This Is Us: Rebecca Wants To Be "In The Room" Where It Happens To Meet Her GrandChildren (Season 5, Episode 8 Recap)
You guys!!!!! You guys!!!!!! We finally got a phenomenal episode of This is Us Season 5! It took a while but we did it and we got it and I'm so happy about it!
Additionally, I'd like to extend my deepest apologies for taking so long to get this one up. I got a new job writing for Screenrant which is amazing because now I'm like a fully paid writer. Check out my articles on there (all TV and movie related) or don't, because I cannot force you to read anything, even this darling little blog of mine.
Anywho, let's get into the greatness that is "In The Room", shall we? You cannot tell me I was the only one thinking of "I wanna be in the room where it happens," each time I read the episode title. Okay, *maybe* I was, but I stand by it and encourage everyone to go stream Hamilton on Disney+.
*MASSIVE SPOILERS AHEAD*
Last week, Kevin was on the mission of a lifetime. He ditched his big Hollywood movie to attend the birth of his twins, but things just kept getting in his way. Miguel and Rebecca tried to get him a flight out to LA, but because he was all heroic and Pearson-like, he lost his wallet and ID at the scene of a very scary car crash. Sad.
While Kevin bargains his heart out at the Seattle airport, everyone's favorite couple Beth and Randall talk to his laboring fiancé, Madison while she waited. Randall tells Madison all about inheriting property in Louisiana from his birth mother, and stories from when him and Kevin were teenagers and Kev got shitfaced and sang Hanson's "MmmBop". This is something I would pay money to see.
While singing the 90s hit over FaceTime, Madison's face goes from 'enjoying this weird moment' to 'holy shit' as she sees none other than Kevin Pearson standing in her hospital room doorway, an exhausted smile under his mask. Y'all. I think this is the most romantic moment on This is Us in a long time. It's just so...pure. And heartwarming. The simplicity of it all. Kophie (Kevin and Sophie) shippers, eat your damn hearts out. This is true love right here.
Randall hangs up with "MCat", an adorable nickname he has placed upon her. Kevin is speechless and incredibly thankful that his estranged brother has been keeping his fiancé company for hours, and it's just another moment of pure love! This time brotherly love. God, I love it.
Meanwhile, at another hospital, Kate sits with Ellie as she is being induced and Toby camps out in the parking lot because only one visitor is allowed in the room (where it happens!). While he comes up with a list of potential middle names, an elderly man demands his parking spot from him. This man? GARY FUCKING CLARK from Grey's Anatomy. You know, the one who shoots up the hospital, kills a bunch of the staff, nearly kills Derek, etc. Mandy Moore is in that episode!
Anyway, the sight of this man getting angry on hospital property triggered me immediately, and I was 90% sure he was going to pull a gun on Toby. Thankfully, he doesn't, and he instead explains that his wife of 50 years is on a ventilator (sounds familiar) with COVID. His wife's name is Rose and luckily she pulls through, and Toby is moved by this couple's love and strength and kindness that he chooses 'Rose' as his daughter's middle name.
Ellie is having a hard time with the adoption stuff, and although initially not wanting to hold the baby, she changes her mind after delivering. Kate is obviously nervous, if she's seen the season 3 finale of Parenthood it would explain the look on her face when Ellie asks for some privacy holding the daughter she's giving away. It's awkward and tense and I got real worried there for a minute.
Thankfully, Ellie goes through with the adoption, and we get to see Kate and her baby, Hailey Rose meet for the first time. We obviously know this ends well because of the flash-forward of Hailey meeting her brother, Jack's, daughter.
We are also graced with flashbacks this episode, because why the hell not? This one comes in the form of a 90s trip to the cabin with just Jack and Rebecca because the three teens want to hang out with their friends instead of their ~lame~ parents.
Bec is all about the kid-free time, but Jack is sad that their kids don't want to spend time with them. In just a few short years they'll be moving out, and (Jack doesn't know this) he'll be dead. Rebecca promises that they will both be there for all of the big stuff in their kids' lives, and it's a bittersweet moment because we as the audience know that it's not true.
