This is Us Season 1 – Review of episode 02 ‘The Big Three’

Written by M.

It’s the first freshman show of the season to get a full season order! So the big question for a freshman show that had an amazing first episode is… Was is a fluke or will this show hold steady. And I can tell you, this show holds steady. We’ve gotten to know the characters and now begin to learn about their flaws.

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This week we see Jack and Rebecca in 1988, where Kevin, Kate and Randall are 8 years old and Kate is already struggling with her weight. In the morning she gets half a melon as breakfast where her brothers get cereal. Rebecca tries to get Kate to lose weight, but at the end of the day she just wants her to be healthy and happy. And as long as Kate is happy, she’s happy. Her brothers are at the age where they start to fight. It’s 1988 and Randall is the target at school, because he’s colored. Kevin isn’t standing up for his brother and joins the bullies, causing a rift between the brothers that is still there in the present.

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Jack and Rebecca aren’t the happily in love and married couple they were in 1980. At breakfast you can the irritation in their voices and they are definitely passive aggressive toward each other. At the end of the workday, Jack and his best friend Miguel have a drink at a bar. Jack confides in Miguel by admitting “It’s hard to see the woman I married sometimes”. Miguel remind him how amazing Rebecca is and taking care of their three kids while is he is finishing his second bourbon in 3 minutes.
When he comes home late that night, definitely not sober, Rebecca gives him an emotional speech about being the best parents they can be and tells him to stop drinking

“So if it’s a problem, fix it! Be a MAN and fix! Because I’m done letting you lower our score!”

That night Jack sleeps out in the hallway, next to the bedroom door, because he can’t sleep when he’s too far away from her. He promises her to stop drinking and gives her a beautiful necklace.

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Kevin is being told by his agent that he is legally bound to stay the Manny for two more years. Not only that, he has to plea to the network bosses, that night, to let him stay on and not sue his ass. Not knowing what to do, he goes to see his sister, who’s always there for him.

“What did I ever do, those first two minutes without you? Oh you cried and you crabbed a lot”

After some reassurance he then tells her to come with him to the Hollywood party that night, but he doesn’t even hears her objections. That afternoon Kate loses her cool at her support group and gives them some piece of her mind. When Toby calms her down, she confides in him about having to go to the Hollywood party with her brother. Not having a dress to wear, because nothing fits her, she’s starving and not losing any weight. But all Toby hears is Hollywood party and wants to come along. He says some sweet words about their relationship and gets her laughing. He then follows with an ill fitted joke at her dispense. So I guess he’s also going to the party, though I doubt he’ll go along to support her.

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When the party of 3 arrives at the party, Kevin goes off to mingle, find his agent and the network boss. Toby takes Kate to the dance floor to bust a move, but all she sees are the people staring at them and talking about them. His solution, get Kate drunk. Yes, we have a real brianiac here.

Kevin tries to appeal to the network boss to him go, but he tells him to stay put.

“So take the money kid, write out the next couple of years, alright. Otherwise I’ll make you a  bigger laughing stock than you already are”

Meanwhile drunk Kate makes a fool of herself at the dance floor. Seriously, nobody should be allowed to dance like that. She seems to have forgotten why she’s there and leaves an upset Kevin high and dry. Kevin then makes an in the middle of the night call to his little brother Randall. After the call he decides to do theater and to move to New York.

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William has been staying at Randall and Beth’s house for a couple of days now and their kids think he’s Randall’s co-worker. You can tell Beth is seriously worried about letting William stay at their house, and I can’t blame her. Her husband brought in a stranger he’d known for 5 minutes, who’s a ‘former’ drug addict and who is talking to their daughters about cocaine. I’d say, this wasn’t one of Randall’s finest moments.

At night, Randall receives a phone call from Kevin, asking him what to do. They are clearly not close, but decide there is still time to become better brothers, though this mostly goes for Kevin. Downstairs Beth asks William the questions she knows Randall will never ask. Turns out William has a cat and he travels back and forth to feed him.

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The next morning the family is going through their morning routine and Beth and Randall see that William has adjusted and fits right in. Then the doorbell goes and grandma and grandpa are there. But it isn’t Rebecca and Jack.. It’s Rebecca and Miguel.

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And also;

  • I was wondering when we would get an interaction between Kevin & Kate and Randall. For a moment I thought they were completely out of touch.
  • How is it that Kate is attracted to Toby? Sure, he has a way with words and can get her to laugh. But he also makes jokes in a way that it sounds as if he doesn’t take her and her feelings serious.
    What are your thoughts on this?
  • Seriously, Madison should not be in that support group. Everybody in there is obese and in a serious struggle to lose weight. And in comes Madison with her perfect body because she feels fat. I’m not saying she shouldn’t be in a support group at all, but she should be in one that focuses on the anorexic of bulimic. And she should see a therapist, like STAT!
  • Milo Ventimiglia, please please please lose that mustache…
  • I loved Rebecca’s speech to Jack, where she graded herself on being a good mom to her kids. I thought it was really moving and showed how much she’s struggling.
  • Seriously, that voice message Miguel left Jack, back in 1988. I thought he was a closeted gay and we were getting a Brokeback Mountain storyline.
  • I like the character of Kevin. He’s clearly struggling with his Hollywood stereotype and wants to be taken serious. But where he exactly knew what to say to Kate when she fell of the scale last week, he totally oblivious of her struggles this week. I look forward to him becoming a better brother to both Kate and Randall.
  • It’s the second episode and the first reverence to the Gilmore Girls is made

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So much has happened in just two episodes, which both gave us a twist at the end.

What to expect from episode 3;

 

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