The latest episode of This Is Us left us scratching our heads. Between the flashbacks and present day events, the rapid shift of scenes, and the context, some things didn’t quite stick during the first watch.
Sylvester Stallone guest starred this week and, on any other show, this would have been the highlight, but not on This Is Us. This show has become one with the force and makes you feel things you never thought possible. “Deja Vu” left you confused. Why? The rapid shift in scenes, not staying on any for too long to let you figure out why they were significant or if they were just subterfuge, had a little something to do with it.
The key points of this episode were Jack and Rebecca’s relationship during AA, Randall’s feelings toward his birth parents as a child, and Kevin’s relationship with his dad. By the end of the episode a lot of clues had been revealed regarding what may or may not have happened to Jack. What’s significant? Who knows, the scenes shifted so fast you weren’t able to dwell on something for very long.
Randall and Beth have decided to foster a child, after weeks of nothing they get a call saying that a 12 year old girl is on her way over. She’s been in and out of foster care and when she arrives is very standoff-ish. It’s understandable. This little girl has a mother who keeps getting busted and has been bouncing from home to home. She just got stuck in another home with strangers — who knows what kind of homes she’s been in before? Eventually she starts to see that maybe this one isn’t the worst. Of course, that’s until she finds out that her mother isn’t coming back for a while.
Randall is seeing himself in this girl. In flashbacks we see him put out an ad to find his birth parents. His siblings go with him when he goes to meet a woman, only for him to find out that she is not his mother — she’s just a druggie looking for money. He’s obviously upset, but we see the relationship he has with his siblings. They get that he’s not trying to replace them but knowing where you come from is a natural desire. The Big Three have a very special bond. One that you wish to have with your siblings. Adult Randall verbalizes how lucky he finds his life and all the wonderful people in it.
Meanwhile, Kevin is busy filming a scene with Sylvester Stallone and brought Kate to set to watch. She’s over the moon at meeting Stallone because he was one of Jack’s favorites. Of course, Kevin isn’t at a point to talk about Jack yet and freezes up during the take as he starts to recall memories he’s clearly tried to suppress. These memories are played in rapid motion giving the viewers no more than a few seconds to process before something else pops up. There’s a lot of unanswered questions at the end of the sequence. Does Kevin think he could have saved his father? What’s the significance of his leg cast? What’s the deal with the necklace? A lot of missing pieces.
Also in flashbacks, we see Jack and Rebecca working through their issues. Rebecca wants a night out just the two of them to reconnect. Jack, at first, isn’t really into it but eventually the two of them have a heart to heart before deciding they’re not going to let this get them down. They also find the dog that we saw Kate holding at the end of the first episode. They’re clearly getting closer to revealing exactly how Jack died and there’s no doubt that when they do a lot of hearts will break.
The next episode of This Is Us will air Tuesday, October 17, at 9pm on NBC.