This week’s episode of This Is Us (titled: “Three Sentences”) revealed a particularly life-changing birthday party for the Pearson gang while revelations were made in the present timeline for the Big Three.
The Pearson’s Birthday
Showing through the lens of home movies, the Big Three have celebrated their birthdays together, complete with a three-layered cake and pin the tail on the donkey. When the kids come to Jack and Rebecca and want separate birthdays one year (they will be turning ten), the parents are less than thrilled but comply with their kids’ wishes. Kate wants a Madonna theme, Kevin wants a Princess Bride theme, while Randall just wants a magician.
While Jack is Bedazzling a pair of gloves for Kate, he mentions to Rebecca that he wants to have another kid. He feels the Big Three are growing up so quickly and they won’t need him anymore. Rebecca understands what he’s saying, but she tells him she’s done having kids.
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The day of the party has one room dedicated to each theme. While Rebecca and Jack check in on the kids, it appears Kate’s and Kevin’s party are successes while Randall’s backyard magician party is lacking in guests. They ask Randall if he handed out the invites, and he tells them he did but he’s not well liked. Rebecca thinks it’s a race issue, but Randall eases her mind by saying he has three really good friends, and they attended the party, which was all he wanted.
Later in the day, Jack finds Kate alone in her party room while all her friends are at Kevin’s party. Jack tries to cheer her up, and they vogue together for a few minutes before Kate just wants to be left alone. Jack is heartbroken for his girl yet gives her the space she needs.
After the parties have ended, the Pearsons commence with a wrapping paper fight and playing “pin the tail on the donkey” for old times’ sake. When Jack and Rebecca go to bed that night, Jack takes back his request for another kid, saying the Big Three are a handful already.
Then we get a glimpse of Jack’s funeral with some interesting new details brought to light.
Kate is at the doctor’s office and unwilling to commit to a date for her gastric bypass surgery. Her doctor offers an alternative immersive weight-loss experience, which Kate deems a “fat camp.” She does end up going, and when it’s not like The Biggest Loser, she questions her choice. This place deals with “tackling the issues that lay beneath the weight.” During what seems like a ridiculous drumstick workout class, Kate has had enough and walks outside to call Toby.
Duke (a guy who hit on Kate earlier and is apparently the resident horse trainer) hangs up her phone and tells her that her voice is annoying his horses. Kate goes on the defensive and says this place isn’t for her. He tells her it’s all a joke and she’s a quitter. Kate accepts the underlying challenge and returns to class. She has a breakthrough after images of her father fill her mind and she screams out in the middle of class. Later, when she sees Duke and thanks him for pushing her, he hits on her (again), and she passively turns him down.
Kevin tries to apologize to Sloane, but she tells him they are done outside of doing the play together. Kate asks Kevin to hang out with Toby, and he does, even though he’s not super thrilled about it. Toby actually offers some great advice for Kevin’s women-issues. He tells Kevin to picture the love of his life and the three sentences he would say to get her back. This apparently works for Kevin, and they both rush out of the party so he can confront whoever he pictured.
Kevin drops by someone’s house and the door opens, revealing a woman who is neither Olivia nor Sloane. Apparently, this is Sophie, Kevin’s ex-wife and Kate’s best friend from childhood (the one who abandoned Kate at her party and the motivation for Kevin’s strange request for a Princess Bride theme). They haven’t spoken in twelve years, and she reluctantly accepts his offer for coffee. Also, we get a flashback to his tenth party, where he tells his parents he’s in love with her.
William wakes up in a spectacular mood, which Beth calls the “chemo boost,” since he stopped treatment. He interrupts Randall preparing for a major project and wants to go out to lunch. Randall can’t refuse, and they go sunglasses shopping and to three different places to find the perfect egg cream shake.
William explains his strange requests: When he was a kid, he wanted to be like this cool guy he saw driving around in Memphis with shades and his favorite drink while listening to his favorite tunes. Randall allows William to drive his car, giving him his first driving lesson.
This moment is bittersweet, as we already know Randall has been through the loss of a parent and William’s death is right around the corner.
Wow! What an emotional episode. My heart broke for Jack when Kate wanted to be left alone at her party after he tried to cheer her up. As a parent, I totally understand wanting to protect your kids while also giving them the space they need to make their own decisions.
The funeral scenes were brutal, and knowing that the kids were teenagers when it happened made it even more so. I thought they’d have more time together, but I can understand some of the choices these kids have made throughout the years, stemming from the aftermath of Jack’s untimely death.
I was NOT a fan of Duke. He is such a creeper! And I hated that Kate was even remotely interested when she has supportive and sweet Toby by her side.
Kevin has an ex? WHAT? This was a sit-up-straighter moment for me. And the fact that they knew each other from childhood shows that there is major history between these two. I literally “awed” when he told his parents he was in love with her. At ten years old! And I can’t wait to see more from these two.
And of course, the William and Randall scenes were so emotional. I admit to getting a little teary-eyed when they discuss the future for William. He’s burrowed his way into my heart, and I expect major waterworks when he finally passes.
Join me in two weeks for the recap/review of the next new episode of This Is Us, which airs Tuesday, Feb. 7, on NBC at 9/8c.