We got lucky, y’all! This week’s episode of This Is Us isn’t as emotional as the previous ones have been. In fact, I didn’t ugly cry once. However, I did tear up with one scene, but it wasn’t too bad. In the flashback portion of the episode, it’s time for the teens to get winter formal outfits. There’s also one other thing on the list that leads us to the start of tragedy it seems. In the present, Kevin, Kate and Randall are back to doing their regular lives. Well, Kevin is crashing with his mom and Miguel for a bit. That shouldn’t be awkward at all.
Keep reading for some highlights of the episode.
Kevin and Kate’s winter formal is coming up (I always forget Randall doesn’t go to the same school as them), so that means it’s time to get some new fancy clothes. Kate asks her mom to take her shopping, which really excites Rebecca. At first, Kevin states he’s not going to the dance since he can’t dance with a big cast on his leg, but Jack convinces him to go anyways – they both need new suits. Randall wants to go to the mall for a completely different reason, and so it becomes a family affair. Everything should go swimmingly, right? HA… sure.
Formal Wear & Dad Talks
Kate and Rebecca seem to find the perfect dress. She takes a few different sizes (because that’s just how it is for girls) into the dressing room where she tries them all on. The size 5 is a bit snug, but the size 7 fits perfectly. However, since Kate has felt self-conscious for so long, she can’t get over the fact that the 5 doesn’t fit. So, she sneaks past her mom and out of the store without a dress. When Rebecca finally finds her, Kate is very dismissive of the situation.
Elsewhere, Kevin and Jack share some father-son bonding time while trying on suits. Jack needs one for his annoying boss, and Kev needs one for the dance. Kevin’s still feeling down in the dumps about his football dreams being shattered, and Jack tries to help him see the positive side of things. After getting their suits, they run into Miguel who is equally down in the dumps about his ex-wife getting engaged. Jack starts up another pep talk for his best friend, but Kevin and Miguel agree that sometimes a good wallow is just needed (Gilmore Girls reference, anyone?).
They head to the food court, where Randall also joins them, for some wallowing food. While there, Miguel reveals to the teen boys that Jack once wanted to start his own construction company called Big Three Homes. He never followed that dream because the timing was never right once the kids came along and they needed guaranteed money. The boys are surprised by this revelation, and ask why not start it now. Jack insists it’s still not the right time with three kids about to go to college.
Later, Randall musters up the courage to ask a redhead who works at the mall out on date. He has a totally cute – and very Randall – plan that involves a custom magic 8 ball. At first she starts to say no, but then he hands her the ball, and things are looking up for him. But I can’t help but recognize this girl from a particularly heartbreaking scene in a previous episode. I’ll leave it at that for now.
Back at home, Jack confesses to Rebecca that he still wants Big Three Homes to happen, but realizes it’s still not the right time. She’s a little shocked by his confession, but smiles nonetheless, and encourages her husband by saying that’s going to make the task more exciting. I love this marriage. But my heart shatters a little after they kiss, and she asks if they forgot something while at the mall. Earlier in the episode, Rebecca asked Jack to remind her to get batteries while they were out. The final shot of the episode pans out from them to the home’s entryway to reveal that the smoke detector is noticeably battery-less. I see what you’re doing, This Is Us writers, and I’m not cool with it. ☹
In the present, Kevin’s out of rehab, and Barbra suggested that L.A. might not be the healthiest of places for him to be yet. So, he chooses to crash with his mom and Miguel. Rebecca, knowing how much of a health nut Kevin is, pre-stocked the house with Kale and healthy stuff, but he’s actually on a sugar kick. They decide to go to the store together, and to Kevin’s dismay, Miguel tags along. Things get tense when they’re alone, Kevin asks Miguel why he intruded on the mother/son time. Miguel firmly states that he’s there to protect his wife from any new bombs Kev might drop on Rebecca again. Kevin insists that he’d never hurt his mom because he’s her son. Miguel argues back that he’s her husband, but this doesn’t sit well with Kevin, “My father was her husband.” Poor, Miguel.
Rebecca and Kevin do get to share a moment at the store together, however. Kevin admits that he’s lost Jack’s necklace and can’t get it back. It’s obvious that he’s still beating himself up over this. Rebecca sympathizes with him by admitting that, even after all this time, she can’t take off the necklace Jack gave her. ☹
New Kind of Happiness
Back at the house, Kevin apologizes to Miguel for how he acted. He also asks Miguel if he was in love with Rebecca while Jack was still alive. Miguel quickly responded by saying that would have been impossible, and that it never even occurred to him because Jack and Rebecca were “one.” Kevin seems to find comfort in that. Miguel also assures him that he does love Rebecca now and that he’s not going anywhere.
Now to the one scene that made me tear up. When they’re alone in the kitchen, Kevin asks his mom if she’s happy. She confesses that happiness one of the first things she had to let go of after Jack died, and it was like that for a long time. Can you hear my heart shattering? She does, however, assure her son that she’s found a new kind of happiness with Miguel. It’s older and quieter, but she is happy. That’s all Kevin wants for her.
Taking a Leap
Randall’s been at a bit of a standstill lately where work is concerned. He just hasn’t been feeling it and isn’t interested in the job interview he has. Beth, however, is more than ready for him to get back out there. She urges him to go to the interview, and he promises that he will after he goes by William’s old place to pick up a box of things one of the tenants found. Of course, that doesn’t go as planned.
When he goes through the contents of the box, he finds a later journal of William’s full of his poetry. One is titled “Lady”, and it seems tat he was quite smitten with her. This sends Randall on a chase trying to find this connection to his late father. It’s not until he speaks to the building’s super that he gets the answer he wasn’t expecting. He looks around the place, and finds what William really wrote about: a mural of Billie “Lady Day” Holiday on the building opposite his window.
The building, and Beth’s un-inspiring job, inspires Randall to take a big leap. He takes Beth to William’s building and informs her that he wants them to buy it. He knows Beth’s job isn’t helping her change people’s lives like she wants to, and this will help them do that for the people who live there. As he’s explaining his idea, the camera pans out to a little boy feeding William’s cat that we’ve seen roaming the area all episode – he stole my heart to be honest. 😊
A Friend in Need
Kate went back to her weight support group where she told them of her miscarriage and how she’s been binging on junk food again because of it. She’s trying to move forward though by planning her wedding, but trying on wedding dresses is going to be another obstacle. After the meeting, Maddison offers to help Kate find the perfect dress at a fancy place where they do custom fittings.
Where one might think this could go horribly wrong because of Maddison’s attitude in the past, it actually shows us another side of her. While at the dress boutique, Maddison divulges in complimentary cookies, but then disappears to the restroom a bit later. Kate realizes Maddison does actually have an eating disorder: bulimia. She tries to confront Maddison about it, but gets pushed away. Kate later gets a call from a crying Maddison and she rushes over to her place. Maddison binged when she got home, but then purged it all back up, which caused her to pass out and hit her head.
Kate sympathizes with Maddison by explaining how she was actually close to being anorexic right before her dad died. The weight loss didn’t make her happy or comfortable, though. She preferred being mad at herself all the time for being overweight. And so, a new friendship is born. Maddison even says how she has a best friend for the first time ever.
This Is Us airs Tuesdays at 9/8c on NBC!