‘This Is Us’ recap: Identity crisis, IVF and insecurity
This week’s episode, “A Philadelphia Story,” is centered around each Pearson trying to find their place in a post-Jack world.
The episode starts in the dark days following Jack’s death. Rebecca and the kids are getting by – living in temporary housing while trying to find a new place to call home.
Rebecca hears Jack’s voice at every turn and expresses to Randall that it takes all she has just to get out of the bed in the morning. Randall finds out he was accepted to Howard University – his dream school – but we later see that he turns down the offer to stay close to family. Kate is beginning to gain weight and confesses she’s not going through with her application to Berklee College of Music, and Kevin is drunk most of the time – two problems Rebecca has turned a blind eye to.
The present-day Pearsons are not much better.
Randall takes Deja, who is having a tough time adjusting to her new mostly-white school, to a rec center near William’s old building in Philadelphia to introduce her to a new friend. But while there, Randall notices the rec center is in despair and makes it his own personal mission to fix it. He seeks out the councilman responsible for the neighborhood, who promises he will have a maintenance crew check on the building, but not before Randall fixes a light out by the basketball court himself.
Though it was a good deed Randall did, he is told by ChiChi, a long-time tenant of his building and friend of William’s, that he is not one of “them.” That instead of spending the day talking to people at the rec center, he spent the day trying to “fix” their problems. “We are not our problems,” she says.
Meanwhile, Toby and Kate have begun IVF. We watched last week as Toby flushed his antidepressants, and in this episode, he is jittery, anxious and moody.
The couple decides they are going to keep their decision from Rebecca – but of course, she finds out and gets into a big fight with Kate while on the way to Kevin’s big movie premiere. Toby stands up to Rebecca then disappears following his blow-up.
Eventually, Rebecca gets over her fears about IVF and helps Kate administer her shot while Toby is still MIA. While in a bathroom stall, Rebecca admits to Kate that she should have done more when her daughter began gaining weight.
Back at the premiere, Randall and Beth show up just in time to take their seats. Kevin, who has been questioning whether or not anyone will ever take him seriously, grabs the seat next to Randall.
Kevin’s big mistake is when he tells Randall about Kate and Toby’s IVF, confessing to Randall that the reason Kate is so adamant about having a baby is because she is the only one who can carry on a piece of their father.
While Kevin goes on about how offended he is, Randall is clearly deeply hurt by the comment, especially as he has been questioning where he fits in.
The movie begins, and the two stop talking. Roll credits.
And for those of you – like me – who are waiting to find out who “her” is, there was no update. Sorry.