We’ve come to expect a few things from any given episode of This Is Us (Tuesdays, 9 p.m. ET, CTV): Some sort of flashback. A meaningful heart-to-heart between two characters. Tears streaming down our faces… It’s what we know and love about the show.
Another reason we love the show is its ability to surprise us with twists we never saw coming, like learning how the Big Three is connected or that Jack has a brother who died in Vietnam; there’s no surprise like a Pearson surprise. But even that aspect pales in comparison to This is Us‘s amazing cast of characters, each fully realized, each speaking to something we recognize in ourselves.
Tuesday night’s episode, “Kamsahmnida,” didn’t give us a huge show-altering twist, but it did feature Beth finally getting a bigger storyline—something we all needed (because Beth = life). In fact, the episode didn’t just focus on our favourite mom and wife; it delved into the idea that even the strongest people out there—the ones we admire most—also need help and support sometimes. And we should never discount that, just because they’re usually the ones that we count on in our time of need.
Let’s explore, shall we?
Beth speaks her truth
We’ve all seen the struggling mom who has reached her breaking point in public. Maybe it’s a newer, sleep-deprived version crying in the cereal section at the grocery store, or perhaps it’s the toddler-toting, screaming mama trying to get her little one to stop throwing clothes around at the mall (hey, we can’t always shop online). For supermom Beth, her breaking point came when Tess was a downright brat selling Girl Guide cookies. When they got to the spot late and Beth didn’t bring a console to accept credit cards, Tess lost it on her. In turn, Beth lost it on Tess, yelling, “Shut up, shut up, shut up.”
Later, after shuttling the kids back home, it was Deja who convinced Beth to finally open up to Randall about her feelings, giving us another great Deja moment in the process. (Side note: can we have more of those moments, please?!)
More importantly, Deja’s pep talk led Beth to the realization that keeping things to herself was not going to help anyone, and would be even worse for her sanity in the long run. So she armed herself with a glass of vino and finally told Randall how life-shattering losing her job has been, finally allowing herself to be the heroine of her own story rather than Randall’s constant support system.
To be honest, we’re still struggling with Randall’s solution, which was for Beth to join his campaign, because we’d love to see Beth branch out on her own and re-establish her worth outside of her husband. On the other hand, we love these two characters together so much, and as we follow Randall on the campaign trail the best way to incorporate Beth more into the storyline is to have her by Hubby’s side. So we can accept it in a Jackie-made-Kennedy kind of way. Let’s hit the trails, shall we?
Toby gets dark
Another character we’ve always seen as a rock is Toblerone, but that perception has changed in recent weeks given his current state. Even though Tobes has been back on his medication for a couple of weeks now he’s still unable to get out of bed and Kate doesn’t know how to help. Cue all of the marital insecurities Toby was feeling from the his failed first marriage, coupled with Kate’s overall anxieties about being pregnant and then the dog getting sick. That all culminated in a rough night for the couple, but it also led to a big breakthrough for Kate: she has always been the one others take care of. Given who her father was and who her brothers are, that makes sense, but now she needs to step up and become the rock for a while so Toby can re-emerge.
Now that she knows this too, it seems like Toby’s true healing process can begin. And not a moment too soon with a baby on the way.
Jack and the big, bad black eye
Of course in terms of strong Pearsons, Jack will always be the truest rock—dead or alive. But, as we’ve all seen, he certainly faced his share of demons too. So how did someone so tormented by the things he saw in ‘Nam go on to become the most romantic husband and best father? By finding his own form of release in boxing.
Rebecca learned of his methods the hard way when Jack came home with a black eye and tried to hide it, leading her to beg him to stop fighting altogether. A young Randall making up a bully at school in order to secure boxing tips from pops didn’t help matters either.
But when Jack spoke his own truth and made Rebecca realize that boxing was his one form of release from all of the darkness within, she went out and bought him protective gear so that he could keep doing him.
Sometimes, that kind of support is all you need from your partner. But when you’re used to being the rock, it can be kind of hard to ask for it. In that way, This Is Us is a lesson to all the rocks out there: we see you, and it’s not always all on you.
Not when you have a Pearson clan behind you, anyhow.