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This is Us: S1 E16 Memphis

This is Us: S1 E16 Memphis

Randall: We fast forward several days since the last episode. Randall was in the hospital for 5 days after his anxiety attack. Now, he’s wanting to go to Memphis with William to spend his last days with him and meet his extended family. Precious. Jersey to Memphis with no navigation? I’m having my own childhood flashbacks of a road trip with my dad.

The end of the episode…ugh, he is Jack Pearson’s son.

Also, can we see fro Randall?? Gumby Randall? I’ll take any of those flashbacks, please.

William: We get excellent flashbacks of William’s upbringing and early adulthood. We find out his father, who had a beautiful singing voice, died in WWII. He was raised by his mother who was so supportive of William’s music career and art. She had to leave to Pittsburgh during his early adulthood to take care of her family and remained there when she found a good-paying good. Meanwhile William is left to stay with his cousin that his mother warned him about. His no-good cousin is…Paper Boi (Atlanta)?!?! William and his cousin are in a band together. Paper Boi can sing! Love it. William finds out his mother is sick and went to Pittsburgh to take care of her. We see many parallels of modern day William and young William—for example, playing chess with his mom in those final days while she is sick with cancer. During the time of him caring for his mother, we see William meet Randall’s biological mother…and learn she was using drugs during their courtship. After William’s mother’s death, we see William’s drug habit begin.

In current time, on their way to Memphis, William tells Randall wants to pay his respects to Jack…I can’t. William and Randall cruise around Memphis touring all of William’s favorite spots. William even goes to his childhood home to find his “treasure”—a few small toys and three quarters. Adorable. William then goes to reconnect with his cousin. We find out he abandoned him by never coming back due to his drug addiction. His cousin, knowing William is dying, asks him to play in the band one more time. We see William play with his old band…and Randall singing and dancing?!?! lol The next day, William is in bad shape. We knew this was coming—William’s passing.

Beth: Beth is not playing with her husband’s well-being. People say Relationship Goals for petty stuff…this is REAL #RelationshipGoals!

Jack: Jack and Randall breathing together during his panic attack...tugged at my heartstrings.

Kate: I’m curious why only Kate has Jack’s ashes.

Overall: I wasn’t ready for this episode, but it was so beautifully done and well-written. I felt at peace with William’s passing by the end. William (and the actor Ron Cephas Jones) is amazing and Sterling K. Brown emotes in a way that makes me feel unlike any other TV character has. Also, the blues score in this episode was uplifting, appropriate, and fitting.

Quote(s) of the week:

  • “I would have liked to have heard that laugh. I would have liked to have met my son’s father.” –William
  • “You get a cousin, you get a cousin, and you get a cooooousin.”—Randall
  • “Everything is better with a little Beth on it.” –Randall

Predictions: Previews show Randall is coping with William’s death. The impact will sit for a while I’m sure. Also, we may dive more into Jack’s demise…which I’m not ready for.

What did you think of this episode? It was a heavy one for sure. Leave your This Is Us reactions in the comments!

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