This Is Us Episode Recap
This Is Us has taken fans through a lot of decades, and in their Halloween episode, they took us back to a time rarely seen in the life of the Pearsons. Much of the episode focused on Kate, Kevin and Randall in their 20s which was a time in their life when the loss of their father was still raw, but also when they were trying to discover who they were going to be as adults and included a lot of monumental moments for the Big Three. There was also time spent on the Pearson kids as 10-year-olds and celebrating Halloween with their parents, and more major hints about important storylines were given. Check out a full recap of the Halloween episode with these 8 can’t miss moments:
8. Randall and Beth
Over the first season and the first few episodes of season two, fans have learned more and more abotu Randall’s breakdowns with him recently telling Deja about one he had right before Tess was born and one we saw last season in which he quit his job. This episode focused on that first breakdown as Randall and Beth prepared for the arrival of their first daughter, Tess and revealed what a precarious situation the pair were in. The flashback picked up two months after Randall went temporarily blind when he had his nervous breakdown and a very pregnant Beth walking on eggshells around him. Meanwhile the couple were awaiting Rebecca who was coming to help with the new baby who was supposed to be come on November 1st when Beth was induced. When Beth tries to talk to Rebecca about how things have changed with Randall, it is clear Rebecca doesn’t want to accept it, which would be important for how she has always treated Randall seen in flashbacks from when he was 10, finally Beth told Rebecca, “You did not see him that morning, Rebecca. Just blind and weeping and a million miles away.”
7. Kevin and Kate
The bond between Kevin and Kate has always been a focal point and was explored even more in this episode both in the flashbacks to 1990 and the flashbacks to the 2000s. The episode took audiences back to that 1990 Halloween where Randall, dressed as Michael Jackson, had an exact map of every house he wanted to go trick-or-treating to based on “house-to-candy” ratio while Kate, dressed as “pretty Sandy” from Grease, and Kevin, dressed as a bum, just wanted to go to a haunted house. Eventually Jack and Rebecca, dressed as Sonny and Cher, decided to split up with Jack taking Kevin and Kate to the haunted house and Rebecca going with Randall, but not before they argued over the fact Rebecca treats Randall like his “made of glass” and Jack always says yes to Kate. Eventually Kate revealed to her dad that the real reason she wanted to go to the haunted house was because her crush Billy Palmer was going to be there and she hoped he would hold her hand. Kevin then told Jack that wasn’t going to happen because Billy was almost as popular as he is. Jack became nervous that Billy was going to break Kate’s heart but was relieved when he saw him hold her hand. It all became clear however when Jack later saw Kevin giving Billy all his candy and had bribed him to hold Kate’s hand, showing that even then he would do anything for his sister.
6. Randall’s Halloween
Meanwhile, Rebecca was with Randall and after her disagreement with Jack began to realize just how rigid and obsessive Randall had become as he stressed over going trick or treating by sticking precisely to his map. In an effort to break the obsession, Rebecca suggest they stray off plan and go to the Larsons house instead. After an argument, Randall agreed but although he went to the Larsons candy what he got was them telling him he was a miracle because Jack and Rebecca had found him after losing their third baby. The abrupt news from the neighbors forced Rebecca to discuss Randall’s adoption with him without Jack, and says to him, “But your dad and I had all this room in our hearts for three babies, and we saw you. We met you. So yeah, you are a miracle. But you’re not instead of anything — you’re the way it was always supposed to be,” and tells him the baby’s name was Kyle. Randall then heartbreakingly states that Kyle would “look like” the rest of the family and “nobody” looks like him.
5. Kevin’s Not So Great
In a jump to the 2000s, fans see Kevin as a struggling actor, who instead of landing big parts is instead shampooing women’s hair in a salon and is simply being dubbed a “tall Tom Cruise.” Things get worse for Kevin after his roommate, Zeke, comes home and tells Kevin he landed a role in a new movie and was invited to a party for the cast which he offered to take Kevin to so he could make connections. Instead of just making connections, Kevin ended up trying to take the part right from Zeke, but the director put him in his place saying “You will never work for me,” and called Kevin out for being not only a “typical pretty boy” but was the kind of guy who would steal a part from his friend. Needless to say not only did the director tear him down but Zeke also kicked Kevin out. Luckily after talking with Kate and admitting his life wasn’t going as great as he made it seem, she encouraged him to join a “crappy improv group” which we are led to believe may lead to his big break with The Manny.
