“This Is Us” Recap: Another Family Secret Comes to Light
So far, This Is Us has been easing us into the Pearson family drama pretty smoothly. But this week’s episode was busy and hectic, bouncing back and forth between different story lines — starting with Kate, who finally tells Toby she’s pregnant. Since she’s 37, she’s considered “geriatric,” and that plus her weight makes her a high-risk pregnancy. Because of this, she warns him against getting too excited and tells him to keep all of his hopes and dreams to himself until the baby is born.
Later in the episode, though, Kate breaks her own promise to not talk about the pregnancy with other people when, after an argument with Madison, a girl from her weight group, the two get into a minor car crash. Kate understandably freaks out. Her emotions broken, she admits to Madison that she’s pregnant, and the mood between the two suddenly changes: Madison is ecstatic. This seems to lift Kate, who shelves her anxieties and tells Toby he can openly act on his feelings of happiness. They go to a coffee shop, and Toby performs a really cute song and dance announcing Kate’s pregnancy to the world.
Back in the past, Jack uses a camping trip to help Randall and Kevin bond. We know that their bond up until recently and especially as children has always been tenuous, but we really see how nasty it is in this episode. The two bicker and argue, and Kevin even sabotages Randall’s attempt to pitch a tent successfully. Jack is not happy that his two children can’t get along and tries to get Kevin to open up about why he feels so hostile toward Randall. But Kevin refuses to talk — not a surprise, given what we’ve seen from him.
It’s a little different in the present — the siblings are together once again, but this time, they’re much more cordial. Kevin is a “celebrity guest” for Sophie at a charity gala, and Randall arrives with Deja. He’s determined to try to make things work with his new foster daughter. And we all know he can’t turn down a challenge.
But Deja ends up finding a connection with Kevin instead. She even bonds with him over The Mummy. Randall is not happy that Deja is warming up to someone who isn’t him, and everything reaches a breaking point when he gets too overprotective about Deja’s shrimp intake. The brothers meet outside the bathroom, where Deja is hiding, and Kevin tries to give Randall some advice. He admits that he doesn’t feel anything, whereas Randall feels too much. But that’s a good thing. Randall is a good person and a good father. Kevin, well…
Kevin has always been somewhat of an enigma. We haven’t seen as much of his backstory as we have when it comes to Randall or Kate, but we know Kevin has his own demons — and we see a little of them in this episode, particularly in the present. He’s addicted to his pain pills, and he has to deal with the anxieties of withdrawal when he runs out. And to further complicate things, he’s starting to drink more than usual. It escalates to the point where he misses his cue to be brought on stage by Sophie as part of his celebrity auction agreement. Sophie is humiliated and upset by Kevin’s antics, so he leaves the event alone — but not before making sure to get some new pills.
But wait, there’s more! A flashback reveals Jack on a fishing trip with his own dad. We see his dad stop at a bar claiming he’s “thirsty,” and we see Jack’s resignation that his dad isn’t coming back anytime soon — indicating that this is not new behavior. Later on, Rebecca learns that Jack’s father is dying and goes to visit him in the nursing home. She manages to contact Jack on his camping trip and asks if he wants to come home. Jack declines, saying that his dad has been dead to him for a long time. Rebecca respects this, but it’s still hard for her to hear.
But that’s not the biggest reveal of the episode. When we flash back again to Jack waiting for his father to come out of the bar, another kid pops up in the car — and asks where dad is. Yep, Jack apparently has a brother named Nicky! We’ve never heard of this brother before, so now we get to ask all the questions: Where is he in the present timeline? Did he die young, like Jack did? Why have we never heard Rebecca or the kids mention him before? We get a few clues about him by the end of the hour. When Jack gets home from the campsite, he finds photographs of himself and Nicky serving in the Army. Jack seems to blame himself for Nicky’s death, which kind of explains why he was so insistent about his sons bonding… but we can only wonder why and how all of this will come together.
What did you think of last night’s This Is Us episode? Tell us @BritandCo.
(Photos via Ron Batzdorff/NBC)