I feel like my This Is Us reviews are beginning to suffer from the same ailment as Kate’s storylines – just as her storylines are almost always about her weight (except for that one time she wanted to watch football with her dead dad instead of her clingy boyfriend), my posts are almost always complaining about them. FYI: no change in this week’s episode, and I’m bored of talking about it, so let’s move right along.
1980s Jack and Rebecca are struggling a bit; their sons are fighting, Jack’s trying to close a big deal and Rebecca’s going back to singing. It’s all exceptionally awkward: the boys’ football match erupts into all-out warfare, the Pearson’s marriage is long past the honeymoon phase, and there’s a disquieting amount of pointed flirtation going on at the office, suggesting somebody’s going to have an affair, although whether it’ll be Miguel or Jack is, at this point, still up in the air.
As for the signing, well, outwith shows where everyone’s singing is integral to the story (eg Nashville or Glee), I’m never a massive fan of giving a tv character in a drama musical aspirations, especially when I know the actor already has or wants a real-life musical career too. Because I’m constantly suspicious that they might then try and release the same song in real life, I find it all a bit break-the-fourth-wall embarrassing. And even more so since, although Mandy Moore has a really lovely voice, Rebecca’s songs all seem to be terrible.
Never mind all that, though. The focus in both timelines this week – and the best storyline by a mile, even if Beth and William hanging out is great too – is on Randall and Kevin’s relationship, which is stilted in the present and positively toxic in the past. As the episode develops, we get an idea of why, and things get very much worse before they get better. But by the end, there’s hope for the future too, culminating in a deeper understanding between the pair of them and a simple, yet eloquent scene towards the end: two guys just sitting watching a sitcom together has never been quite so significant or so sweet. Bless.