Just when we thought we’d given all the tears we could possibly give, the Thanksgiving episode of This Is Us begged us for more, and we delivered. Here are eight moments from the Tuesday, November 22, episode of the NBC drama that will have you sobbing into your cranberry sauce.
Kate and Toby Break Up
The episode began with a huge stinging slap in the face as we saw the demise of a love that was clearly too pure for this world. Kate (Chrissy Metz) broke up with Toby (Chris Sullivan) after watching him slurp down a small mound of spaghetti at dinner. In a heartbreaking, choked-up speech she said, “I think we should take a break … because I’ve been dreading this date. Because I knew you would eat that. … The other night, I stuffed my face full of powdered doughnuts, and I cried myself to sleep.” We were wishing we had a box of powdered doughnuts to cry into when she said, “I told you that when I met you, that I couldn’t fall for a fat person.”
A waterfall of tears fell down our eyes when Toby responded, “But you did. You fell for me. So now what? Are you gonna just throw me away?” And with that, our favorite couple dissolved. Oh, cruel world, why must you torment Us so?!
Beth Confronts Rebecca
Beth (Susan Kelechi Watson), holding onto the secret that William (Ron Cephas Jones) knew Rebecca (Mandy Moore) since Randall (Sterling K. Brown) was an infant, took no time at all to get in her mother-in-law’s face as soon as she walked in their door on Thanksgiving morning. Beth said angrily to an aged Mandy Moore, “I know you’ve been avoiding my calls.” She then threatened to tell Randall the secret herself if Rebecca couldn’t do it by the end of the night. Beth is seriously protective of her husband, and it gave us some major goose bumps … and tears. Small, husband-loving tears.
Olivia Opens Up About Her Family
Kevin (Justin Hartley) managed to talk his smoking-hot Broadway costar, Olivia (Janet Montgomery), into joining him and his family for Thanksgiving. Even through her usually tough exterior, Olivia showed Us some glimmers of vulnerability. We got a little choked up when she revealed she had an adulterous father and a drunk and angry mother. Poor thing!
William Talks About His Tapes
One single tear started to form in the corner of our eyes when William shared a sweet moment with his biological son, Randall, while on a family hike. When speaking about his past Thanksgivings, William reminisced, “I’d spend it with my sober friends … none of us had families. …” He went on to explain that they had a jam band and would record the sessions on cassette tapes.
William, suffering from terminal cancer, revealed, “I was too sick to attend last year. … I’d listen to those tapes and eat an entire Marie Callender's pecan pie. … Oh, man, I wish I had packed those tapes.” This obviously prompted golden child Randall to hop in his car and drive two hours to pick up William’s old tapes. Aww.
Olivia Kisses Kevin Because of … William?!
When Olivia stormed out of the house after coldly telling Kevin that she had to go back to New York, she was confronted by a somber William. Olivia, being the overly blunt British actress that she is, asked William, “How does it feel to be dying?” This launched William into one of the most poetic and emotionally stirring monologues we’ve seen from him thus far.
His words danced out of his mouth and into our salty tears when he said, “It feels like all these beautiful pieces of life are flying around me, and I’m trying to catch 'em. … I know it feels like you have all the time in the world, but you don’t. So stop playing it so cool. When a nice boy who adores you offers you pie? Say 'thank you.'" This immediately caused her to rush back inside and surprise Kevin with a juicy, loving kiss.
Kate Holds Hands With a Fat-Shamer
While on her flight to New Jersey, Kate struggled in dealing with her much slimmer, judgmental row mate. The blonde woman stared Kate down and watched with daggers as an anxious Kate fumbled with her seatbelt extender. However, that hate lasted just about as long as our dry eyes did.
As soon as turbulence hit the flight, Kate and her unnamed blonde enemy found themselves holding hands. The blonde woman decided at that very moment that life was too short, and that she’d leave her husband. The power of female bonding! The power of tears leaving our eyes and landing on our laptops! This female bonding and seizing of the day later led to Kate admitting to her family that she’s decided she’s getting gastric bypass surgery.
Jack Becomes "Pilgrim Rick"
In the flashback scenes to their '80s childhood, we got a chance to see Jack (Milo Ventimiglia) turn things around after a nearly disastrous Thanksgiving. After a tire blew out on the highway, Rebecca and Jack decided to check into a low-end hotel to ride out the holiday until they could tow their car in the morning.
Instead of wallowing in their misery, Jack showed up wearing a pilgrim hat, calling himself “Pilgrim Rick,” and started a slew of family traditions that they still kept to this day (including a yearly screening of Police Academy 3, the only VHS in the motel). We couldn’t contain our hysterical crying when young Randall, who started off the episode saying he hated Thanksgiving, ended it by saying to his mom, “I changed my mind. I wanna have Thanksgiving when I grow up. … I want every Thanksgiving to be like this for the rest of my life.”
Randall Confronts Rebecca
Randall, while at William’s apartment to retrieve his cassette tapes, stumbled upon an old letter from Rebecca to William — revealing the secret that she’d kept from him all these years. At the dinner table, he couldn’t contain his fury. He said to his mother, “Why is there a photo of me in a letter that you sent to William’s apartment. … You knew my father? That you kept him from me my entire life? … I can’t even look at you.” When he started to cry and storm out of the room, so did we. Randall, no! You’re supposed to love Thanksgiving, remember?!
Tell Us: Do you think Rebecca was right to withhold that secret from her son for all those years?
This Is Us airs on NBC Tuesdays at 9 p.m. ET.
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