It’s Christmas Eve and, in the past, we’re spending the evening in the hospital because Kate has appendicitis and Dr K is haemorrhaging internally. NOOOOO! In the present, meanwhile, Kevin’s theatre run has been cancelled because Olivia’s M.I.A so he goes to Sloane’s family Hannukah dinner to make up for it; Kate and her mother butt heads at the surgeon’s office (the idea that Kate would actually take her mother there, given how strained their relationship is, is pretty dubious); and Randall buys a midlife crisis boat to make up for his father abandoning him and his mother lying to him, and everything generally being a bit fraught. “This boat is not a boat, Randall,” Beth observes, “This boat is sadness.” Heh.
Just as well then, that, according to Rebecca, everything’s going to be fine because “nothing bad ever happens on Christmas Eve.” (Disclaimer: do not make any life decisions based on this, at best, overly optimistic, at worst, wholly inaccurate statement.) Plenty of tearjerking stuff does happen apparently, though, with Kevin asking “If I wanna pray, which one works the best?” breaking me a little bit, and Randall and Dr K’s beautiful snowglobe scene reducing me to a pathetic puddle of tears and tissues. If Dr K hadn’t woken up, I would probably have required sedation, but he’s fine, THANK GOD. He’s fine.
The stakes are almost as high in the modern timeline, as, in a stunningly powerful sequence, Randall talks a suicidal workmate off the ledge (literally) and Sterling K Brown once again proves himself the greatest actor currently on TV. William reconnects with a lost love, giving his granddaughter a joyous (and rare, in this show, given the strength of the rest of the cast) chance to steal a scene from right under everyone else’s noses. And Kevin and Sloane decide to “put the show on right here!” once again showing that although Kevin can be a jerk, he can also be very sweet and generous when he wants to be. (Clue: Olivia not being around definitely helps.)
It’s all sappy and sentimental and gorgeous, so I loved almost everything about it, except, as usual, Kate’s weight storyline which this time includes Toby turning up to crash the party with what is meant to be a grand romantic gesture but feels more rooted in control and bad manners than love. The fact that, after sex, he then goes on to have a heart attack(?), presumably to make Kate feel even worse about herself and even more tied to him, doesn’t really make things any better. There’s a lot I adore about this show, but really if Kate and Toby both went off into the great beyond together, I wouldn’t miss either of them.