Hello, friends! This week on This is Us we're going back to the pool. This time the Pearson kiddos are a little older and a little meaner, and also all those new characters we met last week? Yeah, they don't come in to play at all! Instead, we split our focus between the present day and the last day of Summer in 1992. Let's dive (pool pun, I'm so funny) in, shall we?
SPOILER ALERT: YOU'VE HAD TWO DAYS NOW TO WATCH SEASON FOUR, EPISODE TWO "THE POOL: PART TWO". IF YOU STILL HAVEN'T WATCHED IT, THAT IS NOT MY PROBLEM AND YOU'RE BEING WARNED RIGHT NOW TO STOP READING THIS BLOG POST. HOWEVER, IF YOU'RE INSISTENT ON BEING DEFIANT, GO AHEAD AND KEEP READING. OTHERWISE, GO WATCH THIS EPISODE REAL QUICK AND COME BACK TO ME. THANK YOU.
So it's 1992 and Jack and Rebecca are the parents to three hormonal nightmares. They're oh-so-excited that the kids are going back to school tomorrow, but decide it would be nice to have a family day at the pool. However, there plans are ruined when the kids decide to be the literal worst - er, uh - 12 year olds.
Kevin is being a dick to Randall by making him look stupid in front of his friends ("Your brother is blacker than you!"), Kate gets manipulated by notorious mean girls (f'ing Jessica P.), and Jack finally gets five chairs! Enough chairs for the whole family! And they aren't sitting! What the heck, Pearson kiddos???
Rebecca can't focus on time alone with her husband because she's so concerned with the little bitches torturing her daughter (mother knows best, guys, always) and Kevin and Randall get into a physical fight that forces Jack to break them up. Randall tells Kevin that he's supposed to be his brother, he's not supposed to tear him down. Ugh. Randall is just the best and wise behind his years, guys. Later, Kevin goes to Jack and asks him if he's a good person. Jack is clearly taken aback by the questioning. Jack gets honest with his son and tells him that Pearson men have a lot of demons they have to fight off, and this would make my heart happy if I didn't already know all the shit grown up Kevin is going to go through anyway.
Jessica P. and her other friend end up being terrible to Kate just like Rebecca thought, telling her to go stand behind the food shack and wait for her crush to come kiss her. But he doesn't emerge from behind the snack counter, but instead a nerdy little boy whose name I don't remember and doesn't even matter does. She tells him she was expecting somebody else, he says he was expecting her. She kisses him regardless and it's a really sweet moment for an otherwise annoying Kate (I swear, grown-up Kate sucks and little Kevin sucks).
The Fab Five end up sitting in the chairs after all, reading books and enjoying each other's company beside the pool. I like when the Pearson's get a happy ending, even if I know it won't last forever.
In the land of the best couple to ever grace this show, Randall and Beth are paralleling the 1992 Pearson's by trying to plan their own family day of fun around their three monsters. Tess wants to get her hair done, Deja wants to do a. trial run of riding the bus, and Annie (bless her soul) is fine with doing absolutely anything. Randall and Beth split up and plan on meeting back up later.
Beth has concerns about Tess getting her hair cut and is overall struggling with her eldest biological baby growing up so fast. Randall has similar concerns with allowing his eldest to ride the bus alone to school with plenty of strangers and creeps bound to talk to her. When they do a test run, Deja asks Randall to pretend that he isn't there, to see what it would really be like. A man starts chatting Deja up instantly, and Randall (he just can't help it, can he?) intervenes. Deja is PISSED. Randal is like, "Okay fine, you're not riding the bus." Deja gets extra PISSED.
When the gang meets back up, they play what Randall and Beth play the "Worst Case Scenario" game. Immediately I'm like, oh so the anxiety game that I play everyday without even trying. The game kinda freaks me out, but they force the kiddos to play and when they do everyone feels better. Randall decides to allow Deja to ride the bus (Oh! On the bus she saw Malik working at that auto shop) and everyone agrees that Tess's new hair makes her look grown up and beautiful. Annie, unproblematic angel that she is, just has a good time.
The other two members of the Big Three share a storyline this week about growth and coping with the trials of adulthood. Kevin remains sober, a loving dad of a plant, and worried sick about his uncle. Kate has taken up stress eating again due to her son's disability and the constant care he needs. I'm worried about Kate, y'all. Something about her just seemed real off this episode.
Kate and Toby have everybody over to meet with a specialist on raising blind children properly (Kate found her on Yelp!). Rebecca and Miguel (ugh) show up, as does Madison, Kate's defacto bff. Everyone is noticing how much slimmer Toby is looking (Chris Sullivan has it going on, y'all) and Rebecca is once again worried about her daughter (MOTHERS ALWAYS KNOW BEST). Toby is also worried about Kate, just as he is worried about his son, and has taken up working out behind his wife's back which is not the worst thing you can lie to your spouse about, but still seems like it's going to put a strain on their marriage.
Kevin bonds with baby Jack over the fact that he's as old as Kevin is sober, but struggles to connect with him physically because baby Jack cries everytime Kev tries to pick him up. Kate explains to her brother that you have to narrate everything you're doing because he cannot see and isn't prepared to be grabbed. Kev successfully holds his nephew, and I've decided that this is my favorite moment of the whole episode.
Kevin has been struggling with whether or not to take a movie deal in Chicago, and by the episode's resolution I'm not really sure if he does or not. All I know is that he brings his little plant baby to visit his uncle, who doesn't seem to want to see him. Those damn Pearson men are so stubborn.
What did everyone think of episode 2? Not as emotionally wrecking as episode 1, in my opinion, but still sweet nonetheless. Are you worried about Kate? Do you care about the uncle Nicky storyline? What happened to all of our new characters? Let me know what you thought in the comments!