Well we knew this was coming. For weeks the pressure Randall has been under on This Is Us has been mounting and mounting. Between finding his biological father just in time to watch him die from cancer, learning his mother knew his true dad’s identity all along, having stiff new competition at work from Sanjay, and trying to be a dutiful father and husband… well Randall hasn’t exactly had a banner year.
So it’s no wonder that it all came crashing down on him in Tuesday night’s episode, “Jack Pearson’s Son.”
If your heart didn’t break for Randall in this episode, then you might as well also hate puppies. Because watching him spiral into a full-blown panic attack at work was pretty much the worst. Randall might very well be our favourite weekly character, what with his quick quips and ability to always be there for everyone else. But if this show has taught us anything, it’s that even the strongest characters need to lean in every once in a while, and Randall hasn’t exactly mastered that skill.
Anxiety attacks aside, this was another crazy episode full of some pretty big twists and turns. Let’s break them down, shall we? Here are our standout moments, counted down by Kleenex boxes.
Kate and Toby call off the wedding – One Kleenex box
It was obvious that Kate and Toby rushed into the marriage thing. We mean… that’s what having a heart attack will do to you. But when Kate was kicked out of fat camp and she and Toby decided to really get to know each other, it was finally obvious to them too. When Toby asked Kate about how her father died we were all holding our breath: after all we’ve been waiting to hear what the heck happened too. But of all the Pearson children Kate has been the most affected by Jack’s death, so of course she couldn’t bring herself to talk about it. So we’ll have to wait right alongside Toby. Luckily we left it as these two are still engaged, they’re just not rushing into an actual wedding anytime soon.
Miguel and Kevin have a heart-to-heart – Two Kleenex boxes
Among the mysteries we still have to solve on this show, how Miguel and Rebecca came to be together remains a big one. Did they get together before Jack passed away or after? While we won’t learn the answer to that question for a while, we do know that Kevin and Miguel haven’t exactly always seen eye-to-eye. Pilgrim Rick taught us that a while back. But we love that Miguel finally called Kevin out on it in a fantastic speech about how Kevin reminds him of Jack, and how Miguel misses his best friend.
“I don’t not like you,” Kevin finally conceded before heading back to the theatre, nerves somewhat quelled.
Jack and Rebecca get into a massive fight – Three Kleenex boxes
Things have been rocky for Jack and Rebecca before, but this week things skyrocketed. And it was all thanks to Ben, who let it slip that he and Rebecca used to date way back when. It didn’t help that Jack was already feeling plenty jealous that Rebecca was singing with Ben, or that he was having a hard time getting behind her touring with the band while there were three teenaged kids at home who needed her. But after the Valentine’s Day gig everything finally came to the surface: Jack’s jealousy, Rebecca’s resentment about having to put her career on hold, and the fact that both parties have been feeling rather neglected lately. It all culminated in a heartbreaking scene at the diner, where Jack ordered a burger and a Maker’s Mark all by his lonesome… effectively breaking his sobriety and falling back into his former ways.
Kevin rushes to Randall’s aid – Four Kleenex boxes
The entire episode it seemed as though Kevin was the only one who really knew what was going on with Randall. Between coming across him panicking during a run, visiting him at the office during a meltdown and then receiving that call right before Kevin was about to go on stage for the big play premiere, Randall’s condition was gnawing at the back of Kevin’s brain. How could it not, given the back story we got between those two as teens? The old Kevin would have easily ignored everything going on with his brother and went on with his play. It was, after all, a huge moment for him. He financed the thing, was starring in it, and the New York Times was in the audience. This was the moment he’d been working towards for months. But Miguel’s words echoed in the back of his brain and the second before Kevin was supposed to go on he knew what he needed to do: what his dad would have done. And so he rushed to Randall’s side when no one else did, perhaps saving his brother from a really big collapse. Was it dramatic to leave the entire audience wondering where the hell he went? Of course. But it made us tear up nonetheless.
You got us again, This Is Us, you got us again. And now we can’t wait to see how you’re going to top this next week.