A lot goes on in this episode of This Is Us, so I’m not going to drag out an intro. As usual, the show tugs on your heartstrings and makes you feel all the emotions. In the past, Rebecca and Jack experience the adoption process. We also see more of William’s struggles. In the present, Randall meets Deja’s mother, Kevin is still in a spiral, while Kate and Toby almost tie the knot.
The Adoption Process
Anyone who’s experienced the adoption process, understands how difficult it can be. Jack and Rebecca learn this first hand as they go through the process of officially adopting Randall. Unexpected visits from their social worker, family photos to commemorate the event, and court hearings… they went through it all. Mind you, the photographer wasn’t shy about commenting on how the exposure and lighting for them isn’t something they usually deal with – eye-roll. However, even after the social worker gives them a rave review, the judge postpones the hearing because he has questions for their social worker who wasn’t at the hearing. Of course, this baffles Jack and Rebecca.
They approach the judge outside of the courtroom. Even though it’s a bad idea, he takes them to his chambers to discuss his concerns. He doesn’t think Randall should be with Jack and Rebecca because they’re white and he’s black. He explains that he didn’t understand what being black meant until he was 9 years old, and believes Jack and Rebecca will never be able to teach Randall what it’s like to be black. Before either Jack or Rebecca can argue, he dismisses them.
Later, Rebecca receives the photos back from the family shoot, and as she’s looking at them, it’s clear the photographer never got the exposure/lighting right in each shot. Remembering the family photos on the judge’s wall and sick of people judging her family, she takes matters into her own hands. She cuts a good shot of Randall out of an otherwise bad photo, and pastes it onto a good shot of the rest of the family and sends it to the judge with a letter. “Randall is my son, whether you approve or not, whether you sign a paper or not.” She tells him that “exposure is tricky” but they’ll keep doing their best and keep going back to the courthouse until he does his job. You tell him, Rebecca!
Three weeks later, the family goes back to the courthouse for the rescheduled hearing. However, their original judge has recused himself from the case. They get another judge who is more than happy to officially make Randall a Pearson. 😊
The Most Disappointed Man
We’ve seen glimpses into William’s life, but I feel like this week’s is a bit more telling of his struggles, not to mention emotional. In his younger days, he’s in court for drugs, and upon seeing that William doesn’t have a record, the judge voices his disappointment. This doesn’t bother William, though, as he argues that he is the most disappointed man the judge has ever met. He’s lost his mother, his girl, and his son. So, he has no problem being thrown in jail because there’s nothing waiting for him outside of it. ☹
Later, before William’s next hearing for sentencing, the judge talks to him. William’s words stuck with him. He tells William of his own disappointments of having to put people behind bars for so many years. He has to write terrible stories for people without being able to change the ending for them. But he wants to help change William’s, if William will remember his face whenever bad things tempt him. So, William promises to do so.
William keeps his word once he’s free. He pictures the judge’s face as he passes a couple men smoking and drinking on a corner. However, when he’s older and the doctor informs him that the treatment for his cancer isn’t working, William gets some heroine. He sees the judges face and keeps prepping it until he gets a knock at his door. It’s Randall telling him that he’s his son (from the series premiere). It becomes clear that Randall is what kept William from going down that dark hole again.
Due to a court order, the day has come for Deja to finally visit her mom in jail. Deja can’t wait to finally see her mom again, but Randall can’t say the same. Beth has to remind him that it’s a package deal. So, he obliges and takes Deja “to the clink.” They go through security and hand over some belongings, and then wait. They wait longer than expected only for Linda (their social worker) to tell them Shauna (Deja’s mother) doesn’t want to see Deja. ☹
Randall is furious as to why Shauna can get away with it when it’s a court mandate. He takes his anger out on Linda, who puts him in his place. He then feeds Deja a lie as to why her mom isn’t coming so that it won’t be so hurtful. Deja wants to get her purse so she can make sure her mom gets something – the allowance she’s been saving up so that her mother can get whatever she needs. Awww ☹
Back at home, Beth is furious about what happened. The tables have turned. Usually she’s the one calming Randall down, but now he’s the calm one. She’s done letting Deja’s mom hurt Deja, and then declares that Deja will not have anything to do with her mom so long as she’s under their roof – court mandate or not.
Randall goes to visit Shauna by himself. She got beat up, and admits doesn’t want Deja to see her face. Randall doesn’t offer any sympathy, and informs her that he and Beth know what’s best for Deja. He even tells her that they’re thinking of enrolling her in a different school. Shauna takes major offense to this, and asks if Randall has a white wife. “Don’t get it twisted, sis. I wake up every morning next to a headscarf and coconut oil. I’m married to a black queen.” YESSS, RANDALL! He then tells her that she should start making better life choices. Shauna argues that she isn’t in jail by choice, “People who have choices say that mess,” insinuating that she and Randall have different lives. She then declares that she’s what’s best for Deja and will get Deja back. Ugh, this won’t end well.When he gets home, he informs Beth about what happened, and they agree this isn’t going to be easy. Randall then tells Beth that he gave Shauna their number and she’s going to call collect so she can speak to Deja. She does, and you can see the happiness all over Deja’s face.
Kevin’s Downward Spiral
I worry more and more each week about Kevin, y’all. He keeps spiraling down into a darker hole, and I’m afraid he’s not even close to hitting rock bottom yet. He’s been bailing on visiting Sophie three times now, and she’s calling him out for it. So, he numbs his sorrows with beer and pills. ☹
Not even Kate and Toby adorably announcing their pregnancy lifts his spirit. Speaking of, that announcement, they do so by wearing matching shirts. Kate’s wearing one that says “Baby” with an arrow pointing down to her stomach while Toby’s arrow is pointing at her. Kevin tries to show excitement, but it’s clear something’s up with him. Kate notices it too.
After he leaves Kate and Toby’s, Kevin heads to a jewelry shop and buys THREE engagement rings! Typically, I love the possibility of an engagement, but not this way. He hops on a red eye to the East Coast to surprise Sophie at the hospital, but she’s out on a transport. So, he waits there. While he’s waiting, he dreams of his future with her and their future son. It’s not a pretty sight. He’s a drunk and terrible husband and father. ☹
Later, Kevin finally shows up at Sophie’s and she worries. He starts babbling about how there’s literally nothing inside of him to give to her. She notes that he’s spiraling, but he keeps on by saying this is the real him, not the one who wooed her back. He claims that then he was just trying to be like his dad or even Toby. He tells her of his “nightmares” and how he’s trying to save her from “40 years of disappointment” with him. Sophie starts crying as she closes the door on him. ☹
After Kate and Toby tell Kevin about the baby news, Toby’s afraid to break the news to his mom. She’s not thrilled about them moving in together, so his Catholic, unwed son having a baby is bound to send his mother over the edge. Kate has a possibly perfect solution: get married ASAP at City Hall. They’re both all for it it until they get to City Hall. Kate gives plenty of reasons on why it’s so much better, but it’s obvious neither of them are really into a shotgun wedding. Toby knows it’s not what Kate wants, and has a sweet conversation with Jack’s urn before ultimately calling his mom and breaking the news to her. Then, he surprises Kate the adorable proposal that she deserved and offers the wedding of her dreams. Ugh, I love them!
This Is Us airs Tuesdays at 9/8c!