“This Is Us” returns from its holiday break and viewers expect an update if not a conclusion to the shocking final scenes of the Christmas episode. But first, let’s get the timing of when the show airs out-of-the-way. NBC announced its Tuesday night lineup changes. Episode recap posted below.
“NBC has pushed back “This Is Us” to 10 and 9 p.m. in the Eastern and Central time zones, respectively, while airing it twice in the Pacific time zone. The changes were made because of the network’s airing of President Barack Obama’s farewell speech to the nation live at 9 p.m. ET.”
As for the content of the show, titled “The Right Thing To Do”, the network summary tells us that Kate wrestles with her feelings after Toby’s heart attack and Randall has to get comfortable with his father’s relationship with Jesse. Tonight’s throwback scenes center on the realization that having triplets means Jack and Rebecca need to find a house that fits a family of five.
“This Is Us” broke ground in its previous episode as Toby threw a monkey wrench into what was supposed to be a final breakup with Kate. He showed up with a nightmare airline story, and promptly won over everyone. His massive heart episode ended what turned out to be a lovely evening at Randall’s, after it looked like the family would never come together that night.
It followed the other big shocker of the show, when we learned that William had a long-term relationship with a man named Jesse, who he abandoned after getting his cancer diagnosis. The cutest dialogue of all was when Randall’s daughter had to inform him that his biological father’s “friend” who walked in with James was more than that.
Kate and Rebecca’s relationship got more strained, but real for the first time about her obesity. Taking her mom to an appointment with a surgeon to learn about gastric bypass surgery opened the floodgates of truth on Kate’s part. It was a revelation to Rebecca and it might mean a better relationship in the future. Posted below is a video post-episode discussion among cast and the executive producer. In it, Mandy Moore and Chrissy Metz discuss how they approached the dialogue, and more.
Well, that was a close call for Toby. Stressing that he didn’t have a heart attack, or an episode, or even a condition, he joked his way through talks with Kate, until he was told that he didn’t just have arrhythmia. He needs surgery for a hole in his heart, which might also be treatable with meds. He chose meds and Kate got upset. Later he changed his mind and the two are officially a couple in love. Marriage was discussed and it appears they’ll be together.
Anyone else think it was too easy a solution for Toby’s attack? Questions that arise are about their weight reduction plans and where they’ll live. Is Kate returning to LA with Toby, leaving Jake alone to fend for himself in NY?
Speaking of Kevin, he did the right thing for the first time. Olivia, the flighty British actress returned after a month of trendy self-help with a new haircut, begging Kevin to take her back in the play and his life. Oh yes, all cured, so to speak she made a great pitch that seemed sincere. When she was turned down on both fronts she demonstrated why she wasn’t different.
Kevin, in explaining why he will stay with Sloane in his life and in the play, did it in a way that made it sound like he was less than passionate about it. “It’s the right thing to do”, he said as Sloane eavesdropped. She was hurt and let him know it, hoping for a more emphatic statement about his feelings for her.
Meanwhile, he’s put up the money to keep the play on course and the director agreed to have Sloane slip into the co-starring role. Yet, when he thought Olivia was ready to return, he was ecstatic. This is a huge move for Kevin in becoming a mature adult. He’s awkward talking about most things, and here’s hoping Sloane learns that.
Randall and William got down to specifics about his cancer’s progress and it’s not good. James feels awful and the chemo isn’t working, which makes it seem reasonable for him to cease the treatments. Knowing Randall, he’ll be out investigating less problematic ways to halt his father’s march towards death.
Randall had to wrestle with his feelings of abandonment when William chose to spend time, including a night, with Jesse. He initially thought it was homophobic when he got uncomfortable thinking of his father in a same sex relationship, but Beth talked him down from a ledge. In the end it’s Randall anticipating losing his father again, so soon after he found him. The guy’s a bundle of emotions that he wears on his sleeve.
In the throwback scenes of Rebecca and Jack, we learned more about Jack’s background with an abusive father. Nonetheless, he went seeking his father when he needed money to get a home big enough for triplets and two adults. His father gave it to him, and Jack didn’t care that he played a role to get it. That would be the “you’ll never amount to anything” son his father always warned him he’d be.
Jack doesn’t want his father near his family and their life, at least just yet, so he made believe he was a debt-riddled gambler bearing no resemblance to the loving and mature adult he truly is.
There are three potential character departures we’re monitoring for the show’s first season. That would be Toby, Jack and William. Any guesses?
“This Is Us” will air at a special time tonight, Tuesday January 10th on NBC. East coast will get the show at 10, 9 in the central time zone. On the west coast the show will air twice, beginning at 9 p.m. Image/video credit: NBCUniversal, used with permission