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Can we all just tip our hats to Jack and Rebecca already? Seriously, they’re the TV couple most in need of a medal or something. When we first saw those two with three kids on This Is Us, we wondered how they did it, given the challenges that come with watching one child — let alone three. But after seeing Tuesday’s episode, in which they took Kevin, Kate and Randall to the pool, we just want to send them a free night’s sleep or something.

The good news is that it looks as though Jack has finally cleaned up his drinking problem and that makes us feel a little bit better about Jack and Rebecca’s overall relationship, at least for now. (We can’t even think about how, in the future, Rebecca is with Jack’s best friend. Stupid-yet-amazing timeline flash-forwards ruining the dream.) The bad news is that they clearly have no time for each other, let alone all of their children. Let’s break it down, shall we?

Randall

We imagine being adopted is a hard thing to deal with, especially when you’re a kid. Add in the whole racial layer and it kind of breaks our heart. On one hand it’s amazing that Jack and Rebecca see him as their own. On the other, they had no clue how to help him in terms of whether he should wear sunblock, where he should cut his hair or how to get him some friends he could relate to. Randall spent his whole life growing up in “the whitest city ever” and checking off ticks for every black person he met, wondering if one of them might turn out to be his father. That’s just a hard thing for everyone involved.

This Is Us
NBC Universal

Grown up Randall

Even though he’s made a huge success of himself, Randall is obviously still uncomfortable being one of the only black faces in his current community. The fact that his daughter played Snow White and people laughed seemed to make him uncomfortable (that laughter was obviously directed at the cuteness of the whole production), highlighting the fact that childhood drama sticks with us people.

Kate

How much did it break our hearts when those mean girls told Kate she wasn’t allowed to hang with them anymore because she embarrassed them? It was pretty much the worst. We loved seeing Care Bear Bikini Kate strut her stuff for public consumption, and hated that her mom wanted her to wear a shirt. Turns out Rebecca was right, and mean girls are always going to be mean girls. Jack’s little talk with Kate about the magical transformation power of his Florida t-shirt was awesome, but obviously the damage had already been done.

This Is Us
NBC Universal

Grown up Kate

Seeing how skinny/beautiful/cool Toby’s ex-wife is clearly threw Kate into self-sabotaging mode with her current relationship. It’s easy to see how her lack of acceptance with the cool girls as a child translated into insecurities around cool women as an adult, especially a cool woman that Toby used to be married to. One with excellent taste in leather imports we may add.

Kevin

We physically couldn’t breathe when Kevin started bobbing under the water in search of that football and no one even turned around. (Um, where were the lifeguards?!) Well the kid may have resorted to diva behaviour in order to get his point across once he safely exited the pool, but he pretty much summed it up when he yelled about how his parents were too busy making sure Kate didn’t eat too much and that Randall felt less adopted. Meanwhile, he would be dead. This is why parents need actual eyes in the back of their heads, people.

Grown up Kevin

If that kid spent most of his life vying for attention from his parents, it suddenly makes a lot more sense why he sought out acting as a career when he was older. As a child he was never the star, and now he’s spending his whole adult life trying to become one. Thankfully he’ll have his shot now that theatre producers believe The Manny will sell more tickets. Let’s hope he doesn’t waste it, shall we?

This Is Us
NBC Universal

Jack and Rebecca

They may not be fighting just now, but under the surface it’s obvious that Rebecca is still doing the lion’s share of parenting here; Jack is just taking direction. Here’s hoping that situation turns around soon, because as we said before we really, really hate the idea of these two not being together.

Also we just really need to reiterate: parenting is hard.

 

This Is Us airs Tuesdays at 9 p.m. on CTV.