4. The Other Woman
While Kevin wasn’t being straightforward about his own success, Kate was also in a rut. Still back in Pittsburgh, Kate was working as a waitress at a diner and flirting with her “favorite customer.” After meeting up at a bar later the pair went back to her apartment to have sex, she asked him if he was married, and he was, but she said she already knew and slept with him anyway. “I’m just tired of waiting for things to feel right, and nothing has felt right in a long time,” she says of why she did it. “I thought that maybe I’d just do it and it would feel right after. Which it doesn’t, at all.” Afterward admitting to Kevin on the phone that, her “great guy” wasn’t so great, Kevin asked her if she was still sitting in her car eating fast food while looking at where their childhood home used to be, and she was. Kevin then told Kate that their dad wouldn’t want her wasting her life waiting for him to come back, because he wasn’t, and encouraged Kate to make a change which prompted her to move to L.A. which we saw in the first season led to her working for her brother and eventually meeting Toby.
3. Randall’s Story
One of the biggest focuses of the episode was Randall dealing with becoming a first-time dad in the wake of his breakdown. After failing to install a ceiling fan in the baby’s bedroom, Randall went back to the hardware store where he had a heart-to-heart with a stranger who told him, “Babies come with the answers. They come out, they look up at you.… They tell you who you are. Tomorrow, you’ll have all the answers you need.” He then receives a call from Rebecca saying Beth was in labor, causing him to rush out and get home just in time to help deliver his baby girl in their living room because the ambulance couldn’t get there in time. As he stepped up to fully deal with the stressful situation, it was the first glimpse fans had of the Randall we had come to know and love with the realization of just how much becoming a father had changed him.
2. Forgot To Introduce Myself
The episode had a lot of light-hearted but also very heavy moments, including without a doubt one of Mandy Moore’s best performances and one of the show’s most poignant moments. In an amazing parallel monologue, Rebecca can be seen standing over Tess in the hospital in 2008 as well as over the infant Randall as Jack looked on. In the monologue Rebecca heartbreakingly introduces herself to both babies and tells Tess “I thought my journey had come to an end, but I don’t know. Maybe we’re both at our next beginning.” The contrast of starting her life as a mother with Jack to becoming a grandmother for the first time without him is so emotional, it is without a doubt one of the series’ most tear-jerking and beautiful scenes.
1. Miguel and Facebook
After her “next beginning” line, the sequence shifts to Rebecca joining Facebook in order to share and look at pictures of her granddaughter. As she looks at the photos a message from Miguel pops up, and fans are delivered the biggest clue to how Jack’s best friend became Rebecca’s new husband. “Congrats on your first grandchild! Hello from Houston — didn’t know you were on this! How’ve you been for the past eight years?” Miguel writes to her, revealing they hadn’t been in contact for the eight years since Jack’s death. After debating on what to say back, she finally writes, “I’m good. How are you?” Once again This Is Us took a simple theme of new beginnings, difficult goodbyes and fresh starts, and delivered a great piece of storytelling that delves into the lives of all the Pearsons, adding even more character development.
Although some were worried that season two of This Is Us couldn’t live up to the excellence it delivered in season one, those worries are very quickly being laid to rest. Episode five, “Brothers” offered even more character development than we could have imagined, giving a whole new depth to characters such as Jack and Kevin and opening up entire new worlds for Kate and Randall. As always, the episode made you laugh, cry and of course, left you with a huge surprise! Follow along for the 8 can’t miss moments and a full recap of “Brothers.” Be warned, major spoilers ahead:
8. Kate Tells Toby
Although it seemed like last week’s pregnancy bombshell would create issues for Kate and Toby because she hadn’t told him yet. Luckily, the episode picked up two weeks later with her finally telling him she is eight weeks pregnant, and in true Toby fashion, he was ecstatic. It was sad when Kate quickly shut down his enthusiasm however and told him he couldn’t tell anyone and jeep all his hopes and dreams about the baby to himself until after it was born because due to both her age and weight, it is a high-risk pregnancy.
