Number One

Season 2 Episode 8                                                                        Air date November 14, 2017

Well, we saw that one coming didn’t we? Too bad no one else did. This week was the beginning of a three-week arc of episodes, each episode focusing on one of the big three. Naturally, we begin with number one of everything, Kevin. I remember writing earlier this season “How is Kevin the most stable of the three?!” Oh, how the mighty have fallen.

We begin this episode with grown Kevin high as a kite, wallowing in his hotel room, acting like a real jerk. I think my favorite character this episode was that sassy hotel housekeeper. Her look of disgust said it all. It certainly wasn’t either of the girls Kevin interacted with at the high school. I see what you were trying to do writers, but it was a bit much.

Every week I hope that when I see Kevin, he will have realized the gravity of his mistakes and will get help and face it head on. I wasn’t sure where the episode would lead, I was happy to see him return home, thinking that maybe that “homecoming” experience would wake him up. Joke was on me, he was awake this entire time! He knows exactly what he is doing, and the impact of his decisions. Truly, he does care a great deal. He might actually care the most. His emotions have snowballed and are unavoidable at this point. His wounds are raw. Kevin hasn’t taken the time to deal with the trauma and tragedies of his childhood, so he just rolls over it, and pushes the boundaries. Now, it is all coming back. The knee injury indirectly brought up the pain of losing his dad, and now Kevin has to deal with it. Unfortunately, much like Teen Beat Kevin, aka “Too Cool” for Pitt Kevin, aka major disrespectful punk Kevin, he cannot talk through what he is feeling. He has to try to cover it up with other things (like drugs and attitude) and hope that someone will help him. It was nice to see grown Kevin interact with his high school football coach and his dad. It was a really moving moment and one of my favorites this episode. All he wants is his dad’s approval, but he will never get it. It is almost like Kevin is collecting guilt, and then wearing it like a sweater. He continues making bad decisions so that someone will notice him and the pain he is carrying.

Bravo to Justin Hartley for his brilliant and moving performance throughout the entire episode. I went into the episode fed up with Kevin and his antics, but by the end, I was yelling ISN’T ANYONE GOING TO HELP KEVIN?! SOMEONE HELP KEVIN! I am honestly  surprised my neighbors didn’t call 911. Someone did need help, his name is Kevin Pearson, and he is on my TV.

It was satisfying to see Kevin recognize that every mistake he has made in the last 20ish years has resulted in a win for him. Make a bad choice, get a reward. Make another bad choice, get an even bigger reward. Kevin himself is like “wait..what? Why does this happen to me? Can’t they see I do not actually deserve these amazing things?” As he said in third person on the football field, “Even when he tries to tell people how pathetic he is, they don’t see it. They just cheer.” Heartbreaking. Kevin just wants to be seen as he is. He wants to live up to his dad’s memory and expectation to be a good person. He wants someone to see him, and help him. For the record, I think Jack’s necklace is on the football field, and Kevin will go back and find it. Or the coach will find it. Either way I don’t think it is gone for good.

I was encouraged when Kevin showed up on Randall’s doorstep. It gave me hope that Kevin will finally open up and to Randall no less. That was quickly squashed under the news of Kate losing her baby. I am truly in shock that this is where that story is going. I imagine next week will be a difficult episode to watch, as I had thought for sure that they wouldn’t do this to Kate and Toby. I predict that Kevin will dive head first into helping his sister and will push his emotions back down again. This will of course end badly for all involved.

Only one question for next week:

  1. WHY WRITERS, WHY?!

Until next week, L.

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