Oh my goodness, it's been ages since I've posted about This is Us, or television in general. Let me tell you, it is hard to find the will to be creative during Covid-times, so I just want to commend anyone who has a job requiring creativity and comedic nature at this time. It is so hard to create and laugh right now (all year, really), but here we are.
I didn't write about the last couple episodes of Season Four of This is Us, mostly because school took over and then online school became a thing and then the pandemic hit and long story short: I just didn't. And I'm sorry. But I'm back now, and ready to recap the heck out of this Season Five premiere!
As always, this is your Spoiler Alert Warning.
*Previously on This is Us voice*: Randall and Kevin have a big fight about Mama Pearson's health! Kevin sleeps with Madison --- and knocks her up (with twins!) Kate and Toby are there! And in the far, far future their daughter (they have a daughter? Yes!) greets her brother at the hospital as his wife births their first child, Hope. Miguel is Miguel, and on the Big Three's 40th birthday, Rebecca gets lost and has an episode in a very un-Covid world.
Obviously Dan Fogelman and his This is Us crew didn't really anticipate Covid, and therefore had to do some reworking with this timeline being presented to us. The first half of the episode takes place over the course of several months. We first flash back to Madison telling Kevin that she's pregnant with his babies, and they have a very obviously re-filmed conversation about the Coronavirus becoming a bigger deal. It's funny to me that they went to these lengths to remind us that Covid exists in this timeline.
Randall delivers the absolute best line of the entire episode when he says, "I know who Madison is, Beth. She's literally the only friend in our entire family," upon learning that Kevin is having kids. It's true, though, none of the Pearson's have friends. Gee, I wonder why...
Randall, Beth, and their kiddos watch the Black Lives Matter protests take place on television, and though it's a TV show it feels just as painful and as real as June itself. Kate calls Randall and asks which Black charities she should donate to, and it's so cringe because obviously she's trying to do the right thing but it comes across as so white savior-y, which is probably exactly the show's intention.
There are several flashbacks of the Big Three's born day, August 31st, 1980. Mainly just the same as the pilot, but reshot with stuff we've never seen. Like William and Jack just missing one another in the hospital, Rebecca giving a beautiful speech about male fragility and how she hopes her son(s) can always be honest and not afraid to show their emotons, and Jack calling his dad (kind of a weird one, tbh).
We also get some flashbacks of William and Laurel (Randall's biological parents) over the course of her pregnancy and untimely death. I always like seeing characters we've never really explored before, and Laurel's story has always remained relatively untold, so it was nice to hear her talk about her addiction and fear of how Randall's life would be.
I also have to admit: I love Kevin and Madison together. I really do. Kevin needs to be happy and have a stable relationship for once. I love his and Sophie's story, but for me, it's over. They were each other's first loves and it has to end at that. Kevin and Zoe were kind of a bore, and I never understood what was happening between him and Cassidy. He needs an honest to goodness NEW love story, and I think he could finally have that with Madison! But if they kill her off in childbirth I SWEAR...
ALSO this is just a direct message to Dan Fogelman himself: LET KEVIN HARTLEY KISS YOUR WIFE, DAMMIT! He shows shots of Kev and Madison sleeping in bed practically naked, and him touching her belly to feel the babies kicking but he won't let them KISS! What the heck!
When we finally catch up to The Big Three's birthday, Kate/Toby, Kevin/Madison, and Rebecca/Miguel are headed up to the cabin for a celebration, while Randall remains sulking at home because he's still not speaking to Kev. Which, I get because they both said some awful things in their fight, but also: get it together you idiot brothers.
Madison trips over her suitcase and is afraid she lost one of the babies, so Kevin and her go to the local hospital where he makes an A+ Grey's Anatomy reference, and then kind of proposes? I want a great love story, guys! Not a masked-up hospital proposal that is spur of the moment! I want him to think it THROUGH! Anywho, I think she says yes? And both their babies are fine. And he says she has "morning sickness" so the others aren't concerned, which is just another obvious rewrite but it's fine.
Kate tells Rebecca that adoption isn't Amazon, which is hilarious and true. Rebecca remembers bringing Randall home the same day as her and Kevin, and everyone at home is like "yeah, that was 1980, Bec." Rebecca has her meltdown in a mask-less restaurant, and the mask-less cops bring her home. Miguel is seemingly unbothered and decides to plant some trees.
After having a heart to heart with his best friend, Malik, Randall decides to go to the cabin after all. He makes sure Mama Pearson is okay, and then he and Kate have an awkward fight about her virtue signaling and he and Kevin make progress by talking about how Kev's afraid to be a girl dad (Madison is having boy/girl twins). They don't really make up, but they also don't tell each other they wish they didn't exist so, baby steps?
On his way home, Randall calls his therapist (who I thought was supposed to be like super important) and tells her he can't see her anymore and that he thinks it would be better for him to have a Black therapist. I think this is an interesting storyline to explore for Randall, especially this year, as he begins to really explore how growing up in a White family has affected him.
Then we get a huge bombshell dropped on us. Just when we thought we'd seen the last of Laurel, as she died of an overdose and William ran for the hills with their baby, it turns out she actually survived! This is very soap opera like, and I don't know that I totally buy/dig it. For as long as we've watched this show, Laurel has been dead. And how would Randall have never found her when he found William? How did William never realize she was alive? It all seems very messy and unrealistic, but I guess we will just have to wait and see. Also Randall was DEF born on the 30th, right?
Also, for the love of all things, can we please find out how Miguel and Rebecca got together because their relationship makes NO sense to me and has never been explained yet we're bringing characters back to life! C'mon!
What did y'all think of this premiere? Impressive? Sad? Surprising? Let me know in the comments!