Still There

Season 2 Episode 4                                                                        Air Date October 17,2017

Hello episode 4! Was anyone else wondering what the title of the episode was in reference to? Well it took until the final minute for me to figure it out, but now I know! It was definitely STILL THERE. As usual there was a lot going on in this episode so let’s just dive right in.

Here are some highlights of this episode (SPOILERS BELOW):

  • Rebecca’s mother is a nightmare. Like, “insert side-eye emoji here*. She proved herself to be exactly how Rebecca painted her out to be in season one. Good for you, This Is Us, for flushing out quiet racism in such an impactful way. I was cringing along with Rebecca every single time her mother opened her mouth. Another example of successfully infusing current societal issues into ongoing plot points. About halfway through this storyline it hit me that Rebecca does eventually turn into her mother later in life. This made me sad for her, especially since she seems as oblivious to it as her mother did. She is certainly not racist or as polarizing as her mother, but Rebecca is hard on Kate in a way that directly reflects how her own mother criticized her throughout her life. I do expect the Kate/Rebecca relationship to move in a more positive direction, because I believe Kate is capable and loving enough to make the changes each relationship requires. Shout out to poor sickly Jack for taking control of his household and that shovel.
  • Kevin. Poor Kevin just wants a win. I am intrigued that he recognizes that pain killers are not for him, and I had hope that his addiction storyline was dead, UNTIL that guy came with the updated script. I knew then that Kevin, as he said, would do “whatever it takes” to fulfill at least one of his dreams. I am all for that Kev, but put the pill bottle down and let yourself heal. And I am not talking about your knee. This episode was full of Jack and little Kevin flashbacks, which I really liked. It is clear to the viewer that Kevin has been all about instant gratification and quick solutions from the very beginning. Where Randall stews over everything and carefully makes decisions, Kevin is a bulldozer. Having Jack paused on the TV while Kevin takes a pill was a powerful and foreboding moment. I hope that the writers are misleading us, but I think that Kevin might be headed for trouble.
  • Beth and Randall have their hands full. That is FOR SURE. Poor Deja is struggling to get her footing among the Pearson’s, and they are trying so hard. Almost too hard. I really enjoyed the Randall and Beth “lead parent” chat in the kitchen. This really resonated with me and made me think, “Am I the lead parent? Is that a thing in our house?” What a difference a year makes for Randall. Although he no longer works in the weather industry (still wondering what the heck that was), there were plenty of thunderstorms for him in this episode. Much like Rebecca tends to overcompensate with Kate, Randall is trying a bit too hard to win over Deja. She clearly does not trust men, and when she finally opens up to Beth, it quickly gets ruined when Randall tries to relate and share a common experience. I expect Deja will withdraw even further from the family and her fragile bond with Beth will be shaken if not ruined completely.
  • Kate was acting so strangely this episode! I couldn’t figure out why she would have gone a complete 180 since the last episode. Poor Toby cannot keep up with her mood swings either. You know what he can keep up with? The cooking! So he’s a cook right? I assume that he does this for a living because that healthy muffin looked delish, and only a pro could do that. The writers were clever in their misdirection. I thought for sure Kate was going crazy because of her drive to lose weight, which made me think that she was going to buy diet pills in the pharmacy, and was having a weight loss surgery consultation at the end of the episode. Plot twist, Kate is actually pregnant! Now her crazy antics seem almost normal considering. This I was not expecting, but I was happy that she seemed super happy. She deserves to be happy. On that we can all agree.

Questions for next week:

  1. How will Toby and family react to Kate’s news? Will she tell anyone or keep it a secret?
  2. Will Kevin continue to rely on medication and a strong will to take on his problems?
  3. How will the broken trust within Randall’s house play out?
  4. Will Kate still pursue her dream of being a singer or put it aside for motherhood like Rebecca?
  5. Is Sophie going to move west? Or is this long distance thing going to last?
  6. Where is Miguel? JK Jack and Rebecca forever

Although this episode felt very heavy-handed, I enjoyed it. There was a lot of pain both emotionally and physically from most of the main characters. There were few light moments, but that is okay. Life is hard sometimes. It cannot always be pretty. I applaud this show for addressing the good with the bad. That is what makes this family believable.

Until next week, L.

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