TV: This is Us – What Now?

Show: This Is Us
Episode: What Now?
Network: NBC
Airs: Tuesdays 10/9 central
Starring, Mandy Moore, Milo Ventimiglia, Sterling K. Brown, Justin Hartley
Rating: TV-14
FA Scorecard: A
Reviewed by: Lori Twichell

From the very first trailer, This Is Us captured my heart and held it in an iron grip. Each week as the story of the Pearson clan unfolds in front of us, that grip on my heart squeezes and releases. I don’t think there’s been a single episode yet where I haven’t teared up and ended the episode nearly flailing that I have to wait for the next. If this show was available to binge watch, I know I would go through it in a night. But I also know that I would end it with some sort of Max Max-ian level emotional devastation. Seriously – the show wrecks me weekly. What would happen if I could watch all of them at once?

So what about this week’s episode? (There will be SPOILERS ahead – if you haven’t caught up to this point, read at your own peril!)

Well, as we all know, last week we had to deal with the death of William. After seeing how Jack resonates through the continuing stories long after his death, we know that this loss is going to send ripples through every episode in the future.  This is even hinted at during the big fun-eral scene (Did you hear Randall’s voice when you read that? I fear it probably fell as flat as it did when he uttered it but I had to give it a shot!) when Beth said that everything from this point on is going to be ‘before William’ and ‘after William.’

At this point in our adventure,  Kate stormed out and it wasn’t just a hint any longer. She was not dealing well with this loss.  And we all know why because we’re all feeling it ourselves. Jack. Doesn’t the thought of that character death make your stomach churn???  Ugh – I am not looking forward to that episode. I think I will need to take the following day (or two!) off of work whenever that airs. And for a very clear moment, we get a glimpse of Randall not as the outsider, but as the third triplet. Most of this season we’ve been seeing his differences and how he doesn’t actually fit in, but this episode showed us how clearly he does fit in as that third sibling.   We’ve seen him do this with William and Beth and his girls  – but not Kate. This was another piece of the puzzle and I was glad to see it.

Meanwhile, our little Kevin is growing up. He’s gone from a show where he has become known for taking his shirt off to hoping someone will see him as a serious actor. He’s almost screwed it up beyond repair several times. I mean really – it’s pretty much to the point that we all love Kevin but we’re all exasperated with the choices he’s making. Until the most recent episode we weren’t even sure if he would even be okay without Kate enabling him. But when we saw him leave the stage at the critical moment the curtain rose, I think we all knew he was, indeed, Jack Pearson’s son. Wow. That moment still haunts me. Of course he’s dealing with that fallout this episode but I absolutely love that he’s not conflicted in the least by that choice he made. And he refuses to hang it on his brother (which would be easy to do in this case) showing. as I said, Kevin is definitely growing up.

This is where I have to pause. I might even have to stop because I’m not sure if I can adequately cover Kate’s confession, and the issues with Jack and Rebecca without absolutely losing it. Let’s just say that I know without a shadow of a doubt that when we lose Jack, I’m going to be a basket case. Oh wait – I already mentioned that above didn’t I? Well, it bears repeating. Even knowing that his demise cannot be changed (this isn’t Doctor Who after all – though i wonder if Jack’s death is a fixed point in time? Hmmmm…)  I am well aware of how deeply I care about Jack Pearson and his family. This loss is going to hurt. I will need wine, chocolate, and my Terrible Towel for that episode.

That last clip though? The jeep driving away in the dark? I’m just not ready.

If by some weird chance you aren’t watching This Is Us and you just read through that entire spoiler filled recap, I have no idea what you’re waiting for. This is one of the best family dramas that has ever been on television and it is my number one show right now. It also firmly holds a place in my top ten favorites. I just hope they’re able to maintain and build with the same momentum through the upcoming seasons!

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