This is Us: S2 E2 A Manny-Splendored Thing
This was such a lovely episode. I love these characters and the show more and more each episode. Let's ride!
Rebecca & Jack: Episode starts right where we left off—Rebecca bringing her man home. She encourages him by telling him that he’s abstained from alcohol before and can do it again. The question seems: Did he really stop? We then get glimpses of how bad his substance abuse was; he was sneaking drinks at work, impulse shopping, and coming home late.
The young Big 3 are busy preparing for a school talent show—Kevin is doing an awful Mr. T impression, Randall has yo-yo tricks (adorbs!), and Kate plans on singing Lean on Me. However, Rebecca is giving her some unwanted advice about her singing.
After a stressful day at work, Jack goes to his first (?) AA meeting, but walks out and goes to see Kate at school instead and they discuss tough bosses/moms. The next day instead of drinking at work, Jack goes to a boxing club to punch out his problems. Eventually young Kate decides to fake a sore throat and not compete in the talent show after hearing Rebecca show off her vocal chops around the house. Side note: Mandy Moore can still belt! At the talent show, Sophie is the only one laughing at Kev’s Mr. T impression.
Jack has a conversation with Kate about her being nicer to her mother, and then shares his struggles with alcohol with her. We see more evidence of their special bond. The episode ends with Rebecca dropping Jack off at AA and him actually engaging in the process.
Kevin: Kevin has been asked to act in a special episode of The Manny and he’s super nervous about it. But his Sophie is there to lend her support. Later, Sophie asks Kevin to reenact his public breakdown when…The Manny writer/director comes in and sees the whole thing. Yikes. The writer/director later changes Kevin’s script in order to humiliate Kevin doing it. Kevin makes it through the embarrassing scene (wearing a diaper) to a ton of audience laughter.
Kate: Kate is anxiously (lot of anxiety this episode) preparing the household for her mother and Miguel’s visit. We see that Kate has difficulty with dealing with criticism from Rebecca. Kate gets a call that a singer came down with strep throat and they’ve asked her to fill in. Rebecca overhears and wants to come see her perform, so Toby and Rebecca head to the club. Kate does a good rendition of Stevie Nick’s Landslide. Rebecca tries to give Kate a compliment, but Kate isn’t accepting it and says some terrible things to Rebecca. Rebecca does apologize to Kate for pushing her too much, but again Kate is not receptive. Toby tells Rebecca that no matter the history he is Team Kate all the way.
Randall & Beth: They are preparing to travel to L.A. to see Kevin in The Manny. Again, Beth is not shy about her feelings about The Manny (Kevin ain’t funny). Beth also confronts Randall about not finishing his adoption paperwork and delaying telling the girls about the adoption. At The Manny taping, Randall is STILL avoiding the paperwork. When confronted, he explains that he’s concerned about raising a child who may have issues related to abuse or trauma. He fears they may be unable to handle it. Similar to Jack and Rebecca last week, Beth ensures that they’re all-in this together! Beth goes to Kevin for advice (after missing The Manny and Kev noticed) about Randall’s freak outs. Kev tells her that her support has always made Randall a better man. The episode ends with the two making out and reconciling again!
Overall: I really enjoyed how the writers integrated the past and present stories. This episode was INTENSE! Everyone has stepped up their acting this season. We also finally saw Sophie with the Pearsons, which was anticlimactic. Also, I wish Rebecca would have let Miguel participate in The Manny dance competition LOL
Quote(s) of the Week:
- I need to people to love me, like they loved Clooney. —Kevin
- I love pigs in a blanket! –Miguel
- I knew strep throat had a purpose! –Toby
Predictions: Like many individuals struggling with substance abuse, we’ll see more about Jack’s struggles. Because of my love for Jack, I hope his death is not substance-related and that he overcomes his addiction.