In the present, Rebecca is anxious and frustrated that she can't be with her children as they have children of their own. She feels like she's letting down her late husband, and her eyes constantly look to the blotchy painting of handprints on the cabin wall. Miguel asks her about it and she explains that she and Jack framed that the day they vowed to be there for the big moments. She asks for a drink, and you know what? She deserves one.
For those worried that Madison would die during childbirth: fear not! Mads makes it out just fine, delivering two perfect angel babies, Frances and Nicholas. Franny, named after her grandmother and Nicholas, of course after Kev's Uncle Nicky (who makes a delightful cameo!).
Kevin calls Randall afterward and apologizes for being a dick the past nine months, and Randall apologizes too. Kevin wants to talk through all the stuff between them, including the different childhood Randall experienced because of his race. Randall assures him they can have this conversation in due time, but for now he needs to go be with his family.
There's a subplot about a man named Nasir Ahmed and his wife Ester. We witness the birth of their son and the trials of their marriage, and Nasir explains that he is working on inventing video interface technology. This technology, of course, led us to videochatting as we do today, and the storyline is a love letter to Nasir and Ester for giving the Pearson's (and all of us) what we need during a global pandemic: a way to connect with our loved one. To be there, even if we can't physically be there.
What do you think of the new Big Three entering the world? Are you excited to see Kevin as a father? Are you a fan of the baby names? Comment below!
After an another break, This is Us is back with the episode we have all been waiting for -- or have we? You see, this episode gives the impression that we will finally get to see Kevin become a father, but instead it's just a long race against the clock interspersed with flashbacks of two different father-son relationships.
Let's dive in, shall we?
At the end of the last episode we learned that Madison had gone into early labor and needed Kevin to get to her ASAP. Kev, of course, was stuck in Canada shooting his new movie that apparently stars Robert De Niro. Anyway, Randall wants to chit-chat about the new property he and Beth own in Louisiana, but Kevin tells them he's got to get back to LA, and then there's this ominous shot of a car up in flames and Kevin's lost ID and you can't help but assume the worst.
This episode takes it back a few hours, showing us Kevin receiving the phone call from Madison, who explains that the twins are coming six weeks early. She is clearly nervous and unprepared and Kevin is at a loss. Twins? Coming early??? Who would've thought???? (Literally everyone, Kevin. Everyone.)
Although Madison makes it clear on the phone that she needs him by her side, he still acts like a lost puppy when it comes to making an actual decision, and kind of wanders around asking anyone and anything their opinion on what he should do. His director tells him that in six or seven hours he can go be with fiancé, but for now he needs to shoot this really important court room scene with De Niro. Kevin has the typical Kevin outburst, runs off in his (I'm assuming) rental car and quits the movie? Kind of extreme, but like also I get it.
Meanwhile in flashbacks, Jack's dad is a total dick and gets wasted at his baseball games, tells Jack he sucks, and then makes him drive them home when his son questions his sobriety. It's hard and sad to watch. In 90s flashbacks, Jack takes little Kev to football camp/a game/I'm not sure it just definitely involves sports and is the best dad ever, showing a stark contrast between the two eras.
In fact, Jack even sticks up for Kevin to his coach, who has called Kevin stupid a number of times. What an asshole. He makes it super clear to never speak that way to his child again, and then he and Kev sip cokes and eat steaks and it's super cute and it explains why Kevin wants to be so much like his father. He idolizes the man because he was always so good with him.
Madison is in the hospital alone because her backstory is still unexplained and apparently she isn't close with any of her family members. What about her best friend, Kate, you ask? Well, it just so happens that Ellie is being induced at the same time and so Kate has another birth to be present for. Honestly, if I were in Madison's position I would be scared shitless, and although she clearly is, she does a good job holding it together.
Kevin calls Bec and Miguel as they browse last minute flights for him, and eventually they find one from Seattle to LA. On his way to the Seattle airport, Kevin rescues a man who has crashed his car (the one we saw up in flames) and is extremely injured and out of it. Because he's a Pearson, he gets this man (played by Josh Malina! I love him.) to the hospital, possibly ruining his chances of being present for the birth of his children.
