They say like father, like son, but nothing prepared us for the emotional journey that Kevin went on during the latest episode of This Is Us (Tuesdays, 9 p.m., CTV). And we mean nothing. Like, not even knowing that Sylvester Stallone was going to go all Rocky in the episode, or that Kevin and Kate would have their biggest twin fight to date. Because it seems like up until now we’ve severely underestimated Kevin’s emotional baggage, and it’s beginning to catch up to him — and to us.
It’s easy to dismiss Kevin when you’re talking about the Pearson clan in general. Kate’s emotional baggage is clear in her eating and in her relationship with her mother. Randall’s emotional baggage was one of the first season’s major focal points. What did Kevin have? Yeah okay – he was the sad, big actor with all the money who had a breakdown on set because he wanted to be taken seriously. All of his life he felt overshadowed by “Kate’s weight” and “Randall’s black-ness,” so he put on a persona that worked… until it didn’t.
Now that shell is starting to crack, and what we’re seeing is kind of scary. It seems like Kevin actually has a super dark side to him underneath that joking, hopeful exterior, and it all goes back to his dad. We mean, yes, Kev has Sophie by his side again, and he’s also got a bit of a better relationship with his brother, but he’s haunted by Jack’s death too, and in ways that we never really thought of before.
But believe us when we say we’re thinking about them now.
During Tuesday night’s episode Kevin’s baggage all came flooding out on set while he was shooting his Ron Howard movie with his childhood hero — and Jack’s favourite actor — Sylvester Stallone. Kevin shared an unwilling heart-to-heart with Stallone (playing a version of himself) right before filming an integral scene, resulting in a mini-breakdown. Later in the episode, as his film character was running to save the man who was like a father to him, Kevin fell during a stunt gone wrong. Turns out that broken leg or knee that we saw a teenage Kevin suffer from in the premiere still bothers him, and there’s more of a story there than we originally thought.
But the truly revelatory moment didn’t come until the show’s closing moments, as Kevin apologized to Kate on the phone for being a jerkstore and she mentioned how he’s just like their dad. To which Kevin responded by popping a prescription pill that he may or may not have actually needed. We don’t need to be TV writers to know that that little pill could lead down a very dangerous road, one previously paved by his father and his grandfather before that.
You can’t blame us for wanting to cover our eyes, can you?
Either way, that little scene leads to some pretty big questions. Is this a new addiction or one that has resurfaced from Kevin’s past? Has it been going on all along and were there tell-tale signs? Is this something that’s just surfacing as Kevin is forced to deal with all of his emotions? How will it impact his relationship with Sophie, and could it have been a factor in their breakup in the past?
So many questions and so few answers… for this week anyhow. Something tells us we’ll be digging deeper into that story in the coming weeks.
Until then, here’s hoping that Kevin can get his groove back. Or at the very least, a good therapist. We hear everyone in Hollywood has one, so why not him?