this is us Fans, it looks like we’ve reached our heartbreaking final destination.
This week’s episode brings the show’s current movement straight into the fast-paced Rebecca-centric events that began in season two. And while the Pearsons’ mothers are still alive at the end of the hour, Kevin Randall warns as he summons him to their mother’s side, “they say it won’t be long now.”
Read on for all the highlights from Family Reunion.
It’s time to make a decision | After a brief flashback montage of moments from the Big Three’s childhood where Rebecca had to wake up and take care of her kids while Jack was snoring, we cut to the current elderly Rebecca getting up and calling Miguel. Her confusion in his absence is heartbreaking, as is her agitation when she does not recognize the nurse who comes to her aid. Kate eventually manages to calm her mother, but Rebecca’s grief over Miguel not being there doesn’t go away.
It’s been about a week since Miguel passed away, and Randall and Kate, along with their significant others, are still in town. Madison and Ellie arrive home with the twins, and Nikki and Eddie – who live in the old cabin – drive them away for some fun. During a conversation with Kate, Kevin and Randall, we know that a file mani It’s time to read the reboot series finale schedule, and Kate’s kids are staying in California with Toby and his wife, Laura. Randall finally says what they’re all thinking, on some level: They need to come up with a plan to take care of Rebecca in the wake of Miguel’s death.
“I built this house. That was the plan,” Kevin said, immediately jumping into a defensive position in which he would remain for most of the episode. Randall points out that Rebecca should have a family, and that each of the siblings who visit two days a month – which their schedules actually allow – wouldn’t cut it.
In the middle of it all, Sophie, Beth and Phillip—who had gone to town for food—return back and realize “they’re finally having a ‘what’s next with our mother’ conversation,” Beth knowingly says. (Side note: Susan Kelechi Watson, who always Be good and funny, absolutely on fire in this scene and the subsequent scene in the booth. TV Show Makers of the World: Please make a series about this woman! I’ll be glad to watch!) So the better half of Randall announced that she, Sophie, and Philip would be hanging out in Nikki’s booth while the The Big Three, with their difficult, controversial and possibly tearful work, turned out to be a very smart move.
Rebecca through the years | Let’s break this heavy and sad story with a heavy and sad flashback, cool? We go back to the month after Jack’s death, when another mom called Rebecca to pick the kids up at a party that had just been set. Randall got into a fight to defend Kate’s honor. Then the not-so-well Kate tells her mom not to worry about it because she’s the neglected sister, “two winners, one worthless, like Hanson.” A drunken Kevin refused to see the big deal, making Rebecca yell at him, “Don’t bring your brother and sister with you. Get it all together, Kevin.” (And you all know how much I love it when Rebecca talks so hard to her kids.)
Other snapshots of Rebecca’s early motherhood include: accidentally falling asleep one night when Jack was away and Kate wasn’t going to bed, and then out of fear she had irreversibly harmed her baby when Kate fell out of bed in Rebecca and Jack’s bedroom. . She even left a crying voicemail to Dr. K. (Unfortunately, we didn’t get the character of Gerald McCranie, though)…we let Randall talk the truth about the tooth fairy—and swear him secrecy—when he was too scared to go to sleep…and the night that Jack and Rebecca realized she pregnant, and while doing so they consoled themselves by saying, “He’s just a little kid, the two of us.” (Hey).
“This is not our mother.” | Nowadays, the Big Three get Chinese food and hold their meetings. Randall thinks Rebecca should move in with him and Beth in Philadelphia. Kevin, who admits he feels the need to refund Rebecca for being “a pain in her ass her whole life,” wants to keep it where she is, because building the house she asked for “was the only good thing I did.”
Although Rebecca wanted Kate to make the decisions for her in Miguel’s absence, the female third of the Big Three are pretty silent during this discussion, especially since Kevin and Randall continue to irritate each other as they delve into their positions. When nurse Lily brought in Rebecca to announce that they were going for a walk, the three children were a little surprised: their mother wanted her make-up done, and she looks like a little girl who walked into her mother’s toiletry kit. As Kate tells Lily she’s going to take Rebecca for a walk, Kevin and Randall are surprised instead. “This ain’t our mom, how,” Randall says, and Kevin agrees. However, they’re no closer to a compromise: “He’s a nice house man, but I wouldn’t leave her alone,” Randall tells him. “And nothing you can say will change my mind.”
Toby helps at a crucial moment | At Nikki, Philip wonders if they might be in the big house, and somehow help out. “Dear, gentle, naive Phillip,” Beth says. “We can’t help these three. Nobody can.” Then she and Sophie began an elaborate (and very accurate) presentation of what’s going on at the family reunion, complete with dead-end impressions of Randall and Kevin of Beth and Sophie, respectively. It’s funny, but Philip doesn’t think so. He faults his sisters-in-law for joking about “the miserable events that happen as they discuss her care. What a shout-out.” Uh Philip, who showed up five minutes ago? I know where you are.
Meanwhile, after returning from her run with her mom, Kate calls Toby and fills it in. He reminds her that Rebecca hired her Ha The guardian, and then — after asking permission to skip, the accuracy that he’s grown a little bit since their split — reminded her that it’s amazing “But when you stick around your siblings, you become this uneasy version of yourself.” Back in the big house, Beth sneaks out to get some food but Randall catches her. While chatting, she gently reminds him that the versions of Kate and Kevin in his head (irresponsible and stressful, respectively) are “copies of them that don’t exist anymore.”
Next, offending Kate gathers her siblings and says she’ll make the decision, but first, she wants them to actually look at Rebecca and be close to her – something they’ve been avoiding as her illness progressed. So Randall combs Rebecca’s hair, Kevin Lotion rubs his mother’s dry hands, seemingly passing something on between the siblings.
Maybe that’s always the reason | The next morning, all the adults – including the couple – gathered in the big house and ate Chinese food for breakfast while the children played outside. Kate says she and Philip have decided to move Rebecca to Los Angeles and figure out the best way to take care of her there, whether at home or in a facility. Kevin tells her he respects her decision, but he has another option: He and Sophie, as well as Madison and Ellie, will move to the East Coast full-time, and he and Sophie will live with Rebecca in the big house. “Honestly, Kevin was the only thing we stayed in L.A.,” Madison says. Randall is on the plane, sincerely thanking his brother for his progress. “Maybe that was the reason all along…that there were three of us,” Kate ponders.
Then we get a montage of time passing under the new arrangement. Kevin takes care of his mother. Randall and Kate visit. Madison, Elle, Nikki, Eddie, and the twins are next door. As the years go by, Kevin’s hair grows gray, and Rebecca’s hair gets longer. Finally, one night after putting Rebecca to bed, Kevin called Brandal and told him to bring Beth and the girls home as soon as possible: “They say it won’t be long now.”
Now it’s your turn. What do you think of the episode? Can you believe there are only two others this is us Episodes Start? Sound off in the comments!