Everything seems like it might be okay when Kevin makes it to the airport in time for his flight, however, he has lost his wallet that contained his ID (the preview!) which makes it impossible to board. He explains to the TSA lady that his fiancé (he uses this word a lot guys, and I love it) is in labor and he has to make that flight, he just has to. We never see the resolution but in this day and age it doesn't look good for Kev. They can't let you on an airplane without any identification, even under the most intense of circumstances.
Although Kevin's fate is undetermined, Beth and Randall are able to temporarily save the day by calling Madison as they drive back from Louisiana. They tell her that she's family, and because of that they will keep her company while she waits for Kevin so she doesn't have to be alone. Of course I started to cry because THIS IS SO DAMN SWEET. Madison tells them they don't have to, but of course she wants them to, and so they do. She cries, they smile, and we all just hold our breaths and hope Kevin is able to get there.
*also holding my breath that all the babies (Kate and Toby's included) arrive safely next week!*
What did you think of the episode? What is slow-moving for you as well? I found it feeling like a really long time, even though it seemed like Kevin was so short on time. What do you think will happen with all the births next week? Let me know!
Hi, friends! Today we (I) will be recapping the midseason finale of season 2 of Zoey's Extraordinary Playlist. Thinking about having to go approximately 6 weeks without this delightful show breaks my heart a lot, but I'm so happy with the episodes we've been given so far and can't wait to see what's to come.
This week's episode focuses heavily on racism and most notably, racism in the workplace. I was nervous to see how this episode would play out, especially given that Zoey's has a white showrunner in Austin Winsberg. I think it's a heavy weight to put on your BIPOC characters/actors to use their own personal experiences on a show created by a white person. It's like asking to relive all of your trauma, give said trauma to the character you play, and then sit back and watch it unfold on national television.
Then again, I would like to acknowledge my privilege as a white woman, and also say that it is not my place to say whether or not racism in the workplace was handled correctly or incorrectly in this episode, because it is not something I have ever had to experience personally. With that being said, I enjoyed the episode and the use of the show's platform, and look forward to what's to come.
Immediately following Simon's press conference where he called out the glaringly obvious race issue at SPRQ Point, Zoey attempts to create conversation and apologize for her actions in last week's episode (she was high and he needed advice on what to do with the Chirp).
Simon needs some time to process what he just said to a bunch of media outlets, meanwhile Zoey tries to think of a way to create comfortable race conversations on the fourth floor. She tells Max and Mo everything that happened at work, and she suggests that they pitch their restaurant idea to the one and only Danny Michael Davis because he is in an extra generous mood when it comes to donating to BIPOC businesses given the current allegations at SPRQ Point. I must say, this is a super creative way to get Max and Mo's business going.
At first her friends are hesitant, but Zoey assures them that her and DMD are "besties now" and that she not only did drugs, but gave him drugs. Max and Mo are both impressed and a little disturbed, and ultimately agree to take DMD's guilt money if he offers it.
Zoey decides to send her team a message via Slack (I use Slack! I write for Screenrant now, guys!) to invite them to a 'town hall' of sorts where everyone can have an open conversation about race.
This doesn't go as planned, because all the white people are the first to speak on their own thoughts regarding the matter. Leif passes the 'talking ball' to Tobin who simply says, "Racism's wack, yo." A white woman goes on and on about her Filipino fiancé, and Simon's face at that moment is so brilliant (thank u JCS). He begins to sing "White Man in a Black World" and Zoey realizes she has made a grave mistake in giving all of these senseless white people a place to speak on an issue that is not theirs.
Tobin approaches Simon after the failed town hall to express his feelings on what Simon has done, thanking him for speaking out in the most Tobin way possible ("I feel you, bro."). Simon isn't in the mood for Tobin's lack of emotional energy, or for Zoey's simultaneous over-and-under compensating for her blunder.
DMD then lets Zoey know that she, as Simon's supervisor, needs to advise him to retract his statement per the board of SPRQ Point's request. Zoey is overwhelmed and confused, so she does probably the dumbest thing she could do and asks Mo how she should tell Simon that he needs to say that his thoughts don't speak for the company as a whole.
