THIS IS US: “Deja Vu” discussion
On this week’s THIS IS US, a visit to the set of his new movie (which also happens to co-star Sylvester Stallone) results in tensions between Kate and Kevin, while Randall and Beth welcome a new member to the family. In the past, Rebecca tries to reconnect with Jack, and Randall searches for his biological parents. With so much happening, join Ange and Melissa as they discuss the latest episode of THIS IS US…
Ange: First off, I’m totally using “Jack Pearson-ing” as a description now. I know in many of our discussions last season we had talked a lot about how Jack was the perfect (imperfect) husband so why not have a term for it now? Ha! Anyway, what did you think about Jack and Rebecca’s storyline this week?
Melissa: Um, yes, I will now be using “Jack Pearson-ing” in conversation as well. I’m so glad Jack and Rebecca broke through the tension and awkwardness. Having them at odds was just…wrong.
Ange: Agreed. It was such a relief seeing them – particularly Jack – being able to explain their feelings and motivations by the episode’s end. Moving on, a lot of this week’s episode focused on Kate and Kevin’s present relationship and I felt like it was kind of re-establishing/reminding us of their twin relationship (love the “twin fight” and “twin make up”), as lately when we’ve seen them it’s been in the context of as a trio with Toby. Do you agree? Also, although they’re twins, we see that they’ve both dealt with Jack’s death in different but at the same time similar ways given that they’ve both found it difficult to open up about it.
Melissa: It bothers me sometimes that it’s “twin this” and “twin that”. I mean, obviously Randall isn’t a blood sibling, but when Kevin and Kate are doing their twin thing, I feel like they’re leaving out Randall, purposely reminding him that he’s not blood. Maybe I’m being too sensitive. And of course he wasn’t around for any of the twin stuff in this episode so I’m clearly projecting. It was good to see Kevin and Kate’s relationship without Toby in the mix. (P.S. I just realized Toby wasn’t in this episode at all.) As Kate works through her grief over Jack’s death, I hope that allows Kevin to do the same.
Ange: Side note, Kate bonding with Sylvester Stallone and telling him that her dad would have gotten a kick out of meeting him, had me quite amused considering Milo played Sly’s son in Rocky Balboa. I wonder if getting Sly was a deliberate choice.
Melissa: Sly was perfect here! I was a little worried about having such a big shot movie star as a guest, but he fit in seamlessly. So did Ron Howard. According to the producers, the fact that Milo played his son helped them land Sly, so definitely a deliberate choice!
Speaking of the movie, this is a big deal for Kevin, right? Like, it could erase the embarrassment of The Manny and establish him as an action star with emotional range. The pressure is intense, and now his grief over is father’s death is welling up. I see drama ahead!
Ange: I do hope that Kevin can find success and prove himself beyond The Manny, but that ending – which we’ll get to a bit later – has me a little worried. Please prove me wrong Kevin! Anyway while Kate and Kevin were having twin fights and twin make ups, Randall was isolated from his siblings this week and had his hands full with the latest addition to his family, foster child Deja. For all his nerves and uncertainty, he sure gives good speech! With Rebecca and Jack as shining star examples, he’s got this right? Juxtaposed against this situation, we had teen Randall being duped by a stranger claiming to be his bio mom only to be a fake and then teen Kate and Kevin being there for him.
Melissa: Yeah, Randall’s got this. With Beth as his partner and the amazing Tess and Annie there to help from a child’s perspective, I think they’re gonna be OK. We probably have rough times ahead – Deja is understandably upset that her mom isn’t coming back for her soon – but I have faith. Also, how heartbreaking was it when Deja went into defensive mode as soon as Randall rushed into the bedroom? You saw his heart break in that moment. Beth’s, too. I’m gonna need more tissues and we’re only on episode 3.
Ange: So heartbreaking – that look on Randall’s face when she flinched at him? Ahh! Also, Tess and Annie – please never grow up! Especially Annie. That flashback scene with William – oh man #feels! I sometimes honestly forget that these girls are just actresses and really believe that they’re sisters.
Melissa: That scene was PRECIOUS!
Ange: One of the things I liked about this episode is that we revisited and expanded on things that were briefly touched up last season, like Jack finally told Rebecca that he borrowed money from his dad to pay for their house and we also saw Jack give Kevin his necklace, which Kevin still wears today – THIS IS US really is a show about pieces of life and putting them together. Much like how we’re getting more pieces to clue us in on the circumstances of Jack’s impending death, like the arrival of the dog and the moment when teen Kate tells teen Kevin about Jack’s death.
Melissa: I love how you phrased that – “THIS IS US really is a show about pieces of life and putting them together.” That’s what keeps me coming back for more, even though I know I’ll weep every. single. episode.
Ange: Aww, thank you! And agreed, tears be damned – this show has me wrapped around its little finger. Last but not least, let’s talk about the final line “he’s just like you”. We know how close Kate and Jack are and the special relationship Randall and Jack have but we haven’t seen much interaction between Jack and Kevin. Is it because they’re much more similar than they think?
Melissa: We saw Kevin be very Jack-like last season when Randall had his breakdown and Kevin ditched opening night to be there for his brother. I want to think this time Kate is referring to Kevin not being able to talk about the hard stuff, like we just saw Jack struggle with at AA and with Rebecca. But I fear that comment could also refer to the pill Kevin took and Jack’s alcoholism.
Ange: Yes, alarm bells were going off in my head during that scene but I’m really hoping to be proven wrong!
This is Us airs Tuesday 9/8c on NBC.