This Is Us s1 ep 16

Saying too much about this episode and spoiling it would be a disservice – it’s one to be watched alone rather than read about. And truth be told, I’d like to minimise the risk of sobbing all over my screen (again), so I’ll keep it brief.

Randall and William are headed to Memphis so Randall (and the audience) can learn a bit more about his father’s story and the “whole other family” he has out there; which means that, yes, it’s road trip time. Few shows can do the road trip episode well, but by focussing on the depth of the relationship between these two wonderfully-drawn characters played by two incredible actors in Sterling K Brown and Ron Cephas Jones (both of whom can move mountains with little more than a look), This Is Us does it brilliantly; in their hands, this episode becomes a hauntingly beautiful elegy for life, love and family which I genuinely don’t have the words to describe. I started crying quietly early on (when they visited REDACTED’s resting place) but for the last fifteen or so utterly devastating minutes, I was inconsolable, and the deeply melancholy feeling hasn’t really left me since. Which is a strange way to recommend what is supposed to be entertainment, but there we go. This was piercingly sad, but exquisite.

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5 thoughts on “This Is Us s1 ep 16

  1. Jed Bartlet June 24, 2017 / 12:32 am

    Oh wow. “Breathe with me” finally got me.

    Those two can act a bit, can’t they?

  2. CJ Cregg June 25, 2017 / 7:04 pm

    They were incredible.

    This is going to sound ridiculous, but my reviews actually stop here because this one was so upsetting that I couldn’t bring myself to watch the final two episodes of the season – real-life was being a bit challenging at the time and I couldn’t face adding to it. So I ended up keeping them on my Sky box for ages and then it broke and had to be replaced. So now they’re gone. Maybe one day I’ll be brave enough to catch them on repeat.

  3. Kay20 September 5, 2017 / 3:47 am

    Oy. Sterling K Brown is indeed terrific in this, but it’s Ron Cephas Jones that is tremendous. And I mean, TREMENDOUS. After crying my way through the last 15 minutes as well (thank you, show), his line about having a sad life, but not thinking that way about it because the best things were at the beginning and the end, was just stellar. And I loved that we got the scene reuniting him with his mother.

    It’s a reminder that sometimes the lasting partnerships in life don’t have to be with your spouse (especially if you don’t have one), but can be with others – in particular, family.

    So this one was uplifting, but also so terribly sad. Wow. Amazing TV, and a reminder that you don’t need to be on HBO or whatever cable channel to see it. Hear that Emmys? You really, really, really don’t.

    • CJ Cregg September 11, 2017 / 10:01 pm

      Kay, I almost starting crying again at your point about lasting partnerships in life. I was too busy sobbing to think about it when I watched it but that’s a lovely point and as a singleton myself, it really resonates with me. *sniffles*

      • Kay20 September 12, 2017 / 5:32 am

        Aw CJ, I’m glad it did. As a singleton too I really really appreciated that the show made that point because EVERYONE else is coupled on the show. Another reason why I hate Kate’s storyline. It bugs me that she doesn’t have time to focus on herself because Toby is constantly around whining (the episode with the football game STILL pisses me off every time I think about it).

        I can’t watch the episode every again. One and done.

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