This Is Us 2×03 “Déjà Vu” Recap – The Past Reflects the Present

this is us - 2x03 - kevin and stallone stillAs much as we like to believe the past doesn’t matter or that we should just let it go, that’s just not always true or the easiest thing to do. What happens in our past is what shapes us into the people we become. Some events we can grow from. Other events we can’t even talk about because it’s too hard. In case you couldn’t guess, this week’s This Is Us episode is largely about the past and how it affects the present. “Déjà Vu” gives us a rare emotional Kevin while Beth and Randall welcome a foster kid (teenager?). While in the past, Rebecca plans a date night to get her and Jack back on track. Oh yeah, Sylvester Stallone is in this episode too.

Here’s what happened…

The Past:

Jack at AA

this is us - 2x03 - jackJack is three weeks sober, but at his AA meeting, he confesses that it’s tougher than he thought. You see, he was raised to be this tough guy. Now, he’s having to confront and open up about things he’s pushed to the depths of his mind. He also confesses that he hopes his sons don’t grow up to be “cavemen like me.” Now, I don’t know about y’all, but this breaks my heart. Jack Pearson is the farthest thing from a “cavemen.” In fact, and I’m paraphrasing Rebecca on this, he’s as close to perfect as one can get. Sure, he has his demons, but so does everyone. I hate that he feels like this. He’s such a good dad and husband. I don’t think he has anything to worry about. Although, I am worried about Kevin a bit. I’ll talk about that in a bit.

Date Night for Rebecca and Jack

this is us - 2x03 - jack and rebeccaThanks to Miguel’s ex, Rebecca plans a date night for her and Jack so they can get back on track. After all, it’s been a while since you know… sexy time. She gets a Chevelle (I think), puts on a nice dress, and takes him to the empty parking lot of a concert venue with some burgers – “Jack Pearsoning” him. Unfortunately, Jack isn’t in the right emotional place for that yet. When they get home, he confesses there’s so much he hasn’t told her – like how he borrowed money from his dad to buy their house – and that he just isn’t ready to tell her yet. Rebecca understands. She tells him, repeatedly, that he’s the strongest person she knows. Feeling more positive, he suggests they get back in the car because he really misses talking to her. They kiss and we feel all the lovey feels. 🙂

The Present:

Randall & Beth’s family gets a little bigger

this is us - 2x03 - randallAs we saw in the first two episodes, Randall and Beth decided to foster an older child. Well, the time has finally come. Deja, a teenager, comes to live with them after her mom gets arrested. Unfortunately for Randall, all the prep in the world didn’t prepare him. When he mentions it to the social worker, her advice is pretty much his worst fears: fostering is unpredictable and it’s best to take it day by day. Obviously, that worries Randall to the extreme. He even later confesses to Beth that this will be the thing for him that is as hard as everyone says it is.

Just as the social worker predicted, Deja is not okay. When she walks in and sees Beth holding a pack of cigarettes that was in Deja’s bag, an argument ensues. Randall rushes to see what’s going on, Deja instantly flinches and literally puts up her guard. The whole ordeal worries Tess and Annie, but when Deja wakes them up with questions about the household, the girls become more comfortable with each other. Deja asks about what happens someone breaks the rules, and the girls say you lose iPad privileges. This blows Deja’s mind, “This house is crazy.” It’s then that we get a cute flashback of Annie talking to William about him trying to leave the house one night. At the end he says, “This house is crazy.” The memory prompts Annie to offer to let Deja stay in the room with them.

this is us - 2x03 - randall and photoThe next morning, Deja apologizes for the night before. She also confesses that the cigarettes aren’t hers, but her mothers. She wanted to give them to her when she comes to pick her up. This prompts Randall to tell the story of how he relates to Deja. He shows her photos and everything. He tells her that he believes her adoption story can be just as fortunate as his own was. This seems to lift her spirits, but when Randall breaks the news that her mom might be in jail longer than she thinks, Deja’s attitude changes instantly. She breaks the framed photo and storms off.

Clearly, this foster situation is going to be a bumpy ride.

Kevin’s Emotions

this is us - 2x03 - kevin kate stalloneKevin is in the middle of his big movie break with none other than Sylvester Stallone! He and Kate are super pumped about it, and Kevin feels like he’s perfected his lines. However, when Kate brings up their late dad’s love of Rocky, it throws him off a bit. Kate then takes it upon herself to talk to Sylvester Stallone about how big of a fan Jack was of him. It made for a nice moment. I remember last season when Kate was unable to talk about her dad because it was too hard. Now, she’s proud to talk about him, even if it may hurt.

However, when Sylvester starts talking about Jack to Kevin right before the big scene, Kevin is quick to try to cut the conversation short. Stallone continues, though, with a speech about time and memoires. It nearly brings Kevin to tears. His words stick with Kevin, though, as he sees flashes of memories with his dad, and struggles to get through the lines. Of course, this is pretty upsetting to him. So much so that he says some pretty harsh words to Kate, annoyed that she would talk to Sylvester about their dad. She tries to tell him that it’s okay to talk about Jack, and confesses about how she used to feel the same as he does. He’s not hearing any of it though. “I don’t need to walk around and be sad and damaged just because you are.” Ouch, Kev!

this is us - 2x03 - emotional kevinLater, Kevin still sees flashes of him and his dad as he’s trying to film a scene where he’s rescuing Stallone – a character that is like a father to Kevin’s character. The memories include him in the hospital with a cast on his leg as Jack gives him a necklace and when Kate told Kevin about Jack’s death, but we don’t see much of either scene. Something goes wrong during the stunt Kevin is filming and it causes him to hurt his bad knee. When he’s back in his trailer icing it, he calls Kate and apologizes. He then confesses, while fighting back tears, that talking about their father is really hard for him. He just can’t do it right now, but maybe one day. Ugh! I’m not prepared for emotional and crying Kevin. I can’t handle it. 🙁

Here’s where my worry starts, though. When Kate hangs up, she looks over at the urn with Jack’s ashes and says Kevin is just like him. We then see Kevin in his trailer popping a pill. Ugh! I have a bad feeling about this, y’all.

This Is Us airs Tuesdays at 9/8c on NBC!

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