Guys, we need to talk about Kevin on This Is Us (Tuesdays at 9 p.m. ET on CTV) because we’re seriously worried about him after that last new episode. In case you need a quick refresher, Kevin, Randall and Kate sought out their presumed-dead uncle Nicky (guest star Griffin Dunne), only to realize the war vet is not really much like his older brother Jack.
Instead, they found Nicky living in a tin can of a trailer, turning to the bottle for solace and basically punishing himself for the tragic turn of events that went down in Vietnam all those years ago. So when his niece and nephews came knocking, he had to relive those events all over again while also learning that Jack is dead, meaning he’ll never have a chance to tell his brother the truth about that little boy. Obviously that was devastating to the 70-something-year-old, and he was basically ready to end his own life over the news.
For Kate and Randall, Nicky’s story was sad but they had their own families to worry about and couldn’t stick around. But for Kevin, finding Nicky meant everything, because Nicky is his last connection to learning who Jack really was in Vietnam. And considering Kevin’s demons have been surfacing a lot over the past few months, learning about his father has probably become the most important thing in his life.
That’s why when Nicky rejected his help it hit Kevin so hard. And as we learned at the very end of the episode, it had him turning back to the drink and ruining his newfound sobriety. Just when we thought that Kevin was turning his life around, too: Things with Zoe have been going well, he’s been getting serious acting work, and he seems to be in a good place with his family.
Seriously—how sad was it to watch Kevin’s face crumble as he stared out the window while Rebecca drove them home, knowing he had “cheated” on himself? There were so many emotions, from sadness and guilt, to disgust and confusion, which all combined to remind us that: a) Kevin is such a frustrating character, because you want to hug him and shake him all at the same time, and b) Justin Hartley doesn’t get nearly enough recognition for what he’s doing with this role.
And of course, that moment also left us with so many questions. Like, is Kevin officially off the wagon now or can he find his footing again following that one misstep? Will he continue trying to reach out to Nicky and stay in his life? Or is he going to give up on the man, knowing that the level of help he needs goes beyond what he can give him? Can he even recognize that he can’t fix everyone? Will he realize Jack was the same way? And how will all of this blow back on his relationship with Zoe?
Unfortunately it’s going to be a bit of a wait before we learn any of these answers. Next week we’re finally getting the Beth-centric episode we’ve all been waiting for, but it’s a standalone episode with zero Kevin in it. Then, the show is going on another hiatus until March 5.
Yup, that’s right—it’s going to be at least three more weeks until we get another update on Kevin and his precarious mental state. Until then, we’ll just be over here in our little corner of the world, hiding under a pile of coats and hoping that things are going to be okay.
Knowing This Is Us though, something tells us things for Kevin are going to get much worse before they get better. Because you know, Kleenex index, high emotions, and all that jazz that makes us love the show so much in the first place.