Hi, friends! And welcome to my first real This is Us recap of 2021! As you'll find out shortly, this episode did absolutely nothing for me! It was a huge waste of time and it feels particularly frustrating to have such a boring episode when we as viewers know that we are only getting six seasons of the show. I want more background on underdeveloped characters, not a filler episode where the Big Three are moody and broody and well, annoying.
So, without further ado, here is my recap of Season 5 Episode 5 "A Long Road Home". Spoilers ahead, y'all!
We begin by tying up some loose ends from the last episode we saw before Winter hiatus, with Kate confirming that she did in fact have an abortion at the age of 18. This is such a weird plot line to me. Katiegirl has been pregnant twice before in the span of the show: she miscarried and then she gave birth to baby Jack. Why is this abortion PTSD just now coming up? And why is she suddenly so interested in seeing what happened to her shitty ex-boyfriend? If this had happened maybe two or three seasons ago, I would buy it, but I don't. I'm annoyed and frustrated.
For reasons I cannot possibly explain, Kate decides to track down Marc to see what he's up to these days and...tell him off? Listen, I can't speak for everyone, but I know for a fact that any abuser or source of negativity or cause of PTSD in my past needs to stay in the past. Marc hurt her, both physically and emotionally, and who's to say 40-something Marc wouldn't do the same?
So Toby takes Kate to this place in LA where he's working (sidenote: Didn't they meet in PA? Why is he also in California?) and is outside on a smoke break. He looks the same, long hair and a creepy mustache. He doesn't immediately recognize Kate and he's not sure why she's there. Guess what, Marc? The audience doesn't know either! Kate goes off on him about how she's doing so great now and that he sucked as a boyfriend. He's like...what took you 20 years? And he has a point! Kate is MARRIED! She has a CHILD! All of this could've been said in THERAPY! Also closure isn't real and will never get you what you need. NEXT.
Kevin is getting ready to leave for his movie that shoots in Canada and Madison is getting nervous. He starts talking about how often they'll travel because of his work and she really just wants to stay where they are with their family. It's a point of contention and proof that they still really don't know each other at all. BUT! Dan Fogelman lets his wife kiss Justin Hartley so I guess that's some progress on the #Kadison or #Mevin front?
They interview a nanny but Madison isn't feeling it, and she also isn't feeling it when Kevin tries to give her a big Pearson speech. She tells him to go and they will figure it out soon. The babies are still two months away. Mmmk, but does Miss Madison know that a lot of times twins come ~early~. Guess not! Who wants to bet these ones do?
Kevin has a flashback to when Randall called him and told him not to move to LA the first time and leave Sophie so soon after they got married. Young Kevin shoots him down and thinks he's just trying to sabotage his life and doesn't believe in him. Adult Kevin needs Randall to tell him the same thing now so he has a reason to turn around. But Randall doesn't so Kevin doesn't, and the whole thing feels very blah. Like, you're 40 years old Kev, make your own choices and stick to them.
Lastly, Randall learns that his biological mother actually lived a full life, passing away in 2015 from breast cancer. This begs the question: why the weird mystery and making us think she's currently alive? I feel like they could've done a flashback episode about Laurel's life without making her not die after giving birth.
Anyway, Randall gets really pissed at William (who is dead) because he lied to him, but thankfully we get a really quick resolution when Hai (the man who contacted Randall) lets him know that William had no idea Laurel survived. Randall gets a bunch of added stress from this new discovery, and him and Beth decide they're going to go and see Hai in person to get Laurel's story. Aaaaand that's gonna be the next episode. All about Laurel.
It should be a good one, because the deep-dive history episodes are usually great (see: Beth's episode), but it does feel like such a weird time to learn about Laurel, but I need Randall's stress to go away ASAP. He has too much to talk about in therapy, poor guy.
What did y'all think of the episode? Underwhelming? Do you disagree with me and absolutely adore it? Let me know in the comments!