Remember back before Christmas when This Is Us (Tuesdays, 9 p.m. ET, CTV) gave us a massive cliff-hanger of an episode? You know the one—Rebecca’s health was deteriorating, Kevin and Randall were no longer on speaking terms, Kev had a baby on the way and Kate was flying solo. We fully expected to learn more about some of those plot points in the show’s midseason premiere, and while we did get a few answers, we also went through new turns and one major twist that’s going to have us all holding our breath for another week.
Randall the saviour
We can all agree that Randall has a bit of a hero complex (or as Miguel put it, a Randall complex), but that personality trait took a big turn Tuesday night. Obviously tensions were high following Rebecca’s mental assessment when she, Randall and Miguel learned her health was indeed deteriorating, and that she needs more tests to figure out just how badly.
Not only did that make it a devastatingly emotional episode (especially as Rebecca flashed back to some fond memories of falling for Jack), but it also put Randall in a really tough position. Rebecca keeps asking him to keep her health to himself, and we all know that’s not going to go over so well with Kevin and Kate when they figure things out. Even more importantly, we all see just how much Randall takes on, so the fact that he can’t share his concerns with his siblings really puts his mental health in danger too.
As if that wasn’t enough to deal with, the show had to go and throw a home intruder into it all. In the last scene of the episode Randall checked in on his family before telling a half-asleep Beth that he was just going to grab some water. Then, in the kitchen, he came face-to-face with a weapon-holding stranger before the screen went black. Um, what? Like we need that kind of stress in our lives.
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On the bright side, we know that Tess, Randall and Beth are okay because we met all of them in the flash forward. But as for Deja and Annie? We can only hope for a happy resolution, but knowing this show there’s a very good reason for the surprise twist. And we have a feeling it has to do with the mental health storyline that Sterling K. Brown promised at the Television Critics Association panel earlier this month. Sigh.
Kevin’s hall pass
Meanwhile, over in the world of celebs living their best lives, Kevin was definitely trying to live his though a matchmaker. After a string of bad dates, he was ready to give up, just as he locked eyes with one Sophia Bush at a coffee shop. Okay, so the former One Tree Hill star wasn’t actually playing herself; she was playing a married Manny fan whose hall pass happened to be Kevin.
She didn’t tell him that, of course, and Kev went full-on Romantic Bob with the Chicago gal by taking her to the Hollywood Bowl for a private picnic and a live performance by the one and only John Legend. We knew Kevin moved fast, but that’s a lot for anyone on a first date, no?
— This Is Us (@NBCThisisUs) January 15, 2020
We have no idea if we’re going to see that character again or not, but she isn’t the only new potential baby mama we know is coming: just as Kevin threw his phone to an assistant so he could focus on work, Sophie called. It seems like those two really will always be in each other’s lives, huh?
Toby digs a hole
And then there was Toby and Kate. The new parents had it out almost right away over that LadyKryptonite text from the finale, but they seemed to come to a somewhat happy resolution. Or, not. Because just as Kate planned a sweet surprise party for her husband with his workout buddies, she learned that Toby switched gyms after Kara (aka Kryptonite) tried to kiss him.
Worse than the lie though was when Kate pushed Toby about why he was never home, and he finally admitted that having a blind son just made him sad. Like, all the time. (You could feel even the strongest Toby supporters slipping away in that moment.) And while his feelings are valid, it also seems like he hasn’t even been trying, and that makes us sad.
Sure, Jack had that nice moment at the end of the episode when he saw shapes and lights and even reached for them, but to be honest it felt like a blip on what’s going to be a much, much bigger story in the weeks to come.
Until then we’ll just try and stay positive, and hope (pray?) that all will be well.
This Is Us airs Tuesdays at 9 pET on CTV.