THIS IS US 2x02 Recap: Kate & Rebecca's Big Fight - 2x03 Promo | What Happened?!?



This Is Us Season 2, Episode 2: Jack Still Has His Secrets

The writers ofThis Is Usseem determined to dismantle our perception of the perfect Pearsons this season. Randall's of “perfectly imperfect” last week opened the door for this week’s more critical look at the family that steals our hearts even as its members' insecurities threaten to unravel them.

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And what better way to start a conversation about insecurities than centering the episode around Kevin (Justin Hartley), whose anxieties have never been well-hidden beneath his chiseled abs and deceiving charisma. The family is invited to watch a live taping of Kevin's return to theThe Manny, the sitcom that made—then broke—his career after an existential temper tantrum resulted in his hasty exit from the show last season. Randall (Sterling K. Brown) and Beth (Susan Kelechi Watson) fly in with the kids, as do Rebecca (Mandy Moore) and Miguel (Jon Huertas) wearing matching ear-to-ear smiles. Kate (Chrissy Metz) enthusiastically joins in support of her brother, with Toby (Chris Sullivan) in tow. Th entire family is together again, and these scenes are interspersed with flashbacks to Jack (Milo Ventimiglia) as he deals with his drinking problem after last week's reconciliation with Rebecca. That’s where their personal conflicts—in the present and the past—begin to collide. Here’s what we learned:

1) Jack’s struggle with alcoholism is more more serious than we knew.

Despite his every effort to embody the devoted family man and not turn out like his drunken father, Jack's relationship with alcohol is unfortunately quite similar to his father's. We see him at work, struggling to make it through the day and pouring a flask into a coffee mug. A firm heart-to-heart with Rebecca encouraged him to turn down happy hour with his colleagues and even enroll in Alcoholics Anonymous, but he can barely step foot in the door. He arrives at a meeting, listen to the end of a testament by the door, then turns around and walks out not five minutes later. Oh, and remember that touching scene from last season, when Jack gave Rebecca that beautiful necklace and promised to stop drinking? Well, he bought it for her after leaving work early for a drink.

As much as the writers have been shielding certain plot elements from the audience, we now see these characters have been hiding their own secrets from their loved ones, due either to personal torment or out of fear of what their family might think of them. Later in the episode, Jack tearfully confesses to a nine-year-old Kate of the shame surrounding his alcoholism. “I never wanted to disappoint you.”

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2) Kate has been holding on to deep resentment toward her mother for years.

We always knew Kate had a special attachment to her dad, but that's coupled with resentment toward her mother that goes back to childhood. We see this in a flashback in tonight's ep, which shows nine-year-old Kate getting ready for the school talent show by singing a verse from Bill Withers’ “Lean on Me.” Her dad, whose pride can barely be contained, rushes over and kisses her on the forehead when she’s done. But her mother—though impressed—finds the flaw and tells her to hold on to that last note longer. To make matters worse, Kate later hears her mother singing that same song in the shower so perfectly, it destroys her confidence and she refuses to sing in the talent show. It’s these moments, alongside other micro-aggressions through the years, which cause Kate to feel self-conscious around her mother all the time. In fact, she's so anxious about her mom coming to her house, she obsessively folds and refolds throw blankets.

After getting called from Kevin’s taping to fill in for a singer with strep throat, Kate wows the crowd with a dazzling rendition of Fleetwood Mac’s “Landslide.” Toby is ecstatic, and Rebecca (who tagged along to the performance) is complimentary, though she adds, “In time you will learn to power through a crowd like this.” This comment infuriates Kate: “You still make me feel like a stupid, fat little kid.” Kate accuses Rebecca of always trying to make her just like her—beautiful, thin, and with a perfect pitch “even when you talk.” Rebecca tells Kate that her children are her entire life, but admits she might have pushed Kate too hard.

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Chrissy Metz as Kate Pearson inThis Is UsSeason 2 Episode 2, "A Manny-Splendored Thing"

3) Toby thinks Rebecca doesn’t like him.

In the midst of Kate obsessing over the throw blankets, Toby admits he too is desperate to appeal to Rebecca after collapsing in front of her and shattering a coffee table last season. But after Kate’s performance at the bar and her subsequent fight with her mother, it's Rebecca who tries to appeal to Toby for support. Though he admits Kate is sensitive around Rebecca, he tells her, “I am team Kate, for life. You can’t ask me to bring you to a show that she doesn’t want you at, and you can’t ask me to side with you. Team Kate, forever.” When the three of them return to the car, Rebecca puts her hand on Kate’s shoulder from the backseat and says, “I’ve realized I really like your fiancé.” Mission accomplished.

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Chris Sullivan as Toby Damon inThis Is UsSeason 2 Episode 2, "A Manny-Splendored Thing"

4) Kevin loves how Sophie makes him feel better about himself.

Kevin went out of his way to prove to his ex-wife Sophie (Alexandra Breckridge) that he was a changed man last season. With the two together again in seemingly happier times, it's starting to feel like he might have pursued his childhood sweetheart mainly because she makes him feel better about himself in his most insecure moments. We learn in this episode that even as a child she was the only person in the audience laughing at his lame jokes, like that time he did an awful Mr. T impression at their school talent show. In the present day, Sophie is by Kevin’s side during what has turned out to be his most pride-swallowing moment yet, returning to the TV show that made him the laughing stock of Hollywood. This time, he has to don a diaper in front of a live audience after a humiliating last-minute script change. But once again, Sophie is laughing harder than anyone else in the room. Whether or not Kevin is only with his ex for his own fulfillment remains to be seen, but there is something to be said about a man who’s in love with his #1 fan—especially when his own family was too preoccupied with their own drama to sit through a single-episode taping of his sitcom.