7. The Camping Trip
In flashbacks, Jack took 10-year-old Kevin and Randall camping in hopes of bringing the two brothers closer together, while Rebecca and Kate stayed home for some mother-daughter bonding. Unfortunately for Jack, the camping trip didn’t go as planned at first after Kevin refused to be nice to Randall and when Jack tried to understand what Kevin’s problem was, Kevin didn’t want to talk about it. Luckily, Kevin finally made an effort with his brother after he found a notebook of Randall’s that was filled with ideas on how to get Kevin to like him. Meanwhile, in the present day, Randall and Kevin shared another bonding moment where Kevin told Randall that part of his problem with him was how opposite they are, specifically that Randall “cares too much” and Kevin doesn’t care enough.
6. Kate and Madison
Those who watched season one, know that Kate has always had an issue with Madison who is in her over-eaters support group even though she is extremely thin. Once again, Kate wasn’t having any of Madison’s “problems” and snapped on her, again, leading to another argument between the two ladies in the parking lot. After telling Madison she doesn’t like her because she is annoying, the two got into a small fender-bender. Kate panicked and told Madison about the pregnancy, and although they just fought, Madison was very supportive and Kate realized how good it felt to actually tell someone about it.
5. Toby Tells… Everyone
After Kate admitted to Toby that she not only “banged up the car” a little bit, but also told Madison she was pregnant, she knew it was only fair to let him also tell someone. In the episode’s most random and adorable moment, Kate took Toby to a coffee shop and told him he could pick anyone in there to tell. Naturally, Toby couldn’t help himself and instead told the barista and then asked him to put on his “happy song” which was Hootie and the Blowfish’s “Only Wanna Be With You.” Toby then proceeded to dance around the entire coffee shop, complete with a Flashdance water scene, and tell everyone that he and Kate were going to have a baby.
4. Jack’s Dad/Whole New Era
Aside from brief clips about his alcoholism and abuse and Jack asking him for money, not much as been seen of Jack’s father. This episode he appeared again after Rebecca got a call from his nursing home after Jack and the boys went camping that he was dying. Since she didn’t want him to be alone, Rebecca went to the nursing home and met Jack’s father for the first time. The episode also took fans even further into the past, and after hinting they were jumping into even more decades, this episode revealed that they meant Jack’s childhood. Flashbacks showed a young Jack sitting in the car, presumably on a fishing trip with his dad, but instead telling himself over and over “he’s coming back” as he watches his dad drink beer after beer inside a bar. After Rebecca was finally able to get a hold of Jack through a park ranger’s radio, Jack said he wasn’t leaving his camping trip for his father, stating, “that man’s been dead to me for a long time.” Meanwhile Rebecca told the dying man, “You think you screwed him up, but you didn’t. You only made him stronger,” and told him that Jack is an amazing father.
3. Deja Opens Up
Although Deja had been making progress with Beth, Tess and Annie, Randall was still having trouble getting her to bond with him. Understandably, Deja did have a crush on Kevin and wanted to go to a gala with Randall that Sophie was organizing. While things went well, it took a turn after Randall sudden grabbed her arm in order to stop her from eating a shrimp tail because she had never had shrimp before. The move scared Deja and caused her to run off to the bathroom, and while Randall waited outside for awhile he entered the women’s restroom in order to get her to talk to him. For the first time Deja explained to Randall “you can’t just grab me like that” and revealed that in one of her previous foster homes, the mom’s boyfriend would use magazines to beat the kids. The moment was huge for the pair, and seemed to put their relationship on the right track going forward as Deja’s trust with Randall grew.