Appropriately, Mo tells Zoey that he can't be her 'Black friend that tells her how to talk to her other Black friend' and then sings Mary J. Blige with his beautiful voice. Zoey knows she is wrong, but isn't sure what to do, and honestly it all feels very real and raw. Even though Zoey's intentions are positive, she isn't thinking thoroughly before acting, and it's beginning to cause more harm than good.
Like when she does finally approach Simon, and he tells her that he will not be retracting his statement because he knows he is not the only Black person at SPRQ Point who feels this way. Unfortunately, everyone else is too afraid to speak out, leaving him feeling isolated. He is feeling like all hope is lost and he needs to quit, and Zoey rightfully gives him some space during this time.
Meanwhile, Mo and Max pitch their restaurant to DMD, and he agrees to invest. Max has to go back to the fourth floor (his old home!) to ask for some help in fixing a glitch in the app. He is hit on by Mackenzie, one of the new coders, and Tobin saves the day with his input. Another coder makes a racist joke referring to Tobin as 'slumdog', and Tobin laughs it off before singing "The Track of My Tears" to Zoey. I. Love. Tobin.
Zoey pulls Tobin into her office to ask how he feels about everything going on, and he masterfully deflects any and all of her questions. He makes fun of her for trying to therapize (it's a word, I'm making it a word) him before eventually turning around and telling her that of course he is upset. Of course he experiences racism daily. But he doesn't want to "stir the pot", and when Zoey asks him to on Simon's behalf, he declines.
The next day Zoey is pleasantly surprised when she finds out that Tobin has shared his story on Twitter, which has led to employees at SPRQ worldwide sharing theirs. Zoey is ecstatic! Simon is not alone! Tobin and Zoey run to DMD's office where Simon is about to resign, and urge him to stop by looking at the tweets from coworkers around the world. Danny Michael Davis stops them, "I have the internet too, I saw the posts." Ha!
DMD vows to walk into the board meeting and stand up to the white men, declaring himself a hero. Zoey, Tobin, and Simon remind him that he is not a hero, he is doing the bare minimum. The four of them enter the board meeting and Simon shows them the messages that all include the hashtag #BIPOCatSPRQPoint.
Leif and Tobin share a sweet moment at the end when Leif apologizes for not being a better friend and listener, and then begins to virtue signal like crazy so Tobin calls him out and asks him to tone it down. They got get a beer. It's cute.
Later, everyone is at Maximo celebrating Simon's victory, and he reminds them that there is a lot of work to be done. Racism isn't solved, but there is progress being made. Then Tatiana, Simon, and Mo sing "Tightrope" by Janelle Monae and it is beautiful and lovely and Alex Newell has one of the best voices I have truly ever heard. And now we wait 6 weeks for more!
Zoey's is creating conversations on television that you don't normally see, and it's about time these 'tough' conversations are had. This is everyday life for BIPOC people, and bringing awareness and posing solutions to these problems even with fictional characters is monumental, responsible, and informative.
Lastly, if any readers want a little more insight in a comedic and vulnerable sense about the toll racism can take over the course of one's life, I want to recommend Lacey Lamar and Amber Ruffin's book, "You'll Never Believe What Happened to Lacey: Crazy Stories About Racism".
Hi, friends! This week's episode of Zoey's Extraordinary Playlist was a fun one, and really allowed our star Jane Levy to continue to shine, and gave a breakout plot to John Clarence Stewart, making me insanely excited for next week's episode.
I saw a lot of flack on Reddit and Twitter saying that this episode was almost too 'weird' and outside the realm the show usually resides in, and to that I say: Oh shush! It was delightful! It was silly! It was perfect.
*insert obligatory spoiler alert*
Last week we met Aiden, Zoey's super handsome neighbor who has an Australian accent for absolutely no reason. He reminds me of a less douchey Russell Brand in Forgetting Sarah Marshall. He and Zoey play some wii tennis and he details his extraordinary life of doing "shrooms on the beach" and then performs 'Unwritten' with his beautiful voice in his beautiful cardigan. Swoon swoon swoon.