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Alexandra Breckenridge as Sophie and Justin Hartley as Kevin Pearson inThis Is UsSeason 2 Episode 2, "A Manny-Splendored Thing"

5) Randall is worried he and Beth may not be ready to become parents again.

Despite being the one to push forward on their adoption plans, Randall is now having second thoughts about bringing home an older son who may or may not be suffering from familial trauma like abuse or drugs. He's driving Beth crazy. When the couple is seated in the audience waiting forThe Mannyto begin, Beth reminds Randall to complete the adoption forms, which are due by the end of the day. He says he will, but then walks outside in a bubble of anxiety. Beth follows him out to the lot, where he expresses his concerns about raising a troubled teen. He thinks they may be biting off more than they can chew. Beth, enraged by his bait and switch, accuses him of “Randall-ing out," a reference to his constant need to overanalyze things, and briskly walks away.

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Sterling K. Brown as Randall Pearson and Susan Kelechi Watson as Beth Pearson in Season 2 Episode 2 ofThis Is Us, "A Manny-Splendored Thing"

6) Kevin told Randall exactly what to say when he first asked out Beth in college.

One of the things that make Beth and Randall’s relationship so great is their ability to openly communicate with each other even when they're in disagreement. But Randall hasn’t always known the right words to say to his leading lady. In fact, Kevin was the one who told Randall exactly what to say to Beth when he asked her out in college. But we don’t learn this in a flashback scene; rather, it’s in a rare intimate moment between Beth and Kevin when she appears in his dressing room after storming away from Randall duringThe Mannytaping. First apologizing about missing his entire taping (though they both know she thinks he’s not funny anyway), she vents about her argument with Randall, which doesn’t surprise Kevin at all. He acknowledges his brother has never committed to anything at which he thinks he could fail, then confesses he gave Randall the exact words to use when he asked Beth out, even telling him what to say when he first talked to her on the phone. “That was the only time in my brother’s life that he actually risked failure,” Kevin says.

7) A black actor has starred onThe Mannyever since Kevin left.

When Sophie asks Kevin to recreate his dramatic exit that led to his demise onThe Manny, he first hesitates, then obliges. But in the middle of his reenactment, the director walks in and sees it. Embarrassed, Kevin nervously starts praising the show and how far it’s come, including casting a black actor in the title role “especially for these times we’re living in.” Despite Kevin’s less-than-articulate acknowledgement, the fact that there has been a lead black actor on a major network sitcom in the world ofThis Is Usis monumental. But weirdly, we don't actually see him at this taping.

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8) Jack comes to Kate in his weakest moment.

After Jack darts from AA, he drives to Kate’s school, possibly just to see the smile on her face when he shows up. She gets in his parked car and they both confess to the things that have been bothering them. She says that her mom makes singing feel like a job sometimes, but Jack tells her Rebecca's only trying to make her better. Then Kate notices it’s the middle of the day and he’s not at work. She asks if everything is okay, and Jack tells her, “It’s my boss. He just has a way of making it feel like a job sometimes.”

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Milo Ventimiglia as Jack Pearson inThis Is UsSeason 2 Episode 2, "A Manny-Splendored Thing"

9) Kate blames Rebecca for kicking Jack out of the house.

When Jack returns home after his reconciliation with Rebecca, he goes to Kate’s room, who says “Oh, the queen admitted you back into her castle?” Catching the snide remark, Jack once again comes to Rebecca’s defense. “You need to be nicer to your mother," he tells Kate. "You don’t know everything.” This is when he tells her about his drinking problem—he hasn’t even told her brothers yet.

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10) Jack turned to boxing to release his stress.

This seems like the writers are setting us up for something, though on the surface, it looks like Jack took up boxing—which he does in lieu of attending AA—as a way to get his mind off drinking. He walks into a boxing club and remarkably knows exactly how to hit a punching bag. We see this play out a few times throughout the episode and in a montage as Kate is performing. We assume he’s boxing to deal with his own issues, but when the manager of the club asks, he says he’s trying it out as a promise to his wife. However, the final scene of the episode shows Rebecca dropping him off at AA, which means she has no idea he’s not actually going.

11) Jack was in the military.

Another revelation from that montage shows another moment in Jack's life that may have contributed to his personal demons. There is no dialogue here, and we’re not really offered a timestamp, but we can assume this was prior to his and Rebecca’s relationship. Expect to learn more about this time in Jack's life this season.

12) Beth and Randall can do anything.

It’s one of the final scenes of the episode, after Beth has blown off some steam and got a ton of unexpected insight from Kevin. She hastily walks up to Randall, jumps into his arms and says, “You and me, we can do anything.” To which he responds “I know.” With that, Randall realizes it's time to tell the girls about their adoption plan.

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Susan Kelechi Watson as Beth Pearson and Sterling K.





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Date: 12.12.2018, 16:50 / Views: 71482