This is Us: S2 E11 The Fifth Wheel
That was one long holiday hiatus. Can't wait to see what the Pearsons are doing. With how everything ended, it can't be too good...
Present Day: Everyone is gearing up to meet Kevin in rehab. Apparently Kate and Kevin haven't spoken in over a month since he has been been in rehab. She's feeling guilty for not realizing he was relapsing. Kate and Toby are packing to go visit Kevin, and as Toby is going to take out the trash, the bag bursts and Toby notices a lot a snacks. Is she relapsing, too??
Randall and Beth are on their way to go visit Kevin, and are concerned about Tess. She says she's more worried and sad about Deja's departure, but doing okay. Beth wanted her to be struggling a little bit in order to not go see Kevin. Clearly, Beth is still quite furious about Kevin's DUI.
All the Pearsons and their significant others arrive at Kevin's rehab location, which is also the first time Randall, Kate, and Kevin have all seen each other since Kate's miscarriage. The family is introduced to Barbara (played by Kate Burton aka Meredith Grey's momma aka Sally Langston!), Kevin's therapist. She excuses the spouses of the siblings from the therapy session, much to Beth's chagrin.
The therapist appointment starts with Kevin making apologies to everyone for his recent behaviors. Everyone is happy with him making amends when his therapist encourages him to discuss with them his thoughts on where his addiction stems from. Uh oh... Kate jumps in and says Kevin needs to cope with the grief of Jack's death, but that's not quite what Kevin wanted to discuss...
Meanwhile---Beth, Toby, and Miguel at a bar (when they were supposed to be at rehab initially!) is what I needed in my life! Spinoff anyone? "The New Big 3" (as they named themselves) are drinking and talking crap about their spouses and Kevin. They discuss the "Pearson no-fly zone," specifically not discussing Jack. However, Miguel jumps in and says Jack is part of his no-fly zone as well.
Back in therapy, Kevin says he always felt like the fifth wheel of the family. He also tells them that they're a family of addicts. Barbara then asks Rebecca if she ever warned them that they had the gene for alcoholism/addiction. Rebecca says they had enough to worry about given the loss of Jack. Then, Kevin starts going after Rebecca for giving examples about the other two and not him; however, Randall jumps into the conversation to defend Rebecca. The discussion then blows up!!! Randall says Kevin is addicted to attention, not alcohol or drugs. Ouch!!! Eventually, Rebecca breaks down and says Randall was "just easier," which is why she connected to him more. And, we find he is the only one who didn't move away after Jack's death.
Back at the bar, The New Big 3 are DRUNK. Toby tells them about Kate's relapse and uses a Star Wars metaphor for how the Pearsons keep secrets and they are all just outsiders. Miguel agrees in being the "man who married his best friend's wife." This episode is getting heavy...
The original Big 3 meet on a bench at the rehab facility. Randall gives a couple monologues focused on how everyone has there own unique perspective of events. A few apologies are exchanged and they embrace each other.
Toby and Kate are waiting on an Uber (because he had to leave his car at the bar!) and Kate discloses she's been eating junk food ever since the miscarriage. She also discusses wanting to work on her issues with food.
Lastly, Rebecca shares a fond memory of Kevin--remarking on his independence as a child and feeling as though she didn't have to worry about him. *cue onions being cut*
Flashback: Jack comes home and announces the family will be going on vacation to the Poconos...without running it by Rebecca first. Kevin is away at a football camp, but Jack ensures them that they'll pick him up later in the week.
At the cabin, Jack and Rebecca have a conversation about Kate's weight. Jack passes it off as "baby weight" and his "big boned" grandma, while Rebecca is worried about her fixation on food. Jack decides he'll try to engage her in more physical exercise and cut back on trips to ice cream shops. In the next scene, Jack, Kevin, and Kate are playing football when Kate wants to quit. He upsets her and she runs off, which pisses off Kevin. Kevin also sees Rebecca reading books with Randall and throws a ball at Randall. We get a bunch of glimpses, from young Kevin's perspective, of him being cast aside for the other two.
Jack hunts down Kate and she tells him a neighborhood boy called her fat, and she asks if Jack thinks she's fat. Back at the cabin, Randall's glasses are missing and of course Rebecca thinks Kevin is to blame. Kevin tells her that he hates her and the family. Geez. Later, Jack tells Rebecca he took Kate out for ice cream and he feels terrible. However, Rebecca said it's hard for her to always be the "bad guy" in the family. I think this theme is going to continue to come up in future episodes.
Rebecca tries to make amends with a pouty Kevin who is sitting on the front porch in the pouring rain reading comics, but he's not having it. Later, he goes to find his siblings (and accidentally finds Randall's glasses) and sees the whole family sleeping together. He finds a blanket and lays next to the bed. Awwwwww! But Rebecca wakes up in the middle of the night and sleeps next to him.
Overall: Although some may feel Kevin externalized blame for his actions to the other, from a child's perspective he may have felt like a fifth wheel. The therapy session was such an incredible scene. So much heartache in revealing everyone's truths.
Quote(s) of the Week:
- Once school's back, the Urkel jokes will start.--Randall
- First of all, Julie's brownies are bland as hell and lumpy.--Randall
- So in this story, the three of us are Chewbacca?--Beth
- I love my crazy ass brothers.--Kate
Predictions: This therapy session is just the beginning. Each of the Pearsons has a lot of work to do. I hope its forward progress from here.