2. Kevin’s Problem
Since the beginning of the season, there have been hints about Kevin’s possible addiction problems like his father and they hit an all-time high in this episode. After traveling to New York for Sophie’s charity gala which featured him, it was clear that Kevin had become dependent on the pain pills from his knee surgery. As he was desperately trying to get his doctor to refill his Vicodin prescription again, Kevin drank more and more, and was so wrapped up with trying to get pills, he completely missed his part of the auction. After Sophie confronted him about his behavior, Kevin took off and began calling his former New York doctors in an attempt to get anyone to give him pills.
1. Nicky Pearson
If last week’s pregnancy bombshell wasn’t a big enough twist, then this week’s certainly was! Fans quickly found out why the episode was called “Brothers” and it wasn’t because of Randall and Kevin trying to get along when they were younger. After flashbacks showed a young Jack waiting in the car for his dad to stop drinking, another flashback to the moment saw another young boy with glasses waking up in the backseat. Immediately Jack reassured, the young boy who was none other than his brother, Nicky! The moment blew Jack’s backstory wide open as fans understood that Jack was such a great father because he had been taking care of his brother for years, but the question remains why doesn’t Jack ever talk about him? A flashback to after the camping trip then showed Jack going through boxes in the garage where he pulled out photos from his time in the Vietnam War and beside him is his brother, Nicky Pearson. So, did Nicky die in the war? Is he out there somewhere, and why doesn’t Jack ever talk about him? Either way it also revealed that Kevin is much more like his father than anyone though with his tendency to bottle emotions and not talk about the difficult things, such as not wanting to talk about his father’s death.
The creators, writers and crew of This Is Us have mastered the art of the twist, and they don’t wait until season finales to pull them off either. Season two’s fourth episode, “Still There,” packed a lot in to the hour long episode and there was a lot to take in when it came to Kate, Kevin, Randall and Rebecca and Jack, but it was the episode’s last shocking reveal that will play a major part in episodes to come. Read on for a full recap of “Still There” with the episode’s 8 can’t miss moments. Warning, spoilers ahead:
The episode kicked off with a flashback to the Pearson’s at a local video store with everyone trying to pick out their favorite movies to rent and watch while a big snow storm hit. A 10-year-old Kevin however got frustrated fast when all three Karate Kid films were already rented and complained of it being “too hot” and his parents realized he had come down with a bad fever. A trip to the doctor revealed that Kevin and Kate both had the chickenpox while Randall was fine, but the doctor said it would be easier if all three kids got it at once to “get it over with,” which Randall was not happy about.
7. Grandma Janet
Since Rebecca wanted to make sure she had had chickenpox as a child to ensure she wouldn’t get it from her kids, she called her mother Janet, who took it as an invitation to come help with the three sick kids. Right away the tension in Janet and Rebecca’s relationship was clear, but things would only get much worse. Janet brought the Big Three gifts, including a new football helmet for Kevin, a Little Mermaid dress for Kate, and a basketball for Randall. Problems began after Kate mentioned the dress would be too small and her grandma said she could use it as a “goal dress,” while Randall stated he didn’t really like basketball, but Janet responded with, “I think you’d be a natural.” After a few more comments from her mother, Rebecca finally called her out for being racist, an accusation which Randall unfortunately overheard, and Jack and Rebecca had to explain to Randall what subtle racism was because he couldn’t understand how his grandma was racist. Janet tried to explain to Rebecca that she doesn’t think she is racist, but she was raised in a “different time” and at the end of the episode made an effort with Randall who was very excited about his science project with Janet stating, “you are a very special young man, aren’t you?” to which Randall responded, “Took you long enough.”
6. Bowling Alley Brawl
In present day, it had been a couple weeks since Randall and Beth had welcomed Deja into their home, and things weren’t necessarily getting any better. With Beth working full time and Randall staying home, he mentioned he wanted to be the “lead parent” and use his methods to try to make Deja feel like a part of the family, and decided to take the girls to the bowling alley. Unfortunately, it certainly didn’t go as planned when Deja first refused to give up her shoes to the cashier and then pushed a young girl who made a rude comment about Deja’s hair. The girl’s father stepped in causing Randall to almost fight the man in order to defend Deja.
