My aunt told me that last week's episode of This is Us, entitled "The Cabin" was her favorite episode in a season and a half. While I'd argue that the best episode as of late was Kevin's "Hell of a Week", I do agree that this episode was a gamechanger, and felt oddly familar and comforting.
It's not often we get all 3 Pearson siblings together (two live in L.A., one lives in Philly) and it's even less frequent we get them together without their spouses. This episode was all about the 'Sad Three' navigating a rough patch in their lives and figuring out what lies ahead. SPOILER WARNING!
This episode is told in 3 timelines; 1993, 1999, and 2020. Let's start in '93, shall we?
The Pearson kiddos are around 12/13 and oh my god they're annoying! But in a good, annoying teenager way. Jack thinks it'd be a fun idea for everyone to put something into a time capsule he got for them, including himself and Bec. In true Pearson family fashion, Kevin thinks the whole ordeal is stupid, Kate thinks it could be fun, and Randall is dressed out beyond belief at the idea of putting something meaningful in for him to find when he's 18.
Meanwhile, Jack daydreams of building a dream house for him and Becca to grow old in, one up on a hill that overlooks their small cabin. He draws a sketch of it and throws it in the garbage.
In 1999, Rebecca, Kevin, and Randall are on their way to the cabin to help Kate because they think she's in trouble. They're stopped by a snowstorm and their trip is delayed until the roads open back up in the morning. When they arrive, Marc is making breakfast and things seem normal, until they notice a draft coming from the window.
The boys discover the window shattered, and Kate's hand wrapped in gloves. She claims she's fine, she's just cold, but when she takes off the gloves a huge gash in her hand is revealed. Flashback to the previous night, she tried to make coffee and a fire with Marc. He took Jack's mug when she asked him not to, and accidentally broke it. They fought, and he locked her out of the cabin while she collected firewood. It was snowing and freezing and she had to break the window to get back in.
Rebecca is having NONE of Marc's shit and, quite simply tells him to, "Get the hell out of my house." He stands there unfazed, until the boys take a step forward and Rebecca remains firm, and he finally leaves. Becca holds teen Kate in her arms as she cries, "He told me he loved me."
Present day Big Three leaves their familes (well Kevin, leaves Madison) behind as they embark on their sibling getaway. Toby offers to look after Jack for the weekend, insisting that he needs to do it to spend time with his son and also show Kate that he's the man she married. She reluctantly lets him, and things go mostly well aside from Jack nearly choking but it's all good 'cause Tobes has it under control.
When the grown-up Pearson's arrive at the cabin, the power goes out almost immediately due to a storm. They head to a grocery store for candles, food, and shit (or in the case of Randall...wifi). While there, Kate listens to her voicemails from Madison (THREE OF THEM) in which she slowly confesses to sleeping with Kevin. Yikes.
Meanwhile, Randall wants to get a signal so he can check the security cameras at his house, but service is so bad he can't. The siblings' frustrations come to a head as Randall and Kate finally tell Kevin that Rebecca is struggling and might be showing early signs of permenant memory loss. He storms out and sulks in the cold, but not for long before Kate and Randall come get him.
They decide to dig up the time capsule because it's been nearly 30 years since they buried it. They didn't open it back in '98 because of the VERY SAD THING that happened that year. Inside they find: a picture of Kophie from Kevin, a game of M*A*S*H from Kate, a missing puzzle piece from Randall (Kevin's idea to ease his brother's anxiety), Jack's drawing of the house, and a tape recorder.
Originally believing the drawing to be from Jack, they wonder why Rebecca left the tape and recorder. They listen to it and find out that she didn't; Jack did. It's a message from him talking about the family, and how Becca is the glue that holds them all together. She dug his sketch out of the garbage and put it in the capsule, something he suspected when he couldn't find it later. He describes how fiercely loyal his wife is, and how much he loves her. BRB BAWLING RIGHT NOW.
THEN as if that wasn't enough we get a flash forward to approx. 10-12 years in the future, a time frame we've seen briefly before (the one where Bec is on her death bed). Kevin gets out of his car with food in a bag, pulling up to the house that Jack envisioned building for Becca all those years ago. He looks down, all salt and pepper and aging handsomely, at the cabin under the hill all lit up. Beth answers the door and we see that he made his dad's dreams come true, with the house and Rebecca growing old (and eventually dying we can presume) there.
Alright folks! That's all I have for you! Are you crying again? Because I kind of am. Let me know what you thought of this episode in the comments!