From this brief conversation/heart song with Aiden, Zoey decides she needs to make a list of possible rebellious activities she can do. Because nothing says rebel like a to-do list! She takes the day off work so she can get to crossing things off the list, and by doing so she misses the return of the "completely innocent" Danny Michael Davis at Sprq Point!
Zoey heads over to Aiden's, where he suggests they get a little wild by doing ~drugs~. Now, their drug of choice is not specified, but it's just a little pill they wash down with water. Zoey describes herself as "not really a drug person" (same) and panics as her friends immediately begin to call her asking for various forms of assistance just as she's begun her one true moment of rebellion.
Max needs Zoey to come over for breakfast tomorrow because his dad is in town ("He loves you!" "He always gives me the good floss.") and Simon calls because there is some serious shit going down at Sprq Point and he needs some advice. Advice our little Zo-Zo isn't able to give because she's going to be trippin' for the next 8 hours.
Danny Michael Davis calls next because he needs Zoey at work, but YOU GUYS! IT IS HER PERSONAL DAY! Let her do drugs with her hot neighbor in peace! When Zoey insists she cannot come into work, DMD comes to her and ends up taking some pills as well, which leads to all three of them singing 'Starships' and dancing down the street and then scouring Zoey's freezer for popsicles.
At Sprq Point, the big issue at hand is that the Chirp isn't recognizing people of color through Face ID, which is very very not good. DMD asks Simon to handle it, since he is now the PR guy, and assure the press that they will get it under control. Simon faces an internal conflict here: the Black guy has to smooth over the issue that occurred because of white people. The whole thing makes him feel super icky, and he asks Mo and Tatiana (the Wired reporter for last episode) for advice, but they give conflicting answers.
Meanwhile, Max and his dad (who looks just like him by the way) are at odds because his dad has always wanted him to go into the family business of...dentistry. Max explains his new restaurant idea and his dad isn't super into it, which in all fairness, does just sound like Doordash but with a place to sit down and order drinks. His dad ends up giving him money but his stubborn ass doesn't take it because he only wants an investor who actually believes in the idea. To which I say: TAKE THE DAMN MONEY!
Following Maggie's rejection of him last week, Roger is on a cold streak when it comes to her landscaping ideas. Jenna isn't having any of his bitterness, and ends up pouring soil in his car (I think). Maggie tells Jenna how insanely immature this is (it is) and then fires her because if she doesn't Roger is gonna fire her. Jenna throws a whole ass fit and decides to do what Emily said she does best, run away.
Maggie and Jenna make up by the episode's end, but Jenna still decides to leave, which is awkward and kind of confusing but also realistic. Like, I thought we were in store for more Jenna, but if her character is a classic hit-and-run personality it makes sense that at the first sign of trouble she'd take off. She did make a pretty adorable photo wall for Miles in his nursery, though.
Zoey momentarily decides to stop caring so much to avoid getting hurt or sad, which encourages DMD to want to sell Sprq Point and inspires Aiden to look up how long he could live on just popsicles (a month, if you were also wondering). After a back-and-forth with Max, Zoey realizes people need her to care, and she tries to convince DMD to not sell Sprq Point because it would screw a lot of people over. He's going to think about it. Something tells me this is going to come back in future episodes.
When the time comes for Simon to address the media about the Chirp, he ultimately decides to share his disappointment in Sprq Point. He explains that the leadership at SP being so incredibly white-washed has led to this 'oversight', and that things must change in order to avoid things like this happening in the future.
I'm so proud of Simon, and it's such a great scene for John Clarence Stewart. I don't know what the best course of action was for Simon to take. Should he have just did what DMD told him to do, or should he have spoken from the heart like he did? It's not fair to have such a huge PR fail lie on the shoulders of the token Black man in the office.
Next week: The repercussions of Simon's words come to a head before we get a two month-is break. What did you think of this week's episode? What flavor popsicle is your favorite? Will you miss Jenna? Let me know in the comments!