5. The Deja Issue
It seems when Randall and Beth take one step forward with Deja, they then take two steps back, and it happened again in this episode. After an earlier discussion that Deja hadn’t washed her hair since she had been there, Beth decided to have a hygiene talk with her and said it is important to present yourself well on the outside to feel good on the inside, which resulted in Deja asking Beth to do her hair. The pair ended up bonding while Beth discovered that Deja had alopecia, which are bald patches caused by stress, which Beth’s sister had dealt with growing up. Deja opened up about her mom a little while Beth washed her hair and put it in braids to hide the spots, and there seemed to be progress being made. After Beth told Randall, he went to Deja and told her about his stress-induced nervous breakdowns he had had in his life and offered to go running with Deja if she wanted, because that is how he coped with stress. Instead of another bonding moment, Deja became angry that Beth had told Randall about what they talked about including her alopecia and stress and angrily cut off all her braids.
4. Kevin’s Knee
For fans who had grown tired of Kevin’s surface level character, the past few episodes have delved deeper into why he is the way he is, and “Still There” offered an even deeper look at Kevin and Jack’s relationship. After severely hurting his bad knee while working with Stallone on his film, Kevin tried to “tough it out” until his producer asked to see his knee which was obviously very injured and caused Kevin to undergo surgery. Afterwards Kevin insisted he could get better faster and took his brace off, and began using the treadmill only hours after surgery. Flashbacks showed that it was Jack who had taught Kevin to be tougher than the pain starting from when he had the chickenpox and couldn’t stop itching. Kevin then revealed that in high school he had been an amazing football player and colleges were starting to look at him before an injury to that same knee ended it all, and he explained to Toby the reason he was pushing himself so hard was because he wasn’t gong to let his knee ruin another dream by keeping off the movie set. After Kevin’s insistence that he didn’t want to take painkillers, he finally resorted to doing so, and yet again it was hinted that Kevin might have addiction issues like his father did with alcoholism.
3. Kate’s Weight Loss?
One of the biggest ongoing stories throughout the episode was Kate’s sudden obsession with being healthy. While she had been doing well, along with Toby, with eating right, even he mentioned how much more intense she had gotten about working out, eating and going to her group. All the while Kate maintained her obsession was because she wanted to look her absolute best in the dress she was performing in at her big bar mitzvah gig. It seemed like a very plausible answer because of Kate’s constant struggle with her weight, but there was a lot she was hiding about what her health kick was really about.
2. Kevin and Jack
As the episode gave fans a better understanding of Kevin, as he recalled his football glory days to Toby, the episode also featured more moments between Kevin and Jack. It became clear that it was Jack who gave Kevin the impression he always had to be tough and to battle through the pain, but to a fault. After Jack also came down with the chickenpox, he still got out of bed and started shoveling the driveway so that Rebecca’s mom could leave, and Kevin followed his dad’s example and joined him in moving the snow despite being sick as well. In the present, Kevin watches his dad’s tapes of his football games with Jack exclaiming how amazing his son is, and with Jack’s face frozen on the screen, Kevin turns to his painkillers and is next seen driving to the movie set appearing to be just fine.
1. Kate’s ‘Little’ Surprise
Through it all, the episode ended with one huge surprise. After making it seem as though her renewed and invigorated focus on her health was just in order to fit into her dress for her gig, the end scene revealed that wasn’t the reason at all. With Kate lying in a doctor’s office, the doctor compliments her with how well she has been doing with her weight and health, to which Kate looks relieved and says, “is it still there,” and the doctor responds, “yes, it is still there. You’re little poppyseed is about the size of a lentil, you are six weeks along.” Kate’s pregnant! Of course, this is going to throw a whole new twist into the rest of the season, especially because she hasn’t told Toby yet.