (Susan Kelechi Watson). We almost go through a whole episode without losing it, "This Is Us." It was so close!
As we do every week, we're going to single out the show's most powerful moments, scoring them by how many tissues we tore through just to watch them. Believe us, these are happy tears of anguish ... and this week, mostly happy tears of happiness.
You're Rehab Manny
No tissues and no tears, unless they're tears of pride. We are so proud of Kevin (Justin Hartley) in this episode. He went to Vegas and managed to avoid the mini-bar and the flowing booze everywhere. Then, he got potentially crushing news about his film with Ron Howard and he went and worked out rather than drink. This is a testament to how well he's doing in his recovery. Even better, when he thought he'd been cut from the movie and -- on the advice of Toby -- called Ron to give him a piece of his mind, Ron told him the story between him and Sylvester Stallone was the heart of the film, and even suggested he might want to buy a tuxedo. Things are looking up for our boy.
Those are the only words Toby has ever wanted to hear. We were crushed when both Randall and Kevin ditched him at his bachelor party, because they were the only two he wanted to bond with. We got just a hint at his relationship with his younger brother, and it looks like he's kind of a tool who thinks he's too cool for Toby, which is his loss because Toby is awesome! It took the Pearsons a minute to get over their own nonsense, but they finally gave him the chance to bond with them, and he was even able to offer them some brotherly love, encouragement and advice. Toby deserves to be fully part of this family, and it was wonderful seeing him fully accepted and integrated as a new brother.
You Couldn't Give Me One Night
After Deja's (Lyric Ross) impromptu visit where she hit Randall and Beth up for money, Randall hasn't been able to get her out of his mind. He's basically been on an inward spiral of anxiety worrying about her, telling Beth his parental radar is going off non-stop about her. Unfortunately, she just wanted one night away from the stress of it all and after Deja called Randall, he couldn't give it to her. This led to a huge blowout in front of the "Magic Mike" dancers and it was all kinds of awkward and uncomfortable. We know fights are a normal part of a healthy relationship, as Randall reiterated later when he told Kate they do this every few years, but we still don't have to like seeing it.
2 tissues (we don't like seeing mom and dad fight)
The fight reached its climax when Kate jumped up to try and put a stop to it. In her own heated emotional state -- this was her bachelorette party they were essentially ruining, after all -- she accidentally blurted out that she knows Randall loves Beth more than her. This culminated in a slots-side chat later with her brother where she admitted she'd joined the "Randall is so cool" fan club when they were teenagers. She was enamored with her brother, knowing that one day she'd have to give him up. But, as he told her, he was a straight, black dude watching "Sex and the City" with her. That love was mutual and it will never end. Randall is the heart; he's got room for everyone in there.
I Have Been Trying Not to Think About Her
It was a little rough when Randall told Beth that he was the heart and she the head, because it was dismissing her feelings about Deja. She kept herself more restrained because that was what she knew she needed to do in their marriage. Randall was all heart and love (much like Jack), and so she needed to be the voice of reason and calm to reign him in as needed, even if it meant hiding her own feelings. But it was Kate who finally got Beth to open up after telling her how intimidating she was with her success and calm demeanor. Beth thinks about Deja all the time, worrying and fretting just like Randall. It's a softer side of Beth we've yet to see, and one we needed to see. The character deserved it, as did Watson for her brilliant portrayal of the most patient wife since Rebecca (Mandy Moore). It's about time Beth starts getting her turn to shine.
Even though the anniversary dinner the kids put together didn't work, they still managed to create a sweet memory for Jack and Rebecca by sending them out to watch a meteor shower. And Jack, being the romantic he is, regaled Rebecca with the story of meteors; how they're always out there but it's only from time to time that we get to see their true beauty. He then told her he doesn't need anniversaries to see her. He sees her every day. And that, my friends, is why fans love this character so much. When does he not get it just right?
I Think I'm Gonna Be the Heart Today
Good for you, Beth, standing up and saying that it's your time to open your heart and think with it for once. Just as Randall was convincing himself it was time to move on from Deja, Beth had to admit that she wasn't quite ready to do so, either. And it's a good thing they didn't because when they went to drop in on Deja and her mom, they found out they'd been evicted. Then, in a moment that was perhaps too convenient, they found them sleeping nearby in a car. Yes it's plausible they were staying just outside the apartment, but still. And regardless, this was heartbreaking to see.
Next week, it looks like we're going to get the story of what's happened with Deja since she left the Pearson home, and we already know it doesn't have a happy ending. Dang it, "This Is Us." You were doing so well!